The Battle Within


In this message, we learn that we can choose to strengthen ourselves in the Lord or weaken ourselves in our circumstances.

The heart that worships Jesus lives free. The heart that worships Jesus lives free. Freedom is always available to you and I. This is whether or not, we choose to step into it. And sometimes, at the end of a worship set, you might be thinking like land the plane. Let’s wrap this thing up and move on to the cerement. Right? Sometimes, these guys we trust them that they are hearing and following the presence of God. Sometimes what we are just doing, is waiting on the Lord to let Him do what He wants to do. And when you create space for God to move

What He does is, He moves. And so somebody, maybe you got physically healed during that worship. Somebody, maybe you got a word from the Lord. Somebody got an encounter that they needed. Somebody got something set free in their heart. Sometimes, we just wait on the Lord, and we let Him do what He wants to do and we just keep remembering to ourselves the heart that worships Jesus lives free. And I want you to live free. Okay? So we are going to start a new series today, simply called this, take heart strengthen yourself in the Lord. And for the next few weeks, we are just going to talk about “how do we find strength in this life, like how do we deal with difficulties and the trials and some of the hard stuff that we face in life and this has been something that’s kind of stirring in me for a while. I spend a lot of time thinking about it on my break, and it has been interesting this week, because I feel like the Lord has just been kind in dripping it into me. Normally, I kind of no where he wants to go in the beginning of the week, and so I started working on it. This week I just feel, He has been kind of dripping it into me, and so I am just going to try to share and see where we go.

You see, as a follower of Jesus, you should handle difficulties very differently than the people of this world. In fact, one of the defining aspects of who we are as followers of Jesus, is how we handle difficulties. I mean, think about it. You are a new creation in Christ. You got the spirit of the living God, dwelling inside of you. God is for you, who can be against you. We know the last chapter of the story of how [laughs] would all works out. We are already victorious. The Bible tells us when we weak, when we are strong, how we handle difficulties, should be very different than the people of this world. In fact, you can stop, and look at your own life because however you handle difficulties reveals what you really believe about God. However, you handle the tough stuff, it reveals what you really believe about God. See circumstances don’t create what’s in our hearts, they just reveal what’s already there. And we think it creates. No, no. It just reveals what’s already in here. So how you handle the tough stuff. It reveals what you believe about God. And not only that, it communicates what you believe about God to the world around you.

It’s actually one of the greatest evangelism tools we have, is to walk through circumstances with the joy of the Lord is our strength. In fact, James 1 right – He says consider a peer joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds, you are like [laughs] that’s crazy James. Consider a joy, when I am going through a difficult, James says yeah. Because when you learn, how to strength yourself in the Lord, you will have joy in the midst of the worst circumstances and that will reveal the love of God to the world around you. Okay? That’s what we are going to talk about for the next few weeks, so if you got your Bibles, turn with me to 1 Samuel Chapter 30 – this is going to be kind of a theme story. Let me go ahead and set the stage for you, while you are turning there. This is David, the man after God’s own heart. David, who has been anointed to be the king of Israel, and yet for the last 10 years, he has been running from the current king of Israel, Saul who is trying to kill me. And here in 1 Samuel Chapter 30, I believe this is probably one of the hardest days, if not the hardest day in David’s entire life.

Man, this is a really bad day. And if you look at David’s life, he lived in through a lot of hard circumstances, a lot of difficulties. David faced a whole lot of rejection. Say, I think sometimes we read the Bible and we think these guys they have easy, put together peaceful lives. The truth is, they had really difficult challenge in life. I mean, David knew rejection. To think about it, it started with his family. His own family rejected him. Remember, when Samuel comes to David’s father Jesse, and wants to anoint the new king of Israel and the father gets the sons. He has got 8 boys, but he only gathered 7 of them. He leaves David out in the field. Samuel goes through it all and says “what’s none of these do you have another boy.” And the father is like, yeah, but he is the shepherd boy out in the field, you don’t want him. And so right from the beginning, David was rejected by his own family. So in Psalm 27:10 – It’s as though, my mother and father forsake me. The Lord will receive me still. David knew what it was like to be rejected by the family in this earth, but he knew it was like to be accepted by HEAVENLY loving Father. So he was rejected his family. Then he was rejected by his boss, by Saul the king. Right?

