Welcome to Calvary Albuquerque.
We pursue the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do this with one another through worship, by the Word, to the world.
Man, I've been looking forward to this night for a while. This is a night of worship. It's an opportunity for us to come and to hear from the Lord. And I'm going to share for a little bit, and then we're going to do something we did before. We're going to have all the pastors and the deacons come up here to the front. And we're going to receive prayer requests from you. Whatever is going on in your life, we want to lay hands on you. We want to anoint you with oil. We want to pray that God would speak to you, that God would minister to you, that God would bring you through whatever it is that you're going through in life.
And the last time I spoke on a Wednesday night-- I don't know if you remember-- the sound went out halfway through the service. And I think that Satan didn't want you to hear what God wanted to tell you. You see, I think that any time God wants to do something in our midst, Satan doesn't want Him to do that. Satan wants to stop Him. Satan wants to prevent us from hearing what it is that could change our lives, that could transform our lives.
Last time that we had a night of prayer like this, we saw God do incredible things. We heard reports. I heard reports for months afterwards of prayer requests that were answered, relationships that were restored, sickness that was healed, God being glorified, the chains of sin being broken. And Satan doesn't like that. Satan doesn't want that to happen in your life. Satan doesn't want you to experience the joy and the deliverance that God wants to bring into your life. As a matter of fact, he wants to stop it cold in its tracks.
And so tonight, I was telling the band backstage, I don't think I've ever had a night when I've taught that I've felt more drama the day before, or the week before, that I've felt more attacks, more anxiety, more stress-- not in what's going to be shared, but just in life. And I don't know if you can resonate with that, if you feel that way. Maybe you're here and you say, man, it really was hard to get to church tonight. It was tough for me to get through these doors. The amount of things that were stacked against me, the amount of things that were in the path of me making it here.
See, I believe that Satan doesn't want you to hear what God wants you to hear tonight. I believe that Satan doesn't want you to leave this place rejuvenated, with a new purpose, with a new passion for life. I think that he wants you to leave here and feel the exact same way as when you came here. I think he wants you to leave here feeling hopeless, feeling a sense of despair, feeling like the problems that you have are too big for God.
But guess what? I think that God wants you to hear what He has to say tonight. I think that God wants you to leave this place renewed, invigorated, with passion in your heart. I believe that God wants to do something new and something great within your life, something that you have yet to experience. And so we're going to open up in a word of prayer. We're going to ask that the Lord, our God, our Savior Jesus Christ would bind Satan, that he wouldn't have any ear into our lives tonight, but that our hearts and our minds would be open to the Holy Spirit. And that as He speaks to us tonight as we worship, as we bring our cares and concerns before Him because He cares for us, that God will do something mighty in our midst. Do you believe that, church?
Lord, we thank You for this opportunity. God, we believe You want to do something great tonight. We believe that You want to speak to us. We believe that You want this moment to be a moment that marks our church, a moment that we look back on and say, God, You did something incredible that night in our lives. And so Lord, right now we give you this moment. Lord, it was Yours anyway. But we come right now and we ask that You would open our hearts and our minds, You would prepare us to hear what You would have to share with us. Lord, myself included, God I pray that you will speak to me in this moment, that You would reveal Your truth to my heart in this time.
And Lord, we pray that you would bind Satan, that there would not be any room for him here in this place, that any distractions he wants to bring, anything that he wants to do to get our eyes off of you and place on our problems, Lord, that You would bind him. Lord, that this would be Your moment, that You would be triumphant, that You would be victorious. And You would speak to us as we bring You all that we have. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
I want to share with you guys just a little devo that I've affectionately called "Bring it." and it's more in the sense of bringing what we have to God. See, one of my favorite stories in the Bible is about a guy named King Jehosophat. And I love Jehosophat because Jehosophat had his head on straight. Jehosophat, the king of Judah, had done all the right things to please God. He was a guy who, when you looked at his life, you would say man, that guy really loves God. You know, there's other kings in Israel who made bad decisions. Jehosophat made really good decisions. Jehosophat was a good king. And then suddenly, like oftentimes in our life, in the lives of the children of God who seem to live righteous, right lives that are pleasing to God, the bottom drops out.
