Sanctified Ambitions

March 18, 2005
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

Turn in your Bibles with me tonight to the book of Matthew. The book of Matthew chapter four. Matthew chapter four. Last night we had a powerful time down in Americus. Amen. Praise the Lord. We got some work done. Hallelujah. Glory to God.

And once you reach Matthew chapter four, please stand for the reading of God’s Word. Praise the Lord. Where are my intercessors at tonight? Glory to God. Look at verse eighteen.

18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

19. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

21. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

22. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for who You are and for what You do. Master, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see and hear You only, and not me. Master, as I decrease I ask that You would increase. And Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. We thank You, Lord, in the Name of Jesus, that Your people would be able to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to the church this night. In Jesus’ Name.

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

When we look at our Word tonight, the Bible is letting us know that Peter and Andrew were on a mission, but they had to acknowledge that their mission wasn’t working, so that they would be able to take on a divine mission. I might need to say that again. We find these two fishermen fishing (glory to God), hen they hear the Jesus of speaking to them to come and to follow Him. So in order for them to follow Him they had to get into a place where they recognize that the mission that they were on was not prospering them, so that they could take on a divine revelation. Amen, somebody.

And we even in this house got to recognize that we have been on different missions. And we can see that Jesus is pulling at us. Amen. And He’s saying, “Come on closer to Me and follow Me.” And we have got to learn to acknowledge in this season whether or not what we are doing (glory to God) is prospering us. Do you hear what I’m saying tonight? Because Jesus with the voice of God is speaking to the saints, and He’s drawing us closer than we’ve ever been before. Amen, somebody.

They were already on a mission. They were on a mission, because they were motivated to eat, to prosper, and to have status among men. Do you hear what I’m saying tonight?

But I am preaching and teaching this message tonight because I’m trying to bring us back around to a certain place. Because we’ve talking about being ambitious, but we’ve got to remember that in all of our ambition, our ambition has got to be sanctified by the Word of God. Amen, somebody. Because any ambition outside of the realm of God is unholy; it’s tainted; it’s contaminated with the spirit of the world. But any (my God) mission that is in God is holy and purified and sanctified and set apart and meet for the Master’s use.

This is the season that I’ve got to recognize where I am. When I look among you, I see people that have ambition. But the thing is, is your ambition sanctified? Is it sanctified? Is it what God has called you to? Is it what God has said to you?

You got to understand that you can be on a job for a little while, but if you’re not on a job for a long period of time, maybe God is trying to give you a revelation that you’ll never have a stable job in the world, that maybe He’s calling you to something greater than what’s going on in the natural. I wish I could get a witness in the house.

They had to recognize their mission that they were on in the natural, that, Sister Leah, it wasn’t working. So now when they heard the voice of God, Brother David, they came to a place within themselves, of saying, “What I . . .” Brother Calvin, “. . .am trying to do does not seem to be working.” So in other words, there must be another destiny that God has for me in my life, and now God is trying to give me a revelation that I’ll never ever be successful on a natural job. You better give God praise in this place.

Do you hear what I’m saying? You see, when I continue to try to be successful year after year in the natural, and it’s not working for me, there should be a revelation that goes on in my mind that maybe God has not called me to this natural job. Am I telling you to quit your job? No. But I’m telling you that while you’re on that job you better seek the Lord while He may be found, and see where God is trying to take you. Amen, church.

Let me say something to you. Because I’m going somewhere with this. You see, when I continue to go in my own direction, I’ll never be happy, Sister Melany. I’ll always be reaching for joy, but never able to obtain joy. I may have what seems to be like small blessings that come my way, that put a smile on my face for a moment; but until I come into that place that God has for me, I’ll never come into the joy of the Lord. Do you hear what I’m saying? And that’s why we have so many unhappy saints. Oh, I feel the Anointing of God. That’s why you’re not happy, because you really don’t know what God has called you to.

Once they abandoned their own mission and took up residence with the mission of God, they began to feel a sense of purpose. And there are those that are even sitting in here tonight . . . I’m thirty-nine. And some of you are in that same bracket and above me, and you’ve never felt a sense of purpose. Don’t you think by now that there’s something wrong with that picture? There’s something wrong with that picture.

