Posts Tagged ‘itch’

Main Corflute Sign - 1800x1000mm.inddCraig’s Message at the Victorian State Conference Friday 7th February 2014.  

I had treatment once for hair growth – UV light – the side effect intense itchiness all over my body.

One thing about itchiness it’s got your attention all the time!

Well I love this inc movement and our new name and our updated operating system. To take that empowerment of pastors and leaders to a new level!

We are the hope of Australia

What’s our vision? – Health – for the Pastor and wife, for the leaders and for the church which leads to growth which leads to multiplication.

We are born for more. – Not just as a slogan but as a revelation.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Then the word of the Lord came to me [Jeremiah], saying,

Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.  BORN FOR MORE!

10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

 There’s some alarming trends in Australia.

Church attendance slipped from 17% in 1999 to 10% in 2011

The % of Australians identifying as Christian reduced to 60% form a high of 90% in 1900.

Another trend we are seeing here in Melbourne is the church is receiving a big influx of Christians from other nations. 10% of all immigrants are born again Christians and when these come into our churches there’s a new culture. It’s not always a bad culture either. Although some are a bit religious many have deep respect and honour for the God appointed leader unlike some Aussies.

Atheism has grown from 10% to 27% in the last census.

Increasingly the church is portrayed in the media as strange, irrelevant and sometimes criminal.

Exciting isn’t it?

The fact is the church is the answer – we all know and shout Jesus is the answer but He isn’t about to do anything without the church leading the charge because He said I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

God’s got a plan

He happy to save by many or by few.

STORY  – 1 Samuel 14:1-15

Jonathan and his armour bearer

One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his armor-bearer, Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side. But he did not tell his father.

Saul was remaining in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron; and with him were about 600 men,

And Ahijah son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh, was wearing the ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan was gone.

Between the passes by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side; one was named Bozez, and the other Seneh.

The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba.

And Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, Come, and let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For there is nothing to prevent the Lord from saving by many or by few.

And his armor-bearer said to him, Do all that is in your mind; I am with you in whatever you think [best].

Jonathan said, We will pass over to these men and we will let them see us.

If they say to us, Wait until we come to you, then we will stand still in our place and will not go up to them.

10 But if they say, Come up to us, we will go up, for the Lord has delivered them into our hand, and this will be our sign.

11 So both of them let the Philistine garrison see them. And the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden themselves.

12 The garrison men said to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, Come up to us and we will show you a thing. Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, Come up after me, for the Lord has given them into Israel’s hand.

13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, his armor-bearer after him; and the enemy fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him.

14 And that first slaughter which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made was about twenty men within about a half acre of land [which a yoke of oxen might plow].

15 And there was trembling and panic in the [Philistine] camp, in the field, and among all the men; the garrison, and even the raiders trembled; the earth quaked, and it became a terror from God.

Saul sat down, but Jonathan had an itch.

Vs. 2 Meanwhile, Saul was taking it easy under the pomegranate tree at the threshing floor on the edge of town at Geba (Gibeah). (MESS)

Saul sat down, his posture revealed his attitude, he was unmotivated and did not see the objective.

The objective was clear wipe  – out the Philistines!

But Jonathan had an itch – he had a keen desire to move things along, he was itchin’ for a fight. He had a desire to see the enemies of God defeated and the nation of Israel overcoming. His itch was going away anytime soon, he evaded a whole lot of good reasons not to pursue the enemy to satisfy his itch.

I’ve got an itch to plant churches, I’ve got an itch to multiply leaders, I’ve got an itch to see souls saved, and it’s not about to go away anytime soon.


Before this story begins Saul has faced failure. He is left with only 600 men who are still with him. They all have no weapons, and not one tradesman in Israel could sharpen any implement. The Israelites used to go down to the enemy, the philistines and ask them to sharpen their ploughshares, mattocks, axes and sickles. How pathetic!. The only people who owned swords were Saul and Jonathan.

One sword is enough!

Saul is under the pomegranate tree (the symbol of healing and resurrection) but he has given up. He has no itch, it left long ago, can he be healed?

But Jonathan had an itch. He was sitting down too, but he couldn’t stay there. He had to get up.

No lack of resources on his side made the itch go away.

No fear of the enemy made that itch go away.

No lack of swords or ideas or plans made that itch go away.

Jonathan said let’s go. – What do you say?

Jonathan was young, the armour-bearer was young, Jonathan’s main thought was – “it may be that he Lord will work for us”

It says in the middle of the story that the High Priest was some guy related to Eli the nephew of Ichabod – the glory departed. Why did God put that in? Just to let you know, there’s no leadership from the king and there’s no leadership from the priesthood. In practical terms there’s no reason for an expectation of victory today!

The armour bearer says – Whatever you reckon – I’m in! – Willingness.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Let the enemy see us
  2. Let the enemy dictate the terms
  3. We do what they say and God will give us the victory!

Up they go and Jonathan kills 20 – not a big massacre, but look what God does… 15 And there was trembling and panic in the [Philistine] camp, in the field, and among all the men; the garrison, and even the raiders trembled; the earth quaked, and it became a terror from God.

God intervened. And God will intervene here in Australia if He finds somebody with an itch! Do you have an itch?

God can save by many or by few- but he likes to save by few.

In fact God likes when there are ridiculous odds.

–      Gideon 300 Vs 30,000 Midianites

–      Jehoshaphat – 3 armies; ten’s thousands

–      David’s mighty man Adina – one Vs 800

Do you disqualify yourself? Do you tell yourself, there’s no resources? There’s no leaders, there’s no one here who wants to know Jesus. Do you tell yourself that you are not able? That you’re…

Too old  – listen to Abraham.

Can’t talk  – listen to Moses.

Haven’t seen any miracles – listen to Gideon.

I have no resources  – listen to Nehemiah.

If you’re worried about resources remember Isaac sowed in famine – 100 fold increase

Have you got an itch? An itch to plant? An itch to raise leaders? An itch to see souls saved? God will flow onto what you offer Him in that plan, Let’s go!

We plant churches in a time of drought. To Isaac it seemed like there’s drought but Isaac had a covenant promise.

The enemy contended for wells, the source if life and refreshing.

But there is always one more well.

We release the call of God over our churches.

Testimony of my call. What good is an arrow that never flies?

Power of seeds. There’s a call going out to men and women to serve God, for some it’s to plant churches.

Like Joseph it’s out of nothing that great things come. Expect great things.

If you are not overwhelmed by your assignment you’re not seeing it clearly enough.

Glory of the young men is their strength, the glory of the old men is their wisdom. When you’re an old man you have perspective. You see change over time. But it’s not enough to declare how things have changed and how much need there is. It’s not enough to say we must do something about this, there must be leadership, the voice must be heard … This is the way; walk in it. This is God’s message for the hour, this is the plan.

And the plan is the gospel, it is the power of God unto salvation We will raise leaders, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit and preach life, there is a seed of life in us for salvations to flow, for people to get saved, through our message, our church and our people.

Give yourself to these goals

Identify people with a call

Preach the call and raise up and call up the people who are called.

Connect with your state exec and partner with them to plant.

You can plant

–      We planted three in 2012

–      Traralgon one in 2013 with more in the pipeline.

Partner to plant churches.

Connect key leaders to development opportunities

Pray and lead your church to pray for planters (Labourers for the harvest)

Raise funds for planting.

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