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Brian Houston

Watch Brian Houston
November 12, 2017
27:31

Look It In The Eye And Step Into It

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Brian Houston

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  • CC BY ABERDEEN CAPTIONING 1-800-688-6621 WWW.ABERCAP.COM
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  • Brian Houston: "Look It in the Eye and Step into It."
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  • That's the name of my message.
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  • "Look it in the Eye and Step into It."
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  • I wonder what this year maybe you've been looking away from,
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  • avoiding, too painful to look at.
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  • Maybe a little bit too intimidating.
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  • I wonder what this year God would have you
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  • to look in the eye.
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  • Can you look opposition in the eye?
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  • Can you look impossibility in the eye?
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  • Can you look possibility in the eye if possibility means
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  • there's a cost to count, leaving something behind,
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  • making some kind of sacrifice,
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  • having to step forward and to move into something?
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  • What can you look in the eye, or what is just too difficult
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  • for you to look in the eye?
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  • I mean, let's be honest, staring is uncomfortable.
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  • If someone's staring at you, it's kind of weird.
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  • It's kind of uncomfortable.
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  • There's a lot of things that I think, when it relates to
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  • serving Jesus, needs us to step out of our comfort zone.
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  • I like my comfort.
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  • As I get older, I just think more, "I like my comfort."
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  • I don't like being uncomfortable.
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  • See, serving Jesus isn't always comfortable.
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  • I think, often, serving Jesus means we do have
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  • to step out of our comfort zone.
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  • They say about art that art should disturb the comfortable
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  • and comfort the disturbed.
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  • There was an old preacher, an old English preacher,
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  • he said about his preaching, he wanted to preach in a way that
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  • comforted the disturbed but disturbed the comfortable.
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  • If maybe you don't like your comfort disturbed,
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  • this could be a message for you.
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  • This could be the year for you.
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  • Do you know, for the early church, oftentimes
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  • serving God for them was anything but comfortable.
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  • For the Apostle Paul, shipwrecks are not comfortable.
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  • Being beat 49 times, that's not comfortable.
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  • Being robbed, being beaten, being in all sorts of difficult
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  • impossibilities, being in jail,
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  • those things weren't uncomfortable.
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  • Don't you think sometimes we just get a little comfortable?
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  • And yet so much of what God has for you, the miracles,
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  • the possibilities, the new beginnings, the victories,
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  • the breakthroughs, so much of that is if you would step
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  • into the uncomfortable.
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  • So, I wanna talk to you about what is called the Apostle Paul
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  • and Barnabas' first missionary journey.
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  • It starts in the beginning of Acts chapter 13, where the early
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  • church in Antioch, the Holy Spirit tells them to separate
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  • Paul and Barnabas for the work to which they have been called.
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  • I'll start in verse 2.
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  • It says this: "And as they ministered to the Lord and
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  • fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Now separate to me Barnabas
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  • and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'"
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  • I love the fact that they were called.
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  • It was a them, the work to which he had called them.
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  • There was a partnership to it.
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  • I think sometimes we can underestimate the them,
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  • the people we're called to serve God together.
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  • Verse 3: "Then having fasted and prayed, they laid hands on
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  • Barnabas and Paul and John, and they sent them away."
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  • I was reading recently about how Paul and Barnabas, they went
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  • from Antioch to Jerusalem, then back from Jerusalem to Antioch,
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  • and then from Antioch into Syria.
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  • And do you know, just one of those journeys from Antioch
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  • to Jerusalem is over 200 miles?
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  • Not comfortable, 200 miles of tough terrain.
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  • And yet us Western-world, 21st-century Christians,
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  • we just wanna be comfortable.
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  • God wants you to step into the uncomfortable,
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  • 'cause that's where the miracles are.
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  • That's where the breakthroughs are.
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  • That's where the victories are, to step into the great unknown.
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  • "So they sent them away."
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  • Do you know, being uncomfortable,
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  • it really fits in to Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount,
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  • telling people, "Rather than just go 1 mile with someone,
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  • go with them the extra mile."
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  • I'll read you the verse.
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  • It's in Matthew chapter 5, verse 41, and it says:
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  • "'And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.'"
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  • It's the second mile that becomes uncomfortable.
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  • Can I just give you seven goals that all of us can keep?
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  • But they involve the extra mile.
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  • They involve stepping into the uncomfortable.
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  • Are you ready for it?
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  • Number one, simple, do more than you're paid to do.
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  • That's a great simple thing that all of us can do in life.
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  • Number two, number two, give a little more than you have to.
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  • "Well, how much do I have to give?
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  • Do I have to give?"
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  • You know, actually, when it comes to giving,
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  • you don't have to do anything.
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  • But I do like it when people give a little more
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  • than they have to.
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  • There's nothing sadder than living by minimums.
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  • That's a miserable way to live your life,
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  • just doing what you have to do.
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  • Let's decide we are gonna give a little more than we have to.
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  • Number three, try a little harder than you want to.
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  • Just try a little harder than you want to.
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  • That's discipline, that's exercise.
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  • I get convicted at the very thought of the word "exercise"
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  • right now in my life.
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  • But why don't we all this year decide we're just gonna try
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  • a little harder than we have to?
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  • It's the extra mile. It's going that step forward.
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  • Number four, consume less than you desire to.
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  • Now you're quiet.
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  • Consume less, whatever you put in your mouth, what you eat,
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  • what you drink, hey, consume a little less than you desire to.
