Expanding Our Horizons – Part 7 Lawson and Aaron Perdue

Problems, many times, are evidence that God has called you to accomplish something. Just like someone said years ago, “Another level, another devil.”

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Expanding Our Horizons

God wants to take you further than you have possibly imagined! In order to do that, it’s essential to open your heart and receive revelation from the Holy Spirit. As you grow in wisdom and understanding, you will have a bigger picture of what God has in store. You have to see it with your spiritual eyes before you can go there! With Jesus, you have incredible purpose and your future keeps getting brighter and brighter!

Expanding Our Horizons Transcript

  Friends, welcome to the broadcast. I’m so glad that you’ve tuned in, glad that you’re with us. Today we’re talking about the process of receiving the promise. Yesterday we talked about the fact that you’ve got to believe to receive the promises of God. Today we’re gonna talk about how problems, many times, are evidence that God has called you to accomplish something. Just like someone said years ago, “Another level, another devil.” Blessings. Friends, I’m so glad that you’re with us. We’re talking about the process of receiving the promise. And in yesterday’s program, we talked about this. We talked about if we’re gonna receive the promise, we gotta believe it. And if you won’t believe what God said, you’re not gonna receive it. Isaiah chapter seven, verse nine says, “If you will not believe, surely you will not be established.” And so we are teaching this week from Joshua, chapter one, verse one through verse nine, where God basically reiterated a promise to Joshua that he’d given to the children of Israel, and he said, “Every place that the soles of your feet tread, well, I’m gonna give to you.” And that was in verse three. That was the promise that God made to Joshua. But then in verse four, we find out there were giants in the land. And you know, this is what a lot of people fail to realize, that if God has promised you something, it doesn’t mean that it’s automatic, and it doesn’t mean that there’s never gonna be any difficulties.


  And yesterday we also talked about that balance of grace and faith. And you mentioned that sometimes if you get too far on the grace side and you leave our response of faith out of it, you get into this sovereignty of God type mentality where God just controls everything. And if you have that mentality, and I know that’s actually very prevalent in the body of Christ where people just think God controls everything. You know, and even people have this saying, like, “Everything happens for a reason.” And that means that you think that God is controlling everything. I actually had a professor, you know, who’s not a believer, just asked me, when I became a pastor, she was here in Colorado and got to see, you know, what my life was like after I stepped in the ministry. I was able to buy a house and she got to visit the church. But she asked me some theological questions she’s probably wondered for decades, and she asked me, “Why do Christians always say, ‘Everything happens for a reason?'” I said, “Well, that’s actually un-scriptural. That’s not from the Bible.” And I, you know, basically a lot of Christians don’t let the Bible get in the way of their theology.


  That’s right.


  And God isn’t controlling everything. And sometimes when you have that mentality, when there is a problem, people think, “Well, this problem is from God.” God didn’t send those giants. He actually gave them the power and the ability to overcome those giants. So every giant, every problem you’re facing isn’t from God. Basically, if it’s coming to steal, kill, or destroy you, it’s not from God, it’s from the Devil.


  Here’s another thing, Aaron, just because you’re facing problems in trying to possess something that God’s promised you, does not mean that God hasn’t called you to possess it. And a lot of people that have this sovereignty of God, I believe God is a sovereign God, but I believe he sovereignly acts according to his word. But if you have that false mentality about that, you think a lot of times any problem comes, must be from God, and so I must have missed God. And that is not true. And I’ll give an instance. When we pastored in Kit Carson for years and years, we pastored there from 1988 to 2001, God allowed me to get in the cattle business. And that subsidized our pastoral income. And actually for the first, you know, number of years that we pastored here, 19 years that we pastored in Colorado Springs, we were in the cattle business too. And God used that and blessed us, and he used it to help our family, he used it to help you boys go to college, different things that God did with it. But when we were in Kit Carson, one time, I remember we had had a blizzard, and I think it was 1997 or 1998 when we had that blizzard. And I had this pastor friend from a traditional church, and I had lost a bunch of money, he said, “Well, you must have missed God in being in that business. God must not want you in that business.” And that was not true. But you know what I did? I believed God. And in this blizzard that we had, I think in October of 1997, it was on your brother Andrew’s birthday. You know what, I lost about a 100,000, but I just put my faith to work, and within a year, you know what, I got that $100,000 back. And then I made a few hundred thousand to go with it. You know, you don’t just give up and quit because you face a problem, because you face a giant, because it’s difficult. You know, many times the Bible actually says, in Mark, chapter four, “Immediately after, the word was sown in their heart.” The Devil, Satan came to steal the word in their heart. Sometimes problems come because you’ve stepped out and you’re believing God because the word’s been sown in your heart.


