John 10:18 He chose to lay down His life for us
     

These are notes on the sermon, Healed And Whole By His Resurrection Life, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 17 April 2022, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

  1. Introduction: God gave His only Son to save us from sin and death
  2. The Lord Jesus is with you wherever you go—His power is not limited by time or space
  3. Your heavenly Father wants to heal you and your loved ones
  4. Let God’s perfect love cast out every fear in your heart
  5. Live in the present and experience God’s daily supply of grace for every need
  6. Jesus has defeated death and put away all judgment for your sins at the cross
  7. Believe in the truth of Jesus’ perfect work and walk in His resurrection power
  8. Salvation Prayer
  9. Closing Prayer
  10. OWN THE WORD (life application)

Introduction: God gave His only Son to save us from sin and death

Pastor Prince opens the service by leading the congregation in a time of worship.

Today, we celebrate Resurrection Day! Resurrection is the greatest power.

Once, death was the greatest power. In the beginning, man made a choice to sin and had to suffer the consequence, which was death. Adam’s sin allowed death to be the greatest power on earth.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
—Romans 6:23 NKJV

However, God never wanted death to reign over His children. That is why God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and suffer the consequence of death on our behalf. At the cross, Jesus defeated death once and for all.

Down through the corridors of time, death came marching for man. But finally, there came a Man, Jesus Christ, marching after death to destroy it. That’s why we celebrate Resurrection Day.

Jesus’ resurrection transcends death! It is now the greatest power in the whole universe.

The Lord Jesus is with you wherever you go—His power is not limited by time or space

Resurrection power has this quality: it transcends time and space. It does not come and go like a physical presence.

Today, Jesus in His resurrected form is no longer confined by the natural laws of time and space. He is with us in our hearts. It is just a matter of us having eyes to see Him or not. When we behold Him with our spiritual eyes, He appears.

Some of us may be envious of the people who were able to touch and see Jesus in the flesh when He was a man walking on earth. But they had to physically travel to see Him and ask for miracles because He was limited by time and space.

But today, He is right where you are! And He comes not to spectate but to impart, to supply, to provide, to heal, to deliver. This is the nature of love, and His heart is full of love for you. Allow Him to give to you whatever He has in His heart for you.

Beloved, God’s heart is to bless you with every good thing, so be in the posture to receive.

Your heavenly Father wants to heal you and your loved ones

Jesus came to refresh, restore, and heal. Pastor Prince leads the church in a moment of worship and prays for healing over everyone listening. As Jesus is no longer bound by time or space, we can receive healing and restoration no matter when or where we are tuning in. Furthermore, we can ask for healing for those who are not with us physically.

Pastor Prince shares a testimony of a sister in Christ being completely healed of cancer of the brain after two years.

During the sermon, Pastor Prince calls out from the congregation testimonies of healing that happened during worship. Some of these testimonies include precious brothers and sisters in Christ who were completely delivered from back, leg, stomach and neck pains.

We do not have to wait for a pastor to pray for healing for us or our loved ones. At any time, Jesus can give you a healing touch. Believe it. Be conscious that whenever you spend time with Jesus, you’re spending time with the Healer.

Notice that when Jesus resurrected Jairus’ daughter and the son of the widow of Nain, He always returned the children to their parents even though He had a claim on their lives. It is up to us as parents to return our children to Jesus, to consecrate and commit our children to Him.

Jesus never puts a price on healing. When Jesus heals, He does it freely.

We are coming to a God with perfect love and absolute goodness.

By man came death. So God sent His Son as a man, and from this Man came the resurrection from the dead.

Let God’s perfect love cast out every fear in your heart

In an increasingly dangerous world with strife and wars, we can take heart in knowing that what is happening in today’s world is what the Bible says will happen before Jesus returns to earth. Until then, Jesus is our refuge and we can come to Him anytime.

Come to Him with your fears, whether it is fear of the future, fear for your children, fear over symptoms in your body, fear of not having enough, fear of growing old, or fear of death.

This Resurrection service is to commemorate that Jesus rose from the dead, transcending every limitation known to man—especially death. He conquered death. Resurrection is greater than death, and so it is greater than the things that are lesser than death like depression, disease, and all kinds of fears that torment man.

We can trust Jesus and make Him our refuge by simply telling Him, “You are my refuge. You are my hiding place.”

