Matt Hagee - Remember Where It Comes From
The book of Deuteronomy is the last book that Moses writes before he climbs mount Nebo and walks into eternity. And throughout the book of Deuteronomy, he uses this phrase, "Remember". He's writing to the grandchildren and the children of those that he led out of Egypt. And the reason that he's writing to these individuals is because their parents and their grandparents forgot. Moses came to Egypt, and God worked a mighty miracle in the Passover. He worked a mighty miracle at the Red Sea. He worked miracles in the wilderness with manna and with the cloud by day and a fire by night, and water from a rock. And yet, just a few days after seeing all of this, the children of Israel forgot where all of those good things came from. And when they went to the Promised Land, they decided not to possess what God had promised them, because they didn't believe that he had the power to deliver them from what they saw.
And so when Moses comes to the end of his life and his ministry, he wants to make sure that the next generation that is going to get to go to the Promised Land does not repeat the same mistake as their predecessors. And he tells them, "Don't forget where it comes from". "Remember this," "Remember that," "Remember the law," "Remember to obey," "Remember the commandments". It doesn't matter why you're walking in circles around your problems today. Whether you're afraid to confront it or you're comfortable with it or you've just become used to it, you need to recognize that, as a child of God, you're not created to walk in circles with Jesus Christ: you are a more than a conqueror through Christ.
The Bible says, "Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world". When you understand that power, don't forget where it came from. Remember. Moses tells the children of Israel in this chapter of Deuteronomy, "And you shall remember". Say that with me. "And you shall remember". With these words, he makes it an individual responsibility. He didn't say, "Y'all remember now". If he did that, it would be upon some of us and not all of us, because that's what "Y'all" means. Moses is very direct, "And you". It's an individual responsibility to remember. "And you shall remember". When we forget things, we love excuses. At work, when we forget a meeting or we forget something, "Oh, I didn't get that e-mail". "My goodness. Let me check my junk file".
The problem with these kinds of excuses is they'll work with your friends and your family. But in this context, in this situation, when the Word of God says, "And you shall remember," the individual that you're making excuses with is Almighty God, a God who has perfect knowledge. He knows everything. And he's the one who's holding you accountable for the things that you're either going to remember or forget. Make excuses with whomever you wish. But remember what the Bible says, "God is not mocked. As a man sows, so shall he reap". God knows. God knows all. He knows where you were when you cried out and asked him for deliverance. He knows everything he brought you through and everything he delivered you from and everything that he blessed you with. God knows what you don't know. God knows where you'd be without him.
I've heard people all of my life say, "I just don't know where I'd be without God". Well guess what. God knows right where you'd be without him. God knows. God knows how your life would have turned out if he would have answered every prayer you ever asked him to answer. Oh, God give me... And he said, "No". Why? Because he knows what you don't. He knows you so well that the Bible says, "He formed you in your mother's womb". Literally, he knit you together. How many of you used to ever be fascinated by your grandmother when she'd knit? My grandmother would focus on each stitch and tell me the difference between this one and that one, and what it was going to do, and how it was going to work. And when I hear this that he formed you in your mother's womb, it means that God is so intimately connected with the fine details of your life: he literally stitched every part of your being together. And all that he wants in return is simply this, remember.
Remember where it came from. Remember who was there for you when everyone else walked away. Remember who came to your rescue when you thought it was all over. Remember who found you when you felt so lost that you didn't think you could be redeemed. Remember who brought you out of the hand of the enemy. Remember who restored what others tried to destroy. Remember who canceled that doctor's diagnosis the day that they gave it to you in the office. Remember who opened up doors that no man could open and blessed you with blessings that could not contain. Remember who silenced the voices of those who were accusing you. Remember who broke the hands of those that held the weapons that were intended for your destruction. Remember who gave his angels charge over you. Remember who cancelled the debt of sin and the cost of the grave, which would have been your life when he sent his son to Calvary.
