Hey Roads Church, we are on a series called Under Construction and this is going to be our final installment of you of it. We’ve been talking about this, if your at our Norris City campus, this will be week five of this series. If you’re at our Mount Carmel campus this is going to be week six because Mount Carmel Church of the week that Randy Clark spoke, I actually spoke that night up in Mount Carmel and gave a message that I didn’t speak here in Norris City, so you guys got a little gravy, a little extra up there in Mount Carmel, but it’s just a privilege to share what God has put on my heart this morning. If you’ve got your worship guides inside them, there should be some sermon notes if you’d like to follow along or you can get on your YouVersion Bible app and there’s some sermon notes available on there as well. Let’s get our bibles out this morning and open them up to Matthew Chapter 16. Whewwww!
Matthew 16! We are just happy about the Bible, and happy about Jesus. How many of you out there are happy to be in the House of God this morning? Yeah, watching online, where are you at? How come you’re not here now? We are lucky to have the privilege of being able to broadcast and let people watch from wherever they are. Truly a privilege to reach people all around the globe from right here in Norris City.
Introduction to Part 5
Matthew Chapter 16, I’m going to start reading here in verse 13 he says, “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? So they said, well, some said John the Baptist and some Elijah and others Jeremiah or one of the profits. And he said to them, but, but who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said to him, blessed are you Simon Bar-Jona for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father who is in heaven. And I also say to you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Let’s pray. Father, I thank you for your word this morning. I thank you that it’s alive and working in our hearts. Holy Spirit, come and just speak truth to us. I pray that you speak to me and through me, Lord, that people will not hear me, but they will hear you. They will hear what you’re speaking into their hearts and God, I pray today that every lie will be exposed in our life and your truth will truly set us free. All the glory goes to Jesus. We love you. It’s in your name we pray. Amen.
Jesus Builds the Church in 3 Ways
I’ve been talking about building the church. And remember we’re saying it this way; that you are the church. You, the people, are the church. We’ve been talking about three ways that God wants to build a church. There are three different areas, and three different parts to it. Number one, he wants to build the church in you individually. We are talking about your ability. So when we say build a church in you, that’s your ability. That’s something inside of you and wants to build a church with you. With me, that talks about availability. We are making ourselves available to use the abilities that God has given us.
And when we do that, we can build the church beyond you, bigger than you, something bigger than we’ve even experienced on our own.
Those are the three parts that we’ve been breaking down.
Jesus: Building the Church In Us
Today in our talk, as we close this series out, we’ll be focusing on how God builds the church in us, and how that works in a practical sense. When we say building the church in us, we aren’t like building a building inside or a steeple in there. No, it’s like building his kingdom or his way of doing things. So we’re going to talk about what that means.
The word build itself means to make or construct by combining materials or parts to build up to strengthen or establish. So when we say build, my church, notice he’s not saying he’s building a building or organization. When you say building the church, he’s not building an organization, but he’s building up the individual members or believers or followers of Jesus. We say build a church.
The Church: Many Members, but One Body
It’s not just build an organization, but actually literally building the individual members of that body. And this is what he’s talking about in Romans chapter 12 verse 4. It says, “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function” Look at your neighbors and say you’re different. So there are many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function. So we, being many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. We see in these verses that there are many members of the body of Christ, but only one body. Many members, one body. Many members of this church, but two services in our city. A service in Mount Carmel, but two different locations. Many members, but one body, many churches around the world.
Many, many bodies make up individual churches, but only one body of Christ. So there’s many members but only one body. The key part about this, he said, is that every one of those members does not have the same function. There’s both an individual aspect to church and there’s a group aspect to church. There’s a church where we’re talking about all of us. And then there’s church where we’re talking about you. There’s the crowd aspect of church, and there’s the individual crew member aspect to church. So there’s things we’re talking about when we’re talking about building the church and the emphasis today is on not just building something that you attend, but building something in you who you really are, your individual relationship with God.
