Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

 
Title: Celebrating Supernatural Living

Text: “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.” (Isa. 54:2, NKJV)

Scripture reading: Isaiah 54


The Christian life is a supernatural life, an exciting adventure that begins with a life-changing, spiritual birth.  It begins with faith and continues as a work of faith.  Living the Christian life this year can be a celebration.

In Isaiah 54:2, the Lord called for Israel to expand their vision, “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes” (Isa. 54:2, NKJV). 

This was to be done in preparation for the Lord’s restoration of Israel. The prayer of our hearts should be for the Lord to stretch our vision, enlarge our faith, and expand our goals.  A faith-vision is one in which we visualize what God intends to do and then we act in harmony with it. 

Hebrews 11 records men and women who had a faith-vision.  They saw by faith and obeyed God’s call.  If we are to experience the adventure of believing God, we must do four things.
1. Learn to think supernaturally.
2. Learn to plan supernaturally.
3. Learn to pray supernaturally.
4. Learn to claim supernatural resources.

None of these things are limited by age, but are actually enhanced by it.  The wisdom and experience that arrive with the years can help us to think, plan and pray and then you can reach out to God and claim what He has promised in His Word.

Let’s begin our lesson by reading the scripture for today.

1 “Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.
3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.
4 “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
5 For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
6 For the Lord has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused,” Says your God.
7 “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, But with great mercies I will gather you.
8 With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” Says the Lord, your Redeemer.
9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
10 For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
11 “O you afflicted one, Tossed with tempest, and not comforted, Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, And lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, Your gates of crystal, And all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children.
14 In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.
15 Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.
16 “Behold, I have created the blacksmith Who blows the coals in the fire, Who brings forth an instrument for his work; And I have created the spoiler to destroy.
17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.

The first thing we must do to experience the adventure that will come from believing God is to “learn to think supernaturally. Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” 

We must strive to have the mind of Christ, so that we can control our thoughts as an act of our will, and resist the temptation to sin. But how can we change our thought life? 

First, we can saturate our minds with God’s Word. 

Next, we can follow the words of Colossians 3:1-2; “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”  Think worthy thoughts, faith thoughts, and thoughts of praise, worship, and thanksgiving.  Finally, think about the attributes of God-His goodness, greatness, generosity, and glory.  Think supernaturally!  Think about who you are spiritually.  No longer a servant, but a son or daughter of God.  No longer lost, but found.  No longer an alien, but a citizen of the kingdom. Think of your spiritual heritage-the hope of your calling, the richness of His glorious creation, and the abundant greatness of His power to believers. Think like children of the King!  When we begin to think these thoughts, we stretch our vision.  Knowing God for who He is will change our lives.

The next thing that we must do as we seek to experience the adventure that will come from believing God is to “learn to plan supernaturally.”

This involves our personal lives, our families, the church, our business, or whatever pertains to our need for planning. There is nothing wrong with planning.  Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his mind a man plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps” (NABWRNT).  God Himself is a planner.  He has a well-thought-out plan for the world from the first day until the last.  This verse points out that Man was given the ability to reason, however all other creatures are ruled by natural instinct.  Therefore, it is a shame if any man or woman doesn’t work out a way that pleases God and leads to eternal life. 

It is helpful for us if we are dependent upon God and are subject to His direction and authority.  If the way you choose brings glory to God you can expect that He will guide your steps by His Spirit and grace.  This is God’s plan and it is intended to teach us to say, “If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that,” and to keep our eyes on God, not only when we encounter the big things in life, but in every step we take  Psalm 139:16 indicates divinely detailed planning for our lives.  There it says, “You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old” (NCV).  God has His eye on us before we are born. These verses confirm that life does exist from the moment of conception.

The psalmist affirms God’s knowledge of his life from the pre-embryonic stage until his death. The Lord weaves and knits together our beings in the wombs of our mothers. We are in a real sense “prescription babies” in that God has a custom design for every individual, equipping each for specific achievement and purpose. Even the greatest tragedies can be overruled or transformed to good within the providence of God (Rom. 8:28).

