(Preached at AMP Maui on Sunday, January 8, 2017.)
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE IN RELATIONAL GRIDLOCK?
IS YOUR FUTURE FILLED WITH SEEMINGLY INSURMOUNTABLE ROADBLOCKS?
DOES EVERY DOOR YOU TOUCH SEEM CLOSED WITH PADLOCKS?
Gridlocks, roadblocks, padlocks – these are the things that face all people everywhere, right? God doesn’t leave us facing these things without already having sent the answers. We’re going to take a look at a key eliminating gridlock, going through roadblocks, and opening up the padlocks holding shut the doors of our destiny. Be warned, though – this key may not be what you think!
God got so worried about the possibilities posed by His unregenerate children who were still able to function as one man in Genesis 11 that He disunited them in a way not to be undone until the Day of Pentecost. We read this:
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. (Genesis 11:1-8)
So this matter of connection and oneness of heart and mind has great power in it. The operative phrase is this: “COME, LET US…” That’s how they did it! They decided on something together, and then they said “COME, LET US.” Truly, their unified communication and single heartedness contained within it the power of eternity itself. The very power of creation. God created man by saying, “Let us make man in our image…” This is a performative declaration. What they said, happened. Here, at Babel, God got in agreement with Himself (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) about disabling mankind’s unrestrained capability to do whatever they put their single mindedness, and together the Trinity said, “COME, LET US GO DOWN”, they went down and confused the language of men, and that was that – mankind was scattered – disunified – at odds with each other – in non-stop relational drama – till Pentecost.
Let me ask y’all a question. Wasn’t that a tremendous season of worship we just had? Can I see how many of you just experienced a real, living connection with Jesus in the Spirit? How many of you sensed His face to face Presence, right here, right now? Did you connect with Him? It’s all He wants, after all – all He wants is a vital and living connection with us. “I am the Vine, and you are the branches…”
My dear, dear friends, CONNECTION is the goal of creation. In Ephesians 1 we read:
…that…He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. (Ephesians 1:10)
Gather TOGETHER. Gather TOGETHER. ALL – TOGETHER – NOW! ALL TOGETHER NOW! (chorus from an old Beatles song)
He wants everything gathered together in him. His heart is gathering His beloved ones together, under His loving arms. Look at Him expose His tender and vulnerable heart here in Matthew 23:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37)
You see His heart? He WANTS to gather His beloved ones – together. It is His WILL that His people be gathered together, in the unassailable fortress called the arms of His love – His wings. It’s from this place of safety – being held close to Jesus’ very heart – that power, dominion, and advance – the assault on the gates of hell – comes forth.
Going on now: He Himself prayed in John 17:
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-21)
So then, what does Oneness look like?
First of all, there is an atmosphere, a distinct feeling, of peace that results from oneness, from connection. When Michelle and I are in disagreement about something, you know, there is a sense of unease, there’s a feeling of fracture, of disharmony. Have you ever felt that? It’s like a bad note coming out of a singer’s mouth. It’s like, UGH, ouch! HAND ON EARS. It’s very uncomfortable, it grates on the spirit. Do you know what I mean?
But when we are one on – whatever thing it is we are one on – when things are clear, and bright, and beautiful between us – we experience a distinct and tangible feeling of rest and peace, and settledness. NOD MY HEAD.
When there is oneness, when we are connected, well-connected with those whom God has placed in our lives, and with whom we have voluntarily associated ourselves, there is focus. We are clear about what we are about. AMP is great example. We here at AMP are focused on experiencing the life-transforming Presence of God, the advance of the Gospel of Jesus, the prophetic flow in our day, and we are focused on discipling this island.
Why else is connectedness important? Because the power of prayer is locked up in it. Look at this passage from First Peter:
Husbands, likewise, dwell with your wives with understanding, giving them honor, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
You see what Peter says here? Heirs TOGETHER. Your prayer–ZZZ. Plural. How many of us want a prayer life that works? A prayer life where we see our prayers get answered? Then dwell with your spouse in peace and in harmony, without fighting or fussing or complaining or any kind of discord. CHASE OUT any seeds of disruption in the flow of a united mind together, the one heart together.
Look at this too, in the gospel of Mark:
“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:18-20)
Now, you know, we often use this passage to justify our meeting together. You know. We say, hey, we’re together, and so Jesus is here, in our midst. YAY! And there is, you know, truth to that. We are after all the tabernacle of His Presence, the very temple of the living God. But a more careful examination of Jesus’ words in this passage shows this: The context of His being “in our midst,” of Him manifesting Himself among us, is based on two facts…two preconditions:
FIRST, we are in possession of the keys of the Kingdom, to bind and to loose. This comes from this passage a couple of chapters earlier in the Gospel of Matthew:
“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)
SECOND, we are agreeing together. Together. Together we agree.
You see? The context for Jesus being together is for us to be in agreement, and, for us to be leading active prayer lives together. This passage is really the impetus for group, intercessory prayer. If you read the Rees Howell book, INTERCESSOR, you will learn this was the point. Their greatest effects took place in the context of group intercessory prayer.
The very outpouring of the Holy Spirit is based on our being in one accord with one another. We can’t ignore this precursor to His coming down in glory, Presence, and demonstrated power. In Acts 2 we read:
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:1-2)
This phrase in English that we use – “one accord” – is actually the translation of a single Greek word:
Homothumadon hom-oth-oo-mad-on’ unanimously: – with one accord (mind). Complete agreement. Acting as one person. Being of one mind about a thing, or just having the state of being of one purpose.
How many of us want to see Heaven set loose in our lives? PUT YOUR HAND UP. How many of us want to see the gridlock of status quo and the dreariness of the “NO MOVING FORWARD” doldrums erased from our existence? How many of us are willing to agree together and push out the roadblocks which hold up our progress in Christ? And how many of us are ready to use the keys of the Kingdom to bind and to loose, to unlock heaven’s influence, and lock up the devil from his doing destructive, deceptive works?
We cannot take the matter of disconnection lightly. We cannot let it have any place in our lives. I must move towards others in love and affection, in demonstrating my willingness to choose the relationship. I must make the first move. I choose my relationships. I am here on purpose, and I am here with purpose.
I’m going to ask DJ to come up and play some music for us now.
So then, what do we do?
Who wants to join me in this quest for connectedness? Who wants to see the effectiveness of their prayer life accelerate this coming year? If you want this, if this is who are, and who you want to become even more, come up on here. We are going to prophesy over one another. Come on up –
OK, we are going to enter the spirit of prophecy right now deliberately. Paul said this:
For you can all prophesy one by one… (1 Corinthians 14:31)
This is not so hard! First, let’s prophesy over ourselves. Look up the verses on the screen and just start to speak these truths over yourself in a personal way. Put in the first person.
I am my Beloved’s, and He is mine; His banner over me is love. (Song of Songs)
“And He has made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:10)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
…you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Christ… (Colossians 3:9-10)
“As the Father loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Next, as you are led, begin prophesying over one another. You can use the verses, or whatever Holy Spirit gives you.
Did you know there is power in the prophetic utterance of His people, His beautiful, YOU? Did you know that you can speak blessing and transformation and course change into existence with words you speak?
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
Do you love life? Then let’s speak it!