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July 31, 2022 1:00 am
it's time to pray
What Difference Can I make?
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Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City and sends us to some sensitive fasting and praying and saying John what difference can my lightning. Thank you for being with us for a call to the nation with Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York City. So much turmoil in the world do you ever wonder what difference you can truly make a pastor, illustrated from the book of Nehemiah as a believer in Jesus Christ you can do more than you ever imagined. Here's Carter with today's message just wrote you from Psalm 11 David make these words he said in the Lord. I put my trust. I trust in God and I hope today that that trust is deeply embedded in every one of you that it it's not your life is no longer governed by the circumstances or situations or the news or anything else going on that there's an overriding trust in God, that tells your heart that God is in control of not only everything in this world but is in control of my life if I will yield to him. He can do through me. Whatever he wants to do and I refused to limit God. I refuse to say God can only go this far and no farther in and through my life.
I'm not going to live there are not from the living mediocrity as I believe that God can take each one here and make a profound difference to imagine if everybody here today there's gotten many thousands are here altogether. But imagine if everybody here today were to start a Bible study like this one young lady. She just simply pray got what you want me to do and was really simple. Start Bible study in your community and suddenly young people are coming in from everywhere, wanting to hear the word of God. She just simply heard from God and she obeyed God in the Lord. I put my trust. How can you say to my soul fleeing as a burden to the mountain. In other words, David is saying this is contrary argument. It's coming against me, telling me run hi escape preserve yourself, how can you say that to me.
David says when God is my trust, not circumstances, not situation.
I'm not governed by any of those things are governed by the presence of God in my life and what he tells me to do. That's what I would do. He says for look the wicked vendor bow.
They make ready their error on the string that may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.
David Singer living at a time. Mark where it seems to be fair game on the righteous, fair game against anybody who wants to live a godly lifestyle for game on anyone who believes in the value of life decide to be of life for the God appointed reasons for family and marriage. If the foundations are destroyed. Verse three he says what can the righteous do. If I'm looking around me and I'm seeing everything crumble everything that I held dear, everything that we believe was the reason why God never blessed us in the first place.
And suddenly there's collective social thought coming against everything that I held to be true and virtuous and right and honest in a good and godly and I'm watching it literate and watching the foundation of my society literally crumble before my eyes.
And there's a sinner, thought that says fleeing to the mountain escape preserve yourself high until this calamity be over past, but David says no there's an inherent trust in my heart that God has a plan bigger than my circumstance and thank God the David kept going.
You know the end of the story became the mightiest king, perhaps in all the history of Israel amend blessed of God and men supernaturally empowered of God. But there was a point in his life. Just as there is in yours where there was that internal voice telling me save yourself, preserve yourself, it's a lost cause. It's all coming down the destruction around you. You can't rebuild it, and this is what happened in this book called Nehemiah where there was just a young man who was a servant. That's all he was. He had no real pedigree.
He was living in the nation that had taken his own people captive the history of Israel was such that God had given the people of God of that time the promises that I'm going to bless you. You're going to be a blessing of the earth and through you. All the nations in the world are are going to be blessed by being given the knowledge of who God is.
It was it was God's determination to lift up a people group who believed in him and make him such a praise in the earth that would actually draw people to the knowledge stored in the desire of saying I want to know this God is the blessed people in such a way and gives them such ability. Remember, the Queen of Sheba coming into Solomon's temple. She she had palaces.
She had servants, but she saw something that so I sighed of what humanity can produce that it took her breath away.
I can just hear words I've never seen anything like this. The way everybody moves even the way your cupbearer's move the servants the way everybody moves in such a divine order. She'd never in her kingdom, and with all her power and wealth been able to see anything like that. And this was God's intention for his people and the earth to draw society as it is to himself, but the people of God of those years began to take it casually think of board with the presence of God.
