Sunday 30 August 2020
Ps Ben Hooman
What a privilege and honor to stand here this morning with the people I love so much! What must the apostle Paul had to endure by being away for very long periods from the brothers and sisters in Christ that he loved so much. I can never put myself in his shoes, but one thing I know, I missed you all.
Never we had to be separated from one another for such a long period. Most of us have not seen one another since our last meeting in the middle of March. That is a long time ago, and still we cannot hug and greet one another as God asks us to do.
Due to the corona virus still infecting people, let us adhere to the regulations by not hugging or shaking hands, by keeping a distance of at least one and half meter, keeping on our masks, and wash or sanitize our hands regularly.
As I walk through my garden this week, I see the signs of a changing season. I see the grapevine having new leaves, the fruit trees blooming, the birds chirping with a new song of excitement and joy. I see the doves flirting in their fruitfulness.
As I see the grapevine shooting out beautiful green leaves, God reminded me of the fig tree that was cursed by Jesus. Matthew chapter twenty-one tells us what happened. In the morning as Jesus was returning to the city, He became hungry and saw a fig tree by the wayside with leaves on it but with no fruit. Jesus said, ‘may no fruit ever come from you again’. And the tree withered at once. The disciples saw it and wondered how the tree withered at once. Jesus then said to them,
“Truly I say to you , if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even when you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea’, it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.’ (Matthew 21:21-22)
As I pondered on these words, looking at the green leaves, and knowing the grape vine bearing grapes every year, it struck me that I have to fertilise it to bring forth good fruit. It went through a cold and dry winter. I immediately aligned with the winter season that not only had very cold days and also days with severe frost, but also a famine of an ever-present virus unknown to all. An enemy we cannot see and only experiencing its devastating effects. A virus that have stolen our freedom, and a political system using it for alternate selfish gains.
I looked at the beautiful new leaves, and I saw newness! As if the Lord is saying, ‘See, I am doing a new thing’. In the natural because of growing up on a farm, I saw a newness as the winter passes and spring bringing new life all round.
I want you this morning to imagine with me the story of an African farmer. He bought a bag of seed at the local store. This bag is a symbol of hope, a hope for the future. It contains seed that will produce a harvest, and then food. He is sitting in front of his hut, waiting for the famine of drought to pass. Looking up to the skies and waiting for the rain to come. Like many Christians relying on other gods for the rain to come. In the past his forefathers even sacrificed their first born to a rain or water god for the rain to come. The face of a farmer, clinging on strings of hope to bring forth food.
How many Christians today are in a spiritual famine, in a spiritual drought. Many looking at the bag of seed without having any seed in the soil. Giving up on the hope and faith, and not even saving up seed for when the rain comes. The Word of God, a seed planted, so that when the rain come, they can prosper.
Many know the promises, even claim the promises, and looking at past successes. But now there is not much hope. During this famine, this desert period, things are not happening. Looking at our circumstances and saying, Will this ever pass? Is there a future and a hope? Will the rain come and when will it come?
Christians going through a desert, a dryness, a wilderness. You acknowledge God as Almighty God; you know the Word of God; its past history that God look after His people, that He is our Provider, our Healer, our future, but nothing happens. How long still in this winter O’ Lord? How much longer, how much more to endure?
The Lord says to you this morning,
“Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick; Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild beasts will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people, the people whom I formed for Myself that they might declare My praise.” (Isaiah 43:15-21)
Do you hear what the Lord is saying to you right now?
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth. Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
I see the heavens open and the glory of God ascended down on you right now, bringing a new season, a new season where you will experience God like never before!
It is your time, it is your season, it is about to rain! Yes, it is about to rain on us! Do you also hear the thunder of the Lord? Incline your spiritual ear and hear Him!
A spirit of creativity, a spirit of entrepreneurship, a spirit of God’s power in your life and in your house. You will be a blessing to people, to your community, this city and to this nation! An abundant harvest spring forth, fruitfulness in abundance!
Our people will set new spiritual trends, new songs will come from our midst! We will carry the seed of hope, carriers of hope and faith, faith that will move the mountain in front of you. Hallelujah!
Although you born a failure, you will die a great success, and to Jesus Christ all the glory! Like a Moses you will rise up. As a redeemed son or daughter of Almighty God, you are born into Christ. Like a Moses you will rise up!