Because when I began to know within myself, Pastor Bowdage, that I’m on course with God, no matter what comes my way, no matter what happens, I can still (my God) lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting and give God a praise from the inside of me.

He’s talking to us. He’s speaking to us. And that’s why they were in a place now of preparation. They were in a place of preparation because now Jesus was training them and preparing them to turn the world upside down.

And some of you have the revelation, because you’re not seeking after carnal and natural things, because you know after while Jesus is going to release you to turn the world upside down. I wish I could get a witness in the house of God today. But look at your neighbor and tell them you haven’t been released yet.

He’s talking to us. He’s speaking to us. He’s teaching us something. He’s teaching us something. Now they’re in a place, Sister Dolly, of training. And some of you are in a place of training. Yeah. And I’ve been asking some of you to step up a little bit, because I see the reason why you’re not happy on your jobs that you have is because God has called you to something else. But I can’t make you. I can’t pull you into your destiny. You’ve got to learn how to walk yourself into your destiny.

And you’ve been trying to figure out why you’re so unhappy. You think it’s your wife. You think it’s your husband. You think it’s your job. It’s just that you haven’t answered the call. Hello, somebody. You haven’t answered the call yet.

You see, once you answer the call, no matter what goes on in your life, there will still be a sense of peace that it is well with your soul.

So He called them. And now they’re in a place of preparation. And Jesus has tired to explain to them that His meat was to do the will of the Father that sent Him. His mission was the do the will of the Father that sent Him. And that is why He was able, Brother Rick, to go through the things that He went through, because He understood the ending from the beginning.

If you could understand that God has called you to greatness, it doesn’t matter about what it looks like right now. Do you hear what I’m saying in the house of God? You will reach your destination if you only . . . Oh, my God, somebody. I wish I had a witness in the house of God tonight.

And that’s why when all hell breaks loose in my life I can still come in the house of God and be the same person. Because I know that the fire that I’m in is only temporary, and God must be trying to purify me for the next level. Do you hear what I’m saying? It’s all a part of my destiny. I wish you would stand on your feet tonight and act like you’re hearing what I’m saying in this house tonight. You’ve been called to something (oh, my God) that is bigger than you are. It’s bigger than you. It’s bigger than you.

That’s why Joyce Meyers can be on the large platform and preach to millions of people, and never been to college. Do you hear what I’m saying? It wasn’t in based on . . . Do you hear what I’m saying? . . . a degree in Seminary. It’s not based on that. It’s based on understanding who you are in God and where God is taking you.

Now I need to take a long, hard look at me and where I am. Somebody’s getting a revelation tonight. What are you saying to me, dear Jesus? He’s been saying, “Leave all that other stuff alone, and come on and follow me.” He said, “The mission that you are on, it hasn’t worked yet.” It hasn’t worked yet. He’s talking to us.

You see, I’m talking to a brother . . . I’m right at forty. And I said, “Whatever I need to do, I need to do now, because time is ticking.” Do you hear what I’m saying? I know who I’m called to be; and therefore, now all I need to do is be it. When you understand who you’re called to be, Minister Neal, then all you have to do is be it.

They left their own mission. They stopped, Sister Marie, trying to make it on their own. And they said, “Here am I, Lord. What is Your will? I’ve been doing this for years, and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere yet. So Lord, evidently You must be saying something else to me, that I’m not taking the time out to hear.’

It’s not that He’s not speaking, because He is speaking. Now it’s up to us to hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying. You don’t have to be discouraged. You don’t have to be dismayed. The Bible says, “How can they hear without a preacher, and how can he preach except he be sent?” Maybe you hadn’t heard before, but I guarantee you you’re hearing tonight, because He’s talking. He’s talking. You know it fits. You know it fits. You know it fits. Yeah. Yeah.

We’ve got to sanctify our ambition, because it’ll become that driving force that will empower us to achieve our mission. Sanctify it. You’re looking at the dollar figure that you’re making, but it doesn’t matter about the amount if the ambition is not sanctified. It doesn’t matter.

When He called those disciples He said, “Follow Me.” He said, “Follow Me.” He said, “Follow Me.”

