Having Your Relationship Right With God

June 18, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, open up your Bibles with me to the book of Second Chronicles chapter twenty. Second Chronicles chapter twenty. When you reach the book of Second Chronicles chapter twenty, please signify by saying amen. Oh, hello. Hallelujah. Amen.

Stand to your feet tonight for the reading of the Word. And God is doing something special, something spectacular. Thank You, Jesus. Something that we know not of. That’s what He said.

Second Chronicles chapter twenty, beginning in verse one. It says,

1. It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.

2. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.

3. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

4. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

5. And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,

6. And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

7. Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?

8. And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,

9. If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for who You are and for what You do. My Lord, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. Father, let Your people be encouraged by the Word of the Lord today. And Lord, though there may be trials and tribulations, let them understand that the victory has already been one. Once we receive instruction and obey, God, all is in Thine hands. In Jesus’ holy and blessed Name.

And the people of God said amen. You may be seated in the house of God tonight.

When the nation was faced with disaster, Jehoshaphat called upon the people to get serious with God by going without food for a designated period of time. Look at your neighbor and say, “They fasted.”

By separating themselves from the daily routine of food preparation and eating, they could devote that extra time to considering their sin and praying to God for help, and praying to God for deliverance.

When we look at Jehoshaphat and we look at how he prayed, there was several essential ingredients that came forth from his prayers. Number one, he committed the situation to God.

Whenever there’s a situation that arises in our lives, the first thing we need to do is commit the situation unto God. For when I begin to commit the situation to God, I am acknowledging to Him that only God is able to save me.

Number two, he sought God’s favor. Because his people were God’s people. You see, sometimes it’s not just a place of binding and losing. We need to hear this tonight. Sometimes it’s not a place of just saying, “Satan, I bind you in the Name of Jesus.” Sometimes we’ve got to get into a place where we ask God for favor on our lives. You see, in ceratin situations we need the hand of God to give us favor.

When I begin to acknowledge that He is sovereign, I’m not worried about the outcome. Because I understand that it’s working together for my good. Where are my intercessors at tonight?

Number four, he praised God and took comfort in His promises. You see, we need to get to a place where even in the midst of the battle we can praise God, and we can take comfort. We can take satisfaction in what God has already promised.

You see, too many times we’re looking for the end of the battle when in the midst of the battle God wants some praise. He wants somebody to believe that He’s able to do whatever He said He’s going to do. He said, “I’ll do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask or think,” according the power that works on the inside of us.

And number five, he expressed complete dependance on God–not himself–for deliverance. You see, when I begin to express complete dependance on God, He’s obligated to help me. Why? Because I belong to Him.

But when I keep trying to figure it out while He’s already worked it out, then I’m saying to God, “I don’t need Your help. I’m able to do this all by myself.” But I’ve got to acknowledge Him, leaning not to my own understanding, but lean and depend on my God.

Leaning on me as a person will bring me to a place of limitation. But see, we’re trying to get out of a place of limitation. We’re trying to expand our territory. You see, the devil wants to take from you. He wants to take everything that belongs to you. He wants your territory. But God wants you to have your territory and take his territory too.

He set time aside. He said, “We have a problem, so it’s time to seek the Lord.” When Jehoshaphat set himself and the people aside to seek the Lord, he wanted to make sure he and the nation were in a place of right relationship with God.

You see, when there’s a problem, saints of God, we can’t just set ourselves aside to seek the Lord. I’ve got to make sure that I’m in right relationship with the Lord first. You see, God is not going to move for somebody that’s not in a... You don’t want to talk to me tonight. If I’m not in a right relationship with Him, why would God move for me?

He said in the Bible, “If My people which are called by My Name would humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven. Then I will forgive their sins. And I will heal their...”

But he said your relationship has got to be right first. He said, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain...” He said, “You don’t have to worry about that. All you got to do is get your relationship right.” You don’t want to talk to me tonight. He said, “If you don’t have enough food on your table, you don’t have to worry about that. All you got to do is get your relationship right.”

How important is our relationship? You see, when they set that fast aside, it gave them a chance to repent. You see, any time the adversary comes against you, just for good measure you need to set some time aside and say, “God, whatever it is I’ve done, whatever I may have done for this to come upon me, Lord, I repent in the Name of Jesus. I ask Your forgiveness for sins and even unknown, Jesus.”

