Matt Hagee - The Awesome Power of Your Priorities
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So often we wake up wondering if God is on our side. Just look at all that he has done, and ask yourself, "How can he not be"? He wants to bless you. But the "If" is not in him. The "If" is in us. And the "If" begins with where you establish your priorities. Deuteronomy 28 very clearly tells us just how badly God wants to bless us. And the thing that it says we must do to qualify for this blessing is we have to heed and we have to obey his voice. It says, "If you diligently", that word is a problem for me, because I'm pretty good at inconsistent obedience. But it's when you want diligent obedience. "If you diligently obey my words and keep my commandments, then these blessings shall overtake you".
This year, I want God's blessings to overtake you, but you have got to answer the "If". Are you willing to obey his word? Are you willing to heed his commandments? Pastor spoke about how God has something specific for you. God has something specific for each and every one of us. But something that he wants from all of us is obedience. So where do we begin with our priorities? First and foremost, we must make certain that our top priority is God Almighty. Jesus Christ said it this way, "Seek first the kingdom and all of these things shall be added unto you".
So many times we have it backwards. We are pursuing all of these things, and we've forsaken the king and his kingdom. So many times we want the things that God promises without doing what God requires in order for the promise to become ours. God told the children of Israel, "If you obey my voice, if you heed my commandments, I'll make you the head and not the tail". He said, make me your priority. He repeats this throughout his word. The first commandment, "Thou shall have no other Gods before me". Deuteronomy 6, "Behold, o Israel, the Lord our God is one".
Over and over, throughout the scriptures, he's a jealous God. His glory he will not share with another. You cannot have a God who wants to bless you, and have another God sitting on the mantle next to him that you want to pray to. There is one true God, and he is the Creator of heaven and the earth. His name is Jehovah. He is the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. He is the God who holds the mountains in a scale and the hills in a balance. He created us. We are his sheep. He is our shepherd. He sent his son to be our Savior. His son died our death and rose again: that we might have victory over death, hell, and the grave. And when he ascended and seated at the right hand of God the Father, he sent back his holy presence through the form of his Holy Spirit: that when we lift our hands and we raise our voice, the presence of the Lord fills this house. "And in his presence, there is fullness of joy. And at his right hand, there are pleasures ever more".
Child of God, we have a God who wants to bless you! But for to us receive the blessing, we have to prioritize obedience. If you want this year to be the best year you've ever known, then obey. Not me, not your spouse: God's word. "Obey," I know it's a hard word to hear, but it's got a lot of power in it whenever you do it. Where does obedience begin? Often times, people know that they should obey God's word: they just don't. They say things like, "Pastor, would you talk to me about giving"? No, I'm not going talk to you about giving. You've been told about giving. "Would you talk to me about soul winning"? No. The Bible says, "He who wins souls is wise". You can read it for yourself. You know it: you just don't want to do it. Why? Because you don't want to obey. Why don't you want to obey? Because you have a wrong focus when it comes to God.
People look at the Lord, and they look through his love, and they look through his mercies, and they look through his grace. And he is unconditionally loving and he is merciful. His mercy is renewed like the morning and his joy, it makes rich and it adds no sorrow. And his peace, it surpasses all understanding. But when you look at all of those attributes of God, you don't have enough fear of God to obey him. Because if his mercy was enough to get your obedience, then every sunrise, you would automatically be obedient, because his mercy is renewed like the morning. And if his love was enough to get you to obey him, you would have obeyed him before you even needed a Savior, because the Bible says that while we are yet sinners, he loved us. The question is not, "Does God love you"? The question is, "Do you love God enough to change"? Because he loved you so much, according to John 3:16, "He sent his only begotten son and gave him: that whosoever would believe in him would not perish, but have everlasting life". That's how much he loved you.
Now how much do you love him? Do you love him enough that if sin is what cost his son his life, for your sake, you'll stop Messing with sin so that Jesus Christ didn't die in vain? You've got to prioritize obedience. Because in order to understand the God that we serve, you not only have to know about his love, his mercy, and his grace, but you have to understand he is a judge. And the Bible says that he will judge all wickedness. The Bible says, "It is appointed town man once to die, and then judgment". We don't like hearing about judgment in the modern church. "Judge not, lest you be judged". That's for you and I, between us. He gets to judge whoever he wants whenever he wants. We have to have a holy fear of God to fully appreciate his love, his grace, his mercy, his kindness. We have to understand that he is a judge and he will give each and every one of us the opportunity to stand before him and give an account.
The next thing that we have to prioritize after obedience is repentance. Repentance is a rapid response to sin and its perfectly effective every time. People don't like hearing about judgment and repentance. Whenever you talk to other pastors, they say, "Oh, we don't preach that in my church because they just can't stomach it". You need to know, at this church, we've not here for what you can stomach: we're here to tell you what you need to know. Repentance is powerful. Say that with me, "Repentance is powerful". We've made it a dirty word, but it's not: it's beautiful. Repentance is the restoration in the relationship between you and God, because sin separates people from God. Sin separates you from God, and repentance restores that.
