SEEK 2018 – Saturday Afternoon – John Stumbo – Where Do You Go From Here – Toledo

July 17, 2018


Download High-res videoDownload Standard-res videoDownload Low-res video

“If we feel dry or bored or that there is nothing more, we’re missing the life that’s available to us. There’s always more to experience in our relationship with Jesus.”


Dr. John Stumbo: I’m grateful to be teamed with a brother like Thomas and Rob here at the church and all of you, Alliance family. Somebody asked me, “Are you going to all of these Seek conferences?” I was, “Well, yeah. I want to be with the Alliance family. If the Alliance family gathers, I don’t want to miss that.” This is a big group to do this in, and I’m going to irritate some people because hardly anybody’s going to be to participate, but in a word or three, what have you received? Shout out something. I’m going to kind of go section by section, otherwise it gets really tough. Just a word or two. What have you gathered, heard? What are you taking with you? Starting over here.

Speaker 1: Surrender.

Dr. John Stumbo: Surrender. Thank you.

Speaker 2: Conviction.

Dr. John Stumbo: Conviction. Over here in this section.

Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:00:59].

Dr. John Stumbo: One more time.

Speaker 3: Affirmation.

Dr. John Stumbo: Affirmation. Affirmation of some things that God’s already been laying on your heart. Wonderful.

Speaker 4: Barriers.

Dr. John Stumbo: Barriers, to not let the … as the Holy Spirit works in our lives, he is going to take us over the barriers that currently are stopping us from taking the gospel to the world. There’s a voice here that I missed.

Speaker 5: Be holy.

Dr. John Stumbo: Be holy and …

Speaker 5: All in.

Dr. John Stumbo: All in. Wonderful.

Speaker 6: Obedience.

Dr. John Stumbo: Obedience.

Speaker 7: You are loved.

Dr. John Stumbo: You are loved. Amen. Shout it out, sister. You are loved. Amen. Amen. Amen. One or two more.

Speaker 8: Wisdom.

Dr. John Stumbo: Wisdom.

Speaker 9: Be still.

Dr. John Stumbo: Be still.

Speaker 10: Freedom.

Dr. John Stumbo: Praise God. Freedom.

Speaker 11: Humility.

Dr. John Stumbo: Humility. Listening to the spirit. Worship team?

Speaker 12: Peace.

Dr. John Stumbo: Peace.

Speaker 13: Faith.

Dr. John Stumbo: Faith.

Speaker 14: Perseverance.

Dr. John Stumbo: Perseverance.

Speaker 15: Seek.

Dr. John Stumbo: Seek. Well, that pretty well summarizes it. Good. Thanks. I was grateful for Terry’s message this morning that was just like classic Alliance preaching that takes us right to the core of what we believe and how to apply it in our lives, and it reminded me, the word sanctification … Terry gave a fabulous definition and description. I’m a little simpler in that it made me think of pie. My wife is a fantastic dessert maker. She’s a fantastic maker of many things, but desserts are one of her specialties. Coconut cream would be one of my favorite pies that she makes. Any amens out there? Okay. All right.

There’s been moments in our lives when she has announced to the family this pie has been set aside for company. This pie is not for just everybody grab a fork and all dive in and we all consume this amid one grand sitting. No, no. This pie has been set aside because company’s coming over later and woe be to the person … that’s a Biblical word. Woe be to the person who tries to take a little sliver of that pie out and cover it over with more whipped cream, because your sin will find you out. Oh, we’ve got some elbowing going on over here. Okay. I’m not the only man who’s done that. Fantastic. My wife, in all seriousness, has sanctified that pie, meaning she has set it aside for special use. This is not just her ordinary, routine, every day … no, no, no. That pie has been set aside for special use. It has been sanctified.

You, follower of Jesus, have been sanctified. You’re not for ordinary, every day, routine use. You have been set aside by the king for a special purpose. You are sanctified. Sanctification, that setting aside, is for us to be holy, to live the kind of lives that reflect our king. So, thank you for making me think of my wife’s coconut cream pie, Terry. I appreciate that.