As we continue to behold His love for us through worship, the Lord will remove the fears in our lives.

“You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You
I will trust in You
Let the weak say
I am strong
In the strength of the Lord”
—Selah

Pastor Prince leads the church into a time of worship again.

Receive peace from the Lord. He is imparting it to you.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
—John 14:27 NKJV

You receive His peace by choosing to “let not your heart be troubled.” No one can “let not” for you; it is your part to let not your heart be troubled.

Live in the present and experience God’s daily supply of grace for every need

Whatever worries about tomorrow you may have, remember that Jesus supplies to you what you need daily (Matt. 6:11)—not weekly or monthly. When the day comes, the provision for that day will be there.

God is a present God, a right-now God. He is our very present help.

So don’t live in the future by worrying. God is the I AM (present tense). If you want to be where God is, to be in the realm where all things are possible and provisions and healing are flowing, stay in the present.

Don’t live in the future or stay in the past. For your peace of mind, live now.

Today is Resurrection Day! Resurrection power transcends time and space.

In the Gospels, there are three accounts of Jesus raising the dead—Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter who died while Jesus was on His way to heal her, the widow of Nain’s son who had died a few hours before Jesus arrived, and Lazarus who had been dead for four days before Jesus came to resurrect him.

The raising of Lazarus from the dead after he had been in the tomb for four days was indisputable proof of Jesus’ supernatural miracle of resurrection.

Jesus was at Bethabara at the Jordan River when He first heard the news that Lazarus was sick (Bethabara is the place where the children of Israel in the Old Testament crossed over the river into the promised land, with the ark of the covenant going before them). When Jesus heard the news, He did something seemingly strange—He waited two more days before heading to Bethany where Lazarus was.

It was only after Lazarus had been dead for four days that Jesus came on the scene.

“Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
— John 11:21–23 NKJV

If you saw a Man who spoke to the dead and the dead came alive, who spoke to demons and the demons were cast out, who spoke to diseases and the diseases fled, who spoke to storms and the storms bowed down—what do you think would happen if this Man were to confront death itself?

Naturally, it is impossible to defeat death. But Jesus did it. He came down to redeem us from death once and for all. Contrary to how the media portrays the crucifixion of Christ, when Jesus hung on the cross, He did not say, “Finished!” in defeat but He said it triumphantly with a loud voice. God was glorified and man was redeemed!

“Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”
— John 11:21–25 NKJV

“Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. . . . I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” — When Lazarus died, Martha believed that Jesus could have saved her brother if He had come earlier, but since Jesus was “late,” she believed that Lazarus would rise again on the last day. She was unaware of the extent of Jesus’ power and limited Jesus to the past and the future.

I am the resurrection and the life.” — When Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” He meant it in the present. The “last day” or the future is inconsequential when Jesus is right now present before you. He IS, at this very moment, the resurrection and the life.

Don’t worry about the future or the past. That is not where God is. He is in the present. If you keep living in the future or the past, you will only get more worried and depressed because there is no favor there. Favor is in the present, where God is. Live in the present where you will find His supply of grace.

though he may die, he shall live” — “Though” is a supposition, meaning that while there will be those who die, not everyone will die. There is a generation that will not see death but will be raptured. Pastor Prince believes that we are part of the generation that will not see death.

Jesus has defeated death and put away all judgment for your sins at the cross

The ark of the covenant going into the Jordan River is a picture of Jesus going into death for us

“and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”
— Joshua 3:3–4 NKJV

Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits” — The ark went into the Jordan River first, and the Israelites were only allowed to follow the ark after 2,000 cubits (about 1 kilometer). The 2,000 cubits here are a picture of the 2,000 years between us and the time Jesus went to the cross.

The River Jordan at that time was overflowing and dangerous to cross—it is a picture of the power of death. The ark going into the Jordan River is a picture of Jesus entering death at the cross. And Jesus came out alive.

While some may argue that there are Christians who still die today, it is written that death no longer has power over us because Jesus has defeated death for us. For Christians who die in the natural, their spirit does not remain in death (John 11:25). Yet there is a generation that will not see death. When Jesus comes again, believers who have died physically will go up first in their new bodies and we who remain will be caught up in the air with them (1 Thess. 4:17).

The moment the ark entered the River Jordan on the shoulders of the priests, God pushed back the River Jordan all the way back to a city called Adam 30 miles away.

