Matt Hagee - The Power of IF
How many of you realize that the quality of your life is determined by the choices that you make in your life? If you don't like the way things are going, you can choose to change them. And in the Bible, we're given, on a daily basis, choose. "Choose you this day whom you will serve". Each and every one of us have an opportunity to interject ourselves into the matter of the world that's going on around us. And it simply begins when we decide that we choose to be blessed according to what the Bible gives us as his promises, based on our obedience. The Bible's a very simple book to understand. And it's sometimes not very easy to follow.
How many of you realize simple isn't easy? How many of you are married? It was simple: "I do". We'll move right along. The Bible gives us a very clear choice. Obedience brings a blessing. Disobedience brings a curse. Today, I want you to know that I choose to be blessed. If you found Deuteronomy 28, verses 1 and 2, read them with me. The Bible says, "Now, it shall come to pass if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God to observe carefully all his commandments, which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings", say that again, "And all these blessings shall come upon you, overtake you because you obey the voice of the Lord your God". Now, let's read verse 15 in the same chapter. "But it shall come to pass if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God to observe carefully all his commandments and his statutes, which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you".
Heavenly Father, today we open your word. Let it be a mirror to our soul. Let us see the consequences of the choices that we're making in this nation, and recognize that each and every one of us have a responsibility to choose you because you have given us all things. Let us have the courage today to live righteously before your throne, that we may walk in a path of blessing here on this earth. It's in Jesus' name, we pray and ask. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. We live in a world that's caught at a crossroads. You see the graphic behind us. It's an individual who seems to have a choice to make. One path leads to blessing. The other path leads to the burden of a curse. And everything that he has in his future is riding on one word, "If". How many of you have ever laid up at night wondering and contemplating your if's? What if I wouldn't have said that? What if I wouldn't have ate that? The reality of our "If" is that most of the time it's in retrospect. We're looking back at what we should have done versus what we did do. But there are times when we get the opportunity to consider the "if" that is before us and know the outcome predicated on the choice we make.
In the Bible, God gives us this opportunity. And what we need to remember is that the "if" is always in us: it is never in him. Read 2 Chronicles 7:14. It says, "If my people". The "if" is not in God. The "if" is in us. He's waiting on our humility. He's waiting on our willingness to call upon him. Why? So he can heal our land. And let me tell you something, church. Our nation is in desperate need of healing. And it's the kind of healing that's not gonna come from a candidate, or a political party, or a stimulus plan, or a check in your mailbox. It's the kind of healing that won't come from a vaccination. It's the kind of healing that can only come from the King of kings and the Lord of lords, Jesus Christ. Right now, we're at a crossroads. And the "if" is in us. We read the "if" in Deuteronomy 28:1. "If you will obey". It's echoed in Deuteronomy 28:15. "If you will not obey".
The choice is ours. Right now in this nation, standing at this crossroads, we get to make the decision: are we going to live our lives based on the truth of God's word? Or are we going to live our lives built on lies? Because when we consider what's going on in our nation right now and we ask the question, "How did this happen," we can do a number of things. We can talk about the political points. We can point fingers at the people we think are to blame. Or we can open up God's truth, look at it like the mirror of the soul that it is, and understand that the reason we are here is because we chose this. We chose to kick God out of our society. We chose to remove him from our schools. We chose to push him out of government. We chose not to take him home with us from church and live for him throughout the week. We chose this.
And having made this choice, we're now embracing the consequence of that choice because the reality is, is rather than live in truth, we've denied the truth. We've denied the fact that it is he who made us, and not we ourselves. We've chosen to ignore the truth that says, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people". We chose to turn our back on a God who has blessed us and ignore the things that his mighty hand has done in this nation. We've chosen to hack at the branches around the problem instead of getting to the root of the problem, and turning back to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Today, we have a choice to make. And the "if," is in us. If we choose to obey, God will bless. If we choose to disobey, then we embrace the curse. Because I promise you this: God keeps his word. He keeps it to the righteous, and he keeps it to the wicked. And oftentimes, we want to pretend like the only portions of it that he'll keep are the portions we like. But that's not what the Bible says.
The Book of Deuteronomy is Moses's farewell address. He's 120. And I'm speaking from experience. There comes an age when individuals lose what we call the filter. There comes a point in life where individuals say, "You know what? I don't care about your feelings. I'm gonna tell you what I think". And I'm pretty sure that at 120, Moses's filter is charred. Oftentimes, when we open the Bible, we put on an old English accent, I'm assuming, because we have a King James version. And we believe that everything is spoken in some Shakespearean, Elizabethan tone of politeness.