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  • Number five, help more than you need to.
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  • Hey, that's the good Samaritan.
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  • That's the one who didn't pass on the other side of the road.
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  • That's the one who decides to put their hand up to join
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  • the volunteers, to join the hosts.
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  • That's the one who, if your neighbor is ill,
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  • you take a cake over to bless them,
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  • just little things.
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  • Why don't we, this year, decide that
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  • "I am going to help more than I need to"?
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  • Number six, waste less than you like to.
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  • Waste less time.
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  • Get up off your rusty dusty.
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  • Turn the television off a little bit more.
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  • Decide you're gonna step out.
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  • Decide you're gonna waste less time,
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  • waste less time than you like to.
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  • And number seven, God time more than used to, more prayer,
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  • more time in the Word, more time in connect group,
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  • more time in study, more time in God's house.
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  • Just give the Lord more time than you used to.
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  • Seven things, they are the extra mile that may be
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  • a little uncomfortable, but I will promise you,
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  • it will take your life forward.
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  • So, what's uncomfortable?
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  • I find when someone stares at me, it's uncomfortable.
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  • And sometimes you looking at something in the eye
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  • is uncomfortable.
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  • Especially people who get inside your space
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  • and you're looking them in the eye, it's uncomfortable.
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  • Well, here, listen, friends, I genuinely believe there are
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  • things that God wants you to look right in the eye.
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  • It may be difficult.
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  • It may be easy to look away.
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  • It may be easy to look down, to shrink back.
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  • There are things where God wants you to stare them in the eye.
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  • So, I started by talking about the Apostle Paul with his friend
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  • Barnabas and with John, who went along as well,
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  • who stepped out on this missionary journey.
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  • And they came up against opposition.
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  • They came up against impossibility.
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  • They came up against things that God wanted to do,
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  • but nobody could see it.
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  • And every step of the way, Paul was never afraid
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  • to look certain things in the eye.
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  • Listen to Acts 13, that's where this missionary journey was.
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  • I mentioned in verse 3 the church sent them away.
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  • And in verse 4: "Sent off on their new assignment
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  • by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went down to Seleucia
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  • and caught a ship for Cyprus.
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  • The first thing they did when they put in at Salamis,"
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  • I love Salamis.
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  • "The first thing they did when they put in in Salamis
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  • was preach God's Word in the Jewish meeting places.
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  • They had John along to help out as needed.
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  • They traveled the length of the island, and at Paphos came upon
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  • a Jewish wizard who had worked himself into the confidence of
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  • the governor, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man
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  • not easily taken in by charlatans.
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  • The wizard's name was Bar-Jesus.
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  • He was as crooked as a corkscrew.
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  • Well, the governor invited Barnabas and Paul in,
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  • wanting to hear God's Word firsthand from them.
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  • But Dr. Know-It-All (that's the wizard's name in plain English)
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  • stirred up a ruckus, trying to divert the governor
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  • from becoming a believer.
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  • But Saul, full of the Holy Spirit,"
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  • the Scripture says, "and looking him straight in the eye,"
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  • full of the Holy Spirit and what?
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  • "Looking him straight in the eye, "said, 'You bag of wind,
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  • you parody of the devil.'"
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  • He didn't mince words, did he?
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  • "You bag of wind, you parody of the devil."
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  • A parody is an imitation, often a poor imitation.
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  • He says, "You stay up nights inventing schemes to cheat
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  • people out of God.
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  • But now you've come up against God himself,
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  • and your game is up," he says.
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  • Well, listen to me, friends.
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  • Paul, full of the Holy Spirit, was not afraid
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  • to look him in the eye.
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  • Full of the Holy Spirit, he looked opposition in the eye.
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  • Where are you facing opposition? Where is it coming from?
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  • Is it persecution? Is it intimidation?
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  • Is it just circumstance working against you?
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  • Is it a breakthrough you just don't seem to be able to have?
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  • Yeah, sometimes it can be difficult.
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  • Sometimes opposition comes from the people
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  • who are closest to you.
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  • Maybe it's your own siblings who are threatened by your
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  • relationship with God, and so you get all sorts of opposition.
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  • No matter where opposition comes from, the spirit behind it is
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  • what I'm talking to, not the actual person or the people,
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  • but the spirit behind it.
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  • And the spirit behind it wants to diminish you,
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  • wants to shrink you, wants to make you feel small.
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  • Do you know, we can face opposition for our faith?
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  • Sometimes people don't understand your commitment
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  • to Jesus, and you make a stand on issues.
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  • Perhaps they are issues that line up with the Word of God but
  • 00:10:55.120 --> 00:10:58.160
  • are not popular in 2017, and so opposition will try to shrink
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  • you, make you feel smaller, and so start to compromise
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  • and diminish your faith.
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  • You take all the edges off it so that all that is left really
  • 00:11:08.290 --> 00:11:12.210
  • doesn't have the power to it that it needs to have.
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  • Look opposition straight in the eye.
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  • When it comes to your faith, you have nothing to be ashamed of.
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  • Can I say that again?
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  • When it comes to your faith, you have nothing to be ashamed of.
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  • We have the greatest, most wonderful message that there is.
  • 00:11:26.140 --> 00:11:30.130
  • It's called the good news.
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  • It's the gospel. It's a gospel of grace.
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  • It's a gospel of peace. It's a gospel of healing.
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  • It's a gospel of blessing.
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  • It's a gospel of breakthrough and freedom.
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  • There's no reason to be ashamed of the good news of Jesus.