This is why we get on the Dream Team. This is why we get involved with a connect group at the church, because Mount Carmel Church what is in us connects with others. Then, once we get connected, we can build something beyond all of us. This is why you want to plug in and serve on the Dream Team. This is why next week, when we have connect groups, you want to jump in and be involved in that because Mount Carmel Church you’re taking what’s in you and connecting it with others.
Is He Building a Body, or Individuals? The Answer is Both
That’s what’s helping build the body of Christ. This is why we do that. This is why we’re serving something big enough, bigger than us. So the question is this, is he building a body or is he building individuals?
Yes, he’s building both. He’s building both. So does a strong body build strong members or do strong members build a strong body?
Yes, both of those are true. Building the church, the body, requires building and strengthening the individual members functions. So he said we have many members, but one body, and not all the members have the same function. You and I don’t have the same function no matter what it is, you have a different function.
How a Church Thrives
So I was drawing this out and I drew this little picture. Now I’m not a graphic designer, so I apologize for the simplicity, but I made this into a slide. If you bring this slide up, this is what we’re talking about. There’s many members but only one body. And here’s what I want to show you in picture form. Your value, and my value, to building the church that Jesus wants to build. So how it works and how the progression is, is that the individual members, when they find out what’s in them, they build and strengthen their individual function.
Your assignment and, what you’re supposed to do when you build and strengthen your individual function to make that available and get connected with others. Then the body is strengthened and now it can begin to build something beyond that. Now it can build and strengthen more individual members. Notice the progression. Individual members find out what’s in them. They build and strengthen what’s in them. They connect with others. This makes a stronger church body and now a stronger church body that can do something beyond them and they can build his strength in more individual members. Then those individual members can get connected into the church and they can build and strengthen their individual function. Then they get connected and that makes the body even stronger. Now the body that’s even stronger, can reach more people and touch even farther, and that gets more people drawn to Jesus. Now those individual members can get… do you know what I’m saying?
How a Church Dies
But the problem in churches is that the opposite is also true. It can work in a negative. This is why we don’t want to be this type of church because Mount Carmel Church this is what happens. I’ll give you a picture of how a church dies. That’s exactly what happens. I’ve been in church a long time. I’ve been leading in church life for a long time and I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it happen over and over again. Here’s a telltale sign that a church is dying even if it doesn’t know it yet. Here’s what happens. Individual members stop being built and strengthened in their own individual function.
They stop being connected with the body, so the body gets weaker. Now the weaker body cannot attract any more individual members. And so those individual members that are left get wore out and tired and they stop serving in their function. That causes the body to be even weaker. That body, now, can reach even fewer individual members. Then the members that are still left are tired and worn out.
They don’t want to do anything. Now the church starts to be filled with people that just want to attend, want to show up and say, “Preach me a sermon preacher, and I’ll see you next week.” That church is so weak that it doesn’t reach out to anybody anymore. No new people are coming to that church, but they’re coming out of obligation because Mount Carmel Church it’s the only place they’ve ever known. So they keep coming, but nobody’s serving. Nobody’s strengthening the body. So what happens? That church stays in that downward spiral until it completely dies off. What kind of church do you want to be? The function, the strength of the church is directly tied to the function of the individual members.
It’s not what can the church do for us, but what can we do for the church?
It’s not about an organization outside of you. It’s you inside the organization making it stronger. When you bring your function, when you bring your gifts and you serve and you say, Hey, God has something for me to do that what strengthens the body. Now the body can reach more people and it builds momentum. People catch wind and they’re like, man, I want to go there. They’re reaching people. They’re touching people. They’re plugging people in. Yeah.
It’s because Mount Carmel Church you’re there because Mount Carmel Church something happened outside of you. So we’ve got to realize this is how it works. John F. Kennedy said it best when he said, “My fellow Americans. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” It’s not what can the church do for us, but what can we do for the church? It’s not, I’m going to come, as long as you’re there for my funerals and my weddings, and when I’m in the hospital. That’s all I want you for, to preach me a good sermon, and keep me awake.
How would the Church Look If Everybody Served like You?
