Drawn By The FATHER (part 1 of 2)
Well, praise Jesus today, everyone. It's a blessing to know our Father in heaven. It is written about Jesus, “His name shall be called wonderful Counsellor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of peace, and the government will be upon His shoulders”. That is the God we Father. I mean, that is the God that we follow, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And when we put our faith in Him, He leads us, and He develops our faith and He helps us grow. But when we choose to live for ourselves and put our trust in the arm of the flesh, then we don't grow. And there are many Christians who the Father has not drawn. Many are called, but few are chosen. And because a lot of Christians don't choose to go with Jesus. They abandon their faith and they abandon that calling. And because of this, they end up going their own way and falling away from the faith. And Jesus will never force them to follow His calling to go with Him. They eventually go off on their own and they perish. Remember that Jesus said, “Unless you also likewise repent, you will perish”. Well, many people, they just end up perishing because spiritually they die.
I want to read to you a bit from John chapter six, and then I want to share with you a bit of my personal testimony about this. So this is John chapter six, I’m starting in verse 41. 41The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
What I want to point out here is what Jesus says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him”. I know that some churches have made complete false doctrines off of this one verse. And they talk about predestination and all of that stuff. But the truth is unless you hear the Lord's calling and choose to go with Him, you're not going to grow in your faith. It doesn't matter if you were born in a Christian home; it doesn't matter if you read the bible a lot or if at one point you had faith, if the Lord isn't calling you, and if you're not hearing His calling and going with Him, then instead of growing in your faith, you're going to be dwindling. And a lot of Christians, they haven't grown in their faith in years, maybe ten, twenty, thirty decades.
I want to share with you a bit of my testimony about this. and I apologize for my allergies. There's pollen and it makes my eyes itchy and my nose run. But praise the Lord anyway that He has given us water this year. So when I was younger and first coming out of dead religion, coming out of church, I was convinced that because I was starting to have visions from Jesus, having dreams about Him. I was hearing the Holy Spirit. I was convinced that people would want to hear this and that it would be convincing, especially to the people that were closest to me that trusted me as a friend. And fifteen years ago, when the Lord was first starting to stir in me and the Lord was calling me out of church, I was convinced that when I left dead religion, when I came out of church, that at the very least, my best friend, maybe my roommate, my best man in my wedding or my own brother, these people who trusted me and have known me all my life, that they would at very least consider my testimony and to be convicting enough for them to repent.
And of course, we've all watched testimonies where a tribe leader or whoever it may be comes to Jesus has a vision of the Lord, and then he testifies about how the living God has changed Him, and then all of His friends or all of His tribe members all come to the Lord. So that was always in the back of my head. And I truly believed that at least those closest to me would also repent and come to the Lord. But what ended up happening when Jesus started giving me dreams and visions and I started telling others about this, they all turned on me. My grandfather, just in His words, He said, “you're caustic.” He didn't believe the Gospel. People that were my close friends in the church, they would not stand with me, with Jesus. They were ashamed of the gospel. They didn't want to go through the fire that I was going through, so they backed away from me as a friend. My grandma said about me, “You basically think that you're in Bible times that God still speaks to you like how He spoke to Abraham and the people in the bible, but we’re not in bible times.” That was her message to me. Other people in my family basically just thought that I was angry and that's why I was leaving the church, saying “he seems like a very angry young man”. So I had all of these judgment calls from my friends. But long story short, none of them were changed because of my testimony. None of them were drawn to God.
And, guys, at this point in my life, I’ve lost my pride of thinking that because of my wonderful testimony, anyone will repent. If the Lord is drawing you, you will repent and follow Him because you hear His calling and you're hearkening to it. But if the Lord is not drawing you, no amount of men's persuasive words, or their wonderful testimonies, or their prophecies or their visions of the Lord are going to compel you to repent. It just will never happen. To put it in perspective, as far as I know, the thousand people that I knew from my former life when I was in dead religion in church, none of them that I know of have repented because of my testimony. That is very sad. None of them were drawn by God. All of them backed away. And it became something that no one wanted to talk about because I was a sore subject in the church. Unless you are drawn by God, you will not repent, you will not change, you will not become born again and a new man or a new woman. And so, knowing this, we can pray for our lost family members, but we shouldn't have the pride in our heart thinking because I’ve had these wonderful experiences, because I’m such a strong Christian, I can twist their arm into the faith. No amount of effort on our parts is going to draw someone to the Lord. It has to be done by Jesus Christ Himself.
