I want to share with you this morning a word that the Lord has been speaking to him to me about since we started this series Weapons of Warfare and I shared this at our 830 service a couple of weeks ago. And it was off of a prophetic word that he has been just stirring in my heart. And it’s this invitation that I believe the Lord is giving his church at this time to come into the secret place. To come into a secret place of prayer and intimacy. Where we would set aside a distraction and find ourselves positioned in presence.
And as we position ourselves as his church I believe that the Lord is speaking. And we need to be in a position where we are hearing and responding to what he is saying. And it’s in this secret place and this deep level of intimacy. Where God does his deep transformational work in our life. And that is where intimacy with God becomes a weapon of warfare.
And so this morning the title of my message is the power of a transformed life. And we are looking at our weapon of warfare being intimacy with God this morning. Are you ready church? For everything that he has for us today. Matthew six this really sets the tone of the secret place. It says, here’s what I want you to do.
Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to roleplay before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage and the focus will shift from you to God and you will begin to sense his grace. I want to speak to you this morning about some keys to living this transformed life because I believe that there is more. I believe that there is new level of intimacy. I believe that there is a fresh outpouring that God wants to do across the entire body of Christ in this hour.
And we need to be positioned in intimacy. And allow the presence of God to transform us because there is a a gifting and a calling and a purpose for your life. There’s a very well-known passage of scripture. In the book of Luke, it talks about two sisters, Mary and Martha. And in verse thirty-eight, it says this, it says, as Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
She had a sister called Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet, listening. Everyone say, listening. To what he said. But Martha was distracted. Everyone say distracted.
By all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself. Tell her to help me. Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed, or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.
The first key to living a transformed life is our heart posture. The posture of our heart. You know, When I read this illustration I can I can totally relate to Martha. You know can you imagine Jesus Christ the Messiah is just passing through the town. And he just decides that he’s going to pop in to see them.
And I think Martha to be fair does what probably what most of us would do. Is that she jumps into this hosting the Messiah mode of where she’s you know probably frantically running the house making sure it’s clean. And you know probably preparing a cup of tea and a meal. And there’s this fresh in Martha when she’s seemingly looking at Mary who’s not doing much. But yet Jesus gives Martha a subtle rebuke and actually points us to the posture of Mary.
And what the Lord is showing us in this scripture is that Mary demonstrates what it is to live a life dedicated to being in close proximity with God. And she made it her number one priority above all else. You see Mary had set her gaze upon Jesus. You see where we set our gaze is where our heart will follow. Where we turn our attention and our focus to is where our life will lead.
You see we’re coming into a new year. We’re coming into 20twenty-four. And if you’re anything like me I like to set some goals and aspirations and you know, Nathan and I sit down at the beginning of every year and we talk about what we want to see happen in our family and in our life and you know, and when we set goals, we want to reach the full potential of those things and you know, if you’re like my husband, he really enjoys fishing and so, every year, he wants to catch a bigger fish. Now, if you’ve seen the size of the fish that he catches, I don’t know how they get any bigger but somehow they do. And so, Nathan needs to make space and room for that goal to take place.
He needs to adjust his schedule. He needs to, you know, buy new gear most of the time. And it’s got, it cost him something. But he making space and room because that’s where his focus and his attention is. And in the same way as we set our eyes upon Jesus, as we adjust our gaze to him, my Bible says, that as we shift our gaze, that seek first the kingdom of God and all of the rest will follow.
You see, being in God’s presence, transformation is the byproduct. And intimacy becomes a weapon when we prioritise presence over performance. We are a reflection of the environment we choose to surround ourselves in. And we are designed for this level of intimacy with God. You know when I read the book of Genesis and I look at Adam and Eve.
God’s motivation has always been about love and intimacy. You know we can see in the book of Genesis when he created the garden and Adam and Eve and they dwelled there and they were in the perfect plan of God. Where they were in his presence twenty-four seven. And we know the story. We know that sin entered their hearts.
And they acted upon and it separated them from the presence of God. And our God who is always motivated by love needed to send his son Jesus Christ to redeem and reconcile mankind. So that we now have this access to him once again. Through the power of his Holy Spirit. We’ve heard Scott speak about that so beautifully today.
When we are filled with his spirit, he comes and lives in us. The Bible says. But who knows that you can live with someone. You can be at the same address at the same house. And yet not have an intimate connection with them.