He gets anointed to be the king of Israel. He goes and serves, Saul the appointed king of Israel, the current king of Israel and he goes, and wins battles and victories, puts his life on the line. He is totally loyal to Saul and yet Saul becomes crazy, becomes a mad man. He is jealous of David’s victories, and so one day [laughs] while David was playing Harp, Saul picked up a spear and threw at David, [laughs] to try to kill him. I am just saying, your boss is doing worse than that.

I know you think he is, but until your boss throws a spear, you ain’t got nothing on David. He was rejected by his boss, by his king. He knew what it was like to try to submit to difficult authority. He was also rejected by his own nation. One day, he is hiding out in a city. Saul and the army is coming to get him. He prays God as is, “are my people going to turn me over to Saul” and God says, “yes they are.” And so he turns around and he runs. David was rejected by his nation. He knows what it’s like to not have a place in this world, and if that’s not bad enough, he goes and he lives with the Philistines, his enemies. The enemies of the people of God and he lives among the Philistines.

He is going out and doing battle form and one day, the Philistines lining up to fight the Israelites. David goes with the Philistines to fight the Israelites. They get halfway there and the kings look at David. And they are like, “man, we think you are going to turn on us in battle. You need to go home.” You know it’s a bad day, when even your enemies don’t want you to fight against their enemies with you, and they send David back. He was rejected by his own enemies. Okay. At that point, you and I would call it a day. Can we agree with that? We would cash it in. I would not keep going, I will be like I am done. I [laughs] don’t care what my destiny or calling the life is [laughs] I can’t deal with this anymore, but not David. He keeps going. 1 Samuel 30 Verse 1 – he has just been rejected literally by the Philistines. He is going back to Ziklag where he lives Verse 1. David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites, another set of his enemies had raided the Negev and Ziklag. So while he was with the Philistines getting rejected, other enemies came in. they attacked Ziklag and burned it and they are taking captive, the woman and all who are in it.

Both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way. When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives, and sons and daughters taken captive, so David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him. Each was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters, but David found strength and the Lord is God. You want to talk about a bad day. Your enemies reject you, you go back home and while you have been gone another set of enemies comes in and raids your town, burns everything down, captures all of our family, takes all of your stuff and your possessions and leaves. And here is David and his men, and they come up on it. And then realize it, and they start weeping and all of the sudden, David’s mighty men turn on him. These are David’s mighty men, like the 600 men that no one else is society wanted, but David gave them a chance, and for years they have been going out winning battles, defeating giants, doing great things for the Lord.

David believes in them. These men are loyal to David, but in this moment, they have had enough and they pick up stones in the sense and they [laughs} are ready to kill David. And he finds himself alone and rejected. The world is against him and David has a choice to make. Is he going to lay down and cry? and mope and wain. Is he going to get angry? Is he going to say it’s someone else’s fault. Is he going to make a case to try to convince his men as he can allow his enemy to steal his destiny, but it’s not what he does. It says, David strengthens himself and the Lord is God. In other words, he believed that his God was bigger than his circumstances. He closed his eyes to the problems and opened his eyes to the promised. And he strengthened himself with the Lord. He didn’t wait for anybody else to do it. He didn’t’ wait for someone to minister to him. He didn’t wait for someone to come along and encourage him. He strengthened himself in the Lord. And in that moment, he very clearly sets himself apart from his men.

You see, while David was strengthening himself in the Lord, his men were weakening themselves in their circumstances. They were becoming bitter victims while David was walking in the blessing of victory. Now, stop for a second and think with me. Think in your mind somebody in your life, you would define as a bitter victim. Okay? Picture someone in your mind, you would define as a bitter victim. Word of wisdom, don’t look at the person next to you.

While you are trying to think of who this is. Think of a bitter victim in your mind. Okay? You got that person in your mind? Think of the words now that they say. What comes out of their mouth. it’s always about the circumstances. it’s all they talk about. It’s about the circumstances, how bad they are, how hard their life is, how difficult it is, that it was this person’s fault or that person, my spouse, my boss, the Church leadership, the government. These people did that. It’s always about the circumstances, and it’s always someone else’s fault. They are defined by their circumstances. That’s a bitter victim.

Now on the other hand, think of someone you would define in life that’s walking in the blessing of victory. You can look at the person next you on this one. It would probably encourage them a little bit.

