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Sermon 112 – Obey is better than Sacrifice

Limited sacrifice

Most Christians I engage with would consider themselves willing to sacrifice. They would be willing to give up things (time, money, things) if they had to. At the same time, most of these people would also act sacrificial. They would put on sadness or heaviness as a display of penance when they had been found out for doing something wrong. Do acts of penance expose a flaw in our sacrifice? God calls us to unlimited sacrifice (Luke 14:33) but, generally speaking, most Christians have a limit to their sacrifice. Why?

Is our sacrifice genuine or reflective of something wrong in our spirit?

The Word of God in 1 Corinthians 13 declares that you can give your body to be burned but it could prosper you nothing. That’s a pretty big sacrifice to no avail. Why does God describe love in the light of sacrifice? I guess we think that sacrifice is an expression of love, but God stresses that love is firstly based on obedience before sacrifice, and without obedience our sacrifice is a wasteful exercise. If your sacrifice is for any personal benefit or reward, then you sacrifice is fake.

Christ’s disciples

Initially, the disciples followed Christ for the benefits and the popularity. It wasn’t until they willingly sacrificed everything did they see and grasp what it was all about. They gave up their job source and their popularity to gain nothing but Christ. A 70% commitment like most Christians is not discipleship. To follow Christ requires 100% sacrifice; no reliance on Egypt, career or family, but only Jesus Christ.  This doesn’t mean you can’t have a career etc.; it means there should be no reliance on any source except Christ.  Most Christians think they do this but when it comes to the crunch, they falter.

What about obedience?

All Christians would say they were obedient. I’ve met many Christians who live by rightness. From their perspective they live good and upright lives always trying to do what’s right and do what they’re told (but generally only if they think it’s right). So if you suggest that there seems to be something wrong with their attitude and thus in their spirit, there’s always a reaction of defensive offence. They can’t believe it, because their goodness in comparison to others is what they measure themselves by. It comes as a complete shock that there may be something wrong with themselves. Reaction to correction of wrong, is where the true inner spirit’s character is exposed. Anyone can fake the exterior, but sooner or later, disobedience will show as a mood.

Why does God say that obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22)?

Recently I experienced 3 separate situations where supportive members of my fellowship challenged my authority when I addressed something wrong in their behaviour. There mood was showing. Now, it’s ok to respectfully challenge the pastor’s authority when he is out of alignment with the Word of God, but it’s evil to challenge his authority when your own heart is out of spiritual alignment. In these 3 cases, the manner in which I was challenged was aggressive and disrespectful. I knew I was being challenged by a demonic spirit; Christian or no Christian. I knew they were silently telling me that I wasn’t being fair and understanding, and that I had no right to make them feel bad, or to tell them what was right or wrong. Having experienced this many times, I turned to the Lord, stood righteously and quietly but firmly re-challenged their challenge.

Fortunately, each of these persons respected me enough to stop and re-look at their behaviour and concede that I was right and that something was wrong in their heart. Once they had decided to concede to my authority, in each case they revealed a circumstance where they had secretively done something contrary to my advice and instructions. Each situation seemed minor to their thinking, but when they looked at it with open eyes they could each see that they had been disobedient, and they repented.

If you’re a Samuel, there’ll always be a Saul who questions you

Satan always questions righteous authority. He hates the righteous. He’s purpose is to destroy anyone who puts up their hand for the living God, and he usually uses family or friends to try and pull down the righteous.

A 4th person, whom I considered a friend, rose up against my authority. When I challenged him, he confessed to his pornography. I had previously helped him remove his wifi so that he wouldn’t be tempted, but he had deceptively defied my instructions. He refused to repent and his disobedience separated him from the Garden. Sadly, he opened his heart to the world through the lust of the flesh and spiritually suicided. He had no power to fight it. The spirit of God had left.

Demonic occupation of our spirits

It was the disobedience that had exposed these four to demonic occupation and under that occupation they became defiant to authority when questioned about their spirits. Subtle disobedience exposes the fact that our spirits want to do what we want to do. We don’t want to be told. God calls this want “rebellion, stubbornness and witchcraft” (1 Samuel 15:23). We want to be obedient but we, like Eve, lose the power of this healthy want the moment we fall to disobedience.

