Thursday, September 17, 2015

TRAVELING ON

They say all good things must come to an end, and so to this blog, though how "good" it has been is certainly a matter of interpretation.

 I can honestly say that it has been a fun few years and I have learned a lot. Thanks to the folks who stopped by here and shared thoughts and ideas. Perhaps one day GT will be revived, after all the whole thing was started quite unintentionally one evening sitting on my couch! The whole purpose of this page was to share thoughts and ideas that I came across, or perhaps had myself, to encourage others on their journey. I know that it has accomplished this, at least for me anyway. - The past posts will remain up just in case you want to peruse through. I could not bring myself to release the domain name, not yet anyway.

No matter who you are or where you are, remember that there is a living God and He loves you more than you could ever know or imagine, and He proved this when He sent Jesus to redeem us from our rebellion and its most deserved consequences. - Press on, seek Him. Search for Truth for all your worth and cling to it with everything you have. Live your life on purpose because eternity is closer than you think. I will never understand God's grace, but I hope that I will never stopped being amazed by it. May His Spirit give us who know Him the ability to die to ourselves and pass His grace on to those around us.

~ DM


GRACE...PASS IT ON

Monday, September 7, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from Jonathan Edwards

“Allowances, indeed, must be made for the natural temper, which conversion does not entirely eradicate: those sins which a man by his natural constitution was most inclined to before his conversion, he may be most apt to fall into still… Though grace … does not root out an evil natural [disposition], yet it is of great power and efficacy to correct it… The old man is put off, and the new man put on… Converting grace will make a great alteration in him, with respect to these evil dispositions; so that however he may be still most in danger of these sins, they shall no longer have dominion over him…”


Saturday, September 5, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from Rosaria Champagne Butterfield


"God does not leave us alone to fight the battle in shame and isolation. Instead, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the soul of each believer is “vivified.” “To vivicate” means to animate, or to give life to. Vivification complements mortification (to put to death), and by so doing, it allows us to see the wide angle of sanctification, which includes two aspects:

1) Deliverance from the desire of those choice sins, experienced when the grace of obedience gives us the “expulsive power of a new affection” (to quote Thomas Chalmers).

2) Humility over the fact that we daily need God’s constant flow of grace from heaven, and that no matter how sin tries to delude us, hiding our sin is never the answer. Indeed, the desire to be strong enough in ourselves, so that we can live independently of God, is the first sin, the essence of sin, and the mother of all sin."



      Rosaria Champagne Butterfield Photo


From the Article: The Dead End of Sexual Sin

Desiring God

Friday, September 4, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from Rutledge Etheridge

This is an excerpt taken from an article written by Rutledge Etheridge at Gentle Reformation in which he is discussing Jesus driving out the money changers from the Temple in John 2.


"For serious athletes, the expression “Not in our house!” is incendiary. Zeal to protect home court ignites a basketball team into impassioned play. Errors might be made in the game, but extra effort is expended to ensure that “nothing is left on the floor,” that at the end of the contest there will be no regrets due to anyone’s giving anything less than superlative effort in front of the home crowd. Should we Christians not have at least as much passion in our effort against sin, to expel by God’s grace the unauthorized occupants of his house? When we are tempted, and especially when we find ourselves delighting in that which our Savior means to overturn in our hearts, we must say with him: “Not in my Father’s house.”

In our day, Jesus uses his moral law to seek out and expose the illegitimate tenants we’ve allowed to reside in the temple of the Spirit (Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5, Matthew 5-7). As you read this entry, what are the tables in front of which you are standing as you see Christ closing in on them by way of his Word? For what sin’s sake are you resisting the inevitable, wonderful, freeing, cleansing work of the living Christ? To borrow and turn Abraham Kuyper’s famous phrasing, is there even a square inch of God’s temple about which you are saying: “This is mine!”?


....

As the Lord came on the scene that day in Jerusalem, surely it was not the first time he noticed the merchants in his Father’s house. That fact should remind us that the Lord is patient, and he is kind. But we must not interpret his patience as passivity in the face of our sin, much less abuse that patience by treating it as permission to sin. Let Jesus’ actions that day remind us in this day that he will act, out of zeal for the Temple, out of love for those who are his Father’s house."

     Rutledge Etheridge


Gentle Reformation



"May my teaching drop as the rain…
like gentle rain upon the tender grass"
 ~ Deuteronomy 32:2

Thursday, September 3, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from Matthew Henry

"Who can behold the holy Jesus, looking forward to the miseries that awaited his murderers, weeping over the city where his precious blood was about to be shed, without seeing that the likeness of God in the believer, consists much in good-will and compassion? Surely those cannot be right who take up any doctrines of truth, so as to be hardened towards their fellow-sinners. But let every one remember, that though Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he executed awful vengeance upon it. Though he delights not in the death of a sinner, yet he will surely bring to pass his awful threatenings on those who neglect his salvation. The Son of God did not weep vain and causeless tears, nor for a light matter, nor for himself. He knows the value of souls, the weight of guilt, and how low it will press and sink mankind. May he then come and cleanse our hearts by his Spirit, from all that defiles. May sinners, on every side, become attentive to the words of truth and salvation."



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from Jared Olivetti

"It’s become clear through my study that God cares about the unity of His church a lot more than I do. So, by God’s grace, here’s what I’m learning and doing.

I’m learning that there is no unity without sacrifice, especially the sacrifice of forgiveness. We are, all of us, sinners trying to do the hardest thing in the world: live heavenly lives on earth. This means a lot of toes are going to be stepped on and if I’m not prepared to forgive as I’ve been forgiven, unity will remain a pipe dream.

I’m learning that unity – both within our church family and between various church families – isn’t a back-burner issue for God and isn’t something we can expect to just happen. Ever since Martin Luther sounded the bell of Scripture reigning over the individual conscience (praise God!), we have almost constantly over-corrected and will continue to split Christ’s bride into a million pieces unless we work hard to reverse this sinful tendency.