“So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam (‘man’), the city that is beside Zaretan (‘their distress, trouble’). So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.”
— Joshua 3:15–16 NKJV

Adam (‘man’), the city that is beside Zaretan (‘their distress, trouble’)” — It is significant that the city is called Adam. When the first man, Adam, sinned, he brought distress and trouble upon mankind. When the ark entered the Jordan River, God pushed back the waters of judgment all the way back to Adam, the first man.

The priests carrying the ark of the covenant stood still in the middle of the river Jordan. This is a picture of how Jesus, God’s perfect Son, hung on the cross until He bore every last judgment meant for us and our families. He took every stroke of judgment on our behalf until there was nothing left, and He remained, and shouted, “Finished!”

When the children of Israel stepped into the Jordan River 2,000 cubits after the ark of the covenant, they did not see one drop of water. Not a single drop of judgment or death was left. This symbolizes how those of us who come after Jesus defeated death at the cross will not feel one drop of death. Even if we experience physical death, we will not feel death. Jesus’ death cleared the way for us!

The other side of the Jordan River is a picture of resurrection ground. It is where we are!

Believe in the truth of Jesus’ perfect work and walk in His resurrection power

“For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
— Romans 6:10–11 NKJV

He died to sin once for all . . . Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ” — The work of Jesus on the cross is complete and perfect. He came so that we can see ourselves dead to sin and alive unto God just as He is. You are not on the side of judgment, curse, or death. You have crossed the Jordan River and you are now on resurrection ground!

Everyone, regardless of what they had or had not done, crossed the river Jordan. This signifies that Jesus’ finished work is for everyone who believes—no matter what you have done or what spiritual level of growth you are at.

To walk in His resurrection power, we have to believe the truth that death, sin, the curse, and all judgment are behind us.

Jesus’ resurrection was different from the raising of the dead that He performed. All the people He rose from the dead died again. Jesus rose to never die again. Jesus’ resurrection was not just being raised from the dead, but it was destroying death altogether.

When Lazarus rose from the dead, he was still bound by grave clothes. However, when Jesus rose, His body transcended His grave clothes. He conquered death and had a body that could transcend time and space, appear and disappear. The stone was rolled away not for Jesus to leave the grave but for the disciples to look in and see that He is risen!

When Lazarus died, Jesus wept because He knew our heavenly Father’s heart was not for man to die. Don’t doubt God’s heart for you to have eternal life and live a blessed life.

Salvation Prayer

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I confess Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. I believe You raised Him from the dead. All my sins have been put away by the blood of Jesus. I'm a risen man. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Closing Prayer

“This coming week, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that was with Esther that gave her favor in the sight of the king and of all the people that looked on her, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that was with Joseph that prospered all his way even while in prison and caused him to be promoted to the right hand of Pharaoh—may this grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father, and the communion, the sweet friendship, of the Holy Spirit be with you and your families now and forever. In the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.”

OWN THE WORD (life application)

What does Resurrection Day mean for you? It means that Jesus has confronted and defeated death, and His resurrection power now flows freely in your life. He is (present tense) the resurrection and the life, bringing you healing, wholeness, and deliverance right where you are. He is not limited by time or space, but He is right now close to you and is your very present help in time of need.

This week, keep on beholding Jesus. Open the eyes of your heart to see Him with you—in the present—supplying all that you need. If you have fears about the future or regrets about the past, pause and choose to be in the present with the Lord. When you focus on Him in the now, you will experience His daily grace and shalom peace being imparted to you for all your needs.

Throughout this week, sing this song and behold Jesus:

“You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You
I will trust in You
Let the weak say
I am strong
In the strength of the Lord”
—Selah (pause & reflect)

We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2022
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.

These are notes on the sermon, When The Odds Are Against You, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 3 April 2022, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

Be sure to sign up to get updates on the latest sermon notes by Team JP.

Overview

  1. Introduction: Trust God’s ways and walk by faith, not by sight
  2. When troubles overwhelm you, trust the Lord and His ways to see victory
  3. You are set apart from the world—you don’t need to adopt their ways to win in life
  4. When God blesses the little you have, the little becomes great
  5. Nothing can stop the Lord from saving, by many or by few
  6. Salvation Prayer
  7. Closing Prayer
  8. OWN THE WORD (life application)

Introduction: Trust God’s ways and walk by faith, not by sight

Pastor Prince starts the sermon by sharing a testimony of a sister who received healing for her blocked arteries as she spent time with the Lord and received the Lord’s word for her. Pastor Prince encourages us to receive God’s Word in our heart with a simple, “Amen!”