Disobedience takes you out of the blood covering and only genuine repentance can correct the problem. Sacrifice is something we do usually for others or something we do to look good or make ourselves feel good, but disobedience is a choice of often unintentional defiance against authority. It exposes the “I won’t be told what to do” of our inherent selfish spirit. It carries much more spiritual consequences.

Disobedience is way different to sacrifice. You don’t come under demonic influence for sacrificing, but you do when you disobey, either wilfully or unintentionally.

Disobedience was the issue that caused Adam and Eve to bring the whole human race under the influence of Satan. Disobedience without repentance was the whole issue that caused them to be expelled from the Garden, and disobedience was the issue that eventually saw the death of Shimei, and the satanic possession of King Saul.

The strategy of Satan is the same as in the Garden

Namely, promote subtle defiance so that the church is annihilated. The children of our modern western society are deliberately being taught to have their own mind for the sole purpose of undermining parental authority so that families are fractured and Christianity is wiped off the face of the earth.

Rightness thinking, fake sacrifice

Once you justify disobedience you lose your clear thinking and start thinking evil against the righteous. Once you choose to disobey by surrendering to the subtle sweet voice of Satan, you start telling yourself that there’s nothing wrong with your decision and you shift your conscience from righteousness to rightness.  Once you do that you are automatically in opposition to the righteous, and eventually you will challenge the authority of the righteous. Satan’s got you where he wants you.

The fact is, that those who live for rightness are actually being disobedient, somewhere in the privacy of their inner heart, to the righteousness of God.

Shimei (I Kings 2)

From Shimei’s point of view it was a justifiable minor infraction to go and get back his run-away servants. Surely it was fair and right! But Solomon didn’t judge him for his actions, he judged his heart via his actions. Shimei was killed, not because he had disobeyed, but because of what was privy in his heart (1 Kings 2:44). Solomon knew that Shimei was silently telling him that he wasn’t fair and just and that he had the right to make his own decisions. When you disobey, it’s not the action that’s the problem, it’s what’s privy in your heart.

King Saul (1 Samuel 15)

From King Saul’s point of view, it was sensible not to waste good animals but to bring back the livestock to sacrifice to God. He wasn’t judged for the deed, but by the deed. The disobedience exposed what was privy in his heart. Samuel knew that the real underlying issue was the fact that Saul was questioning his authority. Unlike David who sinned far worse, Saul wouldn’t repent in his heart, but only on the surface for the benefit of looking good to the people. The consequences of this fake repentance was demonic possession.

The issue is always authority

From Satan’s perspective the issue is always, “who’s the boss”. When you disobey you come under the same thinking. Unrepentant disobedience, no matter how minor, will cause you to lose your right mind, and result in defiant resistance to righteous authority. You won’t be able to stop it because Satan will be pulling your chain whether you know it or not.

 

May God stir the hearts of the righteous to own up to disobedience before it’s too late and Satan takes your God-given authority for himself.

Pastor Gordon Maynor

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Posted by on July 1, 2017 in Authority

 

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Sermon 78 – The Secret to Salvation

Recently I addressed my grandson for kicking his brother. I told him to go to his room. He started to cry. He felt unjustly treated because his brother had kicked him first. I asked him, did you do wrong? He replied, yes! Then I instructed him to take his punishment and not justify it because his brother had been mean. There and then he changed his attitude, so I said, ok, go out and play. This is just how God deals with us, but few see it.

Human nature automatically defends itself, explains it away why it wasn’t that bad, tries to find an exit so it’s not so embarrassed, and tries to analyse why it happened and who made them do it, when all that’s required is to admit … I was wrong.

The secret … accept the addressing of your pride and you will find salvation. Explain away why you did it and you will miss salvation because you will create a pattern of lying to explain it away.

Don’t just assume you’re saved because you think you’re nice or God is nice

You don’t know you’re saved until there’s a test of faith. It’s what you do when somebody hurts you or, justly or unjustly corrects you … that’s the intersection that exposes your faith and the intersection that verifies your salvation. Faith trusts that God works all for His good, but pride has a mood, bites back and defends itself.

