Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Ron Kelly

Letting God out of the Box

Ron Kelly


Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan



  • January 11, 2020
    11:45 AM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

Let's pray. Lord our lives are yours. Help us to recognize that more day by day. And I'm asking the Lord that we would know the joy of walking in the path of life. Living by your example and through the power of your indwelling presence. Please bless these moments that we have together. Anoint us as we seek the impress of the Spirit teach and touch and bless this I ask in Jesus' name amen. This is the last in a series of sermons and titled The healing presence of Jesus and so I'm going to talk with you this afternoon about transformation through prayer. J.i. Packer who was a theologian English born Canadian theologian. Said in his book question after God that religion in America is 3000 miles wide and a half inch deep. There's a reason. There was an old adage that used to say you can't have your cake and eat it too. But we have known amazing liberty and amazing. Blessings. And I'm afraid we've held on to one this side not that there's anything inherently wrong with prosperity. And we're questing after God and until those things are brought together into a surrender to Christ we really don't know the temporary joys of the worldly and we really don't know the eternal joys of full surrender this morning I want to capture a bit of the sense of God's transformation as he draws us out to him in prayer I'd like to start with a quote from the Sermon on the mount if you'll turn to the book of Matthew Matthew chapter 7 Matthew chapter 7 we're coming to the end of 3 chapters. And Jesus is attempting. To strengthen the connection that can exist between us. He says in verse 7 asking it will be given to you seek and you will find knock on the door we open to you I mean he's repeating himself everyone who receives for everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks it will be opened. What man is there among you who when his son ask for a low will give him a stone or be asked for a fish will you not give him a snake. Willy. If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask him. Some of you are going through your shelves in your basement your garage in other places and your looking in your drawers and your your closets for things you don't need anymore and you're boxing them up and you're bringing them here in the backs of your car your truck or your trailer or whatever else it is and you've got a list of what it is because it's leaving your house going somewhere else sometimes we drop these things off at neighbor to neighbor and at the Kellys it seems like a good thing especially at the beginning of a new year to create a little order get rid of some of that excess make sure that you're not weighed down by the clutter that builds around our ability to buy. And so this this week that's been going on at our house and so. I don't know how many I'll sell the Dorians where size 13 shoes but there are a few going down there. But there's a pair that's going to remain on my shelf at home. And I want to tell you about it. I did not grow up rich I won't say I grew up poor but I was on the bottom side of the middle class for sure for kids my parents put us in church school all at once before this happened so a lot of the marginal money at least in obligation was kind of evaporated out of the scene. You add to that whatever financial challenges we just had growing up and you get to a place where you kind of stuck with the ordinary stuff my grandma would come by the house every once in a while with big back black garbage bags and in those big black garbage bags would be all the clothes that she had picked out of the Dorcas which we now call community service and it would be the most unpleasant experience but my mother would say all right Ronnie as she pull something out now listen big black bags is not how you market things to adolescence Ok I'm getting in the big black bag and I'm about to pull out another pair of pants it's like you look at psycho my. Go down the hallway try him on come back out I just want you to know that Grandma wasn't coming over with the big black bags for no reason. So against that backdrop I want you to understand how in my adolescence something caught my fancy it was something I wanted and by the way I have a book at home called Why We Buy so much of what we buy is about our identity and when you're in adolescence it seems it's even more so so here I was as insecure maybe way more than many adolescents I'm not sure might be good some time for adolescence to sit around if they could be as vulnerable as they needed to be find out they all feel exactly the same way at exactly the same time but somebody gets to the top of the pack and becomes popular and everybody else kind of follows it's not the best way to live. But I knew in my identity circle there was something that I always knew that I wanted. As a boy I can remember much younger probably 78 years old getting a new pair of tennis shoes and say to one of my friends I can run faster than you now because I've got new tennis shoes. But now probably twice that age. I'm thinking to myself I'd really like a certain period tennis shoes. Now long before we had the fashion icons that put their their silhouettes on the heels of shoes the marketers were still looking to get more for a pair of love leather and rubber than they should actually been allowed to get but you know they'll get what you'll give. And Adidas came out with a peer issues that that they called the top 10 which was a appear that laced up over your ankle and then they had the high 5 which cost less money but I'm guessing probably 40 years ago these shoes still cost $60.00 which was like a whole nother universe for Kellie's we might