Born to Taste the Grapes - Pt. 4 - The Gates of Access - Persistence
The Gates of Access – Pt. 3
Date: 9/17/06 - PPHC - Born to Taste the Grapes Series
Jer. 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I. The Gate of Obedience
· “Obtaining” the grapes of God's blessings is directly related to your obedience to him.
· If God has been speaking to you about doing something, just do it. Don't negotiate.
II. The Gate of Knowledge*
· What you don't know can destroy you!
· You cannot lay hold of the grace and blessings of God unless you first having knowledge of what he has provided for you.
III. The Gate of Visualization*
· If you cannot see the grapes in your mind, you will not see them in time.
· Visualize where God wants you to be, and then act as if you are already there!
IV. The Gate of Persistence
A. A Requirement: You Must Have a Made-Up Mind
· Illustration: “Coon On the Log” – little hook-wormed, female coonhound vs. the mighty 90 lb. Champion Walker Coon hound. She made had a made-up mind that she would be true to her breed and was persistent.
1. Regardless of how far away the grapes of blessing may appear, or whatever may obstruct your path.
a. Sometimes it will seem as if the blessings needed are a 1,000 miles away.
b. Your friends may even try to discourage and disillusion you.
c. They may not understand your goals or dreams
1. Joseph – The Dreamer
· His family misunderstood his dreams.
· His family didn’t care to share in his dreams.
· In fact, his family was directly opposed to the God-given dreams of Joseph.
Principle: Not everyone will be excited about what God is birthing in your heart, mind, and life. But don’t allow that to stop the dreams that God is birthing in and through you.
B. The Grapes of God’s Blessing Belong to the Persistent
· Elijah & Elisha 2Kings 2
1. The Stages of Persistence
a. Gilgal – 2:1 – A Rolling Away – The place of salvation
· Many are content with their salvation experience only…deciding to settle down here.
b. Bethel – 2:2, 4 – The House of God – Where Jacob anointed the stones; God’s presence
· Abraham – set up an altar to God – He WORSHIPPED there! – A place of worship.
· Jacob – he rested at Bethel and he DREAMED there! - A place where dreams are birthed.
· During the times of the judges (Deborah & Samuel) – it was to Bethel that people would come to FIND the PRESENCE of God. – Today, many come to the house of God because they are hungry for His Presence.
· School of the Prophets – They TRAINED there. The Church is a training ground for Christians.
· As great as Bethel was…Worshiping, Dreaming, Finding His Presence, and Training there, Elisha stated that he would not STAY there!
· One can only stay in the presence, worship, dream and train but for so long until God’s mandate is heard like a clarion call: “GO…..”
c. Jericho – The city of Palms; natural resources, beauty, bountiful trade.
· The Place of Luxury…place of Blessing…many want to settle here…it would be easy.
· …“stay here”…the rest watched from a near mountain.
1. These mountain-gazers didn’t go the distance as Elisha.
· There are too many mountain-gazers and not enough valley-walkers today.
d. Jordan – “To descend”
· A Place of Alteration – Leprous Naaman descended into its depths & came up changed.
· A Place of Appointment – The Holy Spirit “descended” upon Christ as He came up out of the Jordan; “the Holy Spirit “descended” upon he believers for the new work before them…“…ye shall be witness unto me…Judea, Samaria, … uttermost parts…”
e. “if you see me when I am taken away…”
· In sports: “Keep your eye on the ball!!!!” – Elisha’s whole life had been centered on keeping his eye on his master and now his greatest request would hinge on his ability to keep his master in view.
1. The winds pick up; 50 young preachers see something beginning to happen in the valley.
2. A fiery chariot and horses suddenly appear from the heavens.
3. Dust is swirling, the horses, the chariots part the two men…Elisha’s eyes filled with sand, he looks around for his master.
4. Elijah’s gone!! – Winds subside, heavenly beings have vanished…with tears streaming from his dust-filled eyes, he sees the last of his master vanishing from sight.
5. Just as he is almost gone, he notices something falling from the sky…the mantle of his master, Elijah.
6. He walks to the edge of the Jordan…“Where is the Lord God of Elijah? – The water parted!
· Because of his persistence, he walks in the power and in the anointing of Elijah the rest of his days.