Set some time aside for your relationship with Him. See, a lot of times we wait on a man to give us a prophecy. But the Bible says we have a more sure word of prophecy. The reason He said, “Listen to My Word tonight,” is because He wants us to set some time aside to seek Him with fastings and prayings. Getting our hearts right before Him.

Our relationship has got to be right with Him before He’ll give us instruction in the battle.

He prayed a prayer of faith. And when we look at faith it involves patience. It involves determination. It involves endurance. And sometimes it even involves a stubbornness, to the degree that whatever God promised God shall perform. I got to get to a place where I’m stubborn, not against God, but I’m stubborn for God and the things that God has told me about.

Faith, it requires something. The Bible tells us to pray in faith, in the book of James, with nothing wavering. He said, “Because if you waver,” he said, “You...” And this is not good English. “Ain’t going to receive nothing.”

A lot of times we pray and we pray and pray, but we receive nothing. Because thirty minutes after we pray, we’re back in a place of unbelief. We spend hours upon hours in prayer and seeking the Lord. But when it comes to asking for God to move, we don’t believe it.

He said a double-minded man is unstable in some of his ways. Everything about a double-minded man is unstable. Do you hear what I’m saying? If I don’t believe that God has heard my petition, and whether it be yes, no, or wait, then He said I will receive nothing from Him. Nothing.

He prayed a prayer of faith. No matter what you are going through, whatever the situation, don’t lose your faith. He promised that He would take care of you. He promised.

Sometimes we through bread and stuff out of the car after we’ve been to MacDonald’s or somewhere. We don’t even know why we’re throwing it out there. There’s a bird He told to come right there. He said, “You going to get a meal.” If He can take care of the sparrows, surely He can take care...

God told him, He said, “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude,” in verse fifteen. When God begins to speak to us about our situation, it leaves to physical, and it goes into the spiritual. You see, because divine help is on the way.

You remember we talked about the prophet Elijah and his servant with him? And he prayed, “Lord, open his eyes.” Because the servant was looking at the physical, but God was dealing with the spiritual.

You see, in your situation right now some of us are looking at the physical. But God is saying, “Get into the Spirit and see what I’m doing.” Oh, you don’t hear me tonight.

But it requires effort. It’s too easy to be discouraged. It’s too easy. It’s too easy to be depressed. It doesn’t take any effort for those spirits to operate in our lives. But it’s going to take effort for love, joy, peace, long suffering, temperance, meekness, goodness, gentleness and faith. It’s going to take some effort on our part. The question is, am I willing to put forth the effort?

He went to the spiritual. He said, “Lord, I’m praying in faith. But we don’t know what to do.” You see, even when you’re praying in faith, you won’t know what to do all the time. Just because you don’t know what to do does not mean that you don’t have faith. Do you hear what I’m saying? That’s not being double-minded. That’s asking God for instruction.

And as soon as he acknowledged that he was weak and frail, that his knowledge was limited; his understanding and his wisdom was limited, God sent a prophet to speak to him. And said, “This is what the Lord would say.”

See, when your back is up against the wall, but you set some time aside to seek the Lord, and you say, “Lord, I don’t know what to do, but I’m trusting You,” even if He doesn’t have a prophet to speak to you, your footsteps are ordered by the Lord.

And you may not know that the direction you’re going in is right. But I guarantee you if your relationship is right, you’re going in the right direction.

It went from the physical, and it went to the spiritual. Our physical circumstances cannot dictate how we live.

Many of us have been prophesied these wonderful things. I’ve been prophesied wonderful things since I got saved. But I’ve seen them come to pass little by little. And in the midst of me waiting on them to come to pass, there have been battles. And there have been struggles. But I’m still on my course.

You and I have got to say to ourselves, “Though I’m in a battle, though I’m in a struggle, I’m going to stay on my course. I’m not going to lose focus.”

He told him in verse seventeen, He said, “Set yourselves. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” When we look at our Bibles in Ephesians chapter six and verse twelve, it tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. In other words, you know, they were wrestling against flesh and blood.

But we are in what? Under the New Testament. So we’re not wrestling against flesh and blood. We’re wrestling against principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this world, and the spiritual wickedness in the high places. But yet and still though we’re wrestling against demonic forces, sometimes God will say, “Be still.”

I was going through some warfare. I said, “Lord, I don’t know what to do. But Lord, I’m trusting in You.” I said, “God, whatever You want me to do, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m trusting You.”

