I am still working through various sermons of Rob's stored away in the City Church International Archives and noticed that two sermons were missing from the series that Rob did around the time of the "Glory and Grace Conference" in 2007 in Hong Kong. It is a special series to me because taking notes from some of those sermons were the first I listened to (the notes are over on the "Spirit of God!" blog which I haven't forgotten!).
Here is Part 5 preached on Sunday 7th October 2007;
"Foolishness or Favour?"
Just before the children go through I want to make one announcement - that between now and the conference we are having we will not have "Connect" groups around the city. We will meet in our home. God is raising us up for the next few weeks in our home as a holy battering ram as a people of prayer as we pray for this conference. When you have got hundreds of people - each of them spending thousands of dollars on air fares and hotel accomodation and they are flying internationally into our city - then we want to create an atmosphere of the glory of God through our prayers and our intercession. I think we have been a bit sleepy as a congregation, and a bit passive and indifferent to the amazing opportunity that God is giving us. I had to give a gracious disciplinary talk on Thursday night to the very committed people who were with us - that we need to not sleep during this time. Because the enemy over the last few weeks really did try and encroach upon us and really dried to dry up people's finances, tried to oppress people and discourage people and make people confused and some were dealing with demons that they didn't know how to deal with and they just got jealous or critical. So I have had to pray last week and this week (but particularly this week) like I have never had to pray in Hong Kong before. I am amazed I have still got a voice left today! I had to intercede for hours a day so the enemy would be pushed back and the glory of God would roll back into the presence of His people and we would lift up our heads again.
The Bible says that the glory is the lifter of our heads and we see vision again and purpose with greater clarity. On Thursday night the guys prayed like I have never heard them pray before. The intensity of our warfare in the Spirit was profound and I have never been with a group anywhere that has prayed like that. I want to just say to you as a father, a pastor, a priest, a shepherd and as an officer in command - your commanding officer under THE commanding officer - Jesus. There is some times in a war when all leave is cancelled. If you have got leave already and air fares booked then fine - you go. But what I am saying is that times come when a standing order comes;
"All hands on deck! All passes are cancelled! Man the guns! Leave the canteen! Leave the mess hall! We are on full alert! Suicide bombers are coming in!".
We can go on leave and pretend it's not happening and be in the mess but then we will be obliterated.
I promise you as a prophet of God these last few weeks the enemy did not try to take one or two of you out. He tried to destroy the existance of this church. I had to use thirty years of experience in fasting and prayer to keep his hands off and stop him doing what he wanted.
And the about thirty people who stood with me on Thursday night - we blew this thing apart and I am calling on you guys on Thursday to cancel anything you have. Be with us to stand with us and stand together! We have broken through and last night the enemy was trying to sneak back again. I have got an amazing radar system on my spirit and I can detect any intrusions again. He is called the Holy Spirit and He lives inside me and I feel a horrible feeling of grief and a terrible feeling of ugliness and discouragement and I know that people are speaking under demonic power and psychic power is coming against me and I know the enemy is trying to creep up again. So I had to forget what I was doing and go into my room and pray for hour after hour until it broke off again.
Life is not always like this. It is just seasons. We are hosting a conference here and we have to be alert and not sleep in an hour of opportunity and visitation that is unprecidented than most people have experienced living in Hong Kong. While something so key is happening I have watched some people sleeping, distracted, not alert and not aware of the enemy's schemes. To win a battle you must know how your enemy operates and know their schemes and their strategies. If you are ignorant of the enemy's strategies and schemes then he will take you out and make you a prisoner of war sometimes for the rest of your life. You still go to church but you go through religious motions mechanically but you are defeated! I will never be defeated for one split second. I owe Jesus my total life and I will never withdraw and never leave Hong Kong except in a body bag and I am never going until I have finished my race here - and that means a church that is in revival and churches all over the city hearing the grace message. I have never surrendered to the devil and I don't plan to - you can check my track record for the last 30 years in churches I have led. Sometimes people wish that I would have surrendered! And just stopped getting in their faces and just gone with the devil and just been religious.
But I cannot! It is not in my DNA to surrender! I cannot surrender!
