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Grasshopper, Giants and God

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What God Can Do

Notes & Transcripts | Handout

Introduction

Perception versus Conviction
Perception - the state of being or process of becoming aware of something through the senses: the perception of pain.
Steven Covey in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He wrote this:
"I remember a mini-paradigm shift I experienced one morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly - some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people's papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing. It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive as to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, "Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn't control them a little more?" The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, "Oh, you're right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don't know what to think, and I guess they don't know how to handle it either." Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, and because I saw differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn't have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man's pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely. "Your wife just died? Oh, I'm so sorry! Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?" Everything changed in an instant."
Perceive - become aware of (something) by the use of one of the senses, especially that of sight:
Conviction - a firmly held belief or opinion
In the last few weeks two young men in the Florence area, Drew Jamieson and Steve Graham, Jr., took a stand that could have been unpopular and undoubtedly is in many instances. They chose to speak up for God and his gracious blessing in the lives of all and to pray during a graduation ceremony at a public high school. For their action they were criticized by some but praised by most. It was conviction and the courage of their conviction that worked to produce their stand. Later events related to this situation included a march for such freedom in Florence. It is gratifying to know of young people today who will take such stands.
Perception versus Conviction:
Are we easily drawn to make conclusions and be influenced on what we perceive and make a decision to believe on it OR do we decide to make a stand on a conviction or belief that would not only cast us aside from the norm but would also make us stand out among the rest.
As I was contemplating about what to share this morning, 3 weeks ago after Pastor Ed told me he is ministering at Jacksonville FL, the Lord impressed upon my heart about prayer, so I started praying about that, prayer. Bro. Eldie even asked me about my topic one Sunday.
Exodus 3:8 NLT
So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.
So I began asking God what about prayer, what does He wants me to share about prayer. So I focused my mind on it, then He impressed upon me again, our 10 o’clock prayer time every Sun, then I started praying and asking God “what’s it about our prayer time. Lord?”
So as the days where passing by from the time Pastor Ed asked me to prepare a message, last week was approaching, and we were asked to leave the school. Then it dawned on me, it was not only about Prayer it was about what we are praying for…there was a lot that we are praying for right -
Jersey City; Mayor....
United States;
Philippines;
Harvest City Bible Church....
Then finally as days unfold from last Wed until last Sunday, I sat down Sun evening and started writing down my thoughts ....
.....imagine, how many of us are praying to God, how many of us are praying for the cities we are in, country we are in....there’s millions or billions of us for that matter...
So it is not prayer per se....it is
Then finally as days unfold from last Wed until last Sunday, I sat down Sun evening and started writing down my thoughts about WHAT GOD CAN DO with the prayers that we bring to Him.
about WHAT GOD CAN DO with the prayers that we bring to Him.
Listen, we had a meeting, we have our LIFE Groups and every time we gather, we are praying for God’s will about a church building...
and the situation about the school happened, and now we are here, in this building.
We were caught with the element of surprise, we were kinda rattled because we already have it going in that place, but God have a different agenda for Harvest City Bible Church. AMEN!!!!!
I’ve entitled my message today:
GRASSHOPPER, GIANTS AND GOD: PERCEPTION VERSUS CONVICTION
Scripture Reading:
Numbers 13:25–33 NLT
After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.” But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
LET US PRAY