Here's what Proverbs 28:13 says: it says, "He who covers his sin shall not prosper". Do you want to prosper? Don't cover sin. "But he who confesses shall have mercy". Would you rather have mercy instead of poverty? Confess. Sin will not be your downfall, because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But Christ conquered sin. The thing that will be your downfall is the sin you don't deal with. It's the sin that you're hiding. It's the sin that you're harboring. It's not repenting of it, and taking it and saying, "Look Lord, I need your help. Wash me and make me clean". People are so ashamed of the idea that they need his forgiveness, but that's what he came here to do, to forgive, and to seek, and to save all who were lost.
Another thing that you have to prioritize is the difference between seed and harvest. How many of you have something you want God to financially help you do this year? If you want to receive exponential blessings in your finances, you have got to understand how to manage seed. Genesis 8:22, it says, "As long as the earth remains, there will be seedtime and harvest". And the problem is, is that we don't understand how seed is created. When you plant something, there are two things that happen. One, you get a harvest. But you also get increased seed. One kernel of corn grows an entire stalk of corn. And when you get that corn, you can take that corn and create more seed so you can plant more corn.
Now for those of you who think corn grows on a grocery store shelf, here's what 2 Corinthians 9 says, "Now may he who supplies seed to the sower (that's God) and bread for food, supply and multiply", say that with me, "Supply and multiply the seed that you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness". So when you plant seed, God supplies the seed. And then he multiplies the seed. Why? So the next time you can plant more. And often times, we get confused between increased seed and a harvest, and we wind up eating our seed and looking for a harvest. We'll stay with finances for a little bit. But I'm going to turn this on relationships in a moment. Financially, you have something you want God to do. You've heard pastor Hagee preach this, and it's a very simple thing to remember and understand: "If it doesn't meet your need, it is your seed".
So you've got a $5,000 need and you're got a $100 seed. A hundred doesn't meet 5,000. So you sow your seed. You do it in faith believing. You give just as the Lord has commanded. And when you give, you go to work next week, and they say, "Hey, we were looking through our paperwork: you're up for a promotion. Here's a $500 cash bonus". Now you've got a $5,000 need. Does $500 meet the $5,000 need? No. But instead of looking at that like increased seed, and sowing $500, you turn around, and you call up your wife, and you say, "Hey, let's get the guys together and go to chamagaucha. It's time to celebrate: I got a cash bonus". And don't get me wrong. I love me some chamagaucha. But you've got a $5,000 need. You don't have a $500 feast. The problem is, is you've confused increased seed with a harvest.
When harvest comes, it not only meets your need, but it creates more seed. And not only does it meet your need, but it gives you the ability to go sow in other people's fields. He is a God, not of just enough: he is a God of more than enough. He is all-sufficient all of the time. And when he meets your need, it is pressed down. It is shaken together. It is running over. This year, if you're going to receive God's blessings in your finances, you're going to have to learn how to manage seed. But the Bible says, "As long as the earth remains, there's seedtime and harvest". We always equate it to money, because that's the currency that we operate on. But that was not the context of the verse. The Bible says in the New Testament, "As a man sows, so shall he reap".
How many of you want something to blossom and bloom in your life this year? Maybe you want your marriage to blossom and bloom this year. If you want to see God's hand move in your house, if you want your wife to be awestruck when you walk through the door, what's "Awestruck"? When you walk in, she goes, "Awe. Awe, here he comes. Oh, there he goes". If you're going to get to that point, you've got to sow some seed. You've got to do crazy things like get stationary and write love letters from work, and mail them to the house. You can't just text her little heart emojis. You've got to bring home flowers for no reason at all. You've got to do something crazy like maybe cook her dinner instead of asking, "Where's it at"? And if you don't cook, they've got pre-set meals over at heb. You will look like a champ. Just go over there and buy you one.
You set the table. You put out the food. You throw away the containers. Don't leave them on the counter: they're proof. You turn on a little canton junction: I promise everything will be just fine. But what are you doing? You're sowing seed. You want love? You want affection? You've got to sow love. You've got to sow affection. You want joy? You can't sow misery. You want this to be a happy year? Stop raining on everybody's parade. You want this to be a peaceful year? Stop sowing strife. You want this to be a year of unity and growth? Don't sow discord, because "As a man sows, so shall he reap". Not only do you prioritize seed, but you prioritize persistence. Because the Bible is very clear, "They who endure, the same shall be saved". The Bible says, "Endure hardness as a good soldier". Galatians 6, it says, "Do not grow weary in well doing, for you will reap in due season if", there's that word again, "If", say it with me, "If you don't faint".
Now here's the thing about fainting. We like to think that fainting is quitting, but it's not. Nothing will work if you quit, because faith without works is what? "Dead". Here's what fainting is. Think about a runner, who has just run in a race. And they see the finish line in front of them. And as fast as they can run, they're going to the finish line. But the second that their body breaks through that finish line, what do they do? They slow down. They faint from their maximum speed. Galatians says, "Do not grow weary in well doing," because we will reap if we do not slow down. Be as consistent as you can. Give it everything you've got every time you get up to go, because you have no idea when you're not going to get the chance again.