So I call upon you as the commanding officer of this local unit - cancel ALL leave! ALL hands on deck! Come as early as you can and we will pray like we did last Thursday and we will have a glory time when this conference comes! This conference is not just a teaching time of sitting in rows. It is going to be a conference where angels are going to turn up, God's glory is coming, hundreds of people will carry the glory! We have got people coming from all over the world - from China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia - to our little church for a divine impartation to take the glory back! And some of you haven't even signed up yet! It just blows my mind! In the nicest way possible! We have got 253 people signed up and the majority are from overseas. It will be closer to 300 over the next 2 weeks so please sign up. It is pretty full with 253!
Open your Bibles please to Galatians chapter 3. We are doing a series on the Names and Titles of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the contact Person of the Trinity in the earth. If you do not know the Holy Spirit intimately and know His nature and His character and His Presence then you cannot experience anything from heaven. The Father and the Son are in heaven but in the mystery of the Trinity - the Godhead - the Holy Spirit is in the earth. When in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve walked with the Father face to face and knew His voice and saw His glory then they committed high treason. After a millenia of distant relationship through the Old Covenant then God the Son was the contact Person of the Trinity in the earth. You could touch Him, feel Him, hear Him and see His miracles. Then He went back to heaven but just before He went He said "I will send Someone to replace Me - His Name is Parakletos" and that means the Helper. It is not the Father or the Son in the earth now. It is God the Spirit who is in the earth now and if you try to meet with Jesus or the Father then you will just be a religious person and have a dead religion.
But if you know the Holy Spirit - the contact Person now in the earth and as you fellowship with Him and get to know His Names and His operations and manifestations then the Holy Spirit will empower you to know Jesus and have access to the Father.
Ephesians 2:18; "We have access to the Father by One Spirit". So many Christians don't know the Holy Spirit or His Names or His Titles. So we have looked at 'The Spirit of God' - 'The Spirit of the Lord' - 'The Spirit of the Most High'. Every name reveals a different manifestation to benefit you and to bless you. Today I simply want to talk about "Foolishness or Favour?". Are we living in foolishness or favour? I do not believe you can live in foolishness and at the same time live in the favour of God. When I say that some Christians automatically think that I mean you must not live irresponsibly and you must not live undisciplined. No I don't mean that but I do want to suggest that we live responsibly and I do want to suggest that we live disciplined lives. No question about that!
But when I talk about "foolishness" today, I mean the foolish idea that you can win the favour of God and the blessing of God by your human effort, human endeavour and the level of your holiness or the degree to which you can keep the law of God. THAT is foolishness!
It is a folly that has profoundly permeated the church world and has permeated my life in different stages in my walk with Jesus. It is a foolishness that I have progressively been throwing off. It is a foolishness of the deception of self-righteousness. You can receive nothing from the Father - nothing of the blessings of God through any effort that you can make or through any level of your holiness or even through your obedience or any law-keeping that you can do. The only way that you can get the blessings of God in your life is simply through the currency of faith - that you believe the message of grace. That you believe the message of the finished work of the Cross and you believe that the grace of God is towards you to give you the fullness of the blessings of God.
To live in favour means to live in awareness of the message of grace. To live a foolish life means you think you can earn or deserve the blessings.
Let's look at Galatians 3:1. Foolishness is not seeing the finished work of the Cross and letting the devil creep in on your life and close your eyes down to the remarkable grace of God that came at the Cross. Lets read verse 3. "Are you so foolish after beginning with the Spirit are you trying to attain your goal by human effort - have you suffered so much for nothing? Does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you because you kept the law or because you believed what you heard?". Paul is about to go on and make it clear that God moves by the power of His Spirit and does miracles not because we try to observe the message of the law but because we believe the message of the Cross. We believe the message of grace!
If that is true then wherever there is a lack of the moving of the Spirit or a lack of the miraculous in the Church then we have to conclude that it is because there is foolishness in the Church and the Church is still bewitched and is still attempting to get the blessing, favour and power of God by human effort and by moral keeping of the law and trying to earn it and deserve it.