The Way We Look at Ourselves

Dive in into the Scouting Report:
So what’s the story behind. So a quick review. So the Israelites were freed from Egypt by the Lord through … (Noah) (Abraham) Moses!!
Narrate the story....
Moses - chosen by God
Israelites - freed from 400 yrs of slavery
After beeing freed, God gave them a promised land :
Numbers 13:1–3 NLT
The Lord now said to Moses, “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.” So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He sent out twelve men, all tribal leaders of Israel, from their camp in the wilderness of Paran.
Numbers 13:1-it took them 40 years just
Moses sent out the 12 to spy out the land.
So, long before Beyonce and the Spice Girls became a singing group, Moses already have his group and the Manager of the Spies Boys!
go Read vs 25 and following . . . .
what happened was .....go Read vs 25 and following . . . .
what happened was .....go further and expound the verse:
Because of their murmuring and complaints.
it took them 40 years just
Now fast forward, 40 years have passed, they saw the promised land but sent out first the Spies Boys, the 12 spies, to check out the land.
Go further and expound the verse:
Read vs 25 and following . . . .
Reported to the whole community
Showed the fruit they had taken … grapes…differentiate… show slide
Numbers 13:
Numbers 13:23 NLT
When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them! They also brought back samples of the pomegranates and figs.
But inspite of this truth, right in front of their eyes....
Numbers 13:28–29 NLT
But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”
Numbers 13
So this is how they look at themselves:
THEY CAN NOT JUST TAKE THE LAND BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE THAT WERE IN IT.
Numbers 13:31 NLT
But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”
Numbers 13:
All of a sudden, God was tossed out of the picture. Now it’s all about themselves, they totally forgot AGAIN about WHO brought them out of Egypt, THE ONE TRUE GOD. THE MOST POWERFUL GOD! They were looking at their inability whereas God already equipped them with His promises.
Genesis 13:1–2 NLT
So Abram left Egypt and traveled north into the Negev, along with his wife and Lot and all that they owned. (Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold.)
Numbers 13:1–2 NLT
The Lord now said to Moses, “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.”
It’s a done deal, it’s for the taking! The sad part is though they have experienced the goodness and faithfulness of God, it seems that they have constant problems identifying themselves with God.
Apostle Paul said:
Apostle Paul said:
Galatians 2:20 NLT
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Philippians 4:13 NLT
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
I’m crucified with Christ
When we face the mirror how do we see ourselves?
When we face the mirror how do we see ourselves?
When we face the mirror how do we see ourselves?
When we face the mirror how do we see ourselves?
Sickly?
Depressed?
Defeated?
Or do we know that our true Identity can be found with Christ and can be found in His promises
I am a son (or daughter) of God. -
I am a son (or daughter) of God. -
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me -
Identity with Christ - share notes fr Mel’s lesson
I am complete in Christ. -
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. -
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm. -
Identity in Christ - This is who we are in Christ
Identity in Christ - This is who we are in Christ
Remember:
Claiming God’s promises are anchored on our understanding of WHO GOD IS AND WHAT HE CAN DO! If we totally understand who He is in our lives we can weather any storm that comes our way.
Claiming God’s promises are anchored on our understanding of WHO GOD IS AND WHAT HE CAN DO! If we totally understand who He is in our lives we can weather any storm that comes our way.

