Robert Morris - Passing the Palace Test
Hey, everyone. How are you? Good to see you. Let me give you an update on Joel Bazaldua. It's kind of a difficult last name to pronounce. I told you his father is my doctor, and so everyone calls him "Doctor B" because no one can pronounce his last name. But anyway, Joel is doing very, very well, so thank you for your prayers. Normally, with this type of brain injury, he's been on life support, it's normally about at least two weeks of life support. And they took him off of life support after one week, so he's doing great. So, I actually have a picture of him they took just from the back just to show that's kind of all the stuff that he was hooked up to. But he's speaking, which that's one of the things that we were praying about, because where the injury was is the part of the brain where it was swelling that affects speech, and he's speaking.
He said to his brother this last week, he said, "We need to get out of here and go hiking in the mountains". I thought that was pretty good. And then he said this to his dad. He said, "Dad, I need something". So, you know, when someone is in the hospital bed like that and still in and out and all the stuff and had a difficult injury or sickness or whatever, you're immediately like, you need some ice cubes. They let you have little ice cubes or something. And so his dad said, "What do you need"? He said, "I need money". So, I wanted you to know that normal teenage behavior is returning. So that's what that shows. So, there is an update page that, if you guys will put that up, that you can go to where they're giving an update every day. And so it's called caringbridge.org. You may want to take a picture of that.
This is what my kids taught me to do because you can see his last name actually spelled there, Bazaldua. And you can also leave a comment there. One of the things I want to say is you might have their email or their text, and they said to say thank you. I just spoke with Charlie today, the father, but the love that we're outpouring is just a little overwhelming. I don't know if you've ever been in that situation. And when someone says, "Hey, I'm praying..." and da, da, da, you want to say, "Thank you". But it's a little difficult right now for them to kind of keep up with all the family dynamics, care, and then all the texts and emails.
So, the best way to do it is to go to this caringbridge.org, get the update, and then if you'd like to leave a comment, do it that way rather than to text or to email them, please. The prayer need is that he has been approved, he was actually in another state when this happened, and he's been approved that once he is stabilized, there's a hospital here that will receive him, and they want to helicopter him back here, and then the family would be able to come back. So that's one of the biggest prayer needs, obviously, is for complete restoration of health, for no permanent brain damage, but also that he would be stabilized. It's possible that he could be moved back to a hospital here in the area this week.
So, I asked you last week, let's just take the next 21 days and pray, and so that means another 14 days. And obviously we'll keep praying as long as the Lord leads us, but I just want you to do it. The other thing is that Dr. B actually said, "Please don't say anything about this". And I pulled rank on him because in this situation, I'm his pastor, see. When I go to the doctor’s office, he tells me what to do. So. He actually said, "Don't say anything about this, please". And I said, "I want to make an appeal to you". And so he said, after I told him the way I would do it, he said, "Let me talk to Susan".
Then he texted me and said, "Okay, we're okay with that". There is a GoFundMe page, and he was saying, "Please don't say that to the congregation". But I want to say it because a lot of people are calling us, texting, saying, "Can we help"? And, "Is there a financial need"? And that's the reason I want to say it. And there is a financial need because they do have insurance, but it's like a lot of our insurance where it's like a percentage. And so, their percentage would still be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because it's a huge medical bill, and they're looking at even about a year of possible complete rehab. If that's on your heart, then you can do something about that. Okay? You can give toward that. All right? All right.
So, we're in a series... Before we start, let me just say this. This last Thursday was my beautiful wife's birthday, and so we celebrated her birthday. Now just a little, she and I went to a restaurant that's one of our favorite restaurants that's for special occasions. And then on Friday, Ethan and Elaine came up, and we did our family Christmas card photo. And then I leave after this service, which is this is Saturday evening, right now, I'm speaking, if you’re seeing this on Sunday morning. I leave to go down there with some of the elders, and they are having building dedication at Gateway Houston tomorrow, dedicating the new building.
So, we'll have the mayor there and ribbon cutting and all that sort of thing. But you have to know something about Debbie and me, and that is that she's actually a little older than I am. She's eleven months and three weeks older. And so for only three weeks a year, I am the same age. And so, for those three weeks, I say, "You know, this age isn't that old, but I can't imagine being a year older than this". I really give it to her for these three, and then when she turns, this is just normal for us. We just joke around a lot. And so we're at the restaurant Thursday night, and I set her up. I know some of you are going to get mad at me, but you got to understand that this is normal for us to joke and kid around in a loving way. And if we ever cross the line, we're very open and honest, and we say, "I think you crossed the line". We say, "I'm sorry".
