Part 1 of Above & Beyond!
Peter Foxwell. The Cornerstone Church. January 7, 2018.
BIBLE READING: 2 Timothy 1:1-8
INTRODUCTION: TAKE AUTHORITY
Today's teaching is long overdue. The Lord put this on my mind months ago and it is an urgent and very important message for all of us here today. This teaching is for you if feel held back from doing what God has called you to do because of negative feelings of fear or discouragement.
Is that you?
God gave you the dream, but your desire is overwhelmed by despair. Your brain goes crazy with doubts and negative thoughts: "I can't. I'm so unfit for this. People hate me. I'm such a sinner. I'm too old. I'm too young. I'm not spiritual enough. I'm not smart enough. I don't pray enough. Who am I kidding? God doesn't call on people like me. I'm not anointed. Me? That? You must be joking!"
Here's a shocking insight: If you believe this kind of negative, faith-less self-talk, demons will use it to dominate your life and keep you from God's calling in your life. How do I know this? Look at verse 7. Paul told Timothy where his self-defeating thoughts were coming from: verse 7 - "The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid" If the spirit of fear is NOT from God, then who is it from? It's a demon spirit, a lying, destroyer of dreams. Hebrews 2:15 reminds us that the devil traps people in fear.
How do we overcome the lying spirit of fear? We take authority. That's what I'm going to show you today: how to take authority.
A. TO TAKE AUTHORITY, I MUST REJECT THE LIES.
The lies we tell ourselves and the lives we choose to believe bind us in fear so we cannot operate in our calling/anointing. So ... how can we identify the lies banging around in our heads? That's actually quite easy. The simple rule of thumb is: negative self-talk is ALWAYS a lie. For example:
"I can't do that." That's half true. What's the whole truth? "I can't, but God can, so by God's grace I can." God doesn't call the qualified; he qualifies the called. Paul said he was a cracked pot - nothing on the outside, but filled with the glory of God on the inside. Paul was a murderer, but the Lord used him to start churches around the world.
A truth without the gospel is a lie. For example: "I'm too big a sinner to serve God." That's true until we apply the gospel to it, right? What's the gospel truth? "I am a sinner saved by God's love and grace. And his grace is greater than all my sin."
The devil's native language is lies - John 8:44. God doesn't:
Use negativity to motivate us.
Anoint people to tear us down.
Fill us with feelings of doubt and despair and paralyzing fear.
Send us a list of all the reasons we're unqualified and useless.
These are all lies designed to knock us out. Reject them all because, verse 7 - "The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid" Timid translates a word that means cowardly; paralyzed by fear. God doesn't do that to us. He sets us free from fear. The Spirit he gives us:
Romans 8:15 - "does not make us slaves, so that we live in fear again; rather, the Spirit we received brought about our adoption to sonship."
This can be really hard to process - because we can get so bound and blinded by the lies we believe. Our thinking can get controlled by "yeah-buts and what-ifs and you-don't-know-me."
I call this the demonic cycle of deception. Let me show you:
Here's how the cycle works: We listen to the chatter inside our heads - all that negative self-talk ..
And we believe it.
Believing a lie opens the door to demonic influence over us
Demonic influence binds us to the lie so we keep on believing it.
The longer we believe the lie and live the lie, the more it controls us. It is now a demonic stronghold that keeps us down, discouraged and in despair.
Result: we don't take authority. We sit on the sidelines hiding from God's call. Steven Furtick writes, "You either kick fear out of your heart or it will keep you out of the places God has prepared for you." - Crash the Chatterbox, p. 77.
You can break the cycle. Simply reject all those lies crashing your mind. If you want to stand in your full spiritual authority, you must make a decisive, daily choice to reject the lies and to ...
B. TO TAKE AUTHORITY, I MUST RECEIVE THE TRUTH.
We're talking about spiritual authority - how to take authority. Maybe you're wondering what it is. Now is a good time to define what it is: Spiritual authority is God's power in us that enables us to perform God's purpose for us.
Paul told Timothy, "You have authority to carry out your ministry because, verse 7 - "the Spirit God gave us ... gives us POWER." That word for power means intense energy. It's the Greek word "dunamis" from which we get "dynamite." For a brief analysis of "dunamis" in the New Testament, click here.
That's the truth we all need to receive today. We've got GOD'S INTENSE, EXPLOSIVE, ENERGY FOR ANYTHING HE CALLS US INTO - spiritual authority from the Spirit of God:
Philippians 2:13 "It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
We are equipped, empowered, and anointed by God himself! It all comes from outside of us. It does not depend on our personality, how qualified we are, our background, how spiritual we are. It depends on God - in us, working through us.
God has a purpose for your life and he has given you the spiritual power to achieve it. That's the truth. Will you receive it?
When you receive it, you'll have a new sense of boldness and confidence (authority) to to step into God's calling - whatever it is - expecting all of his supernatural help: the doors will open, the favor you need, the spiritual breakthroughs, the insights, the wisdom, the resources, and the fruit. The Lord works for you. He goes ahead of you.
I'm not saying its easy. There will be trials and setbacks. But you will see God's mighty hand at work making a way where there is no way (Isaiah 43:19).
God called Zerubbabel to do the impossible - rebuild the temple after the exile:
Zechariah 4:6-7 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. 7 “What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground.”
Let God's truth shape your life. God's call comes with God's power. Receive it!
When the Lord appeared to Moses and told him to lead Israel out of Egypt, Moses said NO! Why? Because 40 years earlier, he had completely blown it. And he was living in bondage to the lie that God was finished with him. 40 years bound!!!!
I'm wondering if you're living in a lie like that. It's so easy to get trapped in deception. And you don't believe you have any spiritual power and authority. God calls and you're like, "What? Not me!" You're looking over your shoulder to see who God is really talking to. Suddenly, you're overcome by an attack of "butitis" - "But, but, but ..."
God says, "Stop hiding, stop saying no." Reject the lies, receive the truth. Steven Furtick writes, "The voice you believe will determine the future you experience." (Crash the Chatterbox)
Now, I want you to re-imagine your life. You've heard God's call to something (parenting, praying for people, career, volunteering in a ministry, etc) Now, imagine receiving God's anointing: picture him clothing you with spiritual authority. Receive it!
Friends, we have it all. All the spiritual power we need - the gifts, the abilities, the vision. From God. Be confident. Be bold. Paul told Timothy in verse 6:
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands."
We have all of the Holy Spirit's resources, but we need to fan them into flame - activate God's power by stepping out in faith into whatever future he has for you.
What is God calling you into? What vision, burden, dream, passion, burning idea, has he planted in you? Say yes. Tell someone. Seek counsel and prayer. But most of all say yes!
Take authority and step out!
(for a brief analysis of "dunamis" in the New Testament, click here)