Now when people try to keep the law and try to do right and try to do the right thing and keep the law, that is seen by much of the Church as "wisdom" but God condemns it as foolishness. Many people can't seem to understand if we give up trying to keep the Law and trying with human effort then what am I meant to do? Just get lazy? Am I meant to go out and sin as much as I want? No - if you believe the message of the Cross that you are declared permamently righteous in Christ and that God will never look on you as sinful and that your sins - past, present and future - have all been blotted out and that He sees you as forever perfect then the power of the Spirit of God will move in your midst, miracles will manifest in your midst, you will be empowered to live a holy life, you will see things that are sinful and be disgusted by them, resist them and puke on them. Things that grabbed you before while you were under the law, those sins that held you as a victim, you will mock them and say that you are addicted to the glory of God and believe the message of grace and the power of God is your portion and your inheritance!
Why do I get letters from around the world say that I was addicted to pornography and made myself accountable to my pastor and couldn't get out but listened to your grace series and am FREE! Alcoholics listening too and stop trying in human effort, stop trying to be holy, stop trying to keep the law and you are free! If you went out and sinned every day then God would still see you as righteous! Only a few idiots run out and sin every day! Grace exposes the true state of someone's heart and if someone is a rebel already and hear that they can do what they want then they will do what they want. But if you a Christian and have a new creation heart and want to love and serve God then they hear Romans 6:14; "Sin will not have dominon over you because you are not under law - you are under grace!". Though you may sin and make mistakes (because no one is perfect in our actions .. yet) - you will see yourself sinning less and less! Being less and less jealous, less and less petty, less and less small-minded. Your marriages will be blessed! You won't think of another man or woman as an option even in unhappy times in your marrage!
When Glenda and I got married I burnt every bridge as another woman being an option! I have been through times when I wondered if other women would be better for me than Glenda! Who did that come from? The devil! But because I believe the message of grace and the Holy Spirit moves in my life, I am not living in condemnation and the feeling that God doesn't love me and I know He loves me and I know He sees temptation and because I know that, I can say "NO!" to these things! We are going to see that it is foolishness to try and live the human life by effort and by keeping of the law and it is by believing the message of grace. I am going to show you two things.
To demonstrate what foolishness and what faith is, he is going to say what we saw last week; "CONSIDER ABRAHAM". The second sentance I want you to see is this; "Those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith".
(v6); "He believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness ... children of Abraham ... " - remember Abraham lived 430 years before the law. "All nations will be blessed through you so those who have faith". Not those with unbelief, are religious, human effort - "those who have FAITH are blessed ...". (v10); "All who rely on observing the law are under a curse". (v13); "Christ redeemed us .. by becoming a curse for us ... He redeemed us that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus". Not Budda or Mohammed! "By faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit". What does "CONSIDER" mean? It means to observe, evaluate, gaze fixedly with your mind at something.
It is my conviction - Much of the church has not seriously considered Abraham and that is why we have a legalism problem in the church and low-level miracles and low level signs and wonders and low level power because much of the church is acting foolishly by the definition of the Bible.
I am not talking about us or anyone - but I am talking generally. We need to "consider Abraham". Let's look at the phrase in (v9); "along with". It means included with! Together with! That what God dealt to Abraham in his blessing - He also wants to give to you and deal to you what He dealt to Abraham. I know I am being pedantic and repeating myself but I have learned in the last few weeks that people don't listen. So now I am going to make my point so clear that those who don't bother to take notes or listen to the CD again will get it the first time! We can't march around the same truth again - we must get this thing and move on. We don't have the luxury of one day taking things seriously. People that come and go in this church come back and can't catch up anymore! That is the sad thing. People coming in as new people are coming in and God gives them grace to catch up. But people who are casual - we are going faster and faster! We are for the weak and the stragglers but we are not for those who are making excuses. This is the Kingdom of God and we are to be equipped to be very fruitful in what we are doing!
There are high schools here that are to be invaded by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christian schools that are not hearing the Gospel! Get me in there! Give me half an hour with hundreds of students! Give me an opportunity God! Open the door! Turn to Genesis 12 - let's have a quick look at something.
How do we consider Abraham and what does it mean to be blessed along with Abraham the man of faith? Let me give you an answer! To be blessed along with Abraham the man of faith means that God blesses you with a seven-fold blessing! The seven-fold blessing is your inheritance and your right as a son with full rights! The seven-fold blessing of Abraham - as you consider Abraham and you have faith then you will be blessed along with Abraham - the man of faith!