That’s why the doors are open on Wednesday for twelve o’clock noon prayer, because Jesus is saying, “Follow Me.” That’s why we have Tuesday night and Friday night service, because Jesus is saying, “Follow Me.” And every time you miss for foolishness, you’re saying to the Lord, “I can’t hear You. I can’t hear You. I refuse to hear You.” He’s speaking to us.

I’m going to take a poll right now. Is there anybody (and don’t lift your hand) that’s present that really knows what God has called them to? Are you going by the prophecy that I’ve given you, or have you sought God for yourself? Do you hear me?

If God has called you to be a pastor, and you’ve been in here for at least two or three years, by now it should be in your spirit that God has called you to be a pastor. If you’re still uneasy about it and you’re unsure about it, then you’re probably not called to be a pastor. If God has called you to the apostolic anointing, and you’re still not sure about it, then you’re probably not called to be an apostle. You’ve got to know on the inside of you. There’s got to be an inner witness.

It’s just like a nurse. If you’re called to take care of people in the natural, to be a nurse, you won’t have no problem with it. My mother was in nursing for thirty-five years. There’s no doubt that she was called to take care of people. But if you’re in nursing, and you only been in there for three, four, five years, and you’re tired of it, then you’re not called to it. Oh, you better let the light bulb go off.

If you’ve been teaching for three or four years, and you’re tired of it now, then you’re not called to teach. If you’ve been preaching for two or three, four years, and you’re tired of coming to church, and you don’t want to be in the house of the Lord, then you’re probably not called to preach. I wish I could get a witness in the house of God.

I’m trying to save you some confusion later. That’s why He’s given this message. I you’re just working that job you’re on for the paycheck, then after while you’re going to break down mentally; then your body’s going to start breaking down physically. I don’t care what it is, even if you’re just sitting at the desk. You got to know. You have to know.

Isn’t your life worth spending some time with the Lord, that He can minister to you, that He can let you know? Yeah. Yeah.

Some of us like me, I’m called to church. I love the church. My kid say, “You going to church again?” I’m in church all the time. It doesn’t matter where I’m called. Do you hear what I’m saying? I love it. I love it. If I couldn’t get here, it would kill me.

When you really have a hunger for something, and you show longevity in it, that means it’s supposed to be a part of you. Yeah.

How many of you are ready to abandon your mission to find out the Lord’s mission? He’s saying, “Follow Me.”

And Paul the apostle said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” He said, “If I stop following Christ . . .” In other words, he said, “Then you need to stop following me. But as long as I follow Christ, then you need to follow me.”

I feel the Anointing of God. For there have been some people that have been wondering, “Lord, what is it? What are You saying, Jesus? What are You saying, Lord? Why am I not happy?”

You see, when you can work unto the Lord on your job, regardless, because you know that’s not just it, then you can be happy. Do you hear what I’m saying? I don’t care what they got you doing, you can be happy. But when you can’t see nothing else, then all your joy will be gone. Am I talking to anybody in the house tonight?

I work for AT&T. And I know, Brother Steve, you heard me work for AT&T. For ten years when I started that job I loved it. I loved selling stuff and talking to people, and you know, working things out. I loved it. I loved it. For years I loved it. And then after while, took a while, I got saved. And then my eyes came open. And then I said to myself, “I’m not going to retire from here, because this is not what I’m called to.” Somebody needs a revelation of that tonight. Somebody needs to bless Him.

Figure it out. Figure it out. What is the Lord saying? The money may be tight right now, but it’s alright if you know you’re on the right path. I’m going to say that again. The money may be tight right now, but if I’m on the right path, it is still well with my soul.

Somebody needed this tonight. Glory to God. And that’s why a lot of us are always in school and never finishing, because He’s trying to get your focus off of that school. He’s not saying, “Don’t finish that school.” But He’s saying, “Stop making school an idol, because I’ve got something else that I’m trying to do with you, and I’m trying to get your attention.”

I ain’t talking to kids. I’m talking to the grown folk. You all better stay your tail right where you are.

Do you feel where I’m coming from tonight? Yeah. Amen. Lift your hands to Him. Just lift your hands to Him. Lift your hands to Him.

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