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Going Farther

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Going Farther


 Our Father in heaven, hallowed (or holy) be Your name. Your kingdom

come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Now God’s will is carried out very promptly

and very precisely in heaven, and we are to pray that His will would be done the same way on


It is interesting, you look in heaven, and there are some things that are obviously absent in

heaven. Things like oppression and sickness. Jesus told us we should pray that His will be done

on earth even as it is being done in heaven.

Significant to that prayer, Jesus said we are to pray that God’s kingdom come, meaning we

should pray for the expansion of His kingdom, that men and women’s hearts would be receptive

to the gospel. We should pray for the influence, the authority and the dominion of His kingdom

to be manifested. Whether we are praying for a nation, a city within a nation, a particular family,

or even an individual, we should pray that the kingdom would come into their life, and that God’s

power, ways, and purposes would be made known. Praying for a particular circumstance to

change and endeavoring to possess a promise He’s given us would also come under this

heading of praying that His kingdom come.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the

disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

39 He went a little farther…Can we say that? He went a little farther. I realize he’s saying that He went, obviously, a few paces farther to pray, as the verse makes clear. He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “ Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”


Though it speaks of Jesus physically going a little farther to pray more, it is symbolic of the fact

that He went farther in prayer. The preceding verses said that He began to be sorrowful and

deeply distressed, but He did not quit. He continued to press on. Then after that He confessed

to the disciples, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.” Yet, He did not stop. He

went a little farther. He continued to pray.

Now Luke says that at the point where Jesus went a little farther and prayed more, an angel

came from heaven strengthening Him. Then it says, “Being in agony, He prayed more

earnestly.” How does the Son of God pray more earnestly? If you figure that out, you let me

know, but the idea is that He went farther. He pressed on a little more. When it comes to prayer,

many times we stop short. We need to go just a little farther and press on if we are going to see

the kind of results that we want to see.

We don’t see what is up ahead, and I think sometimes we quit just before we get there because our vision is obscured.

I listened to a tape years ago that was just intriguing to me. Apparently, somebody had written

this book; and encrypted in it was some sort of a treasure map. If anyone could break the code

from the book, it would lead them to some buried golden statue. If they got the statue to the

author of the book by a particular time, he would give them a check for a hundred thousand

dollars. This guy actually broke the encryption of the book, worked it out, told a friend of his, and

said, “Look, I think I understand this thing. First we have to go to Crater Lake, Oregon. There is

a particular lodge there, where will be something like a moose head and a plaque hanging on

the wall

went a little farther, and He continued to pray. Then it says that an angel came from heaven

strengthening Him. I think if we will just go a little farther in prayer, we might have some angelic

intervention in our lives. We might break into a supernatural realm that otherwise we are just

short of, and it is just right there, but we never quite break through. If you pray five minutes,


man, pray seven; if you pray fifteen minutes, just press on a little more and pray twenty. I think

sometimes we get drowsy, or maybe we are feeling overwhelmed or distressed, and we do not

press through. I believe that we can tap into a strength that otherwise we will never know exists

if we just press on.

I read a story about a region in Africa where an entire village had come to Christ. There was a

revival going on, and they took their salvation experience very seriously. Every member in the

village spent much time in personal prayer. In fact, they had their own little pathway, and they

would go to some secret place where they would pray. They could always tell if someone was

not praying because grass began to grow over their pathway. Because they were so in love with

Christ, and they wanted so much to see others come to Him, an interesting little thing sprung

up. If they noticed there was grass growing on their brother’s path, they would pull him aside

and say, “Dear brother, there is grass on your path.” Or, “Sister, there is grass growing on your

path,” meaning you needed to get back to prayer. I want to ask you today: Is there grass

growing on your path?

Everybody say press on. I think just a little farther. I think, as a church, we will go farther in

prayer. I think that perhaps the blessing we might receive as a church, and the grace of God

that might come upon us, may so far exceed anything that we have seen that it would make

everything that has been accomplished pale in comparison with what God wants to do. I think it

may not be way out there. It may just be a little farther. If we pressed on just a little more, I think

collectively and individually that is true.


