Monday, July 4, 2016

Anointed for the Future

Anointed for the Future
by Bishop Noel Jones
at the City Of Refuge on Sunday, January 24, 2016

I'm going to the Old Testament and as I have told you, I'm not an Old Testament preacher. I have matriculated in the New Testament for so long, understanding definition, and not description. The chronicler in the Old Testament is presenting the history of Israel so he has to have many anecdotes, he has to have many stories as he presents Israel's history.

We have a tendency, we have a proclivity from the pulpit to be to spiritualize certain things that have no real spiritual value because the writers are making some descriptions, and we are pulling and gleaning out of those descriptions certain things we want to say.

And that's why I love the New Testament because the definitions are explicit and succinct. You either know what you're talking about or you don't, and there's not a lot of room for error because you're dealing with words, and lexical syntactical presentations. And so when you glean in the story, you have to be careful that you don't spiritualize. I've heard enough of that in my life.

A man was in Jerusalem, and went down to Jericho. He had no business going down or he wouldn't have fallen among thieves. Anytime you start going down you get in big trouble. Well Jerusalem is in the mountain, and Jericho is in the valley, so there's absolutely no way for him to go home without going down. It was not a moral description; God was not presenting that to present morality. It was a topographical or geographical description of the man just trying to get home. It wasn't the man's fault he fell among thieves; he didn't solicit that.

So I'll be careful today not to put you in harm’s way with spiritualizing this text. I open even though I'm going to 1 Samuel 16. Last night I caught something when I noticed that in I Samuel 15:35 says, "And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death:" Samuel was through with Saul "and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel." But even though Samuel wasn't going to see him anymore, he was through with him in terms of seeing him. The bible says, "nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul:" He wasn't dead physically, but he's dead spiritually. And Samuel was no longer connected to Saul, so he wasn't going to see him anymore, and he mourned for him. How many people you have decided not to deal with, but you sit around and mourn over it? How many people you decided not to see physically, but you haven't let them go in your spirit? You might as well see them, if you are going to have them in your spirit. Am I going to see them?  We're not connected anymore. We don't have any spiritual connection, and then the scripture says, nevertheless he still got him heavy on his heart.

So in Chapter 16:1 "And the Lord said unto Samuel, “How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?" Says now, If you let him go, let him go and don't have your life in limbo because we got to do something different. See many times we allow situations to linger on us even after they're over and we sit in limbo, not being productive because we've allowed the issues of the past to stay burdensome inside of us. When a thing is over, it’s over. And the Lord says now if I have rejected him, how long are you going to mourn? See I'm ready to do something new so "fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. I provided me a king. I didn't provide you a king; I provided me a king.

And so Samuel, "2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me." You see and this is something we'll talk about another time. "And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord." Now they tell me there's a wrong way, there's a right way, and then there's God's way. But verse 2 is a little problematic. The Lord says he's sending him down there for one thing, but he tells Samuel to tell Saul another thing. There's a right way, there's a wrong way, there's God's way. I will leave it that like that. "3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee."

Alright you're just my agent. Don't go down there and pick anybody, let me do the picking through you. "6 And it came to pass," when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him." Now he's going to do the picking. The Lord says, the one I tell you. Isn't that where you read that somewhere? "3 and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee."

"And the Spirit was of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” Now I'll come around, and we're going to have a little talk about that. From that day forward, now the question I have to ask is, was the Spirit of the Lord with him, when he raped the black man's wife, and had the black man killed? The scripture said he was upon him from that day forward. Maybe I'm dyslexic, but did the Spirit, was the Spirit with him from that day forward, and then when the Bathsheba incident happened, he jumped over him, and caught him on the the backside of that? Forward to that incident, and stopped. Then when that was over he came back upon him.

From that day forward suggests that he was with him through all, and every thing he did. Now how do you understand that in light of our value? And in light of us having to do right? Well the answer is simple. When he sent Samuel down there to anoint him, God had all the information. He didn't learn about the Bathsheba incident when the rest of them did. He knew it was coming, and yet still he anointed him.