He receives a frightening report that says a vast army is coming against you. And alarmed, Jehosophat stops what he is doing and he prays. Do you ever feel like an army is coming against you? Do you feel like that tonight? That there is an army that's against you? Maybe it's an army at work. Maybe it's an army in your finances. Maybe it's an army in your relationships. Maybe it's an army within your health. Maybe it's an army in the sin that you're battling, the temptation that you're experiencing. If there's an army against you tonight, then I encourage you, stop what you're doing and pray.
And so Jehosophat, instead of worrying, Jehosophat does what Philippians says, "don't worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." And Jehosophat prays. And it's such a beautiful, simple prayer. It's a prayer that should echo our heart. "Oh, our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are upon You."
And when we don't know what to do, we don't know where to go, we don't know which direction to turn, the most clear instruction that we can have is to place our eyes upon Jesus. Because in the light of Jesus, in the light of what He's done for us, in the light of what He is going to do for us, it's incredible how the problems, how the pain, how the armies that are coming against us suddenly become really small. Because we realize the Army and the battle that is ahead-- we don't have to fight that battle. Jesus Christ is going to fight that battle for us. Jesus Christ is going to go before us.
And we know that no matter what the outcome of that battle is, we know the outcome of the war. And the war is over. The war was won by Jesus Christ on the cross. And so no matter what happens in the small battles in life, we know that the war-- we know that the end-- Christ is victorious. Christ is the winner. So Jehosophat prays and God responds. God responds, and God answers the prayer of the king and his people. You know, the Bible is filled with stories like that. It's not like that's just the one story that can give you hope. You know, Jehosophat was a really good guy, but it stops there. No, it's all through the Bible.
A woman named Hannah is unable to have a child. She prays, and a baby named Samuel was born, a baby who would one day become one of Israel's greatest prophets. Samson prays, and in spite of his previous disobedience, God gives him his strength back. Paul and Silas, in prison for their faith, pray and in moments, an earthquake comes and they are free. Peter is imprisoned, the church prays, and in hours, he is released. A man named Elijah prays. The rain stops. He prays again. It starts. He prays again. And God sends down fire from heaven. Sign me up for that sprinkler system.
And we think man, will you know, these are the guys in the Bible. Elijah-- he's like the holiest of holy. But what does the Scriptures say of Elijah? In James 5:17, it says, "Elijah was a man with a nature like ours." And he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. Elijah was a man like you. The same power that was in Elijah is the same power that is in you. The same access to God that Elijah had-- you know what? You have even greater access because we live on the other side of Jesus. We now have access to the throne room of Heaven in a way that Elijah could have only dreamed of. See, approaching God through prayer is one of the most important lessons we can learn. A guy named Rowland Hill said this-- "Prayer is the breath of the newborn soul. And there can be no Christian life without it."
So again, I ask are you in what appears to be a hopeless situation? Are you desperately in need of something, but it seems like you will never have it? Do you feel like there is no future for you, like it's just too late? If so, then you've got to bring it. You've got to bring it to God. You've got to approach God. You've got to come to the throne room of grace through prayer, and let God fight that battle for you. Even when there is no way, He is the way. He will fill the void that you can't fill. He will give you the life that you don't have. He will bring you the joy that you can't find. Even when there is no hope in the world, there is hope in Jesus. Do you believe it, church? There is hope in Jesus. There is hope in His name. There is hope in His death, in His Resurrection. There is hope in the glorification of the saints. There is hope in the knowledge of the future even when the present is bleak. And that is good news.
I'm reminded of a guy in the New Testament named Jairus. I love this story because there is such faith in this story. Jairus isn't a guy that's talked a lot about except for this one chapter. We don't hear about him afterwards. But the faith that Jairus shows is a faith that I can only dream of-- faith in a hopeless situation. See, Jairus had a 12-year-old daughter, who is sick-- and not just like a cold sick, or a flu sick, she was sick, sick. She was so sick that she was probably going to die that day. And apparently, this was his only child and so, no doubt, she was daddy's little girl, the light of his life, his pride and his joy, his everything, what he worked for, what he lived for, what he woke up in the morning desiring to see and hold. She was everything to him. And no doubt he had tried everything possible with the doctors, but her case was hopeless. And Jairus realized that she was dying, and that he was racing against time. And so he comes to Jesus. And from Jairus' encounter with Jesus, we discover how do we bring our cares and concerns to Him.