God is also reminding me that unity isn’t so much a goal to be pursued as a reality to be lived out. The fact is that we are unified in Jesus Christ. The challenge before us is not to make unity (who among us could dream to repair such breaches?) but to live unity, relying on the strength and grace God provides in the gospel that unifies us."


~ Jared Olivetti


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from Paul Zahl

"What is grace? Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are the opposite of lovable." 




GRACE...pass it on



Read more of Paul's writing on grace in his work:


Monday, August 31, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from C. S. Lewis


“The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire. 

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. 

We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Sunday, August 30, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from John Calvin

A letter from John Calvin to five young Frenchmen about to be martyred in 1553 for carrying the gospel into France:


We who are here shall do our duty in praying that He would glorify Himself more and more by your constancy, and that He may, by the comfort of His Spirit, sweeten and endear all that is bitter to the flesh, and so absorb your spirits in Himself, that in contemplating that heavenly crown, you may be ready without regret to leave all that belongs to this world.

Now, at this present hour, necessity itself exhorts you more than ever to turn your whole mind heavenward. As yet, we know not what will be the event. But, since it appears as though God would use your blood to seal His truth, there is nothing better for you than to prepare yourselves for that end, beseeching Him so to subdue you to His good pleasure, that nothing may hinder you from following whithersoever He shall call. . . . Since it pleases Him to employ you to the death in maintaining His quarrel, He will strengthen your hands in the fight and will not suffer a single drop of your blood to be shed in vain.

Your humble brother, 

John Calvin





WORDS FOR TODAY, from Brennan Manning

The compassion of Jesus is the compassion of Almighty God, and Jesus says to your heart and mind, 'Don’t ever be so foolish as to measure my compassion for you in terms of your compassion for one another. Don’t ever be so silly as to compare your thin, pallid, wavering, moody, depending on smooth circumstances human compassion with mine, for I am God, as well as man.' When you read in the Gospels that Jesus was moved with compassion, it is saying that His gut was wrenched, His heart torn open, and the most vulnerable part of his being laid bare. The ground of all being shook, the source of all life trembled, the heart of all love burst open, and the unfathomable depths of the relentless tenderness was laid bare. 

Your Christian life and mine don’t make any sense unless in the depth of our beings we believe that Jesus not only knows what hurts us, but knowing, seeks us out whatever our poverty, whatever our pain. His plea to His people is, 'Come now, wounded, frightened, angry, lonely, empty, and I’ll meet you where you live. And I’ll love you as you are, not as you should be, because you’re never going to be as you should be.' Do you really believe this? With all the wrong turns you made in your past... the mistakes, the moments of selfishness, dishonesty and degraded love? Do you really believe that Jesus Christ loves you? Not the Person next to you, not the church, not the world. But that He loves you—beyond worthiness and unworthiness, beyond fidelity and infidelity. That he loves you in the morning sun and in the evening rain. Without caution, regret, boundary, limit. No matter what’s gone down, He can’t stop loving you. 

This is the Jesus of the Gospels.



Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Logic of Fearlessness

Paul told the Philippians that living worthy of the gospel of Christ meant fearlessness before enemies.

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ . . . not frightened in anything by your opponents (Philippians 1:27-28).

Then he gave the logic of fearlessness.

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake (Philippians 1:29).

The logic is this:

God has given you two gifts, not just one: Faith and suffering. That’s what verse 29 says.

In this context that means: Both your faith in the face of suffering, and your suffering are gifts of God. When Paul says, don’t be frightened by your opponents he had two reasons in his mind why they don’t need to be frightened:

1. One reason is that the opponents are in the hand of God. Their opposition is a gift from God. He governs it. That’s the first point of verse 29.

2. And the other reason not to be afraid is that your fearlessness, that is, your faith, is also in the hand of God. It too is a gift. That is the other point of verse 29.

So the logic of fearlessness in the face of adversity is this double truth: Both your adversity and your faith in the face of adversity are gifts of God.

Why is this called “living worthy of the gospel of Christ” (v. 27)? Because the gospel is the good news that Christ’s blood of the covenant infallibly obtained for all his people the sovereign working of God to give us faith and to govern our enemies — always for our eternal good.

Therefore, fear not. Your adversaries can do no more than God grants. And he will grant you the faith you need. These promises are blood bought and sealed. Gospel promises.


This concludes "15 Days in the Word with John Piper"! We hope you've found it helpful and inspiring. For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.


15 Days in the Word with John Piper


Friday, August 28, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from John Newton

"Whoever is truly humbled - will not be easily angry, nor harsh or critical of others. He will be compassionate and tender to the infirmities of his fellow-sinners, knowing that if there is a difference - it is grace alone which has made it! He knows that he has the seeds of every evil in his own heart. And under trials and afflictions - he will look to the hand of The Lord, and lay his mouth in the dust, acknowledging that he suffers much less than his iniquities have deserved."



Thursday, August 27, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from Will Metzger

The content of our message is Christ and God, not our journey to faith. Our personal testimony may be included, but witnessing is more than reciting our spiritual autobiography. Specific truths about a specific person are the subject of our proclamation. A message has been committed to us–a word of reconciliation to the world (2 Cor 5:19).

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What Does It Mean to Serve God?

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). What does that mean?
  • It means to do what he says in a way that makes him look supremely valuable in himself.
  • It means to submit to him in a way that makes him look thrilling.
There are ways to submit to God that only make him look threatening, not thrilling. There are ways to do what he says that only call attention to the fact that he is an authority not a treasure.

That kind of service is not the service God commands.

What’s the difference?

The difference is that God has told us not to serve him as though he needed anything.

He is not served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25).

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Both these texts put all the emphasis on God’s giving to us when we serve.