The gifts and callings of God are without repentance because he knows everything you're going to do before he calls you. So here's what I suggest you do. Don't sit there and wallow in the mistakes you make in your life, and don't suspend what God has called you to do too long after you repent. And don't allow gossipers and folk who make mistakes themselves to talk you out of doing what God has called you to do because you fell down. When God called you he had all the facts.

And I say that as sort of an appendix because there are too many people who are valuable who God has put his hand on who we have tried to take his hand off, and we want to suspend their operation and destroy their gift because they did something we did, we just didn't get caught. I want you to look at somebody with all the ebullience you can muster and say, "My anointing is for the future, not for the past.

There's always transition in God's scheme, and it is interesting that there is an anointing, and then there is an appointing. Many times in our, synod, maybe a more conventional word would be organization, we consecrate people before they begin to function, generally. But a consecration, even though we have the oil and stuff, consecration isn't always God's anointing because God uses an agent, he has to have his hand on you before man puts his on you.

And so the man here is anointed by God's agent. And the reason I say that was he wasn't sending him down there to look for one of them. He was sending him down to a specific one. Which means that God had already made up in his mind who his king would be. Now for 15 years, David was anointed, but he was not appointed king. Which means there can be a time between the time God lays hands on you, and the time he releases you for the function that he laid his hands on you. I'm learning, it took me a long time, and I hope you don't take as long as it took me that oftentimes the time between the anointing and the appointing has more to do with God preparing me than God keeping something from me.

You know I look at Moses, and I remind you of the fact that God raises him up in Pharaoh's house, the most decadent house in all of the world. You cannot imagine the decadency, and the depravity that went on in ancient times, you don't have a clue. And so he then puts him 40 years, the scripture says, "in the back of the desert." I don't know where that would be, in order to cleanse him of what he enjoyed in Pharaoh's house. I think Hebrews said he enjoyed the riches. And then he puts him in front of the burning bush, and then he commissions him to go 40 years with a group of people, who wouldn't listen to him. 40 years in the mess, 40 years to get him out of the mess, and 40 years to do what he wanted him to do.

You take Joseph and he was dreaming, and from the moment he was dreaming, you have to understand that God had his hand on him. And yet, he didn't get to the summit until he was 30. So don't always expect the moment where God puts his hand on you, is the moment where you're going to arrive.

So there's timing that God uses to prepare you before he positions you. And between the time he puts his hands on you and the time he positions you, he's working on you. So sometimes like Abraham he put him out, but he didn't tell him where he was coming in. He says leave and I will show you. By time Abraham got through there, he had to deal with all kinds of issues.

But I don't understand why oftentimes we have a problem with the transitions that we have to go through before we arrive where God promised us. You have to be prepared once God puts his hand on you to go through some things before you get to where he promised you, you'd go.

Still in God, and you can only be released by God because God is the one who put his hand on you. So you know the time of the anointing, but he doesn't always give you the date of the appointment. So for 15 years David is the first person in a second position. You're moving through a group of people and you know God has his hand on you and yet still, he expects you to subordinate yourself to people who his Spirit has already left.

If you don't understand it, ask Jeremiah, he was the anointed one. God said, "before you were formed in your mother’s womb, I knew you." And yet still Pashur who was the appointed one, but not anointed. And oftentimes you have to deal with appointed folk who are not anointed when you know that you're the first person in a second position, and God expects you, as all throughout the book of Samuel it said, "David handled himself wisely." God expects you to stay right where you are until he releases you. He expects you not to take the matter in your own hands. David's boys got with him, and said to him, “Why in the world are you going through this?”

Man, you playing your harp, and trying to get the evil spirit off him, which tells you how significant music can be. You got anointed musicians, and anointed choir it can help to move that demon off some folk. In II Kings Chapter 3 about verse 15 when Elisha did not want to talk to Naaman said, “What is he coming here for?” And then when God insisted, he said, “send for the musician,” and the musician came, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. So notice now two things: music can drive the demon out, and music can induce the Spirit of God.

