Sermon Transcript: You've Got What You Need

6/28/2021 Cal Rychener 37 min read

- Man, there's a lot more of you here than were here four years ago when I was here. But it is great to see you. I'm telling you, I'm wanting to just fist bump, Jeff. I love him and it's so fun to be back here to see what God's doing. I have a word for you today and I felt it four years ago when I was here. So, I say it's always a privilege to preach somewhere the first time. It's surprising to get invited back after you've been there, "Come a second time." But no, Jeff is a great friend and just excited to see what he's doing, how God's using you guys, how he's using Jeff as a leader here at Brave. I also know, do we still have another campus with us today? I understand Bloomfield campus and our online family, guys here, give it up for our other folks that are tuning in today.

But as Jeff said, we've been good friends since we first met in Peoria, probably 20 years ago or so and it's just great to see what's going on here today. I sensed in my heart when God sent Jeff here that he had a special assignment. And I just want you guys to know, 'cause I do get to work with a lot of different pastors and I'm not saying anything about any other pastors, I'm just saying some are gifted in certain ways and others aren't. And you probably know this, but Jeff is one of those top-tier pastors, he really is. And he's not just a pastor. Churches need to understand this. God sends to lead in His churches based upon assignments He has for the people leading and the giftings He's given to the people leading. Jeff is not just a pastor. He has a pastor's heart, but he's gotta have a lot of pastors around him. Jeff is, what I wanna call a gatherer. And when you set a gatherer free and you put the right pastoral work around them, you see large things happen. And when I was here four years ago, I said to Jeff when I left, I feel and I don't say I get a download from the Lord all the time or come in here as a prophet to say, "This is what God says," but I am telling you in my heart I said, "Jeff, you're gonna get ready 'cause you're gonna go to over 10,000."

And I understand you guys went to a race track or something like that at Easter and when he told me, I go, it didn't surprise me, I go, "Just get ready, that's gonna be average." And once you get there, it's gonna just, Brave, you're gonna be surprised, but I've to help you understand a few things you need in your arsenal today. And there are times where God gives me a message for my church. And then there are times where He gives me a message for the church and I will preach some of these messages at different places. But there's no question that when He was forming this in my heart, He knew I was coming to Brave church. And I take it from Psalm 23:5.

Many of us know Psalm 23. Even maybe those of us who weren't raised in the church, we've heard Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want," I learned it in the Old King James language. "He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside still waters. He restores my soul," and it's a beautiful, beautiful picture. It suggests as well that when we go through the valley, we don't have to fear because God is with us. And most of us read this and we Psalm 23 has that feel of quietness and rest and serenity. It's like we read it and we think, "This is the picture of the ideal life," Trouble free, carefree, worry-free. Anybody living the ideal today?

- [Congregation member] Yeah.

- But with verse five, there's a shift and I wanna look at that verse with you today. It says, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." Stop there for a minute and understand what David is saying. He's the author of this Psalm. This versus assuming some enemy interference and opposition.

And our question is, where is God when that happens? Well, this you're gonna understand, He's setting the table for you. This passage tells us He's taking care of us, He's providing what we need. And we say, "Okay, great." But usually when adversity and opposition bombards our lives, the first question to arise is, "Lord, why not forget the table and just remove the enemies?" Get rid of the adversity and I won't need the table, that'll be easier for both of us.

But what if the shepherd has plans and purposes for you and me that go beyond just lounging in green pastures and besides still waters? What if He is maturing you and me to know how to deal with our enemies? That is what is hinted at here. Sheep don't lounge at tables. Here, David is hinting at a partnership that goes beyond the sheep metaphor in this passage. And David, the very one who wrote the Psalm knew full well that He leads me beside still waters, makes me lie down in green pastures, He restores my soul primarily so that I am rested and ready to take on the next giant that comes against me.

- [Congregation member] That's right.

- Today, I want you to recognize from this passage that God has chosen you for partnership in the kingdom and He has equipped you with everything you need for amazing victory. But understand, from the moment you step foot into the kingdom of God, sorry to tell you, you weren't invited to a picnic.

Oh yeah, Shepherd takes you aside for the picnic, gets you restored, why? So, He can put you back out on the battlefield. You have enemies. From the moment you stepped foot into the kingdom of God, you began training for reigning and you became a target of the enemy. Sorry to inform you if you didn't know that already, but you have enemies. The Bible mentions at least three. The world, and we're seeing this in ways we haven't seen it at least in America, but this is a system that is under the control of the evil one and opposes anyone or anything that represents Christ. Secondly, there's the flesh, that's not your body but evil desires and thoughts that the enemy tries to shoot into your mind and hijack your body and use it for evil purposes. And thirdly, the devil who drives both the system of the world and the desires of the flesh and who, as 1 Peter: 5, 8 says, is your enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  And while people are not our enemy, remember Ephesians 6 says, "Our enemy is not flesh and blood. You can be sure that our real enemy will inspire flesh and blood people to oppose us at every turn."