Where you could, you know, maybe pass each other in the morning, Maybe say good morning or you know, maybe once a week, you sit down and you have a meal and you need to talk about the things that you need to pay for the week. It’s called being a housemate. But there’s no intimate connection there. You can live with someone and not be intimate or close with them. And in the same way, sometimes as Christians, this is how we treat our relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Where is seeking just a moment of our gaze and our time and he’s looking for room because he desires to transform us. And so we need to allow space for him to draw near. You see as we draw near to God he draws near to us. And the more time we spend with someone, the closer you become. We are wired and designed for this kind of intimacy.
Can I encourage you this morning, church? This is the way that we are designed where God wants to live and dwell and speak and walk with us just as he designed us to be in the book of Genesis in the Garden of Eden. We are filled with his spirit and we have access to him all of the time. Every second, every moment of every day. He is closer than the air that we breathe. In second Corinthians chapter three verse sixteen, it says, but we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as by the spirit of God.
You know, something happens that as we behold God, we become more like him. You know, Pastor Joel LaBelle spoke an incredible word about the righteousness of God a couple of weeks ago. And he was saying that, you know, the the longer that you walk with the Lord, we we discover that his desires become our own. He changes us. He us by the power of his spirit And God wants to see his church step into the full potential of who she is.
Our potential is found in Christ as Christians. You know, I had my my own personal experience with this story. Earlier this year, Pastor Ben and Trish as pastors and leaders, they love to send us as staff on what they call an expedition where we go to another church and we love to see what’s happening across the whole body of Christ and this year, we went along to Numa Church. Now, we know Nooma Church we know pastor Stacey Hillier. She has come to preach at our upper room service and girls, she’s coming to flourish next year.
So, please make sure you register for that. She’s the prophetic arm of Nooma. And so we went along to to Nooma which is in Melbourne and to be completely honest with you at the time I was feeling very dry. And I was like God I just need to encounter you. I need to you know I need a word.
I need a prophetic. I need people to lay hands on me. I need fire from heaven to fall. And I sort of went into this conference with this expectation. But the thing about God is that we think we know what we need but really knows what we need.
And so I went into this conference just expecting for God to move. And I was dry and I was thirsty for him. And I’m doing all of the things and I’m it’s the first night of conference and I’m like in worship I’m like Lord here I am. And I’m pacing and I’m praying and I’m doing all of the things to try and you know encounter God and nothing happened. Isn’t that a surprise? And anyway, we got to the third night of this conference and the only way I can describe what happened was that the music, the worshiped music died down and there was this holy reverence that entered the room.
And there was joy breaking out. There were people laughing. There were people throwing their crutches away because they’d been healed under the power of God. There’s people getting delivered. There’s a room full of hungry people who just wanted to encounter the presence of God.
It was in that moment when noone laid hands on me, where there was no fire from heaven that fell, but the still small voice of the Holy Spirit come to, came to speak to me. And he said, Ash, for too long, you have served me as a Martha. But I’m going to position you as a Mary, because I want to show you what it is to live a life in my presence. And I gotta be honest with you because when you receive a word like that from God that’s a correction. God needed to align some attitudes and some motives in my heart.
And I I struggled with it. Cuz I was like Lord I I I love your church. I live for you. I’m a pastor. I’m this is what I do and I love it.
And the Lord just gently and lovingly started to show me that even though we can be doing seemingly good things. And we can fill our plate with all of the great stuff. If we’re not postured in presence. We’ve missed it. And yet we run around and we wonder why we’re feeling so dry and burnt out.
Because we’re not taking the time and the space to be intimate with God. Where we’re seeking his face. In his presence is the source of everything that we need. Jesus identifies himself as a river of living water in John seven. We we’ve already prayed that this morning.
He is the cup that never runs dry. And when we live a life postured in God’s presence we live from a place of rest. Not from striving. Not from trying to earn anything or do anything. But from rest.
We need to allow room in our in our schedule, in our life. And I know that life is busy. But can I encourage you that the Holy Spirit wants to encounter you? And he wants to shift and change and transform and fill you to overflowing. The second thing this morning is this. The second key to living this transformed life is a renewed mind.
A renewed mind. There’s a story that happens in the book of Exodus. And it’s where Moses encounters God in the form of a burning bush. And we’re going to pick it up here. And in verse three it says now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law.
The priest of Mideon. And he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb the mountain of God. There the of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought I will go over and see this strange side.
Why does the bush not burn up? When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush. Moses. Moses. And Moses said here I am. Do not come in For you are standing as holy ground.
Then he said I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And at this Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. This is a very powerful encounter that Moses has with God. And there’s a few key things that I want us to take away from this passage this morning. Is the first thing that God does when he encounters Moses.