So then the church was there to serve us and we forget we’re here to serve the church. In our life we can erroneously think, man, this is a dangerous place for us to give. We can erroneously begin to think that God exists for us. This is why we pray prayers like this, “Father just bless me. Help me have a good day today. Hope you have a good day at school. Um, yeah. Oh, just bless me. You know? Um, wow. It’s long prayer time. Just thank you lord for all the good things you’re doing for me. And uh, I mean, I’ll get caught speeding on the way to work today and uh…” We can think and have fun with that, but it’s the reality. We begin to think that God exists for us. Bless me, help me, do for me, and we forget we’re here for him.
We’re here to serve him. Instead pray, “God, what do you want me to do today? How can I serve you? How can I help you? How can I bless you?” This is how God wants us to live. But we got to watch the model. We have got to watch how church has been built up in our minds. So here’s the question we’ve got, if that’s true. The graph is true, members getting in their function, serving strengthens the bodies, and the body strengthened in its function now can reach more members. Here’s the question you have got to ask yourself. Are you ready? You’ve have to answer this. Are you ready for this? It’s going to hit you, but still you’ve got to answer. Online listen. Here’s the, Mount Carmel church, question. What would the body be like? How strong would the body be, if everybody served like you serve?
Sometimes silence is powerful.
As we reflect and think, “What would church be like if everybody served like you did?? Would we have a worship team? Would we have a children’s ministry? Would we have words on the screens? Would we have someone back there with the sound working the microphones? Would we have anybody doing coffee and donuts? Would we have anybody out in the parking lot? Would there be anybody at the doors greeting you? If everybody served like you, how strong would the body be?
Well, that is convicting, but I think it’s encouraging because Mount Carmel Church you’ve got to realize your value. If everybody gave like you gave, how strong would the body be? Here’s what God’s willing to do. He’s wanting to mature us. Where we go from consumer to contributor. Maturity in our walk with Jesus is not what can you do for me, maturity is when I look at you and I say, what can I do for you?
If we want to grow up out of our problems, we stop looking at other people to fix our life and we look for opportunities to be a blessing to others. If everybody gave like you gave how, how much reach, would the church be having? Would we build to have something online? Are you just a consumer or you a contributor? This. We’re building the kingdom on the inside of us because Mount Carmel Church we want it to go outside of us and touch other people. This is what God is challenging us with.
Maturity: From Consumer to Contributor
We want to build something in individual members, building up our abilities, building our function, and strengthening our functions. Now when I say building our function, don’t hear this. Most of the time we’re thinking about building your abilities. We think about just function like something you do, but it’s not just something you do, but it’s someone, you are you. You’re not just a task. You’re a person. This is why you’re important in the church. It’s not like you can say, well, hey, somebody else can stand at the door and hand out worship guides somebody. Yes, somebody else can do that task, but they can’t do it like you. Somebody else can take care of the kids. Somebody else can do this. Somebody else can stand out there and park cars. Yeah, anybody can do a task, but nobody can beat you. Anybody can do a function, but they can’t do your function.
It’s not about a Task, It’s about a Person
You can do a function and still not do your function. You have got to do it like you. You have got to bring your personality to it. You’ve got bring your experience to it. You’ve got to bring your way of doing things. So when we’re talking about everyone finding their place in their function, it’s not just so that all the tasks are checked. It’s who are you? Who are you? What do you bring to the donuts that somebody else can’t bring? I’m not talking about sprinkles. I’m talking about you bringing a story. What can you bring to the door that other people can’t bring?
What can you bring to children’s ministry? What can you bring? We’ve got to realize it’s not just about a function. It’s who we are as people. God needs you. He doesn’t need you for a task. He needs you as a person to understand the value of who you are. God’s inviting you to get involved in building the church. Why? Because Mount Carmel Church you are somebody. It’s not just sign up, fill out a task. No, we’re not building a church on tasks. We’re building a church on people finding their purpose and finding their place. This is what God’s speaking into our hearts.
