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Matt Hagee - Cut It Out


Matt Hagee - Cut It Out
Matt Hagee - Cut It Out
TOPICS: Spiritual Growth

God's not interested in your attitude: he's interested in your potential. And so he builds your life upon his word. And none of us are free from pruning. Every branch, he either picks it up or he prunes it, because what he's interested in is produce. He wants you to be fruitful. And when he starts to see just a little bit of fruit developing in your life, he wants to make sure that pride doesn't choke it out. You see if these leaves just continue to grow, these grapes will never get any sunlight. And if they don't get any sunlight, then they're not going to produce. And whenever we start to do certain things in our Christian walk, we tell ourselves, "Aren't I doing good? I've been to church three Sundays in a roll". Even came last week when it was raining, "And there weren't 300 people here".

And God looks at the pride in your life, and he just says we're going to cut that out. And then you go home from church after hearing a sermon like this, and you say, "Lord, I'm just going to live with the joy of the Lord in my heart". And you get angry at your wife, and God sees your anger, and he says, we're just going to cut that out. And God sees doubt, and he says, we're just going to cut that out. And he sees worry. And he sees fear. And he says, we're just going to keep working on you until you become who I want you to be, which is productive. And sometimes he'll do it with a simple sermon. You hear the Word of God, and you do the Word of God, and you start to produce fruit. And he says, that's good. You hear the Word of God, and you ignore the Word of God, God just turns up his hearing aid.

In the book of Galatians, they're separated into two groups. One is the Fruit of the Spirit, and the other is the works of the flesh. And God, he sees his kids get angry. He says, I'm not impressed by your attitude. I'm just going to cut the anger out of you until you learn the joy of the Lord is your strength. He sees doubt. He says, I'm not concerned about your doubt. I'm just going cut the doubt out of you until you learn to trust me. He sees fear. He says, I'm not going to be moved by your fear. I'm just going to cut the fear out of you until you recognize that if God is for you, who can be against you. He sees you walk towards greed. He says, I'm not worried about your greediness. I'm just going to keep cutting the resources out of your life until you learn that I'm the God who supplies all of your needs according to my riches in glory. And I'm going to teach you that the best thing you can learn to do is give with a cheerful heart, because I've already written it in my word that the Lord loves a cheerful giver.

People say, "I just don't think God works that way". Sure, he does. Here's what the book of James says: the book of James says, "Be swift to hear, be slow to speak, and be slow to wrath". Say that with me. "Be swift to hear, be slow to speak, and be slow to wrath". Why? Because if you don't understand how to do those things, you will not have the right response to God's word. And when you don't respond properly to God's word, he goes from seeing you as productive to seeing you in need of pruning. How many of you know people, who are not swift to hear: they're actually kind of slow to hear? The other day, I was watching a mother talk to her child. And I got a case of the shakes because she said, "Do you want to? Do you want to? Do you want to get in the car? Do you want to go to eat lunch? Do you want the air conditioner on or the window rolled down"?

I grew up in a house where we had one standing rule. And it wasn't difficult to understand. It was very simple. And it went like this: "Don't make me tell you twice". We had a house where the laying of hands was more than a ministry. It was a reminder if you had to hear it more than once. And God is the same way. He says, "Be swift to hear". Don't make me tell you twice. Why? Because he's God and you're not. His word is perfect. His word is beneficial for the reproof and correction in doctrine and instruction. He who has an ear, let him hear. In Matthew, the 13th chapter, it says, "While they're hearing". That's auditory. "They do not hear," which means they don't take action. The other day, when we preached the sermon about growing pains, we said, "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God".

How many of you know people, not you, because you would never be this way, but you know people that they'll read things in the Word of God, and they don't do what the Word of God says to do? What is that? That's being slow of hearing, not swift of hearing. Whenever you read the written Word of God, and you understand very clearly what it says, and then you debate the Word of God, you need to know that your debate is disobedience. "Well I'm just trying to discover". If you're discovering while you're being obedient, fine. But if you're debating until you understand, it's disobedience. I'll give you a case and point. Malachi 3:10, there it says, "Bring all of the tithe into the storehouse". This church has 22.500 members. We have 18% of them tithing. You know what that means? Not that you don't know what the word says, because I assure you, if you've come to this church, you know what it says. But that you're sitting there going, "Well I just wonder what God means. All of the tithe".

Let me be very clear about something. That's his word. It's his promise to fulfill. And he's the God who's in charge of all kinds of things, like the breath you breathe. So if you want to debate with him, have a nice day. But obedience is what brings the blessing. God never required your understanding in order for you to be blessed. He didn't say, "When you understand me, I'll bless you". Because his ways are above our ways, we're never going to understand him. Whether you look at it from the Old Testament or the New Testament, the Bible is very true. "Oh, the depths, and the riches, and the wisdom, and the knowledge of God: how unsearchable are his judgments past finding out"? You don't need to understand him to be blessed by him. But you will have to obey him, because obedience brings the blessing. But people still, "Oh, I don't understand".