Tim, thank you for calling us, that as the Holy Spirit works in us, there will be these disruptions in our lives, and the honesty that we don’t necessary like being disrupted, but … I had to call it out. I feel in American culture that we have a growing problem with prejudice and racism, not a declining problem, because we’re having to face it more. When I was growing up as a teenager, as a kid in Minnesota and Montana, I didn’t think I was prejudiced, because I had nobody to be prejudiced against. Everybody was like me. Everybody that I knew was like me, so of course I’m not prejudiced, until you actually get to know people that are not like you, and then you realize, “Wow, I do have some things that I need to wrestle with in my life.”

Disruption has happened in our culture, and not just our culture, but Berlin and in various places around the world. The disruption has happened, and I see it as a beautiful Holy Spirit disruption that would cause us to go over some barriers of our racial prejudice, ethnic, cultural kind of issues. I’m so delighted. One of the attenders here, Pam from Ohio, has five people in her English as a second language class, and the whole families are coming over to their house tomorrow afternoon, so they’ll have Japanese and Taiwanese and Mexican, and [inaudible 00:06:00] and all at their house tomorrow as they’re just engaging their community. Way to go, Pam and team. I’m just saying that … I’m amending Tim’s message and then I have this beautiful assignment of kind of bringing this time to a close today. Once again, would you join me, standing, in praying the Lord’s prayer together, please?

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. You may be seated.

Brother Cymbal, don’t you want revival in your life? My wife and I were in South Carolina as seminary students. We had grown up in the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Both of our fathers are Christian and Missionary Alliance pastors. We had gone to a Christian and Missionary Alliance college, Crown College in Minnesota. We were serving in an Alliance church in Minnesota as youth pastor and wife, but for that little window called seminary, we decided to go see what the rest of God’s family was up to. I went to an independent school in Columbia, South Carolina, Columbia International University. At that school they had a rule that you had to choose a church home within your first six or eight weeks of the semester. They didn’t want their students just bouncing around all year. They wanted you to choose a church.

For me, this was an amazing opportunity. I had grown up as my dad as a pastor, which meant I always knew what church I had to go to. I had to go to Dad’s church, right? I had never had the opportunity to church hop. Now some of you have made a profession out of church hopping, but I had never had that opportunity before. We got in the phone book … this is pre-Google days … got in the phone book and I started charting out, “How many churches can you go to in six weeks’ time?” You know, if you go to more than one a day, because an early service and late service, or evening service, you can actually go to quite a few services. I’m dragging my wife all over the city of Columbia, South Carolina, having all these wide variety of Christian experiences.

The Quaker church, where we literally sat in a circle of silence for 20 minutes or so until somebody received the divine light and had a word to share with us. Then we went back to silence for a while. The Southern Baptist charismatic church. I didn’t know those existed, where I learned some things that I had never learned in an Alliance church, and frankly hope I don’t learn in an Alliance church. Great people. Great people. I’m sure they love Jesus very much, it’s just, you know, different than the theology that I’ve come to hold. On it went. We were having all these fascinating experiences.

One day in the phone book I found a denomination. I had never even heard of the denomination. I decided, “Well, let’s go here.” I didn’t realize that we were getting there in time for Sunday School, and the pastor greeted us very warmly, but he was one of those pastors who felt like he had been called by God to speak, not necessarily to listen. All of us realize as pastors that we need both. He never stopped long enough for us to correct him when he heard me say that my name was somehow “Cymbal”, like loud, clanging cymbals. I didn’t introduce myself that way. John and Joanna Stumbo, but he heard Cymbal, so for the rest of the day we were Brother and Mrs. Cymbal. In front of the Sunday School class, Brother and Mrs. Cymbal are with us from the seminary today, and so he introduced us that way.

We get over to the church, and my wife and I are sitting toward the back. She likes to have an exit plan if necessary. We got into the service and there were a couple of moments where she nudged me like, “Are you sure we should stay?” We were experiencing some things that we weren’t quite accustomed to. No. I wanted to see where this thing was going. He stood up and he introduced, “Brother and Mrs. Cymbal are with us from the seminary today and they’re going to be leading our youth ministry.” He had never talked to me about that. That was new information, but I was suddenly their youth director now and Joanna’s giving me, you know … I’m on staff. We’ve got to stay for the service.

