Matt Hagee - I Believe In You
I believe God has a plan for you today. I believe that that plan is far greater than anything you've ever known in the past. I believe that every breath you breathe, you breathe with purpose, because his providential plan is coming to pass. Every step you take is something he has ordered. Every mountain you climb is something he's empowered you to climb. And if the God of heaven and earth believes that much in you, then I do too. I believe you're full of potential. I believe that you have the ability to do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I believe you have what it takes. No matter the problem you're facing, God gave you the gift to solve that problem before it ever became known to you.
You have the ability to be the person that God has chosen in this generation to change the world. No matter what you've been through in this life, no matter what you didn't hear in your childhood, no matter what you don't hear in your day-to-day existence, no matter what people around you think: I want you to know this morning that the God who created the heavens and the earth, who numbers the stars and calls them by name, he loved you enough that he sent his only begotten to die on your behalf.
So what shall we say of these things? If he did not spare his own son, how will he not freely give us all things? If God be for you, who can be against you? And because God believes in you that much, I do too. Today I want to read what God has to say about you. And I want you to leave this place, knowing that God has a plan for your tomorrow that's greater than anything you've ever known before. Let's read 1 John 4:4. If you're there, say, amen. "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world". Say that last half of the verse with me again. "Because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world".
Heavenly Father, your word is alive and powerful. It is true and sharper than any two-edged sword. So let its truth penetrate our hearts and minds today: that when we leave this place, we would know that the God in us is greater than any force on earth: and that we have the ability to be more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. You see there's a lot of people who tell you what they believe, but then they behave differently than they believe, which means that they're saying something that they're not convicted about. It's whenever they behave like they believe that you can say, "That person has conviction". Consider the person who's always on a diet, eating cheesecake. I know this is so bad for me. Ah, it's so good, so good. Hashtag #startstomorrow. They believe that the cheesecake is bad. They believe that they shouldn't eat it. But they don't behave like they believe.
Now this is a very simple illustration, but it proves very true in the world that we live in today. There are a lot of people that tell you what they believe, but they don't behave like they believe because they have no conviction. Rather than just move the applications, they're shifting the principles. And here's a principle that will not change: the Bible says, "I am the Lord. I do not change". He said that about himself. There is no Old Testament hard-hearted God: and a New Testament, soft-hearted God: and a modern age God that's listening to us dictate to him what our will is on earth so that it would be that way in heaven. He's still the God who said, "My kingdom come, my will be done on earth as it is in heaven". He's the same yesterday, today, and forever.
And if you want to know about the God that you serve today, all you've got to do is pick up the word, because the same God who, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, authored this book, is the one who's sitting on the throne this morning. Jesus said it this way, "Thy word is truth". Say that with me. "Thy word is truth". That means it will always be true. There wasn't a time when it was true and a time when it became more true. It has always been and it shall always be true, because our God is a God of spirit and truth. The truth is God doesn't change. His principles do not change. You just can't say, "I believe God's got something better in my future" and continue to live like you are today. You've got to begin to change. You've got to begin to develop conviction. You've got to begin to behave like you believe.
One of the greatest challenges that mankind face is that they don't believe anything good in them. And the reason for that is because they know themselves. Other people don't. They know the church you. They know the work you. They know the little league you, and the grandpa you. But they don't know you like you know you. How many of you know what I'm talking about? I see it every Sunday. You see each other across the sanctuary, "Hi. How are you doing"? "Fabulous. Fabulous: thank God". "Call me". And the reason that we do that is because we value what other people say about us. We value their opinions so much that it becomes our conviction, because their opinion drives our behavior more than ours.
We want to have people call us successful, so we do everything we can to magnify our strength and hide all of our weaknesses. If you don't think so, go read resumés. Nobody puts on their resumé, "Everything I'm bad at". Why? Because we want to be successful. And man, if they're going to see us as successful, they only need to know the good stuff. They don't know us. They know the good stuff. We overstate it. I recently read a resumé from a young man that was looking for a job, and he asked me: he said, "Pastor, would you read this before I hand it in tomorrow"? I said, "Sure, let me see what it says". And I looked at it, and I said, "Son," I said, "When you were a logistics engineer for an international trading company"? He said, "Well, I've sacked groceries at heb for three weeks".
We want people to call us "Beautiful," so we go through great lengths to become beautiful: that they might say something nice about us. We are doing anything we can to get the compliment. That's why we take things to make our teeth whiter. And that's why we do things to make our hair lighter. And that's why we clip in things to make it longer. And that's why we put on things to make it stronger. And that's why we go to seminars and learn how to smell and put on, I mean there's so much essential oil running around the world right now. I'm not surprised that the whole place hadn't caught on fire. But consider this: not only do you know who you are: God knows who you are.
In the book of Galatians, it says that God is not mocked. That means that you can't hide anything from him. In Hebrews, Paul gets more graphic when he says, "We are all naked in the eyes of the Lord". You can't write a resumé that God can't see through. You can't hide something in your life that he doesn't already know about. And in spite of everything that God knows about you that others may never know about you, what does God call you? We're worried about what other men have to say. God will never identify you by your occupation. You may be the world's most brilliant doctor, but God is still the great physician. Everything that you know about health and healing is just knowledge borrowed from God. You may be the world's greatest businessman. You may be the richest man on the face of the earth. God will never call you wealthy, because he said, in my economy, "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul"?