We have to Develop our Physical and Spiritual Abilities in Christ
So now when we’re first born, we all have these natural abilities. We talked about that when we’re first born. We all have natural physical abilities. We have natural mental abilities, but they all have to be developed. I mean, parents, remember your first kid? After just a few months old and you’re waiting for them to start doing certain things, but it depends. Everybody develops at different rates and different speeds. You know, some of my kids walked in like one year. Some of my kids walked in like nine months, and one was like 14 months, and still wasn’t walking. We’re like, are they ever going to walk?
You know, sometimes we get antsy about that, but do you remember the first day they just rolled over? You’re like, “He rolled over and that was awesome!” Well they had the physical ability to roll over, but they had to develop it. Sometimes there were those times, though, where they’d get hung and they’d flail that one leg around. You know? So there’s physical abilities that we have to develop. That same physical ability comes in handy when you get older and you’re married to your spouse and they’re snoring. You’re trying to get them to roll over. It’s the same physical ability. But if you don’t get the same response out of it, you know. We got these physical abilities, but we also have to understand physical development. Spiritual development is also important because Mount Carmel Church when we’re born again, when you get born again, you become a follower of Jesus.
Being Born Again Gives us Access to a New Way of Life
Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us that, “If he is in Christ, behold they’re a new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold all things become new.” Here’s what creation means, it means something exists that never existed before. When you get born again, your spirit is something brand new that you’ve never seen before. We trip on this because Mount Carmel Church our mind and our soul is still the same and our physical bodies are still the same, so we don’t understand that we now have access to a new way of living that is on the inside of us. That new way of living has always been there, but now when we are born again, we have access. Let me give you an example of it this way: My oldest daughter plays college volleyball, and we found out this year that her team’s games are not going to be on the regular, a free network that they were on last year.
They’re now all on ESPN Plus, which is great, except you have got to pay for ESPN Plus. It’s a subscription, of course, a monthly subscription. Everybody wants a monthly subscription. So I’m looking at this, thinking, do I pay for the monthly subscription? I want to see my daughter play. Okay, so we sign up for it and I realized after they give me a log in and password. Now I can access all this stuff that was available all along. It was being played, things were on there, but I never saw them because Mount Carmel Church I didn’t have access. Whenever we get born again, we get a Holy Spirit login.
When we get born again, we get filled with the Holy Spirit. Now we have access to a whole world that existed, but we didn’t know about it. All this was out there available, a whole different way of viewing life is available, but now we get Holy Spirit login capabilities. This is where we’re talking about God wants to build his kingdom in us. Now we have access to it, but how many knows when she’s playing? If I don’t enter the login and access it, she can be playing and I still not watching. You can have Holy Spirit access to a different way of life, but if you don’t access it, you’re not going to benefit from it. So we have got to see how to do that.
Building His Kingdom on the Inside of Us By Overcoming Adversity
Let’s talk about how we build this kingdom, how we build it on the inside of us. When we say building our abilities, building our spiritual abilities or our natural abilities, a lot of times people think about their talents, but what if I say this to you?
What if I say God wants to build our abilities to be able to deal with or handle things? When I say God wants to build the abilities on the inside of you, what if I said he wants to build different abilities than just your talent? Our abilities are built and strengthened, not in the absence of resistance, but by overcoming them. It’s important for us to get our abilities that God wants to build in our life. They’re not built by the absence of adversity or opposition. They’re built by overcoming the presence of it. Let me give you some examples.
If someone says, hey, they have a tremendous ability to handle pressure, stress, adversity, or discouragement, depression or anxiety. That’s not built or strengthened by the absence of it, but how they handle the presence of it. You say, man, they have a tremendous ability to handle pressure. How do you know? You know because Mount Carmel Church they had pressure and they overcame. We want to build abilities by not having any problems. We want to build and strengthen our abilities to handle stress without any stress. I want to build my ability to forgive and love people without ever being wronged or done.