Is he calls him by name? And so he established intimacy straight away. He establishes intimacy. The next thing that he does is he says take off your sandals for where you are standing is holy ground. And so God establishes that he is a holy holy God. And then he identifies himself and he says I am the God of your father Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
And so Moses is able to make a relational connection to who he is. And we know the rest of the story. We know that God then outlays this big plan that he has for the life of Moses. Where God releases the call on his life. Have you ever noticed? I want to speak to us about our burning bush moments this morning, our encounters with God.
Because have you ever noticed that when we encounter God, he starts to shift and change some things. Where he starts to speak to our identity and who we are. We heard from Pastor Janet this morning that our identity is found in the word of God. If you want to know who you are, you need to read your word. He establishes who we are.
He establishes that he is holy. And he begins to shift and change and why does he do that? Why does the holy God when he encounters us change us? Is because there’s a gift and a purpose and a calling on your life. And the burning bush encounter for Moses is what moved him out of what was comfortable into calling. You see at the time the Bible suggests that Moses was about 80 years old. He’d lived a very adventurous life up until this point.
He was tending sheep. He’s probably thinking I’m going to retire. And yet God comes to him. And he says go and free an entire nation out of slavery. This happens when he’s eighty.
Now, Moses could have just enjoyed that encounter moment with God and gone back to doing what he was, what he was doing But he didn’t do that. He stepped into the call that God had for his life. He allowed God to move him out of what was comfortable into calling. But there was a wrestle in his mind. There’s an entire dialogue that happens between God and Moses.
Where Moses is giving God every reason why. He can’t give him his wholehearted yes. And these are some of the reasons that we can even give God sometimes. Where we want to stay comfortable and not step into everything that he has. But can I encourage you church? We are all called to mission.
We are all to the greater call and the purpose that God has for our life. And that’s why he wants to transform us and change us. Some of the reasons that we can give God is that we’re too old or too young. Can I tell you that if you’re not dead God’s not done. That there is still more that God wants to do.
Can I get an amen this morning? Come on. He is not done. You’re not just going to sit on a shelf and get dusty and crusty. There’s more work to be done. Some of the reasons we can give God is that I’m not equipped.
I don’t have the skill set. I’m not ready. I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy. We heard that this morning.
My past failures. Someone else is better. Or this is a big one. If it doesn’t fit in the plan for my life I’m not interested. You see we say to God I want you to send me.
I want you to use me. But if it’s not wrapped in a pretty bow then I don’t want it. Are we ready church? To get a little bit uncomfortable for God. Are we ready? He wants to move us out of what is comfortable into calling. And it’s an encoun God.
You see, what God calls you to, he anoints you for. You’re not doing this in your own strength. It’s not by might or by power but it’s by the spirit of the living God that is it working and alive and active inside of us. And so often we cancel ourselves out or hold ourselves back from giving God our yes because we just don’t think we can do it. You’re not supposed to think you can do it because he’s the one that’s going to anoint you.
Amen. He’s the one that’s going to start fanning into flame. The gift and the call on your life. He’s just looking for people that say here I am. You know sometimes we can treat our burning bush moments a little bit like this picture I’m about to show you.
We were happy observing and we’re happy just sitting back. Where we are enjoying the benefits of the warmth of the flame but we really don’t want to step into the all consuming fire which is him. Because he starts to refine and he starts to change and he starts to slice away those things that maybe we don’t want to let go of. Maybe we’re happy being comfortable. Well I want to tell you King’s Church there is more.
We need to step into the more. There is more of his presence. And he wants to see us step into the fullness of everything that he has called us to be. And it starts with us. We are the church.
We aren’t called just to enjoy the heat of the bush. For God is an all-consuming fire. And the Holy Spirit fire on the inside of us wants to empower us into everything he has called us to be. This is how God responds to Moses. Because Moses has given him all the reasons and all of the excuses as to why he can’t.
And God says I want you to hear this this morning. This is the word of God. God says I will be with you. He says what is in your hand? He says now go and I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say. Take the staff in your hands so you can perform signs with it.
We are going in the anointing of God. And there’s people here and God has put dreams in your heart. That seem too big or too extravagant or too much and you don’t know how you’re going to do it. Can I tell you that that is the place where you will encounter the burning bush? Where God says I will equip you. I will anoint you.
I will send you. Would you just step into it? Would you just say here I am? Would you just surrender your life to me as a living sacrifice? He is the one who fans us into flame There are people that have put themselves on a sideline whether you’ve disqualified yourself because of whatever reason. And maybe you tried stepping out for God at one time. And it didn’t go the way that you thought it would go. And so you’ve cancelled yourself out.