I don't care if you work for a church or a Christian organisation and you are a volunteer with no salary, or a wealthy person.
You must shut ALL poverty thinking down and all that limitation down! You must lift your eyes above your small circumstances and the misery of an earthly conciousness and truly become the people of God who are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus! It is time for the church to walk in her inheritance! It is time for the church to stop being so carnal and stop being so humanistically involved with their own inadequacies and to look up to the God who has made a covenant with us and walk in the anointing and the power of a living God!
It is time for a pastor to stop having to fight devils off on behalf of people who should have learnt to fight themselves - women and men! For God gave subduing power to Adam and Eve! Eve has got government in the earth! She was given authority to deal with the devil and she did not use her governmental authority - and the devil took her out. From that time - Adam instead of being a warrior of God expanding the kingdom became an emotional nurse for his emotionally stunted wife. It is no use the wives sitting at home letting the devil crush them to pieces and the husband comes home and finds an emotional cripple at home so his whole life is being an emotional nurse catering for a sulking wife!
Wives you have dominion government authority! Every wife needs to stand every day against devils! So when your husband comes home, he finds a wife with her eyes ablaze under the anointing of God and all day she has stood against depression, oppression, demonic lies - because she used what God gave Eve - subduing dominion authority! So when her husband comes home tired from work he meets a wife full of fire who has been walking in the anointing all day and operating in her kingdom rights and she says; "Come in dear - boy are you going to have a great night tonight! The candles are lit, the perfume is spread, flower petals from the front door to the bedroom and we have got the incense going! Baby sitters arranged!". The anointing will come on that husband!
But many husbands in Hong Kong are manipulated through sulking - the husbands who should be warriors for God are nursemaids to their wives emotional needs. "Oh okay dear - I am so sorry, I feel so guilty, I have neglected you". Come on wives! If you don't fight the devil - you will fight your husband! Don't fight your husband! Fight the devil! Deal with him who is coming to discourage you! Husbands there are times we may have to put our arms round our wives and be emotional nurses! There is a time for that - but not a lifestyle! There are times that Glenda is my emotional nursemaid! "Pull yourself together! Sort it out!". We don't have the TIME to waste on emotional nursing! Use that energy to slap the devil in the face and take authority over depression, negativity, discouragment! Fight it like it was cancer!
Then you have energy to take the Kingdom of heaven forward! No matter how small your apartment is - no matter how small your world is! Whether you are wealthy or in poverty - on volunteer or on a salary! Workers are worthy of their hire! If you are a volunteer working for nothing then start thinking of wealth coming to you! Stop thinking you are defined by the circumstances around you - if you shrink your life to your pathetic circumstances then your life is pathetic! If you will enlarge your life to the grace of God and the vision of God and the inheritance you have in God then you are not earthly thinking - you are thinking heavenly! Set your heart on things above - Colossians 3 says! "Consider Abraham" - it says! Not those who are in self pity and wobbling from one week to the next not knowing if they will be there! "Those who have FAITH are blessed along with Abraham the man of faith!".
What is it to be blessed along with Abraham - the man of faith? It is to receive a seven-fold blessing for your life!
If you have faith then I don't care whether you are a top surgeon or you are working for crossroads - it doesn't matter who you are - this is a blessing that comes to ALL no matter what your circumstances are! The Bible says that the "blessing of the Lord makes RICH and adds no sorrow!".
You know it is the blessing of God when it makes you rich without destroying your marriage or your children! You can get blessed by hard work but it is not the blessing of God - it is the blessing of sweat! It comes with a price - destroyed marriage, children, home and health!
I don't care what condition you are in - whether you are in poverty or in a small or wealthy place. There are glory dimensions of the blessing that are available for us to access and to receive today. Here is the blessing God gave to Abraham - the man of faith! And what happens if I break the law?
I am redeemed from the curse of the law! What does that mean? If I fail or come short then the curse cannot touch me because I am redeemed from the curse that the blessing given to Abraham may come to me!
Here it comes - verse 1. "The Lord said to Abraham .. go to the land I will show you". Here it comes - the seven-fold blessing!
1. (v2) - "I will make you into a great nation".