There's all kinds of things you don't understand and you do. You don't understand how the lunch that you're going to eat gets broken down and digested into energy, but you're going to eat. If not, why don't you give up food until you understand digestion? The problem is not that we don't have the word. The problem is that we're not swift to hear the word. And then the Bible says, "Be swift to hear and slow to speak". When you're swift to hear, it simply means that when you hear it, you do it. Say that with me. When you hear it, you do it. I think of a parent with a newborn baby. They can be lying dead asleep in the middle of the night, and all that kid has to do is go "Uh," and the parent jumps up.

I'll never forget when Kendal and I brought Hannah home. We'd spent about 12 days of just watching her, making sure she was taken care of. Did he sleep? No. And after about two weeks, we were in zombie land. How many newborn parents know where zombie land is? And I came home from work, and Kendal said, "Here, feed the baby a bottle, and hold her while I go take a shower". So I did just that. And of course, as I'm giving Hannah the bottle, Hannah falls asleep. And as soon as Hannah falls asleep... how many of you know what tired parents do when babies fall asleep right here on their chest? I mean it was like somebody drugged me.

And what does Kendal do? She comes into the room. She sees Hannah and I peacefully asleep. She takes the baby out of my arms. She goes and puts the baby into the crib. And then she comes back and gets about this far from my ear, and goes, "Where's the baby"? I jumped up, the baby wasn't there. She wasn't here. I picked up the couch with one hand and looked under it, as if maybe I'd thrown her there. I was swift to hear. God says, when you hear my word, do my word. Don't debate it. Don't wait till you understand it: just do it! Because whenever you hear it, and you start to do it, then it becomes alive in you. "Be swift to hear. Be slow to speak". You can look at every person that's sitting around you. And one thing you'll find in common is that every one of us has two ears and one mouth. Why? Because God wants us to listen twice as much as we talk.

How many of you know people that are slow to hear and swift to speak? God says, when I'm talking, you're doing the listening. If you want to know how powerful the tongue is, the Bible has much to say about it. It says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. James 3:11, it asks a good question: it says, "Can a man with the same mouth bless God and curse man? Can sweet water and bitter water come from the same well"? When God starts pruning your life, what he wants to know is how are you going to respond? When he cut it is pride out, are you going to praise him, because the Bible says that the Lord resists the proud but he gives grace to the humble? Or are you going to whine? If you whine, God doesn't get worried. God just says, we're just going to have to keep working on you, LeRoy. He says, I'm going to prune you a little bit. And he's waiting to hear you say, "Thank you Jesus". And instead, he's pruning you.

And you going, "I don't agree with that preacher. I don't like how he uses those sheers. I want him to preach a different Sunday. I want him to preach a different sermon. I want that one that makes me feel good". God says, that's fine. You put you trust in the stock market: it'll fall 700 points. You put your trust in politics? Just read the headlines. You want to buy a boat so you can go to the lake on the weekend instead of go to church, I'm going to send a flood down to that lake. If the flood don't work, I'll send a drought and I'll dry it up. You don't want to work for me on Sunday when I ask you to volunteer? The boss is going to give you overtime. God doesn't get worked up whenever you start whining. He just keeps cutting until you learn to say, "I'll bless the Lord at all times, and his praise shall continually be in my mouth".

And the most important thing that you can remember when God starts using his word to prune you is that the Lord loves whom he chastens. If God didn't love you, he wouldn't work on you. The Lord loves whom he chastens. So the last thing you need to remember is what James 1:19 said last, "Do not get angry". "Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath". Why? Because your anger is not going to get God to move any quicker. How many of you know people that they get frustrated whenever God starts working on them, and they start blaming all kinds of things? I've got a bad home ministry leader. I've got a bad church. I've got a bad this. I've got a bad that. How many people know that they've got everything so bad: that the only thing bad in their life is their attitude? You need to know that God is not impressed with your temper. You will not throw a fit so good down here that you're going to get God to move up there. He deals in things like fire and brimstone. He's not upset with your attitude.

Here's what the Bible says, "The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God". That's his way of saying, if you're upset about it, I don't care. Your attitude doesn't get God to move any faster but your trust does. Why is God pruning you? Because he wants fruit. And how does fruit come? When you trust in the Lord. When you trust in the Lord with all of your heart and you lean not on your own understanding. When in all of your ways, you acknowledge him, then he will direct your path. It starts with a listening ear. You hear it in his word. Don't debate it: just do it. It starts with your actions. You hear it in his word and you put it to practice. Whatever you do, do not use your mouth to cancel out your harvest. God just keeps pruning on you until you say, "I trust you. I trust you. I trust you". You say, "I don't know why that preacher's using all those power tools". Well, because God wants to see fruit in your life.

