THIS WEEKS MESSAGE
WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO?
Presented to by Pastor John S. Torell from his home church
Your responses and comments are always welcome.
23 November 1997
We are going to start this mornings message in the book of James. The title of this weeks message is What Does God Want Me To Do? We spoke last week on the prayer of faith.
What does God want me to do? This is a question that we should ask ourselves. What does God want you to do with your life? A week ago in the city of Fulson there was a gruesome murder. There was a young woman about 25 years old that had a child out of wedlock with a man that she was not married to. The two had been shacking up for sometime. They had been fighting on and off. About a week ago she died on the stairway of a condominium as she was trying to make an escape from the man that killed her. He was a psychiatrist who had his license revoked for having sex with his patients. He was hired by the school district here. He is 54 years old and she was 25 years old. When she died she had received 13 bullets in her back. This man, who was enraged, empty out his gun in this woman's body until there was no more life in it. He picked up his son, who was about 18 months old, and drove down to the Bay area. He left him loose on the streets and drove off to the airport. He caught a flight to France, where his father was from, trying to make his escape.
This is the world that we live in. If you could have been here and listened to the words given by the Holy Spirit, you would've heard that the Holy Spirit is grieved. He is grieved because we have a tremendous loss of life around us. People are dying all around us. There are violent crimes, beatings, and child abuse. God wants to activate His church and motivate us to move beyond us always asking Him for more blessings upon ourselves. We need to say, "God, what do you want me to do on this earth?"
Most people living on this earth are not saved, do not care to be saved, and could not care less to find out what God is doing, less trying to find out God's will in their lives.
James chapter 4 verse 13. Go to now, you that say, Today or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain; Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that you ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now you rejoice in your boastings; all such rejoiced is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
I listen to people all the time. I hear people make plans. They say, "We are going to do this or that. We're going to buy a new car. We are going to build this home. We want to buy this property. We want to do all these different things. I very seldom hear them say in their conversations that God told me to do this. God is leading me in this direction. All the time it is I, I, I, and we, we, we want this and that. What does God want in your life?
I wish I could take you today for just five minutes into hell-just five minutes-where we could go down there like a tour group. If so many people go on tour groups to Israel. I think it would be better to take people on a tour to hell, if God would allow it. Can you imagine? Five minutes in hell would make you and I a flaming evangelist. As we would be on our tour, we could look up that lady that was murdered. She has been in hell for about a week or so now. If we could talk to her, my assumption is that she was not saved, because she was not living a godly life. What would she say to you and I today? She only lived to be 25 years old. She had to leave her 18 month-old baby behind. Now she is confined in hell. Hell is not permanent; it is temporary. She would say, "Some day I'm going to go to the great White Throne Judgment. At the great White Throne Judgment I will be given my sentence forever to the Lake of Fire. I have no hope. I can never go back to earth. My life is over, Eternally!"
I tell you what the Bible says, In hell they are sobbing, crying, and moaning. If you want to know what grief is, there it is. On earth some of us are insulated; we have not understood this. We are still on our own trip, saying we're going to do what we are going to do.
Please turn to Proverbs chapter 27 verse 1. [I want each one of you to ask yourself this question today. Are you in God's perfect will? Are you doing now what God wants you exactly to do? Or, are you doing your own trip?] Boast not yourself of to morrow; for you knowest not what a day may bring forth. [We do not know if we're going to be here tomorrow. Today is the only day we have.]
Turn to the gospel of Luke chapter 12 vs. 15. And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night your soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
If you go down to Home Depot, Home Base, Lumber Jack, or any one of this type of stores this morning, you'll find that the stores are full of people. They are buying lumber, appliances, tools; the stores are full. The car dealerships are full of people that are buying. People are running around buying, money is flowing today. Good times are here. You can see them anywhere purchasing, and buying, and building nice homes. There's nothing wrong with a nice home. Most people live for their home; it becomes their God. They do not know that one day their soul will be required of them.
The rich man did not take into account that God is watching over each human beings, and when the "cup of a man is full," his days on earth are over and judgment is next. Do you live for Jesus? Or do you have your own program? The rich man had forgotten that he had received his riches from God.