been able to outfit all for the kids for $60.00 maybe twice over. But I did something that I didn't know was going to set in motion a family fracture I said to my Dad Dad I'd really like a pair of those shoes. Now my dad made no religious profession in his earlier life a good kind man and he didn't have much money. But something for settled in the back of his mind and he thought I'd like to get that pair of shoes for my firstborn son. I can remember them sitting at the table mom and dad and my mom saying he doesn't need those shoes. And my mom and dad have a good relationship they made it through 50 some years of marriage some years better than others which is probably how it is for all of us and you know I think my dad ran out of arguments. And one day he said Come on Ron we're going to the mall. And I don't know where you got the money. Where I've never bought a pair of shoes I don't think I've ever bought a pair of shoes since then like this. We walked into the mall into one of those shoe stores that only sold Jews. And my dad made the arrangements and I sat down there on a chair this wasn't the black bag version this was nice beautiful white shoes with a little band of red in a big band of blue 3 blue stripes there sitting on a shelf in my basement I know where they are right now the shoes. The shoes will always be in my possession my kids will have to throw them away. When I tried those shoes on and lace them up and walked around on that nice carpeted floor with the salesmen waiting on us I think I felt like I was in heaven when I took that box under my arm with that nice glossy plastic bag on it in the post ring pulled tight and we walked out those shoes. Are this expression of Jesus. If you've been being evil know how to give good gifts I want you to think about this. When Jesus is writing in Matthew chapter 5 when he's telling the sermon he says look even the Gentiles know how to love. The love we have bridge others going to go beyond that the love that we have for each other is going to exceed that we're not just going to love each other we're not just going to love our own. We're actually going to learn to love like God does which can actually make those who are other our own the circle can grow people can come in but it requires a right understanding of God. If you that being evolved know how to give good gifts there's probably not a person listen to me here today or online who has a hard time getting things for the ones that they love. God wants us to understand that our love is a very veiled and as Paul would write we see through a glass dimly It's a smoky perception that we have of the love of God But on this last Sabbath as we talk about prayer I want you to know when you go to God he's so many steps ahead of you and what you need you don't need to fill your prayer time up rehearsing too much of it go ahead and ask he said you could but don't ask like you're afraid that he won't. There is a journey that God wants to effect in a prayer life that actually lets God out of your directors' box and into the director's seat in your life and this is why Packer could say religion is 3000 miles wide and a half inch deep God is calling us to a transformational encounter with him in prayer and I want to talk with this morning about God's healing hand on us physically mentally spiritually relationally emotionally this is something that is a proximity dynamic in a Christian journey and you can listen to somebody preach and you can read the Bible but there's something about getting down on your knees as a posture of submission. And saying to the God of the universe could I talk with you. He's made a way through the sacrifice of his son he's opened the door it was in symbol and and the dynamic of the sanctuary up until the reality of the cross and now Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us and he's wanting our prayers to join with his to come before the father and he's wanting to grow our faith and deepen s. and give us a completely different experience. So we have this invitation but prayer in the name of Jesus one writer states in signs of the times $884.00 is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning in the end of a prayer it's to pray in the mind in the spirit of Jesus while we work is works and believe his promises and I like this last statement rely on his matchless Grace. To give Bibles if you would turn to the Book of James James Chapter 5 for 16 past the Book of Hebrews. James is appointed preacher. And in his letter to the churches. He combines 2 sentiments will begin with Chapter 4. Prayer letting God out of the box. Verse for strong language it's relational language. You adulterers and adulterous is do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility to go on there for whoever wishes to be a friend to the world makes himself an enemy of God. He tells us just before that you ask and you don't get. Because you ask only for yourself. Now there's at least 3 reasons that some people's prayers are answered number one is Some people don't ask so their wishes and their wants are answered yes God's looking out for the human race and he's giving us things we don't deserve in His goodness there are myriad blessings that are falling on all kinds of people. Everyone in measure. But when it comes down to a relationship of commitments God especially for those of us that had a chance to know him is looking for something more than the half inch deep version of Christianity he's actually looking for an encounter that's transformational some people don't know they can ask. Some people don't know when they ask it's not an appeasement dynamic. God is actually said you can come to me and I love what l.