2. "I will bless you"
3. "I will make your name great"
4. "You will be a blessing".
5. "I will bless those who bless you".
6. "Whoever curses you, I will curse".
7. "All people's on earth will be blessed through you".
Here they are!
Blessing Number 1 - Wherever you go - greatness comes!
If you are truly anointed as a businessman or woman, it is almost like you can take the world map and throw a dart with your eyes closed into it and wherever it lands you can go there and have a successful business. Wherever you go under this blessing, you will have heartaches and you will have difficulties and challenges and enemies but this blessing will supercede and override and conquer everything that comes against you! I am fully convinced I could put a blindfold around my head and throw a dart into a map and go plant a church there and I could go and get it done. Because of the blessing! I do want to stay in the will of God though! Isaiah 60:1 says; "Arise shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you". The last verse in that chapter (v22);
"The least of you will be a thousand and the smallest among you a mighty nation - I will do this swiftly in My time says the Lord".
So if you are the least you should have influence and lead at least a thousand people to Christ in your life! You should have influence at least over a thousand and then every individual will become a mighty nation!
Blessing Number 2 - I will bless you!
The Amplified Bible says; "I will bless you with an abundant increase of favour".
Blessing Number 3 - I will make your name great!
Favour, fame, prestige and influence comes with the blessing of God!
You hear in the world today that God is raising up in the church an army of "namless, faceless people". I reject that as heresy. I am sure the people saying it mean it in a sincere way but it is not the Word of God and I am always watching for these phrases that religious people make that sound so spiritual but are anti-Biblical. One of the blessings in Abraham that is ours is; "I will make YOUR name great!". Abraham's name is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible. He is not a nameless person! It is FALSE humility! I WANT God to make my name great! I WANT God to make the name "Glenda Rufus" great! I WANT God to make the name "City Church International" great! I am not going to lie and say I just want to be humble and be nothing and everyone goes to hell around me! No! God says everywhere you go, greatness comes with you! He increases favour in abundance on your life and He makes your name great! So your name will carry respect!
What does "great" mean? Favour! Influence!
If you have been living in Hong Kong for decades and decades and no one knows you are here then you are not walking in the blessing of Abraham but some religious demon!
You are walking in foolishness! The Bible says it is foolish to think you can earn the blessing by human effort, by your holiness and by your righteousness! People say it is too straight, too hurtful, too offensive! I just told you the Bible! If the cat feels I am stroking it the wrong way then let the cat turn around! It is called repentance and we are meant to be doing that while listening to the Word of God! We are not meant to be offended, we are meant to see the light come on and think; "That is right - I turn around - now He is stroking me the right way!". If every sermon you feel I am stroking you the wrong way then you are in a bad way!
A leader has to stroke the Kingdom way and if you are not facing the Kingdom way then don't blame the preacher! Turn around! Adjust! Then the power of God will come! Don't be foolish! God wants to make your name great!
Blessing Number 4 - And you will be a blessing!
Wherever you go, you leave a trail of blessing. I hope it is a case when you visit someone, a city, a hotel or people that when you leave, you feel; "That was such a blessing! I feel so blessed meeting that person!". Who wants to be with sulky, negative, complaining people? People that are always up and down and not walking in Abraham's blessing? If you walk in this blessing whereever you go - you don't try to be a blessing or don't work at being a blessing (it's called being foolish!) - no, you let this blessing come on you and when it does you don't even try to be a blessing. You just are! That is what you become along with Abraham!
Blessing Number 5 - I will bless those who bless you!
This is the power of God that comes on other people - not you. It comes on other people and puts in their hearts a desire to bless you! I don't have the audacity but maybe you can - to tell others; "If you bless me then you will be blessed!". If you bless me then you will go high in life! Whatever you do, don't curse me, don't be jealous of me or attack me because I have got someone else on my life as well! I want to show you my history - people better than you have tried to curse me and some are in the grave today. When this blessing comes on a man or a woman you need to bless them and not curse them. Don't criticise them or speak ugly of them or be jealous! Don't say; "Why did they get it? They're not that holy!". They got it because they have got faith! They got blessed along with Abraham the man of faith because they took time to consider Abraham!
