January 22, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn in your Bibles with me to the book of Philippians chapter one. Philippians chapter one. Thank You, Lord. I’m sorry. Philippians chapter two. Philippians chapter two. And when you reach Philippians chapter two, signify by saying amen. In verse five of Philippians it says,

5. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Let us pray.

Father, we thank You for Your Word. Hide Your son behind the cross, my Father, that Your people would see You and not me. Father, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Father, I thank You that we take authority over every plan, every purpose of the enemy tonight. We command him and all of his imps and cohorts to be bound and gone back to the dry places, in the Name of Jesus. And every assignment that they were on, Father, tonight we bind it. And we command it to disburse in Jesus’ Name.

And Father, we’ll be careful to give You the glory, the honor, and the praise. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

When we look at our Savior, He held the greatest position and the greatest title that anyone could ever hold. But His position and His title did not guarantee productivity or performance.

Our position and our title does not guarantee productivity. And it does not guarantee performance. Don’t you tune me out tonight. Real authority is those that are willing to suffer for the sake of objective, that are great enough to demand their whole-hearted obedience. Glory to God.

He was willing to lay down His life to get the objective taken care of. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to lay down my all so that the objective of God can be manifest in my life, and also manifest in the earth. Hallelujah to Jesus.

In Matthew ten and verse thirty-nine, He said, “Whoever finds his life shall lose it. And whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

When we look at the apostle Paul in Galatians six and seventeen, Paul said, “Let no man cause me trouble. Because I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” In other words, I bear in my body something that identifies me... Oh, you don’t hear me tonight. ...as one that has laid down their life to obedience to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

When we look at what obedience is, obedience is self-sacrifice. It means that I have given up myself. It means that I have given up my will. It means I have given up my desires. It means that His will will be done, not my will, but His will. Oh, hallelujah to Jesus.

I’ve found something worth dying for. I’ve found a cause worth dying for. Oh, you don’t hear me tonight. I’ve found something with enough purpose for me to lay down my own agenda, for me to lay down my own motive, and to pick up His cross and follow him.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise tonight.

We may not bear in our bodies the marks that Paul beared in his body physically. But there is still an outward showing of our obedience. Whenever I am in a place where I am being tested (glory to God), I’m in a place where my outward obedience is going to shine forth. I’m either for Him or I’m against him, somebody.

The reason why God gave me this message tonight is because many of us are in a place of suffering. But we don’t understand that that suffering (glory to God) is going to cause us to be raised up. Oh, you don’t hear me. The Bible said that Jesus had a Name above every name.

Obedience is what He’s calling for. But our circumstance will rather for us to walk according to the flesh. And any time the flesh gets in a fix or it gets in trouble, instead of trying to be obedient, it wants to be in rebellion, somebody.

Obedience is what He’s looking for. When we look at Jesus in Hebrews five and eight, it says, “Though He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” He learned obedience by the situation that He was in.

You see, your situation right now is not a pleasant one. It’s causing you to be a little bit uncomfortable. You don’t hear me tonight. It’s causing you to want to get out of town. It’s causing you to want to take a vacation. But let me tell you something tonight. He learned obedience through the things that He suffered.

What is your objective? What is my objective? Our objective should be that the will of the Father get done. In other words, just like Jesus laid down His life to accomplish the objective, I’ve got to lay down my life to accomplish the objective. If He can take care of the sparrow, surely He can take care of me.

This little light affliction that we’re going... It cannot be compared to the glory that’s going to be revealed in us. Don’t let what you are going through allow you to take on a spirit of rebellion. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. And the Bible says suffer not a witch to live. Oh, you don’t want to hear that tonight.

He learned obedience through the things He suffered. Our usefulness is not determined by whether or not we have suffered, but how much obedience we have learned through the suffering.

See, you think you’re just going through something. But there’s a method to that madness going on in your life. How much obedience are you learning through what you are going through right now? Are you just going through? Or do you have a pen and paper in your hand, taking notes? Oh, you don’t hear me.

Every now and then we need to jot something down. When I learn something, the best way to get it on the inside of me is to write it... Oh.