Okay, all right. And I'm the one that crosses the line. Okay, so anyway. But I set her up for the joke. That's the way the jokes work. So anyway, I said to her, "Sugar, I'm very proud of you". And she said, "Really? For what"? I said, "Well, a lot of people don't make it to your age". And she said, "Well, you're actually not going to make it if you don't shut up". So, I thought that was a pretty good comeback. So, she can hold her own with me. Don't ever worry about that. All right? Okay.
So, we're in a series called Dream to Destiny. We're following the life of Joseph. God gave Joseph a dream when he was 17 years old. He stepped into his destiny when he was 30 and then fulfilled that for the rest of his life. But there's a preparation, there are tests you have to take so that God can build your character, so you can fulfill your destiny, not just step into it. And these tests last the rest of your life. Romans 5, and I'm just going to paraphrase, but it says: testing builds character. And it talks about perseverance and hope also. But in essence, the trials, tribulations, they build character. So, God's not taking you through tests to mock you or hurt you or any of that. He is just using what happens in this world, plus taking you through some tests, to build the foundation of your life, your character, to support the destiny that He has for you. You understand what I'm saying? He's a good God. Okay?
All right, so that's what we're talking about. And we're on the third test, so you can listen to the first two if you missed them. We covered the pride test and the pit test. This test is the palace test, so we’re going to talk about Passing the Palace Test. All right? So, if you remember, his brothers put him in a pit last week, and then they sold him to Midianite traders who took him to Egypt, and they sold him there. Genesis 39:1, "Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there".
Now let me just explain, same thing. Midian was where they were from, so they were called Midianites. Ishmael was who they were descended from. The Bible is not contrasting here; it's just clarifying. They were Ishmaelites, but they were also Midianites because they were from them. I'm like a Morrisite, but I'm a Dallas/Fort-Worth-ite, also. Okay. That's all that means. Okay? All right. Now watch verse 2 because this is what we're going to really key in for the message. "The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand".
Now, I just want to say something here. He's an Egyptian. It tells us very clearly. That means he's a polytheist. That means he believed in many gods. And I'm not saying anything bad about Egyptians today or the culture of the country. I've been there. Beautiful. I’m not saying that. I'm just simply saying, he didn't believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and yet he saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord caused everything he did to prosper. Verse 4, "So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he [that's Potiphar] made him overseer of his house and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was from the time that he made him overseer of his house house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field". That's just a biblical way for saying, "at home and at work".
That's in the house and in the field, at home and at work. That's kind of what that means. All right? Verse 6, "Thus he left all that he had", this is Potiphar, "in Joseph's hand", now, I just thought this was kind of interesting, "and he did not know what he had", he didn't even know what was in his bank account, "he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate". I mean, he really trusted Joseph. And then it says, "And Joseph was handsome in form and appearance". I wanted to show you that because I liken myself to Joseph in the Bible. It’s just a joke.
All right. Remember now, so he's in Potiphar's house, and he becomes number two. He becomes in charge of all of Potiphar’s house. We're going to get to the prison test. In the prison, he becomes number two. And then he becomes number two to Pharoah. So, it's pretty interesting, but I just want to show you about when he was in prison. Genesis 39:23. "The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper".
Isn't that amazing? So let me just ask you a simple question. Would it be all right with you if the Lord made prosper, if He prospered whatever you did? Now, we're going to talk about it in a moment about the misuse of this word in the church today. We're going to talk about that. But if the Lord prospered the raising of your kids, helping you raise your kids, especially teenagers, okay; if the Lord prospered you in your job, in your career; if the Lord prospered you in your health, would that be okay with you? Are you following me?
All right, so I have four points today. This is unusual, rather than three. Here's number one: The key to prospering is the presence of the Lord. Because it said very clearly several times, "The Lord was with him and made whatever he did to prosper". It said it several times in the passage, all right. So the key to prospering is the presence of Lord. But let me first deal with the negative connotation that we have of the word prospering. The reason is there is a hyper-teaching on prosperity that is not accurate. In other words, it has some truth to it that God does want to prosper us, but it goes so far that it's like "God wants everyone to have a Rolex and a Mercedes," and that's prosperity, or that's prospering. But I want you to understand, don't let that negative teaching pull you away from what the Bible says, that God wants to prosper you.
