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SPRING BREAKTHROUGH #3AM  –   WHY SIT HERE UNTIL WE DIE?spring breakthrough 2

In my back yard I have a paved area. Sometimes weeds grow in between the paving stones. When I looked at my paving this week it seemed as though they grew up overnight, but in reality I didn’t notice them growing over the last few weeks. Isn’t it true that sometimes undesirable things creep ever so slowly up around us and it’s not until something jolts us that we realise that things have changed and we must take action to remedy the situation?

Let’s take a look at this interesting story in the Old Testament.

READ 2 Kings 6:24-25 & 7:3-9

2Ki 6:24  Afterward Ben-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria.

2Ki 6:25  And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.

 

2Ki 7:3  Now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate. And they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?

2Ki 7:4  If we say, ‘Let us enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians. If they spare our lives we shall live, and if they kill us we shall but die.”

2Ki 7:5  So they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians. But when they came to the edge of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no one there.

2Ki 7:6  For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians hear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to come against us.”

2Ki 7:7  So they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, leaving the camp as it was, and fled for their lives.

2Ki 7:8  And when these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent and ate and drank, and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and went and hid them. Then they came back and entered another tent and carried off things from it and went and hid them.

2Ki 7:9  Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household.” (ESV)

HERE’S THE BACKGROUND

The King of Syria besieges Samaria resulting in famine.

A donkey’s head sells for 80 shekels of silver and Dove’s dung (Could be translated a bowl of greens) for 5 shekels of silver.

Each day got worse as the famine continued.

At first people looked out and saw the enemy surrounding them, and wondered what would happen. Gradually things began to change. Prices started going up. Pressure started to mount. People began to get short with one another. Finally they were fighting over tiny amounts of food.

People got used to having less. At times over the next few moths life took on a form of normality – This is how it is now. The new normal.

IS THIS HOW IT IS FOR YOU IN YOUR LIFE NOW?

Have you grown used to not having all that God has promised to you? Do you live in a place of lack that you have come to call normal? What’s your situation? Do you have sickness that won’t go away? Financial Constrictions that you have put up with now for too long – That’s just the way it is…

What about those broken relationships that you’ve tried to fix over and over all to no avail. What about reaching that loved one with the gospel, you know, the one you have shared with over and over again.

Look outside the walls, the enemy is still waiting there.

When I look at our church – I see we need a Spring Breakthrough. The vision is clear, it’s 500 in 5 years. That’s the breakthrough. To accomplish that we need to see more people coming, more visitors, more people being saved, more life change, more finance pouring in. The enemy wants to besiege you and this church.

He wants to stop the supplies getting in or out. We can get used to seeing what we see now and it becomes the new normal. But God has so much more for us.

Like the 4 lepers, we must take action. The 4 lepers were 4 people robbed of life. Living in less than what God had for them.

At least they were at the city gate. They could see God’s people coming and going. And they can see the enemy. They had awareness and they had perspective. These were possibly the 4 most unlikely men to deliver the city from the enemy.

They make a great statement: Why should we sit here until we die?

Why should we just sit here in the midst of a problem and do nothing. If we sit here we die, if we go inside the city we die (of starvation), if we go down to the enemy camp then they may give us food or if they kill us we will only die.

Look at this wisdom in the 4 leprous men.

  1. They realised the gravity of the situation
  2. They decided to do something to change
  3. They faced their fears and took action.
  4. God took over and did the rest.

Here’s a great example of that this week – let me read out this testimony from Carol one of our members who lives in Flowerdale:

“I had to ring my Dad as he’s going in to hospital today and so many times he is not interested in God or religion – it’s for those who need it or he tells me some jokes about Jesus or religion that are downright offensive and not really funny at all. So I was reluctant to bring it up again having been met with so many knock backs and “no” answers but something kept pressing on me… The conversation went like this.

