Samuel Rodriguez - Stand Firm In The Faith
Measurable, in the millions. So, they called us up, and said, "Pastor Sam, would your church be interested in merging with our church, taking over"? Big property, 80 acres, highway frontage, worth 75-80 million us dollars and crazy stuff just, an auditorium that fits 3,000 people which we desperately need. So, we went like, "This is God answering the prayers". So, I went like, "Woah, three auditoriums, one for three, one for one thousand, the other for three". I went, "This is it"! So, I met with my team and I went, "Let's do this". I initially had meetings with the pastor and the members of their team, and have the initial four meetings, and then it happened.
"Alright, Pastor Sam, it's time. We all agree, let's formalize this. Have your board meet with our board, the formal meeting, and then we'll sign an MOU, and we'll execute accordingly". So, there it is. We met in a certain coffee establishment, whose name I will not mention, and I drank my almond milk latte and. And Jezebel on the cup. So, we were there. And so, I never said anything. Did I say anything? So, we sat and we debrief. What are they gonna ask me? What do we prepare for? 'cause we don't know. So, I'm thinking, "Alright, I'm going in there. Questions would be fiduciary governance, integration of systems, attrition for the current staff in that church and so forth, HR components, risk management, typical integrative systems, and so forth".
And then you know, I even went, "They're probably gonna ask will you have a Slavic service or Spanish service"? And they're probably gonna ask questions that really matter like, "Why do you speak so fast"? Questions that are really legitimate, that you should be asking. We walked into the meeting, this is about what drives you. So, I walked into the meeting, I sat right here, I have Jeff Carter, Kimberly Higgs, my board members, four of 'em, they had their team here. And I came here, and I went, "Okay". First thing I said, this is this initial, like, no joke, this happened just like this, there are witnesses to that, and both sides attest to it because it was so crazy.
So, I sat down and I'm going like, "Great, alright, let's do this". And the first question, board member, "Pastor Sam, we wanna begin by asking you this critical question, one question". And I'm thinking, "Alright, here comes systems, ideas, a budget. What is it"? And they go, "Pastor Sam, our church, we lean left, we wanna know, where do you lean"? This is me. 'cause I'm thinking, I'm like, candid camera? Is this, you know, like, this has to be a... There's no... 'cause I'm thinking, both a sign and a wonder, nothing came out of my mouth. And my team, his wife was there, she's a part of our board. Nothing came out. And they're looking at me like, "Say something". Nothing came out, and I'm going, 'cause I'm processing it.
First of all, in light of everything we do, I'm a part time comedian. So, help me, the first thing that hit me wasn't prophetic, spiritual, the first thing was, "Dude, you have enough jokes for the next three years to carry you over wherever you go. You're covered". The next thing that happened is the Holy Spirit prompted me and said, "Alright Sammy, go ahead, say it, answer them". And I didn't want to, because if I would say what the Holy Spirit wanted me to say, we would never get the building. So, I'm fighting with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit always wins. So, I look up after about a minute of absolute nothing coming out of this Puerto Rican's mouth. And I look up and I go, "Thank you for your question. Yeah, thank you for your question. With great do deference, our church, new season, at our church, we don't lean. We stand".
If you're standing, lift up your hands. Repeat after me, "I don't lean. I stand". Say it like you believe it, "I don't lean. I stand". Repeat it again, "I don't lean. I stand". We stand, we stand, we stand. 1 Corinthians 16:13, "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith". It's time I pray it, and I know this church don't lean. We need a church that rises up, we can't be driven by the winds of this cultural derivative idea, social constructs, ideologies, falsehoods and lies. We need a church that stand up for biblical truth, stand up for righteousness and justice. And I'm gonna be full of righteous indignation now, stand up for our children. Lift up your hands. Stand up for holy sexuality, stand up for the family, stand up for Godliness. Stand up for life, religious liberty, biblical justice, racial unity. The church is anointed to destroy bigotry and racism in the name of Jesus. Stand up for the gospel.
I hope I get invited again. I don't wanna get in trouble with you, but don't just stand here in the church. Stand up in the school board meeting, stand up everywhere you go. Somebody shout like you're about to stand. Lift up your hands. "Therefore put on the full armor of God, when the day of evil comes," not if, when the day of evil comes, that's now, "You may be able to stand your ground, and after you've done everything, to stand". Stand. Repeat after me, "I don't lean. I stand". Lift up your hands one more time, even if we have to land this right now. We'll continue this when we speak again. We're about to see your church rise up. Not one driven by the winds of political correctness, comfortability, Luke warmness, apathy, but one driven by the father, by the son, and by the Holy Spirit. A church that stands. Repeat after me, "Come hell or high water. I'm on my way to Rome".