“. . . be it unto me according to thy word . . .”
— Luke 1:38 KJV

This was what Mary said when the angel of the Lord gave her the word that she would bear forth God’s Son. When we say “Amen,” we agree with what God says and establish His promises in our lives!

Today’s message is a special word in season for the Benjamin Generation (the end-time generation). It is based on a story in 1 Samuel 13, where the tribe of Benjamin led by King Saul was surrounded by their enemies.

“Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. And they came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth Aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.”
— 1 Samuel 13:5–7 NKJV

In this story, God’s people being surrounded by their enemies is a picture of what Christians are facing today. We are living in a time where the world seems to be assaulting Christians and trying to put us to shame.

King Saul was greatly afraid in this situation, and out of fear of his own people deserting him, he disobeyed God. In 1 Samuel 10:8, Saul was instructed by the prophet Samuel to wait for Samuel’s arrival to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before going to war. But during this period of waiting, when Saul saw how his soldiers were fleeing (1 Sam. 13:11), he chose to offer a sacrifice on his own instead of waiting for Samuel because he was desperate to take control of the situation himself. Because Saul disobeyed God, his kingship was passed to another (1 Sam. 13:14).

Instead of waiting on the Lord, Saul felt the need to take things into his own hands. Saul was a fleshly man who walked by what he saw. The flesh always wants to do something to help itself instead of waiting upon the Lord.

The Bible tells us to walk by faith and not by what we see (2 Cor. 5:7). Even in the face of our troubles, we can choose to stand still and see the Lord fight for us (Exod. 14:13).

Unlike Saul, David was not a fleshly king. Instead of making decisions based on appeasing the people around him, David made decisions based on the Lord’s will and guidance. If you are a leader in any capacity, may you not make decisions based on seeking the approval of others but based on seeking the approval of the Lord. Do not be like the church in Laodicea who acted on whatever they felt was right, but instead, seek the Lord.

The church is not operated by democracy but by theocracy, where the Lord speaks and leads through leadership. The Lord will guide the church and grant demonstrations of His power when the church is aligned with Him. Just like how electricity can only flow through the conductors, the power of God flows through us when we are submissive to His will and aligned with the Holy Spirit.

When troubles overwhelm you, trust the Lord and His ways to see victory

“Then Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people present with him, about six hundred men. Saul, Jonathan his son, and the people present with them remained in Gibeah of Benjamin. But the Philistines encamped in Michmash.”
— 1 Samuel 13:15–16 NKJV

Gibeah of Benjamin” — This is the capital of the tribe of Benjamin. The Philistines were closing in on them at Michmash, which was very nearby.

“Then raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned onto the road to Ophrah, to the land of Shual, another company turned to the road to Beth Horon, and another company turned to the road of the border that overlooks the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.”
— 1 Samuel 13:17–18 NKJV

The tribe of Benjamin was surrounded by their enemies (the Philistines were closing in from Beth Horon, Ophrah, and Zeboim, while Jerusalem was occupied by the Jebusites). As a result, the people were afraid and went into hiding. Some even defected to join the Philistines.

This is a picture of the church today: some of us have adopted a victim-mentality, expecting to be attacked and defeated instead of expecting God’s kind of victory. God’s victory is different from the victory attained through the arm of flesh. We cannot overcome the flesh with the arm of flesh; we cannot use worldly methods to overcome the world.

Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.”
— Zechariah 4:6b NKJV

This is God’s way to overcome our trials—through the power of the Holy Spirit that flows in us as we follow the Lord.

The Philistines were Greeks who entered Israel via the Mediterranean coast instead of crossing the river Jordan like the children of Israel did. The river Jordan is a picture of being born again, where we die to self and are resurrected in Christ. As believers, we are crucified with Christ; our old selves (this includes flesh, the part of ourselves that has the propensity for sin) have passed away and our new selves have been resurrected with Him. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).

“Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears.”
— 1 Samuel 13:19 NKJV

During this time of battle, the Philistines had the knowledge and technology to make iron while the children of Israel only had the knowledge to make bronze (which is weaker than iron).

This is a picture of how today, the world seems to be more advanced than the church. However, if you look back at history, you’ll find that many significant inventions that have blessed generations came from believers or the Jewish people.