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  • Paul said, Romans 1:16: "I am not ashamed of the gospel of
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  • Jesus Christ, it is the power of God to salvation for everyone,"
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  • for everyone, "who believes, for the Jew first
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  • and also for the Greek."
  • 00:11:59.190 --> 00:12:01.130
  • "I am not ashamed."
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  • You know, the enemy would love you to just look away
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  • when it comes to opposition to your faith.
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  • It can be embarrassing. It can be difficult.
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  • All of a sudden, you feel like the odd man out.
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  • Look it in the eye.
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  • Tell someone next to you, "Look it in the eye."
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  • Look it in the eye and step right into it, opposition.
  • 00:12:18.070 --> 00:12:23.000
  • Hey, what about impossibility?
  • 00:12:23.010 --> 00:12:25.050
  • Not only did Paul look opposition in the eye, he also
  • 00:12:25.060 --> 00:12:29.090
  • had to look impossibility straight in the eye.
  • 00:12:29.100 --> 00:12:33.140
  • It's the same missionary journey.
  • 00:12:33.150 --> 00:12:35.050
  • Now it's in Acts chapter 14, and so Paul,
  • 00:12:35.060 --> 00:12:38.140
  • they come across incredible impossibility.
  • 00:12:38.150 --> 00:12:41.210
  • It says in verse 8: "There was a man in Lystra who couldn't walk.
  • 00:12:41.220 --> 00:12:46.020
  • He sat there, crippled since the day of his birth.
  • 00:12:46.030 --> 00:12:49.040
  • He heard Paul talking, and Paul, looking him in the eye," listen
  • 00:12:49.050 --> 00:12:54.020
  • to it, "Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for
  • 00:12:54.030 --> 00:12:58.140
  • God's work," he was ripe, amen, he was ripe for God's work,
  • 00:12:58.150 --> 00:13:04.120
  • "ready to believe."
  • 00:13:04.130 --> 00:13:06.170
  • It goes on and says, "So he said, loud enough for everyone
  • 00:13:06.180 --> 00:13:09.280
  • to hear," I like that part too.
  • 00:13:09.290 --> 00:13:12.110
  • He saw a man who was crippled, it's impossible.
  • 00:13:12.120 --> 00:13:16.130
  • The most difficult about impossibility
  • 00:13:16.140 --> 00:13:18.250
  • is it's impossible.
  • 00:13:18.260 --> 00:13:20.220
  • And so what Paul's looking at is the impossible.
  • 00:13:20.230 --> 00:13:23.200
  • And he didn't just try to pray a little quiet prayer
  • 00:13:23.210 --> 00:13:26.040
  • in case it failed and no one else know.
  • 00:13:26.050 --> 00:13:28.190
  • No, quite the opposite.
  • 00:13:28.200 --> 00:13:30.140
  • This is what he does, the Bible says.
  • 00:13:30.150 --> 00:13:32.140
  • "So he said, loud enough for everyone to hear,
  • 00:13:32.150 --> 00:13:35.060
  • 'Up on your feet!'
  • 00:13:35.070 --> 00:13:36.200
  • The man was up in a flash--jumped up and walked
  • 00:13:36.210 --> 00:13:39.110
  • around as if he had been walking all his life."
  • 00:13:39.120 --> 00:13:43.230
  • Hey, how cool is that? What did he do?
  • 00:13:43.240 --> 00:13:46.080
  • He called everybody around.
  • 00:13:46.090 --> 00:13:47.240
  • He looked him in the eye, and what he saw was a man
  • 00:13:47.250 --> 00:13:51.030
  • who was ripe for God's work.
  • 00:13:51.040 --> 00:13:53.050
  • Do you know, in your life, there are circumstances, there are
  • 00:13:53.060 --> 00:13:56.190
  • situations, there are people, there are breakthroughs,
  • 00:13:56.200 --> 00:13:59.190
  • and they are just ripe for God's work.
  • 00:13:59.200 --> 00:14:02.150
  • But are you brave enough, like Paul, to look it straight
  • 00:14:02.160 --> 00:14:04.270
  • in the eye?
  • 00:14:04.280 --> 00:14:07.020
  • Are you brave enough? Well, it could be discouraging.
  • 00:14:07.030 --> 00:14:08.280
  • You prayed that prayer. You believed for your family.
  • 00:14:08.290 --> 00:14:11.030
  • Your son's been away from God for so long, and you've prayed
  • 00:14:11.040 --> 00:14:14.050
  • and prayed, but he's actually getting worse, not better.
  • 00:14:14.060 --> 00:14:16.220
  • It's now looking like it's impossible that ever
  • 00:14:16.230 --> 00:14:19.040
  • he could come into faith and all of a sudden
  • 00:14:19.050 --> 00:14:21.260
  • become a mighty man of God.
  • 00:14:21.270 --> 00:14:23.200
  • That's why this is a perfect time to look it right
  • 00:14:23.210 --> 00:14:25.240
  • in the eye, amen.
  • 00:14:25.250 --> 00:14:27.130
  • Full of faith, look it right in the eye.
  • 00:14:27.140 --> 00:14:29.140
  • There are people that you're praying for,
  • 00:14:29.150 --> 00:14:31.010
  • and they're ripe for God's work.
  • 00:14:31.020 --> 00:14:32.250
  • There are situations that are ripe for God' work.
  • 00:14:32.260 --> 00:14:35.220
  • That promotion, that new opportunity, that blessing,
  • 00:14:35.230 --> 00:14:39.060
  • that abundance, it's ripe for God's work.