You will attract a desire in people to bless you. People will want to bless you! You will be a magnet to the blessing from others! The truth is - we have not been able to tell you the degree when we were in South Africa and the elders blessed us in dimensions of finance and gifts and places and holidays and air fares that got to the point where Glenda and I (who are used to receiving blessing - we don't have a problem with it or giving it) had to go to the elders and say "Please stop giving us so much - we can't take or handle so much abundance! We are starting to feel guilty". Nick, who heads up the eldership team said; "No that is fine - but here's another 20,000!". The blessing will come to you!
Generosity! People will start to get generous with you! How many of you would like to complain that you are sick and tired of blessing?! Solomon started piling up his silver and gold in mountains - the Bible says! He paid cash - the equivelant of 200 million US dollars for the Temple out of his own pocket. It cost him the equivelent of 16,000 US dollars a day to eat. Solomon! "Well he wasted money - he's just selfish!". Be careful about that. When a woman poured a whole year's wages onto Jesus feet - Judas Iscariot said; "This should have been given to the poor!". Jesus was already giving to the poor! Solomon was giving to the poor! Stop criticising wealth! The love of money is the root of all evil and many poor people are guilty of the love of money. A lot of wealthy people don't care about it and are trying to give it away!
The church is suffering from a poverty spirit! Where did we get "as poor as a church mouse?!". Disgusting! I CURSE that statement! It should be; "As RICH as Abraham!". Where is all these Christians with faith in Jesus, the message of grace, where are the Christians who have considered Abraham and are blessed along with Abraham - the man of faith? Where is the faith in the church for the blessing? Poverty is good - poverty is holy - sickness is good - suffering for God is good! Rubbish! Christ redeemed you from the curse of the law that the blessing given to Abraham may come to YOU! The curse of the law is sickness, poverty and defeat! How can you say that a blessing is a curse?
That was number five - and did you know that the number five is the number for grace? Number 3 is the number for the Trinity which is the number for perfection. Number seven is the number for rest and completion. Number six is the number for man. Man was created on the sixth day. Why is the mark of the beast or the mark of the Antichrist - "666"? Three sixes! The mark of the anti-Christ, anti-anointing, anti-grace is "666". What is that? It is the delusion of man trying to be perfect without grace and without God! That is in false religion and in secular humanism! Some Christians think it will be a mark on their heads - rubbish! It is not going to be a computer bar code! But people who walk in self-righteousness will carry that mark!
Blessing Number Six - I will curse those who curse you!
This is the anointing that brings judgement on those that curse you. Those that criticise you and are jealous of you and try to bring witchcraft against you and are jealous of you and speak out against you - curse will come down on their lives! You NEED that blessing! Christians who want to make a mark in this world will face opposition and jealousy and hatred and you need the sixth blessing! Someone has said that the church is full of nice people, mixing with other nice people trying to be nicer! Eugh! Imagine Jesus just trying to be nice! Jesus was wild, took a whip, smacked it and crashed it on the tables in the Temple!
Don't try and be nice - you will end up being NOTHING!
You need an anointing of favour round your life that causes anyone who curses you to be cursed! You can stand there and be loving and forgiving to them while God is smashing the daylights out of them! You don't have to fight them - God will!
I woke up one morning after having a dream. God said there are three men and He gave me their names. He said they are criticising you and unless they repent they will be dead within three weeks. I told Glenda and Fini de Gersigny - only those two. Within three weeks one man was dead and the other two had left the church. We were in a revival in 1981 and had a powerful outpouring of the Spirit and you criticise in those times and it is very dangerous.
This is a wonderful blessing!
Blessing Number Seven - ALL Nations will be blessed through you!
I don't care if you are wealthy or poor - God has raised you up to be a blessing to all nations! I hate it when people think we are an international church means we are integrated with different nations. No - we are international because our parish is the globe! When I preach to 200 nations, to 10s of millions of people 2 or 3 weeks ago that was a small part of the Abrahamic blessing! I preached in Iraq, Iran, China, America - 200 nations! It was a small part of this blessing when I preached across God channel!
Why do you need the favour of God? Favour gives you free access to all of God's abundance! The greater the degree of the seven-fold blessing upon you - the greater influence for the gospel you have, the greater respect people will show you, He will anoint you! The greater the degree of the seven-fold blessing - the greater the success in your life, your marriage, your family, your career.
