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Enlarge Your Confidence

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The Treasure Test
Message 5: Enlarging Your Confidence
Greetings and Joke
During a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small boy into bed. She was about to
turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, “Mommy, will you sleep with me
The mother gave him a smile and a reassuring hug. “I can’t, dear,” she said. “I have to sleep
with your daddy.”
A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: “The big sissy.”
Ha-foke-ba, Ha-foke-ba, De-Cola-ba
Ha-foke-ba, Ha-foke-ba, Mashiach-ba
Turn-it and turn-it everything you need is in it.
Turn-it and turn-it the Messiah is in it.
On Screen Bible
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of Messiah’s community, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. So confess your offenses to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:13–18, TLV)
I want to talk to you today about “Enlarging Your Confidence.”
I was taught at two very good seminaries that the Bible is a book about salvation, a book about moral living but it was not a book intended to get your hopes up. I was taught that God rarely lets us see more than a few steps of our path at a time. When he gives a glimpse whether trough a weather report, a medical diagnosis, a financial report that we should have moral courage. Don’t get upset, don’t sin and bear the fruit of the Spirit. And definitely don’t try to claim promises, claim big things from God, don’t be like those name it and claim it guys.
Yet, I can’t tell you the number of times what gave me moral confidence was an increased confidence in my God who makes and keeps promises. Ironically, many of those same people who taught in class that the Bible was just a moral book would face a crisis, face a storm, have their back against a wall. Then all of the sudden the Bible became a book of promises that ensured hope and could even bring people back from the brink of death. All the sudden these sharp eyed theologian started to pray like wild-eyed charismatics. They would stand over a spouse in the hospital and with tears in their eyes call out to God and say, “Some trust in horses, some trust in chariots but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” All of the sudden, in an instant they would enlarge their confidence. It was almost like a revival because in these times they would go back to what made the two schools I went to great: men and women wrestling with God until they got his blessing.
Shortly after Dallas Seminary was founded in 1924, it came to the point of bankruptcy. Foreclosure loomed over the school. On the morning the creditors were going to come to the school the founders of the school met in the president’s office to pray that God would provide. In that prayer meeting was Harry Ironside. When it was his turn to pray, he prayed in his characteristically refreshing manner:
“Lord, we know that the cattle on a thousand hills are thine. Please sell some of them and send us the money.” No-one in that educated room dared to stop Harry. No-one told him it was wrong to have that kind of confidence. Quite to the opposite, all those theologians joined in chorus that God could sell of a cattle and solve their financial problem immediately!
While they were praying, a tall Texan came into the business office and said, “I just sold two carloads of cattle in Fort Worth. I’ve been trying to make a business deal go through and it won’t work, and I feel that God is compelling me to give this money to the Seminary. I don’t know if you need it or not, but here’s the check.”
A secretary took the check and, knowing something of the financial seriousness of the hour, went to the door of the prayer meeting and timidly tapped. When she finally got a response, Dr. Lewis Chafer took the check out of her hand, and it was for the exact amount of the debt. When he looked at the signature, he recognized the name of the cattle rancher. Turning to Dr. Ironside, he said, “Harry, God sold the cattle!”
They enlarged their confidence. These brilliant men who knew more of the Bible then all of us in this room combined, knew more of history, knew more about Bible study methods knew that the Bible is not just a book of moral codes. It is so much better than that. It is book filled with hope, filled with promises for us today.
Scripture shows that confidence in God will never lead to disappointment. Out of the fifty-three references in Scripture to confidence, approximately half refer to the ability to have confidence in the Lord or one’s standing before him. Time and time again those who trust in the Lord see victory, see blessing, see deliverance, see children brought back from the brink, see marriages made whole, see an entire nation be restored. Scripture shows that confidence in God will never lead to disappointment.
When I started this series I deeply believed that God wants all the families at Beth Messiah to have a boundless hope and confidence in God. I knew that God was telling me the first place to start was talking about money. As uncomfortable as it might be, I knew that God was telling me that if the families at Beth Messiah would have confidence in God with their money that they would begin to see His blessings overtake their lives. I knew God was wanting all of us to enlarge our confidence in God.