The second point is going farther in providing for the kingdom. Look at 2 Corinthians 8:1,

1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the

churches of Macedonia:

2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty

abounded in the riches of their liberality.

3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability…

Everyone say beyond. They went farther.

…I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they

were freely willing,

4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the

fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

One translation says they were pleading for the privilege of helping. Think of it! Here they are in

a great trial of affliction, experiencing what the Bible calls deep poverty, and they reached the

edge of their ability. Yet, they went beyond their ability when it came to their liberality and

generosity to the point that they were pleading for the privilege to give! That is an amazing thing!

What do you suppose explains that? Actually, verse 5 explains it. It says in 2 Corinthians 8:5,

5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and

then to us by the will of God.


The reason they could go farther, go to that limit of what they were able to do and then step

beyond it, is because they had first given themselves to God. The Message translation says

they gave offerings of whatever they could, far more than they could afford. It goes on to say,

“Their giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives.”

Now, friend, when you belong to God, and say, “God, here I am. My life is Yours. I am Your

steward. Everything that I possess truly is Yours. Lord, here You go. Unreservedly I give myself

to You.” That is the first step. Did you notice? He said, “They gave themselves to God and then

to us by the will of God.” That’s interesting. I think when you fully belong to God, then you can

discern the will of God concerning where you are supposed to be connected, who you are

supposed to be connected with, and what vision you are supposed to be flowing with. That is

exactly what they did. They said, “All right, God, I am Yours.” Then they discerned God’s will

and said, “All right, this is where I am supposed to be planted. This is what I am supposed to be

doing. This is what I am supposed to be supporting.” So they went to their limit, and then they

went beyond their limit in supporting the kingdom.

Now what are the benefits of going farther in providing for the kingdom? The first one is one you

may not readily observe or perhaps think of. I believe that there is a release of joy in the giver’s

life that cannot be experienced any other way. Look in verse 2. These statements almost seem

to contradict one another. “In a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy…” And then it

says, “deep poverty,” yet “they abounded in the riches of their liberality.” So here they are in

great affliction, but they have this incredible joy! It’s something you cannot manufacture, you

cannot package it and pass it out; but the liberal person knows what it is. It is a joy that defies

description. When you know that you belong to God, everything you possess is His. You are

moving in His purposes, you are giving, and then what Jesus says comes to pass. “It is more

blessed to give than it is to receive.” There will be an abundance of joy when we begin to move

over into this type of giving.

Secondly… and I think this one’s pretty obvious… the work of the kingdom is propelled forward.

That always happens by the collective generosity of His people, not just by a few liberal souls

with exceptionally deep pockets. My brother and sister, the kingdom of God, for the most part, is

built on the widow’s mite. It is built by everyone doing their part, doing their share, and not just

saying, “Well, I don’t have that much to give. I can’t participate. I know that someone else who

has a lot more than me can take care of it.” No, it is everybody being involved with what they

can do in their present situation.

All right, the third benefit… look in 2 Corinthians 9:6

6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who

sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of

necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always (say

always) having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every

good work.

God will bless us when we move into this kind of giving.

This is a testimony. I just got this Wednesday morning from a lady named Kimberly in our

church. This is what she said, “My three daughters and I have been living with other people for

three years. Recently, God has blessed us with our own home. We are in escrow now. We will


each have our own bedroom. I also received a ten thousand dollar more per year raise. I know

this is all related to my obedience in regards to tithing. Thank you for all the good teaching from

our pastors and staff.”

Well, friend, Kimberly connected the dots in the right way. Think about what she said. “I know

this is all related to my obedience…” In her case it came to tithing. God said, “Bring all the tithes

into the storehouse, and I will open a window of heaven, pour out a blessing you will not have

room enough to receive.”

