The Heart Of God

February 26, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn with me to the book of Jeremiah chapter twelve. Jeremiah chapter twelve. We won’t be long tonight, because there’s a reason for this message (glory to God) that I will expound on. Jeremiah chapter twelve. And when you reach Jeremiah chapter twelve, please signify by saying amen. The Scripture will come from verse five. And the prophet said,

5. If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of the Jordan?

6. For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word. Hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. And Father, as I decrease I ask that You would increase. 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. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

When we look at verse five of the book of Jeremiah chapter twelve, it lets us know that the horses of change are coming. Listen. The horses of change are coming. And believers around the Word are sensing in their spirits that God has stepped up the tempo.

If you are in tune with what God is doing in this season and in this hour, you will understand that God is not in a position (glory to God) where He’s trying to allow the body of Christ to get comfortable and to stay complacent. God has stepped it up a notch. He’s stepped up the tempo.

Let me tell you something tonight. He’s looking for a people that can run with Him. Do you hear what I’m saying? He’s stepped up the tempo. And He’s looking for somebody. If it has to be a remnant, let it be a remnant. But He’s looking for a group of people (glory to God) that are saying, “I’m not tired yet.” He’s looking for somebody (glory to God) that’s waiting (glory to God) to go a little bit further than all of the rest of them are willing to go.

We have done well surviving our daily trials and temptations. We’ve done well by surviving the situations and the circumstances that have been around us. But let me tell you something. God wants us to realize that the challenges that are before us are greater than the challenges which were behind us. Do you hear what I’m saying tonight? It’s not going to get easier.

Let me tell you something. It’s time to spend a little more time in prayer. It’s time to spend a little more time in fasting. God has not slowed down. God is speeding up.

These day to day challenges are nothing but stepping stones to opportunity. These day to day challenges and struggles are nothing but tests of endurance, so that we can strengthen ourselves for what’s to come.

Some of you hear me tonight, but some of you don’t hear me yet. Because you want something that’s going to tickle your fancy. But I’m giving you Bible tonight. I’m giving you something that’s going on in the earth right now. God is moving faster. Oh, won’t you catch up with God?

What you are going through is only an exercise for where you are going. It’s only an exercise. These struggles that you’re in are only an exercise for our endurance.

We as the body of Christ can not afford just to look good any more. The many years we’ve tried to look good, but what was really going on on the inside, the world couldn’t really see. Because we all had it covered up with makeup, didn’t we? We had a mask on it. We didn’t want the world to find out.

But let me tell you something. What’s in the darkness is going to come to the light. What we whisper in secret is going to be shouted from the mountaintop, from the roof top. Do you hear what I’m saying tonight?

He’s picking up the tempo. Many times we slow down because we want to give others a chance to catch up with us. Do you hear what I’m saying? But there’s only a season and a time that God is going to allow you to slow other people... Oh, you don’t hear me tonight.

See, some people are only caught up in their situation. But it’s only an exercise. God has bigger and better and greater for us.

Let me tell you what we’re running for. We are running for our children. And we’re running for our children’s children. God wants us all to inherit His heart. That’s what He’s looking to do. We’re running for our children and our children’s children.

He’s after a heart that’s not just perfect in attendance. He’s after a heart that, not that it had not sinned before. But He’s after a heart like His own heart. Ask David about it. Ask Jesus about it. Jesus is of the lineage of the (oh, my God), of David. Hallelujah. But He’s looking for people that are going to inherit the heart of God.

And what has happened is, in the generation that has come after us, they’re worse off than any other generation that has ever gone before them. Why? Because they’ve not had... Oh, my God. They have not inherited the heart of God. Therefore, when they try to run they’ll only fall down.

You want to know why your children won’t act right? They didn’t inherit your heart. Your heart is a heart after God’s own heart. That didn’t mean that you didn’t try. That meant that the devil tried to prove himself bigger than your God. But it’s now time for you to stand up and be accounted for and say, “Devil, you won’t have my blessing.”

Our children are our blessings. They’re the heritage of the Lord. The fruit of the womb is His reward. You’re not running for you. Can I say that again?

