Praise in the Wilderness 26-Feb-2023

by Pastor Roy Esposito

A Fact of Life: Everybody suffers!   Health, emotions, and anxiety (from real or imagined sources, including fear, hatred, violence, or envy.)

It’s part of human reality since the fall of man in the Garden.

Mankind (Adam) chose to leave the state of peace and safety provided by God for a life that would require them to find the answers to: 

“Who am I?   What am I doing here?”  – instead of just BEING!

But by His mercy, God has not left us to our ineptitude.

Colossians 3:3(TPT) – provides the answer for us   – 

“Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life (of suffering), and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ.”

It seems ironic that although every believer is hidden away in Christ and is His body  —  YET we all fear and avoid the intimacy required to FIND ourselves in Christ.

I believe the events of the days we are living in are part of an AWAKENING that will imbue us with self-confidence, identity, and deeper trust in God (Faith). That will instill greater courage to face and accept our uniqueness, so we can give it toothers.

So, how can this happen? How do we find our way back to peace, safety, and ONENESS with God?

Jesus said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.”  – (John 14:6)

He is the Way to Life! – Life can only come through Truth. – 

Therefore, Truth is the WAY – the only Way.

Truth – is not a compilation of facts – Truth is a PERSON!

To come to  LIFE through TRUTH, then, has to become a personal matter.

God made it personal when He chose to manifest Himself on earth in the PERSON of Jesus.

Traveling The Path to Life requires  — Truth >> Transparency (humility and vulnerability) >> leading to Purity of Heart >> leading to Holiness.

God wants a holy people and has said so:

Leviticus 19:2 “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.”  

This is a scary concept for many because of the past legalism in Church teachings.      A “Religious Spirit”

But be assured that having a Religious Spirit will never make you holy!

Although we do participate in our transformation into the “new creation,” – we, on our own, can never make ourselves holy.

When you try to make yourself holy, your focus is actually on your UNHOLINESS – and we always become what we behold.

The key to Holiness –  Is realizing that it’s God’s will that it would be so.

The “Shall be…” in Leviticus 19  is not an order to make something He knows we’re incapable of doing but a promise – a prophetic declaration directed at our “inner being” to become what He’s spoken.

Not a demand but a prophetic decree spoke forth by God!

What’s more – I believe that God wants us not just to become holy and pure but also to be joyful and fulfilled in Him.

We don’t need a theory or theology about holiness  – we need an opportunity to experience what it feels like to be pure and clean before God.

Revelation 4:6 – describes a lake before God’s throne that is crystal clear and pure – it’s very still and has no ripples.  Water speaks of LIFE.

I think many times we miss opportunities the Lord creates for us because we don’t recognize them as such.

Why?-  Often, they are dressed unattractively – Looking like WORK, SACRIFICE, or unpleasant.  – Who wants to embrace that, right?

We generally like the stories of victory, blessings, and the promises of God.

We like receiving the Gifts of the Spirit and the Move of His Glory, right?

We love the idea of large angels doing spiritual warfare for us as if we’re playing a computer game – and we can press the Reset button if things get too unpleasant.

But God may be moving in ways we don’t expect – shrouded in Mystery and ways that require Faith and Trust.

Many times it gets a little too personal, and we close ourselves off often using the “Shield of Faith“ against the: ”Sword of the Spirit.”

These are the times we should humble ourselves and retreat into

“The shelter of the Most High…”  (Psalm 91:1-2TPT)

Hebrews 13:15 – “Therefore, by Him (because of who He is and with His help) let us continually offer the Sacrifice of Praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

Ahh!! — The Sacrifice of Praise!

J. Hayford Kingdom Dynamics – SACRIFICE – to kill or slaughter something for a specific purpose.

Praise – requires that we kill our Pride – our fear  – our sloth and spiritual dysfunction  – or ANYTHING that threatens to interfere with our WORSHIP of the Lord.

Worship is necessary because as we worship, we have fellowship with Him and become ONE with Him

Psalm 22:3(TPT) – “You are God-Enthroned, surrounded with songs, living among the shouts of praise of your princely people.”

Being “ONE” with God is how our original relationship was.

Praise makes God present, and in His presence, we can only worship; worship restores our authentic relationship with Him.

As a result: Worship Restores US!

How many would like your enemy’s main access point to your soul shut down and removed?

God doesn’t just want to clean us up, so we look Holy  – He wants to take out of us anything that might stand in the way of us BECOMING Holy!

John 14:30 – Jesus said, “The prince of this world comes, and he has nothing in me.” – I’d like to be able to say that.

Jesus also said that there would come a time that believers would be able to do the things He did and more.  – I think this might fall into that category.

As I was praying about what to speak on today, I felt the Lord leading me to remind you to be careful not to misunderstand or mislabel the things you’re experiencing in these times.

These are not times of lack or times of woe but are opportunities to experience sweet and deeper fellowship with Him as you lay down your fears, “what ifs,” and lack of understanding – and to trust Him.

I felt Him say, “Tell them, “What was once lost can be regained and restored through these times.”

Our first parents were “Had” by God.

When He spoke to them, they responded to His Word not just by DOING what He said but by BECOMING” what he said.

The enemy’s goal has remained the same through the ages: to get us to break fellowship with God.

He created a need in our first parents through deception, which focused their eyes and hearts on something other than God. 

“Partake of this, and you will become like God.” – When in reality, they were already one with Him.

Becoming Holy doesn’t mean – no enjoyment – no family or friends – no material pleasures.

It’s not sitting around chanting and being weird – it simply means partaking in all that is good while at the same time looking past all the stuff to the ONE who is the creator and supplier of all the stuff.

A Holy life – Is simply a life of thanksgiving and praise to God.

You’ll never have to seek to get free stuff if you find yourself captured by it already.

Thank and praise God in all things and ask Him to help you realign your priorities.  –  PR

If you will, the wildernesses we all find ourselves in sometimes won’t have to be an extremely hard and overbearing place.

It can be a place where we are changed in the presence of a Holy God.