Sunday Morning – 7 Oct 2018 10:44:28 am – Pastor James Yang
““The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.””
Numbers 6:24-27 NKJV
There are many people in the world but there aren’t many who are connected to the heart of the Lord. If your heart is connected to the Lord, you will never be bothered by the affairs and things of the world.
God said to Moses to deliver His people from Egypt by going and talking with Pharaoh. For Moses, speaking to Pharaoh was very very burdensome for him. Moses asked God to send someone else who was fitting for the job. So he complained to God. God then questioned who made his mouth. Then God asked Moses to send Aaron his brother.
As I read this, I felt that God already knew about the limitations of Moses and so He has already prepared Aaron.
When God says “Go”, then everything is already prepared in that Word alone.
Problem is that many of our hearts are not connected to God.
“So the LORD said to Moses: “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.”
Exodus 7:1 NKJV
God does not really care about the human affairs. But God leads us to the state where we do not get bothered by the circumstances.
God has prepared huge piles of things for us and wants to give to us. However, not many people can receive the heart of God.
World War 1 (WWI) started from Germany under the regime of Hitler. He began to invade all the countries around. He was approaching the Soviet Union and Stalin was the leader back then. Stalin was able to reduce of the width of the railway tracks such that it was 10 cm narrower. In this way, they tried to prevent Hitler from coming into the country. In a very similar manner, God has prepared a lot of things for us but in our heart, our hearts are so narrow that we cannot receive the things and Word from God.
One day I preached in Papua New Guinea about how Jesus washed away our sins. At the end, I confirmed with them – “All our sins have been passed over to Jesus.” However, one pastor did not believe me. He said that we are not justified because we are all still committing sins on a daily basis. He said that what I preached was very dangerous.
The other day, I received an email from a pastor who complained a lot about pastor Park’s message. I saw that he had written about 9 pages full of complaints. I felt a lot of pity for him.
Basically, God has prepared a lot of grace for all of us. However, this pastor was not able to receive these things just as Stalin’s tracks were narrower than the German’s. So such people always use their thoughts and so on.
Fact is, God’s blessings towards us is so unconditional. He does not care whether we are good or bad. He does not care about the circumstances that we are at.
For instance, if you are an alcoholic, does this prevent God’s perfection towards you? What if you smoke excessively? Yes, it is still possible.
Responding to the Word is what spiritual life is about. Problem is that most of us do not care about the Word but our thoughts.
If you can cut down your thoughts, then you can receive the Word of God as it is.
For instance, I ask a lot of people whether they are perfect or not but they are unable to say because of their own thoughts.
“as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.”
II Corinthians 6:9-13 NKJV
When the bible says to open your heart, it means you have to put aside your works and your deeds and your thoughts. In this way, you heart can be truly open. This way, nothing can stop the Words of God and the things of God coming into your heart.
There was the man who had an infirmity for 38 years (M38). He was so disabled that eventually he lost his family and so he was abandoned. I am sure the family may have been a good family.
The Korean proverb says that there is no good son if the parent is sick too long. When the parents are sick, as the children care for the parents, and as the length of the disease is so extended, the children begin to fight as they have work and things to do. This is how conflicts occur and go from bad to worse.
As M38 was abandoned, a change came upon his heart. He had no hope whatsoever in himself nor in his family. He had only death awaiting to consume him.
However, in God, this stage of life is the best state. Only in this state Jesus can work for us. In this state, Jesus asked him if he wanted to be made well. Then Jesus told him to take up his bed and walk. And he immediately did so and rose up, took up his bed and walked.
After all M38’s expectations were over, then only could he receive the Words of Jesus as it was.
In order for us to receive the Words of God, our thoughts must be eliminated. Our hearts have been narrowed down as well just like the reduced width of the railway tracks.
This is the reason why Apostle Paul was telling the Corinthians to open their hearts.
A sister came to me and told me that she was always backbite by people. I told her that it’s not to worry and in fact, it’s a great thing – If you understand the world of the heart, it’s a great thing.
“Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! The LORD has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!” Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!” But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ” And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the LORD has ordered him. It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust.”
II Samuel 16:5-13 NKJV
Shimei was cursing and kicked up dust towards David. Abishai wanted to kill Shimei, but David said “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ”
One day, after I finished work and came home, my six year old son then asked me to wrestle against him. Obviously, I acted as if I was the weaker opponent and so let him defeat me. My son was so happy that he won and he showed off to his mother. He was happy and so was I. His heart became exalted. He became stiff necked. I played the game again and let him win. He was over the moon. He thought lesser of me and began to think that I was not a worthy opponent.
It so happened that a few days later my wife took my son to the childcare as they had the sisters’ meeting there. Also that day it was a public holiday and there were many children. So my son challenged a 11 year old. He was obviously beaten up and he was defeated. He was so upset and cried when he came home. As I returned from work, I saw how upset he was. After I found out what happened, I decided that he should finally be taught a lesson of truth. If I do not teach him, then he would be disabled in his heart. So I picked up him, chucked him down on the bed and placed my foot so as to overpower him. From then on, he came to the knowledge and truth that he was indeed weak. Since then, he played well and got along well with the other children.
When Jesus told M38 to rise, take up the bed and walk, Jesus really wanted to endow wisdom and power to him. It took him 38 years to receive this. However from God’s end, everything was already endowed.
For Corinthians, everything was already endowed. That’s why Paul asked them to open their hearts.