So the kind of service that makes God look valuable and thrilling is the kind that serves God by constantly receiving from God. The key text to describe this is 1 Peter 4:11

“Whoever serves, [let it be] as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”

God is seen as glorious when all our serving is moment-by-moment receiving from God’s supply.

We receive this supply by faith. That is, we trust moment-by-moment that what we need, in serving him, he will supply (“life, breath, and everything”). This is the opposite of being anxious. Such serving is happy. And it makes God look no less authoritative, but infinitely more desirable. This is the glory he means to have. The giver gets the glory.

Therefore, “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).

For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org


This is from Day 14 of a reading plan titled: 
 15 Days in the Word with John Piper 
To sign up to receive the entire devotional by email click HERE.




15 Days in the Word with John Piper

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from D.A. Carson

Some studies have shown that Christians spend about five times more mission dollars on issues related to poverty than they do on evangelism and church planting. At one time, “holistic ministry” was an expression intended to move Christians beyond proclamation to include deeds of mercy. Increasingly, however, “holistic ministry” refers to deeds of mercy without any proclamation of the gospel—and that is not holistic. It is not even halfistic, since the deeds of mercy are not the gospel: they are entailments of the gospel. Although I know many Christians who happily combine fidelity to the gospel, evangelism, church planting, and energetic service to the needy, and although I know some who call themselves Christians who formally espouse the gospel but who live out few of its entailments, I also know Christians who, in the name of a “holistic” gospel, focus all their energy on presence, wells in the Sahel, fighting disease, and distributing food to the poor, but who never, or only very rarely, articulate the gospel, preach the gospel, announce the gospel, to anyone. Judging by the distribution of American mission dollars, the biggest hole in our gospel is the gospel itself.


Monday, August 24, 2015

6 Aspects of Humility

If humility is not compliance with relativism and is not sophomoric skepticism, what is it? This is important, since the Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5), and “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). God has told us at least six things about humility.

1. Humility begins with a sense of subordination to God in Christ.

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. (Matthew 10:24)

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. (1 Peter 5:6)

2. Humility does not feel a right to better treatment than Jesus got.

If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household! (Matthew 10:25)

Therefore humility does not return evil for evil. It is not life based on its perceived rights.

Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps; . . . while suffering, He uttered no threats, but handed [his cause] over to Him who judges righteously. (1 Peter 2:21-23)

3. Humility asserts truth not to bolster ego with control or with triumphs in debate, but as service to Christ and love to the adversary.

Love rejoices in the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

What I [Jesus] tell you in the darkness, speak in the light. . . . Do not fear. (Matthew 10:27-28)

We do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. (2 Corinthians 4:5)

4. Humility knows it is dependent on grace for all knowing and believing.

What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7)

In humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

5. Humility knows it is fallible, and so considers criticism and learns from it; but also knows that God has made provision for human conviction and that he calls us to persuade others.

We see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

A wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)

Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men. (2 Corinthians 5:11)

6. Humility is to believe in the heart and confess with the lips that our life is like a vapor, and that God decides when we die, and that God governs all our accomplishments.

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16)

For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.


This is from Day 12 of a reading plan titled: 
 15 Days in the Word with John Piper 
To sign up to receive the entire devotional by email click HERE.




15 Days in the Word with John Piper

Thursday, August 20, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from John MacArthur

I can’t ever say to someone, “Well now, boy, I know you’re saved and don’t you ever doubt it and don’t you ever ask again.  It’s all settled and it’s done because you said the little formula.  If I do that I give them a psychological assurance of something I don’t even know is true.  When Jesus said, “The seed of the word is cast on four soils,” only one out of four turned out to be true. 
Don’t go around certifying people’s salvation.  You give them a false assurance.  Let God give them assurance through His Spirit witnessing with their spirits that they are the children of God and crying Abba Father.  Let God give them assurance when they add to their faith virtue.  And as they add to their faith virtue and patience and godliness and love, then shall their election be sure, then shall they know they’ve been forgiven of their sin, then shall they not be blind to the reality of salvation.  That’s God’s work not some certification by some human being.  But I think a lot of people have been told they’re saved so they believe it.
Another thing that I think lulls people into this deception is a failure of self-examination; they never really examine themselves.  They get into such a grace concept, that everything is grace and everything is forgiveness that they never really bother to face their sin.  They hear somebody say, “Well, you don’t have to confess your sin; your sin’s already forgiven.  It’s all taken care of.  Everything is set aside.  Don’t even worry about that; just go on live your life.  It almost borders on what is called antinomianism or an attitude against the law of God, and people can get to the place where they don’t even bother to examine their lives. 
Why do you think the Lord brings us to His table, in First Corinthians 11, over and over and over and over again?  In order that a man may examine himself.  Second Corinthians 13:5 says, “You better examine yourself, whether you be in the faith.”  If you don’t you’re in danger of self-deception.  You need to look at your sin; you need to look at your motives. 
Why do you do what you do?  And believe me, if you’re really genuinely saved God will confirm that, by His Spirit witnessing with your spirit.  But if that confirmation isn’t there you shouldn’t be under the illusion that just because it isn’t there you’re okay, by some certification by somebody or some little prayer you prayed.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

WORDS FOR TODAY, from John G. Paton

John G. Paton was born near Dumfries, Scotland, on the 24th of May, 1824. He sailed for the New Hebrides (via Australia) with his wife Mary on April 16, 1858, at the age of 33. They reached their appointed island of Tanna on November 5, and in March the next year both his wife and his newborn son died of the fever. He served alone on the island for the next four years under incredible circumstances of constant danger until he was driven off the island in February, 1862.

For the next four years he did extraordinarily effective mobilization work for the Presbyterian mission to the New Hebrides, travelling around Australia and Great Britain. He married again in 1864, and took his wife, Margaret, back this time to the smaller island of Aniwa ("It measures scarcely seven miles by two,"). - The natives were cannibals and occasionally ate the flesh of their defeated foes. They practiced infanticide and widow sacrifice, killing the widows of deceased men so that they could serve their husbands in the next world.