Now go to Genesis 13. You have to connect the seven-fold blessing in Genesis 12 to chapter 13. (v2); "Abraham became very wealthy". He became very wealthy in livestock, silver and gold. Modern theologians say that the blessings are "spiritual". No - the blessing of Abraham was that he was made VERY wealthy and it only came AFTER the blessing was released over his life. You will never become truly wealthy in terms of God's wealth until you have faith in the grace of God to give you favour! After the blessing came, this little Iraqui man called Abraham who was an idol worshipper and didn't worship God at all - he was unholy and walking around his life - God appeared to him and manifested Himself to him and said; "Seven fold blessing!". He hadn't earned it or deserved it and hadn't earned a thing! Favour was given to him!
He goes down from that blessing to Egypt and lies about his wife as we said last week because he knew the king would kill him and take his beautiful wife Sarah into his harem. So he lies! So the king won't kill him! If I had asked Glenda to lie like that for me then she would have killed me - not the king! The old pervert takes Sarah into his harem and God wakes the king up in the night and says "Do you want to die?! That is Abraham's wife!". The king gets all frightened and comes to Abraham and gives him silver and gold.
So Abraham LIED and leaves in the blessing! There are still people today that think "I have got to earn the blessing! I must deserve the blessing!". Consider Abraham!
No it is not saying go out and lie! It is trying to show you that your failures and your mistakes cannot stop the blessing flowing! What can stop the blessing flowing? Foolishness. Coming back under law. Self-righteousness. Trying to earn it and deserve it. 666! Trying to perfect your man-ness through self effort and empowerment of yourself. Stay weak and vulnerable and trust the blessing comes freely. God announces blessing on Abraham - a seven fold blessing - Abraham lies and walks out with more blessing than he had before! It is interesting this word "very wealthy" - this is the first time this word is mentioned in the Bible and in the Hebrew it means "glory". Glory and wealth! The glory of God in manifestation drops wealth! Why in many parts of the world right now when the glory is coming over the church is gold dust and diamonds falling? They are taking them to jewellers and they are saying; "There is no flaw! We don't know anywhere in the world where diamonds are like this!". These are dropping in meetings! This is glory coming into the church and God says there is wealth in Philippians 4:19 - that He will meet all our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus! Not according to what we need! But according to HIS RICHES!
If you have your needs met according to your needs then it is selfish! Then you just got what you need and blow everyone else and to hell with the world! But if your needs are met according to His riches then you have got superabundance to be generous to the purposes of God and to be a blessing into the nations!
What is favour? Three things about favour. 1. It is becoming an object of God's great affection. He likes you. He turns His face to you. He shines His face on you. He wants to make your name great. Why? Because you are so perfect and so obedient and know so much Bible? No! But because you are not foolish and are not deceived by the foolishness of religion and believe the message of His grace! You consider Abraham and because you have faith you are blessed along with Abraham the man of faith! There are people who live with a poverty mindset and a victim mindset and think they didn't get a good break in life, my family was poor, my mother or father or budgie or goldfish abused me - and they talk like success is based on getting a good break when you are young! Or getting opportunities! That is the world's way of thinking about success and wealth!
The Kingdom way is that it doesn't matter what your background is or how much your father or mother abused you. I am sorry if it happened to you and I hate it happening! It grieves me when it happens and I wish I could stop it! But that makes no difference to your future! No matter how people cheated on you when you were young! Or how many people put cases against you that were not right and ruined you! The thing that gives you success in life is stopping being foolish and worldly and relying on the world's economy!
You are the children of the most High God and consider Abraham - a heathen Iraqui that God made an example so He can say that which I did with Abraham I can now do with the people of God!
Galatians 3:29 says if you belong to Christ then you are a seed of Abraham and an heir according to the promise! You can break out of poverty and your circumstances! All your disadvantages can be turned around for your advantage! When you walk with wealth and power and God makes your name great and God blesses nations through you and makes you a blessing wheerever you go - then people will say, "You must have had an incredible mother and father and background". You can say; "No my father raped me when I was four. I was kicked out of school and this went wrong and this went wrong". Well then - how do you account for this?! I am glad you asked! I stopped being foolish and I realised that there is a God who loved me and a God who redeemed me from the curse of the law and I am not talking about Christianity or church! I want to talk about the Kingdom of God! I am tired of talking about Christianity! Let's talk about Kingdom! Christianity has made a bad image in the world! Christianity is religious! People with a poverty mindset who worship suffering and sickness and inner healing and all kinds of therapies! Rise in Jesus Name to your Kingdom inheritance!
