Morning Prayer Summary for Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Dr. James Tan…

We get to be a part of what God is doing… or not!

Something is afoot on the earth today, and it’s called the moving of the Spirit of God. Something that started over there in Acts chapter 2 and hasn’t ended since. And you and I get to be a part of that and be a part of what the Spirit of God is doing… or not! That’s the alternative right there. We either are with what the Spirit of God’s trying to do, trying to move, trying to accomplish on the earth. Or we are not. One of the two. And like I always say, I think the potential trap with being a part of any organization is that if we’re not careful, we slide into “This is what we do. This is how we do it.” Versus “Here’s why we do and how we do, and what we do.”

Don’t become a whitewashed sepulcher…

And if we’re not careful… And I say “we.” If we are not careful and if we move from the life force that is the church of Jesus Christ, which is the flow of the Spirit of God in our midst… if we move away from that, then we have nothing. We become nothing but whitewashed sepulchers. That’s all we ever become. That’s the beginning of every dead thing. And I don’t intend to die while I’m alive!

“God, help me that my life will count for something…”

And so there is a move of the Spirit of God that I intend to be a part of and I intend to with all that I can jump into. I spend quite a bit of time thinking about death, not in a morbid kind of way. But I do it to refocus me and what I intend to accomplish by the time I go. I regularly watch (and you can do this on YouTube now. It’s not a big deal.) But I regularly watch Memorial Services of giants past. Yesterday, I again watched Lester Sumrall’s home-going service, and tears streamed down my face as I heard one after another, get up and talk about an impact he’d made into their lives. And I thought, “God, help me. Help me. Help me that my life will count for something. Help me. That my life will count for what the Word of God is trying to accomplish on the earth. Help me that my life will count for what the Spirit of God is trying to accomplish on the earth.”

You and I have a choice…

And this morning, you and I have a choice. Every morning we have a choice to wake up and decide if our life will go in the direction of the Word and the Spirit of God… or not.

Have we removed the element of flowing with the Spirit of God?

You know what the opposite of being led by the Spirit is? Not being led. You know what happens when people are not led? They live life by habit. “Here’s how we always do it.” “Here’s what we’ve always done.” “Here’s what we did 40 years ago.” “Here’s what we’re going to go on doing now.”

And we removed that element of the flow of the Spirit of God. And before they know it… I want to say “they” because may that never be us at Living Word. I’ll give you all another opportunity on a Tuesday morning to say “amen” to that. I’m going to say “they” because that will never be us here at Living Word… that don’t have the flow and the leading of the Spirit of God.

The wise versus the foolish virgins…

Matthew 25. Now I’m not approaching this from any kind of an eschatological anything, so interpret this however you interpret this. This isn’t an argument about when you think the rapture is going to happen or when we’re going to be taken and who’s going to be taken. I’m not looking at it from that angle. Here’s the angle I’m looking at it from. “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise and five of them were foolish.” Here’s the definition of foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them. Foolish! Can I ask you this morning, you’ve got your lamp, but have you got any oil with you?

The definition of wise…

Here’s the definition of wise. “But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” Do you know that a lamp in and of itself doesn’t shine light? Doesn’t burn anything? “But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept, and at midnight a cry was heard. Behold the bridegroom was coming, go out and meet him. Then those who were virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us…” Oh, I love it. That the foolish were foolish enough to not bring oil for their lamp, but they were wise enough to know who did have oil!

Hey, the day is coming when those who have no oil will be looking for oil. May they know where to find us. May that be us! Those relatives, those ones who laugh at you and question you and mock you and kind of think you’re a little weird for coming to this church where they lift their hands and speak in tongues and roll on the floor half the night. The day is coming where they’ll be coming to ask you for a little bit of what you picked up while you were rolling on the carpet. I’m not doing it so they’ll come and ask me for that. I’m doing it for my benefit.

“Give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out.”

Here’s the angle I’m reading this from. And I know how this account ends. And you know, too, so… And again, this is not a Bible study. I’m just looking at this, allowing my heart to read this. And I read this and I always think… “God, I want to have enough oil so that they’ll know. People can see how oily I am. Not greasy!” I’m starting to travel more here stateside. And not too long ago, I was at a church, graduates of a school that’s worldwide known for being on the cutting edge, at least in the seventies, eighties, nineties, being on the cutting edge of what God was doing. And I got done with my week of meetings. The pastor got up. I’m only saying this because he said it publicly first. The pastor got up and said publicly, “Well you know, I haven’t spoken in tongues publicly at the church in over 15 years. I’m going to start again today.” And I thought, “That’s great… but 15 years!” These are people in our circles. I’m not talking about Baptist folk. These are people in our circles. 15 years!

The enemy wants to remove praying in the Spirit…

The first thing the enemy wants to remove from our circles is praying in the Holy Ghost. Hear me! The enemy wants to take that out. “No! He wants to take the Word out.” No, no, no. Without the Holy Ghost, the Word is dead and dry to you. We need the Spirit of God to make the Word come alive to us. We need some of that oil to light our lamps. Because outside of that oil, that lamp has no light. Because there’s nothing to burn. We have to have the Spirit of God come back to church.