Prior to departing on this missionary journey Patton recieved criticism from one of his churches elders, "The cannibals! You will be eaten by cannibals!" The memory of martyred missionaries Williams and Harris on Erromanga was only 19 years old. 

But to this Paton responded:


Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my Resurrection body will rise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.



Taken from: 

~ by  John Piper

Full 1408571175

Download the free eBook based on this biographical sketch of John Paton.


For more on John Patton
click HERE
   


Friday, August 7, 2015

Salt Suffering and Satisfaction

Try this interpretation of what it means for Christians to be salt.

I suggest that being salty as a Christian means at root being so profoundly satisfied by Christ as our eternal reward, we are freed from fear and greed for the sacrifices of love, while rejoicing at persecution.

Let’s see if that works in three texts.

Read Matthew 5:11-13.

The immediate context of “You are the salt of the earth” is “Blessed are you when you are persecuted . . . Rejoice and be glad . . . because your reward is great in heaven.” When someone lives like this, it is so utterly unnatural and amazing and wonderful, it tastes really good. Joyful suffering for the sake of Christ is startling, spectacular, salty.

Read Mark 9:47–50.

Jesus moves from the fire of hell to saying “Everyone will be salted with fire.” I take that to mean, everyone will encounter fires of trouble and pain in life, and this experience can make you salty. It salts you. In other words, close calls with eternity, where you can smell the flames of hell and the scents of paradise can fill you with an amazing dissatisfaction with this world and a profound satisfaction in Christ as your eternal reward.

Verse 50a says this is good, and if you lose it, you may never get it back. Then verse 50b says, “Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with each other.” Few things make for greater peace than freedom from the need for this world’s affirmation and rewards. Such people don’t return evil for evil. They rejoice when reviled. They are peacemakers. And that freedom for love comes from the salt of satisfaction in the reward of Jesus now and in the age to come.

Read Colossians 4:6.

The question here is: How does being seasoned with salt help us “know how to answer each person”? How does being salty make you more discerning? Answer: If we are deeply satisfied with Jesus as our reward, and freed from the cravings for approval and for reward on earth, then our faculties of discernment about what is loving, will be less clouded with selfish distortions. We will “know” more readily what love calls for, because we will be more ready to love.


Conclusion

This is my suggestion: to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world means that at root Christians are so profoundly satisfied by Christ as our eternal reward, we are freed from fear and greed for the sacrifices of love, and are able to rejoice at persecution. When the world sees this, they see the glory of Christ and taste the satisfying pleasure of who he is.


For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org


This is from Day 11 of a reading plan titled: 
 15 Days in the Word with John Piper 
To sign up to receive the entire devotional by email click HERE.




15 Days in the Word with John Piper



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Call To Anguish by David Wilkerson





Am I in a place of anguish? Are you?






A Call to Anguish (by David Wilkerson, 9/15/2002)

Would you open your Bibles to the first chapter of Nehemiah please? Please just leave that open on your lap. We’ll get to it in the course of my message.

I would have a hard time preaching this if I believe my own flesh telling me that I preached too much of a heavy message. There have been times I’ve been to the Lord and asked him can’t you give me a happy message? But I can’t. Now God may be speaking to me. This may not be for you. But it’s a call to anguish. Lord, if you don’t help me I can’t get through this. I can’t. Lord I’m too old for games. Foolishness. And I’m tired of rhetoric, meaningless rhetoric. It never changes things. Lord, just help me.

Folks, I’m tired of hearing about revival. I’m tired of hearing about awakenings, of Last Day outpourings of the Holy Spirit. I’ve heard that rhetoric for 50 years. Just rhetoric. No meaning whatsoever. I’m tired of hearing about people in the church who say they want their unsaved loved ones saved. I’m tired of hearing people say I’m concerned about my troubled marriage, when it’s just talk, rhetoric. I don’t want to hear any more talk about how immoral America has become, how godless our society, how corrupt our business. I’m tired of hearing about Islam taking control and Christians losing power. And how dead the church has become, because that too is rhetoric, meaningless. Away with all of our how-to conferences because they accomplish nothing. How to cope, how to build a bigger church, how to reach the lost, how to improve your people skills, and how to impact the world in this computer time. I look at the whole religious scene today and all I see are the inventions of ministries of man and flesh. It’s mostly powerless. It has no impact on the world. And I see more of the world coming into the church and impacting the church rather than the church impacting the world. I see the music taking over the house of God. I see entertainment taking over the house of God ... an obsession with entertainment in God’s house, a hatred of correction, and a hatred of reproof. Nobody wants to hear it anymore.

Tell me now how many churches have you visited recently when you walk in the Holy Ghost is so strong that every one of your sins are brought up before your face, and the loving grace of God. When was the last time you’ve been to a church where you’ve seen young people under such conviction because the people of God have been on their face? And there’s such a concern, and there’s such an agony, that young people are falling on their faces and calling on God because a spirit of conviction is called down from heaven upon them. How many churches have you been lately where you hear a word comes forth that’s so burns in your soul, you know it comes from heaven, you know it comes from the heart of God. I hope you hear it here. Whatever happened to anguish in the house of God? Whatever happened to anguish in the ministry? It’s a word you don’t hear in this pampered age. You don’t hear it. Anguish means extreme pain and distress. The emotions so stirred that it becomes painful, acute deeply felt inner pain, because of conditions about you, in you, or around you. Anguish, deep pain, deep sorrow, and agony of God’s heart. We’ve held on to our religious rhetoric, and our revival talk, but we’ve become so passive, our so-called awakenings are stirrings that last but a short time. And when the short-lived revivings and awakenings come from the hand of God, they are so short lived, and in those times we promise God we’ll never return to our passivity. But it’s not long, it’s just weeks or months and we’re back, and this time we slip further back into passivity than when we started. I speak from experience. And we say this time God you’ve touched me for life, I’ll never be the same. And it’s like fireworks, a loud bang and a lot of noise and then it dies.