-y. wrote in ministry of healing page 225 she says never does our merciful God turn from a soul that insincerity seeks him for help can you say men. So you haven't done it right so you know you haven't done it right I want you to know something at the moment that you're willing to turn to God and there's and there is a genuine desire to actually encounter him he's there listening he wants to help. And yet once we enter into that relationship he's not content to be the scorned party in a love relationship with the world he's actually looking to deep in us and the world is crying out that they could see some kind of evidence that Christianity actually makes a better person changes the society strengthens a home. Yes our merciful God does not turn from the soul that insincerity seeks him for help friends you haven't done it right you don't feel like your acceptable God understand this one thing he is merciful and as Jacob laid hold of him there wrestling with him long ago and God realized the day was breaking and wanted to be released Jacob cried out I will let you go and less you blessed me this this appeal for mercy for the presence of God for the intervention of the hand of heaven this is something from which God will not turn aside but once the journey is begun God is looking for something more than something a half inch deep He's actually looking for this divine intimacy that understands puts effort into understanding his heart and doesn't relate to God like a genie like a like a bottle that you can rub or a puppet on a stick God is actually looking for a transformational relationship where our trust in our confidence grows and he doesn't have to be in our box but when your relationship with God is a half inch deep and it doesn't go the way you want and soundbites is all you've been practicing and a facade is all you've got it's easy to say God didn't answer my prayers where is your god's got to be in your box but this morning when I want you to see it if you have a desire for something better because problems are going to come life doesn't Life doesn't come sweet and tasty all the while there are moments when it's bitter and it's sad and it's having a little bit like the weather outside today. In those moments when God does not rush to answer our prayers God will come close to assure us of His presence and God in prayer with us is looking for transformation to us even when circumstances are not transformed as we've requested and. Prayer is a drawing out of our soul into a deepening encounter with the divine and in that process we are changed and God is revealed not only to us but through us. Praying in the name of Jesus is not just putting his name on the front or the back side of a is prayer although I will say this I have noticed an increasing dynamic of talking to the Father which is who Jesus direct is talk you know you can talk to Jesus to. They're all God and yet it is the name of Jesus that opens up these doors. And we shouldn't act like. That name on our lips is not the privileged key it should be a principled and substantive encounter with God That's not legal list ik and formulaic but it should also bring to the table the mighty permission to go from this world of sin and well into the presence of the father this is our great privilege our anchor is cast behind the veil Christ in the most holy place is our access point is our access vehicle is the made e a through which our heart's desires are born into the presence of the divine center of government there are some who don't ask as they don't care and might be some Listen to me here today that was Dad's religion that was Mom's burden that's not my burden. Unfortunately life is hard. But youth is fleeting and there comes a time when all of a sudden I'm thinking now of a certain gentleman who had about his mid fifty's had churned through a couple marriages made lots of money and one day as he was driving by this Cicero church felt compelled to pull in his life was unraveling in rapid fashion. It would be a wonderful thing for me if I never ever heard the words again from the mouth of the middle aged or older person I have wasted so many years. There are some who don't believe they're sitting here today as a matter of fact there are times when I question my own confidence and yet it's not my confidence that makes the connection it's looking to Jesus it's remembering what he said it's coming back to what he's done for me and yet along the way if I abandon a knowledge of everything that he's done or refused to see it and there are a number of there are a number of younger people who are good at critiquing the mistakes of their parents and can't see everything their parents gave them and the potential of what's beyond their experience right now. But when we come to God we shouldn't release at least rehearse the whether it's the slightest intervention of heaven that was an answer to prayer or whether it is a long list go back over it is there God in Heaven has he intervened before how did I end up being here today have I been on the piece of floods my soul and I ask for the forgiveness of my sins has he ever dusted me off and cleaned me up and put me back on the road of life and giving me back dignity and self-respect that I don't deserve and give me a chance to go at it again the answer for most of us is yes but if it's not for all of us it still can be. Some people don't know they can ask. It's important we fulfill our mission so they can know. I want to look at another important thing that's standing in the way of a lot of people go to the book of Matthew for some people answered prayer is hindered. God is in a box and inside that box he cannot do what he should like to do otherwise. Matthew 18. Is a very interesting chapter. It's a called a childhood in the 1st 6 verses it's a call to care of example. In the next 7 verses a verses it's a call to prayer and confrontation in the next segment and finally it's a call the forgiveness. Peter asked Jesus how many times do I have to forgive people is 7 the right number and Jesus says