Church, what I'd like to know today: is there anybody in this sanctuary that says, "I didn't come to be restored. I just came to remember, just remember how good God has been to me, remember what he has done for me, remember how he made a way for me. He's been so merciful: I just can't keep quiet. He's been so gracious. I've just got to shout to him with praise. I've got to lift up my hands. I've got to raise my voice. And I've got say, 'God, you're worthy, you're worthy. You're worthy to be praised'"! Moses said, "Remember the Lord... Who gives". Say that with me. "Remember the Lord... Who gives". The God that we're remembering is a giver. Are you? It amazing me that people profess to believe in God who gives, and they don't. You cannot believe in God and not be a giver. Everything that God controls gives. And if there's something in you that does not like to give, then that thing in you is not of God.
When your mind is transformed, giving is a blessing. Why? Because in the kingdom, there is always more than enough. And when you give in the kingdom, you qualify to be able to receive more. But in this world, if you give, it's gone. Now which one of those do you want? A kingdom mindset that says, my father has more than enough? Or a carnal mindset that says, whenever I give, it is gone? Deuteronomy is Moses' warning to the children of Israel. Don't forget where it comes from. In verse 12, he says, "When you've eaten and you're full, and you've built a beautiful house," don't forget. "When your herds and your flocks, they multiply, and your silver and your gold increases," don't forget. When you log into your 401k, and you see a pile of money, don't forget. "When your heart is lifted up, and you might say that you forgot the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt..."
Moses, in verses 14 through 17, says, it was him who led you through the wilderness. It was him who fed you. It was him who gave you water. And he says, "When your heart is lifted up, and you say in your heart, 'my power and my might have gained me this,'" he says, "Then you shall remember that it is the Lord who gives you the power to get wealth". Now church, as ancient as this story is, it's as relevant as today's headlines. Because we live in a world filled with people who wake up and look in the mirror and say, "My power and my might have brought me this, my business, my home, my family". And we've forgotten that it's all because of God. "It is the Lord that gives you the power to get..."
Now the reason why I want to make that so pointed and so clear is because wealth is an uncomfortable topic. You bring it up and it brings division. Those who have it and those who don't. Those who want it and those who wish they had more. In the world we live in, wealth is something everyone's interested in but nobody likes to talk about it. And yet the Bible clearly says, "It is the Lord who gives you the power to get..." In this world, we don't like to talk about wealth because we don't have the right understanding of it. We believe that if it's our power and it's our might that builds wealth, then we can accuse those who have it of doing something wrong in order to get it. You hear this all the time. Politicians actually run campaigns on it. "They're cheated". And then the other side says, "You're lazy". And these perspectives come from a carnal concept of wealth which says you did something to get it. That's not what the Bible says. The Bible says, "It is", who? "The Lord who gives you the power to get wealth".
Now the Bible's very clear "God is no respecter of persons". So if he has a way to give one the power to get wealth, he will give it to all who qualify to get wealth. It's not you: it's him in you that does this. And one of the reasons that people do not receive the wealth that the Bible is speaking of is because they forget where it comes from. Moses says, step one, "Remember". When you eat and are full, with your belly full, say, "Thank you, God. You did that". When you lay down in your beautiful home, don't sit there and look at that house like it's yours. Say, "Thank you, God. This is your house". When you have silver and gold, and your cattle and your sheep, they all multiply, don't talk to the world about your business practices and how good you are at what you do. Look up to heaven and say, "God, you gave me all of these wonderful things and I want to tell you how much I appreciate your goodness and your mercy in my life". Because you cannot escape it, God is the source of it all.
Our problem is that we focus more on the resource than we do the source. And when you focus on the wrong thing, you come to the wrong conclusion. Whenever you focus on the resource, which in this world, is money... If you don't think it's money, try paying for lunch in seashells and see what happens. When you focus on the resource, you either have an overinflated value of money or you look at money like it's evil. You either look at possessions as if they are the prime priority or you say, "Oh, no, no, no, no. Money's evil".