Drawn By The FATHER (part 2 of 2)
So why am I saying this? Am I saying this to discourage you? Of course not. But to put the emphasis on prayer, not in the arm of the flesh, not how we can by our personalities or by a wonderful testimony or by our intellect cause a family member or make a family member change or repent. We just cannot do that, guys. But we can pray for those if the Holy Spirit leads us to pray for. And then we can follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. And when He calls us to pray for a certain person and talk to a certain person that He is drawing. Then we put our focus there on encouraging that family member of the family of God to repent. But I think a lot of Christians, baby Christians are convinced that because they heard God's voice, they're going to go out and they're going to make all their family members repent. And it's just not going to happen, because unless the Father is drawing you, you're not going to change. It doesn't matter how many men are. Now the Father uses people to draw us. He works through people. So pray for your family, speak the truth to them as the Holy Spirit leads you. But don't think that by the arm of the flesh you're going to cause anybody to change. It's amazing how we can have such an epic and wonderful and awesome testimony of Jesus. But that testimony is for our eyes to see, for our eyes to hear, and it's for us to be changed. And just because we’re changed doesn't mean that it is real to anyone else.
In fact, I think to most people, we as Christians just seen as lunatics. It's all in our mind. I was told when I was coming out of church and coming to Jesus that I should probably go see a doctor, I should go see someone that casts out a demon, because people thought that I was demon-possessed because my life changed so much for Jesus. So they thought they were going to cast a demon out of me. Or possibly, maybe I got sick or hit my head and now I’m out of my mind and I should go see a doctor to make sure I’m right in my mental health. This is not uncommon for any brother or sister in the Lord who really comes to Jesus. They change dramatically. But the world's interpretation of it, even the Christian church's interpretation of it, is “We need to fix them with a doctor. They shouldn't be talking about Jesus so much. We should cast a demon out of them.” And remember that they said the same thing about Jesus. They wanted to fix Jesus up the right way, because He was casting out demons by the prince of demons Beelzebub, He was demon-possessed, He was out of His mind, He was a sinner. If they said that about Jesus, and if we are following in the footsteps of Jesus, they will also say that about us, because a servant is not greater than His master.
It is a blessing, guys, to feel the resistance of Satan. Because Jesus is resisting Satan. The false churches don't feel that resistance, and the false Christians don't feel the resistance from Satan because they are right where Satan wants them. They are lukewarm. And they are loving their lukewarm lifestyle. They enjoy dead religion. They enjoy listening to their preachers because they have itching ears. They love going to bible studies and studying the scripture because they can manipulate and control the scriptures. They love just the whole entire church culture because they feel it is safe and comfortable. But they are not following the drawing of God. If you feel the drawing of God today, if you're being drawn to repent to holiness, to be separate from dead religion, then I encourage you to pray and seek the Lord with all your heart. Do be a light to the world. Jesus says “You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” So be a light to your family, be a light to your friends. We shouldn't just shut up and be quiet and not talk to people. But we should understand that it's not by our own efforts or by our own flesh that people repent and come into the truth.
Christian churches for years have had debates, they have tried to speak persuasively and had all of these events in their church to try to make people Christians, but they don't understand that unless God is calling someone, they are not going to repent. And most people that are not repenting are the ones in the church. They are Christians. They are people that believe in the bible, and they're the ones that haven't hearkened to the calling of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it's very ironic because they're the ones saying, “Oh, we believe in predestination and we're Calvinists.” The ironic thing is they're the ones that haven't heard the calling. They go around saying “you're either chosen, or you're not chosen”. And of course, they believe that they are the ones that have heard the calling, and they are the ones that are predestined for heaven, where everyone else is predestined for hell. But the irony here is they are the ones that haven't heard the calling. They haven't been drawn by God. It is a mystery who God is choosing and who God is allowing to have ears to hear and eyes to see. Most of the time, it's someone that is very unexpected. He is calling people of every walk of life to repent and to follow Him. But often it is not who you think. It is not the good Christians who seem like they have good morals. He calls people of every different walk of life and people are repenting. And it is a blessing to see people added to the number of the body of Christ.
So I want to pray right now for those who do feel the drawing of the Holy Spirit, and who do want to come out of the world, who want to come out of addiction and sin, all the temptations of the world, and of course, also out of dead religion. “Lord Jesus, I pray for those who have an ear to hear who you are calling. I pray that they will put their faith in you and that nothing will stop them, that family members will not stop them from coming out and being separate, that other Christians will not persuade them to go the wrong way, that no family member, no mom or dad or brother or sister or grandpa or grandma will convince them to go the wrong way, but that they may put their faith in you, Lord Jesus, that you would be their one and only teacher, and that they would develop in their faith with you because your Holy Spirit is in them. I pray for your true church to be born again, that they would be born again and truly come into the newness of life, and partake in communion with you, where they eat your flesh and drink your blood and have the words of life in their heart forever. So, I pray this, Lord Jesus, for the true body of Christ and those who you are drawing. In Your name I pray, Lord Jesus. Amen.”