After an hour of talking and feeling that pressing need to ask but not wanting to hear a negative “So before I say goodbye Dad, have you thought about giving your heart to Jesus” – “Yes”
I shook the phone and tapped it to make sure it was receiving the signal right. “Would you like to give your heart to Jesus now?” – “Yes”
So he did hear me! And that’s 2 yes’s.
“I have this thing to read out to you and you repeat it after me word for word and you give yourself to Jesus” – “Yes”.
That was 3 yes’s and what’s more, when I had been tidying up on Saturday, I found the card, left over from John Mellor’s visit, with the words to give your heart to Jesus on it and put it over our Bible so I knew where to find it. God knew that I would need it.
Dad repeated the words after me and gave his heart to Jesus right there and then. Wow, what a breakthrough and I wasn’t even thinking of Dad when we were praying. And what’s more, If I hadn’t of asked him if he wanted to give his heart to Jesus, we would have just said our goodbyes and missed the opportunity but as I say, I kept feeling pressed to ask that whole one hour conversation and wanted to put it off but kept being pressed.”

Spring Breakthrough is about you breaking through personally, and it’s about the church breaking through too. Do you have an appetite for change?

Why sit here till we die?

Have you put up with the new normal? The enemy wants to close you down, and shut down the church vision too. We are at the gate, it’s the place of perspective, we see what’s going on, what will you do to bring change?

Will you face your fears and take action. Here’s what I’m doing…

I’m fasting 2 or 3 days every week in spring. I’m finding new times to pray and seek God, I’m reassessing all that I do to chuck out activity that is not producing; I’m reaching out to people and inviting more than ever.

What will you do to create change and give God something to work with?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What three things have you decided that you want to believe God to do for you this Spring?
  2. What changes will you make to your normal routine to give God something to work with?
  3. What price would you pay for change? For example, fasting? Give up some time wasting activity? Leave unhealthy relationships that pull you down?
  4. Write down your three goals. Read them every morning and night. Now find a picture that illustrates them if possible. And look at them every morning and night.
  5. How will you hold yourself accountable for change?

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SPRING BREAKTHROUGH – SEPTEMBER 1Spring Breakthrough

Welcome to Spring here in Australia. Welcome to the season of new life and growth. The old deadwood of winter is past and the temperature is rising and the son seems stronger. It’s time to put away the cloak of winter and come out from our hibernation due to cold and low level of light.

I’m tired of status quo. I want to break free of the ordinary and mundane. It’s not that I’ve backslidden or anything like that; I just know that there is so much more that I have not enjoyed yet in terms of God’s promises and power. Like the Jews who waited for centuries for their Messiah, there was a time when He came and everything changed. I’m seeking God for a change. The change must come in me. I want to take up God’s challenge when He said: Deu 4:29  But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life. (AMP)

I love God, but it’s been a long time since I was broken in His presence, receiving revelation about how wonderful He is or how I have not obeyed Him in some way. I have led people to Christ recently but I want to see so much more Holy Spirit power in witnessing to people who are far from God. I need financial breakthrough, healing in my body, restoration of relationships and so much more. This is not a selfish cry for more things for me but a cry of surrender to the fullness of what God has planned and promised to me through His word. The world all around me is so lost and ignorant of the wonder of my Jesus, I am not satisfied with the lack of power in my life. It’s not OK that so many people without Jesus in my city are on a trajectory to hell. I am not satisfied. God has put a burr in my undies. Please God not another five or ten years of ten percent Christianity. I want and I need to experience all that you have for me.

Enough dull boring hum drum Christianity. Enough of the same ol’ same ol’! What we have is wonderful and we are grateful, but there is so much more for us!

In the Arab world something has been happening over the last three years.

The Arab Spring (Arabic: الربيع العربي ‎, ar-rabīˁ al-ˁarabī) is a term for the revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests(both non-violent and violent), riots, and civil wars in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010.