What I did not expect was how quick God has already started to command His blessings on people’s personal finances and business. The owner of Abba oil came and told me about how he decided to give 50% of all his revenues away. He did not know what would happen and then almost immediately he got a call from TBN and was told that Abba oil would be the soil provider of anointing oil at their large resort in Florida. He said they have done more business and had higher revenues despite the fact that they are giving away more. The enlarged their confidence in God’s promises.
Another mother came and told Rabbi Lanning that when we started this series she was going to trust God with her finances. She was going to enlarge her confidence. She made a firm commitment and started getting serious about her tithing and do you know last week she said that out of nowhere she got a promotion at her work, that God has been turning things around in her marriage and in her family. Confidence in God will never lead to disappointment.
Do not let well intentioned theologians, do not let your flesh, do not let the enemy deceive you into thinking that your confidence in God does not have a great reward. Rabbi Paul says in
Hebrews 10:35 TLV
Therefore, do not lose your boldness, which has great reward.
Hebrews 10:35, “Don’t throw away your confidence which has a great reward.” Every Saturday in the prayer room, I always pray, “Yeshua take the wheel. Literally, take the wheel of Jewish people driving on W. Airport and supernaturally cause them to come here for Shabbat service.” About three months, God did just that. An Israeli and an orthodox Jewish man just felt inclined to come to Beth Messiah as they were driving down the road. Guess who I got to introduce them to: the Jewish Messiah. Three weeks ago a Jewish man was driving down W. Airport when he said he heard the voice of God say, “Pull into that parking lot and go to that synagogue.” I understand that he met the Jewish Messiah! “Don’t throw away your confidence which has a great reward.”
I told you last week but let me say it again: you either have confidence that God can do somethings, anything or impossible things!
Don’t every listen to the enemies lies about your confidence in God.
Jacob says in this passage, James 5:13
James 5:13 TLV
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.
I love how practical Jacob is in this passage of scripture. He ask, “anyone here going through some stuff?” The Greek word he uses is “Ka-koe-pa-theo” κακοπαθέω and it means facing a real hardship in your life. Has your situation taken a change? Gone from employment to unemployment? Gone from married to divorced? Gone from healthy to fighting for your life? Gone from children serving the Lord to children living in the clutches of this world or petty self-righteousness?
He says, “pray and maybe God will do something?” No, with bold confidence Jacob says, “Let him pray.” How can he be so confident that things will change? He knows the promises of God:
Proverbs 3:25–26 TLV
Have no fear of sudden terror, or of the devastation of the wicked when it comes. For Adonai will be your confidence and will keep your foot from a snare.
He knows the memoires of God sightings. He knows the great stories of God reversing hardship and suffering. He knows the story of Elisha in 2 Kings 6 when the King of Aram sent an entire army to strike him down. Elisha’s servant said we are going to die. Elisha said, “Let’s pray first that you can see the armies of the Lord!” The servant saw the armies of the Captian of the Lord of Hosts. Then Elisha said, “Let’s pray again that God will blind their eyes.” God blinded the eyes of the enemy and he literally walked the blinded enemy army right to the King of Israel and it says, “Ever since, the marauding bands of Aram stopped invading the land of Israel” (2 Kings 6:23).
If you are going to enlarge your confidence you have to know the promises of God and memories of God sightings. Rehearse them, call upon the great promises and stories of old. In Jewish thinking, we have this odd understanding of time. Time is heading in a certain direction but that the memories, the promises the God sightings wash fresh over us in every generation.
James 5:13
James 5:13 TLV
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises.
Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of Messiah’s community, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
Has God given you a reason to be cheerful? Has he given you a promise to hold onto that is filling your soul like living water? Has he acted and gotten a testimony for His name through your life? Don’t hold back your praise. Don’t hold back your confidence in God because sometimes the people who will bring you down the most are sitting all around you. Remember what David said:
On Screen Bible Psalm 3
God! Look! Enemies past counting! Enemies sprouting like mushrooms, Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery: “Hah! No help for him from God!” But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high; With all my might I shout up to God, His answers thunder from the holy mountain. I stretch myself out. I sleep. Then I’m up again—rested, tall and steady, Fearless before the enemy mobs Coming at me from all sides. Up, God! My God, help me!...Real help comes from God. Your blessing clothes your people!” (Psalm 3, The Message)
Listen Beth Messiah, this is so important. If you make the mistake of meditating on what other people say to you, or about you, or about your situation or your confidence in God’s promises and memories you will never enlarge your confidence in God.
It's so important to understand. Don't meditate on what anybody says about you but God alone. You find out what God says about you. Don't listen to the voice of discouragement, the voice of the nay-sayers, the voice of the doubters and haters.
When it started to become apparent to Richard and Ron, that God had sent me here to be the new senior Rabbi. I knew this was God’s plan for my life. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt this was the Lord’s doing. I had people who came to office and said to me, “Michael, you have no business being the Senior Rabbi at Beth Messiah.” I had others tell me, “You don’t have the abilities.” I had another say of me, “He does not really have a shepherd’s heart.” I had others say, “How can we trust someone with a past like his?”
Even now sometimes, the enemy will come against me. I can hear his whispers, "Michael, you're not really qualified to lead this synagogue. Your no Ron Aaronson, your no Richard Freeman. Just give up go back to accounting, go back to business. You don't have the ability." Listen, I don't even think about that. That scripture just rises up in me and says, "I can do all things through Messiah Yeshua who strengthens me." I call to mind 1 Thess 5:24, “The One who calls you is faithful, He will do it.”
1 Thessalonians 5:24 TLV
Faithful is the One who calls you—and He will make it happen!
Sometimes the only way to enlarge your confidence is to praise Him for His promises to you when everyone around you says, “There is no hope in God for you.” Yes, there is!
James 5:14–15 TLV
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of Messiah’s community, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Jacob’s confidence here is dazzling. He says, “Are you sick?” Got some real medical problems? Got some real health issues? Have you committed some real sins that are looming large over your soul?
Don't ever listen to the enemy's lies when he tells you "you aren’t getting out of this situation." When he comes to you and silently whispers to you, “this time you have run out God’s grace.”
Jacob says, “Don't let him convince you to give up your confidence in God.” Our God is a God of second chances. It doesn't matter how many mistakes you've made in life. God promises to never abandon us, to never forsake us, to hold us in the palm of his hand. You're never too old. You're never too young. You're never too bad. You're never too good. It's never too late. It's never too early. Just put your confidence in Him.
He says you might need to enlarge your faith by calling on the Elders of the synagogue. The Elders, myself and Rabbi Lanning in the future, bring with us an unflinching hope in the promises of God, an unfading confidence in God sightings both old and new. According to Scripture, the Elders have the oil running from their beard down just like Aaron in Psalm 137.
Notice it says, “The prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”
You know that sometimes you don’t even have to be present, God can heal the sick across an ocean.
A college professor took a group of students to China for a field trip. Several days into the journey the professor experienced incredible stomach pain. He was hurting so badly, the professor asked a friend to call an ambulance. He was rushed to a local clinic.
They were way back in a small town with no big hospitals. The medical staffer in charge noticed that the professor’s appendix had ruptured. Poison was spreading throughout his body, but there were no surgeons around. There was little that could be done for the professor, his friend was told. “I can give him some pain medication, maybe some sleeping pills, but my advice is that he should make peace with his family,” the clinic staffer told him.
The professor went into convulsions and passed in and out of consciousness.
Back at home in the States, the professor’s father, who is a pastor, began to feel an incredible burden for his son during a service at his church. The pastor tried to ignore the feeling but it just wouldn’t go away. Finally, he stopped the service and he said to the congregation, “We must pray for my son. Something is wrong.”
They dropped to their knees and prayed.
Back in China at the clinic it was two o’clock in the morning when one of that country’s most well-known surgeons walked in—the same surgeon who travels with the U.S. president when he visits China. The clinic staff was amazed to see him.
“I’m here to take care of the American,” the surgeon said.