Turn to Philippians 4:18. I will bet a lot of people in the house could quote one of the verses we

are going to read. In fact, before we read it, think of this: When Paul was writing to the

Corinthians, he was using the Christians of Macedonia to stir the Corinthians to generosity. Now

the chief city of Macedonia was Philippi named after Philip of Macedonia, the father of

Alexander the Great. The Book of Philippians was written to the Macedonians in the City of

Philippi. So what we are about to read is directly talking about these people that he mentioned

in Corinthians. He says, “I want you to know the grace of God bestowed on the churches of

Macedonia that in a great trial of affliction, etc.” These are the folks about whom he was writing.

With that in mind, look at Philippians 4:18,

18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus

the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well

pleasing to God.

Everyone say sacrifice. That is going farther. That is going to the limit of your ability and then

beyond. That is sacrifice.

So they have given sacrificially, and look at the promise connected to that. Verse 19, “And my

God shall supply some of your need.” No.

“God will supply all of your need according to the present economy, according to whoever

happens to be in office.” No.

“He will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” our heavenly

standard. Friend, that promise belongs to people that have gone farther. You cannot

disassociate Philippians 4:19 with verse 18. They are connected. Those that go beyond can

possess the promise of verse 19.

Now, some people do not need to go just a little farther. They need to go a lot farther, because

when it comes to giving, they have stopped at nothing!

Mother Teresa said, “If you give what you do not need, it isn’t giving.”

A great writer and Christian mind, C. S. Lewis, said, “I do not believe one can settle how much

we ought to give. I’m afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.”

God wants us all to participate and to go farther, with everyone carrying the burden and

everyone enjoying the benefit.

There was a man who had a very serious heart attack. They rushed him to the hospital and

were able to save him, but it was touch and go for a while. His life was hanging in the balance.

They eventually stabilized him, but they told the family, “Look, the slightest shock could send

him over the edge, so just keep visitation to a real minimum, and make sure that he does not

get excited about anything.”


So while he was in the hospital recuperating, his rich uncle died and left him ten million dollars.

The family was thinking, “What if we tell him? The shock of it, he might die!” So the family got

together, and decided to let the pastor tell him.

So they sent the pastor, and the pastor was there sort of beating around the bush. He

eventually worked his way up to the question. He said, “What would you do if you inherited ten

million dollars?”

He said, “Pastor, the first thing I would do is give half of it to the church.”

The pastor fell over dead.

When we take up a miracle offering for the first stages of our new building, surprise me. I

promise I will not fall over dead!


The third point is going farther when persecuted for the kingdom. We are about to read the

verse that is probably the most beloved verse of all Christians next to John 3:16. I am sure you

have this photocopied and stuck on your refrigerator; maybe even embossed on some nice

piece of paper and framed over your fireplace. Matthew 5:39,

39 “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right

cheek, turn the other to him also.

What a lovely verse. Jesus, what are You saying? Go farther. If he slaps you on your right

cheek, give him your left cheek. Verse 40,

40 “If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic (or your shirt), let him

have your cloak also.”

Go farther. Verse 41,

41 “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”

Go farther. Verse 44,

44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to

those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute


45 “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on

the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the

tax collectors do the same?”

In other words, you need to go farther. Verse 47,

47 “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do

not even the tax collectors do so?”

And the idea is that you need to go farther.

Now Jesus began by saying, “If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other

also.” He is talking about receiving a personal insult. I don’t know if you’ve thought about it or


not, but for someone to slap you on the right cheek, they have to do it with the back of their

hand unless they are left handed. But the vast majority of people are right handed. So Jesus

was talking about receiving a personal insult. Now when someone personally insults you,

especially in regards to your faith, you can be vengeful, and you can insult them back and make

matters worse, or you can humbly take it, turn the other cheek, and give a witness for God. Now

you can win the insult contest if you try, but the prize is that you erect an even greater barrier

between you and that person. Or perhaps you even erect a greater barrier between them and


Some people are very good at returning insult for insult. I read where one well-known actress

had written a book. The book was doing well, and another jealous actress came up to her and

said, “Oh, I loved your book. Who wrote it for you?”

