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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Samuel Rodriguez » Samuel Rodriguez - We Are People of Faith

Samuel Rodriguez - We Are People of Faith

Samuel Rodriguez - We Are People of Faith

You really can't separate. Before you're seated, just do one thing here, and it's not an exercise. You'll understand. It's not some sort of triggering emotional manipulative strategy for the purpose of enticing in some sort of exUberate manifestation via the conduit of vocal chords contracting and expanding for the moment. No, something really happens when we legitimately praise. We don't praise because it's a religious exercise. We don't praise because it's a ritual. We praise because God in heaven.

I'mma do that one more time. Psalm 22:3. God doesn't cauSally pass by, browse, look over. God inhabits. He inhabits. He inhabits the praises of his people. I don't know if you really understand what that means. We look over and then go like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah". No, every time it's God's algorithm for the presence. When we praise, God shows up. I said, "When we praise, God shows up". When we praise, God shows up. And when God shows up, every devil has to run out. Every demon has to flee. Anxiety has to flee. Depression has to flee. Fear has to... Are there any worshipers in the house here today?

That's why we praise. Are there any questions? That praise activates the presence, and then all things are possible. To believe that all things are possible from Genesis to Revelation, that concept of belief in the presence, in the power, in the purpose, in the plans, in the provision, promotion and protection, in the A to Z of God is called faith. Faith. We are people of faith. I'll repeat that for the hearing impaired. We are people of faith. You wanna be seated. Go ahead for a second. You won't be seated for too long. It's gonna be wham, bam, thank you Sam.

We are people of faith. We are not people of fear. We're people of faith. We are not people bound by anxiety, depression, despair, discouragement. We are people of... Faith people. When people of faith, and not I'm talking about like the casual religious nominal complacent faith. I'm talking about the kind of cuckoo for cocoa puff faith. The kind of faith where you believe God for the impossible, where you declare and decree the incredible. Where you know that the invisible will become visible. I believe, no joke, no hype, there's enough faith in this room to see miracles like we have never seen before. There's enough faith in this auditorium that by the time you get back home to your city, to your nation, wherever there was darkness, there will be light. Wherever there was trauma, there will be testimony.

Somebody shout like you believe it and praise like you know it. We believe. If you have that faith that Hebrews 11:1, "That faith that is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen". That Matthew 21:22, "If you pray believing, by faith you will receive it". That Hebrews 11:6, "If you that faith that please God". High five two people and tell them, "I believe". Matter of fact, high five the neighbor you like the most and tell them, "I believe". High five the neighbor you barely tolerate and tell them, "I believe". High five the neighbor that doesn't want you to high five them. Go to that neighbor and touch them, tell them, "Neighbor, I believe. I have faith. I have the faith in Jesus and the faith of Jesus through his Holy Spirit".

Now, in full disclosure, I heard the Holy Spirit and I say this with fear and trembling again. Fear and trembling 'cause there's a fine line between the prophetic and the pathetic. So, with fear and trembling, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to share these three words with you today. Repeat after me, say, "Faith. Fire. Favor". If you're on your iPhones, take out your iPhones, put these three words down. If you have androids phones, please get an iPhone. For the sake of all of us in the group chat, get an iPhone. Set yourself free. But regardless, we don't discriminate here. You can take it out. And guess with faith, fire, we have faith, right? People of faith. We just laid it out.

What if I tell you that sometimes that faith get tested? Matter of fact, I will show you without any ambiguity. I like to use this phrase because it's legit. Do your biblical due diligence, test it. Go ahead, verify. Trust by verifying. Go in there. From Genesis to Revelation, every single person that God ever used to bring about transformation, the societal architects and cultural reformers, the kings and the prophets, the apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, teachers, exhorters that carried glory, that carried away, all of them had their faith tested. There's not one exception to the rule. Every single person of faith had that faith go through the fire. That faith must be tested.

If your faith has never been tested, for the next 21 minutes, get on your phone, watch something. But if your faith has been tested, if your faith has been through the fire, here is the word of the Lord. If your faith has been through the fire, if your faith has been tested, if all hell released, satanic cracking's for the purpose of stifling your God-ordained purpose and destiny, if you've been through the proverbial wringer, if you've been through the valley of the shadow of death, if you have battle scars to prove it, if you've been through hell or high water, I need you to put a smile on your face. So help me God, if your faith has been through the fire, I'm prophesying now the next thing coming your way is nothing less than God's favor.

Biblically substantiated to make it legal. I thought we would make it legal through the word. There is a biblical narrative that encapsulates the idea of faith going through the fire with the outcome being favor, one biblical narrative. Many but one that truly undergirds it. Here it is. Daniel 3. Y'all know the story. We're gonna just jump, skip verses here. Verse number 4. Y'all know the story, so I'm gonna bypass some of the normative descriptors around it and get to the point of it. "Bow to the ground to worship king Nebuchadnezzar's gold statue. Anyone who refuses to bow will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego securely tied". Verse 23, "Fell into the roaring flames".