  And even the story of Joshua, you know, I love reading the book of Joshua because you just see that he was a great warrior and really trusted God and was a person of faith and just had a lot of victory. But just right after they crossed the Jordan River, I’ve been to the Jordan River, I actually was baptized in the Jordan River. I was baptized as a child, but then when I was, you know, a few years ago, went to Israel and got to see the Jordan River, right, you know, the spot where they think Jesus was baptized. And it’s probably the same spot that the Israelites crossed over. Right after they crossed over, they had to go to Jericho, and Jericho is actually historically famous for having these walls, the biggest walls that were just basically unconquerable. So they came right up, literally were right up at a brick wall, and, you know, God told them what to do. So they just faced a lot of difficulties. But Joshua always kept his hope in God’s promise, and kept his eyes on the promise, not just the problem, and was listening to God for specific instruction on how to deal with each problem that they encountered.




  And even, I know you, you mentioned the cattle business. I’ve heard this story from you as well. When you first started, the very first three cows you bought when you were a teenager, you know, one ran away, one got sick and died, and you just had one that made it. So some people would just keep their focus on the problems and say, “Well, this is God telling me,” God’s speaking to me through their problem. God doesn’t speak to you through problems. He speaks to you through promises.


  Yeah, and you gotta believe God, just like you’ve said over and over again, yesterday and today, you gotta focus on the promise rather than the problem. You know, God never told us, the scripture never tells us to talk to God about the mountain. It tells us to talk to the mountain about God, because if you focus on the mountain, right? Then the mountain becomes bigger. But if you focus on God, then God becomes bigger. It’s kinda like David and Goliath. When all the other children of Israel out there facing this giant, they were shaking in their boots. And David came and said, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” Because David had been out in the back 40, you know, worshiping God and taking care of these sheep. And his focus was on God. And when you put your focus on God, Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind has stayed upon you because he trusts in you.” Fix your mind on God, magnify God, make God big in your eyes. And then the problems will not seem so big. But if you focus on the problem, that thing can overwhelm ya.


  And you’re always 100% of the time better off believing the promises of God than not believing them.




  So whatever problem you’re facing, always know what the promise is and keep believing the promises. You’re always better off trusting God, believing the Bible, believing the promises, than turning away from them. And some of you might be facing a very difficult problem. And you know, you gotta be careful when you come to those problems. If you keep your focus on the problem, you know, some people actually turn and go the wrong direction. They’ll start walking away from the promises, walking away from really keeping their trust and their hope in God. But you’re always better off believing God, believing the promises, than not.


  Amen. You know, I love this scripture in Second Timothy, chapter one, verse seven. It says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” And what that’s talking about, Timothy had seen Paul imprisoned for preaching the gospel and was somewhat thinking about taking a step back from what God had called him to do. And when it says there that God has not given us a spirit of fear, it’s actually talking about intimidation. God does not want you to be intimidated by the Devil or terrorized by the Devil. The Devil is the original terrorist. But it says he’s given us a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a spirit of a sound mind. We’re to have a sound mind, one that is washed in the word of God, instructed in the word of God, taught in the word of God. And then Paul went on and told him, in verse eight, he says, “Don’t be ashamed of the gospel, Timothy, nor of me, his prisoner,” because God saved us and called us with the holy calling before the foundation of this world. Man, God is amazing. His knowledge is amazing. His wisdom is amazing. His plan is amazing. You know what? God’s plan for us is so good. If we’d ever just get a glimpse of how much God loved us and how good his plan is for us, we would be done serving the Devil. Praise God.


  And I love that you brought up that scripture, that God has not given us a spirit of fear. I remember a few months ago, I was actually sitting with you at our men’s ministry. We have a once a month men’s ministry where we have breakfast and a teaching, and you have time to chat with the people sitting next to you, but we’re sitting next to this gentleman who’s a really great believer, great man of God, great businessman, and he just was telling us he was dealing with a lot of fear. And I asked him, “Well, what are you listening to?” And he was actually listening to a minister that was just really pumping out a lot of fear. And I just said, “Hey, just stop listening to that,” ’cause God does not give you a spirit of fear. And if you’re dealing with all this anxiety, and fear and distress, he said it was impacting his health, like he was having blood pressure issues from it. So I said, “Just completely turn that off,” that, you know, “God is not giving you a spirit of fear.” This isn’t a God thing.