He learned it. The obedient ones are the useful ones to God. As long as our hearts are not softened, suffering will not leave us. Suffering is a place that causes us to have hearts of flesh. Your suffering is not supposed to be a place where your heart is hardened against God.

What is going on in your life right now? Is it drawing you closer to Him? Or are you getting further and further away from Him? If you’re getting further and further away, you’re not learning anything.

I don’t know about you, but I want to learn. I want Him to teach me. The Bible says His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. I need Him to teach me. Teach me Your ways, for Your ways are true.

He learned obedience. Our way lies in many sufferings. The easy-goers and pleasure-lovers are useless before God. If I am a pleasure lover all the time, if I can’t get before the Lord every now and then, if I can’t open up His Word every now and then, if I can’t get on my knees every now and then, I’m useless to Him.

We need to learn to obey in suffering. If we have met God’s authority, we will discover obedience to be easy, and God’s will to be simple. He said, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

You’re going through what you’re going through for a reason. There’s a purpose behind it. But in the process of it get your flesh under subjection to the Word of God. Let your spirit lead you, and not your soul. Tell that intellect to bow it’s knee. Lean not to your own understanding, but acknowledge Him in all your ways. And He’ll direct your path.

Obedience. Obedience. What is obedience? We said it was self-sacrifice. But obedience is also submissiveness, being submissive to authority. Listen.

It’s hard enough for a man to be a preacher. But it’s doubly hard for a woman to be a preacher, because of the traditions of man. But I know some women that are so anointed. They’ll make any man sit down somewhere.

But a lot of women... And I’m saying this because God is putting it in my mouth to say it. A lot of women, the problem that they have in ministry is not with the men, as they may think it is. It’s with that other ponytail sitting next to them. Oh, hello somebody.

Women have a problem with other women in authority. Oh, it’s tight, but it’s right. They’ll always have something to say about her. Oh, I’m talking the truth, ain’t I? She can never do it just right, because you could have done it better.

Listen. The Lord put that in my mouth for a reason, because it’s not even in my notes. God is dealing with men, pastors. And even in traditional churches, you are seeing traditional pastors ordain women now. So He’s been dealing with the male gender as far as women are concerned in leadership.

Now women need to deal with themselves according to other women.

One day if you’re called to leadership, the same measure you mete...(tongues)...is going to be met back to you again. And you’re going to wonder why they’re acting the way they act. All you got to do is look behind you and see the way you used to act.

Submission, obedience to authority. Don’t be catty. Don’t be cunning and conniving. But be real with your sisters. Be real with your sisters. Be real. Stop this phony fake-ness. It’s so fake. You can see straight... You don’t even got to have a gift to see through it.

Suffering. He learned obedience through the things that He suffered. And He has given the light of obedience to us. Where are we on that totem pole of obedience? There are different levels. Because as I deal with me, as I allow Him to deal with me, then my level of obedience will increase. And then what He can do with me will increase.

Christ, He represents obedience. And His obedience is as perfect as His authority is perfect. Listen. His obedience is as perfect as His authority is perfect.

For all of us that know that God has placed us and is placing us in a place of authority, not only shall we have our authority to be perfect, but our obedience has got to be perfect. I have got to be obedient to His Word to the utmost. I have got to be obedient to those that have the authority over me to the utmost.

He thought it not robber to be equal with God, but humbled Himself. My God, my God. He was obedient unto death. Unto death. And in death there was exaltation.

In dying there’s a place of exaltation. If I can’t die, then I can’t be exalted. If I cannot die, then I cannot be exalted. If I cannot submit, then I cannot... I can’t be exalted.

Many of us are looking to be exalted. But there are places in us that still needs to be worked on. The Bible says promotion doesn’t come from the east or west or the south. But the promotion comes from the Lord. And He’s going to promote those that are dead. And the more you’re dead, surely you’re stinky by now.

Obedience. Obedience. Authority cannot be established except someone be obedient to that authority. If I am not obedient to that authority, then that authority is not real. Authority must have obedience along with it.

But how many of you know that I can be in a place of authority, but not be a real leader? As a person that’s in authority, as a leader, I have got to win your confidence that I’m able to do the job. I cannot force anyone to follow me through manipulation and things of the flesh. You have got to see the Christ in me for it to be real.