You may be the kind of person with such greatness in you on this earth that when you walk in the room, people stand in silence and applaud the fact that you're there. But God Almighty looks at you, and he says, "The greatest among you is the servant of all". Church, in spite of everything you are, and in spite of everything that you're not, the moment that you receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, that's the moment that the God of heaven looks from earth. And he does not call you for what you used to be. He now calls you his son. He calls you his daughter. He calls you his child. He embraces you like a loving father. He wraps his Almighty arms around you. And he sees you for who you are and what you can be. Others may call you by your past mistakes. But he said, "All things have passed away, and behold, all things have become new".
Others may look at you and say there's nothing good that's going to come from you. But God looks at you, and he says, if you're weak, I'll make you strong. If you're poor, I'll make you rich. If you're broken, I'll make you mended. If you're dead, I'll bring you back to life, because that's the kind of God we serve! "Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world". What would you attempt to do this morning if I told you that whatever it was, you wouldn't fail? What kind of plan would you make? What kind of vision for your family, for your business, for your life would you begin to write down if I said, whatever went on that paper, it's coming to pass?
You say, "Oh, well my dream is this, and my dream is this, and my dream is this". The difference between a dream and a destiny is that a dream is just a wish, but a destiny has faith in it. A destiny says, I believe I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. And then you behave like you believe. And then God shows himself faithful. And you believe for more, because the Bible says, "He takes us from glory to glory". And you do what the Word of God says to do. You lean on him. You place your trust in him and don't lean on your own understanding. And all of a sudden, your crooked way becomes straight. And all of a sudden, your vats overflow. And all of a sudden, you become like a tree planted by rivers of living water. How did all of that change? It wasn't luck. It wasn't happenstance: it was faith!
Religion likes to use that word "Works" to say that's how you earn your salvation. That's not how this works. But if you have faith in something, you've got to take action on it. If you have faith that exercise will help you lose weight, you've got to do more than just watch the exercise video. But you have to understand what kind of action you need to put with your faith, because people will freely tell you, "Well, yes, faith without works". But what kind of faith? "Action" is a very broad word. There's all kinds of actions. I want you to listen very carefully to what I'm about to tell you about the action that you need to take in faith, because there will be people who will try to take these words and use them against me. But I'm going to tell you what the Word of God says.
Before I do, I want to give you an idea about what I mean in the broad spectrum of action. There's all kinds of ways to cheer for something. There's all kinds of ways to celebrate something. For example, if you go to a PGA tournament and there's a round of golf. And somebody walks up and he successfully puts the ball in the hole. People will celebrate that achievement this way. Well done. That was excellent. He's on his a game today. He's bringing his best. We call that a golf clap.
You probably watched some games on television lately in this big tournament that they're talking about, in which you see people celebrating the same achievement. They're putting a ball in a hole. Except when that ball leaves from half court as time expires, and it floats through the air as the opposing team watches it fly, and in slow motion, you see them go, "N-o-o-o"! And the ball doesn't do anything but just rip the bottom of the net, and our team wins by one. Do you see a golf clap? No. You see a totally different spectrum of celebration. You see people take very expensive clothes and throw them in the air. And they run out on the field and they jump up and down on the court. And they beat each other in the head with joy. You'd think they've got something like eternal life or salvation.
You'd think somebody just told them that the debt of sin had been canceled in their life, and suddenly they're on their way to heaven when they were once bound for hell. And the reason that I bring this up is because any time you start to talk about spiritual action, you have people who start to think about golf. We come to church, and we say, "Thank you, Jesus: I am saved. Yes, hallelujah. Lord, I love you. You know I do. You brought me from a mighty long way. I just want to tell you that that thing that came up when I was, yeah, I appreciate you taking that debt against me. Whew: that was bad. I shouldn't have done that. I thank you that all of my sins are paid for. And I thank you that I'm going to heaven. I thank you I get a big ole mansion and a robe of white, and the whole streets of gold thing. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, you are awesome. Hallelujah".
And we wonder why the world doesn't want the Jesus we have, because we've got the wrong kind of action stuck on our faith. You need to know that the day that Jesus Christ died and went to the place called Calvary, and he hung on a cross, not just for you, but he did it for me. When he looked up at the father, with whom he had created heaven and earth, and he said, "It is finished," he was letting God Almighty know that every one of us were now heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ: that the price of sin had been paid: that death was defeated: that the grave was no longer going to be able to hold us: that we now have something worth celebrating! Church, lift your voice with me! Magnify the King of kings and the Lord of lords! For he is great and greatly to be praised! Give him a shout of praise! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God! Glory to the king!