Very important, very important, very important. And while he was working with him, he tried to throw the javelin at him, and put him through the wall, and yet still he's the anointed one. First man in a second position, and David's boys want to know why are you going through this? Why you dealing with this? So one night Saul is in a cave somewhere and because they didn't even outhouses in those days, he was outside using the potty. And David sneaked up behind him, and cut off a piece of his skirt. And then he went back on the hill, and he said, “Here is your skirt. Now you're trying to kill me, but I could have killed you and all of my men want me to kill you, when, why are you chasing a flea? I will touch not the Lord's anointed, and do his prophet no harm.

Now David is the anointed one with the Spirit of God on him; Saul, the Spirit of God has left him, but David wasn't going to touch him because he didn't put him in that place. I don't care how spiritual you get, leave people alone because you look at the outward appearance, but you don't see the heart. Because many times we feel spiritual because we're not going through anything right now, and we're not suffering anything right now, but we put our mouths on other folk who are going through something. But you hang around and live long enough, and you might be in the worse situation than what you are putting your mouth on.

And the reason David received mercy, because he was merciful. I wish you'd understand it. O yes, yes, yes, yes. The merciful shall obtain mercy. And David was called a man after God's own heart because God is a merciful God, and when he puts his hand on somebody, don't try to take it off with your mouth. David wouldn't touch him. You don't have to conspire, you don't have to connive for a place where God put you. You don't have to wheel and deal and tear people down, and set little traps and try to show people's inefficiencies. Because if God puts you there, he's going to put you there when the time comes for you to be there. And it’s not going to be on your schedule, it’s going to be on his schedule, and his schedule is always right.

You don't have to tear a boss down to get the job, if that's the job God gave you. You don't have to tear a woman down to get a man, if that's the man God gave you. You don't have to tear a woman. a man down. You don't have to tear anybody down in order to get what God gave you. If it’s yours, it’s yours. And somebody can be sitting in the seat that's yours. Somebody can be with somebody whose yours. I wish I could talk about it.  Amen, somebody is driving a car that's yours; living in a house, that's yours. All they are doing is keeping it up until you get there. Nobody can keep what God is giving you.

The concept of anointing is made evident in a word mashach, and it’s the greatest word used for ceremonial induction into leadership offices. One writer puts it like this, "An action which involve the pouring of oil from the horn upon the head of an individual." Most frequently mentioned, its mentioned of mashach with kings, it’s not mentioned too often anywhere else. Its mentioned with kings such as Saul and David. And I don't know if you look at things after I leave, but Numbers 35:25; Exodus 29:7 talks about the high priest, and the priests were anointed in Exodus 30:30.

Twice is mashach used anointing a prophet. There are four theological significance of this word mashach. The first is to anoint an individual or an object indicating an authorized separation for God's service. It is not a service for you. When you look at people seeking offices particularly in the church, it becomes dangerous when God is not the one who is making the separation. Because oftentimes people feel they have the skill, and skill is good and very wonderful. And they have the oratory skills, they're grandiloquent. They have leadership skills, but it’s significant that, in anything that God wants you to do that he separates you for it. And he has to anoint you. And there are many anointings, it’s not just an anointing to preach, there's an anointing to teach, there's an anointing to help, there's an anointing to make money. Amen, God can anoint you to lead, God can anoint you to take certain positions because God’s positioning anoints. He can anoint you to be in a certain position, where you can help other people in their walk of life. He can anoint you to be a benefactor; he can anoint you to be a philanthropist; he can anoint you in many ways, and sometimes he anoints you for wealth because anything that operates in God's kingdom needs money, and God then puts people in strategic positions, and give them the kind of heart that will benefit others. He anoints people to help people who can't help themselves. He anoints people to put programs together to help people.

Don't think I'm talking about preaching here, I'm talking about you. You who God places his hand on, put something in your heart that you can't get out of your heart, and he keeps it in your heart because he has chosen you to make that thing happen.