  You know, Jesus said, “Be careful for nothing.” Don’t worry about anything. You know, Paul talked about this in Philippians, chapter four. He says, you know, “Don’t worry, but focus on God. Don’t be anxious for anything.” But you know, keep your faith in God. Pray about everything. And when you pray, thank God. Look at the good, look for what God’s doing. But just like you say, if something that you’re feeding on, if you meditate on what, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, even some of the conservative news stations that I don’t watch, I watch very little of that stuff. A lot of people that they just pump out fear, some people in the ministry, it’s just based in fear. It is not based in the word of God. There is a lot of stuff that is preached that did not come from God. And if you wanna keep your peace, you gotta focus on God. You gotta focus on how good he is. You gotta focus on what God has for you. You gotta focus on who Jesus is. You gotta focus on the promise of God. And if you do that, again, the Bible says in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind has stayed upon you because he trusts in you.” You know, we’re gonna have a short break, but right after that, we’re gonna come back, and we’re gonna use an instance from the life of Jesus that will prove exactly what we’re saying to you. So stay tuned, we’ll be right back. Blessings. Friends, I’m so glad that you’ve been watching today. We’ve been sharing on expanding our horizons. We have multiple hours of this teaching in downloadable audio, downloadable video, and many others, free of charge on our website at CharisChristianCenter.com. So take advantage of these resources and be blessed. The word will produce freedom in your life. Psalm 1:38, verse two says, “I magnified my word above all of my name.” Thank God, his word is magnified. Praise God. When you honor the word, you honor God. When you honor the word, you honor Christ. You need to let the word of God be the absolute standard for truth. Praise God? Friends, I’m so glad that you stayed with us. We’ve been talking about just because you face problems in moving out into what you feel like God has promised you, or God has spoken to you, does not mean that it’s not God. In fact, we’re gonna use an example from the life of Jesus that immediately after Jesus spoke to his disciples and told them to do something, they faced a major storm. But because they believed him, they overcame that, and they possessed what God was saying. Amen, so Aaron, I ask you to begin to read in Matthew, chapter 14, we’re gonna be reading verse 22 to verse 26.


  So it says here, “Immediately, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Now, when evening came, he was alone there, but the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves for the wind was contrary. Now, in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went to them, walking on the sea, and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost,’ and they cried out for fear.”


  So Jesus had, you know, encouraged his disciples, these who were the closest to him, you know, to get in this ship, it says in the King James, or boat, it’s basically about what we would, a 30 foot kind of fishing boat. I’ve been in Israel and looked at these boats by the Sea of Galilee that they had in that time. And they were about 30 foot long, you know, probably, you know, eight foot wide. So they’re not a very big boat. And the Sea of Galilee is 13 miles long and eight miles wide. So it’s a pretty big lake, you know, basically. And you get in a 30 foot boat on a body of water that large and a windstorm comes down on there, and it’ll get your attention. I remember when I was a kid, I had a 16 foot flat bottom fishing boat, and I got out on Neenoshe, in Southeast Colorado. It’s about a two mile long lake, about a mile wide, and I wasn’t a hundred yards from shore and a big windstorm came up. And boy, it put the fear of God in me, so to speak. I mean, I had a life jacket on, but I got moving towards the shore. I couldn’t wait ’til I could just get off that lake, and I didn’t know how to swim very good then, like I know how now.


  I’ve heard stories of you just not walking on the water, but driving on the water. I’ve heard that you like to, in the winter, and you just take the car out on the ice. I guess the water was frozen, so it’s a little easier to walk on or drive on, but still, maybe not the smartest unless Jesus tells you to get out of the boat. But, you know-


  I actually took your mom out, shortly after we met, and drove on this lake that was in front of our house. This is about a mile long and a half mile wide, and you had to know where to get on it. And I lived by that lake. My granddad actually owned a part of the shore of that lake. And so you have to get on in the right place. And if you get on where there’s tamaracks or reeds, you’ll fall through. But it was in the winter and it’d been below zero, and there were, you know, I think there was probably a foot of ice. So a couple inches of ice will hold a car easily. And I knew that, but I drove mom and I’d spin, and this is, you know, we didn’t date that long. We don’t recommend this, and then we got married, we’ve had a good marriage. God’s blessed us and helped us. But, you know, mom thought, I wonder what I’m getting into, marrying this guy. But God is so good praise the Lord?