You tell them, "Have faith in God and take action". Jesus said it this way, "The Kingdom of God suffereth violence". That's what I want you to hear carefully. "The Kingdom of God suffereth violence". Then he says, "And the violent take it by force". Now the reason I want you to listen carefully is because this verse has nothing to do with natural violence. We live in a world that is so filled and saturated with natural violence: we're all sick of it. That's not a right thing, a left thing, a red thing, a blue thing: that's a life thing and we're done with it. But Jesus Christ is a spiritual king. And he has a spiritual kingdom. When you pray, you pray in the spirit. When you worship, you worship in spirit and in truth.
When Jesus was talking to Pontius Pilate, who was Rome's representative in Judea, he asked Jesus, "Are you a king"? He said, "I am a king". He said, "Then where is your kingdom"? He said, "If my kingdom were on this earth, the people in my kingdom would overthrow you". He was letting him know, I'm absolutely royalty, but my kingdom isn't on this earth: it's in heaven. And the problem that we have when it comes to seeing our faith become reality is that not only does the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force, but we're down here on earth fighting in a supernatural battle like we're watching a game of golf.
God does something good: thank you Jesus. We go into the doctor's office and get a diagnosis: ah, you missed a putt. We don't get the promotion: ah. You've had a bad year, a bad decade, a bad century, some of you've been down on your luck since y2k. Oh. And you're not meeting the same force that the enemy's using in your life. Jesus said it, "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence". That means that the enemy, who is Satan himself, he is violently attacking your life. The definition of "Violence" is "With the intention to disrupt, disturb, and to take".
And I have seen the enemy take your peace of mind. And I've seen the enemy take joy. And I've seen the enemy take health. And I've seen the enemy take your family and disrupt it with spiritual violence. You can't meet that kind of spiritual force with an "Oh" kind of attitude. You see Jesus said it this way: he said, "Whatever you bind on earth, I'll bind in heaven". God is not waiting to fix your problem. God is waiting for you to take action on the problem that you need fixed. God is waiting to hear from you this morning. God is waiting to hear you charge the gates of hell in the authority of Jesus' name. He is waiting for you to shake heaven and earth with the power of your prayer. He is waiting for you to stand up and say:
In Jesus' name, my family is going to be restored: in Jesus' name, my finances are going to be fixed: in Jesus' name, my physical body is going to be made well: in Jesus' name, I'm taking authority over my household: in Jesus' name, my tomorrows are better than my past: in Jesus' name, I am more than a conqueror through Christ: in Jesus' name, I'm taking my joy back, my peace back, my hope back, my heart back: in Jesus' name, I am victorious!
You've got to have faith, and that faith needs violent action. You've got to meet force with force. If the enemy is trying to destroy you, in Jesus' name, you've got to try and destroy the enemy. The good news is, he is already a defeated foe. Along with this faith and action thing, you've got to have endurance. We live in a world that is so easily and quickly satisfied. We think if we've got to wait five minutes, we're put out, so that we can seat you and your family for lunch in ten minutes. I don't have an appointment until Wednesday, but come on. But the Bible says, "Endure hardship like a good soldier".
The Bible says that when you engage in this conflict, don't let go until you've received your breakthrough. Don't just come down to the altar and think that it's all going to work itself out in the first 30 seconds. You might have to fight this fight for 30 days. You might have to fight this fight for 30 months. You might have to fight this thing for 30 years. But if you don't give up, they who endure to the end, the same shall be saved. The Bible says that those who wait upon the Lord, they shall rise with wings like eagles. They'll run and not grow weary. They'll walk and they'll not faint. There are some of you in this room today that you're thinking about giving up. I believe in you. I believe that God didn't bring you this far to watch you quit now. Don't you give up. Endure. Put your faith into action and be more than a conqueror through Christ. Would you stand to your feet in the presence of the Lord.
One of the ways that you demonstrate your willingness to endure is through worship. You see the Bible says, "Everything that hath breath, praise the Lord". And many times when the enemy attacks you, what he's trying to do is he's trying to keep you from worshiping, because he knows worship is a way that the Lord begins to invade your life.
So right where you are this morning, as we close this service, as a demonstration of your faith in action, I just want you to take your hands and lift them in the air. And open your mouth and begin to magnify the Lord for a moment. I want you to take some time to tell God today how good he's been to you and how much you appreciate all that he's brought you through. I want you to take some effort to put into words exactly how much you're thankful that he has set you free from sin, and that he's brought you to this moment in time when you can celebrate your salvation.
Heavenly Father, I thank you today that you are for us and not against us. I thank you today that you sent your son and he died for us: that we might receive everlasting life. I thank you today that we have the promises of God that are secure in the mighty power of God to perform everything that we would ever need. I thank you, Lord, because whatever we ask in the mighty name of Jesus, we can receive it. So those who are waiting on you to work in their businesses, I ask that you would open the windows of heaven and bless them. For those of you who are waiting to receive the joy of the Lord, I ask you to take the sorrow of yesterday and exchange it for the joy of tomorrow. For those who are standing in this place feeling full of weakness, I ask that you would give them strength, in Jesus' name. We worship you, mighty God. We exalt you in this place, because you are worthy, worthy, worthy to be praised!
Now today, if you believe that God heard you, I want you to leave this place behaving like you believe. I want you to take your faith and put it into such contagious action that this week the world wonders what happened to you.