  • 00:14:39.070 --> 00:14:41.150
  • But will you look it in the eye? Will you do it?
  • 00:14:41.160 --> 00:14:45.120
  • Because it can be discouraging. It can be difficult.
  • 00:14:45.130 --> 00:14:49.110
  • Do you know, when the Apostle Paul, he looked
  • 00:14:49.120 --> 00:14:53.100
  • that wizard in the eye, that wizard, his name meant "wise"?
  • 00:14:53.110 --> 00:14:58.030
  • "Wise" actually meant "wise in his own eyes."
  • 00:14:58.040 --> 00:15:01.130
  • It meant he was full of himself.
  • 00:15:01.140 --> 00:15:03.190
  • That's why the Apostle Paul, in the writing of Eugene Peterson,
  • 00:15:03.200 --> 00:15:08.230
  • he called him, "Dr. Know-It-All."
  • 00:15:08.240 --> 00:15:10.270
  • He was Dr. Know-It-All.
  • 00:15:10.280 --> 00:15:12.260
  • But I'll tell you right now, when Paul looked him in the eye,
  • 00:15:12.270 --> 00:15:16.060
  • he became misty eyed.
  • 00:15:16.070 --> 00:15:18.110
  • All of a sudden, he went to water, he became misty eyed.
  • 00:15:18.120 --> 00:15:22.080
  • Do you know, there are things in our lives, if you would just
  • 00:15:22.090 --> 00:15:24.210
  • dare face up to it, put your shoulders back, pull your
  • 00:15:24.220 --> 00:15:27.170
  • stomach in, look it in the eye, and I believe are so ripe for
  • 00:15:27.180 --> 00:15:31.090
  • God's work, you can turn that thing misty eyed,
  • 00:15:31.100 --> 00:15:34.240
  • in Jesus' name.
  • 00:15:34.250 --> 00:15:36.100
  • What a wonderful thought that is.
  • 00:15:36.110 --> 00:15:38.040
  • Opposition, impossibility, what about possibility?
  • 00:15:38.050 --> 00:15:43.250
  • What about the things that actually God can do?
  • 00:15:43.260 --> 00:15:47.140
  • They're there, they're ripe, they're ready.
  • 00:15:47.150 --> 00:15:49.240
  • But the only thing is, it's gonna cost you something.
  • 00:15:49.250 --> 00:15:53.010
  • You're gonna have to leave something behind.
  • 00:15:53.020 --> 00:15:55.120
  • You're gonna have to make some tough choices.
  • 00:15:55.130 --> 00:15:57.240
  • You're gonna have to step into something.
  • 00:15:57.250 --> 00:16:00.070
  • Hey, what about those times?
  • 00:16:00.080 --> 00:16:02.050
  • You see, there are times when I think we need to look
  • 00:16:02.060 --> 00:16:05.120
  • discouragement, opposition, impossibility, difficulty,
  • 00:16:05.130 --> 00:16:10.030
  • we need to look them in the eye.
  • 00:16:10.040 --> 00:16:11.230
  • There are other times when there's opportunity
  • 00:16:11.240 --> 00:16:14.260
  • looking you in the eye.
  • 00:16:14.270 --> 00:16:17.080
  • It's staring straight at you.
  • 00:16:17.090 --> 00:16:19.180
  • It's staring right at you, but you can't see it.
  • 00:16:19.190 --> 00:16:24.070
  • One of the things the enemy will always try to rob us
  • 00:16:24.080 --> 00:16:26.230
  • through is cynicism.
  • 00:16:26.240 --> 00:16:28.110
  • Cynicism often comes from disappointment.
  • 00:16:28.120 --> 00:16:30.240
  • Cynicism starts to look for evidence to back up
  • 00:16:30.250 --> 00:16:33.230
  • its reason for existence, and so, look historically,
  • 00:16:33.240 --> 00:16:37.190
  • "Well, I saw this happen, and I saw that."
  • 00:16:37.200 --> 00:16:39.190
  • Look, in any way you like, you can look at it from
  • 00:16:39.200 --> 00:16:43.030
  • all sorts of perspectives.
  • 00:16:43.040 --> 00:16:45.030
  • You can look at it with every kind of hearsay, or whatever,
  • 00:16:45.040 --> 00:16:49.160
  • but the end result of it is it gets people to opt out.
  • 00:16:49.170 --> 00:16:52.140
  • You have a reason to opt out.
  • 00:16:52.150 --> 00:16:54.060
  • And Paul starts talking to cynics in this same chapter.
  • 00:16:54.070 --> 00:16:57.130
  • He starts this message by going all the way back
  • 00:16:57.140 --> 00:16:59.160
  • in history to Egypt.
  • 00:16:59.170 --> 00:17:01.190
  • He talks about Moses in Egypt and how God lifted his hand.
  • 00:17:01.200 --> 00:17:04.270
  • Obviously, the Red Sea opened, started talking about the
  • 00:17:04.280 --> 00:17:07.170
  • wilderness, 40 years there, and how people rebelled against God,
  • 00:17:07.180 --> 00:17:11.290
  • but he put up with their rebellion.
  • 00:17:12.000 --> 00:17:14.040
  • And then eventually, he gets them to that point where
  • 00:17:14.050 --> 00:17:16.260
  • they're on the edge of Canaan, the Promised Land.