All true passion is born out of anguish. All true passion for Christ comes out of a baptism of anguish. You search the scripture and you’ll find that when God determined to recover a ruined situation, he would seek out a praying man, and he’d take him down into the waters of anguish. He would share his own anguish for what God saw happening to his church and to his people, and he would find a praying man, and he would take that man and literally baptize him in anguish. You find it in the book of Nehemiah. Jerusalem is in ruins. This is the center of God’s interests on earth at the time, his holy city is wasted and it’s full of iniquity and mixed marriages with the heathen. They were enslaving their own people making slaves out of the poor. The house of God was polluted with filth. The high priest was in league with Tobiah, a heathen, reprobate. How is God going to deal with this? How is God going to restore the ruin? How does he do it? What does he do?

You see we face a similar situation except ours is many times worse. The time when men, according to the prophecy of Jesus wax worse and worse and that is happening. The church that’s defiled with pedophilia, child molestation, incest, adultery. A nation in a moral landslide that’s inundated with pornographic filth that the whole world blushes at. And now out of Con film festival according to the New York Times there’s a new movie about that hit the shores of the United States with 13 14 year old kids having unspeakable kinds of sex with adults. And they said at the Con film festival we’ve not only pushed the envelope, we’ve gone over the edge. And America is now ripe for it. The ruin and moral chaos is corrupting the house of God also. How else do you explain that multiplied numbers of Christians go home and watch HBO, a program I’ve never seen I don’t have television, but I read about it in the newspaper today in the New York Times called the Sopranos? This is a mafia bunch that kill and murder and maim, gratuitous sex, cheating, lying, mafia. And we have millions of Christians now in the United States getting together and talking about the next show and they’re addicted to it. Some of you hearing me now, that’s your favorite show. No laughing. This is life and death. Did you come here tonight, did you raise your hands and sing and shout and have a good time, and you know you’ve been watching this filth?

Now I believe in the love of God. I’ve preached mercy and grace and covenant love. And I believe in preaching the goodness and longsuffering of Christ. But multitudes today are being saturated with “you’re ok” messages. And we’ve got people now that are turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. We’ve become like the children of Israel who said the right words, but here’s what God said: I’ve heard the words of this people. They have well said all that they have spoken. Oh that there was such a heart in them that they would fear me and keep my commandments always that it might be well with them and with their children forever (Deu 5:29). You have the right words. You sing the right songs, but your heart is not right.

Nehemiah verses 1 through 3.
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, (Neh 1:1 KJV)
That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. (Neh 1:2 KJV)
And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. (Neh 1:3 KJV)
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, (Neh 1:4 KJV)


Here was the word. Here was a delegation from the ruined city of Jerusalem coming to Nehemiah. It said Jerusalem is broken down, the walls are down. There’s nothing but ruin. Now these I’m sure were godly men. These were good men but they had no concept of how God was going to deal with the situation, how he was going to bring about a recovery. They had no concept of what God was going to do. All they could see was ruin and brokenness and despair, and hopelessness. Verse 4 when I heard the words I sat down and wept and mourned certain days and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. You see God found a praying man and he takes him down in the waters of baptism of anguish. This man goes down into anguish.

And in verse 6, I pray before thee now, day and night, confessing the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee, both I and my father have sinned. Nehemiah was not a preacher. He was a career man. He was the king’s cup bearer. He was in comfort. He was in royalty. He had it made, so to speak. But this was a praying man. And God found a man who would not just have a flash of emotion, not just some great sudden burst of concern and then let it die. He said no. I broke down and I wept and I mourned and I fasted, and then I began to pray night and day. When I heard I wept. Why didn’t his brother, Hanani, why didn’t these other men, who apparently were godly men because later Hanani was given the rule of the city (Neh 7:2). Why didn’t they have an answer. Why didn’t God use them in restoration? Why didn’t they have a word? Because there was no sign of anguish. No weeping, not a word of prayer. It’s all ruin. That’s all they could see.

Does it matter to you today that God’s spiritual Jerusalem, the church, is now married to the world? That there’s such a coldness sweeping the land, so many people I know that were my friends and I see them go one by one, husbands and wives into such passivity, going to churches where they can find smooth messages, no longer wanting to hear anything of wrath or of correction. Some of my closest friends, I see them falling by the wayside. Is it nothing to you? Closer than that, does it matter about the Jerusalem that’s in our own hearts? The sign of ruin that’s slowly draining spiritual power and passion, blind to lukewarmness. Blind to the mixture that’s creeping in. You see when spiritual blindness comes very few recognize it, it’s the last recognized thing that happens to a child of God. If I as a pastor knew you personally and I was watching your life, and as one of the pastors of this church I come to you and say I love you but I have to tell you the truth. You’re changing. You know what you were. Something of the world has gotten your heart. I don’t know if it’s television. I don’t know what it is that has your heart, but I see changes in you. I don’t see the brokenness. I don’t see the compassion you had once for your family. I don’t see concern for your unsaved loved ones. You’re changing, little by little something’s happening to you. Would it bring you to your knees? When the ruin that you are not even aware of is suddenly brought before your eyes? And to tell you the truth I thank God for the anointing and the singing tonight. I thank God for the praises that came from so many sanctified hearts living in covenant with the Lord. But the truth of the matter is. In all honesty, there are numbers among us are changing, and they don’t know it. You’ve lost your fight. When you read the book of Joshua it’s almost a book of failure because they lost their heart, they lost their fight. That’s all the devil wants to do is get the fight out of you, and kill it, so you won’t labor in prayer anymore. You won’t weep before God any more. You can sit and watch television and your family go to hell.