It was revival Sunday at the church. I didn’t know you could schedule those things, but evidently you can. We were having revival. They had a guest speaker, and he gave a fair enough message. He was passionate for the Lord and it was good. At the end of the service he had an altar call, invited everybody that wanted revival in their lives to come on down. Literally everybody in the congregation came down except a gentleman up toward the front that seemed to have some disability of some kind, and so nobody expected him to have to move. Two women over here that, it just appeared to me that they had sat there so long that the church was just kind of built right over the top of them. That was their pew. They had been there since Moses, so, “Where are we going to build the church?” “Well, we’ll build it where Mildred and Evelyn sit.” They just put it right over …

The pastor didn’t even look at them. He just looked right past them and he looked right back at us and said, because we’re the only other people that haven’t come to the front. He says, “Brother Cymbal, don’t you want revival in your life?” Joanna’s giving me the nudge. Well, we want revival in our lives, so we kind of make our way grudgingly down to the front. Then he looks down at me, I know we’re now here at the altar with everyone, and he says, “Now, Brother Cymbal, you pray that we’ll have revival in this church.” Well, I’m on staff, so I better pray, so I prayed. Then he took it over the top for my wife. Up to this point, up to this point I can resist all of her nudges, but when he stood and said, “Now somebody invite Brother and Mrs. Cymbal over for hotdogs and hamburgers.” At that point, she grabbed my hand and led me out of the church faster than our wedding day. Boom. We were gone.

I have to tell you, we never went back. I feel so bad for that pastor, because I can just imagine him about 10 days later getting on the phone and saying to the seminary, “Can I have Brother Cymbal, please?” “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t have anybody by that name.” “Well he’s our youth director. You’ve got to have …” If he had just listened and not talked the whole time, he might have … Anyway.

“Brother Cymbal. Don’t you want revival in your life?” I have asked myself that question 100 times since then. I’ve come up with a very odd answer that I want to make you wait for for about 20 minutes here, okay? We have just prayed, and intentionally I’ve prayed over the course of this time the Lord’s prayer together more than once for multiple reasons, but one is it leads me to this moment to say I have to confess that for a very long time there was a throwaway line in the Lord’s Prayer for me. Now that’s an awful thing to admit as a pastor. Most of the Lord’s Prayer was very meaningful, but when I would get to the line, “Give us this day our daily bread,” I just didn’t see how it applied very much, because frankly I’ve never been in a situation in life where I was desperate for daily bread. There was always, in our house growing up, a cupboard or a refrigerator or a freezer or a something somewhere.

I don’t want to belittle the fact that in some places in the world, that line is very significant. They don’t know when they get up in their morning where their bread is going to come from throughout the day. If that would be my status of life, that wouldn’t be a throwaway line, that would be a central line to the prayer. I do know that there are people in the world that that is the case for, but for those of us in this room, “give us this day our daily bread” may be, you like me, have just kind of taken it for granted. Maybe there’s a way to say thank you for providing. Maybe if our hearts were really in tune, we were saying, “You are the provider of every bit of food, every provision that I have, every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights. Maybe, if we’re being spiritually in tune, we realize that he is our provider, he is Jehovah-jireh, and that we’re expressing a word of gratitude to our provider. It’s not by the work of my hand, but it’s by the provision of his hand that he gives me strength to provide.

Maybe we’ve gone that far, but I would like to present to us this afternoon that perhaps there’s actually something even deeper being spoken in those words, that perhaps in those words that there is a spiritual longing and a spiritual truth that’s being expressed that we could actually be praying as we pray those words. I would love for that sentence to become one of your favorite sentences of the Lord’s Prayer, as it is increasingly being for me, not just perhaps an overlook kind of sentence.