Turn to the Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 10. [Yesterday in Australia, one of the world's well known rock-n-roll singers and player went to hell. They found him in his motel room hanging from the ceiling. He had committed suicide. The news networks had little sound bites of his music, then they announced that this man had hung himself just before he was ready to perform in a concert. He could not take it anymore. He had all the riches, all the fame he needed, but he could not take it anymore.] When thou hast eaten and are full, then thou shall bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
I think I can give no better illustration than when I go back to 1987 or 1988. The Soviet Union opened up their gates and the Russian and Ukraine Pentecostals poured out on the Soviet Union. Our church was one of the churches that got in early to give them help. I remember the apartment houses that they came here to live in. Some of you are here today. The biggest items that we could find in those days were mattresses. I remember seeing thousands of these pilgrims from the Soviet Union on fire for God, filled with the Holy Ghost and so thankful. I preached in their churches several times. I said, "Beware, it is harder to live in America than in the Soviet Union. It is harder to walk with Jesus in freedom then under persecution. Watch your children. They will be enticed by all the ungodly things that flow through this land." The Christians that came out of the Soviet Union were the best that they had. They were the cream of the crop, of many skills. Eight years later, they do not live in those apartments anymore. Many of them purchased homes and drive nice cars. Many of them have good paying jobs. They have moved up in society, making good money. Will those almost 5000 Pentecostals and Baptists who came out of the Soviet Union, Romania, East Europe, will they be on fire or will they simply melt into the American dream, laden with riches and goods. Their prayer time, will they have time for it anymore? Fasting is something we do not do that much of. The American church as a whole has waxed very sick. BEWARE!
The latest in thing I have learned this week among Pentecostal weddings is that the champagne is flowing and there is regular dancing with all the modern dance steps. I'm sorry if I offend some of you, but dancing is nothing more than mating. That is what it is. They are saying we are going to the year 2000. We have to be modern. We have to be moving.. We have to do things to draw the people with us. They want entertainment. Oh! We still love Jesus. I call them sipping saints. WHAT DOES GOD WANT YOU TO DO?
Turn to Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 1. To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, a time to heal; a time to break down, a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, a time to lose; a time to keep, a time to cast away; A time to rend, a time to sew; a time to keep silence, a time to speak; A time to love, a time to hate; a time of war, a time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I've seen the travail, which God has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He has made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
The Bible tells us that there is a season for all things. God has a season for all things. My question to you is this: are you in God's timing? God showed me these men-Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Joshua. He wanted me to lay this out for us today. These men lived a time span of 761 years. They were in God's will. The birth of Abraham took place around 2161 B.C.. The nation of Israel marched into the promised land 761 years later, under the leadership of Joshua around 1400 B.C..
Turn to Genesis chapter 12 verse 1. [Abraham was called by God and told what to do.] Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from the kindred, and from thee fathers house, unto a land that I will shew thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, in the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed through the land into the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto they seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
Abraham never bought a piece of land except a small cemetery plot. Abraham came to the promise land, but God said, "You cannot buy any land. I want you to live in the tent. I want you to move, and move, and move, and move. Yes, you can buy a small plot where you can put down your wife when she dies years later. You can lay there yourself. You are not to own any land." What was the purpose for Abraham? He was rich, filthy rich. He could have bought thousands of acres. He could have built the biggest ranch in the Middle East. God never told him to get land. What did God tell him? He was to be separated from the past. If you want to serve God, do not live in the past. As long as you live in the past, you are going to be grieved. Yesterday is gone; it'll never come back. Today is the day the Lord has given you. I don't care if you are rich and famous, poor, in prison, sick or whatever it is. Yesterday is gone, put yesterday behind you and say, "Father God, today is the day you have given me. Today I want to serve you." Abraham could not go back.