Listen, let me help you…

When I say the Spirit of God come back to church, I don’t mean we have to be running at every service. That’s not all that the move of the Spirit of God is. Last night was a little bit unusual for healing school. I think a lot of people came expecting because they were expecting a loud run around and roll around because we’ve had that in the past. But last night was solemn and somber. I think we’re picking up on some of the things that was happening when you all were having 24-hour prayer. It was a very silent, somber, solemn gathering. And you know what? People came forward crying, consecrating.

Consecration is not a bad word…

Do you know that consecration is not a bad word? Being holy is not a bad word either. Just last night, I know it was the unction of the Holy Spirit. Just last night, we said “You know why it is in some places they no longer make room at the altar…” In a lot of places, they no longer have altars because altars are holy where you come meet God and you consecrate a place to meet God. And in a lot of places, they no longer have that space. May that not be us! May we always have a space. May we always create a space.

“Well the church is not the building.”

I understand the church isn’t the building, but we have chosen as a family to gather here in this location and this ought to be holy ground. And holy ground means the holy One has final say on what He wants to do on holy ground. And can I tell you this? The holy One always wants to have final say so.

This is our assignment…

So when I see this… the foolish once knew where to go. So this is part of our assignment. We’re supposed to have such an abundance of oil that when the time comes where people are going to need oil, they know where to come looking for that. And again, I’m not looking at this from any kind of an eschatological anything for those of you who just came in. It’s not Bible study time now.

There is a cost to getting the oil…

So look at this… “And the wise ones answered and said, “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” So in other words, oil was available is the point. And again, this isn’t Bible study. But oil was available. Oil was available! Which means they could have gone and got some if they had wanted to. So this tells me that there is a cost to getting that oil. This tells me that it won’t mean the same to you if I just gave it to you. It’s something only you can get for yourself.

Listen, no one can pray obedience on you. No one can pray yielding on you. No one can pray consecration and holiness on you. That has to be something you grasp for yourself.

You say, “Well, that sounds like a whole lot of work.” Oh, but you got to understand that when you get in the flow of the Spirit of God, then suddenly you become one with Him. He becomes one with you. Your words. His words. It all becomes the one word. That’s where your power to say “Go!” becomes God’s word “Go.” And your word “Come” becomes God words “Come.”

I want that! And in that environment of the flow of the Spirit of God…

Just last night, those of you who were at the healing school last night, an older guy sitting up front interrupted me halfway through. I was addressing the online crowd when he came up. He wasn’t trying to be disruptive. He wasn’t out of order. He was excited. I would rather have people excited than sit there dead and dry all the time. He was quiet and went back and sat down. So I went back to him and said, “What happened?” He said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it. But I just wanted you to know I was half blind and now I see perfect!” And last night, front row seat… right here! No one laid hands on him either. Right here! Those two seats right there.

Learning how to yield is a daily thing…

In the environment that we allow for the presence of the Spirit of God, we suddenly find out He can do everything that we don’t even think about. I’m so glad my God’s bigger than what I can think. Oh, listen! That comes with you giving in. I found out, me at least, that learning to yield is a daily thing. I didn’t always know that. Growing up, I thought one day I’m going to be some big spiritual giant. And I’m going to be one of these… One day… one of these days I’m going to hit that and I’m going to be this big spiritual superman thing where it’s just all… You know what I mean? I’m going to be driving and traffic’s just going to always open. Every light’s going to go green. It’s just all going to… it’s like the Red Sea. It’s just going to part wherever I come in.

It’s one step at a time…

Well, come to find out that you only get there one step at a time. And even when you do, you still got to take every little step. So I found out that yielding to the Spirit of God is a daily thing. Yielding to the Spirit of God is a couple of times a day. Sometimes learning to yield to the spirit… And again, I don’t mean to make this sound burdensome. I don’t mean to make this sound heavy. I’m not beating myself up… None of that. But what it does mean is that there is an intentional awareness that on looking on the inside, “God, if you are leading me left, I don’t want to go right. And if you are leading me right, I don’t want to go left.”

Well, you say, “Well, what if I go left and come to find out left was wrong.” Well, if left was wrong, right was wrong. (And don’t read anything political into what I just said.) And if left was wrong and right was wrong… listen, then God’s bigger than my mistake and He’ll cover me and see my heart for what it was trying to do, which is to obey Him. And in His grace and mercy, He’ll restore me. So even in my mistakes, if my mistake was made out of wanting to step out and obey Him, He’ll cover me anyway and I’ll come up richer for my mistake than I did trying to do right.

So then that takes away the fear of, “Well, what if… what if… what if? I have the easier services because everywhere I go I just basically… I’ve learned the art of just stepping back and doing nothing and let the Spirit of God come in the room and then I don’t have to do much. They tried ending the meeting last night after four hours, and we had a whole bunch of people feel… those of you who were here last night, we had the this whole space right here filled the people praying. And they couldn’t get out. I was on my way out and they couldn’t get out. We didn’t lay hands on anyone either.

We have to have the Spirit of God back in our lives and back in church.

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