A Word in Due Season

September 06, 2005
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

In Proverbs twenty-five . . . Go there with me tonight. I want you to go to Proverbs twenty-five, verse eleven. And then I want you to turn over to Proverbs fifteen and verse twenty-three. Proverbs twenty-five, and verse eleven. And then I want you to go to Proverbs fifteen and verse twenty-three. When you have it, please say amen. Verse eleven in Proverbs twenty-five says:

11. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

And then go with me to chapter fifteen. In chapter fifteen we’re going to look at verse twenty-three. When you have it say amen.

23. A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

And there’s an exclamation point there, so it really says, “How good it is, for a word spoken in due season, when you get that word that you need in that season.”

God began to really deal with me, because right now we’re in a crisis situation in New Orleans. And we talked about that on Sunday a little bit. And God began to minister to my spirit that there are provisions that are being made for the people now. They’re receiving clothing. They’re receiving water, food, whatever assistance they may need. But God began to minister to me that now they need a word. Now they need a word.

That’s why the Bible said here in Proverbs fifteen, “A word in due season, how good is it,” because a word has the ability to get you out of the situation that you’re in. Because first, in order to get out of the situation, you have got to get under the mind set that there is relief on the way.

You see, what the Word of God does, it gives you relief. It gives you the feeling that after while this thing is going to be over. After while the trial, the tribulation that I’m going through right now is going to be over.

So God began to minister to me that they are receiving the natural things that they need, but now they need a word. Come on, somebody. Is that right? Amen.

So in times like this, in crisis that we go through in the earth, God began to minister to me that He allows also those things to happen that the spirit of evangelism would come forth from the body of Christ. The preparation that we’ve had in training in the house of God is for especially situations that are happening in seasons like this. When people don’t have direction; they don’t know where to go, where to turn, He’s looking for saints of God that are mature in the Word to go forth, in times like these, and give a word to a people that seem to have no hope. Amen. Amen, somebody.

So what is God saying to us? God is saying to us that it is vital that we know man. It is vital that we know how man is set up. Because when we look at Jesus, in every situation that He was in, with every man or woman that came to Him, He always had the right word to speak to them. He always spoke an in-season word. He didn’t speak a yesterday word. He didn’t speak a word that was, you know, watered-down. But He spoke exactly what they needed when they needed it.

And that’s why I’m saying to you today, we need to know man. We need to know the spirit of man. In other words, what I’m saying is, when you come to minister to someone, you cannot prescribe the same word to Minister Steward that you, what? Subscribe or prescribe to Evangelist Baker. Because their problem and their situation may be different. Amen.

So in other words, God is saying to us that we need to start being like doctors, especially if the House of God is a hospital for the sick people to come to. Because the diagnosis for each one of them may be different. Do you hear what I’m saying?

Go with me in your Bibles tonight to John chapter four. John chapter four. I want to show you a couple of things. Let’s go to John three first, and keep it in order. Thank You, Lord. In John chapter three, look at verse one through verse seven. It says:

1. There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3. Jesus answered . . .

Wait a minute. Jesus is about to answer him what needs to be answered. He said:

3. . . . Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Now look at chapter four, and begin with verse seven. Saint John chapter four. Look at verse seven. It says:

7. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

8. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

9. Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria . . .

Wait a minute. When we look at these two different situations, there were two different descriptions, because Jesus began to minister to Nicodemus about being born again. But at the same token, he was ministering to the woman at Samaria about receiving water for a thirst that she had that needed to be quenched, that she would never thirst again.

How is it that what happens with us in the body of Christ, we learn a good word, and we stick with that word, and we try to speak and preach that same word all the time to everybody, when everybody doesn’t have the same problem and the same dilemma? Come on. Oh, that’s a good word tonight, saints.

So that’s why we’ve got to know the spirit of man. You see, I’ve got to know Minister Horace’s spirit. So what I’m saying to you is when I come up to him, I may not know him. But I know him. But I’m saying, I may not know him. Stand up, Minister Horace. And I come, and I begin to shake his hand and say, “How you doing? Praise the Lord.” And all of a sudden he just begins to start talking. I need to learn how to kick in my discernment, not my discernment to judge him, but my discernment to know what’s going on with his spirit. Because if I know what’s going on in his spirit, and he’s depressed, I can begin to speak words of life. Come on, somebody. I can begin to speak words that are going to get him out of his depression and his situation, without him even telling me that he’s depressed. Why? Because I know the spirit of that man.

And so therefore when I begin to speak to Brother Ward, I say, “How you doing, Brother Ward? Amen. Glory to God.” Brother Ward begins to talk to me. Amen. All of a sudden I’m listening to Brother Ward, but I’m discerning at the same time, not using my natural judgment, but using the spirit of discernment that comes from God, that I may be able to discern his spirit. Because the Bible says know no man after the flesh, but after the spirit. Not after the Holy Spirit, but after their own spirit. I need to know you after your own spirit.