But think of something; they are walking in the blessing of victory. Think of that person and think of the words that come out of their mouth. They almost never talk about circumstances. They talk about the goodness of their God, the faithfulness of their God, the love of their God. If they talk about circumstances, they talk about circumstances; they talked about how God showed up and did amazing things among them. They are not defined by their circumstances. They define their circumstances. And if you read the Bible, and you look at people in life, every person you come in contact with is one of those two people. They are either a bitter victim or they are walking in the blessing of victory. There is no in between. And so my question for you today would be, “which one of those two are you.” Are you the bitter victim or you walking in the blessing of victory. You see an inadequate view of the love of God will always create an unhealthy view of the circumstances in your life. And if you look at the people that are walking in the blessing of victory, they usually actually have worse circumstances by human standards than those we would say are bitter victims.

But they have a great revelation of the love of God. So they strengthen themselves in the Lord and it gives them a healthy view of the circumstances in their lives. So my question for you today is this, like how do you handle the tough stuff. Like what you do on the bad days, when you are like David. Everyone is against you. The world has rejected you, everything is coming upon you, the storms of life are ragging. How do you respond? Do you stress out, you are fearful, angry, and you get upset. It’s everyone else’s fault. Like what you do, when you lose your job, can’t pay the bills, didn’t make the team, you got major temptation in your life, you find out someone in your life that has canceled your marriage postponed. Like how do you respond? Strengthen yourself in the Lord or weaken yourself in the circumstances. In fact, maybe let me try to say to you in a different story. Do you remember the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis? Jacob and Esau, twin brothers, their father is Isaac and Esau is the older son, which means he should get the birth right and the blessing, the double portion.

Will Jacob, the younger brother; his name means deceiver and he has already deceived Esau out of the birth right, but now he goes off and he deceives father Isaac, who can’t see anymore because of his old age and he gets the blessing that was due to Esau. You want to talk about a hard day, you want to talk about rejection, you want to talk about some tough stuff, and there is this really interesting Verse, that says and Esau comforted himself with the thought of killing his brother. He comforted himself with the thought of killing his brother, and in that moment, we learned that we craved comfort. We actually need comfort. We were made for comfort, but the question is, “where do you to get that comfort when life is falling apart. What like in your life is it? I got to go to work. If I go to work, I am comforted. I got to get on Facebook and go into that world, like [makes a sound] everything will be great. Is it you go to your hobby, you got to watch a T.V. show. Are you like, Esau you go somewhere deep in the recesses of your mind.

Are you like David’s men? You want to plot revenge, and criticism, and come against someone’s else. I need to get a couple of glasses of wine or do this thing, maybe it’s you just need your Snuggy? The blanket that you were, I am talking about. Until about five minutes before service, I thought Snuggie was the S-shaped pillow. You know. You know what I am talking about? Come on man.

It was the greatest thing when Colleen was pregnant. Is we had a Snuggie, but apparently it isn’t not. It’s called Snoogle. It’s totally different [laughs], but I thought they were the same thing. I just figured that out [laughs] like quite before service.

Where do you go for comfort? Everything you pursue apart from Jesus, actually makes you weaker than you already are. Sleep will make you stronger. Circumstance will change, will make you joyful. Ignoring your feelings won’t make you free, complaining with someone else won’t make you happy. Mathew 11:28, Jesus says – come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. In other words, calm.

When life is falling apart, and the world is against you and you feel rejected, I will give you rest, which means that when we go somewhere else to find that comfort with rest, we become even more restless than we already were. If the Holy Spirit is the great comforter, then there is no comfort found apart from Him. And I am convinced that some of the worst decisions, we make in life is when we try to find quick comfort for deep pain. Think about it in your life. I would bet some of the worst decisions you made in life is when you are looking for quick comfort from deep pain, and we go to the wrong source. Where do you go? And if in your mind, you are like thinking and you are like I go here. This is what I need. I need this thing. I need that glass of wine, that T.V. show, Snuggie or Snoogle or whatever S word you [laughs] want to put to it. If you think, you need that thing, you understand. You are no longer in control of it. It’s actually in control of you. 2 Peter 2:19 – for a man is slaved whatever has mastered him.