We praise God for the wonderful way in which He fashioned our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. We marvel at the magnitude of His thoughts. We are grateful that He never finishes His tutoring process. Even our worst negative traits can be transformed into positive qualities.

The next thing to do is to experience the adventure that will come from believing God is; “let God reveal His vision to you.”

Listen when you pray, when you read His Word, and when you meditate upon Him.   It is a ministry of the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s will for your life.  This then becomes the basis of our faith.  Then we set our goals so that they become His goals for us.  And if we have God-given goals we should “prepare for the fulfillment of His goals.” 

Our faith will be tested, but God is faithful when we trust and obey Him.  He will confirm His direction for us and assure us through prayer of His will.  That’s the message of 1 John 5:14-15: “And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him” (RSV) 

Jesus encourages us to come to God in all circumstances, with our requests. The only condition that is set is that our prayer must be agreeable to the will of God.  If it is, we may be confident that our prayer will be heard in heaven.  Just to know that our prayers are heard, is as good as knowing they are answered, because we can have confidence in His mercies and blessings. 

Our obedience to God requires supernatural planning, planning by faith, following God’s plans. But here’s the challenge; we should “have big plans, God-sized plans.”  The plans and goals God gives to people have two consistent elements; a world wide influence and a lasting impact.  God’s goal to Adam and Eve was to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).  God’s goal to Abraham was not just to have a son, but to start a nation and to be a blessing to all people on earth (Gen. 12:1-13).  Jesus’ goal for the disciples was for them to be witnesses in the power of the Holy Spirit from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).  God-sized plans are big plans, supernatural plans.  If they are so small that we can fulfill them ourselves, they aren’t God-sized, and God will not bless them.  Our plans are big enough, when they need God’s intervention. 

Dr. Joon Gon Kim received a vision from the Lord to have a gathering for Christian training in Korea.  His goal was 300,000 delegates, but more than 323,000 came from seventy-eight countries, including 15,000 pastors and evangelists.  The largest evening service was attended by 1.5 million.  More than a million registered salvation decisions in one evening.  This happened because the Lord touched the heart of one man to trust God for great things.

The third thing we need to do is to “learn to pray supernaturally.”
 
Supernatural praying is found in John 14:12-14: there we find these words, “greater works than these shall ye do.” 
God gives us the faith to pray for something, and as we pray, He causes our faith to grow and then He causes us to pray even greater things for Him. 

Matthew wrote, “According to your faith, be it unto you” (Matt. 9:29).  We can never ask God for too much if our hearts and motives are pure and if we pray according to the Word and will of God.  Someone has said, “Whatever we vividly envision, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon will come to pass it there is a supernatural authority for it.”  

A while back a Christian organization was praying for the Lord’s miraculous provision for a certain sum of money.  Within a few days a man announced that he would give the ministry a gift of $1.1 million.  This was unquestionably a supernatural provision. 

The fourth and last thing to mention today is that we need to “learn to claim supernatural resources.”
 
We are not ordinary people. 
Our lives are joined with the one who spoke the world into existence.  We belong to Him who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  He dwells in us in all His resurrection power.  We can claim Philippians 4:13 for our lives, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”  What Paul is saying is, “In all things I continue to be strong by the One who infuses the power into me.” Paul has such strength as long as Christ keeps pouring the power (Gr dynamis) into him. A living Christ on the inside is more than sufficient to endure the circumstances on the outside. What Christ wants Paul to do, Christ enables Paul to do. Where the finger of God points, the hand of God provides the way.

Our faith may be small, but like a muscle it will grow with exercise.  If you are struggling to trust God for some physical need, for someone’s salvation, or for financial help, then pause to meditate on whatever barrier to your faith you are facing right now.  Remind yourself of God’s power available to you to accomplish the supernatural. 

If you are not trusting God, that is sin.  Confess your unbelief to Him and claim by faith His supernatural resources.

We have seen what it means to celebrate supernatural living.  This is God’s will for our lives and for the church!

 

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