Moses, his Father was Amram, his mother Joshabed, out of the tribe of Levi. His mother had to hide him for three months, born a failure and suppose to die, But God had a plan for his life! And the faith of a mother reversed the curse on his life. Mothers, your faith reverses the curse of death on your child’s life. It will be reversed by your faith!
Another example is Jabez. Jabez, born out of the family of Judah, out of the tribe of Judah, that brought forth Jesus to this natural world. Jabez, a man tagged as ‘mister pain’,
“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain’. Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, ‘O that you will bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain’. And God granted what he asked.” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)
Do not let your past direct your future. Jabez name meant pain. They believed that where he goes, he will cause pain. People will believe and tell you what you will become, but God has another plan.
Jabez, the fourth son of Judah, Judah the son of Jacob, Jacob the son of Isaac, Isaac the son of Abraham. Jabez was born in the bloodline of Abraham, and God said to Abraham, “Through your offspring all nations will be blessed”. God made a covenant with Abram, even changed his name to Abraham, meaning ‘father of many nations’. God also changed his wife’s name from Sarai which means ‘barren’ to Sarah and blessed her with a son. God gave them a new season.
Isaac was born and his name meant ‘laughter’, Jacob born as he grabbed the heal of his brother, deceived. But God had a different plan. Jacob had a son, Judah, which means ‘praise’, glory to God. And then Jabez. He knew something in him is much greater than anything outside of him, greater than his circumstances.
When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ; the Lion of the tribe of Judah, we enter into the royal priesthood of Christ. “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”.
Jabez, born a curse, called pain, but with royal blood in his inner being, refused to accept the curse, refuse to accept his circumstances and called on the Lord. “When people see me, they see pain, but when God see me, He see His son. There is royal blood pumping through me! I will ask God to: bless me; to enlarge my territory; God’s hand to be with me; to keep me from evil, so I can cause no pain”.
Yes, the Lord wants to do a new thing in your life too! Let us embrace it. We need to stay focussed. We need to stop looking what is behind and focus on what lies ahead. Forget the former things and do not dwell in the past. Like the children of Israel, we need to leave Egypt and conquer the land of Canaan.
The question today is not what God has done in your life, but what God is doing right now! Do not allow the past failures to possess you, nor your past circumstances. We cannot live of yesterday’s faith. God has done great things in the past but we need to focus on what God wants to do right now.
‘See I am doing a new thing”. We need to perceive it, acknowledge it, pursue it, and understand it. What do you see when you see your life? Do you see possibilities, or do you see problems?
The Lord is saying to you, “I am making a way in the desert, and streams in the wasteland”.
Like the children of Israel, we have a choice: we can ponder in the past or we can embrace the future. To be able to do that, you need to see yourself as God sees you. Your past might have made your life a wasteland but in God it becomes streams of living water, a river in the desert!
See the possibilities as God see them, even under the circumstances we find ourselves in. God is greater than this economy, greater than the pandemic, and greater than your challenges. It is God that transforms the desert areas into fields of blessing and abundance. See God is doing a new thing!
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
See God is doing a new thing, therefore commit yourself anew completely to Christ. See what the Lord is doing right now. Allow Him to show you His glory!
“See I am doing a new thing”. Do you hear His call this morning? Is it only green leaves the Lord sees or is there also fruit? Did you prepare the soil of your heart during this lockdown? Do you have the seed in the ground? How much time are you spending with God in prayer and in His Word? It is never too late to start. He wants to bring forth good fruit in and through you. Are you ready for it? With how much can the Lord trust you?
Make a decision today to follow God wholeheartedly with all that you are. Surrender to Him all the weight that you carry, all the concerns and burdens of this world.
Have faith and do not doubt, and see how God is doing a new thing. Not only in your heart, but also in your finances, in your family, in your circumstances. There is hope and there is a future and all of that are only in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hear the thunder, see the clouds gather, it is going to rain for God is bringing forth a new thing!
Let us pray:
Father, we now surrender all to You. Come and have Your way in our lives. Come and do a new thing. We submit to Your rule and reign in our lives. Lead us by Your Spirit to live our lives for Your honor and for Your glory. This all made possible in and through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and in His Name we pray. Amen.
May the seeds that burst forth from you, be taken up by the wind of the Holy Spirit, and be carried to the lost, in Jesus mighty Name, Hallelujah. Go in God’s favor and have a blessed week. See, He is doing a new thing!