You must grow in faith. Many of you here have heard testimonies over the years. You have testified how rotten your jobs are. All bad things are in your neighborhood and things this nature. Remember this: God has sandpaper out there for all us. The sandpaper is there to polish us, to smooth us up. If you run from the sandpaper, He will have to get you with a two-by-four, and then have a belt sander run over you. YOU DO NOT WANT THAT! Then you will really be sanded, to grow in faith, to be a witness to the nations, to witness to them. To father Isaac-that was Abraham's calling. A life span from 75 he spent approximately 50 years in Caanaan land. Fifty years, a short time and God said, "You are finished Abraham we are going to take you out." Abraham build a place in God's history for himself. What have you built on this earth? If you were to die tomorrow would you be able to say that I have built something that will stand through eternity? Think about that! Did Abraham see the big plan coming through? No!
Please turn to Romans chapter 4 verse 1. What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. [Abraham never saw the finished product of Israel in the land. He looked for a city that had foundations in God. When Abraham came out of Ur, he did not come out alone. Abraham had a thousand men and women with him. It was a huge caravan that came out, soldiers; shepherds, cattle-hands, maids, and workers. Abraham and Sarah were the leaders. To move Abraham and Sarah from Ur to Canaan, God had to mobilize 1,000 people. You may not be a lead person, but we are called together as a church of Jesus Christ, His body, to support one another, to build the kingdom together. Are you building for God or for yourself?
Please turn to Genesis chapter 24 verse 1. [Let's look upon Isaac. Some people say, "What did Isaac do?" His mission in life was to wait before the Lord and become a father to Jacob. We can actually say that Isaac was a door stop. His job was to just hang around, to keep the ministry going, to be available to father the next generation, Jacob and Esau. Esau bombed out, but Jacob was next in line in God's plan. Isaac, take this for my understanding, could not be trusted. Have you ever met one of those people that could not be trusted? Too much money, too much good stuff and you are gone. You will forget about God.] And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand upon my thigh: and I will make me thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the women will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. [He said, "Beware, don't you dare bring him back." He did not trust Isaac.] The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my fathers house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto the thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his Angels before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. [Isaac was not that stable; this is my understanding. Abraham had apparently been told by God, "You cannot have Isaac leave the land, you have to keep him here." Have you ever met people who are unstable? Monday they have a plan. Tuesday they have another plan. Wednesday comes and they have forgotten about Monday. Thursday comes and they have a brand-new plan. They are like butterflies. They fly over here, they fly over there, then thy fly off and you never see them again. We can also called them flakes. There are flakes here in California, Europe, Africa; there are flakes all over the place. There are lots of flakes in the world. God had a purpose for Isaac-to wait before the Lord and to become the father of Jacob. I want you to think about Isaac. He had a tough situation to be in. Can you imagine Isaac, after having growing up. He is 40 years old, he has all the cattle and all the possessions that he wants. He says God, "I want some action." God says, "Sit still Isaac. Stay where you are. You have all the action I want you to have." "But God, I want to do things, I want to do things for you." God said, "Just sit tight Isaac; be a father to Jacob and Esau, that is all I want you to be." Would you be willing to be an Isaac, a door stop? Would you be willing to say that if God wants me to stand here and hold this door open, that I would be glad to just stand here and hold it open, and let everyone walk by doing exciting things, while I am holding the door open. So many of us become impatient. We want action now and all the things that go with it. God wants obedient people.