To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia,[1] Egypt (twice),[2] Libya,[3] and Yemen;[4] civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain[5] and Syria;[6] major protests have broken out   in Algeria,[7] Iraq,[8] Jordan,[9] Kuwait,[10] Morocco,[11] andSudan;[12] and minor protests have occurred in Mauritania,[13] Oman,[14] Saudi Arabia,[15] Djibouti,[16] Western Sahara[17]and the Palestinian Authority.

The Arab spring is widely believed to have been instigated by dissatisfaction with the rule of local governments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring

The people have been dissatisfied with status quo and know that what they are living can be improved. People have been willing to lay down their lives for that desire for freedom. They are sick of being ruled over by powers that make themselves rich at the people’s expense.

JUST THE SAME

In just the same way that people have risen up in these Arab counties to seek a better life; I want to my own spring breakthrough! I want to seek God and humble myself and call upon God to experience more of a God Encounter. I need to break off the despotic rule of unbelief and fear and find the power of God in a greater dimension.  DO YOU WANT THAT?

Over the next three months in this church I am going on a journey to find God in a powerful new way. I am challenging you to join me. If you want to stay the same, that’s up to you, but if you believe God has more for you than what you’re experiencing right now then come on, roll up your sleeves, and join me in an awesome journey of embracing a bigger God Encounter.

 

This is how we begin. It’s time to take stock. You can’t go to any location anywhere if you don’t know your starting point. Let’s see where are we at right now spiritually? Answer these next few simple questions and evaluate your starting point. Add up the points in brackets from your answer.

  1. Length of time since salvation? 0-2 years (10); 2-5 years (5); 5 or more years(0)
  2. Length of time since you experienced a personal revelation from God that impacted your life enough to tell someone else about it? 0-6 months (10); 6-12 months (5); 12months or more (0).
  3. My relationship with the Holy Spirit: I am full of the Holy Spirit and sense His work in my life daily (10); I Know about the Holy Spirit but I want to experience His life more (5); I am not sure if I am filled with the Holy Spirit (0).
  4. How long since you shared your faith with another non-Christian? 0-6 months (10); 6-12 months (5); more than one year (0).
  5. How long since you prayed with someone to receive Jesus as their saviour? 0-2 years (10); 2-5 years (5); more than 5 years or never (0)
  6. For you prayer is: a vital part of my day (10); something I do as a regular task (5); Something I do when I have a need (0);
  7. When I read God’s word : I am impacted by the conversation I have with God (10); I find it tedious or dull (5); I don’t read it very much(0)
  8. In terms of my physical health: I am feeling well and God answers my prayers for strength and healing (10); I have experienced healing in the past but I need some help at the moment (5); I have never asked God to heal me of anything, and I need to experience a miracle healing(0)
  9. My finances are: in  great shape and I see value in tithing and giving (10); I need a breakthrough in finances even though I am a giver (5); I need a financial miracle and I am not a tither or giver (0)
  10. My relationships – family and friends : are strong and stable, working through forgiveness and healing (10); I have some tension in relationships and it seems uncomfortable (5); I am estranged form people I should be in relationship with (0).

 

Count up your points

  • 100 – Your Jesus, right?
  • 70-100 – Can you please come and coach and mentor others who need a God Encounter?
  • 50-70 – There’s so much more for you, jump in!
  • 20-50 – Please join in this journey we will walk beside you.
  • 0-20 – You have the greatest potential for growth – be excited and come on this marvellous journey to find God in a powerful way.

 

We will be referring to our teaching series this year as each month we have unpacked the big themes that make for great disciples, for example:

January – Boot Camp – Prayer, authority, word and giving.

February – You fit here – Finding your place in the Body.

March – Crazy Love – Discover how much God truly loves you

April – You’re Full of it – Being filled with and baptised in the Holy Spirit.

May – Led by the Spirit – How to let the Holy Spirit guide and lead you.

June – REALationships – Making sure your relationships with people are healthy

July – Tuned in – Powerful prayer experience.

August – Living Word – making sure you are getting the word of God into your life.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Take the survey and discuss how ready for change are you?

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