First of all, here's what you need to know. What does even the word prosper mean? And I'm not going to tell you yet because I just looked down and noticed I had another scripture to read. Let me read that scripture. See, it's great when you're on television because we can edit all of this. It's great. The television audience never knows. They never know I make a mistake, so it's just phenomenal. It's just incredible. All right, I want to read you a scripture because I want to show you that the Lord does not have a problem with the word prosper, or a derivative of it. All right? Genesis 26:12, "Then Isaac", all right, I’ve got to stop. Who is Isaac? Joseph's grandfather. Abraham, great grandfather; Isaac, grandfather; Jacob or Israel, remember, God changed his name, father; then Joseph.
All right. "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold", and it tells us why, "the LORD blessed him". Now, watch the next verse and see if God has a problem with the word prosper because He put this in the Bible. "The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous". See, what we need to do is tell the Lord, "Lord, there's kind of a hyper-teaching going around, so You need to revise. You need to put out a revised version of the Bible because that's just too many prospers in one verse". So, the Lord doesn't problem. The reason the Lord doesn't have a problem is because, in a minute I’m going to tell you the definition. I got more scripture for you.
Deuteronomy 29:9, "Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do". 2 Kings 18:7. "The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went". I told you the key to prospering is the presence of the Lord. 3 John 2, "Beloved, I pray", this is the New Testament, by the way, if you want to see a New Testament scripture. "Beloved," this is the apostle John. When he wrote this, he was the last living apostle. "I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers". So here's an apostle that walked with Jesus saying, "I pray that you prosper in all things".
So, what does the word prosper mean? All right, first of all, because I just read the New Testament, let me tell you what it means from the Greek, and I'm going to the root of the word. It literally in the Greek meant that you helped someone along the road, and it was in the connotation that you saw someone carrying a heavy burden and you went and said, "Hey, let me carry that for you". And you helped someone along the road. So, we can just go ahead and ask this question. Would that be okay if the Lord helped you along the road? Okay, so don't have this negative connotation of this word. In the Hebrew, here's what it means. It means to get behind you and push you forward. So, would it be okay?
Do y’all understand, I'm trying to help you. I understand there are some prosperity preachers out there that have turned you off to this word. This is a Bible word, and it doesn't mean everybody has a Rolex and drives a Mercedes. It means that the Lord wants to push you forward in everything that you do. I’d like to give you just a little illustration of that. Okay? Here's what it's like. "Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord. Okay, that's enough, that’s enough". "No, I want to push you forward in your marriage. I want to make your better husband. You're a bad husband. I'm going to push you forward. I'm going to push you forward". So it's okay. Get over the hyper-teaching that's out there because God wants to push us forward. All right? So the key to prospering is the presence of the Lord. "The LORD was with him, so he prospered everything he did". Okay?
So, this is going to be a very, very simple message. So, what's the key to the presence of the Lord? If the key to prospering is the presence of the Lord, then what's the key to the presence of the Lord? Well, point number two: The key to the presence of the Lord is obedience. And I'm going to show it to you in Scripture. Now, I'm not talking about a works doctrine for salvation. We're saved by grace. But if you want to walk with the presence of the Lord, when He says, "Come," you need to come. When he says, "Stop," you need to stop. It's just like walking beside someone, with someone. All right?
2 Chronicles 17:3, "Now the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David; he did not seek the Baals". In other words, because he obeyed. And also notice that it talked about David, and we all know that David failed. I am not talking about perfection. I'm simply talking about doing the best you can to walk with the Lord, as a human, because David was a human, too. And here's a verse about David, 1 Samuel 18:14. "And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the LORD was with him". I'm saying the key to the presence of the Lord is obedience, walking with God. 1 Samuel 18:12, "Now Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul".
I don't have time to tell you the whole story, but the bottom line is the reason the Lord had departed from Saul was because Saul disobeyed. Saul disobeyed, and the Lord had departed from him. David obeyed, and the Lord was with him. Deuteronomy 11:26-28, "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse". A blessing and a curse. Let me say it another way: a reward and a consequence. That's a good way to say it: a reward and a consequence. I'll explain that a little more later. "The blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse [or the consequences] if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God".