If you need it, it’s mastered you. It actually is a authority in your life. Listen, I don’t want to be mastered by anything in this world. I want to be mastered by Jesus. Where do you go? Where do you go for comfort to strengthen yourself in the Lord, and the reason it’s so important is because you cannot step into your destiny until you learn to strengthen yourself in the Lord. It will never happen. In fact, play the rest of the story out. Here is what happens. It says, “David strengthened himself in the Lord. He rallies his men together. He doesn’t give them a big explanation. He just rallies his men together. They go off. They fight the Amalekites. They defeat them. They get their families back, get treasure.” And two chapters later, David gets anointed the King of Israel. Two chapters later, he steps into his destiny. He has been running for 10 years. 10 years he has been waiting to fulfill the destiny that God has called him to, and in this moment if David would have given up, looked at the circumstances, quit, given up, complained, criticized, would have walked away, he would have never got to his destiny that was only two chapters away.

You see it all over the Bible. Think about Nehemiah calling on his life, “I was to rebuilt the walls of the city Jerusalem. He goes, he starts it. His destiny is coming along great until opposition arises. Then in Nehemiah 6:9, it says – they were all trying to frighten us thinking their hands will get too weak for the world and it will not be completed, but I prayed, now strengthen my hands. Nehemiah strengthened himself in the Lord and stepped into His destiny and fulfilled it. Think about Paul. Paul have the [laughs] rough life man. You want a kind of revelation that God gave Paul in the New Testament. You got to be willing to go through some tough stuffs sometimes. He is shipwrecked, he is persecuted, he is stoned. He is beaten with sticks. The Church doesn’t want him. The Jews don’t want him. I mean, [laughs] he gets shipwrecked on a island. He reaches down for a piece of wood and a viper jumps up and bites his arm. And everyone is like, “oh God’s after you.” I mean it was a tough deal. And here is what he says. Philippians 4 – “I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances. I know what it is, to be in need. I know what it is. I have plenty.”

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether welfare or hungry, whether living in plenty or in whine, I can do everything through Him, who gives me strength. In other words, Paul says, “I put that verse on my football helmet. I know I can throw a touchdown pass.”

Some of you are like, “Yeah, yeah. Put it on my helmet, my kid’s helmet. He is going to do it.” That’s what we think that verse is talking about, that I can do any sports feat there is. No! No!

You can’t. You are not going to get an underarm deal. I am just telling you. It’s not going to happen.

What he is saying is, in the worst of circumstances I will strengthen myself in Him and I will keep moving on. And he walked into his destiny. How about Jesus? Worst day of Jesus’ life is the day He is about to go to the Cross. And He goes to the Garden of Gethsemane, hits his knees, and he prays, “Father, if there be any other way, let this cup pass for me.”

But not my will, but yours. And it says, “An Angel from the Lord came and strengthened Him in Luke 22. And he gets up, and he fulfills his destiny. Goes to the Cross and now he is seated at the right end of the Father. What if Jesus wouldn’t strengthen himself? What if in that moment, he would say “Father I am tapping up. I am good. Time to come home. I am kind of done with this deal.” Where do you need to strengthen yourself in the Lord right now. Because you might be two chapters away from something amazing that God has for you. Don’t give up now. Listen, a while back, my little 4 year old girl; she was 4 at that time, she is 5 now but she was 4, and she was in the other room and she was playing and I was in my office just reading something. And all of a sudden, I just kind of hear her whining. She was just kind of whining in the other room. And not like that, I am hurt and you need to rescue me cry, but it’s just [laughs] whiny cry.

And she started saying, “this is so bad.” She just keeps saying that over and over again. This is so bad [laughs] oh my God. This is so bad and in a couple of minutes, it’s just while. It is so bad. Finally, I have had enough of hearing “so bad” I got to see it. And I get up and I walked into the room and she is rolling around on the ground saying this is so bad, and I am wondering [laughs] like “Emma what’s going on. She just said, “my toy is broken daddy. This is so bad.” And I reached down, and I picked up the toy and I look at it and I go and put the piece right back in there that has fallen out. I handed it back to her, and she looked at me and she goes “Oh, thanks daddy.”

She goes out and starts playing. And I walk to house, like that was embarrassing man.

If I you, I hope nobody got that on phone and is going to post it.

And as I thought about it, I thought how many times do I look just like that.