Here’s why I would dare to suggest this is part of the Lord’s Prayer, why I would take us here on this final session of our conference. John chapter 4. Do you remember the story of Jesus with the woman at the well? Jesus is tired. That’s why he’s not gone into town with the disciples. They have left him at the well in the middle of the day. They’re on this long foot journey and they’ve gone into town to see if they can find some food because they’re tired, they’re hungry. While he’s at the well he has this fascinating conversation with this woman. When they wrap that conversation, she goes …

PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:17:04]

Dr. John Stumbo: When they wrap that conversation, she goes running back to town to evangelize her community, as the disciples have come back. At some point, they cross, and as the disciples have come back with Taco Bell or Wendy’s or whatever it is. And so they say to him, and we have this on the screen I believe. They say to him, “Master, eat something. Eat something.” And he says to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

Time out. You mean, you could be a disciple of Jesus? You could have walked with Jesus for a long period of time, and still not know a source that he’s accessed? “I have food to eat that you know nothing about. There is something nourishing me, there is something strengthening me. There is daily bread, dare I say, that I have that you don’t know anything about yet.” They were his disciples. They were following him. They were living with him day after day. What do you mean, you have something to eat, you have a source of strength that we don’t know anything about?

The next verse, please. “Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?'” They’re still really on the Wendy’s, Taco Bell line of thinking here. They’re not going deeper. They’re on my line of thinking in the Lord’s prayer. I’ve got food in the pantry. Why do I need to pray for my daily bread? “Could someone have brought him food while we were gone? Is he sneaking something on the side? We’re in getting burgers and he’s got somebody bringing him prime rib? What’s going on here, you know? Could someone have brought him food?”

You’re missing it. You’re missing it. “My food, my food, my nourishment, what I draw strength from, I actually gain … I have a source that strengthens me from a deep place on the inside. My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and then I’m gonna finish his work. My food is to do the will of him who sent me.” This is the first in the Book of John, if you study it carefully, of numerous references that he’s about to give in chapters five, six, seven, eight, twelve. Numerous places where Jesus says things like this. “I only do what I see the Father doing. I only say what I hear the Father saying. My message to you is not from myself. My message to you is from the Father.”

In fact, in John chapter 12, Jesus in some verses, it says that Jesus says, “The Father not only tells me what to say, but how to say it.” John 12:49. “The Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it, the content and the tone. The message and the method. What you’re experiencing here, guys, from me, actually has a source beyond me. I’m not generating this message. I’m not generating these miracles. I’m not creating this work. I’m not making this up on my own. I actually have a source that you don’t know anything about yet.”

Even Jesus didn’t do his teaching from his own capacity. Even Jesus didn’t do miracles from his own capacity. Even Jesus said, “I have a source that’s beyond me.” And he’s telling us in John chapter seven or eight … Do we have that one on the screen? Thank you. “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice.” Here we are, in the middle of the Book of John, where we’re having all this references to Jesus saying, “I do what I see the Father doing. I say what I hear the Father saying.” He’s now saying to them, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the Scripture said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

Next verse. “By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given since Jesus had not been glorified.” We know that in Acts 1, the promise is made to receive power and the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Acts 2, Pentecost comes, but we’ll still back in John chapter seven. The Spirit’s not been given, but he’s looking forward to that day when he’s saying, “You are gonna have access to the same source that I have access to.”

Very quick Bible history. Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit was only given to certain people for certain tasks. Who was the first person filled with the Holy Spirit in the Bible? It wasn’t a prophet, wasn’t a king, wasn’t some famous person. It was a craftsman, an artist, one of you guys that know how to work with your hands. You can actually make something. I’m so envious of you. Bezalel, this guy who was an artist and a craftsman with wood and leather and gold, all these things. He could make stuff. The Spirit of God had empowered him to make stuff. Bezalel, Exodus.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is given to certain people for certain tasks, so it’s kinda like the Hall of Fame of the Old Testament. Moses. David. Elijah and Elisha. These who were granted the Spirit to accomplish something special, but Joel sees the day coming when it’s not just gonna be for the elite few. Joel sees a day when the Holy Spirit isn’t just gonna come to a certain sector, but Joel sees a day in chapter two when he sees that the Holy Spirit is gonna come to men and, hold your breath, women. Stunning. Stunning in Old Testament times. Not just to old but to young, really? And not just to the elite, but even upon your servants? No class distinction. No age distinction. No gender distinction.