  She was probably a little troubled, like the disciples were troubled here. I love what Jesus says, as he was walking to them. He immediately spoke to them saying, “Be of good cheer, it is I, do not be afraid.” I love that. We say that God does not give you a spirit of fear. I love, you know, we talked about how if you’re listening to things, maybe it’s even a minister that’s just putting fear in you. Like we talked about this guy who comes to church here who was just dealing with a lot of fear, and it was even affecting his blood pressure. You know, the word always says, “Do not be afraid, do not be afraid.” It’s because God has not put fear on people.


  Amen. You know, God is not in the fear business. He’s in the faith business. And when you look at it in the scripture, fear and faith are polar opposites. You know, the Bible actually says this, it says, “Faith works by love,” in Galatians chapter five, verse six. And then it says, “Perfect love casts out all fear,” in First John, chapter four. So they’re polar opposites. And Jesus said, “Don’t worry, don’t fear,” saying, right? And so the spirit of fear is released through words, and the spirit of faith is released through words. The Bible says in Second Corinthians, chapter four, verse 13, that says, “We then, having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken.” We believe and therefore we speak. You know, when I spend very much time with a person, I can tell if they’re operating in fear or faith. I can tell if they’re really believing God or if they’re not. And the way that I can tell is by the words that come out of their mouth. You know, Jesus said, “By our words, we’d be justified. By our words, we’d be condemned.” And when these disciples were on the sea, Jesus encouraged them to get in this boat, and then went out to pray. And now a wind came down, they were completely obeying God. They were doing what God said, and they faced a major storm.


  That’s kind of interesting too. Jesus spoke to them immediately saying, “Be of good cheer, it is I, do not be afraid.” Peter answered him and said, this is kind of an interesting response, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” So he didn’t really give Jesus that many options. You know, there’s pretty much only one option in it. And you know, he said, “Come. If it’s you, Jesus, command me to come on the water.” And he said, “Come.” And when Peter came down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. That’s pretty cool.


  You know, a lot of people criticized Peter, you know, because when he began to walk on the water, he looked at the wind and the waves, he took his eyes off Jesus, and the scripture says, in another place, that he began to sink. And Jesus reached out and caught him. But when you think about this, when Jesus said, “Come,” there was enough power in his word for every one of the disciples to get out of that boat and walk on the water. Man, this means so much, I named my son Peter. Praise God? Peter was a great man of faith. Thank God he had enough guts to get out of that boat and move forward, even if he might have got in some trouble. But I wanna go back for a minute. In verse 24, after Jesus had spoken to the disciples and sent them away, he asked the disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side. Listen his word, if Jesus told you to go to the other side, there’s enough power and strength in his word to get you to the other side. But it says, “When the ship was now in the midst of the sea,” in verse 24, “tossed with the waves, the wind was contrary.” The path of obedience has contrary winds. And so this is what I want to get you to realize. Just because you obey God doesn’t mean that you’re not gonna face some giants. And just like immediately after God spoke to Joshua, in Joshua, chapter one, and said, “Listen, every place the sole of your feet will tread, I’m gonna give to you,” right in verse three, or “I have already given you.” Then in verse four, there were Hittites, there were giants in the way. There’s gonna be some giants. I love something that Joyce Meyer said years ago. She said, “Another level, another devil.” So rather than think just because you’re facing a problem that God maybe hasn’t called you, it could be that God hasn’t told you to do something, but sometimes it’s just evidence, probably more than not, that God has called you to do it. And there’s gonna be challenges. We’ve taken greater steps than we’ve ever taken to expand this ministry going forth, so on and so forth. And did you know what, we faced greater problems. Hallelujah.


  And some of these things that have scared you and have been kind of problems, God can turn it around and actually use it, you know, as you have faith to overcome it. He can use it as a memorial to inspire you to keep going further and further.