The Chinese surgeon saved the life of the professor with an operation. The next day the surgeon said to the recovering professor: “Who were those two men that you sent into my office yesterday?”
“I didn’t send anybody to you,” the professor replied. “I don’t know anybody here in China. I’ve just been here for a couple of days.”
“That’s odd, because two men came in dressed in nice suits. They looked like they were government officials,” the surgeon said. “And they said you were a very important person and I needed to be here in the middle of the night to operate on you.”
Jacob is telling you, you have every thing you need to enlarge your confidence. Enlarge your confidence by reciting God’s promises and God sightings. Enlarge your confidence by praising him for his promises to you even when everyone casts doubts upon us Enlarge your confidence by recruiting the elders to supercharge your hope in God’s promises, God’s amazing sightings, God’s faithfulness.
There is one last thing Jacob says, “Don’t throw away your confidence, keep pressing in.”
James 5:17–18 TLV
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Jacob says you know there is a principle throughout all of the Scriptures, “The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.” So don’t thrown away your confidence.
Jacob anticipates somebody is thinking to themselves, “Yeah, but I am not a very righteous person, I got drunk at the Super-bowl party. I should have turned my eyes away from that one add, with that one girl, that one guy but I did not. I actually drank it in. I have done things that I am ashamed of.”
Others would say, “Michael I have run from my problems rather than trusting God to solve my problems. I threw away my confidence in God rather than stepping out in faith. I am scared to trust God with my finances, so I am still holding back my tithe. That hardship, that medical report, that debt, that incident blindsided me, I let go of God and I am here today because my life is spinning out of control. Michael, I am not a righteous person.”
He says, I get it. I lived with the Messiah of Israel my whole life and I thought he was a joke. I treated him like a madman. He embarrassed me and my brothers. Me and my family even tried to stop Yeshua in the middle of a service where he was healing a lame man. In Mark 3:21 it says, “When His family heard about this, they went out to take hold of Him; for they were saying, “He’s out of His mind!”
Mark 3:21 TLV
When His family heard about this, they went out to take hold of Him; for they were saying, “He’s out of His mind!”
Jacob says the scribes and leaders all came to us and told us that my brother, the Messiah was demon possessed. What did I do? I did not stand up for him. I didn’t rush to defend him, rather I agreed with them and tried to stop him from healing the lame, setting free the demon possessed.
James 5:17–18 TLV
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Jacob would say, “I ask you is there grace left for me?” Yes, there is. I have God story for you. Elijah was not perfect. He had a nature just like ours. He was not perfect, don’t you remember that he is scared of Jezebel that he runs to the desert. He is so depressed that he wants to die, wants God to end his life?”
I am not like Elijah, not perfect. I called my brother, my Messiah, my Lord, a madman. I should not even be here but He “the madman” appeared to me and called me and gy His grace I am here.
Jacob is saying, “so are you here by that same grace.” Don’t you get it, he has not given up on you so don’t give up on him. Like Elijah prayed and the rain stopped flowing and then he prayed again and what happened.
It says in 1 Kings 18:41-45
Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there’s the sound of rain.” 42So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, crouched on the ground and put his face between his knees. 43Then he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.”
So he went up, looked, and said, “There’s nothing.”
Then he said, “Go back”—seven times—
Seven times Elijah says there is going to be rain. The servant comes back and gives a bad report, “Nothing.” He goes again, “nothing.” A third time and says, “Nothing.” A fourth time, “Nothing.”
Elijah did not throw away his confidence. He persevered in faith. He did not give up when the bad report kept coming back.
and it was the seventh time that he said, “Look! A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
Then he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”
In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. Ahab mounted and rode, and headed to Jezreel.
James 5:18 TLV
He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Don't ever listen to the enemy's lies when he tells you "the rain is not coming." You keep enlarging your confidence, you keep point to that horizon and saying, “the rain is coming, go look.” Don't let him convince you to to throw away your confidence. You keep your confidence high. You keep enlarging your confidence. The medical report did not come back the way you wanted it the first time, keep praying for the cloud. The promotion did not come, keep praying for the cloud. The relationship did not work out, keep praying for the cloud. Keep enlarging your confidence.