These are young men who have faith. Their faith went through the fire. "But suddenly..." somebody say, "Suddenly... Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, 'didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace'? 'yes'. They replied". Because they were from Mexico. Verse 25, "'look! Nebuchadnezzar shouted. I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth one, that one looks like a God'! So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stepped out of the fire". Verse 27, "The high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them," watch that, "Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched".

I love this phrasing, read it. "They didn't even smell of smoke"! I dare you to open up your mouth and declare after me, "I've been through hell, but I still smell like heaven. I've been through hell, but I still smell like heaven. I've been through hell, but I still smell like heaven. I've been through hell, but I'm still anointed. I've been through hell, but I'm still blessed. I've been through hell, but I'm still going from glory to glory to glory to glory to glory to glory. When faith goes through the fire, the outcome is favor. When faith goes through the fire, the outcome is favor".

Somebody shout, "Favor". Faith becomes favor when you refuse to bow. I'll repeat that. Faith becomes favor when you refuse to bow. You will come out smelling like heaven when you refuse to worship the God of Babylon. Bow to the ground, worship. We are a prophetic minority living in the pathetic world. And to a great degree, we're living spiritually and morally around the world in a new era of Babylonian captivity. The enemy wants you to bow down and worship the lies. When you bow you worship. When you bow you surrender. When you bow you submit. And there are people bowing to lies and fears and ideologies and trauma and drama. But praise be God. I didn't travel all the way from L.A. to Melbourne, Australia for just, I had a gig, nope, I've traveled to be in touch with a generation that will not bow to the lies of Nebuchadnezzar. I don't wanna be precipitous.

Is there anyone here committed never to bowing to the lies? Is there anyone here committed? Is there anyone here with enough faith to say, "As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord and we will never bow to the lies"? We will not bow. We are in John 8:32 generation. A generation that knows the truth and that truth sets us free. We will not bow to lies, but I promise you this. Today, I'm scheduled by the grace of God to do an interview on fox. But one day, fox, CNN, MSNBC, and ABC here, BBC over there, you name all the different acronyms over there in the state ABC, NBC, CBS, you down with opp, you know me, whatever it may be. I guarantee you ever network is gonna have to cover the fact that one day every knee will bow. The day is coming where every knee will bow. Every president will bow. Every king will bow. Every influencer will bow.

How many believe that one day cancer will bow? Diabetes will bow. Alcoholism will bow. I feel the anointing. Pornography with bow. Addiction will bow. Racism will bow. Violence will bow. Every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Somebody shout like you believe. Philippians 2:10-11. Faith becomes favor the moment you believe and declare that God is able. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, "Hey, we don't need to defend ourselves before you. If we're thrown in here, the God whom we serve is able. He's able. He will rescue us, your majesty. But even if he doesn't, we will make it clear to you that we will never serve your Gods or worship the gold statue you set up". Three words, God is able. Somebody say, "God is able". Three words that shift the atmosphere from sorrow to joy and fear to faith. Three words that make room for the impossible. The moment it becomes impossible, it officially belongs to God.

Luke 1:37, "The Word of God never fail". Somebody say, "God is able". We are the generation that believes that God is able. Ephesians 3:20, "God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all". I'm gon' say that one more time for you, for your home, for your church, for your ministry, for your calling. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all, anything and everything you could... I'm gon' do it one more time. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all. Somebody shout, "God is able". Look at your family and say, "God is able". Look at your future and declare, "God is able". Look at your health and say, "God is able". Jude 1:24, "God is able to keep you from falling". Romans 4:21, "God is able to fulfill his promise". God is able.

So, I invited Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Come on in here. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, come here. This is so cool. This is so good. Jesus, you show up everywhere. Give me a second, Jesus. Jesus on steroids. Don't judge. So, they got together. This is so cool. They went in there. Faith went into the fire because sometimes faith has to go through the fire. I would even argue, and this may be theologically controversial to some, in order for faith to become favor, it has to go through the fire. It has to go through the fire. It has to be forged. It has to be proven. It has to be tested. Faith comes in, and when it comes out, it's favor. Goes through the fire. These three guys go in there.

One of things that intrigue me about this story is that they, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego got together and like, one of them couldn't have broken ranks? Like all three came in agreement. I mean, you're missing it. Like, mathematical probability, three guys. Y'all bow or you die. You bow, or you become barbecue. What say you? This guy says, "No, I'm not gonna bow. I'm not gonna bow. I'm not gonna bow". Now, what are the chances all three, like couldn't one of them at least said, "Guys, love y'all. Deuces, you're on your own". Right? At least one go in there. And then, one of them could have done like the religious thing which has some practical application on the negative. What does that mean? One of them could have said, this guy could have said, "Hey guys, you're on your own. I'm gonna be honest. I'm gonna bow, but then I'm gonna ask for forgiveness, which means I get saved and I did not die".