Money is not evil. That's a ridiculous notion. People can do evil things with money. But they can do evil things with pencils too. Money is inanimate. If money is evil, why do you look forward to payday? Oh, no, not money. Don't give it to me. It's evil. Wrong. Money is not evil and the Bible doesn't say it's evil. Money, according to the Word of God, is a tool. It's a resource. It's not "The" source. 1 Timothy 6:10, it says, "The love of money". Say that with me. "The love of money". And then it doesn't say, "Is evil". It says, "The love of money is the root". And it still doesn't say, "Evil". It says, "The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil".
It said, when you want to find out why some people do what they do, it's because they love money more than they love God. And when money becomes your priority, when it's in the lead, it takes an opportunity to create all kinds of evil. But that's not the only thing that people can love more than they love God. The Bible's very clear. "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind, with all of your strength". Your love for him should be your top priority always, end of story. So when you understand heaven's perspective on wealth and your possessions, you'll recognize very quickly that you and I do not own anything. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof".
In the Bible, the Lord said, "All of the gold and all of the silver are mine". It says he owns the cattle on a thousand hilltops. All you get to do is feed what he owns. You and I own nothing. But we are expected to be stewards over everything that we are given. Read what Paul said in 1 Timothy. "We brought nothing into this world, and it is for certain that we can take nothing out". Job said it this way: naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return. Everything you think you possess, you need to understand that's only temporary. There are no u-haul trailers getting pulled behind the hearse. And everything that you think you possess, you need to understand where it came from. Because Jesus said in John 15:5, "Apart from me you can do nothing".
We're not the independent dynamos that many people want to think we are. We are dependent upon God for everything. If you don't think so, try breathing without him. So when we say we want to be prosperous, do we want to prosper according to the world system or do we want to prosper according to God's system? God's system is where you get the power to get wealth. The world system is where everyone will try to take it from you. In God's system, wealth doesn't just include your bank account. Wealth includes your physical body, your spiritual body, your soul, and all aspects of your being. The work of your hands is blessed in the kingdom model. The work of your life is blessed. Your children and your children's children are blessed. The world will limit prosperity. God says, I will not put a limit on your prosperity. I want you to prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers.
So how does biblical and kingdom prosperity work? Look at Deuteronomy 28:13. It says there, "The Lord shall make you the head and not the tail". And whenever we talk about the head and not the tail, people get all excited, and they go, "Woo, promotion. We're going from here to there". No. This verse is not about going from a low place to high place. This verse is about control. Who's in charge, the head or the tail? The head. We actually have a phrase when everything gets out of order. We say, "That's the tail wagging the", what? "Dog". "The head" means that God is going to take you from a position of being controlled to putting you in control.
And this is what kingdom prosperity and kingdom wealth is about. It's not about possessions possessing you, but you being in control of your possessions. David said it this way in Psalm 119: direct my steps by your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me. David was saying, God, do not let anything be in control of my life except for you. Because if you're in control, you'll lead me in paths of righteousness. If you're in control, I'll be where you want me to be. If you're in control, I'm not going to be overwhelmed by my circumstances, but I'll be able to be in charge of my circumstances because you're in control.
David wanted to prosper, but that's a lot more than money because money will not solve every problem. Consider the fear he faced when he was a shepherd boy, and the lion and the bear came to eat the sheep. What's he going to do, write them a check? Hey, mr. Bear, what's it going to cost for you to leave my dad's flock alone. Money's not going to solve that problem. Money doesn't solve problems on the battlefield with Goliath or with the Amalekites or with the Philistines. Money doesn't solve problems with the king Saul, who tries to kill David over and over and over again. What's wealth to a king? The king has all the wealth he wants. What he wants is David dead. Money's not going to solve that problem.