A little background-- Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue. He was a man of importance. He was a man of considerable authority. And this man who was so great in the world's eyes humbly fell before the feet of Jesus, a carpenter from Nazareth, begging, asking in fervent prayer, in fervent request that Jesus would do something on his behalf. You know, it's hard for us to appreciate the cultural significance of this. See, Jesus wasn't very high on the cultural ladder. First, he was from Nazareth, not a respected city. Second, he was the son of a carpenter, not a respected trade or profession. But these were the outward dressing. Jesus was God in human form, and Jairus was a man in need of God's touch. And so Jairus laid aside cultural differences and pride, and he came to Jesus for what He was.
Reminds me of 2 Chronicles 7:14. It says, "if my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land." Deuteronomy 4:29 echoes the same thought when it says, "but if from there, you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look to Him with all your heart and with all your soul." David said to his son Solomon, "if you seek Him, He will be found by you. But if you forsake Him, He will reject you."
The bottom line is this-- if someone is truly seeking God, they will find him. If they eventually do not find their way to Jesus, that plainly shows that they are not truly seeking him. And for those that come to Jesus out of mere curiosity, He doesn't have anything to say. To those who simply toy with the idea of following Him, nothing really happens. You know, many say they are seeking God. They say, I'm a good person. They say, I am seeking truth. They say that they're on a path that they're trying to discover. But these people are not true seekers. These people are not truly seeking the Lord. And what happens is when their prayers aren't answered, when their requests aren't given to them, it causes them to doubt a God that they didn't believe in in the first place.
"If you truly seek Me, you will find Me." Romans 3:10 says, "no one is good. No one in all the world. No one really understands. No one is seeking God. Everyone has turned away from God." And I find that in the church today, sadly this is one of the most wide-spread epidemics, one of the most widespread sins in the church today. What Jesus said of the Pharisees could describe many in the American church of 2015. "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."
Church, dead devotion is a living mockery. Dead devotion, a false devotion that you proclaim to have a relationship with Christ, you proclaim to live for Him, but the actions are dead, it's not there, you're not really seeking Him-- it's a mockery of Christ. It's a mockery of what He actually wants to do within your life. Some people go to church, but their hearts, which are to be the temple of God, are cold and empty. Some people carry their Bibles, but they're about as familiar with it as they are the manual for their car. Some people sing worship songs, and they'll say "10,000 reasons for my heart to sing." But when they really think about it, they can't find even one.
It's very possible to appear godly and yet never have a real relationship with Him. To the world, you might look like you've got it all together, but inside you might be just as lost as they are. But when a person is desperate, when a person is aware of their own radical need and comes humbly to Him, Jesus Christ will respond with open arms.
See, Jairus was a true seeker. Jairus believed that Jesus could heal and save his daughter's life. And so Jairus begs him to immediately go and lay hands on her. He has a faith in Jesus and he places himself, without reservation, in the Lord's hands. And this faith that Jairus has is especially significant because this is what blows my mind. As I said before, I can only dream and hope for a faith like this. The faith that Jairus has that Jesus can heal his daughter maintains and continues even after his daughter is dead. Man, I wish I could tell you this story and say that Jesus prayed with Jairus, that they had a good little prayer sesh, and then immediately his daughter was healed. That Jairus went home and had lunch with his daughter. But that's not how the story ends. It ends a little bit better, and I'll get to that in a second.
But from the surface, Jairus comes with a simple request. Lord, I've got a 12-year-old daughter. She's innocent. She's perfect. She's beautiful. If You could only see her, You'd understand. Now if You could just heal her-- I know You can. If you could just heal her-- he has a faith. And his daughter dies. And has a faith. His faith doesn't go away. His faith doesn't change. As a matter of fact, he says to Jesus, Jesus, if You can just come in and lay your hands upon her, if You can just come in and touch her, I know, I believe that You can still do something great.
Jesus experiences Jairus at his lowest. And at this point in His ministry, Jesus had never performed a resurrection miracle. He'd healed many life-threatening diseases. But no one had been brought back from the grave. Yet without hesitation, Jairus asked Jesus to raise his daughter from the dead. He literally says, come lay your hand on her, and she will live.
Do we have this kind of a faith in Jesus? When Jesus doesn't do it the way that you thought He would and you're on the other side of your calamity, looking at your calamity and saying, well, God, I really prayed that You were going to deliver me from this, but You didn't. You didn't deliver me from it. When we're on the other side of our issues, of our pain, do we still the same faith that brought us to Jesus in the first place? Or does that faith diminish? After his first request to heal her, Jairus does nothing but simply follow Jesus. He clings to Jesus. He accepts not only Jesus, but also His timing.