Somebody shout like you actually believe what you just said. Stand with... you are standing. I'mma conclude with this point and then I'm just gonna make a call here at your discretion as the holy spirt leads. They decided to be driven by the storm, how did that work out? They did it, it was over, because they decided to be driven. And it may make some sense logically. I mean it, the wind, don't go against it, I get that. But they just said, "Let the storm drive us". Read it. Let the winds drive us. That did not work out in their favor, literally, it fell apart. In the middle of the ship being battered and falling apart, there's a word that comes to Paul. There's a word undergirded in his spirit in one via the conduit of an angelic visitation.
One of the craziest words you could hear during the middle of a shipwreck. You wanna hear it? Crazy word. Here's the word. Imagine you in the middle of a shipwreck, in the middle of the ocean, and the thing's being battered, and then God says, "I have a word for you". "Yes, Lord, give me the word". "I have a word for you". "Give me the word". "Paul". "Yes, God"? "You see that ship you're in"? "Yes, Lord". "Paul, here's the word, you see the ship"? "Yes". "That ship will not make it". Like, who says that? But the comma is powerful. "Hey, Paul, the ship you're in will not make it," comma, "But you will". I know you got that. For the next 1 minute and 38 seconds, I wanna preach to somebody here who lost the ship, but you're still here. You lost a relationship, you lost a season, you lost the chapter, you lost the friend, you lost something, but you're still here and you're still standing.
How many here have that testimony? That even without that ship, you're still here. There are relationships that didn't make it but you're still here. There are ideas that didn't make it but you're still here,. There are seasons that didn't make it but you're still here. You lost followers, but not your faith. You lost connections but not the calling. You even lost your mind for a moment, but you never lost your mantle. Somebody praise like you're still here, somebody give God glory. Because in life, it'll be a false version of Christianity if we ever preach the audacity that we never lose anything.
Look what happened in Maui. Sometimes we lose our ship but even without that ship, God says, Hebrews 10:23, is this for anybody here? "He is faithful to keep his promise". Isaiah 43:13, one of my favorites, "From eternity to eternity, I am God. No one can snatch away anything from my hand. And what I have done will never be undone". So, even if you lost your ship, and I know it hurt, we all lost something. We've all lost something. Please, stop posting, confessing, declaring, stop the whole... And I know it's painful. There comes a season where we go through it and we gotta get healed. But then there has to come a sea, we have to stop doing, "Look what the devil did". And beginning today, you're gonna go from, "Look what the devil did," to, "Look what the Lord has done". I dare you to open up your arms and say, "Look what the Lord has done. Look what the Lord has done".
I'm on my way to Rome, I'm on my way to Rome. "I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing work of knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord," Philippians 3:8. Raise your right hand, repeat after me, we declare things. "I lost my ship, but I still have my anointing. I lost my ship, but I still have my calling. I lost my ship, but I still have my praise. I lost a ship, but I have Jesus. And if I have Jesus, I have everything I need to make it". If you got this word, lift up your hands. If you got it, lift up your hands. If God's speaking to you about your Rome, your God ordained destiny, a God ordained purpose, it is. Psalm 138:8, it's 1 Corinthians 2:9, it's Jeremiah 33:3, it's God showing you, demonstrating that you're not on this planet by coincidence, you're not a Styrofoam top, there's a purpose for your life, and your purpose is not to just go through a routine of some sort of fabricated rubric for the purpose of pleasing an established sort of continuum that places a lid on the fulfillment of your prophetic purpose.
God has you on this planet for greater things. And maybe you say, "Pastor, how can you, you have no idea what I've been through". If you've been through hell, you should be smiling, because if you been through hell, it only means that your purpose will change the world, your purpose will actually, for the glory of Christ, in him, by him, through him, with him. "Hey Paul, that ship will not make it, but you will". And then an angelic visitation says, "Hey Paul, I have news for you, not only will you make it, but everyone in the ship will make it too".
See, that should prompt you to put a smile because your family, and your children, and your children's children, and your children' children's children will hear the gospel of Jesus, will know that Christ is Lord. If you believe your household will be saved, if you believe... If you believe you're about to see your family come to Jesus, if you believe you're about to see your friends and your followers come to Jesus, if you believe your generation will come to Jesus. "As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord". Joshua 24:15. Acts 16:31, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved".