The actress looked at her and said, “Oh, I’m glad you liked it. Who read it to you?”

Winston Churchill was famous for his retorts. A woman came to him at a party one night and

said, “Mr. Churchill, you are drunk!”

He said, “Yes, Madam, and you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober.”

Lady Astor said to him, “Winston, if you were my husband, I should flavor your coffee with


He said, “Madame, if I were your husband, I should drink it.”

You can win the contest if you try, but are you sure you want the prize?

Now Jesus said, “If someone compels you to go a mile, go with him two.” Under Roman law,

any Roman soldier could compel any person in the Roman Empire to carry their gear for a mile.

I could be busy grinding corn or working in my carpenter’s shop; and a Roman soldier could

say, “Hey! You! Carry my pack for the next mile!” If you refused, you would be beaten or jailed.

Some people looked at that as a real violation of their liberty, so they grudgingly carried that

pack for a mile. But Jesus said, “Hey, if they compel you to go one mile, go two.” See, during

the first mile, they’ve got you. During the second mile, you’ve got them. If they want to take

away your shirt, they’ve got you. But when you give your cloak, you’ve got them. If they give you

an insult… they smack you on the right cheek… when you turn the other, you’ve got them.

I remember in the book The Cross and the Switchblade, David Wilkerson’s heart was broken for

the young men and women embroiled in the gangs in New York. He went there not knowing

anything except that his heart was just bleeding for them. He tells a story of sitting on the steps

of some housing project trying to win some gang member to Christ, and the gang member just

went off on him and said, “Who do you think you are? You know, high and mighty, coming in

here with your fancy shoes and your fancy clothes?” And, I’ll tell you, the gang member had him

until David Wilkerson took off his shoes and gave them to him. He walked off with just his socks

on. The moment he gave him his shoes, David had him, and it was the key that unlocked that

young man’s heart to bring him to Christ.

We had a neighbor that would sort of taunt some of the church members as they were walking

to church and say derogatory things to them. One day I had parked offsite, and as I was

walking, he was yelling stuff at me: “Aw, you’re some Christian! Why don’t you help me carry my

garbage cans in?” So I went across the street and helped him carry his garbage cans in. He

didn’t know what to do with that. He didn’t expect me to do it. And actually one of our pastors

was just walking by one day, and he began to encourage him and talk to him, and he got invited

into his house and led him to Christ. And that same person stood in this auditorium and shared


his conversion to Christ with me, and told me he was afraid, and that’s why he was lashing out

at people as they were coming to church. And here he got gloriously saved and stood in here

and told me about how he’d come to Christ. What was it that won him? It was somebody going

farther when they were being persecuted for the sake of the kingdom. Like I said, you go one

mile, they’ve got you; you go farther, and you’ve got them.

All right, look with me at Numbers, chapter 20, if you would. Look at this last area of going

farther: going farther when possessing the kingdom. And specifically by that I mean, by

possessing what God has promised to you. I want to take a little different angle on this one.

Sometimes there are delays, and we are forced to go a little farther when it comes to

possessing the promise. We are going to read a story here in Numbers, chapter 20, about

Israel. They have left the land of Egypt, they are making a beeline for the Promised Land, and

they come to the borders of Edom. Now the Edomites were relatives of the Israelites. They were

the children of Esau, who was the brother of Jacob, who became known as Israel. So they are

related. We pick it up in verse 14 of chapter 20. It says (Numbers 20:14),

14 ¶ Now Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. “Thus says

your brother Israel: ‘You know all the hardship that has befallen us,

15 ‘how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we dwelt in Egypt a long time, and

the Egyptians afflicted us and our fathers.

16 ‘When we cried out to the LORD, He heard our voice and sent the Angel and

brought us up out of Egypt; now here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of

your border.

17 ‘Please let us pass through your country. We will not pass through fields or

vineyards, nor will we drink water from wells; we will go along the King’s

Highway; we will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have

passed through your territory.’”

18 Then Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through my land, lest I come out

against you with the sword.”

