We start in the beginning this morning-well almost, Genesis chapter 2. Pastor Casey points out in verse 18, that after six times God saying it was good; God utters the first, “It is not good…” Remember, this is a perfect world, perfect creation, fresh from God- no sin, sickness, disease or death. God’s creation was good, however the alone-ness of man was not.
Alone means all one–all about me. Like the Dead Sea, everything is flowing in, nothing out. God remedies the situation by bringing forth from Adam, Eve(ezer). The name Eve (ezer), means helper, vital, powerful kind of help. God is referred to as the ezer/helper 16 times in the Bible. Keeping this in mind helps us recognize that Adam and Eve were designed to co-reign in life: which gives us a beautiful picture of God in His fullness. The perfect image of God (God made people in His image) is me connected to others.
Man was made of Spirit and dust; everything he needed was placed within him by God: woman, Eve, was taken out of Adam. When God created each of us, He placed everything we need within us. Whether we are single or married, we have what we need to become who God has called us to be. Singleness is not aloneness, unless we refuse to find connection and community with others. We must submit to God in order for Him to bring His fruitfulness out of us. Just as the image of God was not complete in the al-oneness of man, neither are we complete alone/disconnected from others.
Moving into the New Testament, in John 12, Pastor Casey shares on a very interesting passage where Jesus speaks of being alone or being fruitful. Please listen and consider what God has placed in your life and is desiring to bring out of your submission to Him in fellowship with the Body of Christ.
Scripturereference: Genesis 2:15-18, 21-25; John 12:23-28; Psalm 92:13;
This morning begins with an Old Testament passage from 2 Kings 4:1-7; the widow with the jar of oil. Pastor Casey notes that at times, we can get distracted from what God has called us to because of loss. The widow is definitely struggling with loss- her husband is dead; she is in debt; her sons are headed for slavery. In verse 2, Elisha asks a question that seems odd to us. “What shall I do for you?” What do you have?” Perhaps we need to stop and consider, what do I really need, on what level? And, what do I have?
The widow mentioned she had a jar of oil. Oil speaks of anointing, empowerment for the place we are and the work we are called to do. Pastor Casey notes that God has given us all we need to live where He has placed us. II Peter 1:3 “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…”. The widow was told to gather many vessels. As the widow obeyed the prophet, she began to pour the oil into vessel after vessel. The more vessels we show up with, the more anointing is going to flow. God will pour his anointing into our life as we make ourselves available. There is always more!
We can limit what God wants to do in our life based on our experience. But we are not just the product of experience but of grace. There is more! God has more oil than we have vessels. More anointing for our life than we’ve walked in yet. I Corinthians 2:9 “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which god has prepared for those who love Him.”
Pastor, Casey goes on to encourage us from Proverbs 30:16. If we would never say enough, how much more of God could we experience? There is more grace for our husband/wife-more anointing to reach people-more capacity to hold the things of God…
Listen and be encouraged. Wherever you find yourself today, God has more for you.
Scripturereference: II Kings 4:1-7; II Peter 1:3; I Corinthians 2:9; Proverbs 30:16
Pastor Casey revisits a scripture from a few weeks back, Psalm 84:6a “As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring;” He goes back to verse 1 and begins to walk through this psalm for us today. In the first verse he points out that we are the house of God. What is on the inside of us makes us lovely, being filled with the glory of God. As he moves on to verse 2, he takes some time to develop the thought process of how our soul (mind, will and emotions) yearns to be near God. More amazing, is the idea of how can our flesh cry out for God, when Galatians tells us that flesh is at enmity with God?
We see in Galatians 5:16-18, that if we are led by the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh and we are not under the law. Pastor Casey points out that we are under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus not the law of sin and death as noted in Romans 8. Our flesh desiring God begins with an act of will-then a choice to walk toward God-our flesh follows. So yes, (v.2) my soul and my flesh, can cry out for God. We do have a choice based on our will to serve God, or not.
Pastor continues moving through verses three through six, elaborating on the young, the altars, dwelling, praising, strength, pilgrimage and finally wells. He encourages us to live as near the altar as we can get; bring forth the young/next generation to follow God; dwell in God; know that God is our strength; set our hearts to be near; and build the wells that bring refreshing. When we find ourselves in the Valley of Baca, we can sit and weep, or dig a well.
Pastor Casey starts us out with a question, “Are you hungry; what are you hungry for?” Then he shares a great promise in Jesus’s own teachings; Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” Shall is a very strong word saying you will receive. Then in John 7:37-38 “on the last day, that great day of the feast, (Tabernacles) Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
An interesting bit of history on the feast of Tabernacles shows us that this is the only Jewish feast at which all were welcome to the celebration, gentiles and Jews alike. Tabernacles was celebrating a time of meeting with God. At the end, a time of pouring out water on the altar to symbolize the glory of God covering the earth. So here are people celebrating, eating, drinking, visiting, living in booths/tents and participating in the symbolic act of pouring out water on the altar. Jesus will soon be pouring out his life in order to cover the earth with the glory of God.
Listen in as Pastor Casey shares his heart on going after God with a hunger and thirst to be filled.
Scripturereference: Matthew 5:6 ; John 7:37-38; II Samuel 23:14-45.