How many times do I roll around on the ground and complained “this is so bad, this is so bad.” Think how much of life we waste worrying over battles that have already been won. Every time you play the What If game or the What is me game. You understand, you are weakening yourself and you are exhausting yourself. Like what were you worried about a month ago? What were you worried about six months ago. How about a year ago? This time, last year what were you worried about? I bet you can’t even remember. You are probably rolling around on the ground today and this is so bad, and you can’t even remember what it was.

Weren’t that bad? We are right now where you are saying “this is so bad,” you need to replace those words with he is so good.

See, John 16:63, here is the theme of this whole series. Jesus looks at the disciples. He says, “In this world you will trouble, but take heart.”

For I have overcome the world. See if you can catch this. In this world, you will have trouble. He says problems are going to come. You are going to have hard days, you are going to face rejection, you are going to have enemies, there is going to be some rough stuff. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, strengthen yourself in Me. For I have overcome the world. In this world, there will be problems, but strengthen yourself to Me, because I have already overcome the world.” In other world, Jesus says “is your problem in the world.” May I ask you, is your problem in the world.

Or is your problem different than that.

I don’t know how to help you, if it is.

Your problems in the world, Jesus says “take heart, for I have already overcome the world.” In fact here is what He says. He says, “win the battle in here and you always walk in victory out there. Loose the battle in here, you will always walk in defeat out there. Win it in here, you will walk in victory out there. Loose it in here, you will always walk in defeat out there.

See the battle is in here. This is where the victory is won. The victory out here is already won. Jesus says, “I have already overcome the world. I am taking care of it all. It’s done. You and me spend our lives fighting the wrong battle. That’s what I am trying to tell you. He says, take care. What does that mean? It means align yourself with Jesus. Agree with He said is already true. Stop letting circumstances determine the atmosphere of your heart, and let the atmosphere of your heart determine your circumstances. Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God.” That is love be bigger than any circumstances that you are facing. Because guess what it already is. We just have to chose to believe that it is true. Remember I told you in the beginning that an inadequate view of the love of God will lead to an unhealthy view of circumstances, to our verse is true. A greater understanding of the love of God will lead to a healthy view of circumstances.

Stop agreeing with your circumstances. Stop looking at your ability and start looking at His authority. Don’t agree with cancer. Just don’t agree with it. Just say, you [laughs] know what “I am going to align myself with Jesus, by his stripes I have been healed.” Don’t agree with this set back, instead align your heart with His and day, “man My God will work together for the good all things for those who love Him, we have been called according to His purpose. So, I know God is going to use this to actually promote me. Don’t agree with the storm, instead align your heart with His and say, you know what nothing can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. 1 John 4:4, – Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. Same power that arose Jesus from the grave is alive and well and you take heart. Don’t empower your circumstances by agreeing with Him, empower your heart, by agreeing with Jesus. Listen to me, do you understand that your circumstances only have authority over your heart if you give it to them.”

The only authority circumstances have in your life and over your heart, is the authority that you have given to them. Because Jesus “I have already overcome the world. In other words, I have removed all authority empower that they have. They only have power and authority when you choose to give it back to Him. See it’s never a physical battle they were fighting. It’s a battle in here. All we want is the circumstances to change. All God wants is for the heart to change. Victorious hands and a defeated heart completely misses the point. Victorious hands a defeated heart completely misses the point. In other words, circumstances can be exactly the way that you want them to be, but if you still have a defeated heart, it misses the whole point. Because the abundant life is from out there flowing into here. The abundant life starts from here and flows out there. And if you lose the battle in here, you won’t know how to steward the victory out there. See if you loose the battle in here, you won’t know how to steward the victory that God wants to give you out there.

Like for example, if God changes your circumstance, but your heart doesn’t change, you will have no idea how to walk in the freedom of those new circumstances. if your problem is your marriage, and God changes the circumstance of your marriage, but your heart doesn’t change. You will have no idea how to steward the victory that he has given you of new circumstances in your marriage. If it’s a job issue, if God changes the circumstances of your job, but your heart doesn’t change, you will have no idea how to walk in the freedom of the circumstances that He has then given you. You got to win the battle and hear to know how to steward the victory out there and that’s why so many Christians live in this defeat mode in everything, this what was me, and this what if defeated, discouraged cycle because they allow the circumstances around them to define them because they have never won the battle in here. Never learned how to strengthen themselves when the really bad days come. We got to flip. I mean, if you think about it for a second, think of the Old Testament. Old Testament is basically like, are you with me on all this so far?