Can I take it further? Sometimes he puts something in you, not to bless the now, but to bless the tomorrow. Remember when Saul, and the question was asked me in the back, that Saul just simply disobeyed God, and God totally rejected him because of the Agag, God rejected him. Now Agag would have died if he had done what he should have done, and Esther and Mordecai wouldn't have dealt with Haman hundreds of years later because Haman was an Agagite. God was looking down the road to see the trouble his people would be in, and what God wanted to do was keep them out of that trouble because he wanted Saul to handle the problem now. See sometimes God anoints you to handle the problem, not for the now, but for the future. Because what you're doing now, he wants you to do, so your children won't have a problem in the future because he not only looks at the now but he's looking at all of your descendants.

You see when God sticks you in, and places you, anoints you to step into a generation line. The reason he sets you in that line is to cut the negatives of a cursed generation and to start the blessings of your posterity. God didn't give you money just for you to run out and spend it on Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Charles Chardon. God gives you money to help the next generation, help the next generation, and help the next generation and reverse the curse in your family. My family tree has got to be better because of me. It doesn't matter what came down, what's going down is going be a whole lot better than what came down, and what came down was good. Ah hear me when I tell you; O you got to know how God positions, and he positions through his anointing. He's got to place it in you. And he has to be the one who separates you because it’s not for you, it’s for God. God didn't put that music in you for you. He put it in you to bless your children, to bless other people. And don't let haters stop you. Because many times haters are the most ignorant people in the world because God didn't bless me for me, hater. He blessed me for you/

Now, now Moses anointed Aaron to sanctify him, and that of course is seen in Exodus 28:1, and the expression was, he was anointed for the Lord, and he was anointed for the Lord to serve the Lord in the tabernacle, he was anointed for the Lord. Some people are anointed to serve the Lord in terms of touching other people's lives and some people are anointed for the Lord. To serve before him, and to represent him. And mashach here represents a position of honor, but you can't have a position of honor from God, and not have a position of responsibility. There's a responsibility that goes with God putting his hand on you for a purpose.

If he puts his hand on you for a purpose, then you have fulfill what he puts his hand on you for. Whole lot of folk want to enjoy the wonders, and the beauty of the Spirit, but don't want to take the responsibility that comes from what the Spirit brings. And that's why there has to be a process. God has to put you through some stuff to understand and know who you are.

Can I take it further? One of my problems has always been that I never give great value to myself. You want to be like everybody else. You want to act like everybody else, enjoy everybody else, and you don't put any value to yourself. But if God puts you in a position of value, you'd better hurry up and learn it’s your responsibility to act valuable. You can't keep trying to go down and be like everybody else, when God has put you in a place of honor. You can't be like everybody else after God puts his hand on you. You got to be who God put his hand on you to be. Stop stripping yourself of your honor in order to deal with people that God sent you to bless. I wish you'd understand it. You can't fraternize with everybody. You can't be seen with everybody; you can't run to every place; you can't be seen coming out of the strip club.

If you got a place of honor, then you have to act like God has raised you up. When God anoints you to have a family, you got to act like the matriarch, you got to act like the patriarch of that family. God didn't put you in the place of honor for your children to be worshiping you, and love you, and want to be around you, and you don't feed them. You have the responsibility to feed them, to clothe them, to house them, to love them, to get them through school because you're in a place of honor, you have responsibility.

And so it’s critical now because it’s a place of honor, and a place of responsibility. And when you look at it, you understand that Saul didn't operate in the responsibility after he had the honor. And so when I understand this I understand that God said, I anointed you king, it was not for yourself. If I tell you to do something, you go and do it because that's why I put you in the place of honor, so that you would do my bidding.

The second thing is though the agent of anointing may be the priest, writers speak of the anointed ones as those the Lord anointed. So even though the man did it in the Old Testament, it was God, who is the first authorizing agent. Samuel didn't take it upon himself, it was God who called him and said, I need you to go on a little trip for me because I've got a king down there. In addition, the anointing is inviolable and that is, once you are anointed, you are always anointed because nobody can take the anointing off you that God put on you. I'm not only anointed when I'm in the pulpit, I'm anointed in the bowling alley. I'm not only anointed when I'm preaching, I'm anointed when I'm studying. I'm not only anointed when I'm in the pulpit, I'm anointed driving home.

