Dakota Community Church
Tonight I want to take a look at three questions that we must all answer concerning the call of God, the purposes and promises we have heard and received from Him, and our ability and desire to see it all through to full manifestation.
It is coming up on nine years since we made the trek from Halifax to plant a church in Winnipeg.
Some have not been here since the beginning; however the Lord has lead you to join us in this adventure.
Do you remember what you left to come here? Do you remember why you left it?
Sometimes I get romantically remembering my office, the gymnasium, the certainty of payday and I forget that the Holy Spirit was stirring me with a complete dissatisfaction.
I can remember telling Kathy on the way home from church; “I don’t think I can keep doing this, I just feel like I have to follow my heart.”
Three questions we need to answer about following through:
1. What if we just cannot do it?
Matthew 14: 22-34
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret.
John 15: 3-8
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Mark 11: 22-24
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Philippians 4: 12-13
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
1John 5: 4-5
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
I have been involved with many things that were supposed to be impossible.
Since when is “can’t” a part of God’s vocabulary?
We need to get our eyes off of the waves, off of the circumstances and onto the Word of God.
We can do it!
2. What if we decide not to do it?
All hell can’t stop us from succeeding – only we can stop us!
We must stop wavering!
Os Guinness gives a very helpful definition of doubt in his book In Two Minds. He says, "When you believe, you are in one mind and accept something as true. Unbelief is to be of one mind and reject that something is true. To doubt is to waver between the two, to believe and disbelieve at the same time, and so to be in ’two minds.’"
1Kings 18: 21
Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him."
But the people said nothing.
James 1: 6-8
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double minded man, unstable in all he does.
Matthew 16: 16-19
Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
If we don’t do this thing where are we going to go?
I feel like Jeremiah when He decided not to follow the call of God because it was making him miserable.
Jeremiah 20: 7-9
O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long.
But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
It is not what men eat but what they digest that makes them strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; not what we preach but what we practice that makes us Christians.
We can do it!
We will do it!
3. Why should we bother to do it?
There is one reason and one reason only: God wants us to do it.
- This world is not being reached for silly reasons.
- Backsliders and wounded saints are everywhere.
- I did not grow up in a Christian home; I see the truth in their arguments.
Psychological Conditioning of monkeys -If you put five monkeys in a cage and hang a banana on a string at the top of the cage with a ladder leading up to it, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.
As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey will make an attempt with the same response -- all of the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Keep this up for several days.
At this point you shouldn’t need anymore cold water. If, later, another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them.
Now, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.
Replace the third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.
Why not? "Because that’s the way it’s always been done around here."
I see the phoniness, the marketing hype and programmed “caring”.
I see the greed and money judgments.
1Samuel 2: 27-29
Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: ’Did I not clearly reveal myself to your father’s house when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh? I chose your father out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your father’s house all the offerings made with fire by the Israelites. Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
James 2: 1-4
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
They are not rejecting Jesus; they are rejecting the phony religion the church is peddling.
“Often I have heard people say, “How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic and look at the lovely weather!” Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsy, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. I remember one occasion when I was very discouraged there. Everything around us was dark, and there was darkness in my heart.
I remember telling Betsy that I thought God had forgotten us. “No, Corrie,” said Betsy, “He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word “For as the heavens are high above the hearth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.” Corrie concludes, “There is an ocean of God’s love available-there is plenty for everyone. May God grant you never to doubt that victorious love-whatever the circumstances.”
Corrie Ten Boom
We should do it because of God’s great love for us.
We must do it!
- Let’s endure the rental phase.
- Let’s endure the toddler phase.
- Let’s endure the struggling phase and press on!