You’re just happy observing the all consuming fire. And you’ve cancelled yourself. Can I tell you that God is the reviver of dreams? Can I tell you that he is the God who is able to breathe life onto dead things? There are still things that he is calling you to do. There is gifting and calling. God needed to renew the mind of Moses.
He needed to help Moses see how God sees him. And that God was going to be with him and he anoints him. I believe that God is calling us to break off limitation and things that have kept us away from stepping into the fullness of everything that he has. There’s people in here that need to write books. And you put it down.
And you thought I’ve tried that. It didn’t work. But there’s things that God wants to do with your life church. And we’re not called just to sit and observe. But we’re all called to get in the game.
This is not the season to be comfortable or complacent because there is more. We are stepping into something new and powerful. And sometimes you’ve just gotta do it afraid. And you’ve just gotta be okay with not knowing the whole picture. But my trust is in God.
But my trust is in God. I’m going to invite the worship team up. This is a story of what God can do with the obedience of one person. And this kind of obedience only comes from a place of intimacy. An encounter.
Where we know that we have heard the word of the Lord. You know Trichelle when she was here a couple of weeks ago I was so blessed by what she was sharing. And one of the things she said was that she knew that God was sending her to the nations because she heard the word of the Lord. And despite what happened despite the the naysayers or the doubters or you know she was thrown in prison. She was poisoned.
The word of the Lord is what sustained her. Because she heard she’d had a burning bush encounter moment with God. And he said I’m going to send you. She didn’t know the plan. She didn’t know what was going to happen.
And can I just say look at what the Lord has done? Look at what the Lord has done with one person’s obedience. What can he do with your life? What is he calling you to do? Have have you tried stepping out and it didn’t happen and you’ve become discouraged? He wants to breathe life. He wants to revive dreams and visions that God has put in your heart. I want you to stand to your feet this morning. An entire nation was delivered out of slavery because of the obedience of this man.
And all it started with was God, here I am That’s all it was. God called him by name And Moses responded to the call of God not knowing what was coming. And as I mentioned earlier, I shared this message in our 830 service a couple of weeks ago and I said to God, God, I’m going to share the same message but if you want to change it, I’m open. And so earlier this week, I had a dream. And there was a loud voice that woke me up out of the dream.
And this resounding phrase kept coming to me. And the Lord was saying, confess your yes. Confess, your yes I just believe that there are people in this place who just need to give God a fresh yes. That there is gifting and calling and purpose in this room. And God just wants to come and encounter you.
He wants to fan into flame and he wants to set you on mission For his call and his purpose. Amen. And so we’re going to open this altar and if you want to give God a fresh yes, you just need to come and position yourself however you need to. You may need a kneel, you might want to stand, you may want to lie down, however you need to. Let’s get intimate and real with God today.
Saying God, I I I’m tired of the excuses. But I want to bring myself and I want to give you my yes. this morning. Where I’m going to move past and encouragement. And resistance.
And I’m going to say yes to you again. And the second group of people I want to pray for are those that are saying God would you set me on fire for mission? Would you set me on fire for mission? We are all called. Amen. And so this altar is open. And the team are going to lead us in a song and it’s called Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.
It’s a very well-known song but what you might not know about this song is that it was written by a blind woman. And I believe that we just need to adjust our gaze and this is a moment where we can just turn our eyes upon Jesus and all of the distractions will grow strangely dim because it’s in the light of his glory and his face. Where he speaks to who we are created to be. And so the altar is open and I don’t want you to hesitate. If you want to say yes to God today I just want you to come out of his seat.
And I want you to position yourself to give God a yes. And say God. Know how. I know the dream you put in my heart. And I’m just saying here I am But I want you to resist this moment.
And if you’re here today and you’re saying, God, I want you to set me on fire for mission. I want you to respond. I want you to come out of your seat and I want you to respond now. Lord, would you set me on fire for your purpose and for your calling, your destiny that you have for my life. I want to encounter you in a fresh way this morning.
Say yes to God today. Amen. Upon it is will grow in the God, we thank you for what you’re doing. Lord, gone Lord God, we just thank you for what you’re doing in this place, Lord God, and people’s lives as they’re responding to the call. Lord, we thank you for the decisions that have been made Lord God.
They’d be cemented and sealed in people’s hearts Lord God. That response to mission, that response to the call, that response to what you’re calling us to, Lord God. Help us to have that heart posture that you desire from us Lord God. Speak to us. So, we find that intimacy with you Lord God.
Let us not be people who just seek trivial things, oh God, but we seek you above all, Lord. And we thank you for it in Jesus name.