It's not because but it happened in generations. They knew the great victory they the new divine order, but somehow they got counsel with it and it suddenly had to slip through their fingers and there were warnings in the Scripture that if you allow this to happen not only from within yourselves when enemies rise up, but from without enemies will come in and you will find yourself surrounded. You will find your foundation scatter but they didn't take the warning seriously and so the Babylonian empire came in at Concord. The testimony of God took God's people in three stages in the captivity in Babylon. God did the prophet Jeremiah a word that after 70 years of this chastisement as it was for how you so lightly handled the things of God. You will be given an opportunity to come back and rebuild. And so in three stages.
The return began about 70 years after the first people were taken into captivity another king arose another Empire arose the Medo Persian Empire and the king of that time, Cyrus allowed the people to start going back home stored in three stages. They started to return back to rebuild the testimony of God.
Just like today. I'm sure in addition to you in either a people all over the nation trying to rebuild as best as we can. The testimony of God in a society that seems to be crumbling all around us.
The first group on back and rebuild the temple and rebuild the altar and tried in the sensitive do their best to bring the testimony of the temple in God's presence back to the former glory that it wants new later on.
The second group under a priest call as Rob went back home and they tried to reinstitute the the law.
The word of God. The order of God.
The separation God requires of his people, so that his glory can be made known and so Nehemiah was a cupbearer to the king, the foreign king that still was represented the captivity of that time was aware of the history was aware of these groups of people in the thousands accident return to rebuild the testimony of God, and it starts in verse one of Nehemiah chapter 1 it says that words of Nehemiah, the son of Phil Kyle have to lie rather it came to pass in the month of choose love in the 20th year as I was in Shushan The Citadel knowledge to set the scene. Nehemiah is in the place that once took the people of God captive is not the testimony that his life should be on the earth was making the best of it. And in that place of captivity's China worked his way into the palace and these is got a good job in these delivering that is the cupbearer to the king, which by the way, was a high risk occupation you love a lot of people poisoned their kings back then in the cupbearer got the taste all the food first and got the drink take the first sip out of every cup and of course would be on a moment to pause and then if he died than the next cupbearer would be brought in and that's how they protected the king from being poisoned thought was it was cushy in one sense, but it was high risk and another but nevertheless he worked his way there and I am short because I know the story that the king had taken notice of this man because he was diligent in his service, he was honorable. It was a good man, no doubt about that and is he serving the king in making the best and send out speaks of many people today in God's kingdom. Not really free. Not really the full testimony that our lives could be living in a society that seems to have surrounded us in his telling us that there were haters and bigots in our value system is worthless living in a society that's debating killing children outside the womb living in a society that is redefine marriage and is redefining family and his were watching the foundations crumble all around us and were doing the best we can with what we have and that thought is in our hearts. What difference could my life make me just little me know me who goes to work every day and I do what I do and I found found a good job and I'm trying to make the best of it and trying to raise a family and I'm trying to be honorable and what I do and I don't even live where the testimony of God is supposed to be established in the earth that affect is no evidence.
Nehemiah never been there. It just annuity was new he was part of the people know many people here today enlisting online you've never walked in that the supernatural power of God. But you know that others have.
And you know you are part of that family and part of that heritage and so one day some people come to visit the palace and I guess he's got his trainees he serving the king like he normally laws maybe some some lunch and it's on a cop.
He says that Hannah and I went to my brother in verse two came with men from Judah, and I asked him concerning the Jews with escape and would survive the captivity and concerning Jerusalem. Another were to do so how's it going how's it going with the people's attempt to rebuild the testimony of God Plaza going in the nation. What is the church is like in California what's happening in Colorado what's going on in Pennsylvania just asking.
How is it going are the successful that they were released and allowed to go home and to rebuild and how's the rebuild comment is the former glory that the glory that we read about work. The presence of God would come so powerfully in the temple, but nobody didn't stand to minister because then come back is the glory there again and they said to me, the survivors are left from the captivity in the province than other words, the people who were let go back in. The people who were already there because the poorest of the land that were left there after the captivity are in great distress and reproach the wall of Jerusalem is also broken down and its gates are burned with fire. The people who are trying to build the doing their best.