Don’t let the nay-sayers nay you down. Don’t let your past mistakes push you away. Don’t let that season where you walked away, doubted the promises stop you, Jacob and Elijah had a nature just like ours and they overcame adversity.
Don’t throw away your confidence in God’s Word in His Sightings. Don’t throw away your confidence in prayer or in God’s leaders that want to encourage you, inspire you, to have confidence no matter what comes your way.
Your confidence in God is powerful. I heard somebody put it this way. A basketball in my hands is worth about $29. But a basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about $33 million dollars. It depends on whose hands it's in. A baseball in my hands is worth about $7. But a baseball in Jeff Bagwell's hands is worth about $8 million dollars. It depends on whose hands it'sin. A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal. But a rod in Moses' hands parted the Red Sea. It depends on whose hands it's in.
And if you will put your life and your trust and your hope and your confidence and your gifts and your finances into God's hands, you will never, ever be disappointed. He'll take you places that you've never dreamed of and make more out of your life than you ever thought possible. Every one of you in here has the exact same access to God’s promises because of Messiah Yeshua our Lord.
Don’t you realize that part of the Treasure Test is God testing you to see if you will have confidence in Him just like He has confidence in you. Zerubbabel was asked to do something impossible. Restore Jerusalem.
Just so Zerubbabel would know how much confidence God had in him he said of him Hag 2:23
Haggai 2:23 TLV
“On that day’ ”—it is a declaration of Adonai-Tzva’ot—‘I will take you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant’—it is a declaration of Adonai—“ ‘and I will set you like a signet ring. For I have chosen you.’ ” It is a declaration of Adonai-Tzva’ot.
He was just an exile returning back to Jerusalem. He had it in his heart to restore the broken, desolated House of God. The task was overwhelming. Remember, what the angel told the prophet Zechariah to tell Zerubbel Zechariah 4:6-7
Zechariah 4:6–7 TLV
Then he responded to me by saying, ‘This is the word of Adonai to Zerubbabel saying: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Ruach!” says Adonai-Tzva’ot. “What are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain. He will bring out the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace” to it.’ ”
He told him, that mountain in front of you it will move. It will flatten out. God told Zerubbabel it is not you who are doing this. It is not in your hands, it is in my hands. It is God’s Spirit that will level that mountain into a great plain.
He says they are going to bring out the capstone of the Temple and everyone will say in Hebrew “Chen, Chen” our translation has grace, grace. Grace is not the best translation here of this Hebrew word “favor is.” They will say God’s favor, his favor because of Zerubbabel faith brought this thing into existence.
God has more confidence in you then you could possibly imagine. He gave you the precious gift of His Son Yeshua. If that was not enough, he gave you the Holy Spirit. If that was not enough, He gave you the armor of God. If that was not enough, He grafted all of us back in. If that was not enough, he gave us blessings beyond measure in heavenly places and here on heart. God has shown you how much confidence He has in you by giving you great and precious promises!
And my desire is to get you fired-up so you'll enlarge your confidence. That you will have the kind of confidence in God that Jacob had, the Elijah had, that Zerubbabel had. The kind of confidence in God that once you know God’s promises and rehearse His sightings, you won’t run from your enemies, you’ll run to your enemies. You won’t run away from college, thinking it’s too hard, you’ll run to it knowing that you’re well able. You won’t run away from that management position, thinking that you’re not qualified, you’ll run to it knowing that you’re well equipped. You won’t run away from that doctor’s report in defeat, you will pray the prayer of faith. You won’t run away from that problem in your marriage, you will declare God’s promises and be stronger than ever because of it. You will not run away because you know in whose hands you have placed your life.
You will not let that mountain speak to you, you will speak to that mountain to move out of they. You will not let the drought overtake you, you will enlarge your confidence and call in that cloud on the horizon!
You know that in God’s hands one seed can become a thousand seeds. That in God’s hands a curse can be reversed. That in God’s hands there is fullness of life.
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