I’ve got a tremendous ability to forgive. What does that mean? That means you’ve been jacked up. Who’s who wants to live real with me? If I want the ability to forgive people, get ready, because Mount Carmel Church that means you’re going to have the opportunity to be totally wrong and overcome that. You’ll overcome the presence of it. You resist it and you walk in love. That builds the ability to walk in forgiveness. You can’t build the ability to walk in forgiveness without being wronged. You can’t do it, but we want to live that way. You can’t build the ability to love your spouse unconditionally without the presence of their imperfect behavior
“I just want to walk in unconditional love, great. Then get ready for conditional behavior”
I just want to walk in unconditional love, great. Then get ready for conditional behavior. It’s going to happen. I can’t walk in the ability, and I can’t build or strengthen the ability to walk in unconditional love for my spouse without the opportunity for me to have to overcome resistance to that unconditional love. I’m talking about building the kingdom on the inside of you and let’s not look to get out of problems.
Let’s look at those problems that are building something on the inside of us. Well, the ability to persevere is not built or developed in the state of comfort, but by continuing in the face of adversity. Yeah, I’ll tell you what. They’ve got a tremendous ability to just to keep on going. The ability to persevere. How do you know that? Because Mount Carmel Church they keep getting slapped in the face. Life keeps punching them in the gut and they’re still here. This bad thing happened. That bad thing happened, that bad thing, habits, and they’re still in church praising God.
Man, I’d think they would give up on God. I figured they’d be out of church if half the things that happened to them happened to me, man, I wouldn’t be serving God. What’s happening? God’s building abilities in us by what we overcome, not by what we avoid.
Adversity Builds Strength
I’m not trying to avoid issues. What if the things that you thought were trying to destroy you, were actually building strength on the inside of you? The devil comes trying to destroy me, but all he’s doing is giving you a workout. Every time we see adversity come, we’ve got to look at it as an opportunity to get stronger because Mount Carmel Church it’s an opportunity to overcome. This is what we’re building on the inside of us.
Look what he says. Jesus said,” I will build my church and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it.” That word prevail means: to overcome by superior force over power; defeat because Mount Carmel Church of greater strength. He says the gates of hades will not prevail. It does not mean that the gates of hell will not have any force, or that the gates of hades will not have any power or strength. It does not mean that they will not have any force at all, but they will not have superior force. They will not have greater strength, and they will not overpower us.
We’re not looking for the absence of adversity to get stronger. We’re looking to overcome the presence of adversity to get stronger. We’re building something on the inside of us, not because Mount Carmel Church we don’t have any problems but because Mount Carmel Church God carries us through problems. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Why? Because Mount Carmel Church you are with me and if God’s with me, then who can be against me? The greater one is on the inside of you. Look at your neighbor and say, “You’re getting stronger.” “You’re getting stronger.” You’re not getting defeated. You’re getting stronger.
You’re like, I’m tired of this workout. I need to move on. I get it.
I feel you. There’s times I’m like, “Yo, look, can we stop this workout?” I’m a little tired because Mount Carmel Church building something on the inside of you, he’s building abilities on the inside of you that you will not have. Without adversity you won’t have them. You won’t have the ability to love people without people that you don’t want to love. I just got a tremendous ability to love people. Well everybody that’s nice to me and does what I want him to do. That’s not the ability to love. The ability of love is when you are hanging around stinkers. I just want to build my tremendous ability to love. That includes you. I love you. What is it? God’s building something in you. It’s like you build patience in you. You know how you are going to build patience in you Lord, just build and develop patience in me.
What Kingdom are We Building on the Inside of Us?
Okay, get ready. I’ve got a tremendous story about how I did not successfully do well in patience, but don’t have time for that story this service either. But it’s a great story. Sometime I want to give it. Maybe tonight. So now we look at this, look in verse 19 he says, “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”. So he’s got the gates of Hades and the Kingdom of Heaven. There are two spiritual kingdoms mentioned in this that are at work, trying to build abilities in you. Two kingdoms, trying to build their abilities in you. We’ve got the gates of Hades, which represents the power of death, the Kingdom of Darkness. We’ve got the Kingdom of Heaven, which represents God’s way of doing things. Two different kingdoms, two different systems, two different ways to respond.
The same thing happens. There’s two choices on how you respond. The same person says something to you as they say something else. The same certain things happens to this person that happens to you. How we respond determines what’s built on the inside of us. The kingdom we cooperate with is the one who’s successful building in us.