And the devil knows when God has his hand on you, that's why he comes after you so dreadfully. But I want to lift up the name of God because who he anoints he can keep. The anointed one then is to be held in special regard. And then you have to know how to operate because one may interfere. Divine enablement accompanies mashach. O yes, and then that's why you have to understand when you're dealing with someone else whose anointed. You've got to understand who God is using at the time in the prime position. Because oftentimes when God anoints you and anoints somebody else in service. I have gone to many a service and knew that I was not the anointed star. That meeting was not my meeting even though there was 20 of us preaching. I knew where God had the primary anointing. I knew when I was secondary, where I was not the one who was to be supported, I was the one to give support. Because when you get into somebody else's space who is anointed, you've got to know when you are primary or when you're secondary. To be secondary does not mean that you are less than they are. What it means God is shuffling his deck to get what he wants out of this meeting at the time. You see many times you're in a choir, and there's a time when you're anointed for the lead.

But then there's another time when you're anointed for the background. Background singers aren't less than leaders. I wish you'd understand me. O Lord, because they're as needed as the other person because sometimes God anoints somebody to help you. And that's why you don't despise the anointing in your help. And that's why people, when God anoints you to hold somebody up, don't you ever let people call you a flunky and you stop doing what God anointed you to do. I don't mind being a flunky, if God is my anointer. I'm a flunky for God I was thinking, I was talking to Jimmy last night, and I told him that there was a young man, who his pastor would always come to him when he had assignments to preach. And he'd say, "Go there, go there, no don't go over there, go there." It began to bother the young man because he was feeling like his pastor was directing his anointing when he said, "Go there, don't go there." I don't do it; I don't get involved. There's only one pulpit here, and if there's somewhere where somebody wants you to preach please go, please go. Its significant because he was being directed by his pastor. And he was moping one night, and his mother said, "Well, what's wrong with you?" And he said, "Well, they're telling me to do this, and not to do this, and nobody else is following it but me." His mother said to him, "If you will do what others won't do, God will fix it so you can do what others can't do."

You get it. If you follow God in humility God will raise you up in victory, and his anointing will be expressed in you. So the Spirit of the Lord, in one place, came mightily on David. And oftentimes God has to put his Spirit mightily on you because there's circumstances that you run into that he enables you to overcome. And he enables you to overcome it, not through your ingenuity and your sagacity, but he is the one who got you out of the situation by enabling you spiritually.

Mashach was associated with the coming promised deliverer, sharing in his anointing. Which means all through the Old Testament, anybody who touched anybody else's life was anointed, and shared in the anointing of the anointed one. The Christos, anytime you are anointed, and anytime you're filled with the Spirit of God, you are sharing in what is the anointing of Jesus Christ. And whenever God calls you to a task, you step up in the task knowing that he backs you up through his Spirit. And if folk don't receive your anointing he said, “Shake off the dust, and move to the next place." Don't sit around fussing with anybody who can't receive who you are. Because know that he's got some people out there, who will know who you are. And the first thing they'll say to you is, "Where have you been?" Because my spirit joins with your spirit, and we realize that somewhere here, God is taking us to the next level.

So the prospect of a righteous, spirit-filled ruler is increasingly discernable in the Old Testament. Somebody's coming that has more power than I. That's why when he came into the world, and John looked at him with all of John's anointing, John said, “I'm not worthy to unlatch his shoes. I must decrease, and he must increase.” That's why the anointing of the preacher should never overshadow the growth of the saint. Because his anointing has to decrease in the face of God's anointing increasing. He can't wedge himself between you and God, and act like he's the cat's meow, and the dog's bow-wow. What he's got to do is enjoy your growth, enjoy your strength, enjoy seeing God move in you because he now understands that he's not the only one with power in the house. Everybody that God has put his hands on has power in the house.