Let me ask you. Has what I just said convicted you at all? Did you just let that go in one ear and out the other? When a pastor tells you, you’re changing, little by little you’re losing the love of God. Little by little these things are making inroads. Folks why do you think your pastors cry out against television? Do you think we get any pleasure out of the flesh. There’s no pleasure in somebody coming and saying I’ve heard your message and I threw away my television. That doesn’t give me any pleasure. It doesn’t give any pastor pleasure. We have to give an account because we watch for your soul. These things I don’t know where it is on the job, these things that creep in, and suddenly this Jerusalem the walls go down, and ruin sets in. Does it really matter to you that your unsaved loved ones are dying and getting closer and closer to the end? Does it really concern you? They could die and go to hell, even though you’re a lover of Christ? Where’s the anguish? Where are the tears? Where’s the mourning? Where is the fasting? Now many of you fast, many of you pray, broken before the Lord. I’m talking about the body of Jesus Christ in general. Where’s the getting up in the middle of the night. You see he said night and day I began to pray. Where’s the confessing of your sins and of confessing your children’s sins before the Lord, or your mate’s sins before the God because this is exactly what Nehemiah does he confesses his sins and the sins of all the people. And then he says “we” have sinned. I have sinned. And then he said we have sinned. When Nehemiah heard of the ruin and destruction he never asked “why?” Why can a holy just God allow his city to go to ruin? Why were so many dispersed? Why were so many killed and murdered? He didn’t ask the question that we’re asking in America today, why did God allow the towers to fall and over 2000 people died in the crash. How could a loving God … folks I share with pastor Carter said today the holy anger that arises in my heart when I hear preachers on television or radio or hear that they’ve said on television “Oh God had nothing to do with it”. God had nothing to do with it? “Don’t put it on God”.

Why don’t you go to Daniel 9. And I want to once and for all tell you that this was God allowing America to be wakened. God didn’t do it. He didn’t stop the plans of the enemy because he had a greater purpose, because it was love for America that was about to slip into everlasting hell. I’m going to lower my voice so you won’t think I’m angry. From verse 5:

We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly,

Can you say that about America?

and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: (Dan 9:5 KJV)

Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. (Dan 9:6 KJV)
In other words the government has been warned by righteous men.

O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. (Dan 9:7 KJV)

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. (Dan 9:8 KJV)


Why? because we have sinned against thee.

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; (Dan 9:9 KJV)

Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. (Dan 9:10 KJV)

Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the Law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. (Dan 9:11 KJV)

And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. (Dan 9:12 KJV)


Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. (Dan 9:14 KJV)

Now let me get back to my message. There ‘s a great difference between anguish and concern. God’s been dealing with me about this. Concern is something that you take an interest in, a project, or a cause, or concern, or a need, something that gets ahold of your attention and usually it comes through some emotional stimulus. You can hear like what you heard last Sunday from South Africa and all of the hundreds of thousands dying with aids and you can hear what we heard from sister Hulda this afternoon of the thousands upon thousands of children dying in Calcutta, India, and get all stirred up about it. You can get emotional and you get very concerned. But folks there’s a difference between concern and anguish. Cause you see you can tie yourself to a cause, you can get excited about it, or some project you can talk it up. You’ll go public with it, you can advertise it, you can support it, organize it, put a lot of effort into it. Let me tell you something I’ve learned over all my years 50 years of preaching, if it is not born in anguish, if it has not been born by the Holy Spirit, where what you saw and heard of the ruin that drove you to your knees took you down into a baptism of anguish where you began to pray and seek God.

Folks this church was born in anguish, 6 months of anguish, tears. A little country town in PA where a pastor of a small church cried out “Oh God I’m dry and I’m empty and there’s more to it than this, and if this is all the Holy Ghost is I don’t want it”. It was such a desperation. Weeks and weeks of calling on the name of the Lord, confessing my own deadness and dryness. Then finally coming for street rallies here in the city and walking the streets and then wind up on 42nd street and see them selling a kind of heroin that would kill you saying “I’ve got the good stuff it’ll kill you”. And I remember breaking down and it didn’t matter the crowds going by I sat on a fire hydrant type … on the side of building and wept. And I was in anguish. I was in anguish 4 blocks from here on Broadway, weeping and crying and wailing. I wasn’t looking for a ministry. I wasn’t looking to build a church. I was feeling God’s pain for a lost city. The same agony I felt years before when he started Teen Challenge. And I’ve never had anything that’s been any worth to God in my 50 years that wasn’t born in agony. Never. Never. It’s all been flesh otherwise. And folks I’ve been around the world again and listened to the cry of pastors dead and empty, some treating their wives like animals. And here I haven’t prayed in months. I haven’t prayed in 6 months. And I know that sermons won’t do it. I know that a new revelation won’t do it, covenant won’t do it. I know now, oh my God do I know it. Until I’m in agony. Until I have been anguished over it, I’m preaching sermons. Then I said no it’s too late I don’t have that much time. And all our projects, all our ministries, everything we do. Where are the Sunday school teachers that weep over kids they know are not hearing and are going to hell. Everywhere I go somebody’s got a project, somebody’s got a plan or a dream. That’s all it is, just an idea. They didn’t come to me from a broken heart. They didn’t come to me after hours of fasting and praying and mourning, not a broken heart. It’s just an idea. I’m sick of it.