God shines His face on you. 2. Favour means God gives you preferential treatment. God is no respecter of persons and loves everyone in the world the same. But He will only give His favour to those who believe the message of grace! If you believe the message of grace then God will dump favour on you - the person next to you and if they don't believe He will give the favour to you and not to them. He will give you preferential treatment!
Don't tell me God treats everyone differently! He doesn't! He treats people with unbelief one way and people with faith another. Don't say it isn't fair! It is fair!
Smith Wigglesworth raised 30 people from the dead said God will ignore and bypass 10 million people to get to one person who has got faith! I have sat in meetings and watched power flowing and seen some touched and others not touched! Why? They did not lift their sail of faith but sat there passively and blamed everyone! No! Stop it! Forget about your past and think about your future! Seven fold blessing! I have never seen major inner healing courses change the course of people's lives! Many have been in it for 20 years! Some time you have got to wake up! Sometimes you have got to wonder if the Kingdom is the answer and not therapy! The power of faith and believing the gospel is the answer! Stop all this foolishness and human effort! Walk before God and as a man or woman walk with the God of Abraham! Enoch walked with God! Enoch didn't go to church! Some people go to church but don't walk with God! Every day walking with God - never turning God off! He is my help and my surroundings! 24 hours a day walking with God! I watch rugby walking with God and in the movies walking with God!
You can't walk with God and then go sin! When you walk with God you see temptation coming your way and laugh! Live in the Spirit so you don't satisfy the desires of the flesh! How many of you saw the movie "One Night with the King"? It was a Kingdom movie based on the book of Esther! Esther was an unknown Jewish lady - no mention of God in the book but she understood the covenant with Abraham. The king of Persia gave her favour and the king gave half his kingdom. 60 nations from India to the Middle East! What is the book of Esther trying to tell the church? When you get favour with the King He will give His Bride favour! People at work will give you favour and promotion! Stop talking Murphy's Law! You are talking curse over your own life! Start talking blessing over your life! Things are going to change now! I am under the blessing! They are flowing! My life is changing! I am getting victory over those cycles of dysfunction! Don't call your children or grandchildren naughty! The favour of God is on the righteous and their children and children's children! The lineage of Rufus is blessed due to the blessing of Abraham! Don't call them stupid! Don't do that! Say "You are a blessing! But I must discipline you right now". Bless your children!
Do you know that Jewish orthodox under the law are not blessed? The average Jew that doesn't have faith in God around the world will lay their hands on Jewish children and say "The blessing of Abraham be on you - and may the face of God shine on you and make you great". Did you know that the Jewish nation has got the highest amount of awards in the world - for inventions, creativity, arts, science and for wealth! Think of the most wealthy people in the world? Jewish! Why does the devil hate the Jews? Because they are natural descendants of Abraham! They have been attacked and fought and hated more than any other nation on the planet! But they are wealthy and people are jealous of them! But the Bible says in Romans 11 that WE ought to make the Jews jealous! How do you make the most blessed and wealthy and blessed people with poverty and nothing?! They are saying it is working now! Paul says we must make the Jews jealous! Gentile and Jew Christians!
Third power of favour - favour is a shield of protection around you. Psalm 5:12 says "You surround them with your favour as with a shield". The favour of God is the only protection against forces of evil that would love to kill you and destroy your life. That is the favour of God! If you walk with faith then you will trust His favour today! That favour is a shield that would drive poverty and sickness on you. You need the favour of God. Isaiah 54:17 - NO weapon formed against you will prosper! It didn't say some may and some may not! NO weapon! The devil hasn't got ANYTHING that will succeed but it will succeed if we don't walk in the favour of God. Walk in the blessing and favour of God and you are invincible! Keep walking day after day and month after month and year after year considering Abraham!
Let our response be as Mary - "Be it done to me according to Your Word".