You see, we’ve been running for ourselves. And we’ve been running to try obtain more. Because what we got is not enough. So we been trying to run to obtain more, not that we can pass an inheritance to our children, but we can live comfortably for ourselves. It’s tight, but it’s right.

But a good man leaves an inheritance for his children and his children’s children. And the most important thing that they can inherit from us is a heart after God’s own heart.

When you have a heart after God’s own heart, it’ll cause you to run when you don’t feel like running. It’ll cause you to keep on pressing (glory to God) when there’s no strength in your body. When you have a heart after God’s own heart, it’ll cause you to run on to see what the end is going to be. My God, my God.

He wants to move His heart from one generation to the next. (Can we turn that heat down just a little bit?) He wants to move His heart from one generation to the next generation.

When we look at the generation today that’s coming up, they lack knowledge. They lack wisdom. And thy lack understanding. They don’t have any direction. They don’t have any guidance. And they are truly rebellious.

But God is looking for folks that won’t get tired in the race. While they’re on their knees they’re in the race. He’s looking for somebody that won’t get tired of getting down on their knees and crying out all night long for somebody’s... Oh, not just their own child, but the whole generation.

When we look at Solomon... Turn with me to Ecclesiastes chapter two. Solomon had wisdom, didn’t he? Yes, he did. But there was a problem, wasn’t there? Look at Ecclesiastes chapter two, verse eighteen through verse twenty-one. Sister Lisa, read that for me, please.

18. Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

19. And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

20. Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

21. For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leaver it for his portion. This is also vanity and a great evil.

22. For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath labored under the sun?

With all of the wisdom that Solomon possessed, later in his life Solomon became bitter, because he didn’t inherit the heart of God. Do you hear what I’m saying?

According to God’s Word, if you have not prepared someone to take your heart for God by inheritance, you have raised your children in vain. Let me say that again. If we have not prepared our children... Now don’t look at me with no tight face. If we have not prepared our children to inherit the heart of God, then we have raised children in vain. We’ve raised them in vain.

Most of the time our children are just like us. It took time, a lot of times, until we finally realized that we couldn’t do it by ourselves. Now listen to what I’m saying. And don’t try to be offended at the Word.

If you are through praying for your child and they’re still out there, shame on you. If you have given up on them because they’re not in your house any more, shame on you. You’ve raised them in vain. You better get back down on your knees.

God gave you that child. He only loaned that child to you. You’re held accountable for that child. You may think you’re not, but you are.

Don’t give up on them. Keep praying that God’s heart would be transferred into their heart. I don’t care how old they are, they’re still your child. Hello, somebody. And as long as we have breath in us, as long as we can still communicate with the Father up in heaven, we’d better not let that child go.

He’s looking for somebody that’s going to run with Him. But He said if you’re already in what you’ve been running with the little bit of things, the things that don’t amount to much, then how you going to contend with what’s to come? Hello. If you’re about to die now when He’s picking up the pace, how you going to catch up?

The Bible said in Luke eighteen and one, men ought always to do what? Pray and not faint. For a man that faints, his strength is weak. I’m not on a high horse. But I’m telling it like it is.

Many times we say that we’re trying to do something for our children. But really we be try to do it for us. A lot of times we’re doing it just to try to keep up with the Joneses. The Jones got a new Cadillac. We want a Mercedes. Why are we really doing it?

It would bring me so much joy that the little children that I’ve raised would become preachers and teachers of the Word. It would bring me so much joy.

When I look at these evangelists on TV, they’re only a handful that their children work in the ministry with them. One of them, he was on TV. And he was talking about... He’s a singer, great singer. He was talking about how his child was at home, and he don’t know where he at. But he on TBN singing.

Do you hear what I’m saying? Maybe he’ll come home. Maybe he won’t. And I’m saying it because there was a lack of concern in his voice, like he can do whatever he want to do. They can’t do what they want to do.

That’s why I’m saying this in my closing. We have several ministries here at the church now for children. How come your child is not there? How come your child is allowed to make decisions for themselves concerning the work of the Lord? Why? You’re setting them up for failure.