  • 00:17:16.270 --> 00:17:20.010
  • And the Bible says in Acts 13, God gave them the strength and
  • 00:17:20.020 --> 00:17:23.010
  • the power to look these things in the eye and overcome seven
  • 00:17:23.020 --> 00:17:26.270
  • different nations before they enter into their Promised Land.
  • 00:17:26.280 --> 00:17:30.050
  • Well, for 450 years, in the Promised Land, they're being led
  • 00:17:30.060 --> 00:17:34.030
  • by judges, but they wanted a king.
  • 00:17:34.040 --> 00:17:36.160
  • And so, at the time of the Prophet Samuel,
  • 00:17:36.170 --> 00:17:40.030
  • God gave them a king.
  • 00:17:40.040 --> 00:17:41.240
  • So Samuel anointed Saul as king.
  • 00:17:41.250 --> 00:17:44.010
  • But Saul, he lasted 40 years before God removed him,
  • 00:17:44.020 --> 00:17:47.150
  • and that led to David.
  • 00:17:47.160 --> 00:17:49.120
  • It's all there.
  • 00:17:49.130 --> 00:17:50.240
  • And then, finally, he gets to the New Testament people's time,
  • 00:17:50.250 --> 00:17:54.120
  • and he says, "Now it's your turn.
  • 00:17:54.130 --> 00:17:56.130
  • Can you even see what God is wanting to do."
  • 00:17:56.140 --> 00:18:00.040
  • In Acts chapter 13, it says in verse 41: "Watch out, cynics;
  • 00:18:00.050 --> 00:18:05.000
  • Look hard--watch your world fall to pieces."
  • 00:18:05.010 --> 00:18:08.170
  • Can I just stop there for one second?
  • 00:18:08.180 --> 00:18:10.140
  • I have never, ever seen cynicism build anything.
  • 00:18:10.150 --> 00:18:14.280
  • Cynicism can creep up on us.
  • 00:18:14.290 --> 00:18:17.090
  • We don't even see it happening.
  • 00:18:17.100 --> 00:18:19.060
  • Cynicism, "I've been there before.
  • 00:18:19.070 --> 00:18:20.240
  • I tried that.
  • 00:18:20.250 --> 00:18:22.090
  • That didn't work," that's cynicism.
  • 00:18:22.100 --> 00:18:24.000
  • Cynicism, it colludes with others perhaps who have had
  • 00:18:24.010 --> 00:18:27.230
  • a similar experience.
  • 00:18:27.240 --> 00:18:29.030
  • But I'll tell you now, it'll never build anything.
  • 00:18:29.040 --> 00:18:31.240
  • It will rather make things and possibilities
  • 00:18:31.250 --> 00:18:34.180
  • and God's purpose fall to pieces.
  • 00:18:34.190 --> 00:18:37.030
  • "Watch out, cynics; Look hard--
  • 00:18:37.040 --> 00:18:40.000
  • watch your world fall to pieces."
  • 00:18:40.010 --> 00:18:42.110
  • Now, listen carefully.
  • 00:18:42.120 --> 00:18:43.290
  • "I'm doing something right before your eyes that you
  • 00:18:44.000 --> 00:18:46.240
  • won't believe, though it's staring you in the face."
  • 00:18:46.250 --> 00:18:52.030
  • Things that maybe because of doubt, cynicism,
  • 00:18:52.040 --> 00:18:56.050
  • because maybe you just can't believe there are things
  • 00:18:56.060 --> 00:18:59.090
  • staring you in the face, but you just can't believe it.
  • 00:18:59.100 --> 00:19:04.020
  • What opportunity, what new step, what new promotion, what new
  • 00:19:04.030 --> 00:19:06.250
  • beginning, what blessing, what prosperity, what does God want
  • 00:19:06.260 --> 00:19:10.090
  • to bring into your life, and it's staring you in the face?
  • 00:19:10.100 --> 00:19:14.020
  • But if you're looking away, if you're distracted,
  • 00:19:14.030 --> 00:19:17.020
  • if you have built your expectation a whole lot lower,
  • 00:19:17.030 --> 00:19:20.210
  • look it in the eye.
  • 00:19:20.220 --> 00:19:22.030
  • It is staring right at you.
  • 00:19:22.040 --> 00:19:24.030
  • What possibility is staring right at you right now?
  • 00:19:24.040 --> 00:19:28.150
  • Will you look it in the eye? Will you keep looking away?
  • 00:19:28.160 --> 00:19:31.020
  • Will you look it in the eye?
  • 00:19:31.030 --> 00:19:32.180
  • If you will just live in a way where you believe that God-given
  • 00:19:32.190 --> 00:19:36.040
  • possibility is staring at you, you're the one.
  • 00:19:36.050 --> 00:19:39.230
  • You're the one when it comes to someone else's need.
  • 00:19:39.240 --> 00:19:42.110
  • You're the one that they are expecting.
  • 00:19:42.120 --> 00:19:44.200
  • Hey, I think sometimes you're the one that people
  • 00:19:44.210 --> 00:19:47.060
  • are looking for.
  • 00:19:47.070 --> 00:19:48.190
  • You're the one that opportunity is looking for.
  • 00:19:48.200 --> 00:19:51.020
  • You're the one that promotion, that blessing is looking for.
  • 00:19:51.030 --> 00:19:55.010
  • It's staring you right in the face.
  • 00:19:55.020 --> 00:19:59.150
  • And to the cynics, even if it was staring you in the face,
  • 00:19:59.160 --> 00:20:04.260
  • you wouldn't believe it.