Job 36:11-12. By the way, if this is your first time here, you're going to leave thinking, "You know, that guy just doesn't put enough Scripture in his messages". Job 36:11, "If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity [being pushed forward by the Lord] and their years in pleasures. But if they do not obey, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge". The Bible is clear on this. And again, it doesn't mean perfectionism, because we do make mistakes. Let me show you a scripture on that. Proverbs 28:13, "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy". So, it doesn't say, "he who's perfect". And watch this. It says, "he who covers his sins".
In other words, we all sin. We all still make mistakes, but whoever forsakes them... what? His sins. So, we still sin as humans, but if you forsake them and turn from them, then you have mercy. But if you cover them and try to walk in deception, it says right there, "will not prosper". Right in the Bible. Now, let me also explain this about walking with the presence of the Lord, because sometimes you might think of another scripture and think, again, "I don't see how these match up". Well, the Lord says, "I will never leave you". Okay, so that's truth. The Lord will never leave you. But the problem is, I don't know whether you might leave Him. I've left Him in areas of my life. In other words, in areas of my life, I've done what I shouldn't have done before. That's kind of leaving the presence of the Lord.
I'll show you the clearest example of this that I know in Genesis 4:16. "Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod". That's where they used to take a lot of naps. Sorry, what kind of joke is that? A dad joke, okay. Let's not start calling them "Pastor Robert jokes". Let's just call them dad jokes. All right? By the way, God gave Cain a chance to repent. It all could have turned out differently. God showed up and said to him, "Where's your brother"? He could have said, "I've done something I shouldn't have done". But instead, he said the very famous line, "Am I my brother's keeper"? Like, "I don't know where he is". And God said, "Do you not think your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground? You don't think I know what you did"?
Okay, he went out from the presence of Lord. So, the Lord will never leave us, but we might leave Him because we might make a mistake and then not repent of it. Okay. So, if the key to prospering is the presence of the Lord, and the key to the presence of the Lord is obedience, then what's the key to obedience? See how simple this is? It's real simple, all right? Here's point three: The key to obedience is faith. That's the key to obedience: belief, believing, faith, believing that there's a reward if you obey, and there are consequences if you disobey. That's why children obey. That's also why they disobey, because sometimes, and we have a whole generation now where we've been told they shouldn't suffer any consequences if they disobey. And the problem is they grow up and then do something, disobey, and go to jail. But we taught them there aren't any consequences. Parents are supposed to teach, there are consequences if you disobey. I just want to make sure.
All right. Colossians 3:22, "Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing", that would be believing or having faith, "[believing] that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid [consequences] for what he has done, and there is no partiality". A farmer plants because he believes. He believes he's going to get a crop. If you believe, you obey. It's that simple. If you believe there's a reward, you'll obey. I could throw in about tithing. If you believe there's a reward for tithing, you tithe. If you believe that there aren't consequences if you don't, then you don't. Just wanted to throw that in. It's that we believe. We have to have faith.
Do you realize that many of us have more faith in the hot water heater than in God? Now, I realize that now many people have tankless hot water heaters and it gets there faster. I also realize some people have instant hot water. I got all that, but I'm talking about in the older days. And some of you say, "No, I'm still in the older days, thank you". But how many times do you turn the hot water on, but it's not hot? But you just stand there, or you go and, I was in one house where I think they actually built the hot water heater three houses down, but we would turn it on and then go watch a movie and come back and then it would be hot. But we just stand there because we just know, the valve says hot. It's going to get hot. It may feel cold, but it's going to get hot. We’ve got faith in it. We just believe, and we're shocked if it doesn't work.
Why would we not believe that if we obey the commandments of the Lord, we will get a reward, that God will prosper us in all that we do? It doesn't mean everything is going to go right in our lives. It doesn't mean it's always going to turn out the way we thought, but when we look back, and you get my age and you look back, you start saying, "Wow, God, it's true. You prospered what I put my hand to. You blessed what You called me to do because I walked in obedience". This is why Joseph did the right thing. He'd already heard it from his grandfather and from his father. Hebrews, now, this is the clearest scripture tying obedience to belief that I can find anywhere in the Bible. I love this scripture.