Its critical to understand this because there's always conflict in transition, the spirit of Saul, and the spirit of David. And I tell you this, you can be second, but God is with you. And while he was trying to kill David God was with him. I'd rather be with God going from cave to cave than to be sitting in the palace with a bad spirit. Saul is chosen by God, he was anointed and filled with the Spirit. In his early years he was humbled, and practiced self-control, then self-will overtook him, and restricted the move of God. I don't care how God blesses you, never get proud. I don't care how God raises you, never get proud because he resists the proud, but he gives more grace to the humble. Jealousy prompted him to hurt and harm David because somebody hollered, "Saul has killed his thousands, but David has killed his ten thousands."

When you are anointed, and you walk up into the army of the Lord, and you look over and see big Goliath making mockery out of children of God. But the anointed David walked up and said, "Who is this uncircumcised giant that you all are afraid of?" Don't you know when you God is with you, you don't have to be afraid of anything? When you got God with you, you don't have to act like, you can't make it. Walk in the boardroom make your presentation. Walk on the job make your changes because if you got God with you, he's more than anybody against you.

David walks up and starts talking, talking big and Eliab said, his own brother, said "What are you doing here?" I've come to see about the kingdom of God. Saul took off his armor, and put it on David, and it couldn't fit. The other person's stuff can't fit you, you have your own armor. When God anoints you he makes you different, and he makes you special for what he calls you to do. And the sword won't work, but I got a few stones here, and I got a slingshot, and I'm going to bring this giant down because the God I serve knows how to direct a stone, and hit him in the weakest part of his head. God is going to direct your stone, and bring your giants down. This is your year; this is your time that God is going to move in a way he has never moved. And you're looking for somebody to bring you something. No, no honey, you're going to be taking them something because this is the year of the breakthrough. I'm anointed for the future. Somethings are going to happen through my anointing. Somethings are going to happen through the Spirit of God being upon me. And I've got news for you, I feel the Spirit coming over the church in a greater way! Watch and hear me!

Healings, savings God is getting ready to bless with greater music, greater preaching, greater lifting, greater money, everything greater because I'm anointed for the future, and I can't wait. I'm excited about your future because there's an anointing on you that says every high place must come down for the battle. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."

I'm anointed and they can't talk it off you. they can't curse it off you. Because I feel the Holy Ghost! Quit telling me about witches and sorcerers. Can't no witch do anything to you because you're anointed Can't no witch bother you. Can't no witch take your husband. The devil is a liar! Walk up there with your anointing, lay them anointed hands on him and say, "Behave yourself, this isn’t the act of a witch." The anointing destroys the yoke. Every yoke in your life is going to be destroyed because of your anointing. Let the anointing have his way in your life. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Thrive To Survive

The following sermon was delivered by Bishop Noel Jones
at the City Of Refuge Sunday, June 5, 2016

Isaiah 54 King James Version (KJV)

1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.

2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

There's really no success without community. All you lone wolves, there is no success without networking because somebody else has something you need because no one of us has it all.

And what that seems to indicate to me is that there has to be an appreciation of somebody else's ability. Because hating, the more sophisticated word for hating is envy, and when somebody is envious, its the worst sin of all. I say worst because the other sins might cause you to feel like you getting over.

Ah man, I told a good lie; I hated him, so I wasted him. And you know adultery and fornication, well at least I was feeling good until I got caught. But envy bites you immediately. It doesn't even fake anything it just comes right out and get you.

You went to the mall and you, you walked through the couture department and touched the Givenchy, went through the shoe department looked at the Louis Vuitton and went through the cologne and smelled the Clive Christian, saw the Vera Wang dress, and I mean just went to touching everything. The Chanel purse is at $6 to $7,000, you can just touch it and look for a knock off. And you walk into church on Sunday, and everything you touched, sister just walked in, she was wearing the cologne, she was wearing the Louis Vuitton, and the Givenchy. And immediately, you got sick, just envious.

Anytime you're in isolation, and you feel as if you have to impose your will on everybody, you miss the blessings that God has given someone else for you. Envy is generally in the discipline you're a part of that causes you to wonder how has he or she gotten there, when I haven't?

And it is disruptive because it divides, and it doesn't unite. And because Israel would not unite, they came under the judgment of God. God does not operate in anarchy. You don't set the rules, so his principles then are denied and once his principles are denied, then blessings can't follow as if his principles are followed.