Excuse it away = pride. Sincerely own it without excuses = repentance

You can’t repent with blame or excuses as to why you did it, or self-explanation, or trying to find the root of the temptation. That’s really pride trying to protect itself and admitting it’s wrong at the same time.

Human nature automatically protects itself with excuses as to why I did it so I don’t look bad and feel embarrassed in the eyes of the people. Repentance deliberately blocks this pathway and simply owns that I did do it even if somebody else stirred me to do it. Repentance challenges one’s feelings; pride supports and justifies one’s feelings. The consequence of pride is feeling sorry for yourself (pity party), figure out why I did it so I can explain it and justify it, find fault with the authority, and then deduce that the correction is over-the-top and unjust. Thus pride deduces that I’m free to believe in myself again as being right and not wrong.

The door

You don’t have to find God. God finds you when you come to the revelation that you’re arrogant and selfish … that’s the door. Salvation is at this intersection of self-exposure; this is where God’s knocking on your door; at this intersection. We find Jesus talking with Peter, not Judas. He’s not knocking on Judas’ door; he won’t take the rebuke.

You’ve got to give up the thing that you worship (money, family, success, friends, knowledge) before you’ll see that you’re full of yourself; before you’ll recognise the knocking on your door.

Salvation isn’t inviting Jesus into your heart, but exposing your heart to Him

Rev. 3:20 says … Behold I stand at the door and knock. That doesn’t equal inviting Jesus in for a chat and a meal, but opening the door of your sin-filled heart for His light to expose it and destroy the darkness.

Q. When do you open the door? When the Lord knocks, and Rev.3:19 confirms that the knock is at the point of correction.

Q. In Rev.3: 21 we’re called to overcome, but what are we to overcome? The answer is … the world, 1J.5:3.

Q. What’s the world? It’s not the people around you but the flesh in you that wants what the people around you have. That is … I want that and if I can’t have it I’ll have a mood.

Q. How do you overcome the world in you? The answer is … by faith 1J.5:4

Q. What’s faith? It’s no confidence in me because I know I’m full of myself. It’s confidence in God and His plan despite my arrogance. It’s only activated in the face of opposition and fear. It’s not having no fear or bad feelings; it’s walking through them by trusting His outcome.

Q. How did Jesus overcome? He did not surrender to His moods of self-defence that Satan tried to get Him to fall into via family attack, religious attack, and elevated ability and pride attack, but rather He chose patient endurance by placing His confidence in the Father in the face of mocking, ridicule, misjudgement and death.

Q. How is your salvation verified? The answer is … by faith in God in the face of hassles and injustices against you, rather than retaliating with blame. It’s taking the blame instead of blaming.

The truth is … Jesus died by blame attack. In the same way, true Christians die to themselves by blame attack … Matthew 5:10-12. Thus, people don’t want the true salvation because they don’t want the blame attack.

David vs King Saul

Human nature makes excuses for its behaviour so it doesn’t look bad. David didn’t. He knew he had sinned. He didn’t try and explain why he sinned. He didn’t look for ancestral demonic doors that he could explain his action with. He didn’t blame Bathsheba for exposing herself. He didn’t divert the responsibility onto someone who may have tempted him.. He didn’t blame years of stressful resistance against King Saul. He simply owned that he had done wrong and repented.

Signs of King Saul ….
1 Samuel 15 & 18

  • “You like David more than me” envy
  • Blame the people in the face of correction
  • Excuse and explain why it is not your fault
  • Have to look good in the eyes of the people
  • Usurp the prophet’s role = TELL the spiritual authority what’s right and wrong
  • Try to destroy your enemy

Most Christians worship Jesus under the banner of King Saul and have no idea that they are. They covet positions of value and when they’re corrected they feel devalued. Clearly, if you accept correction by excusing it away, you’re really saying to the authority … I’ll agree with you because I have to but I think you’re wrong. In other words you’re just secretly stubborn like King Saul. King Saul lost his salvation, not because of his sin, but by his stubbornness to agree with the correction.

Signs of David

  • Sin
  • No excuses for his sin
  • Cop the unjust blame from King Saul
  • He didn’t mock when his enemy fell

David responded to correction the opposite to King Saul.

Why did God say that David did what was right in His eyes? 1 Kings 14:8

How come God said David did what was right in His eyes when David had murdered and committed adultery? Because God didn’t measure him by his deeds; He measured him by his heart as displayed by his attitude to correction. It wasn’t because he was exempt from sin. It was because he saw his arrogance and repented.

Bad mathematics

Bad mathematics is when the equations we live by are our own manufactured pride formulas of selfishness which are designed to put the other party in their place and protect our own position.

Modern Pentecostalism teaches that sickness is the sign of sin. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame … if you’re sick then you are the sinner, not me. I’m not sick so I’m right and you’re wrong.

Modernism says that if I say sorry then you are responsible to forgive and forget. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame … if you talk to me then everything’s ok and if you don’t talk to me then you are the one in sin, not me, because I’ve moved on but you are still holding resentment.

Modernism believes that if you are nasty to me then I have the right to be nasty back. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame.

Modernism believes that you get bad happen to you because you did something bad. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame onto someone that made you do bad so you aren’t responsible for the bad so you can get out of the punishment.

Modernism believes that I’m good so if you make me feel bad you’re the sinner. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame.

These are all pride deductions; it’s telling and not able to be told, it’s intimidation, it’s not love. The purpose of all these equations is to shift the blame. None of it is God’s truth.

Biblical evidence contradicts this bad mathematics. In John 9 the man born blind was not sick because of his sin. He was deliberately created blind by God for the glory of God and for the man’s salvation. His blindness saved him. His parents were confronted by the religious system and right at that intersection they chose excuses and consequently didn’t hear the knock on the door and lost their chance of salvation.

The story of Job also contradicts this lie. In Job 11, Zophar derided Job for his sin because he believed that sickness = the sign of sin. The truth was that God Himself permitted Job’s hassles. The truth is that God derided Eliphaz and Zophar and honoured Job.

Biblical evidence declares there is none good, except God. So if you think you are good, then you ignorantly and arrogantly think you are God.

Biblical evidence is clear in the way David responded to His father-in-law. He held no grievance, but he certainly didn’t forget nor reconcile; it would have got him killed. Neither did John choose to forgive and forget in 3 John v.10.

Biblical evidence proves that you more often get bad against you because you are righteous, as in Paul’s ship-wreck, Job, Jesus, Daniel, Moses, Elijah and David.

Biblical evidence exposes that if you have a mood because someone’s not doing it the way you want then you’re doing a Jonah and TELLING God what He’s supposed to do. When you come across a TELL spirit, you can diagnose that it is demonic because it will want to tell you what’s right and wrong and it won’t want to be told.

Repentance

Judas repented because he got caught out and looked bad. In the Greek this is called metamellomai repentance. Peter repented because he owned he had done wrong without shifting the blame to the woman who questioned him and made him do it. This is called metanoio repentance. One is genuine, the other is fake, and, contrary to popular Christian teaching the fake one does not obligate the person who has suffered the offence to forgive and reconcile with the offender.

Naked of spiritual clothing … Rev.3:18

Q. what’s the purpose of eye salve? The answer is … to open your eyes that you are really miserable and naked. Generally God has to take something important away to help you see, and until you see, His knocking is futile. Most people expect God to open their eyes. They wait for Him to do it. They make Him responsible to do it, but you’re responsible to take the rebuke before he knocks and sups. You’ll only open the door when you’re willing to see yourself because you need Him to change what you see.

The rich young ruler talked with Christ but because he didn’t want to see himself and thus it availed him nothing. The prodigal saw himself so when he came to his father he was saved, restored and elevated. Elevation by any other means is pride.

Did you do something wrong even though somebody stirred you to it?

Then take the punishment without explaining it away and without blaming and learn to trust the Heavenly Father’s justice.

Pastor Jim McNaughton

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Blame

 

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Sermon 50 – WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Recently I spoke with a young woman who believes that “if she can’t see it, she’s not
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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Elevation

 

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