19 So the children of Israel said to him, “We will go by the Highway, and if I or

my livestock drink any of your water, then I will pay for it; let me only pass

through on foot, nothing more.”

20 Then he said, “You shall not pass through.” So Edom came out against them

with many men and with a strong hand.

21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory; so Israel

turned away from him.

Now I want you to get the picture. Here they have had four hundred years of bondage in Egypt,

and they are the generation that’s been chosen to possess the Promised Land. They are going

to be the ones to inherit the promise that God gave to Abraham. They are going to get wells

they did not dig, vineyards they did not plant, houses they did not build, and a land that flows

with milk and honey that God said was rich with silver and gold. They are going by the most

direct route. They come up to the border of Edom and they think this is a no-brainer. I mean,

these people serve the God of Abraham! They are our relatives. It’s not a worry. They are going

to let us through. And much to their surprise, the king of Edom and his army come out and say,

“No way. You are not going through our land.” They plead, and they say, “No.” And so Israel is

forced… listen to me… to go farther. They have to go the long way around to possess the


Sometimes it seems like we have to go the long way around when it comes to possessing what

God has promised us. And I want you to see what happens to them on the way. Numbers 21:4,


4 ¶ Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go

around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged

on the way.

Now, see, the destination hasn’t changed, but the arrival time is now different. And they become

discouraged because they have to go the long way around. They have to go farther. Look at

verse 5,

5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought

us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water,

and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”

The “worthless bread” that they are talking about was manna. Now, friend, if bread from heaven

no longer satisfies you, you have a real problem. Verse 6,

6 So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people;

and many of the people of Israel died.

Now they are facing a delay, and they became discouraged because they have to go farther.

Many times when our dreams are delayed, if we are not guarding our hearts, we can fall into

discouragement. Have you noticed that we’ve had to go the long way around when it comes to

possessing our property and getting our building built? Anybody besides me notice that? The

destination is the same; the arrival I thought would have been a couple of years ago! But we’ve

had to go the long way around. We’ve had to go farther. And, you know, sometimes if we’re not

careful, as individuals or as a church, if we don’t guard our heart when our dreams take longer

than we had hoped, we can get discouraged. It is not a sin to get discouraged, but if you stay

discouraged and it degrades to where you begin to complain, that is a sin.

And they started talking against God and against Moses. People get mad at God, and then they

get mad at the preacher. And then they become ungrateful for the things they have: “Aw, this

worthless bread, this manna, this stupid little apartment I have, and this stupid thing.” And

people no longer appreciate the things God has given them.

Friend, if you fall into that place, you better get yourself out of it in a hurry. If you don’t pull

yourself when discouragement comes, if you don’t guard yourself against it, if discouragement

stays, it will degrade into where you begin to complain. You’re not happy with church, you’re not

happy with God, you’re not happy with the things you have; you’re not content any longer. And

then if that continues on, it says the serpents come in. It says the Lord sent them… he’s doing it

in a permissive sense… and they began to bite the people. A serpent is a type of the devil. And,

you know, the serpents were already there. It’s either in Deuteronomy 11 or 12 where it says,

“The land…this area… was filled with fiery serpents.” The serpents were already there.

I was even reading a bit of history. The British army in World War I suffered great casualties

because of the bites of those fiery serpents. They called them carpet vipers. And they lost a lot

of British soldiers in this identical area. The serpents were there. But think of it: Up to this point,

not one man, not one woman, not one boy, not one girl had been bitten by a snake. There had

been an invisible barrier that had protected them. I think maybe the snakes called a little snake

convention together, thought, “What is going on? I know our brains aren’t that big, but we ought

to be able to figure it out. I’ve had three opportunities today to bite someone. But every time that


I tried to bite them, there was this invisible barrier there.” But when they got discouraged and

were no longer grateful and began to complain, suddenly that invisible barrier was taken down,

and the serpents began to bite people.