Let's move to Jacob. Turn to Genesis chapter 35 verse 1. [What was Jacob's job? Well, this guy was all over the map. He was born about 2,001 B.C., about 4000 years ago. God's plan for Jacob was to repent for his sins, to grow in faith and to become a father of the 12 patriarchs of Israel. Jacob was a B. T. 0.; he was a big time operator. He said, "I am the second in command here. I do not want to have Esau over me. I want all the herds, all the cattle and all these different things. I want to make money. I want to be big. What did God have to do with Jacob? He had to send him to a bigger swindler than him. He took Jacob and sent him to his uncle Laban, who was a professional criminal. Laban outsmarted Jacob. Jacob worked some 14 or 15 years of hard labor until he finally came to realize, "I'm not supposed to be here, but back in Canaan land." I have a saying that I have used for many years. Parents, if you do not discipline your child, the state will. Your children will be disciplined in the penitentiary, reformatory or some other place. God had a way with his son, Jacob. If we are on the wrong side of the tracks, God will send us a task master that will be worse than we are. The task master will drive us back to the Lord again.] [Every time my wife and I drive by a certain church, we kind of get insulted. At least I feel I'm being insulted. We see that huge building. We were talking the other day. We said, "How come they are having so many people attend their church? It is overflowing all the time. Here we sit in a little place where it is hard to get people here. It is harder to keep them sitting down in a chair here. We began to analyze it. God gave me this revelation. I said to my wife, "I could change my message. I could be one of these preachers who is going to roll the wealth and the health program, where you do all the holidays and anything goes. What ever you want to do, more power to you brother. If you want to be a sipping saint, well, help yourself. Don't worry about anything, God is good. God understands, even if you are a drunkard. God understands." I could not do that. I said this to my wife; "If you scanned the whole congregation, you would find that most people that arrive here are in so much pain. Someone told them that over in that corner, down the road, they preach hard, they are fundamentalists, but they do have a track record that God heals and restores. You know that no one goes to the cancer clinic in Mexico, unless they have exhausted everything else, and they are half dead. Then they show up at the cancer clinic in a panic saying, "I don't want to die." That is the way I feel here with my wife. We have people coming to us. They have been to all the other places. They are dying and they say, "We are ready to go." I said, "Dear God, I do not want to run a cancer clinic. Father God, I wish we could have the something wonderful." You know what I've learned? I learned that as long as the pain level is about even, people will not change. When pain goes above pleasure, people will say, "We have to do something about it." It is like driving your old car. The seats are broken down and you have to strain to see over the steering wheel, but you are used to it. You don't even think about it. You let someone to borrow our your car, and when they return it, they tell you, "You need to fix your front seat. It is really bad." You tell them, "I don't notice it. I am used to my front seat. I am use to setting in the toillet seat. " Seriously, we get use to our pains. What a tragedy! I'm glad everyone is here, regardless of how you came to us. We love you. I wish we would have more people that would walk in and say, "We have no problems. We are filled with the Holy Ghost. We are ready to do spiritual warfare." We have to make our own warriors here.] And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and can make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household , Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were around about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz, which is in land Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him. And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother. [Jacob's job was to repent of his sins, to grow in faith, and to become a father of the 12 patriarchs of Israel.]
Turned to Genesis chapter 45 verse 3 [Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob. Gods plan for Joseph was to mature in God's faith and Grace; it took 13 years as a slave to get there, to provide food for the budding nation of Israel, to bring the 12 tribes of Israel to Egypt.] And Joseph said unto his brethren, I'm Joseph; doeth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that you sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made to me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a rumor throughout all the land of Egypt. Haste you, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and herds, and all that thou hast: and there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. [Joseph's job was to provide food for the budding nation of Israel. To bring the 12 tribes of Israel to Egypt. The pain he went through, the agony, the sorrows, and the loneliness. I want to ask you a question today. Where do you fit in God's line of history? Where do you fit in? What is the purpose for your life? Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses and Joshua-they did not live for themselves. They lived for God. Today, as the world is in turmoil, God is asking men, women, boys and girls that will say, "Father God, not my will but Yours. I am willing to go your way, not my way." Most of us do not think that highly of ourselves. You think that you are a nothing. You're not a nothing; you are a child of the King if you have been born again.
Turn to Exodus chapter 3 verse 2. [Moses, born under distress, survived by a miracle. Why? Because God had a purpose. You may have been born out of wedlock. You might come from a divorced family. God has a purpose for your life, a deep purpose that most of us cannot see. When I was in seminary I was told that nationals could no longer come into America to be trained for the ministry. It is a disaster if you bring someone here from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Africa, and other nations. They are brought here to be trained in school for three or four years and, once they graduate, they do not want to go home. Why would you want to go home and live in the bush, when you have all the luxury here, unless you are filled with the Holy Ghost and there is a fire in your bones that cannot be quenched. The policy of most denominations now is to set up the schools in their own countries and train the natives in their own land. Once you have tasted of riches, it is hard to go back to the way you used to live.]
And angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the took place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid this face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression where with the Egyptians suppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go on to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? [Have you ever asked yourself that question, who am I? Who are you? God has told some of you to write books. Some of you have been told to sing songs. Some of you have been told to be missionaries. Some of you have been told to do a number of other different things. For some reason procrastination has caught up with you and you are just sitting there, doing nothing. You're not moving with God. I want to see the time span, 761 years. You and I are not hanging in a time vacuum. We are in a time line. The Holy Ghost reminded me that more than 120 years ago my great-grandfather, as a young man in his 20's, immigrated to Chicago. When he came to Chicago he was earmarked to meet a man, D. L. Moody. My great-grandfather received Christ in Chicago in the 1870's and was born again. I am his great-grandchild. I was in his loins that day. He went back to Sweden and raise Godly men and women out of his family. My grandmother was a Godly woman. The inheritance I had from a very young age when I was three days old was this: I was baptized in the Lutheran Church in Sweden. I was held by my aunt, who was a believer in Christ. She told me years later that when she held me that day, she had dedicated me to God. I dedicated you to preach the gospel. We are not living in a vacuum. In 1963, which would be about 90 years later, God brought me to America to receive Christ, to be another generation of preachers. You are not here by accident today. You are here by Godly design. God is speaking to you and saying, "What are you doing with your life? Are you serving Me or are you serving yourself?" Joshua was a man selected by God to lead the children of Israel to the promise land.
Please turn to Joshua chapter 1 [This is the promise for you and I today.] Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses minister, saying, Moses my service is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your feet shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of good courage: for onto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I swear onto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that the thou mayest prosper whethersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whethersoever thou goest.
I want to charge you that are here today-God is speaking to you. He is calling you today. He is saying, "I will be with you. I will bless you, if you walk with Me. Keep my commandments." If only you and I could rise up above our cereal bowls and our everyday problems that Satan creates for us. You're going to be busy with all different kinds of problems during your day. Why don't you simply say, "In the name of Jesus, I am tired of my problems. I'm going to rise above all my problems. We're not going to have any more marriage problems, because I'm going to be so close to Jesus Christ, nothing can touch me." So many times what we complain, saying, "I am feeling this and I'm feeling that." Forget it! If I was going to feel something I would not have gotten up this morning. When my alarm went off this morning at 6:00, I took one look and said, "I do not want to get up. What a lovely day to stay in bed and just relax." God said, "Get up! You try to stay here and rest and I will make your bed so nasty that you will want to get out of it."
Joshua chapter 1 verse 3. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. [Compare that with Luke chapter 10, Matthew chapter 10, Luke chapter 9, Matthew chapter 28; lets get with it, folks. Joshua was selected to lead the people into the land of Israel. EVERY HUMAN BEING ON THIS EARTH HAS BEEN CREATED BY GOD AND GIVEN A PURPOSE FOR HIS LIFE! A man or a woman may choose to serve God or to serve the devil!]
Turn to Matthew chapter 6 verse 24. [Jesus is speaking here.] No man can serve two masters: for neither he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. [That does not mean that all of you quit your jobs Monday and all go out as missionaries. It means that we surrender to God and ask Him what our purpose is in this life. You understand that God has some people that he earmarked to work in hospitals. Aren't you glad that some people are working in the hospitals, that there are policeman, that there are firemen? All these people that are working in public service are servants? God is calling us to a higher service, to proclaim the word of God to a dying world. Will you meet that call? I cannot be on the job for you, where you touch peoples lives. Every one of us has a mission to do. Who do you serve? Are you are glued to what I call the House God? It is amazing what I see when I walk into most peoples homes. The living room is arrange for worship. All the furniture is arranged in one direction, so that when you are seated your attention is upon one object. What is that object? Your house God. The television set. When people come into the living room to sit, they are focused on the house God. If you happen to see some documentary or some godly thing, that is fine. Most of us have a problem with the television. We are addicted to it, just like an alcoholic. If you watch everything that is on it, you'll make your soul dirty. What needs to happen is you need to take your remote control out the driveway and smash it and say, "In the name of Jesus I'm going to sacrifice you." If you have to move from the sofa to the television set, you are less likely to watch as much trash. Isn't it amazing how the devil makes it easy for us? We sit in our easy chair, potato chips in one hand, which we don't need anyhow because they make us plump, a soda is in your other hand that will cause all your teeth to fall out, and here we sit in America saying, "Praise God, I am glad I am living in America; what a life I am having. I need a bigger television set. I need more of this, more of that." WE NEED MORE OF THE HOLY GHOST!