Every Sunday, I ask myself, "God, if this was the last time I'm in your pulpit, pour out power on me like I'll never get to do it again". Why? Because when I stand before him, I don't want him to say, "You had so much more to give and you just wouldn't do it". Be persistent. Don't be an "I'll do anything once" Christian. I know a lot of Christians that say, "I'll pray once". "I'll give once". "I'll go once". "I'll do once". And when we do it one time, we act as if we suddenly qualified for everything that God said in his word. God, I gave 25 cents. I need 250 bucks: where's it at? He says, you've got a few more quarters to go. You've got to be persistent, because they who endure, the same shall be saved. It's the supernatural law of breakthrough. It's when you do the same thing over, and over, and over, and over, and over again that you begin to see the mountain of impossibility begin to move.
We see this breakthrough in the book of Daniel. Daniel goes on a 21-day fast. Some of you are thinking about going on this 21-day Daniel's fast. Let me burst your bubble real quick. Why was it 21 days? Because that's when he got his answer. Would you go on a Daniel's fast if it was 496 days? "Oh no, Lord: you're not calling me to that". Daniel stopped fasting because God answered him. And when God answered him, here's what the angel said. The angel Gabriel came and spoke to Daniel. And he said, "Daniel, we heard you on day one". Now that's powerful, because that means that when you pray, God hears you instantly. He said, "We heard you on day one, and we were coming with the answer that God had. But the prince of Persia", he's talking about a demonic force. He said, "The prince of Persia made war with us in the heavenlies. And the Archangel Michael came and restrained him so that we could bring you the word that God wanted us to give you".
And so what happened on day one took another 20 days to sort out in heavenly places, which means that if Daniel would have stopped praying on day two, or day three, or day four, or day five, or day six, then the battle in heavenly places would have ended, and Daniel would have never heard from God. How many blessings have you forfeited because you quit persisting whenever God was sending what he wanted you to have? Here's what Jesus said, "What you bind on earth, I'll bind in heaven. What you loose on earth, I'll loose in heaven".
Child of God, there is no weapon formed against you that shall prosper. There is no enemy that has the power to defeat you. There is no foe that can stand and oppose you. What you've got to do today is determine down in yourself, "I will not quit until God moves"! The last priority that I want you to put in place for this year is I want you to behave as if it were so. I don't want you to spend this whole year talking about "If, if God moves, if God answers, if God", I want you to start this year and end this year, saying, "Thank you, God. Thank you, God, that you heard me. Thank you, God, that you have enough for me. Thank you, God, that you're making a way. Thank you, God, that when I needed healing, you saw it before I asked for it, and you provided it when you sent your son to bear stripes on his back that I might be set free. Thank you, God, that even though I see a lack in my life right now, the Bible says, 'my God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory'".
I don't want doubt to become your dialogue this year. I want faith believing to arise in you to the point that whenever you get up in the morning, you declare, "Lord, this is the day that you have made. I'm going to rejoice and I'm going to be glad in it. This is a day that you're bringing me closer to my answer. This is a day that you're bringing me closer to victory. This is a day that you're going to teach me something, strengthen me, show me something, speak to me, walk with me, talk with me. Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me the strength to get up out of bed this morning to fight the good fight of faith, because the victory is your and the battle belongs to the Lord".
Child of God, I want you to behave as if you got the breakthrough that you're looking for right now. I want you to behave as if the business that you want to grow is blowing up. I want you to behave as if the marriage you need resurrected is the best it's ever been. I want you to shout like your children that are in the far country just came to the altar and gave their heart to Jesus Christ. I want you to shout unto God with a voice of triumph because he will move the mountain! He will make a way! Give the Lord a shout of praise!
Would you stand to your feet? Pastor, before I leave here today, I need to re-establish some right priorities. I've got certain things in the wrong place. I've got my needs, and my wants, and my desires above God's will in my life. I need him to be first again. There's sin in my life that I need to confess and forsake, and repent of before I leave this place. I haven't been consistent. I haven't persisted and done what he needs me to do. So before we leave this sanctuary, I want to take a moment and use the opportunity that God has given us to repent. And if you say, "Pastor, that's me," I just want you to hold one hand in the air today. And then I want you to take that other hand and throw it in the air for faith, because the Bible says, "Whatever we ask for in faith believing, he'll do it". And now I want you to pray this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus Christ, I come before the throne of my Father in the name of my Savior, who died to set me free. And today, I declare, in Jesus' name, that you, Lord, are my top priority. Obeying your word is what I will do. I thank you for forgiving me and giving me the opportunity to repent, in Jesus' name. Now Lord, be faithful and just to forgive me, to cleanse me: that I might receive refreshing in my life today.
Now I want you to tell the Lord exactly where you want that refreshing to come.
Lord, refresh me spiritually. Refresh me in my life with my wife. And refresh me in my home. Refresh me in my business. Wherever you want his hand to move in a mighty way, I want you to tell the Lord this morning. Father, since I've repented, and your word says there's a time of refreshing coming, if you're going to send it, send it there. Now I want you to say these words with me. Lord, I thank you that you have heard me, and what I've asked for, you have done. I receive it, in Jesus' name. Amen.