you're a long ways off 1st 22 I do not say India up to 7 times but up to 70 times 7. For this reason the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves and when he begun to settle them one who owed him 10000 talents was brought to him but since he did not have the means to pay the Lord commanded him to be sold along with his wife and his children and all that he had to repay the debt so the slave fell to the ground and he prostrated himself before him saying Have patience I will repay you everything in the Lord of the slave compassion and released him and he forgave him the debt but that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a 100 in their eye and he seized them and began to choke him say pay back pay what you owe so his fellow slaves fell to the ground him began to plead with him say Have patience with me and I will repay you but he was unwilling and he went and he threw him in prison and till he should pay back what was owed so when his fellow slaves saw what had happened they were deeply grieved and they came and reported their to their lord all that it happened and then summoning him the Lord said to him You wicked slave. I forgave you and all that debt because you pleaded with me should you not also had mercy on your fellow slave in the same way that I had mercy on you. And his lord was moved with anger which is not the same as compassion. And he handed him over to the tortures until he should repay all that was owed him and this last verse is so starkly almost unchristian sounding that it's almost hard to believe it's there except for one thing Jesus has a 0 tolerance policy on this issue. My heavenly Father will do the same to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart. There are people whose prayers are really quite how bold I can't say totally shut down or hitting the glass ceiling but I do know this that someone stood in our meeting last night and testified along this line we stood right down here in the middle of this al and told about how they were the neglected child. And I'm sure they could tell us many stories about how neglected they were not only were they league Lactaid they were the rejected child and yet they were still in the family dynamic and long after the mother died 15 plus years ago the bitterness remains and I want to tell you this Christian sister if somebody were to ask me what's her journey like I would have said very solid and I'm going to tell you some that it is solid That's why in this 10 days of brain God was it work moving on the sisters heart and as she stood there before us she said every time I talked about my mother it was always negative. These roots of bitterness grow best when they were tied to legitimacy. These roots of bitterness spread out best when they're nurtured unfertilized in false and wrong sympathy. Be careful how you listen to people who are negative because behind the negativity there's a spiritual dynamic and in prayer God can do what he did to this sister and said listen you need to know something I've already assured you that your mother's life was hit in Christ and she didn't say this life night but I had it like this her mother's journey went as far as God letter on it and whatever chapters were written flawed though they be the grace of Christ was big enough and when that sister's mother died there was assurance in this daughter's heart that my mom is going to see the face of Jesus. But along the way this dear sister sensed. But maybe not me. And so she stood here last night sharing her testimony reminding us that the love of Jesus Christ can heal the wounds of the heart whether they're legitimate whether they've been rightly or wrongly sympathize with the god can encounter us in prayer in such a way that nothing stands between us and Jesus especially a hard heart that won't give to others what we've needed ourself the medicine so freely received by us is to be offered implanted too to everyone else. So I don't know who might be here today who's nurturing a grudge who has an actual fact behind their feelings those are the most dangerous types to have because in reality you seem legitimate and nursing your wound but Christ calls us to the measure of forgiveness that he's offered us and fact or no fact ask or no ask forgiveness is to be offered to all doesn't matter how deep the wound is doesn't matter how dark the deed is it doesn't matter how heinous. The words and the circumstances and then when God says there's something that separates us from each other it's not as if he kicks us to the curb but I tell you what it is of every time he comes to us he starts talking to us about what he's been talking to a solid long and sometimes the amplifies the voice brothers and sisters God bless you if you've got a human amplifier in your life God bless you if you know somebody who cares about you not to say you know what I think you're going to keep falling into that pit if you keep doing that God bless you if you've got somebody says that was wrong you're walking in the path of darkness God bless you have the dysfunction of your life can be brought to the end by somebody loves you and don't play the fool and think they're the problem for talking to you about it. The path of life is to be found according to The Book of James By want to turn a transgressor a sinner aside from plunging themselves headlong into perdition. God is calling us to a beautiful humility when the chronicler will say in 2nd Chronicle 714 if my people who are called by my name or humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked way there's another couple conditions on answered prayer it's not that God is wanting to listen to you but for God to intervene for God to interject divine into positioning of power and change of circumstance he actually wants to do a whole lot more than just make this world in this light good for us he's actually