But that's not how I hear the Book of Deuteronomy. Moses knows that he's not going into the Promise Land. Moses knows that he's spent the last 40 years burying a generation that disobeyed God. And now, he's speaking to the children and the grandchildren of that generation. Moses understands what's at stake here. And he spends his last moments with them, basically saying, "Here are all the mistakes that your fathers made. Don't repeat them". He said, "They worshiped a golden calf. We worship the one true God. They neglected to teach you the statutes and the law you diligently train and teach your children". Verse and chapter, and chapter and verse, Moses goes through everything that the children of Israel must do if they're going to possess the promise of God in their life. And it all comes to a head in the final verses in Deuteronomy 30. Verse 19, he says, "Today, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose".
Now, in a conversation we'd say, "Well, who wouldn't choose life"? But how many, thinking they're choosing life, pursue death? How many, desiring to be blessed, disobey and embrace the curse? As old as this story is, it's 4.000 years old, but it's just as recent as your last breath. Why? Because the choice is still ours. We still have a decision to make. Moses begins his conversation in Deuteronomy 1:1 through 3. He says, "It is 11 days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea". And then in Deuteronomy 1:3. He says, "And now, we're in the 40th year". Now, if you hear this in the old English, "It's 11 days from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea, and now we are in our 40th year".
That's not how I think Moses said this. Because when you understand the biblical geography and what Moses is saying, he's saying, "Look: this is mount Horeb. This is the first place we stopped right after we got out of the Red Sea. And it's 11 days," not two weeks, not two months, not ten months. It's 11 days from where we started to where we should have finished. Kadesh Barnea is the most southern tip of the Promised Land. It should have taken us less than a pay period to get from where we started to where we ended. But what I hear Moses saying is, "Now, we're in our 40th year! And I am tired of all of you! So listen up and listen good! Because I'm 120 I ain't got no time for this"! Now, you hear it how you want to hear it. But believe me, it has more impact in my soul when I hear it that way.
Moses spends the entire conversation saying is it should have been so easy, but we've made it so hard. We should have been here so long ago, but we didn't get there because we don't believe. An entire generation went from millions to a few hundred thousand because God buried them in the wilderness based on their unbelief. And as old as the story is, how many people in this room today and how many of you watching, you live your life walking towards the promise of God but never possessing it because of your unbelief? What does the Bible say? "He who doubts will receive nothing". If you're going to please God, you have to come to him with faith. That means that you have to believe.
How many people live their life so close to the promise of his provision, but they don't believe enough to sow the seed? How many people live their life in the depth of their sorrow rather than receiving his joy because they won't let go of the past, believing he's not strong enough to cleanse them from unrighteousness? How many people live their life tormented in fear because they don't believe that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind? Remember, the "if" is never in God. It's always in you. Don't take your "if" and blame it on him. How many people, "If God loved me, I'd never go through that pain. If God was there for me, I'd never suffer this way. If God, then I wouldn't struggle. And if God, then he would provide. And if God". The "if" is not in him. The "if" is in you. Paul put the "if" to rest when he said in Romans 8, "Seeing that he has not held anything but freely offered up his only begotten son. What shall we say of these things? If God be for us, then who can be against us"?
I'm here to tell you today that the God who created heaven and earth, the one who calls the stars by name, who holds the mountains in a scale and the hills in a balance, he is in love with you. He is for you. He's fighting for you. He's believing for you. He's provided for you. He's given his angels charge over you. You have nothing to fear because he is the God who makes a way where there seems to be no way. He's the God who will move mountains. He's the God who will part the Red Sea. He's the God who will open up the windows of heaven and provide. He's the God that said, "No weapon formed against you would prosper". He's the God who said, "I'll prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies". He's the God who said, "If you go to the heavens, I am there. And if you go to the depths, I am there. You cannot escape me. My hand is upon you. My blessings are for you. My goodness and mercy, it's chasing after you. Child of God, you have nothing to fear because the great and mighty God is on your side"!
And knowing all of this, we still struggle. "Is God really for me"? Absolutely. Don't make me say it again. The "if" that we have to address is whether or not we will obey. Because there's only two options, obedience or disobedience. And we often don't like the idea of only two options. We've kinda become a cafeteria culture where we want several options, and we get to choose piece by piece how we want the plate to look. But remember, we did not create ourselves: we are created. Therefore, we don't get to write the rule book. We just have to read it and apply it. In the Bible, there's only two options. Life or death. Blessing or curse. Obedience or disobedience. The reason that we struggle to comprehend this is because we live in a society where there is no judgment on the disobedient.