They've done their best. It's been a long time, but during the stress there's a sense of hopelessness in the heart. They tried as hard as they know, but it's fallen so far short of the glory of God and their enemies are reproaching them saying all where is your God did tell us how powerful your God is you. You tell us about the one who parted the Red Sea, brought his people out of captivity. Where is your God.
Not only are they in distress but therein reproach the wall of Jerusalem is broken down in the gates are burned with fire, and others that the gates were the places where the plans and even battle plans for the day were made. Another was there's there's no strategy we work we don't have a word we don't have stranded. We don't have the leadership we need in the wall that symbolizes both protection and the demarcation of all who are the people of God, and who are not this this is broken down. Anybody can come in and go out and declare themselves to be part of this thing we have no way of knowing we have no way because there's a separation required of the people of God that are going to be used of God in the go to glorify God and that wall of separation is gone then just anybody comes and goes on to find is that we been in the church today.
The wall of separation seems to be down. Anybody can declare themselves to be a Christian. Whether there living for God or not. And so it was, he says when I heard these words and I sat down and wept.
And it's that moment that comes into your heart and mind were suddenly the burden of God comes. That's that's not just a compassionate man because he had not been there as far as I understand this is the burden of God.
There's moments in your life and in my life with the burden of God comes into our heart, something God begins to speak to us.
Were not sure what it is but he speaking to us. I was pastoring in Canada about 1994, at the beginning of the year and one day I felt the presence of the Lord just very very powerfully come Monday and it is no other way. If you haven't experienced that than I can adequately describe it to you other than all your senses are suddenly heightened in your aware of the presence of God in the room.
I told my secretary said shut everything down. No phone calls, don't interrupt me.
I'm going to be spending a little bit of time alone with the Lord. And so I went in to my office and the Lord said to me. Keep reading where you're reading right now and I was in the book of Chronicles the Old Testament is as read this, open it and begin to read them and talked about were David, the king gave Solomon his son.
The pattern of the temple, the powdered of the mercy seat, the pattern of the inner courts in the outer courts in Solomon was commissioned to finish the temple that King David had started and the Lord spoke to my heart set on sending you somewhere.
I'm sending you somewhere you have not considered. I'm sending it to finish her work at another man has begun and he's going to give you the pattern of the temple is going to show you the pattern of God's mercy going to show you the pattern of God's provision and everything of the Lord's going to be given to you.
It was such a moment. It's one of those divine moments work as Nehemiah's is that I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I sat down in astonishment. I went to my associate pastor was so short heard from God. I said I want you to prepare to take over the church. I'm going to be leaving. He said to me where you're going is that I have no idea what I'm going, but I know that God is spoken to my heart today was only a few months later the David Wilkerson called and asked me if I would be willing to come to New York City to help them when I heard these words I said down and wept and mourned for many days and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
In other words, this had to be deprived this man's heart. God what can be done about this. It's it's not right that your name should not be glorified in the earth would you agree with me on that. This bid isn't right that the name of Jesus Christ should be lightly esteemed in this or any other generation isn't right that people should mock the people of God, or the presence of God or the power of God isn't right that people should die in the sin and not know who Christ is and why you came.
It simply isn't right and there's a burden comes into the heart and it sets us to self-denial and sentenced to fasting and praying and seeking and saying God what difference can my life make and the first thing Nehemiah does is he goes back to the word of God goes into the word of God and he rediscovers the promises of God.
Verse five he said and I said, I pray Lord God of heaven. All great and awesome God, you keep your covenant and mercy with those who love you and observe your commitment. So the first thing the masses I know who you are.
I know your merciful, I know you're faithful. I know you can't fail. I know you don't lie. I know that what you say you will do.
You will do. I know that when you speak.
No prison door can stay close know I can stay Tuesday wound.
I know when you're speaking, the poverty poverty is eradicated in the blessing of God comes upon the people and strength is given where there was only weakness I know who you are. You keep covenant and mercy to those who love you and whom do the best they can to read your promises in the walking. Please, he says in verse six. Let your ear be attentive in your eyes open, that you may hear the prayer of your servant, which I pray before you now.
