Psalm 23 - Overcoming Lack
Jon Batsford (Sun, 17 Feb 2019)
Taking a break from our series on Joshua, Jon looked at Psalm 23.
Further notes and questions may follow in due course.
Believing God's Truth
Jon Batsford (Sun, 16 Sep 2018)
Jon spoke about beliving the truth that God speaks about and over us.
Unfortunately, the recording did not work this morning, so there is no audio available.
1. What area do you struggle to believe / receive what God has promised you?
2. Ask God to give you / help you find a bible promise that tells you what God has for you in this area.
3. Homework! Keep reminding yourself this week of that bible verse and use it to reject any lying thoughts in that area.
Letting Go Of The Past
Jon Batsford (Sun, 04 Feb 2018)
Jon spoke about letting go of the past and dealing with our disappointment with God when things don't turn out in the way we expected.
X. Ice breaker
• Turn to the person next to you
• make sure everyone has a partner
• no one gets left out
• and say to each other “God is especially fond of you!”
• During the week of prayer...
• ...Didn't do much praying btw...
• ...some i felt like God reminded
• I want to start by summarising this church's prophetic journey over last couple of years
• It will give context
B. Context - What has/is God saying to us?
• A prophecy given to the elders recently talked about dreaming again for the Peak District.
• Andy Davis “I see a picture of an empty warehouse it’s in bits and it’s being filled. It’s for a season, fill it for the big picture.”
• Don't think Andy knew our new building had been a warehouse
• Paul Basson in Nov 17: He had a dream (?) and he felt God give a warning to us: “Be careful not to get so busy that you miss the presence of God”. It’s the presence of God that will actually be the main attraction for people.
• A couple of years ago: Paul Basson said God was telling us
• Talked a lot about enlargement - encompassing a greater area
• Time to be faithful in some bigger things - cf new building
• He wants us to be like new wine skins that can stretch but that we can be tempted to resist that because:
• stretching can be painful,
• We are comfortable and want to stay that way
• bad experiences in the past
• We think too little of ourselves
• There will be weapons fashioned against us but they will not prosper.
• Will not be ashamed. GREAT NEWS! I love that verse that says 'no one who trusts in the Lord will ever be put to shame'
C. Context Summary
If I can summarise:
• its time to dream about what God wants to do in the Peak District
• Enlargement - work to grow His influence through us
• The new building is part of this but it’s a tool for a time NOT the focus
• Our focus is:
• The people of the Peaks who don’t know him
• Jon adds - as well as continuing to be a church family that looks out for each other
• Staying in his presence AND following him when he moves
• It will take effort, might well be painful for us at times and there will be weapons that come against us BUT THEY WILL NOT BEAT US.
D. This preach
• It's hard to start a new adventure when we have not recovered from the last one!
• Either because you're still in it
• Or because it left a mark on you eg blisters
What I want to tackle today is a couple of those weapons fashioned against us that I believe want to hold us back.
E. Previous Experience - letting go of the past
Experiences can get us down:
Example 1: Pupfish Limited - publishing inspired books for kids. Got confused / disillusioned
• To get disillusioned you have to have an illusion
• My experience in this and other situations has been that I feel like God has spoken about where we are going.
• I then take that info and plot a course in my head that is the quickest and easiest route
• The trouble is God didn't say what route we are going by and I then get disappointed, when things don't go the way I planned.
Example 2: Prayed for colleague - he got better, then worse. Over stepped my authority? Wasn't listening to God? Got too excited? Doesn't really matter for the purposes of this story but I got knocked back and "once bitten, twice shy"
prayer for healing didn’t go the way i expected. Got disappointed - had a go and failed,
Example 3: promises as yet unfulfilled
We have some promises God has made and confirmed but we haven’t seen them fulfilled yet - that can make you tired or weary
What can we do about the disappointment we feel:
1. well, One answer is just to not set out on the journey; "keep your head below the parapet"...
...trouble is eternity is set in our hearts and God loves it when we mix faith and action; in my experience, that is when I come alive.
2. We can let God deal with our disappointment
God can help us and heal us of our disappointment and we will come back to that in a minute.
Although it can seem a huge obstacle to us, please believe me that God is able to deal with issues that stand in our way.
But first I want to talk about tips that can help us avoid disappointment
So are there ways to walk and not get disappointed?
(i) Look at What Jesus is doing Rather than at what he is not doing
1. Read John the Baptist in prison
2 Now when John heard in prison about what the Messiah, Jesus, was doing, he sent word by his disciples
3 and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?"
4 And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see:
5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them
6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me." - Matthew 11:2-6
2. But John is in prison because he challenged Herod over his inappropriate relationship
3. he did everything right but was suffering => disappointment!