“But all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man’s plowshare, his mattock, his ax, and his sickle;”
— 1 Samuel 13:20 NKJV

“and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads.”
— 1 Samuel 13:21 ESV

The Philistines did not want to share their knowledge with the Israelites so that they could remain more advanced in weaponry. However, the children of Israel were allowed to use iron for their farming tools, but they had to go to the Philistines and pay an exorbitant amount of money to sharpen their iron tools with the Philistines’ iron. This added to the Israelites’ shame as they became dependent on their enemy’s help during a time of battle.

God does not need us to use the things of the world to see victory in our lives.

When we use the things of the world, we become dependent on the world. God wants us to depend on Him. Today, it can seem like the people of the world are more advanced or are experiencing more breakthroughs than the church. But we do not have to depend on the ways of the world to attain victory. God can give us victory using whatever is in our hands.

Example 1: Victory with an ox goad

“After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel.”
— Judges 3:31 NKJV

Example 2: Victory with a sling and a stone

“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone…But there was no sword in the hand of David.”
— 1 Samuel 17:50 NKJV

Example 3: Victory with a donkey’s jawbone

“He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it.”
— Judges 15:15 NKJV

In the Bible, we see how God’s people defeated their enemies with the simple things that they had in their hands. Shamgar defeated the enemies with an ox goad, David defeated Goliath with a slingshot, and Samson defeated 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Even though they did not have any strong weapons (which would have added to their natural strength for battle), these men still defeated their enemies because the Lord was with them. In the same way, we do not need the weapons of the world to get victory in our lives.

Our victory comes from God and following His ways.

You are set apart from the world—you don’t need to adopt their ways to win in life

The Greek translation of the word “church” is “ekklésia,” which means “called out.” The church is called out of the world. Even though we are in the world, we are not of the world.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
— 1 John 2:15 KJV

Being worldly does not refer to enjoying God’s creations or inventions that have brought us joy and delight. Instead, it refers to indulging ourselves in things that concern the lust of the flesh, the lust of eyes, and the pride of life (1 John. 2:16). The world glorifies pride, but God glorifies humility.

If any latest invention or form of progress in the world feeds the lust of the flesh, the lust of eyes, and the pride of life, then it will rob us of our inheritance in Christ.

All of God’s blessings can come on you and overtake you without help from man’s creation.

“. . . that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you . . .”
— Deuteronomy 28:1–2 NKJV

“. . . and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”
— Ephesians 2:6 NKJV

“who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”
— Ephesians 1:3b NKJV

God has placed us higher than the world. This promise for the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 28 is our reality today. Because of the finished work of Jesus, we are seated in heavenly places and blessed with every spiritual blessing! These blessings translate to material blessings as well, e.g. wisdom and power to get wealth (Deut. 8:18).

If an invention or idea is from the Lord to be adopted by His people, it will have His fingerprints on it

“Put the Ark of the LORD on the cart . . .”
— 1 Samuel 6:8 NLT

During David’s reign as king in Israel, the Philistines stole the ark of the covenant during a battle. When the ark brought great destruction to many Philistine cities, the Philistines decided to send it back to Israel. Not knowing the proper order of how to transport the ark, they put the ark on a cart driven by two milk cows (1 Sam. 6:11–12).

When it came to how to transport or treat the ark, the Philistines didn’t know any better. But David grew up knowing God’s ways; he knew that the ark was meant to be carried on the shoulders of Levites (the priests) and not transported on an ox cart. However, David adopted the way of the Philistines and transported the ark using an ox cart when trying to move it to Jerusalem. While David had the right motive in wanting to bring the ark to Jerusalem (the center of God’s people), he went about it using the ways of the world. We cannot use worldly methods to glorify Jesus when they contradict God’s ordained ways as stated in His Word.

“Now all these things happened to them as examples (‘tupos’ – types), and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
— 1 Corinthians 10:11 NKJV

The events that happened in the Old Testament are examples and types written for our learning and benefit today.

Examples (‘tupos’ – types)— The Philistines are a type; they represent a system of worldliness trying to make inroads into our lives.

Follow the Lord in His ways and see victory in all areas of your life!