You say, "I don't know if I should volunteer for VBS". God wants to see fruit in your life. "I don't know if I should do what the Bible says and give". God wants to see fruit in your life. You say, "Well, I don't know if I'm going to do that". God will send all kinds of fun stuff your way. He says, I'll make your grown children move back into your house. He says, they're not even going to help you pay your taxes or your rent. You don't want to tithe? I'm going to have them come back at the age of 30 and ask you for a loan. Put your faith in an IRA: here comes the IRS. What does God want in your life? Fruit. What does fruit require? Trust. You've got to trust him. And you've got to remember this: fruit takes time. What's the difference between this abundant branch and this barren branch? It's not that that one didn't get pruned and this one did. Every branch that is in me, he prunes. That's what the Bible says.

The difference between that branch and this branch is that branch endured. That branch was willing to do whatever needed to be done in order to get to the point of fruitfulness. This branch is just starting out. But if he quits, if he decides not to be productive, he'll never get to the place of beauty. He'll never get to abundance: this branch comes to church, and they pray one time. And because they don't get their prayer answered by the time they get to the parking lot, they say, "Well I don't know if God's working on my behalf". This branch has prayed for years and never stopped praying, believing the whole time that God was listening: that God was working: that God was moving. And when the answer came, they lifted their hands and they shouted for joy, because God moved a mountain on their behalf. This branch sows one seed in one offering. And because they don't get a pay raise in the middle of the week next week, they say, "Well I just don'ts know if God's promises are true". That branch has been giving. That branch has been sowing. That branch has been working. That branch has been diligent.

And suddenly God opens up the windows of heaven, and he pours out blessings that they cannot contain. This branch has a crisis relationship with Christ, "God, I need you to do this. And God, I want you to do that. And God, when are you going to do this? And God, how am I going to do this"? And that branch says, "Lord, what can I do to serve you? How can I help people understand more about your son? Where can I take them to your word and at your cross that they might receive salvation"? This branch says, "When am I going to get my blessing"? And that branch says, "God, I'm just blessed that I've got the joy of your salvation: that I've got the promise of your word: that I've got strength for today: that I've got hope for tomorrow. Lord, if you never gave me another blessing other than forgiveness from sin, you've given me enough. If you never gave my another opportunity other than living eternally with you, I've got enough. Lord, because your joy is rich and it adds no sorrow, I've got enough. Because your peace surpasses all understanding, I've got enough. Because your angels have been given charge over me, I've got enough".

Child of God, he wants you to bless his holy name, to magnify him, to lift your voice and declare his goodness in the land of the living, because he is great and greatly on the praised! Here's how this works: I say this in closing. James tells us, "Let patience". Say that with me. "Let patience". I don't like that verse any more than you do. "Let patience have its perfect work". Why? Because fruit takes time. God's got a plan for you. It's a plan to prosper you and not to harm you. It's a plan to take every barren area of your life and make it abundant. It's a plan to take every need and overwhelm it with his provision until you could want no more. It's a plan to move every mountain and defeat every enemy, to make every weapon that's formed against you, not prosper. It's a plan that is exceedingly, and abundantly, above all that you could ask, think, or imagine. And none of that is created by me or my imagination. All of that is found in his written word. But what he wants you to do between now and when his plan comes to pass is be patient enough to trust him. And when you don't understand him, give him the praise that he's worthy of. Give him the praise that he's worthy of. Say:

Lord, I trust you. I trust you in a season of sorrow, because I know that your joy is coming in the morning. I trust you in a time of need, because I've never seen the righteous forsaken, nor their seed begging for bread. I trust you in the midst of the storm, because my God is the one who rides upon the wings of the storm. I trust you in a day of battle, because your a shield, and you are a buckler, and you are the glory, and you are the lifter of my head. You are my banner in battle. I trust you in the midst of the fiery furnace, because even if I have to face the flames, I know that you'll be there with me. I trust you, Heavenly Father, like job did. 'the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but blessed be the name of the Lord'.


Church, right where you are, I want you to stand to your feet, and lift your hands, and raise your voice, and spend a moment with the fruit of your lips, declaring in this place the fact that you are trusting in the Lord. Every need that you have, you know he'll supply. Every problem that you're facing, you know that he has the answer. Every mountain that's up against you, you know that it's going to move.

Heavenly Father, in this sanctuary today, we are lifting our hands to heaven, knowing that we are in the hand of a living God. He knows that way that we take. He knows exactly what we need. He knows the problem that we're facing. And he has the power to bring us every answer. He has the power to defeat every enemy. He has the power to make a way where there seems to be no way. He has the power to restore. He has the power to mend. He has the power to heal. He has the power to provide. And so we lift our hands and we praise him in this place. Because though we don't understand it, though we can't see the end from the beginning, we believe in his word: that he who began a good in you will be faithful to complete it even unto the day of Christ Jesus. "His word will not return void, but it shall accomplish the purpose for which it was sent".

So Father, in this place today, every person, who's facing a need, meet it according to your riches in glory. Every person, who's searching for an answer, let them find it in you. Every person with a broken heart, mend it with the compassion of your hands. Every home that needs restoration, "What God has brought together, let no man put asunder". Every life that is tormented, bring peace. Every heart filled with fear, "You have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind". Lord, let us be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath: that your perfect word would come alive in our lives: and that our life would be a thing of beauty in your hands. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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