And all I heard was a voice from the Almighty God saying, “Be still.”

Then I began to panic and kick and scream and holler and say, “Lord, I don’t know what to do. Lord, what do You want me to do? Whatever You want me to do...”

And all I heard was another voice saying, “Be still.”

Couple of days went by. Ain’t heard nothing yet. “Lord, what You going to do, Lord? Hey, I bind you, Satan, in the Name of Jesus. You’re holding up the blessing. Oh Lord, Jesus! God, what You want me to do? Whatever You want me to do...”

I heard another voice say, “Be still.”

See, when God says the battle is not yours, He’s already got a plan against your enemy. But He’s luring them in, saying, “Come on a little bit closer, just a little bit closer.”

But in the midst of what was going on with them, before God even gave them the answer or... You know, before they even saw it manifest, they started praising God. And as soon as they started praising God, they saw ambushes everywhere for the devil.

As soon as you give up yourself, you will see God set ambushes for the enemy. As soon as you lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting and say, “Lord, I love You. I praise You anyhow.”

He’s ambushing your enemy. See, a lot of times no matter now high we go in God, there’s always a little doubt about things. And we can say there’s not, but there is. Because the opposite of faith is what?

And in order for somebody to get saved, there had to be doubt. Because faith had to come into play. He said, “Because you’re saved by what?” You’re saved by faith. You’re saved by grace through faith. But there had to be doubt where faith could come and rush in. By the healing of the Word faith came into us and caused us to receive the glorious Gospel and say, “I believe there is a Christ.”

There was an ambush against the enemy. God wants you to know that though the enemy seems too close for comfort, He’s already set up an ambush for him.

Ephesians six and thirteen tells us, “Having done all to stand, stand.” The Amplified Bible tells us to hold our ground.

When I operate in faith, no matter what is going on in the atmosphere around me, I am holding my ground. And the only way I’m going to move is if God moves me.

The psalmist said though the mountains shake, he said I will not be moved. You got a shaking going on all around you. But are you shaking all around? Are you moving all around? Or are you standing still? Somebody need to hear this tonight.

In verse twenty-one and verse twenty-two they sang and praised God before they saw any physical evidence of victory. You don’t see any physical evidence of victory. But as soon as you start praising, I don’t care what the situation is, God is going to move for you.

The devil got set up. Because as soon as they got word of the warfare, as soon as Jehoshaphat heard about the warfare, he didn’t wait to see them coming over the horizon.

See, sometimes we hear about the warfare, but we wait until we see it. Do you hear what I’m saying? Hoping... See, there’s nothing wrong with hope. But we just close up. And we be hoping, “God, just don’t let it come. God, just don’t let it happen, Jesus.”

But he set time aside immediately. See, when you feel that ache in your body and you say, “This is foreign,” set some time aside immediately. Do you hear what I’m saying? Don’t wait to see if it’s going to go away. “I’m going to wait to see if it’s going to go away.”

Then that thing start getting worse and worse. Then after it gets worse and worse we want to quote the Scripture. “I’m healed by the stripes of Jesus Christ.” Sometime that thing be in full bloom by then. So you going to have to come stronger than that.

But Jehoshaphat had wisdom. He said, “Okay, I heard the enemy is coming. So I’m calling a fast.” See, when we hear the enemy’s coming we need to call a fast. And we need to ask the Lord, “Lord, am I right with You? I know that You’re my God, my King, my Fortress, my high Tower, my Deliverer, my Refuge. I know all of these things. And You promised. For Your Word says there shall no evil befall the just. That’s what You said, Lord.” (Tongues.) I feel His Presence.

No evil. And though the weapons form, they can’t prosper. They can’t. Satan has boundaries. You got a hedge about you. He can only come as close as God allows.

So tonight whatever your situation, whatever the circumstance, set some time aside to seek the Lord. Then do a self-examination. You know how we examine our body to make sure, when we get to a certain age... Anyway... We make sure that everything is in tact and everything is okie dokie.

We got to do the same thing spiritually. But it doesn’t matter the age. I need to examine myself, my heart, say, “Lord, am I in right standing with You?” And I don’t need to move from that place until I get a release that the Lord is pleased.

And then once He says, “You’re alright with Me,” then I just say, “Lord, I don’t know what to do. Give me instruction.” And if the Lord says, “Be still,” let the peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your heart and your mind through Christ Jesus.

Set some time aside to seek the Lord.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

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