4. maybe confused about Jesus’ activity??
5. He KNEW Jesus was the Messiah
6. leapt in his mothers womb when she met pregnant Mary
7. saw the holy spirit at Jesus’ baptism
8. Jesus says - Look at what God is doing - don’t get offended because the path you are on is not what you expected
9. Lets keep trusting God and not get offended
(ii) The person with an experience is NOT at the mercy of a person with an argument.
1. Opposition can get us down…
2. …or we can hold our ground
the story of the blind man healed, his parents and the Pharisees:
6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud
7 and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. - John 9:6-7
people wonder if he is the same guy - he tells the story
Pharisees get involved - he tells the same story
15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. ‘He put mud on my eyes,’ the man replied, ‘and I washed, and now I see.16 Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.’
But others asked, ‘How can a sinner perform such signs?’ So they were divided.
17 Then they turned again to the blind man, ‘What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.’
The man replied, ‘He is a prophet.’
18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 ‘Is this your son?’ they asked. ‘Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?’
Parents involved but their afraid
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. ‘Give glory to God by telling the truth,’ they said. ‘We know this man is a sinner.’
25 He replied, ‘Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!’
26 Then they asked him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’
27 He answered, ‘I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?’
28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, ‘You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.’
30 The man answered, ‘Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.
34 To this they replied, ‘You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!’ And they threw him out.
He seems like a simple guy but his simple story and the fact that he keeps telling it like it is demolishes the Pharisees arguments. They lose it and kick off because their folly is exposed.
Any of us can do this. THERE IS POWER IN OUR TESTIMONY
(iii) Pearls before swine - be selective as led by the spirit of God
1. Jesus only did what he saw his father doing - there were times when he walked past sick and needy people and did nothing for them. Not because he lacked compassion but because the Father wasn't asking him to deal with that situation at that moment
2. Jesus said: ‘Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces
3. Do you feel mawled
4. Story of the beggar in Whitworth Park - (puts me in a good light but there are plenty of stories that don’t).
Large middle age man asking for coach fare to get back to another city. Made a beeline for me and asked if I was a Christian. Asked me for money but I felt a check in my spirit and said no. He asked if I would pray with him. I did pray with him and he got angry. Later found out that he had got money from loads of Christians day after day and even seemed to be able to know who was a Christian!! There was no coach to catch - it was a scam.
5. Point is we are not doormats or a slave to sort out every problem that crosses our path - there is freedom in Christ and he will not test us beyond what we can bear.
What worked in a previous situation may not work in this situation. Just be led by the spirit - it actually brings freedom because you do not have to work out what to do - we just have to listen to the Holy Spirit and do what he says
(iv) Wait on God - unresolved situations
Isaiah 40:27-31 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding.
29 He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound].
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted;
31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
Why do you say ‘my cause is disregarded by my God... GOD’S NOT A LIAR - IF HE MADE A PROMISE HE WILL KEEP IT
cf Simeon - he waited his whole life BUT then he saw Gods son as a baby - the salvation of the world!!
If you wait - you will soar on wings like eagles - not flap til you have no strength to stay airborne any longer
• Fantastic SOZO experience
• If you have messed up, confess it to God and get forgiven - RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, FOR FREE!!!
• Have you got:
• disappointed - even bitter
• hardened your heart towards God
• don’t like to get too close to Him?
• LETS GET IT CONFESSED AND COME BACK CLOSE TO YOUR LOVING FATHER
• Are you Once bitten, Twice shy?
• tried it once got hurt
• felt God let you down
• don’t understand why he didn’t back you up?
• TALK TO GOD ABOUT IT, COME TO THE FRONT AND LET US PRAY WITH YOU.
• HIS WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS BUT HE IS FAITHFUL
• Do you feel
• LETS GET BACK TO TRUSTING GOD, WAITING PATIENTLY FOR HIM
• THEN WE WILL BE LIFTED UP ON HOLY SPIRIT THERMALS…
• …NOT FLAPPING LIKE CRAZY TRYING TO STAY UP!
Qu. 1 - Who is God especially fond of?
[Note: there is only one correct answer - each person asked has to say "me & you"!]
Qu 2 - Look at the section called "So are there ways to walk and not get disappointed?". Do any of these seem like they will help you with an area where you feel disillusioned, disappointed, warn out or afraid to get involved in what God is going to do through this part of his church in Matlock? Tell each other the parts that might help you.
Qu. 3 - Waiting on God (Isaiah 40:27-31) really seems to be his plan for us to overcome issues that are too big for us. What promises in the bible that will encourage you to keep trusting God to come through for you?