There are some of you that have anger. You’ve been angry for years. And you try to cover it up, but every now and then that anger just bursts out. You try to hide it, but it’s there. I need to know what’s really there, not by what’s coming out of your mouth, but how it’s coming out of your mouth.

That’s how you discern. You begin to discern someone’s spirit. Even you can discern a false sense of humility. Because I can come to you and I can have my head down. “Yeah. God, bless you.” Oh, Pastor is just so humble. “God bless you.” I’m walking around here looking crazy. “God bless you.” Everybody walking all over me. “Oh, he’s so humble.” And all of a sudden I just punch somebody in the eye. I had a false humility that nobody picked up on and nobody discerned. Because we don’t discern the spirit of the man. We got to learn how to discern the spirit of man.

That’s why some of your countenances, the reason you have frowns all the time, you say, “Oh, no. I’m fine.” No, no, no. You’re not fine. Because what’s in you is going to show on you. And sometimes you receive blessing after blessing, and you still have a frown on your face, and you want to say, “That’s just me.” No, that’s not you. That’s a root in you that needs to come out of you. You don’t know exactly where it came from, but we need to get to the bottom of this thing, so that your joy may be full in the house of the Lord. Amen.

So what are we saying? In times like these people need a word. Now, none of us in here lives in New Orleans, but some of us may have relatives or friends or new people that were in New Orleans. And the thing that happened, you know, they began to get sad, and you began to take on their sorrow. Amen. So your discerning, hopefully you’re discerning that there’s grief in their spirit.

Now, if you discern that there’s grief in somebody’s spirit, you don’t just tell them, “Oh, it’s going to be alright.” No, no, no, no. You begin to pray for them. Yes, there’s a grieving process, but after while that grieving process should be over. It can’t linger one and two and three years, because after while it’s going to begin to affect your health.

So we need to start discerning the spirits of people, and not just, you know, letting them say, “Oh, I’m blessed. Oh, I’m blessed.” And they got a shout. Hallelujah. And they got a dance. But their spirit is all messed up. You just shout and dance with them. Then afterwards you take them aside and say, “Yeah, I know you’re shouting and dancing, but God is showing me this.” And guess what? That word that is right just in that due season, how good it is. How good it is.

He began to minister to me right now that they need the Word. The people need a word from the Lord. They need a word. You know, I began to ask God, I said, “Now God, you know, Joe Olesteen, they sent like five million dollars. Then you got these other churches sending money. Then you got people that are donating clothes. But what about churches that don’t have it like that?” Oh, what they can do is minister word in due season. Because God will bring somebody in your path that needs something. They might not need, my God, the tangible, but they need something spiritual that’s going to bring them out of their situation and circumstance, and begin to cause their spirit to live again.

What did the apostles say? “Silver and gold have I none. But such as I have give I unto thee. In the Name of Jesus rise up and walk.” You always have something to give somebody. Or else God wouldn’t have put them in your path.

Now, listen. Listen. You’ve got to know though, you’ve got to know and understand that you can’t handle everybody’s situation. But you got to be humble enough to admit to them, “You know, I’d like to help you with that, but I really can’t help you with that. Maybe so-and-so might be able to better assist you in that.”

Don’t try to be so super spiritual on a level that you’re not. I ain’t going to get too many amens. Don’t try to be way up here, and you know you can’t do nothing for them, and you’re trying to make up stuff. Because then God is going to hold you accountable for them. Be humble enough to say, “I really don’t . . .” And if you don’t know, tell them, “I don’t know. I don’t know.”

There are many people that have asked me where’s a Scripture before, you know, pride want to say, “Oh, yeah . . .” No, no, no. If you don’t know where the Scripture is say, “I don’t know, but I could find out. Don’t ever get so super spiritual like you think you’re supposed to know everything. Because that’s when you set yourself up for the enemy to take you out.

God is speaking to us. He’s saying that we got to know the spirit of man. Jesus knew all men. He knew the spirit of all men. All that came in contact with Him, He already had spiritual insight into their spirit.

So we don’t have spiritual insight into everybody’s spirit. Sometimes you got to say, “Lord, I’m trying to discern, but I’m not discerning nothing.” Well, if you ain’t discerning nothing, maybe God don’t want you to discern nothing. Leave it alone. Stop trying to pry when God don’t show you nothing. Because that’s when you’re going to get in your flesh and start judging by the flesh.

“Oh, I see that spirit. Oh, I know that . . .” No, you’re looking at natural stuff. “Oh, I discern. God showed me.” God didn’t show you. You’re looking at the characteristics of something that you’ve experienced before. That’s not discernment. You’ve got to discern their spirit.

When the priest, when Eli came in . . . Listen. And I’m going to close. When the woman of God was in prayer because she was barren . . . She could not have a child, so she was praying. She’s like, “God, I want a child. And Lord, if You give me this child, then I’m going to dedicate this child back to You, God.”