You have enemies, but not to worry because the one who leads you beside quiet waters is also the one who supplies everything you need in order to be victorious against your enemy, as we will see from this passage today.

Heed when verse five says, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies," that word, prepares, literally means God has spread the table and He's not sitting you there and asking people, the image sometime can be, "Well, those who've opposed me are gonna come and eat with me and this type of thing, or they're gonna watch me eat," and that's not what it means. He's laid out a spread with every provision I need, not in the presence of, the Hebrew word and again it means against or in opposition to your enemy. You're in training for reigning and God's given you everything you need.

So, I wanna help you understand four amazing realities that can enable you to walk in victory and freedom today. Everything flows out of reality, number one, and I find this to be the one that the church has the least understanding of today.

Reality number one is this, God has granted you an authoritative position. If you're a follower of Jesus Christ, you have more authority than you likely know and the enemy knows it very well, so, what he's doing is trying to keep you blind to the authority that you possess. When we understand that God has set the table for us against or in opposition to our enemy, we need also to realize that we occupy the high ground.

In ancient warfare, whoever occupied the high ground had significant advantage. I lead tours to Israel and have taken many people to Masada and I said, "Jeff was on at the 8:30. So, you guys make sure you let him know as well." "Jeff, let's go with Cal to Israel." I go, "Bring a bus, I'll take Jeff one time and then Jeff, you can just take your church as many times as you want to, but let me have the privilege of showing you what Israel is like, and I wanna show you Masada."

If any of you have been there, let's bring up that picture of Masada, and if you will look, it's one of the incredible marvels of the world, Herod, the King Herod of Bible times, when Jesus was born, this is his summer palace hanging off the left cliff of Masada. When you come, you just see this structure. You're way down there on the road, down there in the left part of the picture and you're looking up at this thing going, "How in the world do people get up there?" In fact, David knew this very well. This is in the Judean desert. He ran around and Gedi and I think he knew he certainly knew Masada, but the Hebrew word for a stronghold, when you say, "The Lord is my stronghold," they actually use a Hebrew word, Mossad. Like if I can get up there, I've got significant advantage over anything that's down there.

Would you rather be on top hurling rocks and everything else down on the enemy or would you rather be the one trying to climb up against all of that debris that's coming down? You understand? If you were on top of the mountain, you owned the high ground. So, I want you to understand today that when Jesus sets the table in the presence of, in opposition to the enemy, they're not just sitting there at the table watching you, you're up here, they're down there.

Now, I want you to watch because Paul has to pray for us to get our eyes open to this and I want you to turn to Ephesians 1:18, one of my favorite prayers and listen, whenever the apostle Paul prays for us, or whenever we're given a prayer in the Bible for us, it's a prayer that we're to learn to pray for ourselves as well. And I love man Paul gets preaching here. In the Greek there's no commas or periods, he's going rapid fire like this. If you're in the front row, you're getting hit with spit and all this, "Get the umbrella up 'cause man, this guy is preaching right here," and look at what he says, starting with verse 18, Ephesians 1, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened."

Church, I want your eyes open. "In order that you may know the hope to which He's called you," your life abounding in hope today? "The riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people," I think it has something to do with the table that's sitting in front of you.

And look at this one, "and His incomparably great power." For whom? For us who believe. What does he mean by that power? He goes on, "That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly realms," look at this, "far above," it's the Greek word "huper" we get the word hyper. So, if your kid is hyper, he's just far above some others. You see? "He's seated him in the heavenly realms far above all rule authority, power, dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age, but also the one to come."

So, I wanna stop there and I ask you this question, who occupies the high ground today? Who in this passage? Jesus. When He was raised up, top of the mountain. He's not just above, but far above all enemy power. Oh, you're, "All right, man, that's awesome. Jesus has a high ground, but what's that got to do with me since I'm mucking around the lowlands?"

I also wanna keep on going here. Verse 22, "God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church. Do you understand that He's sitting in the high ground on behalf of the church? Which is His body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." Now, remember the chapter divisions aren't here in the original Greek, so, he goes right on. "As for you, you are dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world. Now the ruler of the kingdom, the air, the spirit who is now at work and those who are disobedient."

Just understand, guys, when you start seeing through the lens of what's really going on, you understand why people who don't know Jesus think and act the way they do, there's another spirit in charge here. Verse three, "All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thought. Like the rest we were by nature, deserving of wrath, but because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved." Period, close the book, praise God.