If I respond out of my temper, then I’m going to cooperate with that kingdom and I’m going to build the fruit of that kingdom. Notice what it says in the next part. How do we build this? He says, we give him the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. The keys that were keys means a device used to lock or unlock a locking magic mechanism. It’s a symbol of power or authority, permitting or preventing access. So notice what it says here. I will give you the keys.
I’ll give you the keys of the Kingdom of work. Go ahead and participate if you would. I’ll give you the keys of the Kingdom of… all right. One more time. You’re warming up. I’ll give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of Heaven. Now I’m going to maybe correct something, but not because Mount Carmel Church I’m hating on it or not because Mount Carmel Church I’m whatever, but because Mount Carmel Church God just highlighted this to me over the weekend.
So I’m just going to re-emphasize to you what he’s teaching to me. We used to sing a song you never get to hear. I’m not hating on this song or saying its anti-God. I’m just using it as a point. We used to sing this song in church that I went to the enemy’s camp and I took back what he stole from me. You know what I’m talking about? I was reading this and he said, “Hey, Chad what are the keys to?” I said, “Well, they are the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.” He said, notice it’s not the keys to the Kingdom of Hell. I didn’t give you keys to the Kingdom of hell. I give you keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.
I’m a little slow so he said, you know, sometimes when you used to say, “I’m going to go get back what the devil stole from me, I want to go into his land and possess that, that the gates of hell, man, that’s a protected place and they can’t stop us.” We’re going in there and we’re possessing what the enemy has. He said, I didn’t give you any keys to the Kingdom of hell. I gave you keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. The devil has nothing that you want. You’re not trying to possess anything that he has. Jesus already went in and got all of the keys and took everything that mankind could not have. Jesus already purchased that, he already set us free. When Jesus hung on the cross, he paid the price for all sin, for all sickness, for all disease. He paid that price already.
The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: The Truth of His Word
He said, I’ve already done it, so I give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. I said, okay, God, so what are you trying to say? He said, here’s, here’s the problem. People are thinking that you have to go into where the devil is to get freedom. He said, but I give you keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and those keys are the truth of my word. John 8 says this. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed him, if you abide in my word (the Bible), you are my disciples. Then in verse 32 and he goes on to say, and you shall know the truth, the truth was, the truth is my word. You will know the truth, not hear the truth once in a while, and not just listen to a few sermons. You will know the truth and that truth that you know will make you free.
I’m like, okay, Lord. I preached that verse a lot and am pretty familiar. He said, no, no, no. Here’s what you have got to understand. The truth of my word is your key to unlock every gate where the enemy’s trying to hold you captive.
It’s not something over there I got to go into. It’s where the enemy tries to build up gates around me with my thoughts and tries to hold me back from going where God wants me to go. So the keys are the scriptures, the promises of God. If I will apply those keys then those truths will unlock the lies that the devil is trying to hold me back. Give me an example.
I started out this series of talking about a pretty tough time I’ve been going through and it’s amazing. The only reason I say this, not because Mount Carmel Church I’m narcissist or want anybody to feel sorry for me. It’s because Mount Carmel Church sometimes I feel like relating and being transparent helps you realize that not everybody has got their life together. There’d be times that I would preach, and just give it everything I have. And I would go home and I’d be like, I don’t know if I’m any good at all. Am I even doing what you want me to do? Has my time run out here, you know, are people just not listening to me anymore? You know what’s going on. I had these internal issues really struggling with, but you wouldn’t know it. You know what, I was a master at keeping it to myself, but these thoughts were taunting me all the time.
So I didn’t know what was happening and God began to give me some keys, and I’ll tell you how it works. Last Sunday after first service, a lady, that’s only been going here a few weeks, came up to me and said, “Hey come here. I want you to meet so and so. We’re just talking to this other guy. And we were telling him about you. We’re telling him about your personality and how you have this aura about you and the way you carry yourself. And Man, we just, we just told him, you got to meet him. And she was saying all this in a really complimentary way. And I’m like, it’s really nice to say, you know. I didn’t think much about it. You know, I just stretch, and try to have the conversation. I came in for worship on the second service and as I was standing there, God reminded me what she said and he took me back about 12 years ago.