Read Joel 2 carefully. There is this moment that is prophesied, a stunningly bold prophecy. This moment’s coming when the era of the Spirit just being given to a certain elite few is gonna end, and the Spirit is gonna be given to all God’s children, and that’s fulfilled in Acts chapter two when Peter stands up and preaches this sermon, and at the end of the sermon they say to him, “What should we do?” And he says, “Repent and be baptized, and the Holy Spirit will come upon you. This is for you, and for your children, and for all who are far off.”

So Jesus here in John chapter seven, if we go back to the slide, says that, “streams of living water will come up from within us. This source of strength or nourishment or life, whoever believes in me, streams of living water will flow from him.” Next verse: “By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”

Terry taught us well. If you’ve come to receive Christ as your savior, then the Holy Spirit has come to live within you. When we come to him in full surrender, when we dedicate everything of our lives to him, he fills everything that we make available to him. He is the spirit who wants to fill us, to guide us, to direct us, to speak to us, to counsel us, for us to keep in step with him, to lead us. These are all New Testament phrases of how the Spirit wants to work in our lives, that we don’t have to do the Christian life in our own strength. You don’t have to be a good Christian. You already have the Christ who is the only good … You can’t really call him a Christian. He is the Christ. He doesn’t need to be a Christian, he is the Christ, and he can be his self. He can live his life through us, himself through our personality.

This is what’s available to us. There’s so much try-harder Christianity going on. I see it in some of our magazines. Not the Alliance Life, but I see it in some of our magazines or some of the leading books that are out there, that a recent article on being self-controlled, and it was a like a psychological study of self-control and the human anatomy and human psychology, and one passing reference to, “It’s the fruit of the spirit,” but when the thing was done, if I did everything that was in that article, it would have been the fruit of my hard labor. And the beautiful thing in Galatians 5 is it says that the fruit of the spirit is self-control. It’s what he wants to produce in us. Yes, we cooperate. We work with him in it. It’s not like we don’t have anything to do. “Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling,” it says in Philippians chapter two, but it already said, “It is God who is at work in you to will and to do his good pleasure. God is the initiator.” That’s Philippians 2. “God is the initiator. He is at work in us and then in response, we follow in obedience.”

We heard that word. We follow in surrender. We heard that word. You don’t have to be the source of your own righteousness. You don’t have to be the source of your own ministry. You don’t have to be the source of your own marriage. You don’t have to be the source of anything in your journey of significance. He wants to be your source. You’ve been set aside by him for special purposes. You’ve surrendered your life to him, and now the Christian journey is about learning to identify that old nature’s voice. “Nope, don’t want that. But what I want is what you have available for me, Lord.”

And for some of us, that’s not a one time a day thing. That’s a one time every couple minutes thing. Ugly thought arises? “Oh, that’s not Jesus. Jesus, what do you have instead?” Ugly attitude arises? “Oh, that doesn’t look like Christ. Lord, what do you have instead?” Laying down the one, choosing the other. Believing that he always has a source of provision for us at any moment, to live his life through us.

Let me use an example from my physical story and maybe it could be applied easily to our spiritual journeys. Thank you for those in the room who prayed me back to health. Many of you are very aware that a decade ago now, I was stricken with a sudden illness, 77 days in hospital, and left in the care of my wife. In a wheelchair, a feeding tube, tracheotomy, and had to resign from my role as pastor of Santa Malia’s Church, which by the way, is the identical auditorium to this, so it’s fascinating preaching here because it was the same architect that built both these buildings. So I’m very much at home. Thank you for inviting me home. Had to resign from my church. My wife became my caregiver. I was in a wheelchair and living on seven cans of day of two words which should never be put together: Medical food. Which it isn’t. It isn’t medicine and it isn’t food.

Anyway, breakfast, lunch, dinner all went down the tube. That was 2009, and half of 2010 when there was this beautiful miracle of God’s healing on my body, and I’m so grateful that he’s raised me up again. But in the midst of all that recovery, the Alliance family voted me to be their president. They figured, “Well, we prayed him back to life. We better give him a job.”