And this is where a lot of people have trouble with God. They grow impatient with Him. When are You going to open the door of ministry for me? When are You going to provide me with that husband or wife? How long are You going to let that person get away with that sin? How are You going to judge this world? When are You going to come back? And in our impatience, we sometimes take things into our own hands.
Like Jacob, who actually ended up making things worse, we get tired of waiting for God. But Jesus does not ask us for our understanding of His ways and timing. He just asks us for our trust. From Jairus, He got it. What about you? God's delays are not necessarily his denials. Sometimes He doesn't give us what we ask for because He wants to give us something far better at a later time.
I said the story doesn't end with a dead girl and a sad dad. The story ends with Jesus Christ performing an incredible miracle that He only did a few times. And instead of healing a sick girl, he raises a dead girl. Jesus takes something terrible and turns it into something incredible. Jesus takes the simple faith of Jairus, and He expands upon it. And He does something far greater than Jairus could have ever even dreamed or hoped for that morning when He got up and said he was going to go see Jesus. The point is that even though we can't see how the situation will end or why it has come upon us, we can know that it flows from the love of God and is controlled by it. Even after Jesus didn't do it the way Jairus thought He should, Jairus maintained a faith that Jesus has a plan.
When God doesn't do it the way you think He should, do you trust Him? Because the reason Jesus did this in their life, and sometimes in ours, is because He wanted to do something greater than our expectations. They wanted healing. God wanted to do better than that. He wanted a resurrection. Solomon wanted wisdom. God wanted to do better than that. The disciples wanted a lunch break. God wanted to do better than that. He wanted a feast. Moses wanted a way around the sea. God wanted to do better than that. He wanted to part a way through the sea. Sometimes what we ask God for isn't the wrong thing, but maybe we're not thinking big enough. I believe God's called us to have an audacious faith. God has called us to have a faith so big, so great, to do something so miraculous, that if he doesn't show up, it's going to be awkward. I believe that we should have a little bit more of an awkward life.
You know, when Moses put his staff in the Red Sea, if the sea wouldn't have parted, would have been an awkward situation. When Elijah was surrounded by a bunch of prophets of Baal and he called down fire from heaven, if that fire didn't come down, he's in an awkward situation. When Peter took that first step on the water, if he would have sunk right away, that would have been an awkward situation. When Jesus Christ proclaimed that He would die and three days later, He would rise again, if He wouldn't have risen, that would have been an awkward situation.
When's the last time you embraced an awkward situation? When's the last time you had an audacious faith, that you said, Lord, I'm going to put myself in this situation. And if you don't show up, if you don't show yourself powerful, if you don't work above and beyond my natural understanding to work in a supernatural way, then it's going to be awkward. And I'm going to embrace that, Lord. Because I believe that You are calling me out to deeper waters, to do greater things.
2 Kings chapter 4-- I'm going to close with this story-- illustrates this principle so well. I'm going to read it to you from the Message version because it illustrates it a little bit better. It says, "one day, the wife of a prophet called out to Elisha, your servant, my husband, is dead. You well know what a good man he was, devoted to God. And now the man to whom he was in debt is on his way to collect by taking my two children as slaves. Elisha said, I wonder how I can be of help. Tell me what do you have in your house? Nothing, she replied. Well, I do have a little bit of oil. Here's what you do, said Elisha. Go up and down this street and borrow jugs and bowls from all your neighbors-- and not just a few, but all that you can get. Then come home and lock the door behind you. You and your sons pour oil into each container. When each is full, set it aside. She did what he said. She locked the door behind her and her sons. And as they brought the containers to her, she filled them. When all the jugs and bowls were full, she said to one of her sons, another jug, please. And he said, that's it. There's no more jugs. And then the oil stopped."
Your objections are God's qualifications. He said, what do you have? She said, nothing. And He says, perfect. When God says, what do you have and you say nothing, He says, OK. Well, that little bit that you do have that you don't think you have-- that's perfect for Me that's exactly what I need. I need the little that you have so I can bring you much. I need the little bit of faith that you have so that I can expand it, so that I can grow it, so that I can do something within your life that you are not prepared for. She only had a little oil, but that was enough for God. You might only have a little faith, but that's enough for God.