The Way We Look at Adversities

Numbers 13:28–29 NLT
But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”
Numbers 13:31–33 NLT
But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
,
Numbers 13:
The Israelites totally lost it when they heard the report. When you go to
Numbers 14:1 NLT
Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night.
Numbers 14:Totally lost it in a sense that the report was so overwhelming that it even overshadowed the greatness and power of God!!
Totally lost it in a sense that the report was so overwhelming that it even overshadowed the greatness and power of God!!
They totally forgot that the Land was already by the taking because of God’s word -
Numbers 13:1–2 NLT
The Lord now said to Moses, “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes.”
And....
“I will never leave you nor forsake you”
What they saw are the GIANTS!! You know these giants are - the verse said - “descendants of Anak” - Ancestor of a race Anakim - The Nephilim (“fallen ones, giants”) were the offspring of sexual relationships between the sons of God and daughters of men in
And the other men literally sees the impossibility of conquering the land because of these huge giants.
And they didn’t even kept their fear among themselves,
Numbers 13:32 NLT
So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge.
Granted that the adversity is really in front of you, it makes you shiver. It makes you tremble in fear..how do we approach this adversity, will we allow it to over power our senses, our whole being, or will we stand in the truth of His word that we are more than conquerors?
WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS:
Romans 8:37 NLT
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Romans 8:37 NLT
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
In NIV it says - No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Remember about the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Isis in February 2015? But did you know that only 20 of them were actually Copts from Egypt? Did you know that one of the martyrs was from Chad, and he had not been a Christian prior to the day of his beheading?
Remember about the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Isis in February 2015? But did you know that only 20 of them were actually Copts from Egypt? Did you know that one of the martyrs was from Chad, and he had not been a Christian prior to the day of his beheading?
The report goes..
All 21 men had been working in Libya when they were kidnapped by ISIS. But as can be seen in pictures where they are lined up on the beach to be killed, one of them had darker skin and different facial features. This was the man from Chad.
The Coptic Christians were given a choice to deny Jesus or die. They refused to deny Him, knowing it would cost them their heads.
When the terrorists ordered the man from Chad to deny Jesus or die, he answered, “Their God is my God,” thereby sealing his fate.
That’s how moved he was by the faith of these Christians. Their refusal to deny their Savior, even at the point of death — literally, at the point of a knife to their throats — moved him to make a profession of faith, one that would cost him his head as well. Can we grasp the intensity of this story?
How do we look at our adverities, be it death or a threat or just a simple problem that can alter our stand and mar our understanding about our indentity in Christ, our adversity shakes the very foundation of our belief in Christ thereby most of the time, little did we know, we choose defeat rather than victory in Christ.
The Israelites saw themselves like grasshoppers in front of the giants,
The Israelites saw themselves like grasshoppers in front of the giants,
they totally forgot that their make up, their total being which is under the power the living the God!!
Can we be like Caleb instead when He said:
Numbers 13:30 NLT
But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”
How many Christians would be sorely tempted under such circumstances? How many would waver and, for that moment, deny their Lord, just to avoid beheading? Yet this man, who had not been a follower of Jesus before then, was so moved by the dedication of these Christians that he became a believer on the spot.
Numbers 13:
“Go ahead and behead me,” he was saying. “Your god is not my God. Their God is my God.

The Way We Look at God

The truth of the matter is, we all experience, one way or another, a shaking at the very core of our spiritual being, but with different intensity I suppose. Meaning, we have different experiences, right? My trials ain’t your trials, my temptations ain’t your temptation. But one thing I’m for sure, WE HAVE THE SAME GOD THAT CAN DELIVER US FROM THESE TRIALS!!!
E
Exodus 23:20 NLT
“See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you.
This brings us to my third and last point.
THE WAY WE LOOK AT GOD
Numbers 14:10–11 NLT
But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?
Numbers 14:10-
“How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?
HOW DO WE REALLY KNOW WHO GOD IS?
February 2015, during a church planting seminar in NY Pastor Ed received a mandate from God
March 2015 - Pastor Ed met with BCI leaders and ask for a prayer.
August 2015 - gathered prospect people and the Jersey City Bible study group and started sharing this mandate, the vision.
January to April 2016 - there where Pre-Sunday Services, just to get a feel of how it would look like
April 24, 2016 - HCBC had its first official Sunday worship Service. Pastor Chris’ church - full pack.
Leaders gathered to pray for another place - BOOM - the Lord grants our desire...
Then an unexpected thing happened, adversity struck - the school and Dept of Education doesn’t want us to use the premises.
BUT WE HOLD ON STEADFASTLY Because time and time again we saw WHO GOD IS,
Every time the FB Chat room is filled-up with prayer requests - EVERYBODY IS DECLARING FOR A MIRACLE
Who the Israelites is, IS NOT US, BECAUSE WE KNOW WHO OUR GOD IS IN OUR LIVES! - We don’t look at ourselves defeated!
We have experienced miracle upon miracle, healing upon healing - THIS IS WHO OUR GOD IS TO US!
Yes we encounter adversities in life, but we can weather any storm that comes our way.
2 Corinthians 4:8–10 NLT
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
Our God is an awesome God, a great God, a faithful God. For us, He is not just a mere perception of what He can do, but rather it is a deep seated conviction, a strong belief of who He is. The way we look at God, determines how we look at ourselves and how we deal with adversities.
Numbers 13:23 NLT
When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them! They also brought back samples of the pomegranates and figs.
And may we go up continually, level upon level of our faith in Him.
May all our perception turn into conviction.
Even when we feel like we are just like grasshoppers OUR GOD is our
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