So you did, and I’m grateful for it. So it was Tampa 2013 Council. It’s the day before the election. There’s a noon prayer and fasting time. I know that the mantle is landing on me to be the president. I just sense it happening, and I get away in the corner of a conference room where this prayer and fasting event is going on, and I rarely do it but I put my face on the carpet and I said, “Lord, if you’re calling me to be president, do you wanna give me a second touch of physical touching? Because whatever’s trying to attack my muscular system is still attacking it.” I was in an IV chair earlier this week, getting an infusion of plasma. Thank you for those who’ve donated plasma. I’m the beneficiary of that, still nine years later. So whatever’s trying to attack my muscles is still going on, but on that particular day in 2013, at Tampa, Florida, I’ve got my nose on the carpet saying, “Lord, if you healed me once, do you wanna heal me the rest of the way? Because if you’re calling me to the be the president, certainly you wanna give me everything that I need to be to do that, because it’s a big job.”

And so, instead of a healing, he gave me a word. It was very clear to my soul. What I heard the whisper of the Spirit say was basically, “No. I’m not gonna touch your body right now, but I’m gonna give you something else. I’m gonna give you everything you need for every day.” He didn’t give me healing. He gave me a word, and the word was a word of promise that, “I will give you everything you need for every day.” And friends, I’m preaching 170 times a year, traveling the world. My assistant Diane is here and keeps all this travel organized and for me to know what city I’m supposed to be preaching in on any particular day. But many times, as I’m getting up in the morning, I’ve said, “Lord, how are we gonna do this one?”

And by the time the day is over, I lay my head back down on the pillow and say, “Well, Lord, you did it again. You gave me everything I needed for today. But what about three days from now?” “Quit worrying about three days from now. I said I’d give you everything you need for every day, and today is what you got, so live today.”

You see how that personal story might apply to your story in your walk with Jesus? That he, as the source, the Holy Spirit who lives within you and as you surrender to him, wants to fill you. He as the source wants to give you everything you need to live well, everything you need for every day. In fact, if you’re a Bible student, right now you’re realizing that I’ve been alluding to a Bible verse for the last five minutes. It’s 2 Peter, chapter one. I think we got it on the screen. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his glory and goodness.”

His divine power. The power of God, through his Holy Spirit, comes into our lives to give us everything we need for life and to not just live and survive, but to live like God. To have godliness flowing through us, because we get to know him and his glory and goodness. Amazing promise for all of us.

Dr. Simpson, in his commentary on the Book of Isaiah is speaking about the Holy Spirit, and he said that, “I heard years ago of a gardener who tried for a whole year to change the shape of a willow, which insisted upon growing all to one side.” So picture this beautiful willow tree, except it’s all lopsided and all the growth is one side. And in vain, the gardener pruned and slashed at the growth of the lopsided branches, trying to …

PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:34:04]

Dr. John Stumbo: Of the lopsided branches, trying to prune it so it would grow in a balanced kind of way. But still, they all persisted and grow to one side. One day, he gave up on that strategy and instead, he took a shovel and just dug gently around the roots of that willow tree and discovered that on the side of all the growth, there was this little subterranean stream flowing past.

And so, there was that the willow simply followed the fountain that fed its life. The gardener, wisely, put away his pruning knife and dug a little channel around the other side of the tree so that the water would surround the tree, flowing around all the roots.

And next year, it grew toward the river and became symmetrical and beautiful without a touch of violence. And here is Simpson’s application: “Beloved, that is what we need to change the deformities of our lives. Not more trying, not more suffering, not more scolding, not more condemning of ourselves, but more life. More help. More love. More of the precious grace of Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Do you see the difference? We can slash and chop and condemn ourselves, and why am I this way? Why can’t I do that? And all that. And try harder and apply these three principles for how to be a more patient person. We can do all that but sometime you’re gonna get tired. And you’re gonna say, “Isn’t there a better way?” And sometime you’re gonna admit it’s just a veneer over my carnal soul, and you’re gonna say, “There’s gotta be a better way.”