And some people, their problems have gone from just being a problem to being a devil-inspired

problem. The devil sunk his fangs into your kids, pumping them full of rebellion. He sunk his

fangs into your soul. And it’s not just a matter of being a little discouraged. It has grown into a

deep, dark depression.

All right, what do you do if you’ve given into discouragement? If you’ve spoken against God? If

you’ve gotten mad at church, and you’re no longer grateful for the things you have? Or even if

it’s escalated beyond that, and you’ve opened a door up for the devil to come into your situation

and really get things out of their orbit. What do you do?

All right, the first thing you do is what the Israelites did in verse 7 (Numbers 21:7),

7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have

spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that He take away

the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

The first thing to do is confess and repent.

I know there are some ladies sitting here today who thought surely by now your husband would

have been sitting next to you with a 12-pound Bible with his name emblazoned on the cover and

shouting hallelujah to everything the preacher said, but he slept in this morning. He’s going to

watch sports all day long, and he’s not into the church thing. All right, you’ve had to take the

long way around. Don’t get discouraged. The destination is the same.

Maybe some dream that God’s put in your heart just hasn’t happened yet. Or some financial

situation you thought would have broken through by now hasn’t. The promise hasn’t changed;

the destination hasn’t changed. You just have to go the long way around.

All right, if you’ve become discouraged, the first thing to do is just to recognize it and repent.

Confess it. And if it’s gone beyond that to where the devil has gotten involved in the situation,

here’s what you need to do. Verse 8,

8 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and

it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”

9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a

serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Now I’m going to take a couple of minutes and talk to you about this. It’s so important! It says

“when anyone looked at the bronze serpent.” It is not just a quick glance. The Hebrew word

means “a steady and absorbing gaze.”

I can imagine some man. He’s been bitten. His body is swelling up with the poison. He’s burning

with a fever. He’s dying, and he tells his boys, “Lift me up.” And they lift him up above the crowd,

and he begins to look at the serpent on the pole, and his imagination begins to work and he

suddenly realizes, “Hey, the serpent has been conquered. It’s immobile. It’s been defeated. It is

nailed to that pole!” He says, “Boys, bring me down. I’m fine.” It caused faith to rise in his heart,

and here’s the deal:


Jesus Himself said in John, chapter 3, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even

so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” Friend, that serpent on the pole represents the Lord Jesus

Christ as He hung on Calvary’s cross, where He became a curse for us and bore everything that

the devil had brought on the human race. And as we behold the Lord Jesus Christ on that cross,

we see the serpent immobilized, defeated and conquered. Faith rises in our heart, and you can

drive the devil out of your house, out of your children, out of your business. Hallelujah!

Hey, you know, Moses in Pharaoh’s court threw his rod down, didn’t he? What happened to his

rod when he threw it down? It turned into a serpent. Pharaoh’s magician said, “Aw, that’s

nothing.” They threw their rods down. What happened to their rods? Turned into serpents. But

what did Moses’ serpent do to their serpents? He swallowed them up.

You know, there is Scripture in Isaiah that says a rod shall come out of Jesse, prophetically

speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ. And, friend, on that cross the rod became the serpent,

and he swallowed up everything that the devil threw at the human race. He swallowed up

oppression; he swallowed up cancer; he swallowed up sin; he swallowed up every wicked thing

that the enemy had perpetrated against the human race. And if we’ll look to the finished work of

Christ, I’m telling you, we can drive the devil out of our business.

A final thought: Jesus could have quit when He was being hounded and persecuted by some of

His religious contemporaries, but He went farther. He could have cancelled His mission during

His agony in Gethsemane, but He went farther. Jesus could have withdrawn when He was

arrested and wrongly accused, but He went farther. Jesus could have stopped everything when

He was beaten and spit upon and mocked. But He went farther. Jesus could have abandoned

the cause when they laid the stripes on His back or when they drove the first nail into His hand,

but He went farther. He went all the way. He identified with that serpent on the pole, and He

died that we might live and enjoy a relationship with God. Jesus, thank you that You went all the

way! Hallelujah!

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