looking to draw us out draw us in Transformers from the inside out and give us an eternal reality and eternal inheritance that begins here today. Friends don't resist the call of God to humble yourself in the sight of the look forward and how about whole congregations and how about whole denominations listen listen to the news every once in awhile we have another Protestant denomination about to fold the in on listening to secular news on the radio and they're talking about a divorce it's between millions of people the United Methodist Church is not quite so united these days. What's going on we're actually on raveling how the Bible is to be read what's really tearing people apart is the is the dynamic of of what we call a rule of interpretation a hermeneutic the inspiration of scriptures and you've got one have going this way with the spirit of the world and another have going this way but I'm here to tell you friends today the process and churches are tumbling like a row of dominoes and it's going to be over the basis of honesty and regard for the Holy Spirit to be able to do its work to convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment. But individually we just make up this collective all our Adventists without any corporate responsibility is there are there no corporate sins of ours. Have we not taken our r r b a and b s degrees r m A's and and and our Ph D.'s and whatever else there is to get r m D's in our Dio's had we not taken all those things in a mass for ourselves a wonderful convenience and luxury but look at the world look at the church there is a divine humbly that comes through the slow withdrawal of God in some measure to say please we can't. God in our box is not God at all we are God. And Jesus on a like a puppet on a stick or God in a bottle is not God at all and yet we still like the half inch version as long as circumstances say good and I don't have to suffer and yes suffering is part of what's at the heart of a very quest like this we've spent 56 weeks looking at the dynamic of the healing presence of Jesus and what I'm telling you here today is that God actually says no to a variety of our prayers because he's after a greater healing he's after a healing of the relationship between you and him me and him. Fasting and pray you remember that boy on the side of the Mount of Transfiguration. We had 3 disciples picked by Jesus Peter James and John started a real problem because that meant Bartholomew and the fan you'll fattiest and Judas and all the rest that were left behind on the side of the hill had to make a decision are they going to lick their wounds because they didn't get called up to the top of the mountain with Jesus are they going to rehearse everything they don't like about the church yes the church Jesus little church the senior pastor by the way. That's what they do and while they're sitting there on the side of the mountain here comes a man who has a need The problem is they've disqualified themselves to be the channels of divine power and so when the man gets there with his voice as cast out the demon and they look at each others like Ok cast out the demon and Andrew or whoever it was I don't know who presided over the service but it didn't go so well. And pretty soon the demon is actually mocking them and the people think it's quite a show they're standing around on the side of the Mount of Transfiguration Jesus is up on the mount with Peter James and John and they're on the side in the battle still the only problem is they're not ready for the battle because they've got the half inch deep version right now. And eventually Jesus comes down off the mountain and everybody rushes over to him and there's this amazing account or with the man comes up and Jesus can see what's going on but he he engages the man in a question and then he even asked the man how long has it been going on and while Jesus having this conversation it's going on. And the man gets impatient and he says if you can do anything when you do something and Jesus says if you can all things are possible to those who believe. And then the man says this line that it's like it's like the golden thread lead down from heaven for all of us weak human behaves It's a phrase that the writer of desire of ages says nobody can parish while they pray it now I'm not turning into the admin as rosary or anything like that. But I do want you to know something when you're confronted with the frailty of your faith and the foibles of your actions. You can cry out like the man did to Jesus you can say Lord I'm just messing it up every time I turn around but I do believe just help when I don't have help my unbelief and I tell you what Jesus saw the crowd run into him he cast that demon out of that boy it was such a violent street battle that the boy lay there looking like he was dead Jesus took him up and he was very much alive friends Christ ill has power. The question is are we going to enter into the arena or are we going to keep God in our box it's got to be our way argue over theological things argue over dynamics of Christian living whatever it might be the truth of the matter is what's missing in the admin is church and what we ought to be corporately repenting of is and along the way we've embrace all kinds of benefits from walking and functional living walking by the law of God and the world itself is going down well I won't use that phrase but it's going the wrong direction I'm here to tell you friends this world and that the increasing level of dysfunction is apparent everywhere but what how much do we care. Yes you get drawn into this walk with God he gets out of the box and it's dangerous God may actually bother you so much that you change. Oh praise God and for half of you God forbid. Group reign I want to talk about group brain some of you are carrying burdens that need to be shouldered by lots of other