Peter addressed it in the New Testament. He said, "Do not think that God has slack concerning his promises". And oftentimes, we want to believe that what Peter's talking about is his promises of goodness to us. Peter is saying, "No, no, no, no. God is not slack concerning his promise of judgment". We've turned our back on a God of order, and now we live in chaos. We live in so much chaos, the New Testament says that in the last days, lawlessness will abound. And one of the mantras that we hear chanted in the streets is to defund the police. Let me tell you something. Defunding the police is not a political issue. Defunding the police is a demonic idea, and it should stop. We've turned our back on the God of love, and now our streets are filled with hate.
So what do we do? If one choice took us away from God, then another choice can bring us back to God. And it is time for us to turn back to the God of the Bible, to turn back to the God who loved us and gave himself for us, to turn back to the one who has cleansed us from all unrighteousness, to turn back to the one who said, "This is the way. Walk in it". That God is not the God of your choosing. That God is the one who sits upon the throne, who is king above kings, who is Lord above Lords. His name is king Jesus. And he is great and greatly to be praised! The "If" is in us. Oftentimes, we waste energy asking when. When will things get better? When will God move? When will revival come?
I believe that God is sitting in heaven looking at us, asking the same question. "When will you return to me? When will you call upon me? When will you humble yourself and ask me? When will you stop looking to candidates and start looking to the King of kings? When will you stop complaining and start praying? When will you stop acting as if you believe and start behaving like you believe"? Stop asking for God to make a change, and become the change that God needs made! Because there's consequences in these choices.
Deuteronomy 28:1 through 14, "All these blessings. Blessed in the city, blessed in the field, blessed in the basket, blessed in the bowl, blessed in your going out, blessed in your coming in. The head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. You'll lend to many and borrow from none. All the nations of the world will call you blessed. If someone comes against you in one direction, God will disperse them in seven directions because God is with you. His goodness and mercy will overtake you". My, how we love to count those blessings. But then get to verse 15. And from verse 15 to verse 68, God says, "Here's the consequence of disobedience".
For several verses, he cancels everything that is extended. Instead of being blessed in the city, you're cursed in the city. Instead of blessed in the field, you're cursed in the field. We see what's going on in the world that we're living in today. And we wonder: what can we do about it? Who are we? Let me tell you something. The power that we possess together in unity, in Jesus' name, it's greater than any government force on the face of the earth. Because it's endorsed by the authority of the name that is above every name. And he said, "What you bind on earth, I'll bind in heaven. And what you loose on earth, I'll loose in heaven".
Now, the last time I checked, I've never found a government official who could raise the dead, make the lame leap, and the blind see. But the one we call upon when we pray, he did all of that and much more. So what you have to do, and I have to do, is simply this: choose. "Choose you this day whom you will serve". If you choose God and you obey his word, you choose to be blessed. If you choose to live on your own in your way, according to your plan, accomplishing your will, what you need to know and be forewarned of, biblically, you've embraced the curse. But naturally, you need to understand you're not enough. You are not enough to be your own provider. You are not enough to heal, to cleanse, to make a way, to protect, to defend, to live in the fullness of joy with peace that surpasses all understanding. You can't get any of that done, but he can. So choose you this day whom you will serve. I'm here to tell you, as for me and my house, we choose to serve the Lord.
Would you stand in his presence today? With every head bowed and every eye closed, you say, "Pastor, I've seen the curse of disobedience in my life. I see it in my physical body. I see it in my finances. I see it in my emotions. I feel it in my spirit. And I realize today that I need to make a different choice. I need to choose to obey his word. I need to choose to live in faith, believing. I need to choose a path that leads to blessing, so that I don't have to carry around this burden anymore". If that's you, and today you wanna make that decision to choose him, then right where you are, I want you to hold your hand high in the air. And I want everyone under the sound of my voice to repeat this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus Christ, today, I choose you. I choose your will over my way. I choose your word and its truth over the world that I live in. Today, in faith, I receive your forgiveness for trying to live on my own outside of your promises. Today, I choose to obey you and to believe for your blessings in my life. Thank you for your faithfulness all that you've given me. And now today, in Jesus' name. I receive...
Now, I want you to tell the Lord where you receive his blessing. Open your mouth and say:
Father, I receive your blessing in my marriage. I receive your blessing over my children. I receive your blessing in my physical body. I receive your blessing in my business.
Wherever you need to see his hand move, I assure you he already knows about it. He just wants to hear from you. As in faith believing, you turn back to him.
Father, today in Jesus' name, I pray for every person in this room who's calling upon you in faith believing. Today, in Jesus' name, I pray for this nation: that the righteous would humble themselves: and that you would heal our land: that your hand would move in such a mighty way that even the unrighteous would recognize that the God of heaven sits upon the throne and is king above kings and Lord above Lords. Now today, in faith believing, we receive the answers to every prayer that has been prayed in this place, because the God that we serve is well-able to hear and to do, exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we could ask, think, or imagine. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, amen.