Thursday, November 28, 2013

The HUB 2013 | Battle for the first fruits - Steve Oliver

 This message was preached at the HUB conference 2013 in Dubai which is the annual Regions Beyond  ( led by Steve Oliver) family of churches gathering . This message was preached by Steve Oliver.
to listen/download to the mp3 audio please click here.

Welcome to the HUB. This is preparation time not only for the months ahead but for the years ahead.

In the last two years God has been preparing Regions Beyond and our sphere of influence has been spreading.

Is  55  Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”

This has begun to happen as the family is forming.  For what’s been formed it’s time to give birth to.

1Sam 29:11 – Ch 30
One and a half year we have gathered people looking into RB. We are living in significant times and don’t want to miss the moment. God has trusted us with so much. We have a great responsibility. We have fought hard for right theological understanding and values. Let’s not lag behind. It is also time for great humility and sensitivity which are crucial for our success.

It’s time to win some of our battles. We need to take our own ground as some others have taken.

This story is about a battle for the first fruits
David because of bad choices found himself in a difficult place and it almost derailed him. It’s working through difficult situations that he finds his strength with God and finds his way back to God and finds great breakthrough.

There are lessons for us to learn as well. We are setting the course and the ramifications are significant.

In 1992 I heard about the nations an stepped forward. The rest is history.
There will be battles in the establishing and the building of the apostolic sphere. There will be hardships and the enemy will not give ground willingly. We will need to be bold and courageous. We see that God comes to the rescue.

David finally returned to his family and they see smoke rising. – no family, only destruction. We see Jesus praying for us in Jn 17 and in the Lord’s Prayer – “deliver us from evil”.

 Dave Devenish. “It’s a biblical pattern- entrance into new areas will often be costly” Mysterious sickness, depression, converts turning on their faith, opposition, extended family pressure, visa issues etc. We need to engage in frequent and continuous prayer because we are coming face to face with opposition. We need to be prepared for this We are all being released into the purposes of God.

2. Verse 6 David was greatly distressed because the men wanted to stone him”
David required robust leadership. The blame games started and he is under pressure. We all need to step up in robust leadership.
In this David seeks God and then he has to go back to them and talk to them. Imagine how he did this. Leadership can be taught. There is an impartation for this. Moving from a local church to a vision for the nations takes robust leadership.

3. David turns to the source of his success. He finds his strength in God. M. Eaton calls this “A moment of spiritual restoration “He hears the voice of God again. The greatest thing is we can do as a church together is to hear God together. Let us never drift away from this.

4. David has faith in his God given community. i.e David’s community had grown . In this time of pressure they are now a “stoning bunch”. In 1 Sam 20:2 in the cave they were a “discontented bunch”
David never blamed his people. We need to find fresh faith- that we value every one God gives us.

1 Cor. 12:22 The eye cannot say to the hand….
David understood this. God loves to show his glory through the unschooled and those who “ are not”. This is what we are about and what counts : We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
David did not turn on his people. Let this mark our lives.

5. David enjoyed divine intervention. In the battle for the first fruits this is key. Look to God to break in on our behalf
You need God stories – to break in. We cannot take on all that God has called us to if we are only going to be pragmatic and organizational. We need to allow god to break through. We need to be a people of the Spirit and hear God.

6. For David faith is not in the size of his army but in His God.
Circumstances allow David to develop values. Some will go ahead, some will stay behind. But whatever we do, we do together. We will know times like this when values will develop in us. It developed/shape a value in David which became a lasting ordinance. Ch30:24-25  The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.”25 David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.

7. David modeled a generous “I am here for your success” leadership style.
This could have been his moment but what was not on his mind. It was God’s people and not his own success.
If we don’t do things God’s way we who will hear what we have to say?
David takes the plunder from town to town.
Stephen Van Rhyn  reminded us at the last TOAM that the new phase has to be about generosity. It is easy for us to hoard our success.
Let’s always be a generous people and be mindful of what’s happening the world over.

Let’s battle for the first fruits together.

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