people. But you don't even know each other enough to tell that level of family business to them. If you aren't family it's hard to know this family dynamic of we bear our mutual woes our mutual burdens bear and often for each other we shared that sympathizing tear there are. Devil loves to isolate people. Get you in your own little sound chamber and leave you there too. To marinate in his doubts that are coming at you from every direction. God calls you into community because in that community he has the potential to amplify something the same and he also has the potential to provide practical flesh and blood prayer burden prayer carry sympathetic hearts that actually give you the boost you need to go the last leg of the journey to hang in there to hang on when Matthew is writing about 2 or 3 agreeing and that symphony of prayer that coming together takes work especially in this society of course nothing so Sibby work in this society everything supposed to work easy but the problem is life doesn't spiritual breakthroughs answers to prayer they call us in to an experience of humility God I've got problems as if you didn't know God calls us through His grace into this encounter and he never takes us farther than we're capable of going and he doesn't keep us perpetually in the stretch and he doesn't hold this forever in the furnace no no no but there are times when he's saying how earnestly do you want this will you draw near to me let's talk about fasting for a moment. I am confident in a congregation this large there are myriads of people who have never fasted and prayed. Is the beginning of a new year is the beginning of a new decade there are problems in your life that aren't getting better they're going to get worse it may not be your problem it be somebody else's problem. God is actually looking to prepare of people who can actually get the attention of the world. I want you to know that Christ without money and without education and without much organization got the attention of the world there's something about the Christian experience actually legitimately lived out that will get the attention of the world. But for that to happen we're going to have to have a transforming experience is going to have to be different than it is. I can remember as a teenager walking through a park in Pekin Illinois I had never really talked about this with my brother and. He attends the 1st service I didn't mention in the 1st service but as a teenager my my brother had an emergency surgery. I'm a firstborn I have come to know Christ I want to tell you my Jesus walk with me in the park I walk through that park minute after minute praying for my brother and I want to tell you when God I don't love my mom it's long before cellphones were available I left the hospital I was going to sit there with nothing to do but I walk through that park talking with God God delivered my brother from that moment I have walked so many miles with God If you see me walking this parking lot here you can be sure I am not without a friend. I walk with my staff we share times together but if nobody's with me I'm walking with Jesus and I'm thinking and I'm talking with God on there's nothing like an open line to heaven with a surrendered life that actually gives you the comfort to face your own flaws and to realize you need to grow here but I'm with you I'm a Jew It's doable now's the time in every phase of my life there's different things for me to see and I want to tell you there are days I've gone sometimes where I'm basically saying to God God I want your attention and God you've got mine talk to me. I don't want I'm going to I would rather have a word from you than food and by the way friends food is a good place to experience some fasting if you're medically up to it it's a good way to actually bring yourself in a into a posture of humility before God I'm not appeasing God when I go to fasting and praying I'm simply saying God right now I need a connection with you more than I need anything else I need an intervention from heaven more than I need anything else and I tell you what with that kind of intentionality in the heart that God has I come away transformed and with peace and God gets in the mix and I want to tell you I've been through some situations where God hadn't gotten in the mix it would be a mess. This would be a good year. The Jews fasted twice a week the Methodists fasted twice a week the Methodist came to life in their disciplined approach to Christianity what life might come to us if we left a half inch behind and entered into a much deeper encounter with God where he's not in our box. I want to end this message though with all the people for whom it appears that God said no. I want to start with Alicia when you read in 2nd Kings there you just find this one little sentence and allies you was sick with the disease from which he would die. His mentor never died he was there to watch. He took his cloak with him he split the Jordan river with it where's the Lord God of Alija and he struck the Jordan River and it split wide open and there were witnesses there to see it this is a man to whom the power of God was dispersed in double measure but when it comes to the end of his life I think we would be remiss if we didn't think the healing he provided or was the conduit for providing for others he didn't ask for himself but God said no. When we think about others I think especially of the Apostle Paul whether it was that divine encounter with the luminance of heaven on the road to Damascus or whether it was something else 3 times he pled with God and 3 times God said no but when we read about in Corinthians he leaves behind this beautiful he as God is joining even the Apostle Paul into a deeper alk you come away with the sense that the half inch experience was left a long ways behind and he leaves behind for you and me this message my grace