See we bask in having freewill, and our freewill is so free we can choose or not choose God. I mean he's got to be some kind of secure creator that he'd make something that had a choice to receive him or not.

You raising your kids in the house, and you paying for everything they do. You limit their choices. I'm paying for what you do, you are going to clean this room; you going to cut the grass; you are going to be in this house way before Cinderella's shoes change.

The greater support you give somebody, from the human standpoint, limits choices. The more you are taking, the less choice you have. Now, here is a God who does all the supporting, and allows you all the freedom of will. So much so you can choose or not choose him. I could carry on with that one, I don't want to go too far with that one because we love the freedom to choose, but we don't like the consequences of our choices.

And then we blame God's omniscience. If you knew how I was going to be treated Lord, why would you let me get in this? But that's what you wanted. And if he would have stopped the process every time he didn't like your choice, you wouldn't have freewill.

Israel wants to do whatever they want to do, but what they do brings consequences. Consequences, and they ought to be glad that its consequences in the form of chastening, not destruction.  I've learned something and that is we are all going to make mistakes, everybody except you all. But the issue here is how do I change my mistakes into experiences that instead of castigating me, makes me more formidable? How do I become more powerful because of my weakness?

I am weak and my behavior has brought with it consequences because I wasn't principled. I didn't walk according to the principles of God. As you get older, and you understand life a little better, and I think when you're really understand it, its time to die.  But when you understand it a little better, you realize that the principles were not simply an obstacle course that God put us on to have fun watching us struggle, as I believed when I was growing up. I said, "Man, that church is mean. They don't want you to enjoy life. Church got you walking like a stiff jacket, can't join nothing." But as I grow older I understand that the biblical principles were made to give human beings the best life they could get. And if I walk according to his principles, then goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

Bill Gates got rich, he followed some principles; Oprah Winfrey got rich following principles; Steve Jobs followed some principles. There was no hocus pocus, it was not without their active involvement.  See Israel got in trouble ignoring principles. God said I'm going to make you greater, but the greater is not going to come with the same behavior. The greater is going to come when the chastisement changes the behavior, so that now principles will bring blessing instead of non-principle bringing consequence. 

David looked at it one day and said, "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I hearken to every word of God" because its in the hearkening that the blessings come. He's got to change your walk in order to change your harvest. He would deliver them out of servitude because when you walk outside of the principles, you serve satanic forces. And if you're serving satanic forces, you're serving the system that is seeking to destroy you. You're serving the enemy, you're serving the one who spoiled Eden, spoiled the pristine qualities of the garden.

In Hebrews Chapter 12:5 he says, "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:"  It is very similar to him presenting to us, "Sing O ye barren," you've never produced. And why he is giving us encouraging statements about what he is going to do in our lives while we are in a season of chastening because it wasn't punitive, it was corrective, unlike our institutes today.

And so as Paul put it, "Forsake not, forget not despise not the chastening"because in many instances we have rebelled because of instruction. We have rebelled particularly and especially because we believe in many instances we were cowering down and somebody was trying to control us. How many times do your sons, mothers flex to see how far they can go? And when you give them the instruction fathers, sometimes they blatantly ignore you. I ain't gone do it, I ain't gone do it. And sometimes that "I'm not gone do it," stirs something in you until you have to say, "I ain't gone do it." I ain't gone do that 'cause what you thinking about doing on his not doing.

He says don't despise it, and then he said don't faint. And the reason God is projecting on the other side of this season of chastening that you should enlarge your tents because this season of chastening is designed to change you to walk in the principles that's going to bring you bountiful blessings. So while you're in this season of chastening he says "Enlarge your tents because I'm effective enough to chasten you in a way that'll get you straight enough to get the blessings I have already had for you. So in other words, don't waste your chastening time.

Use your chastening time in anticipation of your blessings It goes like this, "I brought this on myself but God is going to use what I brought on myself to make me a better person." And he's saying to me if I can get through what I brought on myself. Don't faint, in other words don't faint because of your mistakes. God leads me back to being able to forgive yourself.