  • 00:20:04.270 --> 00:20:06.130
  • Can you believe?
  • 00:20:06.140 --> 00:20:07.230
  • Are you prepared to step up, start not shrinking back, not
  • 00:20:07.240 --> 00:20:11.210
  • being intimidated, but where someone is opposing you,
  • 00:20:11.220 --> 00:20:14.190
  • look it in the eye?
  • 00:20:14.200 --> 00:20:16.110
  • I don't mean go around to your enemy's house tonight and knock
  • 00:20:16.120 --> 00:20:18.260
  • on their door and then just stare them in the eye.
  • 00:20:18.270 --> 00:20:21.240
  • No, but there's a spirit behind them.
  • 00:20:21.250 --> 00:20:24.110
  • It's the spirit behind the opposition.
  • 00:20:24.120 --> 00:20:26.060
  • Let's stare it in the eye when it comes to impossibility.
  • 00:20:26.070 --> 00:20:29.250
  • I personally, in all my years, I've never seen
  • 00:20:29.260 --> 00:20:32.280
  • a paraplegic walk.
  • 00:20:32.290 --> 00:20:34.260
  • I believe one day I will, but I do know God heals,
  • 00:20:34.270 --> 00:20:38.040
  • and he's a miracle, and impossibility
  • 00:20:38.050 --> 00:20:40.260
  • is his middle name.
  • 00:20:40.270 --> 00:20:42.190
  • To God, nothing is impossible.
  • 00:20:42.200 --> 00:20:43.290
  • I will always believe in impossibility.
  • 00:20:44.000 --> 00:20:46.020
  • I've seen God do impossible things
  • 00:20:46.030 --> 00:20:47.280
  • in so many other different ways.
  • 00:20:47.290 --> 00:20:50.050
  • I can tell you that right now.
  • 00:20:50.060 --> 00:20:51.290
  • And so, I'm not gonna let my experience determine whether I'm
  • 00:20:52.000 --> 00:20:55.030
  • gonna hold onto my belief that God is a God of miracles,
  • 00:20:55.040 --> 00:20:58.170
  • that God is a God of impossibility.
  • 00:20:58.180 --> 00:21:00.280
  • Look it in the eye and, listen, and then step toward it.
  • 00:21:00.290 --> 00:21:06.270
  • Don't avoid it. Don't look back.
  • 00:21:06.280 --> 00:21:08.270
  • Don't step backwards.
  • 00:21:08.280 --> 00:21:10.090
  • I'm not big on baseball.
  • 00:21:10.100 --> 00:21:12.060
  • I mean, we don't play a lot of baseball in Australia.
  • 00:21:12.070 --> 00:21:16.050
  • But I've been to Wrigley Field.
  • 00:21:16.060 --> 00:21:18.120
  • So I've been to a few games, and I do know this.
  • 00:21:18.130 --> 00:21:20.110
  • You can never win a game by making it to first base.
  • 00:21:20.120 --> 00:21:23.190
  • Making it to first base is good, but there's actually second,
  • 00:21:23.200 --> 00:21:26.260
  • third, and home plate still to get to.
  • 00:21:26.270 --> 00:21:29.190
  • And so, you know something?
  • 00:21:29.200 --> 00:21:31.130
  • There's a lot of things in life you will never win
  • 00:21:31.140 --> 00:21:33.140
  • by being at first base.
  • 00:21:33.150 --> 00:21:35.070
  • If in you're Christian walk, you're at first base, you know,
  • 00:21:35.080 --> 00:21:37.150
  • this is crazy.
  • 00:21:37.160 --> 00:21:38.290
  • "It's safe here. No one can get me out here.
  • 00:21:39.000 --> 00:21:40.160
  • I'm on first base."
  • 00:21:40.170 --> 00:21:42.040
  • So, why do they do that? Why do they start doing this?
  • 00:21:42.050 --> 00:21:45.110
  • Why do they start creeping?
  • 00:21:45.120 --> 00:21:47.050
  • It's dangerous, it's risky, it's safe back there.
  • 00:21:47.060 --> 00:21:50.020
  • All of a sudden, now, you've got yourself in a pickle.
  • 00:21:50.030 --> 00:21:53.250
  • It is difficult, it's tough.
  • 00:21:53.260 --> 00:21:55.090
  • Why do they do it?
  • 00:21:55.100 --> 00:21:56.190
  • They do it because they know they have to step into it
  • 00:21:56.200 --> 00:21:59.180
  • if they're ever gonna make it to second base.
  • 00:21:59.190 --> 00:22:01.170
  • And if they at second base will step into it, and they're fast
  • 00:22:01.180 --> 00:22:04.220
  • enough, they're gonna make it to third base.
  • 00:22:04.230 --> 00:22:07.180
  • And ultimately, they're gonna take it all the way home.
  • 00:22:07.190 --> 00:22:10.170
  • And not only that, on first base,
  • 00:22:10.180 --> 00:22:12.190
  • they're holding everybody else up.
  • 00:22:12.200 --> 00:22:14.150
  • But if they get to second and then third, then home, there's
  • 00:22:14.160 --> 00:22:17.000
  • a whole lot of other people who can come home after them.
  • 00:22:17.010 --> 00:22:20.070
  • Friends, that's life. That's life.
  • 00:22:20.080 --> 00:22:22.060
  • You've gotta step into it. You've gotta step into it.