Does this make sense? I am trying to built up your faith. Your luck is in Old Testament is physical picture of spiritual truth. When you read the Old Testament, think about it that way. look at the physical reality. It’s teaching you something spiritually. And if you look at the Old Testament, it is full of physical battles. Here is the question, did God ever need anyone to actually fight a battle for Him. Yes or no?

God could have just looked at the opposing armies and just [makes a sound] done, but He wanted them to fight. Why? Because He wanted them to learn to win the battle in here, so they could steward the victory He was going to give them out there. Think of getting it in the Midianites. Right? Massive army. God starts getting with 32,000 soldiers, brings it down to 300, wants him to fight the Midianite. Did you ever wonder [laughs] why God texts the odds against us? 300 soldiers really, because he wanted to getting into to look at the difficult circumstance and learn how to strengthen Himself in the Lord, so He would knew how to steward the victory God was going to give Him in the future of ruling the people of Israel. How about the promised land?

Land full of what they call as giants. God brings them to the river. They look across. It’s full of giants. Did God need the people really to expel the giants. No, but God wanted them to find rest in Him before they found rest in the land, and so he said “you need to learn to win the battle in here, so you will know how to steward the victory out there. How about the city of Jericho. Battle Jericho was massive city. Right? Since the walls are height. Tightly shut in and no one can get in or out. God tells to march around the city seven times for seven days and on their third day, “don’t you know, there was a whole lot like, is anything going to happen. God didn’t need them to tear it on the wall, they couldn’t tear it on the wall. I think what God wanted is, that on day 3 when I felt like nothing was happening, he wanted them to choose to align their hearts with Him and win the battle in here, so they will be ready to steward the victory he was going to give them out there. Don’t let the size of the wall, make you question the size of your God.”

He will lead you into these places, where you will be forced to win the battle in here, to be prepared to steward the victory and the things He wants to entrust you without it. He has already won that battle. We fight the wrong battle. That’s what I am telling you. We think, if I can change the circumstances, I will be happy in here. The truth is, if you don’t win the battle in here, doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, you will never be happy. You will never be joyful. God lets external battles come in, so you can get internal strength with Him and learn to trust. And He wants to tear down everything you trust in. So your heart wholly rests in Him, like your Snoogle or Snuggie and everything else. Proverbs 3, 5 & 6 – trust in the Lord with all your heart, win it in here, not on your own understanding and all you do is acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. See, the promises of God, are often surrounded by what we perceive to be as problems.

The Midianites were the problem surrounding Gidean’s promise. The giants were the problem surrounding the promise of the promised land. The city of Jericho, the walls were the problem surrounding the promise that God has given the people, but what faith does is it closes its eyes to the problems and opens His eyes to the promises and moves forward. Don’t fight the battle out there. Win the battle in here. Let me pull it all together for you. You remember when Peter walks on water, it was really simple stories. Right? They are in the boat, big waves comes, big storm, they are afraid they are going to die. Jesus comes walking on the water. He is walking on the water man.

What could communicate more that He has authority over everything else out there than that. He is walking on the water and Peter sees Him, he says “Lord that’s you tell me to come.” Come on Peter, no problem man, come on. Peter steps out of the boat looking at Jesus. He takes a couple of steps, now Peter is walking on water.

He is walking on the wind, and the waves, and the storm, and the lightening, and the thunder, and the hailing and all. He is walking on it, which means we have the authority when we are strengthening ourselves in Him to walk on top of the depression, the anxiety, the marriage issue, the school problem, the job situation, financial provision, the health issue and we have the authority to walk on top of it, if we are looking at Him.

Because we are strengthening ourselves in Him. So as long as Peter is strengthening himself and Jesus, he is walking on top of the problems, then all of the sudden it says, when Peter saw, took his eyes of Jesus saw the winds and waves, he began to sink and he was afraid. In other words, he is no longer strengthening himself in the Lord, he was now weakening himself in the circumstances. Jesus reaches out His hand and He catches Peter and He pulls him up. He says, “why you have such little faith, Peter.” And what’s fascinating to me in that passage is, Jesus never once invites Peter to come to storm out there. He invites Peter to come in the storm in here. He says Peter I already have authority over the storm out here. What I want is for you to give me authority over the storm.