“Then the LORD appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt . . .”
— Genesis 26:2 NKJV

“Then Isaac sowed in that land . . . The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous . . . So the Philistines envied him.”
— Genesis 26:12–14 NKJV

During Isaac’s time, there was a famine in the land. The Lord instructed Isaac not to go down to Egypt but to sow in his own land instead. As Isaac followed the Lord, he prospered to a point where his enemies envied him! In the same way, we need not envy others. When we follow and trust in the Lord, He can cause us to prosper and be the one others will be envious of.

When God blesses the little you have, the little becomes great

“. . . work heartily, as unto the Lord . . .”
— Colossians 3:23 ASV

“Labour not to be rich;”
— Proverbs 23:4a KJV

We do not work to be rich but to glorify God.

You will prosper when the grace of God is upon you!

The ways of God are simple. He can use the little we have to prosper us.

We saw how in Judges 3:31, Shamgar overcame the Philistines with an ox goad. An ox goad is a picture of the words in our mouths.

The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.”
— Ecclesiastes 12:11 ESV

goads” — The Hebrew translation of this word is “lamed,” which means to teach. The ox-goad is a picture of our words.

Wisdom for parenting

Parents, do not underestimate the power of your words! Your words can teach your children—be it a simple word of encouragement or a word of correction, God can use these words to impart wisdom and grace to your children. Do not despise the words that you speak. Ask God for the right words that can speak right to the hearts of your children.

Example 1: Moses and his rod

“Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’” So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.”
— Exodus 4:1–2 NKJV

Although Moses felt like he only had a rod in his hand, God used this rod to call forth the plagues in Egypt and split the Red Sea.

Today God is asking you: What is that in your hand?

He can do great things with it!

Perhaps what you have in your hand is time. When you give it to the Lord, He can lead you to use your time wisely and productively in ways that will bless you and bring breakthroughs.

Example 2: The widow and her jar of oil

“A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
— 2 Kings 4:1–2 NKJV

Jar” — This does not refer to a large jar of oil that some of us may have at home. The Hebrew translation for this word is “asuk,” which refers to a small flask. God caused oil to flow out of this small flask to fill many vessels until the vessels ran out (2 Kings 4:5–6)!

In these two stories, we see how God used the simple things that Moses and the widow already had to prosper them. The key to their blessing was not the things that they possessed but the blessing of God upon them.

The Lord wants to use what we already have (not things that are beyond us) to prosper us.

Some of us might feel like we do not have much to offer or that our gifts are too small. But just like how the Lord multiplied the oil that the widow had, He can multiply the gifts that we already possess! We need not be envious or feel inferior when comparing ourselves with others. Even if what we have might not seem like much, with God’s blessing, we will prosper.

Example 3: The widow and her little flour and oil

“So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.”
— 1 Kings‬ ‭17:12–13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

make me a small cake” — This widow had only a little flour and oil, but she used it to give Elijah a cake. There’s something special about the simple act of giving.

God uses the simple things to confound the mighty (1 Cor. 1:27).

“. . . it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
— 1 Corinthians 1:21 NKJV

“For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified . . . Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
— 1 Corinthians 1:22–24 NKJV

Save” — This includes healing, deliverance, protection, and prosperity.

The world might think it’s foolish to believe that Jesus’ finished work at the cross can save us, but that is how God ordained it to be. God’s ways are simple. Even a simple piece of bread and a little juice (the Holy Communion) has the power to heal us when we put our trust in the finished work of Christ! The simple ways of the Lord can bring us wisdom, favor, power, and success.

Nothing can stop the Lord from saving, by many or by few

Back to the story of King Saul and his army being surrounded by their enemies:

“So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.”
— 1‭ Samuel‬ ‭13:22–23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

When all the odds were against them, God was just waiting for one man to step forward and confront the enemy. And that person was Jonathan, Saul’s son.

“Now it happened one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.”
— 1 Samuel 14:1 NKJV

Jonathan decided to fight the Philistines with his armorbearer without Saul’s knowledge.

Jonathan’s armorbearer was a young man. Today, God is looking for young men and women to carry out His great and mighty exploits. We are living in a time where the Lord is raising the youths of today to become His champions. He is going to raise this generation of youths to become His mighty men.

“Between the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on one side and a sharp rock on the other side. And the name of one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The front of one faced northward opposite Michmash, and the other southward opposite Gibeah.”
— 1 Samuel 14:4–5 NKJV

The Philistines were positioned on ground with higher elevation than Jonathan and his armorbearer.

“Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few.” So his armorbearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.
— 1 Samuel 14:6–7 NKJV

For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few.” — Nothing can stop the Lord from saving us. The Lord is a Savior and He wants to save you in your situation right now, no matter the odds against you.

Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart” — This is what Jonathan’s armorbearer said to Jonathan. Jonathan was a leader who led with his heart and followed the Lord. Leaders who love God will inspire others to follow them and want to support them. In contrast, Saul’s men seemed to follow him half-heartedly (1 Sam. 14:36).

We lead with our hearts. When it comes to your children, it’s heart work (not hard work). Speak from your heart to their heart. Let them see your love; let them see why you’re correcting them.

“So both of them showed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines. And the Philistines said, “Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden.” Then the men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you something.” Jonathan said to his armorbearer, “Come up after me, for the LORD has delivered them into the hand of Israel.”
— 1 Samuel 14:11–12 NKJV

Come up to us” — According to the wisdom of the world, the one who commands the higher terrain will win the battle. Naturally, this would’ve been a disadvantage to Jonathan and his armorbearer. But the ways of God are different; even in situations where the odds might seem to be stacked against us, God can turn it around for our victory.

“And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armorbearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan. And as he came after him, his armorbearer killed them. That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land. And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was a very great trembling. Now the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and there was the multitude, melting away; and they went here and there.”
— 1 Samuel 14:13–16 NKJV

The result is that all the Philistines ran away from the two men.

When King Saul saw the commotion in the Philistine camp and realized his son and his armorbearer were fighting and winning, Saul and his army joined them.

All it took was for two people (Jonathan and his armorbearer) for the Lord to deliver Israel from the Philistines. The Lord was just waiting for someone to take a simple step forward.

If you take that small step on your own, it’s true that nothing will happen. But if you’re doing it with the Lord and with His leading, you will see blessing and victory. The Lord will deliver us when we trust Him and step out in faith. Even if it seems like the odds are against us, the Lord has promised that He is with us!

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
— Matthew 18:20 KJV

“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together . . .”
— Hebrews 10:25 KJV

This refers to the physical assembling of the church. Pastor Prince ends the service by encouraging us to gather together. The church is where our blessings and inheritance in Christ are found!

Salvation Prayer

“Lord Jesus, I confess You as my Lord and my Savior. I believe You died on the cross for all my sins and I believe God raised You from the dead when I was justified in You. Thank You, Lord Jesus, Your blood has washed away all my sins. And from now on, Lord, please reveal more and more of Yourself to me. I want to know more and more of You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Closing Prayer

“​​May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied upon you and your family. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, may the wisdom of God cause you to see where you are patterning after the world and where you are falling short in these areas. And that the Holy Spirit lead you out of the world, out of Egypt, the place of double stress, into a place of great expansion and abundance, the land flowing with milk and honey. The Lord give you the wisdom and the eyes to see what He wants you to see: your inheritance in Christ for everything is in Him. May God give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation from this day forth, the eyes of your inner man being enlightened, that you will know the glory of your inheritance, the riches of your inheritance in Christ. And that you will possess it and not allow the Philistines to deprive you of it. In the name of the Lord Jesus, be totally blessed, you and your families, throughout this week. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

OWN THE WORD (life application)

“Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.””
— 1 Samuel 14:6 NKJV

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;”
— 1 Corinthians 1:27 NKJV

Beloved, you are set apart from the world for the glory of God. This means you don’t need to depend on worldly methods to see success and breakthroughs, but you can trust in the Lord’s blessing upon the little you have to bring victory in any situation—even if it looks like the odds are against you.

This week,

  1. Seek the Lord and ask Him to show you any areas in your life where you may be patterning after the world. Is it in the area of your career, growing your finances, or your family life?

    As He gives you the wisdom to see the areas where you have been adopting worldly thinking and methods, He is showing that there is a better way—His way. And His way is for you to believe that you already have all that you need in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and for you to step out in faith with the little you have, believing that His hand of blessing is upon you to give you the victory.

  2. Commit the little that is in your hand to the Lord—whether it is your gift, your skill, or your time. If you don’t know what is in your hand, ask Him to show you what it is and how to use it in your situation. He could lead you to use something as simple as your words to mend broken relationships or open doors of opportunity for you.

Friend, when you trust in the Lord and His ways, you will not be put to shame!

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These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.