Because part of fainting is not forgiving yourself. Because the guilt can be so intense. Not only do you hide yourself away, but you start drinking more. You hide yourself in drugs. Some men hide themselves in another woman, only to find out that becomes a chastening. Some commit suicide, can't handle your own mistakes. And yet God has a plan to turn the mistake into an experience to take it to a place of immunization, to take you to a place where you're not going down that road before, again. So you step over to the road of principle that brings with it blessings, and God is saying, I wanna encourage you while you're going through the darkest time of your life, widen your tents. He said put the stakes up and make the stakes strong, and don't put no limited cord, get the widest cord you can get it because I'm going to make you bigger than you'll ever be, and not only will you be blessed on the outside, but you start liking yourself on the inside.

Ultimately, isn't that the real thing? Ultimately, isn't that the bottom line, liking yourself? Can I talk to you a little about that? You know, liking yourself and liking who you are can weather any storm. Liking yourself can keep you afloat, when you're broke 'cause I ain't got no money don't mean I don't like myself. Because I don't have any money don't mean you can treat me anyway you want to. You don't have to have a lot of things to enjoy yourself. Because liking yourself can weather any storm. It'll weather your insults, it'll weather your Facebook page, it'll weather what you do on Instagram, it'll weather what you say about me. It'll weather any storm 'cause I might hurt, but I ain't gone hurt myself.

Faint not 'cause you're being chastened. Don't faint, don't get so down that everything that's going on around you has now come on the inside. Its alright for the water to be out the boat, but we can't have no whole lot of water in the boat 'cause or we are going to sink. Let the storm be on the outside, and have the calm on the inside  because I know where this chastening is taking me. Paul put it another way, "We glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience, patience, experience; experience, hope and hope that maketh not ashamed 'cause the love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit."

In Hebrews 12:6 he says, "For whom the Lord loveth," he must be really love me, "he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Every son who he receive, and son is generic. Everyone of his children who he receive he had to chasten. Anybody in here who can walk outside of his principles, and life continues in the same blessed way as if you were walking according to his principles, you're not loved. Put it another way. If the Lord allows you to get away with everything you do negatively,he don't love you. If he lets you treat people bad: rob, steal, hurt, kick, fight, cuss. If he lets you do all that and nothing happens to you in terms of chastening, he don't love you. But every time you step out of line, and something happens to you, he loves you. 'Cause he wants to keep you in line to keep blessing you, and keep you lifting up and glorifying his name. Whip me Lord! Whip me til I walk right, whip me til I talk right, whip me til I live right, whip me right into my blessings, just whip me right into my tent 'cause I got it enlarged.

Now that's some kind of prayer, isn't it? When you can get on your knees and say, "Lord remember to whip me." Don't forget me while on others thou art calling do not pass me by. You don't have to pray it, its just the natural progression that's quite normative. Walk outside the whipping, the chastening the anticipation of the correction for the blessing. Really you could say to me, "Noel if you would just change your behavior, you would change your destiny." If you change your behavior you could change your financial picture. If you just change your behavior, you wouldn't have to take so much medicine. Change your behavior, you'd change your psychological disposition, and all of the debilitated things, and the sleepless nights of worry about the outcome of a behavior that you could have avoided, if you could just change your behavior, you'd have a more excellent life. But he scourges every son because faith is not the only way that he gets us to glory.

The very bottom of the scripture in Isaiah 54:17 it says and, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper." You will not be ashamed, you will not be put to shame. He took the shame off you. Somebody gone look over your past and say, "With all she been how she end up with a man like that?  Because God took the shame. How can a woman like that love him? God took the shame away.

Somebody in here the Lord is calling you today, and he's saying I know your season, I know what you're going through right now, and the chastening and the choices you made, but I want to turn you around.

To view the entire sermon visit my YouTube Channel or you may order the message from the Bookstore at or call nationwide (800) 526-6635 or the Breadbox Bookstore at (310) 516-1433. You may also download the City Of Refuge/Noel Jones Ministries Church app.

May you grow in the nature of Christ in Jesus name, amen.