2 Kings 6:15-23: When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria. After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.
1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) loveturns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fearbrings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].
Fear of the Lord is not born out of intimidation, but of intimacy. You can tell what the enemy is terrified OF, by observing the means that he uses to terrify YOU.
Perfect love drives out fear. The love of God is like a bouncer at the door. When stronger-than-you is standing at the door, you either have to kick fear out… or fear will keep you out.
Fear’s greatest hit – WHAT IF. It will sing your dreams to sleep if you let it. Fear is the ultimate misappropriation of your imagination. Fear is misplaced faith. I’m putting more faith in my doubt than what God says. When I place greater faith in my WHAT IF than what God says, fear takes control.
The path to your greatest potential is often straight through your greatest fear. Our biggest need isn’t more protection, it’s greater perspective.
When Elisha prayed, God didn’t send more help than what was already there – his eyes were just opened to what was around him. We are fully understanding in a greater way stuff that He has already done. He is ALWAYS doing a greater thing – when am I going to open up my eyes to see it? My help is not on the way, my help is here. It’s always been here.
Flip the lens – look through the other end of the binoculars for a Godly vantage point. Fears will get really small. Worship flips the lens. People that do great things for God are not people that fear LESS… they are people that are faith FULL.
Fear will not evaporate; it must be evicted.
I may feel it, I may see it – but fear will never control me again. I will never bow to it. The love of God expels fear from my life.
We’re too busy being a platform seeker, not a legacy leaver.
Expect God’s promotion, but don’t ASSUME God’s promotion.
1. Quality and control are linked
If you want more quality, you’re going to have to step up the level of your control. More quality = more control. Good churches/businesses/lives don’t happen by chance. What happens if you don’t clean your garage for a year? What happens if you eat everything you want? Quality = control. Amp up your level of control, get into the details… watch the quality improve.
The absence of limitations is the enemy of art. Great art doesn’t happen: a visionary comes along and says: “who wants to go with me?” People won’t assemble around nothing. There has to be a vision to gather around.
Jeremiah 1:4-10: The word of theLordcame to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the wombI knewyou, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ”“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
There’s something greater that God is calling you to do right now, that was planned for you along time ago. God has never needed you to feel ready for the greater things He wants you to do. Jeremiah wasn’t ready – but what did that have to do with it? Very few people in the Bible have ever felt ready. Pastor Steven admitted to NEVER feeling ready that anything God has called him to do. Ever. But that has nothing to do with whether or not he’s going to do it.
Phalanx = moving forward, standing closely together. This formation helped defeat the enemy in ancient times. A smaller army in phalanx was more beneficial than a large, unassembled army.
It’s not a size issue; it’s all about alignment. You don’t want people to be just part of the assembly, but completely aligned with you.
Phil 2:2: make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose
There is no greater joy than leading a team in phalanx. There is nothing more difficult than leading a group that is assembled, but not aligned.
1. Organizational alignment is a consistency if culture through out the organization
Subcultures can be created; groups don’t always intentionally go against their leadership. But, mindsets on a team can be not aligned with the leaders of the church. People in phalanx don’t wait for the leader to show up. They make the changes they know matter.
Ever tried to drive a car that’s out of alignment? That’s what it’s like to lead a team that is not in phalanx.
2. A diverse organization doesn’t have to be a divided organization.
Ask God for discernment regarding the ones that God has aligned you with. We treat all relationships alike, when we should be nurturing certain relationships more than others. Who are your “assembled/aligned” relationships? Who do you go out of your way for, make an extra effort for?
3. Diverse can drift easily into a divided organization.
You may not have insubordination, but you may have subcultures. Subcultures always eventually clash with the mind/heart/spirit of the church. In our desire to create liberty and be generous, we’ve watched organizations/leaders clash with the very source they come from.
4. When an organization is in phalanx, there is diversity within a shared identity.
Always sing the anthem of the local church – they don’t talk down the church, they talk up the church. They honor their church. Departments don’t need different sites/logos.
5. No alignment is better than partial alignment
Watch our for the partially-aligned. Stay, but don’t really like certain things, aren’t really sure about this or that. Don’t entrust the stewarding of the ministry to anyone with partial alignment. Giving them a title doesn’t encourage them to come on full-board/fully aligned. HUGE mistake! Now you’re negotiating and trying to make something happen.
Jesus said If you don’t gather, you scatter. If you’re not with Me, you’re against Me. Not everyone is going to be like you, or be ok with what you’re doing. That’s ok! One indicator of partial alignment is being comfortable with a “go-between” – but not the senior leader.
6. In healthy organizations, alignment is not based on agreement.
Agreement = same opinion
Alignment = same intention, despite the opinion
Everyone walks out of the room on the same page. We are ONE in spirit and purpose.
It’s better to inspire worship, than to demand it.
Jeremiah 32:9-11, 15 says this: I weighed out seven ounces of silver for him. 10 I signed and sealed the deed of purchase. I had some people witness everything. And I weighed out the silver on the scales.
There were two copies of the deed. One was sealed and the other wasn’t. The deed included the terms and conditions of the sale. 12 I gave Baruch the copies of the deed. My cousin Hanamel saw me do it. The witnesses who had signed the deed were there too. So were all of the Jews who were sitting in the courtyard of the guard. Baruch was the son of Neriah. Neriah was the son of Mahseiah.
I gave Baruch directions in front of all of them. I said, 14 ’The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, “Take this deed of purchase. Take the sealed and unsealed copies. Put them in a clay jar. Then they will last a long time.” 15 The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, “Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.” ‘
Have you ever bought something that made absolutely no sense at all?
Jeremiah bought a field. If you’ve ever bought land before, you know that it’s all about location, location, location. Well, Jeremiah? He bought a field just as the Babylonians were invading the land. Everybody was terrified. And in those dark moments when fear was ravaging the community, Jeremiah buys the land. Who buys a field in those conditions? This could possibly be considered the worst real estate transaction in the Old Testament. Well, faith will cause you to do things that appear to be stark-raving mad to outsiders. Jeremiah was operating with information that others around him could not see. Jeremiah could see what they weren’t seeing… this was the ultimate act of hope. This was the movement of faith in the soul of a man who still believed the best days for his people were just ahead.
Second session of the morning was with Leon Fontaine!
Acts 2:17-18: I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams
The spirit contemporary church is going to do amazing things for God. “Spirit Contemporary” means just that: it’s the Holy Spirit working through contemporary people. Being contemporary is so important… but while you’re busy being contemporary, do you have something to give? Or are you just being cool?
John 16:13-16 – the Holy Spirit will show you things to come
All of us feel and sense God differently. The Holy Spirit will give you glimpses; if you’re not sensitive to God, you will get so full of your failures and inadequacies that it will stop you from hearing from Him altogether.