Those exact words, almost word for word, were used by someone to say and prove why I was a prideful person. He said, “You’re a prideful person, just the way you carry yourself, the aura about you, this is just the way you act. Always trying to joke around all the time. They care. Everything’s funny. Just your presence, just your very prideful person.”
And I didn’t realize what those words did. I didn’t realize that I, from that moment I thought, okay, so this is the way I am and that is prideful. So I have to change who I am so light, it’s almost subconsciously. It wasn’t even things I knew. God’s giving me keys to unlock some of the gates that have been holding me back. He said, Chad, you started to hold yourself and your, Mount Carmel, church just say, you know what? I’ll just become a little more toned down. I’ll calm down a little bit. I won’t be so expressive. I won’t be so intense. I won’t be so much in people’s face because Mount Carmel Church maybe people like a little calmer, more general preacher. I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to. I didn’t know it was happening, but I was losing myself trying to please others. And so this people pleasing thing was coming into my life that I didn’t even know. I didn’t know what was happening and it was robbing me of my joy.
I mean, because Mount Carmel Church I wasn’t me. I was trying to be this other person that I thought other people would like because Mount Carmel Church I don’t want to be like that. Cause if I’m like that, then I’m prideful. And Jesus was saying, Chad, listen, the truth is I made you the way I made you and some of the way you are, some people’s not going to like it when you’re truly who you are. Some people, it’s going to repel them. Are you okay with that? And I was like, no, I want to appease everybody. So God, how can I be attract everybody? You said that’s the problem.
The truth that I realized, Okay Lord, this gate that was there of performance and people pleasing: I want out. I want to be here. You created me. I want to do my function. There’s other types of preachers, all types of preachers and other people were saying stuff. It was a perfect storm of a bunch of things coming together at once and this other pastors was critical of things about me and how the services flow and how controlling I am. I was like, ah, so I had to realize, God, you want to unlock us so I want to only recruit somebody that’s still with the same thing. Your gates up here are the enemy trying to tell you something.
That’s not true. We’re not trying to steal anything back from the devil. We’re trying to unlock the truths of God’s Word. When you unlock the truth, all his lies start to fall apart. See, the lies build a strong hold in our life and it becomes a fortified place. And the one that we believe, the kingdom that we believe, Gates of Hades? But when I believe what the Kingdom of Heaven says, it sets me free from the lies of the enemy. It’s not that I have to knock down the lies. I’ve got to unlock a truth, and when I unlock the truth, the lie dissolves. So freedom is not where we get the devil to stop. We get the truth to come and we choose which one we believe.
So now I’m choosing to believe that I can still be me and not be prideful. Some people are still going think it’s probably too much. It’ll be okay. You’re a little bit too much for me. You’re a little too expressive. You’re a little too whatever. But that’s okay. You be you. I’ll be me. I want to help you get set free from the gates of Hades that have tortured some of you into thinking you cannot be who God’s created you to be. There’s a truth that’s going to set you free. There’s a truth. There’s lies that said, this is what I’m stuck with. I’m never going to get out of this. I’m never going to be better. That’s a lot. When we get to the truths of God’s word, he’s going to start unlocking that and saying, hey, that’s the devil. That didn’t come from me. When that person said that to you, that didn’t come from me. When that person did that to you, that didn’t come from me. Then you start unlocking all these gates and you find out God wants you to live free, but I didn’t say problem free.
I’m still going to have adversities, but now I understand that my freedom is not in the absence, but all this stuff that I’ve been walking through, God is showing me now how much stronger it’s making me. So Chad, you’re going to be strong on the other side.
What do you need to be stronger in that you need to overcome right now?
Do you know the value of your individual function?
Are you building it?
Do you know that who you are is more important that what you do?
Are you building your spiritual abilities by overcoming resistance?
Podcast: Under Construction Part 5 Podcast