is sufficient My strength is made perfect in weakness I don't know what weakness you're facing you might even have a physical malady for which you're desiring divine deliverance God still does it I've seen God take people back from the brink of death I'm careful to use the word miracle I am not a sensationalist but I know God still does answer prayer and sometimes it seems so insignificant you wonder how you could bother with him of him bother with you and other times it's so significant you know nobody could do what just happened except God. I can't get away from John the Baptist. If ever there was a man who loved the outdoors it was John the Baptist and to be stuck in the dungeon to be stuck in the dark the more just the filth to be shut up. To have no he's a preacher to have no one to talk to know where to go waiting for deliverance how many times did before he sent messengers to Jesus did he call out to God and say God Would you please get me outta here. And God said no. But above all there's Jesus 3 times. Matthew Chapter 2627 Jesus comes that last night he says father. Could discover pass from me. The answer is no. Father could this come pass for me the answer still no. Father could you please take this couple way but there is one thing in Jesus' prayer it is the phrase that will separate the half inch from the deep end. Every time Jesus comes to that prayer it's just like how he taught us to pray but it's scary brain because it lets God out of the box God actually gets to be in charge and there's nothing that we like better than being in charge asked me how I know. There's a security to thinking that you work the levers but I want to tell you if there's a job where you'll find out fast you don't work any levers it's in the ministry. And finally he says on that last time one more time thrice that he says Never the less not my will. Father I'm looking at the darkest day any human being will ever experience I'm staring into the cat the the the chasm of hell I don't see light at the end of any tunnel. And my humanity shudders under the burden but not as I will as you will. And it gets up and he wakes up his friends. And he walks to the mob. Needing a very real god. Good thing there is one. We live in the age of designer religion even inside the admin is church don't like with this pastor says run down the road and get somebody else to tell you something different. Get on line hear what you want to hear there's only one problem with that. God doesn't stop being God. When you walk out of this room and God doesn't quit talking even if we quit listening. The dangerous part is that our heart hardens to eventually God has to be in our box that's why whole. Whole churches are going to go out and it's also why entire clans families and tribes amongst the non ad minister going to come in. Because there's going to be this separating point where the only way forward is to have something more than a half inch experience. Listen folks. I don't know how deep the depths of Hell are that Christ or verse to get us from heaven to earth or from earth to heaven but I know this. Those 10 issues on a shelf at home. Are dim reflection of which my own father lay hard expanded in some day my grandfather lay heart and I do know this. His love will not let me go until I pry his fingers off the relationship in the meantime I'm learning to let God out of the box and let him do what he wants with my life and if it shuts down my ambition that's one thing if it turns me out of the way of some form of spiritual demise or relational dysfunction praise the Lord but whatever it is for my good in my bed as best as I can see as I'm looking through the keyhole I've learned that he's faithful and true and he has translated He has proven himself completely trustworthy in my life and the older I get the more I know it's sell. So folks. You didn't get the promotion kids didn't turn out like you wanted Dr didn't say what you wanted to hear marriage isn't as good as it could be finances might be in the pits I don't know what it is for you but God hasn't been caught of guard and he still nursing and he can still provide deliverance ask him for it and believe he'll do it because he loves you more than anybody else has ever loved you but if he waits or if he says no. Let him be gone. Father thank you for your wonderful of a friends thank you Lord for compassion and love that exceeds our ability to fully comprehend but not to experience. Father there. Are only 2 kinds of us gathered in this room here today some that have found themselves at the end of human provision and have turned to you we come to the end of our rope and there is no way out. And some lord who have found that moment in their life yet. I'm praying Lord. That before we come to the extremity of pain and fear that we would explore who you are be honest with who we are. Accept the wonderful invitation to be received as a child. Experience a growing childlike faith. And a sweet happiness that even though we suffer on the way and sometimes we don't get what we ask for we always have your presence to cheer into guy and now learn forgiveness forgive us corporately. Forgive us when. We have allowed the spirit of the world to infiltrate our methods our mindsets whatever it might be forgive us Lord individually when we've been. Lured seduced. By pleasure. A life of ease acquisition and something Lord. And thank you that you do. Now Lord I pray take us out of the half inch deep water coax us out to where the water is deep enough to swim. And Help us Lord to discover. More than ever before. With your faithful we won't drown. You are the ultimate lifesaver thank you in Jesus' name amen this media was brought by audio a Web site dedicated to spreading God's word through sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or you would like more sermon. That w.w.w. audio or.


Embed Code

Short URL