Day and night for the children of Israel, your servants and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against you both my father's house, and I have sinned you say he had been reading, and he hot most likely read the places where God appeared to Solomon and said, my eyes are open, and my ears are now listed for the prayers that you will pray in this place, it would've known this incredible mercy of God that had come down in the temple of the previous season but he says oh God, we've all sinned against you. God can use somebody who's trying to blame others for the situation well put it that way know if the testimony of the Lord is not known. The way it should be known in this generation is my fault, as well as a chart there's more that we could have done more that our father should have done and there's more that will be done. If not, people are called by my name will humble themselves not want generic and see not walk in pride recognize that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities in high places we've acted very corruptly for seven against you would not kept the commandments in the statutes nor the ordinances which you commanded your servant Moses.
In other words, we got into captivity because it was our fault not yours Lord, you warned us and we didn't listen. Remember, he says, verse eight. I pray the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, if you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the nations. God remember.
Imagine requesting the God. Remember, how could he forget is God is omniscient.
The only thing I know in the Bible that is ever forgotten is when you come to him through Jesus Christ. Is that your sins and iniquities.
I will remember no more.
The only thing he forget it. I love it because one day when you get to heaven, and if you like to fill you trusted in Christ for your salvation. You feel like a failure is done before Almighty God, in his I'm so sorry because I was this and I was this and I was this not fill here in a field there and the Lord God look at you and say well I'll have to take your word for it because I don't seem to remember any of it.
If you unfaithful scatter you among the nations. Other was God. This is party or promise you promised the people of those generations before me that if they were unfaithful they would be scattered, and so being truly a promise we were scattered among the nations, but verse nine.
If you return to me and keep my commandments, and do them.
Those some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heaven yet.
I will gather them from there and bring them to the place which I've chosen as a dwelling for my name, no matter how you said God no matter how far you are away from me, even if it seems like you couldn't cast any farther off into the heavens and where you are. Yet in that place where you are. If you turn and begin to pray. If the people pride. I will gather them from there I will bring them to the place that I've chosen is a dwelling for my name for you and I today that God says no matter where you are, no matter what you're struggling with. No matter how deep your bondage might be or how far you might feel away from God. If you turned to me. I will bring God's is will bring you back it will be supernatural to the place that I am destined you to be in. I will make you the person that I have determined that you should be your life as Solomon's Temple.
One stood will be radiant with the glory of God the leading of God. The voice of God. Now he says in verse 10. These are your servants and your people and when you've redeemed with your great power and by your strong hand. Oh Lord, I pray please let your air be attended to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who desire to fear your name and let your servant prosper.
This day I pray and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer is it finishes chapter 1 with this thought. I perceive that I'm in a place to make a difference and I live in a foreign place.
I'm not personally responsible for all the mess that's been created. I didn't do it all personally. But I'm on part of the testimony that should be today, but I perceive I perceive the God has put me in a place to make a difference. You see, God has put you in a place to make a difference in somebody's life God has put you in a place to make a difference in your community and your workplace. Some of you got a sports in place to make a difference in your town or city organization. You don't know unless you ask. He couldn't stay to cupbearer his whole life instead God opened the way for him to petition the king of that time in the king's heart was moved towards him, because God's hand was on and the king promised him permission to give them permission to go and rebuild the wall.
He gave them protection not affected says one when he arrived in Jerusalem he had army people and horsemen with them send it with an entourage any given moment provisionally needed to build everything he was called the bill to see when you when you get up to do the work of God that is ordained your life to be. He will give you everything you need is a supernatural kingdom, God's kingdom be raised when you yield to him what he'll do for your life the gift to give you places you take the healing that will come into your heart, the testimony will be left behind when you're gone you'll of walk-through places and weeping as the Scripture says Neil made it a beautiful place place of living water. Let that be your cry. Let it be my God.
I believe I'm in a place to make a different I don't know how I don't need to know where that's all up to you but you will make away you been listening to Carter Conlin, pastor of Times Square Church in New York City. For more information and resources to help you in your walk with Christ. Log on to TSC NYC.org that's TSC NYC.org. Be sure to join us again next week for a call to the nation with Carter,