That’s in here. You see, this journey of following Jesus is the journey of learning to live from the heart. It’s not a journey of cognitive logic, and process and reasoning. It’s not. I will get some more Bible fax and you will have it figured out. It’s not come to Church, so Jesus will give you these blessed circumstances. It’s a journey of learning to live in here, and from here and through here, by giving Him the authority and the control here. He brings the peace. Regardless of what’s happened in out there and here is what’s crazy. If you have ever talked to somebody that is walking in the blessing of victory despite really tough circumstances, honestly at some point, they get to this place where they are so strengthened in the Lord. They really don’t really care anymore if the circumstances change, because everything in here has changed.

My God stop fighting the wrong battle. It’s not out there. It’s in here. And what have you stopped looking at circumstances is something to get through as fast as you can, to complain about, to criticize, to badmouth other people because they caused them. And what if you have started looking at circumstances is this is an opportunity for promotion in the kingdom. This is an opportunity to get in alignment with God because you realized all worry is being out of alignment with God. So opportunity to align with him, to agree with his truth, to walk in the blessing of victory, to pound the storm that rages in our and that’s what circumstances create and I realize some of you are looking at me, like man that’s sounds really good, but how is the wrong question. The question is who, it’s not how do you strengthen yourself. It’s who you are strengthening yourself in. And for the next few weeks I will tell you a lot of how, but you’ve got to get the who right, because if you don’t get the who right, it doesn’t matter who much ‘how’ you know. Sounds like a Dr. Seuss.

But you know what I am saying. Right? Don’t matter. Psalm 121:1-2 – I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord to make a heaven in earth. Psalm 24:8, – The Lord strong and mighty Lord, mighty to safe. Strength is only found in Him. He has overtaken the world. We let Him overtake your heart. Take heart. Strengthen yourself in Him. As I have no idea what’s going on in your life right now, but I would assume many people in this room, you are struggling with some major stuff right now. This is your moment to look to the Lord and say, I choose to strengthen myself in you Jesus. Instead of weakening myself in the circumstance. So you close your eyes.

What’s going on in your life right now? Where do you feel defeated, and discouraged, and down. Where do you feel rejected, and alone, and abandoned. Where do you feel like there is no hope or like you are trapped, like you just cannot get out of the same cycle that keeps repeating. That’s where you need to look to the Lord and strengthen yourself in Him. Because those glasses of wine are working more, or complaining to a friend, or going on T.V. or pretending like it isn’t there isn’t going to help you. It’s going to make you even weaker than you already feel like you are.

Strengthen yourself in the Lord. Think about Him. With Jesus, all things are possible. If He is for you, who can be against you. The Bible says the battle belongs to the Lord. How great is the love, the father has lavaged on us, then we should be called children of God. For I am convinced that there is nothing in this life that can separate me from the love of God and Christ Jesus. How wide, how deep, how long, how high is the love that God has for me. and how about this one. It is finished. He says I have already won all the victory that needed to be won. What I want is for you to let me in to your heart and win the battle from there. And so Holy Spirit I will just pray that You will come. We create a little bit of space for You and we wait on You to come.

Strengthen us in You. Bring hope where we are hurting, bring healing where we were broken, bring life where we are dying, bring vision where we are blind and move within us to strengthen us in You. Jesus, we broke claim and declare that you are great, strong, and mighty. Mighty the safe, and we look to You. We close our eyes to the problems. We open our eyes to the promises and we say we will not live as bitter victims, we will live in the blessing of victory as we look to you, as we take heart. Take heart.

Holy Spirit whispered that to us in deeper issues of our hearts. Thank you Lord. Here is my sense that some of you, you just need a little bit of ministry tonight. Come up and let these people pray for you. Some is going on, you are hurting, you are broken, come man. God is here, He is moving. Don’t be afraid of coming, miracles happen here, healing happens here, hope happens here, come and let these people pray for you. I think God’s not done with service. I think there is some more he wants to do. Let him do that, if that’s you. For those of you that want to give you ties and your offerings, there are boxes at all the doors; we believe it’s part of our worship and our expression to just how great he is. if you are new, I would love to invite you right out of here to Guest Central, where leaders will be in there and we want to say Hi to you, but I pray you owe this week feeling strong and mighty as you look past the wind and the waves and look to a God who loves you. Blessings.

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