The only thing is that, you're right, you confess. 1 John 1:6-9, "You confess, you're forgiven". It's done. It's beautiful. But favor is only reserved for those that refuse to bow. They didn't break ranks. By the way, this should prompt something. Why did God show up in this fiery furnace? There is a promise in Matthew 18. Anyone know the promise? "Where two or three gather in my name," this is an Old Testament fulfillment of a promise. Some would argue it's a Christophany, a manifestation of Jesus in the Old Testament. But he shows up here because two or three came in agreement. I'm here to tell you, you come in and surround yourself with people that come in agreement for what God has ordained in your life. I'm gon' say that one more time. God's gonna surround you with people that will come in agreement for everything God has ordained and promised for your life. You will no longer be surrounded by people that have never borne fruit. You will be surrounded by people that come in agreement for everything that God has ordained in your life.

High five your neighbor and tell them, "I come in agreement". Tell your other neighbor, "I come in agreement". Never step into one life's furnaces by yourself. Never go into the fire by yourself. Surround yourself with people that pray with you and for you. Surround yourself with people that come in agreement with you and for you. They came in agreement, they gathered, they stood, they stood, they came in agreement, they gathered. The Bible said, "They stood up in that fire. They did not bow". I'mma be very transparent here. I went through a season last year. I went through my fire. I went through a fire season. Let me explain. I live this out. The whole faith, fire, favor, I've lived it out.

In the past 12 months since I was here last, something happened to us last year in our church in California. By the grace of God, only by the grace of God, 1 Corinthians 15:10, we experienced in our church some pretty phenomenal God-ordained growth. Came from him, he's the Lord of the harvest. He released it, the Holy Spirit adds on daily to the church, Book of Acts. So, our church grew coming out of COVID. And it grew to such a degree that we received a notice from the county in Sacramento telling us we had too many people attending our services and that we have to make modifications. And they went in there, and they went in there repeatedly and warned us and warned us and said, "Y'all have too many people". And we already have multiply services, how many more can we possibly have? And how much caffeine can I possibly drink in order to preach more? So, it's like, "Oh, dude, this is pretty". So, we needed a place. All of a sudden, I get a call.

Now, notice, we get this, the church blows up. God's bringing people and then we get a call. This is the call I got, "Pastor Sam". I'm gonna be ethically nuance here to protect just names. But a major ministry in northern California called me up and said, "Pastor Sam, listen, we have this opportunity for you. Here it is. Our church ministry in northern California on 40 plus acres and worth something neighborhoods between $75-80 million. We have three auditoriums: 3,000, one that fits 1,018, and the other one that fits about 300. And we have a school and all that. Our church did not survive COVID. We would like to see if you would be interested in merging, coming together, and taking over the ministry. Would this interest you"? Of course, what did I say? Yes! Of course, it would.

So, we began an initial conversations. We had preliminary conversations, more than five conversations regarding the initial planning, what it looks like. You know, the deliberative. You know, initial due diligence. And then it happened. Then, I got the call, "Pastor Sam, after all these conversations we've decided. Let's make it happen. We would like you to come in with your board members to our church to our boardroom, and we wanna begin. Let's sign an MOU and begin to execute accordingly a path of this merger". For lack of better phrase. So, that was it. We're gonna meet with our boards and we're gonna make it happen. So, I met with my team. There was never a layout of the questions. They never like prepared me for what questions they would ask. This is the interview process.

So I met with my team. I gathered my board across the street from the church in a coffee establishment whose name I will not mention is the one with Jezebel on the cup. So, we gathered in that coffee establishment, and I had my almond milk latte and everybody around. And then we talked about, "What question they gonna ask"? I have no idea. They don't really wanna disclose the question probably fiduciary governance, integration of systems marketing, possible attrition regarding current employment on their side, risk management, of course, liability, lawsuit, all that.

We went through that. I even went maybe will we have a Spanish service or Slavic service, etc., etc. They may even ask me, "Pastor Sam, why do you preach and speak so fast"? Questions that are totally appropriate, right? So, we did. We did. I put on my jacket. Y'all ready? Let's do this. We walked across, actually, we drove across the street, and we went into the parking lot. Got off, sat down and they were waiting. Formal meeting, there's the board, there's the pastor. I come in, they sit me here, and here's my board. And I take a seat. Ready.

They look at me, the guy across the table looks at me and says, "Pastor Sam, thank you for coming with your board. We wanna begin. We wanna ask you the first question". So, I'm ready. My mind is wired, I'm going, "Know your stuff". I go, "Yes". The guy looks at me and says this, he says, "Pastor Sam, we want you to know that our church, we lean, we lean left. We wanna know where do you lean"? Now, you need to put this in perspective. This is my face. Camera man me tight shot. There are witnesses here so I'm not making any of this up. This is my face. "We lean left, where do you lean"? Cause I never expect, like, what? What?
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