But then when the priest came in, instead of discerning what was going on with her, because she was of bitterness of spirit . . . Instead of discerning what was really going on, he said, “This woman must be drunk.” He was looking in the natural. He saw that she was upset, but he tried to judge according to what he saw something else.

Because, you know, folks start cutting up and crying, you know, and calling on God when they get drunk, don’t they? You ain’t never been there? You know, you don’t, “Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God.” Everybody want to get religious when they get drunk.

So he was probably using something that he had already seen before, and tried to apply it to her case. We can’t do that. Because that wasn’t what was going on with her at all. She was looking for God to move for her. She was looking for the move of God in her life. And the man of God that was over the house had it all wrong.

If you don’t know, don’t assume nothing. If the Spirit of God doesn’t reveal it to you, leave it alone. Leave it alone. We’ve got to start knowing the spirit of man.

Listen at this. Those who had not followed Jesus (listen) were invited to come. Listen at that. But those who desired to follow Him were invited to bear their cross. I’m going to say that again. Those who had not followed Jesus . . . He was bidding them, “Come on. Follow Me.” But those that were already following Him, He said, “Now, you just need to bear your cross.”

Now, when I look around this room, He’s not asking anybody in here to come no more, because, you know, I believe that everybody in here is saved, you know. He’s not asking you to come no more. So that’s not a relevant word for you. Now the relevant word in this season for you is to bear your cross. Do you all hear what I’m saying tonight? So he spoke what was relevant to that situation.

Now, I’m going to really, really hit you with something tonight. We need to get our thermometers out. Do you all hear me? We need to get your spiritual thermometers out. We do. Because in old days . . . Come here, Loren. They used to take . . . I know I can touch your face without anybody saying, “Dog, he touched their face.” This is my baby. In the old days if somebody had a temperature, they would use their hand. “Oh, okay. They got a temperature.” But they could never know how hot they really were, until they invented the thermometer.

You see, spiritually you can’t touch anybody to know how hot they are in God. So you got to get your spiritual thermometer out and take their temperature in the Holy Ghost. Because you got some folks that are lukewarm that are trying to pretend like they’re hot and on fire. And you got some folks that are on fire that the devil’s trying to put their fire out, because they’re going through something. So you got to be able to discern what’s really going on. Know the spirit that’s in the person. Know the spirit that’s in operation by discernment.

You know, sometimes even in here we listen to words that I may minister to someone, and then we assume that we know what I’m talking about. But sometimes I’ve heard certain things, and I’m saying to myself . . . And I don’t say anything, but I say, “They don’t even know what I’m talking about, but they’re trying to comment on the word that I gave somebody else.” And the interpretation of what they’re saying is totally off. I’m trying to . . . Hello, somebody.

Let me explain something else to you. The Bible says we know in part and we prophesy in part. So sometimes God will give me part of a word for somebody. And when I give them that part, they begin to know exactly what I’m talking about, and then it ministers to them. But God will only tell me that part. So sometimes I don’t even know the whole part, but I just prophesy to you the part that God is showing me that I know.

So if I begin to minister to Minister Stuart, and I don’t know the whole situation, but God is ministering something to me, and I give him three words, but it’s not the same thing . . . So if I begin to say in my mind, “Well, God must be talking about this,” and then so I start prophesying more about what God ain’t even saying, but the first couple of words are right, now he’s looking at me like, “What?” Because I done added my own thing to that, because I’m assuming what God is talking about. But when him and God know exactly what I’m talking . . . Come on, saints.

We know in part and we prophesy in part. Now, some things He’ll show us, and we’ll see through the eyes of the prophet, and we’ll see it. Some things He’ll show us the whole scenario. But sometimes He’ll give us just a little bit, because He don’t want everybody in your business all the time. Sometimes it’s just between you and God, and He’ll give that person just enough to tell you to let you know that He heard you when you were praying. Amen. Amen.

So we’ve got to know the spirit of a man. We have to know the spirit of a man. We cannot just assume that because this person is having a bad day, that’s how they are all the time. It’s not like that. Sometimes we come in contact with people for the first time, and they may be just as nasty to us, and immediately we say, “They just so nasty. They nasty person.” But they were having a bad day. If you had discerned the spirit of that man, you would know that they probably aren’t like that all the time, but they were going through something that made them upset. That’s why we need the spirit of discernment. And the spirit of discernment is a gift of the Spirit.

Desire the best gifts, the Bible says. That’s one of the best gifts. Because if we want to be effective as evangelists, we can’t just go out and just give everybody the same word. We can’t just go out on everybody we meet and say, “Do you know Jesus?”

They’re going to say, “Yeah, I go to church. Yeah, I got saved when I was ten, but I ain’t been in the church since then.” See, you got to be able to discern by the Spirit of God what’s going on with them, so that God can get the glory in their lives.

Give the Lord a handclap of praise tonight. Hallelujah. Glory to God.

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