And Simpson is saying, and 2 Peter is saying, dig down. Find that subterranean flow of the Spirit of God. Let your roots go down into who He is. Yes, it would be very wise if, everyday, if we let our roots go down into that soil and meditated on the Word of God, and spent some time in solitude with the Lord so that our soul is communing, that we are learning to draw from that source throughout our day, not just in the moments of crisis when we really need Him to come through right at this moment, but we’ve started our day. Whether it’s starting your day as a night or starting your day as a morning, cause if you’re in the Hebrew system, your day starts at sundown. So, however you start your day, a sundown or a sunrise, but for us to be tapping into the richness of what’s available to us.

But during the day, to believe that the Spirit of God is present and available, giving us everything we need to live everyday well.

Is this making sense? So, how do you think I’m answering my pastor’s question? Brother [Sybil 00:37:03], don’t you want revival in your life?

I’ve concluded, no. I don’t. Stay with me. He didn’t ask, Brother Sybil, don’t you want revival in America? Or don’t you want revival in the Christian missionary lines? And don’t you want revivals–? No, no, he didn’t ask that. If God would chose to bring a revival across the United States of America, I hope that I would be first in line celebrating what God is doing and joining the process. I hope. But he didn’t ask that question. I’m not talking about that question. Don’t be mad at me for not addressing that question, right?

He asked me directly, don’t you want revival in your life? And my answer is no. I don’t want a need to be revived. I wanna live vived, because I believe that’s how the New Testament talks about it. Jesus does not promise, well, sputter your way through a bunch of miserable, meaningless days, and then when you reach a total dead end, come to me, and I’ll pump you back up for a few days and then try it all over again. Like the youth pastor who said to me, You mean I should quit referring to my youth ministry as a crack cocaine dealer? Yeah, you should, but what do you mean? And he said, well, I’ve kinda viewed my youth ministry as get the kids high on God, on Wednesday night, and know that they’re gonna burn out by Sunday and then I try to get them pumped up all again on Sunday. And oh, what a miserable approach.

That’s not what the New Testament is promising. That’s not what Jesus is saying. Out of you will flow occasional sputters of water.

You’ve been given everything you need for life and God. You’ve been given everything you need to live today well. You have access to the same spirit of God that Jesus accessed. So, I don’t want a need to be revived, I wanna lived vived.

Continuously coming back to the source from which Jesus Himself drank, the Spirit of God. Do we need to surrender? Oh, probably even more deeply than we even yet realize. Do we have a part? Yes, but the primary part is recognizing that old nature, which keeps getting worse, but has less and less input and impact on my life because this just looks so good. Why would I want the rot when the real is so fresh and sweet? So, my longing for the Christmas, your lies, we would be relieved from try harder Christianity that’s just trying to crank out a little bit better Christian life than we lived last year, that we would be freed from being bound in carnality and always being stuck in what the old nature wants, but that the life of Jesus would increasingly flow through us in our attitudes, in our words, in our decisions, in our priorities. The life of Christ flowing through us.

You have been given everything you need for life and godliness. John, earlier in those slides, I had a couple of quotes that I never used yesterday but I wanna close with tonight. “There is always more to experience in our relationship with Jesus. If we feel dry or bored or that there is nothing more, we’re missing the life that’s available to us. There’s always more to experience in our relationship with Jesus.” We had an attendee here earlier today say to me as she was listening to the Lord, and these sessions felt like the Lord gave her the Word “more.” And gave her the word “complacency.” That we’re missing the more that He has for us because some of us are complacent, inappropriately content with the status in which we are currently existing when actually God has more for us.

See, I can say that there’s always more to experience in our relationship with Jesus because next line, “Because God is infinite, there will never be a moment in our existence, not now or in heaven, when we will fully discover and experience all that He is.” This is the greatest of all explorations in the universe. We can’t max out God’s work in our lives because we can’t max out who God is. So, yes. There’s always more for us to experience because there’s always more of who He is, to learn, to enjoy, to experience.

So I’ve invited the worship team to come back and lead us in a song that they shared earlier in the week. Here’s my life, Lord. Here’s my life. If you have not yet responded in a manner that you feel like God’s been prompting you to do so, that might mean coming to the alter, that might mean grabbing a friend’s hand and saying, “Pray for me, right now. Pray for me. I need to surrender something. I’ve been holding on to something. I’ve been afraid of something that …” Well, let me just all this one out, okay? Alliance family, some of us are afraid of the Holy Spirit.