  • 00:22:22.070 --> 00:22:25.030
  • Sometimes you've gotta take the step.
  • 00:22:25.040 --> 00:22:27.080
  • Because I'll tell you now, I'm on first base,
  • 00:22:27.090 --> 00:22:30.000
  • but the faith life's not here.
  • 00:22:30.010 --> 00:22:31.290
  • The faith life, you have to step into it.
  • 00:22:32.000 --> 00:22:34.130
  • It's just real.
  • 00:22:34.140 --> 00:22:35.240
  • Even grace, maybe you think that grace is comfortable,
  • 00:22:35.250 --> 00:22:39.230
  • but it's actually uncomfortable because it goes against
  • 00:22:39.240 --> 00:22:43.060
  • our human nature, our religious background.
  • 00:22:43.070 --> 00:22:46.050
  • You sinned this week, you failed this week,
  • 00:22:46.060 --> 00:22:48.050
  • and you feel like you deserve to be beaten up.
  • 00:22:48.060 --> 00:22:50.120
  • You feel like you deserve a good flogging.
  • 00:22:50.130 --> 00:22:52.190
  • You feel like you're not worthy to lift your hands to God,
  • 00:22:52.200 --> 00:22:55.140
  • and that's why grace, it can be so difficult for us,
  • 00:22:55.150 --> 00:22:58.110
  • but we could step into it.
  • 00:22:58.120 --> 00:23:00.040
  • The grace life, you have to step into it.
  • 00:23:00.050 --> 00:23:02.270
  • Do you know, the changed life, you don't change
  • 00:23:02.280 --> 00:23:05.150
  • if you won't change.
  • 00:23:05.160 --> 00:23:07.050
  • You'll only change if you step into it.
  • 00:23:07.060 --> 00:23:09.110
  • You're leaving some things behind.
  • 00:23:09.120 --> 00:23:11.040
  • Old things that are part of your life,
  • 00:23:11.050 --> 00:23:12.210
  • you're leaving them behind.
  • 00:23:12.220 --> 00:23:14.100
  • You've gotta step into it.
  • 00:23:14.110 --> 00:23:15.200
  • The growth life, you've gotta step into it.
  • 00:23:15.210 --> 00:23:18.110
  • Friends, there's a whole lot of things.
  • 00:23:18.120 --> 00:23:20.000
  • The abundant life. You have to step into it, amen.
  • 00:23:20.010 --> 00:23:23.160
  • You have to step into it.
  • 00:23:23.170 --> 00:23:25.030
  • The overcoming life, you have to step into it.
  • 00:23:25.040 --> 00:23:27.210
  • Is anyone catching this right now?
  • 00:23:27.220 --> 00:23:29.160
  • You have to keep stepping into it.
  • 00:23:29.170 --> 00:23:31.290
  • Look it in the eye and step into it.
  • 00:23:32.000 --> 00:23:37.050
  • And if this year, you would do that, you would decide,
  • 00:23:37.060 --> 00:23:40.020
  • "I'm not gonna stay comfortable, I'm gonna move toward the
  • 00:23:40.030 --> 00:23:42.290
  • uncomfortable because I know that's where my answers are.
  • 00:23:43.000 --> 00:23:46.160
  • I know that's where my victory is.
  • 00:23:46.170 --> 00:23:48.160
  • I'm gonna do it in faith, believing that God is gonna
  • 00:23:48.170 --> 00:23:51.080
  • answer prayer for me out there."
  • 00:23:51.090 --> 00:23:53.190
  • Then I am full of faith myself in terms of what God can do
  • 00:23:53.200 --> 00:23:57.170
  • in your life.
  • 00:23:57.180 --> 00:23:58.270
  • What do you need to look in the eye?
  • 00:23:58.280 --> 00:24:00.210
  • Who do you need to look in the eye?
  • 00:24:00.220 --> 00:24:03.150
  • What impossibility?
  • 00:24:03.160 --> 00:24:05.080
  • It can be so discouraging to look, but lift your eyes up.
  • 00:24:05.090 --> 00:24:09.030
  • Open them wide.
  • 00:24:09.040 --> 00:24:10.130
  • Look it in the eye, and then take it a step further.
  • 00:24:10.140 --> 00:24:13.060
  • Start stepping toward it.
  • 00:24:13.070 --> 00:24:14.250
  • Start stepping into it, because this is the year
  • 00:24:14.260 --> 00:24:17.170
  • of breakthrough.
  • 00:24:17.180 --> 00:24:19.000
  • This is the year of new beginnings.
  • 00:24:19.010 --> 00:24:20.160
  • This is the year of refusing to be intimidated, to be made feel
  • 00:24:20.170 --> 00:24:24.210
  • small by the devil, by Mr. Know-It-All,
  • 00:24:24.220 --> 00:24:27.050
  • Dr. Know-It-All, wise in his own eyes.
  • 00:24:27.060 --> 00:24:29.230
  • No, no, this is the year for you to understand that God--
  • 00:24:29.240 --> 00:24:33.070
  • if you will just look those things in the eye,
  • 00:24:33.080 --> 00:24:35.140
  • you can look through it,
  • 00:24:35.150 --> 00:24:37.010
  • and you can make certain spirits misty eyed, amen.
  • 00:24:37.020 --> 00:24:40.170
  • You can make them misty eyed.
  • 00:24:40.180 --> 00:24:42.240
  • So, they're stumbling, walking around,
  • 00:24:42.250 --> 00:24:44.280
  • looking for someone to guide them.