You see a true prayer life begins at the place of anguish, a place where lifetime decisions are made. If you set your heart to pray God is going to come and start sharing his heart with you. He’s going to open up his heart. And I’ll tell you there’s pain in his heart. What he sees … and so few to hear. He’s going to show you the condition of his church. He’s going to show you the condition of your own heart, and he‘s going to ask you a question, “What is it to you?” And that anguished servant has to make a decision. And everyone hearing me now you’re going to have to make this decision. I have to make it. You either get up from your anguished place, you walk out of the baptism waters of anguish, and you say I can’t handle this. I can barely make it as it is. I don’t want it. God I have enough. I just want to be an ordinary Christian and I don’t want to carry this kind of a burden. I don’t want to have to weep over my family anymore Lord, I want to just take it by faith. See you have to make a decision. He’s going to come and he’s going to say now if you’re going to bear my burden, if you’re going to be an instrument of restoration, if you are expecting somebody else to be an instrument to win your family, to do this work, you’re mistaken. I’ve burdened your heart. I’ve given you my heart and I’ve opened up my anguish to you and I’m letting you feel it and share it so that it will bring you to your knees because it is there that I’ll speak to you the word of direction and that’s what happened to Nehemiah. He came eventually out of the waters of anguish with a clear word nobody could reject. He brought the city and nation to its knees. You find that in Nehemiah chapter 8. You see you either walk away and go back to your passivity, you say I’m just going to be an ordinary Christian, and there’s no such thing.

Or your heart begins to cry out Oh God your name is being blasphemed. The Holy Spirit’s being mocked. The enemy is out trying to destroy the testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness and something has to be done. It can’t go unchallenged. Let’s go back to these words. When I heard that Jerusalem was broken down. You see if he believed this theory that the need represents the call, you know what he would have done? He would have said gentlemen if you’ll just wait I’ll pack my bags. Just give me a day or two. This is the kind of challenge that’s my meat. I love it. Let’s roll. Let’s do it. No anguish. No fasting. No prayer no brokenness. Let’s just do it. Nothing would have been done. The walls would have never been rebuilt. Anything you try to do without this baptism of anguish is going to falter and fall. It’s not going to work.

Here’s what a sister wrote to me this past week. She said Brother Dave I’m so hungry for the Lord. I’m so tired of how to meetings. It’s all spiritual fluff. I was told of a woman’s conference that was going to be a great spiritual experience so I went with a group of sisters, there were 15000 women. I was horrified the first night when they opened the conference with a comedy sketch. It went from bad to worse. We were hoodwinked by the leaders. There was not a single prayer, not one mention of prayer. It was a farce. And I’m as empty as I’ve ever been.

The prophet Amos cried out with such woe to them that are at ease in Zion eating, chanting their music, but they’re not grieved for the affliction of Joseph (Amo 6:6). And in the original Hebrew root word they are not agonizing in prayer over the ruins of joseph. They’re not agonizing. They’re not in anguish about the conditions. Comedy yes, happy singing yes, eating, fellowship, good time yes. Weeping anguish praying fasting, no, no no. They will not have it. Folks I’m going to tell you something. Out of this baptism of anguish comes a marvelous thing that happens to those willing to submit to it. It’s the instant prompt knowing of God’s voice. Instant. Now see if you don’t have a history of prayer, if you don’t have this willingness to share God’s heart. You get it by asking him for it. He said I’ll give. I’m more willing to give than you are to receive. This is something you ask oh God I want to step out now; I want to know your heart. And when you begin to seek his face, you allow him to melt and break you. You come into this communion with the Lord; out of that experience … you see God hasn’t called us to live in anguish. This is the womb of something God is stirring, God wanting to accomplish in bringing out of ruin restoration, in your family, whatever it may be. He brings you down into this baptism. Now just like the baptism of waters you come up, you come out, but you’ll come out with this instant knowing of God’s voice. Because you see Nehemiah, he’d been fasting, he’d been praying, he’d been mourning, it left a mark on his countenance, and the king noticed it. He was his cup bearer. And one day he brings the wine to the king and the king says, why are you so down, why your countenance? Nehemiah didn’t have time to go and muse in his heart to the Lord. He didn’t have time to say give me 3 days to fast and pray. No he had to have an instant word. Nehemiah said I was very sore afraid so I prayed to the God of heaven and I said to the king. In other words, instant prayer, instant direction. Knowing God’s voice. There are times you’re not going to know what to do. You have no time to run to the closet. You have to hear his voice, “This is the way, walk in it”. Instant. That is a glorious result of the baptism of anguish.

The servant who willingly takes on the mantle of God’s pain is the only servant who has the authority and the right to hold God to his covenant promises. We preach covenant here, but only those who’ve known his heart, and in those times have allowed God to bring healing, has allowed God to go down deep in the soul and say Oh God I can’t do this my own, but I’m not going to let my kids go to hell. I’m not going to let my husband, my wife, oh God I’m not going to live in this death, I’m not going to live in this lukewarmness and this coldness anymore. God, change me. And when you get desperate before God you’ve set your heart to seek him, then you can hold God to his covenant promises. Look at Nehemiah 1:8,9

Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: (Neh 1:8 KJV)

Now he holds God to this covenant:

But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. (Neh 1:9 KJV)

He calls on the covenant made to Moses. He says here’s what you promised God. And folks when you allow God to lead you into this place beyond concern, beyond just fleeting emotion. You say God I’m going to set my heart, then you have every right to hold God to every one of his covenant promises. You see, and I’m going to close in just a minute. We have a nation and churches today full of diagnostic experts. Just about anybody can tell you what’s wrong with the church. And now they’re coming out with statistics and polls. They can tell you how many heathen there are in China. They can give you polls and charts … but not the slightest idea. They have all these how to books. You won’t hear one word about anguish, tears, and brokenness.