Imagine what would have happened if she would have had more jugs? I love it. She went to the whole neighborhood and got all the jugs she could. And the oil flowed into the next jug and the next jug. Imagine if she would have gone to the neighboring cities, to the neighboring villages. Imagine if she would have gotten leaves and filled leaves with oil. Imagine if she would have gotten everything at her disposal. What do you think would have happened? Well, I think God would have kept pouring. I think God would have kept giving. See, when you stop bringing, God stops pouring. And I believe that when God makes us a promise, that promise extends as far as our faith goes.
Peter took as many steps as his faith would let him. The children of Israel took as much of the land as their faith would let them. Abraham bargained for the lives of as many people as his faith would let him. He kept coming back to God and saying well, Lord, would you spare the city for this many? God said, OK. OK, well will you spare for this man? Sure. Well, would you spare for this many? He kept pushing. He kept trying. I wonder if he would have gotten to a place where he would have said, God, will you just spare it for my kin, for Lot? I wonder what God would have said. But along the way, Abraham's faith only went so far. God's ability is always greater than your capacity.
And I said a second ago, to embrace awkward moments. See, I believe that you only feel crazy when you're preparing for a blessing of God. You never feel crazy when you're in it. I wonder how she felt when she was going from door to door asking for jugs? Hey, you have any jugs? Any bowls? Sure. But why? I'm going to fill them up. With what? With my jug of oil. OK. I wonder how Noah felt when he was preparing for that blessing of God to deliver him and his family. I wonder how Moses felt, what Moses thought when he went into the throne room of Pharaoh and made his demands. You only feel crazy when you're preparing for a move of God. But when you are in the midst of a move of God, when you can look back at what God has brought you through-- man, it's incredible. It's great.
So church, perhaps you have an army against you tonight. Perhaps like Jairus, you come. Someone you love deeply, someone you care for deeply is going through pain you never wanted them to go through. Maybe you're going through pain that you never wanted to go through. Maybe you're getting ready for a step of faith that seems insane, to take that step out on that water. Maybe God has brought you here tonight and Satan tried so hard to keep you from coming here tonight because God wants to use tonight to do something great within your life. What little you have, bring it to God. Let God do something with that.
I'm going to pray right now. And then, in a second, we're going to have all of the deacons and the pastors come up here to the front. And we would love to pray with you. Whatever you're going through in life, we want to go through it with you. So if you have a need, if you have a care, if you have a concern, we're going to allow you the opportunity, the time as we worship to come down and talk to a pastor so we can lay hands on you, so we can pray for you. We have anointing oil. If you want to be anointed with oil, we'd love to do that. If you want to bring you and your family together, and we can pray together, we'd love to do that.
And we're going to have a little bit of instrumental time to do that. And then we're going to continue singing. We're going to continue praising God. Because as we praise God through the pain, He reveals the promise. And so we're going to praise God in the midst of the pain. We're going to praise God in the midst of whatever is going on in your life. And even during that time for the next 30 minutes as we worship, as we pray, as we intercede on each other's behalf, we're going to leave this time open for you to worship however you see fit. If you want to get on your knees and worship God, do it. If you want to lay on your face, do it. If you want to find a corner of the room and just spend some personal alone time with God, do it. But let this moment and this time be all about you and Jesus. Like Jairus, come to Him. Humble yourself. Seek Him and you will find Him.
Lord, we thank You for this time and for this opportunity that we've had to worship You. And Lord, as our pastors and deacons come forward, God, I pray that You would, Lord, be present in these prayers. As we lift our hearts up to You, as we give You what little we have, we pray that You would do something great with it. I pray for every person in this room-- different stories, different trials, different struggles-- each one, Lord, has their own tale of what You've done, where You've brought them, what You're doing. But God, the story is not finished. And so, Lord, I pray right now over everybody in this room, I pray that You would speak to us, God. Lord, unite us as a church. God, I pray that You would bring healing. God, I pray that You would bring deliverance. Lord, I pray for relationships that are broken, that You would mend them. God, I pray that You would help us to have an audacious faith, to embrace those awkward moments, believing that You will show Yourself strong. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
What binds us together is devotion to worshiping our Heavenly Father, dedication to studying His word, and determination to proclaim our eternal hope in Jesus Christ. For more teachings from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig, visit calvaryabq.org.