So when David says, "Lord, let nothing have dominion over me," he's saying, "Lord, if you are in control, then I will prosper and be in good health wherever I go". How do you gain that control in your life? First, remember. Remember that you cannot prosper without God. "It is the Lord who gives you the power to get wealth". And once you receive this power, it is your responsibility to use it for his glory. Utilize kingdom management principles. To find some of those principles, look at Joshua 1. Joshua is a successor to Moses. And the first principle that God shares with Joshua is this: fear not. Say that with me. Fear not.
Now God didn't exclusively share this with Joshua, but he said it to him over and over and over again. And it's a reminder to each and every one of us. He said, "Be strong and courageous". Why? Because he knew that as Joshua was going to walk into he Promised Land, fear was going to be one of the first things that was going to come knocking at the door of his heart. How was Joshua supposed to overcome fear? He was to remember. Remember the God who brought you out of Egypt. Remember the God who brought you through the Red Sea. Remember the God who was the cloud by day and the fire by night. Remember the God who fed you when you were hungry. Remember the God who brought you water out of the rock. Remember the God that was with you in battle against those who rose up against you.
If you will spend more time remembering how good God's been, you'll worry less about where you are and you will not be afraid of where you're going. The second thing that you have to do is you have got to stay in the Word of God. Because he says, "Be strong and of good courage". And he tells Joshua, "Observe to do all that my servant Moses commanded you... And you will prosper wherever you go". How many of you would sign up for the win every time? Hey, sign here and you get the dove. Well, here's what God said. If you keep this word, if you observe to do it, if you keep it in your mind, if you keep it in your mouth, if you keep it in your thoughts, "You will prosper wherever you go". He said, "Meditate upon it day and night... observe it".
That means keep it in front of your eyes. And then he said, speak it, "Keep it in your mouth". Philippians 4:8, Paul gives us this charge: whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just... Think on these things. One of the reasons why people cannot enable themselves to receive what God has provided, one of the reasons that people do not prosper is because they have a carnal mind and not a kingdom mind. A carnal mind has a bad day and says, "Yeah, that's just par for the course. Here we go farther along, sweet Jesus". A kingdom mind says, "All things work together for good to those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose".
I believe that my God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could ask, think or imagine. A carnal mind hears about a down economy. A carnal mind hears about people losing their job. A carnal mind hears the individuals talking on the alphabet media, and fear reaches up and grabs them around the throat and says, "You're going to go bankrupt. You're not going to make it. You're going to starve". The kingdom mindset says, "I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their seed begging bread". "My God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory".
I'm going to rejoice in the day in which I live, because my God sits upon the throne. He uses the earth as a footstool. He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. He promised he'd open up the windows of heaven and bless me with blessings that I cannot contain. He would rebuke the devourer for my sake. My leaf will not wither. My seed will sprout in its season. And whatever I do, it's going to prosper! Child of God, with promises like that, you cannot fail! You've got to remember where it came from.
Stand to your feet in the presence of the Lord. And I believe that there are people in this room and those who are watching, you haven't done a good job of remembering lately. You've meditated more on what you wish you had rather than what he's already done. You've worried about where you're going rather than remember what he brought you through. And so for just a few moments, I want you to lift your hands in this sanctuary. And I want you to take a little time and open your mouth and just thank God as you remember.
God, I thank you for how good you've been. I thank you for the times that you've blessed me and I didn't even do anything to deserve it. I thank you for the times you've forgiven me of my sins and my transgressions. I thank you, Lord, that you loved me with a perfect love. When others abandoned me, you befriended me. When others gave up on me, you poured your power out upon me. You anointed the my head with oil. You gave me peace when I should have been terrified. You gave me joy when I should have been sorrowful. You gave me hope whenever I should have been filled with despair. You gave me mercy when I deserved judgment. God, you've been good to me. You've been good to me in my finances. You've been good to me in my health. You've been good to me in my family.
Whatever it is that you need to remember today, I want you to take a little time and just give God thanks for who he is and what he's done. In Jesus' name, we say, amen.