Because we want control. And to surrender to the Holy Spirit, we’re acknowledging that, well, no, He has control. And so, what does that mean? What would that look like? I can only say this, He’s good. He’s loving. So, it’ll look good and loving. Don’t fear that.

So, if you have not responded in a manner that you feel like God has been prompting you to respond, I invite you to come to the front and kneel and grab a friend’s hand and ask for prayer, or some other way. Maybe if you’re a journaler, an introvert, maybe you just need to journal something right now. Maybe there’s a broken relationship situation where you need to call and make a word of apology, step out of the auditorium and, I don’t know what the Spirit is prompting, but in some way, as we’re singing together, “Here’s my life, here’s my heart, here I am, Lord. Here I am.” If there’s any barrier within our own soul, anything that’s not yet been set apart fully for Him, let’s do so at this time.

Use this for a few moments of response, please, as we sing. There is never a moment in your life when you will not need Him. There is never a moment in your life when He is not available. Every surrender we make, He receives. And we welcome, now, Lord, the filling of your Spirit in way that we’ve not yet experienced, to come across this room. We welcome you to fill that which was previously occupied by bitterness. We renounce that, we lay that down, we reject that. We confess that and want nothing to do with bitter roots growing in the soil of our heart. And we say instead, we welcome the kindness and forgiveness and life of Jesus.

We renounce, right now, materialism, where we have set our hope on things of this earth. We have placed our value in how much we own or what we drive, or we have belittled ourselves for what we don’t own or don’t drive, and we’ve placed our hope in materialism. And now, we set that aside as part of that which will burn in the great bonfire someday. And instead, we receive your eternal perspective. We receive the Spirit who had wanna come and give us the vantage point of heaven and free us from those things that are of this earth and bind us, and so, we lay down materialism and welcome the Kingdom life that you have for us. We renounce and rebuke, in the name of Jesus, races and prejudices, ethnic pride, cultural superiority, where we think we’re a little better than somebody because of our name, our background, our skin color, our address or whatever.

In the name of Jesus, we calm that sin, and we drop it. We lay it down and instead we welcome the mind of Christ, the love of Jesus, the perspective of heaven, where every culture and background and rhythm and hue is celebrated because the ground is level at the foot of the cross, and there’s no distinction between male and female and Greek and Jewish, and Barbarian and Scythian, slave or free, but all are in Christ and Christ is in all if we come to you. And so, we just welcome your mind.

We lay down pettiness. We’re just petty. Snippy. Unimportant things little offenses, we take up as big things, and we admit that that’s evidence of our weakness and how tired we are, how small minded we are, and we lay that down and we welcome instead the mind of Christ, the Spirit of Jesus. Would you fill us with your fullness? With your divine life in those areas that was once robbed and so small by just petty thinking?

And forgive us for complacency, where we’ve just said, well, that’s all there is and it’s good enough and I’m not gonna hope for any more. And we’ve forgotten Ephesians 3 that says you’re able to do incredibly more than all we can ask or imagine, so we haven’t even begun to ask yet for what we could experience in you and you could do in us.

So, once again, may idols topple and may kingdoms fall. May the ground shake as on your name we call. Righteousness established, the spirit, ours. We are so grateful that we don’t have to do life on our own, but we get to walk with you everyday, every hour.

I’m gonna give us a benediction, and then the band is gonna strike up one more cord. Now, a benediction isn’t a prayer. I’ve already prayed for you a lot. I’m not gonna pray anymore. Now, I’m gonna look you in the eye and bless you, okay? So just life your head up and receive a good word.

Now, to Him who’s able to keep you from falling, and to present you before His presence without [inaudible 00:49:07], and to present you before His presence without fault and with great joy. To our only God and savior be glory, honor, majesty and power for all generations, both now and forevermore. So do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I’ll strengthen you. I’ll sustain you. I’ll uphold you with my right hand upon you. Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast. Alliance family, be unmovable. Always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know, you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  So now, to Him, who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His presence without fault and with great joy to Him, be all glory and honor and praise.

PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [00:50:11]


Get Involved...


We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »


Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »


Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »