Sunday, July 29, 2019

Part 1: The Great Escape

Pastor Troy Brewer, OpenDoor Church, Burleson, TX

God has given you dominion

1 Corinthians 10:11-13 – Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

It can be said the message of the Old Testament is come:

Adam where are you?   Come to Me…

Matthew 28:19 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…

Mark 16:15 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

What are the first 2 letters of the Gospel? GO!

Psalm 126:6 – He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Nothing happens until we go!

You must be set free to go!

The Hebrew word we translate into three English words “Come to me” is in the Bible 2,106 times.

Acts 5:20 – Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.

Jesus said it, and Jesus did it!

Mark 1:38 – And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

Mark 5:19 [Jesus cast demon out of man…] – Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

Matthew 13:3 – And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow...

Let’s went! Many used to be in the habit of witnessing, but your get up and go done got up and went!

This old coot is a man by the name of Forrest Tucker. He was a career criminal and was even robbing banks in the 70s.  Known as the “Gentleman Bandit” because he was polite while he threatened your life and robbed you, Tucker stole more than four million dollars from banks through his career.  He dies in 2004 at the age of 83 right here in Forth Worth, Texas. While that’s a big deal, I’m going to tell you something about this man that’s a much bigger deal: He was an escape artist. He escaped from prison. Not once. Not twice, but a total of 18 times

including Alcatraz and San Quentin.

We have to confront the parts of us that crave a cage!

  • Any lie we believe about ourselves can gain the power to keep us in bondage and rob us of hope. It can become a tyrant that oppresses and restrains us.
  • So, how can we resist and overcome such influences when they take root in our lives? Remember the words of Jesus:

John 8:32 – “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

What’s true is what’s real and on-target with what God says.

As a matter of fact, God doesn’t do things — He embodies them.

We live; He is life. We love; He is love. We think; He is knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. We dream; He is the fulfillment of every dream, even ones we are not yet capable of conceiving. He is the One whose power and guidance is what we need to walk unencumbered and free.

Isaiah 55:9 – “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

What freedom do you seek? Is it freedom from addiction? Freedom from financial worry? Freedom from anxiety and fear? Freedom from relationship problems? Freedom from violence and oppression? Freedom from judgement and hate – either self-imposed or from others?

Jesus’ ministry echoes and fulfills the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17). We hear proclaimed and see demonstrated the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25) when God instructed the people to release their neighbors from the bonds of oppression imposed by generational poverty – regardless of what caused that poverty. Jesus set people free from disease and disorder – regardless of what caused these problems. Jesus set people free from guilt and shame – regardless of the circumstances or complicity of their sin and brokenness.

Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…”

We need to find ourselves doing a fearless moral inventory. This inventory causes us to look at our entire life, including people, incidents, and whatever triggers emotions. Then we have to share our story with one another.

“The practice of confession, repentance, and forgiveness is huge in learning to be an escape artist.”

If you’re unsure of your dream:

1. Think about who your dream serves. Who is your neighbor your dream will serve? How is the world a better place because your dream is realized.

2. Ask what actions cause you to lean into God because you know you can’t do them on your own.

3. Trust your Father and partner with Him. This means spending time in God’s Word.   How can you be in God’s Word today? How can you wrap your head around who He is to you in this new endeavor you’re going after? Who are you to Him?

4. If a dream keeps burning inside you, keep turning it back to God. Talk to God about it. Have an ongoing narrative with the Lord. Delight yourself in Him and He will guide your steps.

  • Psalms 37:4 – Also delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5. Take baby steps then giant steps. Just go! Remember, there is no finish line.