What was his perception of his dad????
“We receive how we perceive.”
Our perception of God will always dictate our distance!
Luke 15:20-21 (NLT) And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’
This son went seeking mercy, he found grace.
John 1:16-18 (NIV) 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
The Fathers Nature
1. The Father Sees
Proverbs 15:3 (NIV) The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
Job 36:5 (NIV) "God is mighty, but does not despise men; he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.
2. The Father Cares
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Psalm 145:8-9 (NLT) 8 The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.
3. The Father Runs
The Son was reluctant in his return, the father was relentless as he ran out to meet him
Song of Solomon 8:6-7(NIV) For love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
Jesus is the fathers pursuit.
4. The Father Embraces
Romans 5:6-8 (TPT) 6 For when the time was right, the Anointed One came and died to demonstrate his love for sinners who were entirely helpless, weak, and powerless to save themselves. 7 Now, who of us would dare to die for the sake of a wicked person? We can all understand if someone was willing to die for a truly noble person. 8 But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!
5. The Father Lavishes love
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
1 John 3:1 (NIV) How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
Galatians 4:4-7(NLT) When the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Colossians 3:17 and 23, 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Revelation 2:2-5 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.”
Psalm 1: 1Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. 3They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
1. Watch where you get advice from and who you hang out with. 2. Don’t join in with mocking, Complaining. Negative self-talk is self prophecy!
3. Meditate on the law of the Lord.
4. Being planted by the river, we prosper in all you do.
John 15:4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV) 10 Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
All kinds of prayers: Adoration, Appreciation, Supplication, Intercession. Declaration.
“We don’t need to develop a theology for unanswered prayers but to deepen our faith to see answered ones.”
Philippians 4:19 (NIV) And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
John 15:7 (NIV) If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
1. The Word of God
2 greek words….
Logos- Written word. The constant objective word, this is how we understand God’s nature and ways.
Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Rhema- Spoken Word: Relational and revelatory.
John 1:14 (NIV) The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 6:63 (NIV) The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
2. The Name of Jesus
Acts 4:12 (NIV) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV) 9 God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
“Because we are under his authority we carry his authority.”
John 14:14 (NIV) You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
The Name only works if you know the man.
Acts 19:13-18 (NIV) 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 [One day] the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.
3- The Blood
Ephesians 2:13 (NLT) You have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
Pleading the blood?
Plead plēd/ verb: 1. make an emotional appeal. 2. Present and argue for (a position), especially in court or in another public context.
Luke 22:20 (NLT) After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV) 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
In America 89% believe in God but only 61% believe in the devil. (Gallup 2017)
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.…..both hail w equal delight” -C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV) 10 Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The Devils Schemes….
2 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV) For we are not unaware of his schemes.
Devil: The one who throws slander and accusation.
1. As a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8)
2. The subtle serpent (Genesis 3:1)
3. As an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Ephesians 6:13-18 (NIV) 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
“The only authority he has is in our life is the authority we lend him.”
1- Belt of Truth
“The relativist thinks that truth is subjective. Therefore truth becomes a lower value to virtues based on emotions and experience. If truth is subjective it is not a truth at all. What makes truth is that IT IS absolute.”
2. Breastplate of righteousness
“We do can’t produce righteousness but we can guard it.”
3- Feet covered with the Gospel of Peace
Romans 16:20 (NIV) The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
4. Shield of Faith
“If we are functioning in fear then the enemy has influence in our life.”
Luke 10:19 (NIV) I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
5. Helmet of Salvation
We think FROM our Salvation.
“We can only renew and redeem what we take captive”
James 4:7-8 (NIV) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Before they possessed they city they possessed….
“Gods Promises & Plans don’t have an expiration date.”
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NLT) For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through
#2. Perspective- It’s HIS Battle
Joshua 5:13-15 (NIV) 13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?" 14 "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?" 15 The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.
“When Jesus is king, your battles are his battles.”
#3. Presence in the Process
#4. Praise before victory.
Psalm 67:5-6(NLT) May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you. Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us.
Psalms 24:7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Judges 6:7-16 (NLT) 7 When they cried out to the LORD because of Midian, 8 the LORD sent a prophetto the Israelites. He said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt. 9 I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land. 10 I told you, ‘I am the LORD your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.’ But you have not listened to me.” 11 Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” 13 “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”14 Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” 15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” 16 The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”
Gideon’s fleece: “God is not bothered by our need for Clarity!”
Judges 7:2-7 (NLT) 2 The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. 3 Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight. 4 But the LORD told Gideon, “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not.” 5 When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the LORD told him, “Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream.” 6 Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream. 7 The LORD told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.”
God prunes his militia.
“Setbacks are setups.”
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” - Dorothy Bernard
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV) I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
It’s imperative that we are aware of the enemies tactics…
Intimidation, Deception, Manipulation, Accusation, Humiliation(Shame).
1 Peter 5:7-9 (NIV) 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith…
Judges 7:16-22 (NLT) 16 He divided the 300 men into three groups and gave each man a ram’s horn and a clay jar with a torch in it. 17 Then he said to them, “Keep your eyes on me. When I come to the edge of the camp, do just as I do. 18 As soon as I and those with me blow the rams’ horns, blow your horns, too, all around the entire camp, and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon!’” 19 It was just after midnight, after the changing of the guard, when Gideon and the 100 men with him reached the edge of the Midianite camp. Suddenly, they blew the rams’ horns and broke their clay jars. 20 Then all three groups blew their horns and broke their jars. They held the blazing torches in their left hands and the horns in their right hands, and they all shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” 21 Each man stood at his position around the camp and watched as all the Midianites rushed around in a panic, shouting as they ran to escape. 22 When the 300 Israelites blew their rams’ horns, the LORD caused the warriors in the camp to fight against each other with their swords. Those who were not killed fled to places far away….