Hebrews 3:18-19. "And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief". Okay, again, you know how I am about words. It says they did not enter in because they did not obey. So we see "they could not enter in because of", you would think it would say, "disobedience". Now, stay with me on this. Okay? It says, they did not enter in because they did not obey. So what we could learn from this is that they didn't enter in because of disobedience. But it doesn't say that. It says unbelief. See, if they had believed, they would have obeyed. Did that not jump out at y’all like I thought it would? I just thought you would all be going, "That's incredible". There it is right there. They didn't enter in because they didn't obey.
So we see that they couldn't enter in because of unbelief. That's the reason we don't obey. That's the reason children disobey, is because they don't believe. If they believe that there are rewards if they obey, and if they believe that there are consequences if they disobey, they'll obey. One time we had some people over to our house, and they had this two-year-old boy who was just tearing up our house. I mean, he was just tearing up our house. And they're just sitting there talking to you. Have you ever met parents like that? Like they don't have any clue that he's tearing things up. And so I said to them, "Excuse me, do you know that your son is tearing up our house"? And they said to me, "Oh, boys will be boys". And I said, "Not in my house". And so I said to them, "I'm going to tell him to stop, and if he doesn't stop, if you don't spank him, I will". And they said to me, "Do your best".
Well, you can ask my son, my best is pretty darn good. I never told them, "This is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you". I never said that. I actually thought that I would help them become men and women of God one day if I taught them to obey. I believed I was doing it for their good. And so this little boy right after that comes over, and beside me was this, I think it was called a banana tree plant, something like that, but it had these big leaves on it. And he starts going like this, tearing the leaves off this plant. And I said to him, "Son, look at me". I said, "If you tear one more leaf off that plant, I'm going to spank you". And he went like this.
Now, the good thing is that he had to bend down. It was a perfect target. And God put padding there. God designed this to teach the children, I'm telling you. So, I just swatted him. It wasn’t even, he didn't even cry. I just went pop, like that. And he went, and he just stood there for a minute. He couldn't believe it. And I said, "Now, listen to me. If you disobey, there are consequences". But I said, "But if you obey, there are rewards". And I said, "So if you'll tell me that you will not tear any more leaves off that plant, I'll give you a dollar". And he said, "I won't tear any more leaves off that plant". You know why? Because he believed me. Are y’all following me? We obey because we believe. We disobey because we don't believe.
All right, so, the key to prospering is the presence of Lord. The key to the presence of the Lord is obedience. The key to obedience is faith. So what's the key to faith? All right, here's point number four: The key to faith is hearing the Word. I told you, prospering, I'm not saying you'll never fail at a business venture or anything like that, but I'm saying overall, being pushed forward by the Lord is the easiest thing in the world to do because it's really if you'll just spend time in this book. And let me show you the verse, Romans 10:17. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God".
Now, I wanted to say, "Prospering comes from doing the word of the Lord". And it does, but you can't do it unless you hear it. You won't believe if you don't hear it. Every time you listen to a sermon that is biblically based, you get more faith. Every time you read the Bible, you get more faith. It's the easiest thing in the world to do to get more faith. It's just, hear the Word of God. That's how easy this is.
My son James went to Baylor to study business. All of our kids, by the way, didn't study being the ministry, and now they're all in the ministry. Josh got a degree in film and obviously is a great teacher. And James studied business and was in business eight years and then came to work at the church. When he came to work at the church, I remember he said to me, "Dad, I feel like God's calling me to go into ministry. I always thought I would be in business, but I feel like God’s telling me to lay that down".
And I remember I said to him, "Well, the church is very large, many departments". And so I said, "What would you want to do"? And he said, "Either one of two things. I would either want to work in the marriage department or work in the stewardship department". Stewardship is where we help people learn how to manage their finances, things like that. And so I said to him, I said, "Well, you've only been married five years, so you know nothing about marriage. You'll need to wait at least 15 more years before you can teach anybody on marriage, let me just tell you that. So you got to have at least 15 years under your belt before you know anything about it". So I said, "But you know a lot about stewardship". So that's where he came to work. And now he's been on staff for ten years. But when he was 16 years old, we thought he was going to go into business.
So, I was talking with Steve Dulin, a friend of ours, one of our elders that most of you know that leads the business leaders ministry here. And by the way, I don't know if you know this, but if you might see it around: "Hear, believe, and obey". Hear, believe, and obey. That didn't come from one of my sermons. That came from one of Steve Dulin’s. Steve said, "People hear, but they don't obey unless they believe". Which is what Roman 10 says. Faith comes by hearing. Hear, believe, and obey. So anyway, Steve and I were having lunch one day and I said, "James wants to go into business, and I was just wondering if you would mentor him and spend some time with him and teach him". He said, "Actually, I've had that on my heart and I'd love to do that". So the first thing he did was he made him start memorizing four scriptures a week.
Now, just do simple math. Instead of 52, just do 50 to make it simple, 50. 50 times four. That's 200 a year. James did that for ten years. So he's memorized 2000 scriptures. Steve was telling him about listening to the Word, so he said... Now, this was back when James was in college. So he said, "I want you to get the Bible on CD". Now, some of you cannot even relate to this, but we didn't have phones that had the Bible on them back then when he was in college 20-something years ago. So he said, Steve told him, "Go to the Bible bookstore and get the Bible on CD, and every time you're in the vehicle, listen to the Bible. Just listen to it". He said, "As a matter of fact, you could put it on when you go to sleep at night and just let it play. Just hear the Word". And he said to him, "This is the number one rule to be successful in business is to listen to the Word of God as much as you can".
So he teaches him. But you have to know something about James, okay. Remember, he helped in stewardship, so he's frugal. He's very frugal. So he goes to the bookstore. Now, Steve was actually going to pay him back for it, but he wanted him to obey first. See, he wanted it to cost him something. And he knew he was a college student on a budget. So, James goes, though, and he looks. He sees the New King James, $49.95, the NIV, $49.95. The New American Standard, $49.95. Old King James, $9.95. So obviously you know what he did. He bought the old King James. Josh calls me one day and says to me, "What is going on with James"? I said, "I don't know what you're talking about". He said, "I just got off the phone with him". He said, "When I picked up the phone, he said to me, 'Wherefore art thou, my brother?'" And Josh said to him, "What"? And then James said, "Hast thou been in thy field with thy father"? That's when it dawned on me. I said, "He's listening to Old King James".
I told Steve about it, and Steve went and bought him the New King James. But here's my point. I've seen him prosper in all that he does. I've seen Josh prosper. And again, Josh has been honest with you about when Table church, because of COVID, and all that stuff. I'm not saying everything works out. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying, I've watched my kids get so in this book that I don't even play Bible trivia with them anymore. I was the champ of the family for years. But once they started getting close, it's like when you play basketball with your kids. Once they start getting to where they can stuff you, you say, "I don't want to play anymore".
So James comes out of college, goes into the home building business, and then 2009 hit, and he had become very successful, working for a builder here in the church. And he said, "Dad, I'm going to lunch with the owner today, and I think he's going to tell me, he's having to lay off a lot of people, that he may have to let me go because of the economy". And that's what the owner told him. He said, "James should be the last person I'd want to let go, but I wanted to let you know that it's probably going to come to that, and so you might want to start looking. I wanted to let you know early enough so you can start looking". On the same day, I'm at lunch with a business owner in our church, and he said to me, "How's James doing"? He said, "He's been on my heart lately". And I said, "Well, he's doing great". I said, "But he told me this morning that he might be laid off because of what's happening in the economy with the home building business".
And so I told him that. He said to me, "I have a position open. The reason I asked is because I wanted to see if it'd be all right if I talked to James about that position". The very same luncheon that he's getting laid off, he's getting rehired. The very same day, the same time. The key to having the Lord push you forward in every area of your life is His presence. And the key to having His presence is to obey. The key to obedience is to believe. And the key to believe is just getting in the Word. It's that simple. I want you to bow your heads and close your eyes.
Now, I want you to just take a moment. You may be new here, but every week at the end of the message, what we do is we just ask the Holy Spirit, "What are you saying to me through this message"? So, I'd like you to just do that right now. And you might say, "I don't even know how to hear God". That doesn't matter, because God knows how to speak, so He knows how to give us impressions. He knows how to lead us to a scripture during the week. He knows how to do all that. But just in your heart, just ask Him, "Lord, what are you saying to me through this message"? Just ask Him. And it might be something that you would never even have thought of. Just let the Lord put an impression in your heart or speak to you this week as the message comes back to your mind.
Lord, I want to tell You, thank You, thank You, thank You that You never leave us, and that You don't require perfection. You just require for us to walk with You, to do our best as humans to follow You. And I thank You, Lord, that You get behind us in our marriage, our family, raising our kids, our careers, all that we put our hand to, and You push us forward, in Jesus’ name, amen.