VLFC REMINDER: ALL church services will be held ONLINE ONLY on the Conference Line ONLY this SUN. 7/17 due to covid precautions. 8:55AM SUNDAY SCHOOL; 10AM WORSHIP SERVICE. Both services will be held on the conference line–NOT ZOOM. Blessings!
Consider this: Are you attending a church where you don’t need to take notes. Something should be said when the Word of God is ministered that you consider noteworthy. Every time Scripture is preached, that scripture is worthy to be recorded in your heart and mind. The Word of God give us strength to stay focused. The Word of God is a living word that changes lives. The Word of God governs the universe. Make a habit of recording scripture and what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you through Scripture. The Word of God tells us to stay focused.
- Proverbs 4:25 – Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you.
We must stay focused on God and His instructions. But what do you do when God’s instructions don’t make sense? There is a side of God that is not a side of man–God can make a way out of no way. God can make something out of nothing.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Trust in the Lord and stay focused.
- Matthew 6:33 New King James Version – But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
We must have strength in the Word of God and your relationship with Jesus (who is the Word of God) to stay focused when the enemy throws fiery darts our way. The enemy will use doubt, distractions, weariness, lies, attacks against your mind and body, and anything else that will make you back down on your faith in God.
Sometimes when there is a problem and you take the first step of faith, other doors open. This is what happened to Nehemiah. Nehemiah was troubled about the state of affairs in Israel, so he decided to tell the king about the problem.
- Nehemiah 2:1-6 Living Bible – 2 1-2 One day in April, four months later, as I was serving the king his wine he asked me, “Why so sad? You aren’t sick, are you? You look like a man with deep troubles.” (For until then I had always been cheerful when I was with him.) I was badly frightened, 3 but I replied, “Sir, why shouldn’t I be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been burned down.” 4 “Well, what should be done?” the king asked. With a quick prayer to the God of heaven, I replied, “If it please Your Majesty and if you look upon me with your royal favor, send me to Judah to rebuild the city of my fathers!” 5-6 The king replied, with the queen sitting beside him, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” So it was agreed! And I set a time for my departure!
Anytime you desire to get closer to God, you are doing a great work. Don’t come down from your walk with God for nobody. If we’re going to stay focused, our actions must stay in line with our confession. People will test you. The enemy will use people to test your faith–test you to see if you are really focused on God. We must learn to use this powerful two-letter word–NO!
If we don’t learn to say no, we will open the door to the friend of the enemy–compromise. If you have to compromise your Christian values, then “that” is not for you.
- Nehemiah 6:1-15 New King James Version – Conspiracy Against Nehemiah – 1 Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), 2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm. 3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” 4 But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner.
Prayer helps us stand strong against the enemy. Be a praying man or woman of God. Nehemiah was a praying man. Prayer is talking with God. If you really want something to be done–talk to God about it.
Luke 18:1 New King James Version – “… men ought always to pray and not faint.”
- God wants to talk to you. The Lord is waiting for you to pray.
- Be committed to rebuilding what needs to be strengthened in your life.
- Be committed in your relationships.
- Be committed to not turning back.
There are times if you go back, you will not be able to come back to God. Don’t take chances with your soul. Stay focused on Jesus by staying focused on His Word. There are certain calls on people’s lives that require great sacrifice. When you put God first, the Lord will make sure everything else is taken care of.
Everyone has issues. If you don’t think you have an issue–that’s an issue. We have to deal with our issues so they don’t become bigger and destroy our lives.
The enemy will study you and find out what you like and don’t like. Then he will deceive you with something you like. That’s a snare. You can be caught by the devil even while you are in church. We have to learn to hate what God hates. There are some things God hates. God hates a lying tongue. God hates when people sow discord among the brethren.
- Proverbs 6:16-19 New King James Version – 16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
The enemy was once an anointed cherub in Heaven, but he was kicked out because of pride and rebellion. He lead the worship of God through music. The enemy wants to get you on his turf.
- Isaiah 14:12-15 New King James Version – “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
- Colossians 2:13-15 New Living Translation – 13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
The enemy will try to attack your mind. He will attack you and try to get you to harm yourself and even kill yourself. The devil is a liar. Jesus defeated the devil and he has no power to harm you when you are in Christ Jesus.
- 2 Corinthians 2:11 New King James Version – lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
The enemy cannot read your mind, but he pays attention to what you say. So align your words with the Word of God. If you abide in the Word of God, you will experience victory over the enemy.
We all have issues. The problem is when we don’t deal with our issues and take them to the Lord. Then our issues create more issues. Our main issue in life that we all have in common is–disobedience. We all can be like Jonah.
- Jonah 1:1-3 New King James Version – 1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
Jonah went the exact opposite way to avoid obeying God. We do the same today. But we need to check out where disobedience leads. We don’t have to learn to disobey–that’s our default. We must learn to obey. Obedience requires denying your flesh.
Consider Adam and Eve. They had access to everything in the Garden except one thing. God asked them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve ate from the forbidden tree and nothing happened. So she gave some to Adam. But when Adam disobeyed God, everything changed. Obedience matters. Disobedience brings consequences.
Jonah’s disobedience causes a storm to arise in his life.
- Jonah 1:4-5 New King James Version – But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep.
Don’t go to sleep in your sin. Rise up and pray. When we are disobedient we can cause others to suffer. Jonah’s disobedience caused the whole ship to be in a storm. If Jonah’s ship had a name it would be called “The Disobedience”.
Jonah 1:6-9 New King James Version – 6 So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.” 7 And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
The storm was so great the men asked Jonah to pray to his God to make the storm stop.
- Jonah 1:10-16 New King James Version – 11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?”—for the sea was growing more tempestuous. 12 And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.” 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows.
What would stop in our lives if we just obey God? Some of us need to forgive. God forgives us, so we must forgive others. We must let past hurt go in order to heal and move forward to what God has for us. God can use even our disobedience to draw us and others closer to Him.
The Lord sent a fish to go fishing–for Jonah!
Jonah 1:17 New King James Version – Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
It took Jonah three days in the belly of the whale before he repented. The Lord had the fish to spew Jonah out–real close to Nineveh. Jonah was ready to obey when he came out of the fish. He preached the Word of God to the wicked people of Nineveh and the whole city repented.
- God will help you when you decide to obey
- When you obey enough, obedience becomes a way of life.
Isaiah 1:19 New King James Version – If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land;