  • 00:24:44.290 --> 00:24:47.040
  • I'm gonna pray, I'm gonna believe, but I'm gonna ask you
  • 00:24:47.050 --> 00:24:50.010
  • in just a moment, when it comes to your life, to think
  • 00:24:50.020 --> 00:24:52.080
  • about what you need to look in the eye.
  • 00:24:52.090 --> 00:24:54.270
  • Look it in the eye and step into it.
  • 00:24:54.280 --> 00:24:57.140
  • Can we stand? Just take a moment.
  • 00:24:57.150 --> 00:25:00.100
  • Calm your spirit. Close your eyes.
  • 00:25:00.110 --> 00:25:04.220
  • What do you need to look in the eye?
  • 00:25:04.230 --> 00:25:06.260
  • Is it a person? Is it persecution?
  • 00:25:06.270 --> 00:25:10.050
  • Is it intimidation?
  • 00:25:10.060 --> 00:25:11.270
  • Is it an impossibility, a prayer?
  • 00:25:11.280 --> 00:25:14.030
  • It's just impossible. How could it ever happen?
  • 00:25:14.040 --> 00:25:17.220
  • Are there things that are staring you right in the eye,
  • 00:25:17.230 --> 00:25:20.160
  • but you just can't see it?
  • 00:25:20.170 --> 00:25:22.240
  • Is cynicism trying to lower your expectation?
  • 00:25:22.250 --> 00:25:27.110
  • Have you, disqualifying yourself, opting out of the
  • 00:25:27.120 --> 00:25:30.230
  • possibility that by looking it in the eye,
  • 00:25:30.240 --> 00:25:34.010
  • that God could give you the breakthrough?
  • 00:25:34.020 --> 00:25:35.280
  • Every person everywhere around the entire room,
  • 00:25:35.290 --> 00:25:38.290
  • if there are things that you're looking in the eye
  • 00:25:39.000 --> 00:25:41.000
  • and you say, "God, I'm gonna believe this year
  • 00:25:41.010 --> 00:25:43.220
  • to have the courage to step into the uncomfortable,
  • 00:25:43.230 --> 00:25:46.130
  • to look it in the eye," if there's such things,
  • 00:25:46.140 --> 00:25:48.240
  • I want you to raise your hands up everywhere right now.
  • 00:25:48.250 --> 00:25:51.240
  • That's it, that's it, lift them up real high.
  • 00:25:51.250 --> 00:25:54.260
  • Lift them real high. We're gonna look it in the eye.
  • 00:25:54.270 --> 00:25:58.000
  • We're gonna step into it.
  • 00:25:58.010 --> 00:25:59.210
  • We're gonna believe God to make them misty eyed, not people,
  • 00:25:59.220 --> 00:26:03.250
  • but the spirits sometimes behind people.
  • 00:26:03.260 --> 00:26:06.060
  • Lord, I just thank you for all those everywhere
  • 00:26:06.070 --> 00:26:08.200
  • whose hands are raised.
  • 00:26:08.210 --> 00:26:10.120
  • Lord, I thank you for what you're doing in their lives.
  • 00:26:10.130 --> 00:26:12.280
  • Lord, I thank you this is a year not to sit back
  • 00:26:12.290 --> 00:26:15.170
  • and be comfortable.
  • 00:26:15.180 --> 00:26:17.020
  • Move into new ground and take new possibilities.
  • 00:26:17.030 --> 00:26:20.040
  • Lord, I pray right now that we can look opposition in the eye.
  • 00:26:20.050 --> 00:26:24.190
  • Lord, we will look it right in the eye.
  • 00:26:24.200 --> 00:26:26.230
  • We refuse intimidation. We refuse to feel small.
  • 00:26:26.240 --> 00:26:30.110
  • We refuse to shrink and draw back.
  • 00:26:30.120 --> 00:26:32.190
  • We refuse, Father, to allow persecution to rule our spirit.
  • 00:26:32.200 --> 00:26:36.240
  • We've got nothing to be ashamed of.
  • 00:26:36.250 --> 00:26:38.250
  • The gospel of Jesus Christ, it's the power of God.
  • 00:26:38.260 --> 00:26:42.150
  • Lord, I just pray right now, whether it's impossibility,
  • 00:26:42.160 --> 00:26:46.130
  • whether it's challenge, whether it's possibility that's gonna
  • 00:26:46.140 --> 00:26:48.240
  • cost us something, Lord, help us to see there are things
  • 00:26:48.250 --> 00:26:52.120
  • in our life that are just ripe.
  • 00:26:52.130 --> 00:26:54.150
  • They're just ready.
  • 00:26:54.160 --> 00:26:55.290
  • They are ripe for God's work, ready to fall off the tree.
  • 00:26:56.000 --> 00:26:59.160
  • Help us to see it, Father. Help us to stare it down.
  • 00:26:59.170 --> 00:27:02.260
  • We're gonna go for the uncomfortable this year.
  • 00:27:02.270 --> 00:27:05.070
  • Lord, we just thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.
  • 00:27:05.080 --> 00:27:09.130
  • Brian: Well, as always, it's a pleasure to have your company.
  • 00:27:11.060 --> 00:27:14.040
  • So appreciate you tuning in, and if we can do anything at all
  • 00:27:14.050 --> 00:27:18.080
  • to help you, please let us know.
  • 00:27:18.090 --> 00:27:20.120
  • God bless, and see you next time.
  • 00:27:20.130 --> 00:27:23.080