In my closing thoughts I want to ask you why did Nehemiah of all God-fearing men that were left in Israel. Why did God share his anguished heart with Nehemiah? Because he was a man of prayer, he was already in prayer. Now I want to tell you something. I believe in destiny. I believe that God chooses men. But God can choose a man and he can abort it just like that. Nehemiah could have said, Look, I have more influence right here. I have the ear of the king. I need to stay right here. And God I’m sure has, I’ll agree with you that God will raise up somebody. No, he said, “Oh God, this is my burden, open your heart to me”. I know now, it’s going to take more than preaching, more than a new revelation. There’s going to be no renewal, no revival, no awakening, until we’re willing to let him once again break us. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s something that’s coming. The other pastors have shared with you what they feel about some very very troubling difficult times just ahead, and it comes not only from the pulpit, it comes from politicians, it comes from all over the world. But I have to tell you that God’s calling me personally to a baptism of anguish. I don’t know what it’s all about right now. But I told God, I will not … I’m supposed to go on pastor’s conferences in May in Scotland and wales and Ireland. Then to Minsk and all over the world. I’m only going out two or three times a year. I say God I’m not going any more. I won’t take another meeting until I know your anguish for pastors. I can’t go just because there’s a need. I can’t go just because I’m wanted and accepted.

When I preach sometimes like this everything gets so quiet and I get to feeling … Lord I want to make people happy. Folks it’s getting late, and it’s getting serious. Please don’t tell me you’re concerned. Don’t tell me that you want your unsaved loved ones saved when you’re spending hours in front of internet or television. Come on.

I don’t know how to end this. Lord help me. I have a sense that this may not be for the whole congregation, that he’s speaking to some very deeply. If he’s speaking to your heart like he’s speaking to mine. Maybe you don’t need prayer along this line but I beg you, I plead with you, I need prayer. Lord I just have to pray I don’t know what else to do. I just … I’ve preached what you’ve put on my heart, and I don’t know how to end it. You end it, you do what you want to do, Lord. You speak to us. Lord there’s some that need to get to this altar and confess “I am not what I was. I’m not where I’m supposed to be. God I don’t have your heart or your burden. I’ve been wanting it easy. I just want to be happy”. But Lord true joy comes out of anguish. That’s where the joy is when we see the results of our laying hold of your heart and then you give us direction and then we see the results that are lasting. We see a whole city come to repentance and then Nehemiah stands up and says now’s the time to rejoice, let the joy of the Lord be your strength. But that joy came out of seeing the victory that came out of the anguish. Oh God. I’m not chastising this church. I’m not trying to bring woe on anybody, but oh God, if you do it for anybody, do it for me. I want my heart broken again. Lord I want you to take me into your heart and I want to feel the hurts and the needs of this people too, so that when I stand in this pulpit I preach your mind and your heart.

Will you stand? Nehemiah the 8th chapter,

They read in the book of the law of God distinctly and gave the sense and caused them to understand the reading. And the people said, they all said amen and lifted up their hands they bowed their heads they worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Now folks this is the result of this baptism of anguish. Now God’s dealing with all the families of Israel, he’s dealing with the princes the leaders. Ezra and Nehemiah have now gathered the people. Ezra opened the book in the sight of the people. When he opened it all the people stood up. They read the book of God distinctly gave the sense and caused them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah and Ezra the priest the scribe, and Levites that taught the people said unto all the people “This day is holy unto the Lord your God, mourn not, weep not, for all the people wept when they heard the words of the Lord. He said to them go your way eat the fat drink the sweet, send a portion, for this day is holy unto the Lord, neither be sorry for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh 8:10). That’s the result of taking on the heart of God. The ultimate joy of seeing God fulfill his word in his covenant promises in your life. There’s nothing of the flesh will give you joy. I don’t care how much money. I don’t care what kind of new house. There is absolutely nothing physical can give you joy. It’s only what is accomplished by the Holy Spirit when you obey him and take on his heart. He gives you the knowing of his voice, that instant knowledge. God saying, “This is the way walk in it” (Isa 30:21). And then the wonderful joy of seeing God answer your prayer, build the walls around your family, build the walls around your own heart, and make you strong and impregnable against the enemy. God that’s what we desire.

Would you lift your hands? Would you just tell him what’s in your heart right now? Right out loud. Just tell him what’s in your heart. Tell him, there’s a reason you came up here. Tell him why. Here’s why I’m here. Just speak it out. Tell him why you’re here. Tell him what you have to do. Lord forgive me.

Wherever you’re at all over this building, listen to me closely. All we can expect God to do is begin a work in you tonight, a very special work. When you go home tonight say Lord I’m not going to lay my head on this pillow .. Folks there’s a discipline to this. There’s a discipline. You have to will to do it. And when God sees you set your heart he’ll give you all the power and authority to follow through. But there has to be something in your heart right now. Say, God I’m going to give you no rest from now on until I see my family saved. I have to do that for my family. I’m praying this desperately. I want to tell you something. When a man comes up to me, as he did recently, and said I’m just bound by pornography. I said you had better baptize yourself in prayer. Immerse yourself in the word of God. And you better get deadly desperate before the Lord. And that’s what he wants from us. He wants that heart that’s set. If you do that he will give you … he will balance that with a peace and joy like you’ve never known before. And the joy that you have then will not dissipate when you get out. It will be an eternal joy, his peace. If he gives you his burden he’s going to give you his peace to accompany it. He’ll never let your heart be broken without all the oil you need for total healing. Never before in my lifetime have I want … to be broken before him. Because when I stand now before 4 and 5 thousand pastors at a time I know, oh do I ever know, and folks it’s the same thing you face when you go to a job tomorrow, and face all the powers of hell, you’ve got to know that you know that you know, you’ve got to have his voice. I can’t say anymore, I won’t preach another sermon. But I want us to sing that and I want you to just yield to the Holy Spirit, and I want you to set your mind. Now God tells you to get rid of your television set, do it quickly. Do it quickly. If the internet’s got you get rid of your computer. Do whatever God tells you. He’ll give you direction. Nobody’s going to have to tell you, it won’t be some legalistic thing that we establish for you to be something born in your heart out of God’s own desire for you. Would you just now set your heart and say Jesus I’m willing to follow you all the way. I want to know you and I want to know your heart. Come Holy Spirit. You do it Holy Spirit.


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