How are they going to learn how to work in the house of God? They’re not old enough to make their own decisions yet. Do you hear what I’m saying? If they come to you, and they’re getting ready for school, and what they have on don’t match, but that’s what they want to wear, you’re going to make them take it off and put on something else.

So how come they can decide whether or not they want to dance? How come they can decide whether or not they want to sing? How come they can decide where they want to sit? We’re not giving them our heart.

And then when they grow up and go away, and you can’t do nothing with them, and they can’t stand you, then you’re going to want to blame somebody else. It’s tight, but it’s right. If the pants fit or the dress fits, put it on and wear it.

When we were growing up, you couldn’t make no choice of what you wanted to do. You had choir rehearsal every Saturday. And when you turned thirteen, you didn’t stop. You didn’t stop unless you wanted to, until you graduated high school. Hello, somebody.

And look at us now. Now where are we? We are in the house of God. Because we had something instilled in our hearts.

I ask parents, I say, “Why? How come your child?”

“They don’t want to.”

“Well, why? What?”

“And then they look like if I make them they’re going to get mad at me.”

Who’s the parent? Who’s raising who or whom? Do you hear what I’m saying tonight? They won’t be able to run the race. They won’t be able. If we are struggling the way we are, then we if we don’t instill what needs to be instilled in them, they won’t even make it as far as we have made it.

Listen. If your child is old enough to be in something, put them in it. And if they get an attitude about it, deal with that attitude. But they’ve got to learn the Word. They’ve got to learn the order of the house of God. They have to learn. They have to learn. It’s important. It’s important. They’ve got to learn how to run this race.

We spoil them. We spoil them. We spoil them. You take them out to dinner, and if you don’t go to the one that they want to go to, they’ve got their mouth poked out. You were glad just to go somewhere when you were growing up. There’s a problem. They won’t be able to endure. They won’t be able to endure.

I’m telling you this word. And that’s why the Lord said hear this word. They won’t be able to make it.

Every now and then let them eat a baloney sandwich. Let them drink some Koolaide. They don’t like it. Then let them go to bed. There may come a day when they’re glad just to get that. Do you hear what I’m saying?

Every now and then don’t get them what they want. Don’t give it to them. Tell them no. That’s for all of us. Tell them no. If they say, Why?” say, “Because I said so.”

They have to learn. They have to understand. We have to put our hearts inside of them. We have to do it now.

Now don’t let this word go in one ear and out the next. There’s nothing more important than God’s house. But guess what. If we’re laxidazical about it, they will be too. If you say at home you don’t feel like going to church, guess what. They’re going to say, “I don’t feel like going to church.”

Saints of God, He’s picking up the tempo. Will you get in step? You know like in the army they may start out one way. Then they’re going to speed it up, aren’t they? They pick up the cadence, the tempo. They pick it all up. And if you can’t last, then you won’t make it.

It’s that season. Step it up. Don’t go back. Step it up. Step it up. Take it up another notch. Take it up. Take it up another notch. Put God a little bit higher than where He was before in our lives. Put Him a little higher. Put Him a little a little higher. Put Him a little higher. Put Him a little higher. Make a quality decision that He’s going to be first no matter what. Make a quality decision, a quality decision, a quality decision to put Him first.

Tonight the Lord spoke this word for a reason. Because many of us have been going through things, and we’re struggling in our praise, our prayer, our worship. We’re struggling in it. We should be able to walk up in it and lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting, and step right off into it.

If there’s something on us that needs to break, it should break off in the worship. Let it break off in the worship. Let it break off now.

He’s so good to us. He’s so good to us. He’s so good to us. The Bible said in Isaiah nine and six, they called Him wonderful counselor. When we look at that word “wonderful,” it means “extraordinary.” He’s an extraordinary adviser. And whatever we do, we need to do for Him with a whole heart. 

So take inventory tonight. Don’t be upset. Don’t be hurt. But take the Word and hide it in your heart. Because now most of us are at the age where we’re really not doing it for us. We’re doing it for those that are coming after us. Amen? Amen.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

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