Lift up your hands. Heavenly Father, we are on our way to Rome. We are on our way to fulfill our God ordained purpose and assignment to glorify you, to magnify you, to show you to a broken world, to demonstrate your power, your grace, your gift and your glory, your provision, promotion and protection, your forgiveness, your freedom, and your favor to a world that is broken. We're on our way to Rome, we're on our way to Rome. I'm gonna call you out for a second. If you say, "Hey, Pastor Sam, this word is all me. I lost a ship, I didn't get all the details about my destiny and purpose, all I knew, God had a purpose for me and I get it now. I've been battered but I know there's a reason for all of this. I'm on my way". And what God has begun, it cannot be stopped. He will finish.
Read it, this is how they got there to Malta. Those that couldn't swim held on, read it, to pieces, to broken pieces of the ship that fell apart. Has anyone here held on to a piece, a broken piece of their dream but it was still a part of your dream? Has anyone here ever discovered that a broken praise is still a praise? And a wounded worshipper is still a worshipper? And a prodigal son is still a son? Anyone here ever discovered that God does great things with broken pieces? Is there anyone here in Oahu who understands that the purpose of God is greater than the brokenness of man? He does great things with broken pieces, he does great things. Sometimes, all you have left is a piece of it, just a piece, a piece of the mantle, the dream, the calling, the anointing, just a piece, but it's good enough to get you to where you need to get to in order for you to be restored.
Lift up your hands and close your eyes, here's the call. "We are pressed on every side, but we're not crushed. We are perplexed, but not giving to despair. We are hunted down but never abandoned by God, we get knocked down, but we are not destroyed," 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. God does great things with broken pieces. If it's broken, God can fix it, if it's empty, God can fill it, if it failed, God can restore it. If it's sin, God can forgive it, if it's wrong, God can make it right, if it's crooked, God can make it straight. If it fell, God can pick it up, if it's paralyzed, God can make it move, and if it died, God can resurrect it. Vulnerability, vulnerability leads to victory in an atmosphere full of God's presence. So, learn to worship with your wounds, praise with your problems, move with your mess, sing through your sorrow, and dance in the middle of your drought because God does great things with broken pieces. I'm gonna call quickly.
If you say, "Pastor Sam, I'm on my way to Rome and I'm in the middle of my Malta season. I've been through my shipwreck, I've lost something along the way, but I've reached the place where God's gonna restore everything and he's gonna resource, not just restore, but resource everything. Hear that word, he's gonna restore and resource absolutely everything, because as for me and my house, we're on our way to Rome". If this word is for you and you've been through the storm, the shipwreck, and you say, "I want this," come out of your seat right now and join me somewhere here. If you have to think about it, I'mma be honest, it's not you. But if you know who you are, get out of your seat, just join me somewhere. Fill up the aisles somewhere. All you gotta say is, "I'm on my way to Rome, I'm on my way to Rome," I'm gon' pray over you real quick here. "I'm on my way to Rome, I'm on my way to Rome, I'm on my way to Rome".
I'll wait for you, I'll wait for you. Come on, come on, come on, come on. Regardless of what you lost, in spite of what you lost. Even though it was painful and hurtful, you're on your way to Rome. Even without that ship, even without that relationship, even without that job connection, even without that side hustle, you're still gon' make it to your place of destiny. What God has planned for you and purposed for you will come to pass through the finished, vicarious, atoning work of Jesus. "Christ is your everything," Colossians 3:11. You will make it to your Rome. Everybody stretch out your hands towards everyone who passes up here. We'll wait for you. For your home and your marriage, you're on your way to Rome. For your children and your children's children, you're on your way to Rome. I'm on my way to Rome, I'm on my way to Rome. 'cause he does great things with broken pieces, he does great things with broken pieces. You're on your way to Rome, on your way to Rome, ohh, on your way to Rome.
I sense the Spirit of God in this place so thick right now. I just, those two words resonate, restoration, resources. This is your Malta season. You're in that in between, on your way. But let me just prophesy upon you, and I say that with fear and trembling, in Jesus name, your shipwreck season officially comes to an end right here, right now, in this place. It's over. Somebody shout, "It's over". Somebody shout, "It's over". By the time you get back home, you will see, you will see the effects of the fact that it's over. Everyone here repeat after me:
Heavenly Father, I receive this word, in the name of Jesus, I am anointed. Me and my house, we are anointed for greater things. For Rome. Thank you that even without that ship we're still gon' make it. Thank you that everyone in my ship will make it. I give you glory that you do great things with broken pieces. So, today I step into that Malta anointing: restoration, resources, enabling me for your glory, to make it to my Rome. There's not a devil in hell, a demon on earth, a viper or a snake that will ever stand in my way. Come hell or high water, I'm on my way to Rome.