Few years ago, we had the ministers’ meeting when I was in Korea for the world camp. As soon as pastor Park opened the door, he said to us “The earth cannot generate energy on its own”. As I heard it it was indeed so true. The earth represents me. I cannot do it. I cannot do anything on and of my own.
Pastor Park also fellowshipped with us that he was nothing to change people through fellowship. Pastor Park was someone who preached the gospel to people like presidents of various countries.
As I saw this, the secret of the mystery was made known to me. When you stay in the position of the incapable person, that is when your heart can be opened.
The teaching of the world and the teaching of church is so different. The world rewards you for being capable. It teaches you to trust yourself. Consider your CV – do you write something that you are proud of or something that you are incapable of? The former is the heart to protect yourself. With the heart to protect yourself it becomes the fountain of all problems in your life.
When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, their eyes opened and began to look at themselves and began to provide for themselves.
If you have the heart to do something for yourself, then you cannot connect to the Lord. This is the heart to protect yourself just as how Stalin wanted to protect Russia so he narrowed the width of the railway tracks. When your heart narrows down, you cannot receive the Words of God.
In missionary school, I learnt this – “Everything you need, ask of God and never ask people” — this was the beginning and end of the training.
In missionary school, we had to pay support fees on a monthly basis.
The pastor who saw me admitted into the missionary school said to me to not try to bring so many clothes. I had only a coat for the fall season and when winter came, it was so so cold. So I layered up three and four layers. I could not ask people for a warm jacket.
One day, we had to go to a person’s house and we preached the gospel there. They heard it and they were so inspired and after that they gave me money. I really needed a winter jumper that time. I prayed to God for a jumper. The person who gave me told me that I should buy something I need with the money.
So I bought a jumper for myself and shirts for my children. So we survived winter like that.
My wife likes bread. I wanted to buy for her as she wanted to eat bread. But I did not have any money since I was a missionary school student.
As we walked during witnessing time, I saw a $10 note flying around. I got it and thought to buy bread for my wife. I told her so. She liked bread and then she said this amazing word – “I do like bread. I prayed to God for the bread. So it is as good as God has given me the bread already. Let’s offer this to the church instead”. As I heard it, I thought it was an angel speaking. 🙂
We are really fleshful people. But as God helps us, we are so amazed.
Have you ever heard someone back-biting you? If so, then this is the time God wants to bless you. Don’t need to take revenge upon those people, because that is God’s business. In fact, the more they back-bite you the more you will receive blessings. Don’t you like blessings? If you like blessings, then you have to hear the curses.
If you always want to hear good things, then you will only perish.
One day pastor Lee Hyun Mok built a grand church in Masan. He was so satisfied and his relatives and family checked it out and thought so too. Then when pastor Park came, pastor Park asked pastor Lee whether he was happy about the church and he asked whether his family had complimented him and whether he was satisfied. He said yes to all these questions. From then on, pastor Park rebuked him and said to him that this was his fall and corruption.
Folks, don’t you like to hear good things and nice compliments? You only want to hear such things, right? What is someone tells you that your child is ugly? What is some sister comes to you and tells you off? How would you feel?
In the church, we do not compliment. If you want to be complimented here, you are in the wrong place. Please go to the worldly church.
In the church, your heart can be trained. For instance, when the short term missionaries comes, they begin to be trained in the heart. For instance, my wife has to yell and rebuke them. By the end of the term, they develop so much in the heart.
When we rebuke by faith, the heart of the receiver develops in a very healthy way.
Apostle Paul always wanted to establish Jesus in the hearts of people. The Corinthians were so caught up by the thoughts and they were so restricted.
As I travel to the Pacific Islands, I feel their hearts are so precious. Their eyes are so pure and so focused and listened to the Words so well. One of the missionaries said to me that he does not want to return to Australia but just preach the gospel there in Tonga.
When you put your heart down, the unrestricted work of God will manifest through you.
One day I was building a chapel in Muchangpo church in Korea. Pastor Park came and preached the Word. He said “If God establishes, no one can crumble it down. If God crumbles down, no one can establish it”.
So I felt strongly that all is in the hands of God and not in my hands. If you exclude yourself in spiritual life then Jesus can work strongly!
““The LORD bless you and keep you;”
Numbers 6:24 NKJV
This is the will of God.
One day there was a leprous man and he asked “Lord, if you are willing, please heal me” and Jesus who was willing, cleansed him.
“The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;”
Numbers 6:25 NKJV
Who can receive grace? The ones who are pitiful. We are who are pitiful. In fact, all humans are pitiful. But many cannot see it. For this reason, the work of Jesus cannot be upon us.
Those who receive the grace can receive salvation.
Please do not try to be outstanding. Please remain as the evil one so you can receive grace.
“The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’”
Numbers 6:26 NKJV
When you are connected to God, then you can receive this peace. For instance, you may have cancer and if you are connected to the heart of God, you can be cured. No matter what the problem, as long as you are connected, then your problems can be gone.
For M38, the power of Jesus transferred to him. In the same way, God wants to connect in the same manner. How does this happen? When we become and remain as evil, filthy and dirty people.
“Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
II Corinthians 12:5, 9-10 NKJV
When you come to our church, you continually find yourself weak. You may say that you are continually hear the same things over and over again, but if you truly become evil and weak in the heart then you can hear the Words of God so that His blessings be upon you. Then His grace will lead you continually.