How obedient are you? And when you are obedient, what’s really in your heart? When you do what is asked of you, what is really in your heart? Are you submitting just for it can be said that you are submitting? Or is your submission real? Are you submitting, hoping one day that you will be ordained? Or is your submission real?

Eventually what’s on the inside is going to come to the outside. What’s on the bottom is going to surface to the top.

And listen, women. And I want to clear this up. Because I don’t like certain things said. When I said ponytail, don’t take it the wrong way. Hello, somebody. I was just saying that. And I apologize if I offended you if you have a ponytail. Amen? Praise God.

But listen. I’m just being real about it. Because I don’t like it when preachers say certain things, you know. I was talking about that this past Monday, I believe it was. You know, you got to be, you know, where you can reach people without offending people. Amen? Praise the Lord.

But obedience. Obedience in my suffering is going to cause me to finish my course.

There will always be something. I don’t care how much money you have. Satan is not going to leave you alone because you got a Mercedes. So don’t think that if you could only get a million, everything will be alright. It’ll probably be worse. Because you’ll constantly be trying to figure out how to keep it.

He was obedient. He emptied Himself. He emptied all of Him out of Him. All of Him, He emptied it out of Him. All of Him. He said, “Not Me. None of Me. All of You.” He said, “I only do what I see the Father do.”

In other words, I’m not going to do nothing except what’s right here in the Word. So when I begin to do things that I can’t find right here... I need to say that again. If I can’t find it right here, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t care who said it. I don’t care how eloquent they said it. If I cannot... You need... If I can...

I don’t care what prophecy they gave you, how deep it sounded, how mature. If I can’t find it right here, I don’t want to hear it. It’s going to cause me to get in the position of error. And when I’m thinking that I’m being obedient, I’m not. Because anything outside of the Word of God is idolatry.

Watch what you give. He’s leading me in all of these different places. But you better watch what folks give you. I’m not against paraphanalia and things from other folks, and stuff like that. I’m not against that. But if I can’t find it right here, and you cannot give me a sound basis for what you are saying, then I’m sorry. I don’t want to hear it.

Don’t be in a position where you’re so desperate that you’ll listen to anything. You better know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that you know that it’s right here in these sixty-six books. The Bible said if any other gospel be preached, let it be a curse. Let that person be a curse.

Obedience. Obedience. Obedience goes before the work. (And we’re getting ready to close.) Obedience goes before the work. I can’t plan on being obedient after the work gets started. Just let me start the work. I try to hear what you’re saying later. You’ve got to get your heart prepared now, before the work gets started.

He was obedient to leave His throne in glory. And then thirty years spent before His ministry started. He was learning obedience. He was learning obedience. Learning. I have to learn it through the things I suffer. I’m not born obedient.

What child do you know is just born obedient? You have to teach them. And a lot of times they have to get a spanking to learn obedience. And the bible says He chastens those that He loves.

Where are you in obedience? When somebody tells you something, does your heart tighten like that? If somebody has to say something, does your heart go, “Mmm”? If it does, your authority will never be real. It’ll never be real. If you plan on being a leader, and that’s your condition, your authority will never be real.

If you can’t accept criticism your authority will never be real. If every time the pastor preach something, he talking about you, and then you gone for a couple days, you ain’t going to be a leader. Your authority will never be real. People could never follow you. Too wishy washy. People don’t to fallow...(tongues.)

Listen. You’re going through something, some of you. But you’re going through it for a reason. You’re learning something. You’re uncomfortable right now. And sometimes when you’re uncomfortable, you make folks around you uncomfortable.

But you’ll come out of it. Once you’ve died, you’ll come out of it. Once you’ve died, you’ll come out of it. Once you’re obedient unto death, that thing that was troubling you, it won’t trouble you any more. Those folks that used to bother you, they won’t bother you any more. Because you’re dead. You’ll hold no grudges any more, no un-forgiveness. You won’t be snappy all the time any more. Because you’re dead.

If you’re uncomfortable with what’s going on with your life right now, learn a lesson in it right now. Don’t let it just be an experience that has no meaning. Learn something. Press on through it. And remember...(tongues)...that through that obedience you’ll be raised up. You’ll be raised up. And your authority will be genuine.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

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