Turn to Joshua chapter 24 verse 15. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this stay day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve to Lord.
We have been over that verse many times. Ask yourself this question. Who are you going to serve? Who are you really going to serve, God or mammon?
I received a letter from a man that used to be part of our church seven years ago. He is presently in prison. I read his sad letter and I wrote back to him. He asked if he could be licensed. He said, "When your letter came to me with the application which I took to the chaplain, I asked him if they would recommend me to be licensed as a minister in the prison ministry. The chaplain turned on me. The man in charge went and looked up my crime. [He was a pedifile. If you are pedifile in prison, God help you.] They then told everyone in prison what I was in prison for. I was beat up several times, with my nose broke twice, ribs were broken and my face was rearranged. I was shunned by the inmates. I stood and preached the gospel. The only pulpit I had was a garbage can in the yard. I stood on that garbage can and I preached the gospel to the main yard. The Holy Spirit was there and the people came to Christ; they were saved. Some were healed, some were delivered, God moved so mightily that they had to admit that I was moved by the Holy Ghost." What a tragedy, that beautiful man had to end up with the belt sander on him before he surrendered. He is devoted now. He learned his lesson. I prayed to God that you and I will not have to go that far before we are ready to say, "Lord, I'm ready to serve you with all my heart."
I want to close from the gospel of John chapter 15 verse 14. [It is really hard to deliver a sermon when there is a meal after the service because everyone is setting there getting hungry smelling the food. This message is more important than any worldly food. Some of you here today will not be coming back. Some of you I will probably not see again. This is your opportunity to make a decision.] You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.
You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. Can you say that you are a friend of Jesus? If you do not walk with him, you are not a friend of his. Can you say today that I am a friend of Jesus Christ? He is my savior. He is my redeemer. He is my Lord. He is my master. He is my King. I obey Him. Are you walking with God? Doing His will in your life? Are you in rebellion, doing your own thing?
This was not part of my message today. Last week 11 people died in a car crash just south of Fresno. Imagine, eleven, people. They were farm workers. They had elected on Sunday morning, the Lords day, to pile into a big car and drive into town to do their shopping for the week. On that road going into town, the fog came in. The driver got excited. He tried to pass and hit a huge semi truck. Eleven people died in an instant. They were into eternity that quick. I feel there are some here today that are in the balance. Two things can happen: your cup can either be full, or God can give you a bigger cup. You know that you are in rebellion. You know that you are not where you should be. You have ignored it. It isn't that you do not love God. You're just not walking with Him. God is speaking to today and saying this, "Today is the day of repentance." You may not hear the message any longer. We may hear about you in the obituaries next week. Are you willing to say to God, "I want to repent; I want to seek Your face and I want to surrender today." So many Sundays we give invitations here. People that are watching us by video and listening to us by audio cassette, you are saying, "What about us? What can we do?" You can do great things. My wife and I received Christ in front of a television while watching a crusade that was recorded one-year prior to us viewing it. God knew that a crusade in Hawaii, in 1964, would be viewed by John and Aina Torell in 1965. The Holy Spirit would take that tape and convict us. There in our living room, we received Christ. You can do the same thing where you are. How do we repent? You that are here today, you that are watching us or listening to us, how do you repent? You say, "Father God, I am corrupted. I'm sinful. I am bankrupt. My life is not where it should be. I need to change. I surrender today. Father God, forgive me right now. Jesus, save my soul. Jesus, I make you Lord of my life." Talk to Him. He will change you. When God called me, He did not tell me I was going to go here or there. He simply moved upon me. God opened the doors step-by-step. You do not know what tomorrow will bring, but God knows.
Let's go to the Father in prayer.
May the Lord richly bless you is my prayer.