  And God will help you, you know, whatever difficulty, whatever thing might be causing just that problem, God will help you and meet you where you’re at and help you overcome it.




  You know, recently, I have a 3-year-old daughter, she just turned three, but we were visiting family, my wife’s family in Tennessee, and her stepdad got this little toy for my daughter, Ada, and it’s a little octopus that lights up, and buzzes, and swims in the water. And it kind of scared her, and he kept playing with it with her, and it kept scaring her, so anything that resembled like an octopus, so anything with tassels, like we had, you know, different decorations on our Christmas tree and some of them had these leather tassels. We had kinda a western theme, but they scared her, and she would say, “Scare me, scare me.” And I’d try to show her that this shouldn’t scare you, it’s not gonna hurt you, but just in her little mind, it scared her. But every day I try to help her overcome that fear. So I’d have these little tassels, and my wife, Heather told her, you know, “It’s not an octopus, it’s decoration.” So she started calling everything that had tassels, “A decorate.” So anything that was a decorate scared her. Anything that had tassels, but every day, I’d put like a sucker out with these tassel ornaments and just kind of helped her overcome her fear. But now she actually went back to the original octopus and plays with it and thinks it’s fun because it used to scare her, but now she knows, you know, it’s not a scare me.


  Praise God. And my dad loved me and helped me get over that fear. And now, what was bothering, you know, it’s actually become like a… I think she’s excited because she knows she’s a big girl and has victory over it, and it doesn’t scare her anymore.


  You know, these storms and these difficulties that we face and that we overcome and we believe God, they can become a testimony and they can become faith builders. I talked earlier in the broadcast about a storm that came. I believe it was in 1997 of October, and I lost $100,000 in the cattle business. Well, that wasn’t the last storm I faced in the cattle business. The winter of 2004, 2005, when you were a senior in high school, we had a major blizzard hit Lamar, Colorado. I had 2,500 cattle on feed there. And man, it was a mess. And I didn’t lose 100,000, I lost $250,000. But, you know, I found out in the Bible, if a thief be found, he’s gotta repay seven times. And I didn’t say, “Well, God, maybe it didn’t go…” Listen, I was believing God, I was speaking to the storm. I was doing everything that I knew to do. And thank God it didn’t last but a little bit, but it still, it caused me major damage. It took me months to figure out where I was. And it was the grace of God that I didn’t lose everything. But you know, if a thief be found, he has to repay seven times. So I believed God and I got that back seven times over. Took me years, but you know what? If you believe God, amen, you may face some challenges, but if you keep your faith in Jesus, you will overcome and you will win in this fight of faith.


  And God can take these tests that you’re facing and turn them into a testimony. And as you share your testimony of how God helped you overcome these different tests, these different trials, these different problems, it’s gonna inspire faith in other people.


  Amen, if you need prayer, I wanna encourage you to call us. But you know what, faith begins and ends with Jesus. And if you don’t know Jesus, pray this prayer with me. Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus Christ is your son. I believe he died on the cross for my sins. I believe that you raised him from the dead and made him Lord, and right now, I surrender to you in Jesus name.


  We set up the prayer team. This felt weird, I said, “Dennis, pray for me.”


  One of the ladies had taken his pulse when he first fell over, but there was no pulse.


  Pastor was listening to the Holy Spirit and he spoke with authority.


  Then he starts kind of rousing up. He’s been to his heart doctor, he’s been to several other doctors, nobody can find anything.


  As you grow in wisdom and understanding, you start to get a bigger picture of what God has in store. But you have to see it in your spiritual eyes before you can go there. With Jesus, you have incredible purpose and your future keeps getting brighter. We’d like to bless you with a digital copy of the teaching, “Expanding Our Horizons,” a $15 value, free of charge. Download it today at CharisChristianCenter.com.


  Friends, the scripture says, “If you will continue in the word of God, you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” If you go to our website at CharisChristianCenter.com, you can get all of our materials there on the website, as you watch ’em, as you listen, absolutely free of charge. And we’ve done that just to be a blessing to you. And I believe that the word that has freed me will free you. Blessings.


  Thanks for watching “Grace For Today.” This broadcast has been made possible by our faithful partners. If you would like to become a partner, need prayer, or have a question, please call us at 719-418-4000. Or to partner online, go to CharisChristianCenter.com/give. You can write us at PO Box 63733, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80962. See you next time on “Grace For Today.”

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