He saved us because we were dead, and that's worth an amen. But, it's not where Paul put the period. So, I want you to understand this today by us getting a running start into verse six of chapter two, by just taking what's really meant to be parentheses.

So, you understand what's being said here, all right? He wants our eyes to be open to our riches, our hope, His incomparably great power. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule authority, power and dominion and every name that is invoked, Not only present age, but also in the one to come." Parentheses flipped to verse six of chapter two. "And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus."

Do you see it? It is not just Jesus Christ who occupies the high ground on behalf of the church today. It is we who know Jesus who occupy the high ground along with him. That's worth an amen, hallelujah, praise the Lord. And your enemy knows it and the minute you learn how to fight from that position, you are gonna see you're gonna put the enemy on the run. You're gonna see walls fall, you're gonna see chains fall off. Not just Jesus who occupies the high ground. We do. That's our position right now, today. And where is our seat in relationship to the enemy powers that oppose us? Above them or below them?

- [Congregation member] Above.

- Far above, hyper. Guys, you have been granted an authoritative position. Listen, we are not fighting for a place of victory, we are fighting from a place of victory and God wants you to see yourself as occupying the high ground today and when you begin to see yourself that way and you learn how to operate in biblical principles and biblical truth in the name of Jesus from that position, I'm telling you something, you're gonna see your warfare go to a whole other level.

"God just let me lay in the pasture for a little bit 'cause I got some other giants to go slay." I love how God uses illustrations from my past to sometimes open up the passage. Years ago when I helped my dad on the farm, he was a farmer and as I got older, I was able to help him bale hay, bale straw, clean out the barns, drive the tractors. And we had a grand central place where we parked a lot of the equipment, it's called the west barn. And sometimes when we were cleaning out the lots there hauling straw there, I would have to walk out in this open field that had a bull or two in it. Now we raised cattle, but I didn't know anything about bulls. All I knew is that bulls could take me out and they're not to be trusted. And I thought that they will basically charge anything at any time. So, here's me at 15, whenever I had to walk out. "No bully, no bully." And then I'd climb the fence as fast as I could. But one day, I'm on like the biggest John Deere tractor they've made at that point, a 4520, this thing's huge. And I went driving out there and there just happened to be a bull chomping on some hay right there in front of me. And I drove up behind him with that 4520 and I mean RPMs wide open. You know, that bull takes off and I'm sitting up there going, "Oh, you're not so big now, are you, bully?" Now, if you were to ask me, God showed me this picture sometime ago. If you were to ask me, "Cal, where was your newfound confidence for chasing bulls?" It had to do with where I was sitting, didn't it?

- [Congregation member] That's right.

- See, the enemy, he wants to get me into fear and running from him because I'm blind to my position. Any believer that knows they're seated on the 4520 has the ability in the name of Jesus to put them on the run. You got to know your position because everything else flows out of that.

And I'm here, listen, guys, whatever you believe about warfare and putting demons on the run, I'm not a crazy guy that sees demons behind every bush and all this type of thing. They're behind more bushes than you know, but I'm a credible witness to what I've seen and it's not because of who I am, it's because I know my position. And it changed when I understood my position. So, you got to understand, once your eyes are open to this truth and you learn how to operate from the high ground, you will no longer be afraid of the enemy, he'll be afraid of you.

I forget who it was. One of my brothers or sisters had a plaque at their office, maybe it was my brother that said, "So live your life that when your feet hit the ground in the morning, the devil will say, 'Crap, he's up.'" Can I crap in this church? So, we have to start there because the rest of these realities flow out of this first. God has granted you an authoritative position. It's not like the enemy's sitting around. You're up here looking down on them.

Here's reality number two, God has promised you an all-sufficient provision. He has set the table for you. That you have all the weaponry you need to fight and win the battles he's assigned to you. 2 Corinthians 10:3 and four says, "For though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."

These strongholds are generally mental strongholds where the enemy has convinced me of a lie and so I am operating my life out of a lie rather than out of the truth of what God says. And you have divine power to demolish those strongholds. That's not just true for your personal life, that's true for corporate life as well, because that means he will do everything he can, Brave Church, to bring your minds under his spell so that you can't see what God wants to do through you.

What are some of these divine weapons that He's given us? Certainly the promises of God. They're not just be left in the book. We used to sing this when I was a little kid, "Every promise in the book is mine. Every chapter, every verse, every line." Promises of God. If I know the promises, I'm gonna tear down the lies. And then what's the sword of the spirit? The word of God. But it's not just, this is called a logos, a written word. When you get the word on your lips, it becomes ramer, it's like a sword. And I used it present ramer to put the enemy on the run, where I see him, where I spot him, where I see him trying to keep us under attack.

So, you have the promises, you have the word of God, you have the name of Jesus, bless you. You have the blood of Christ. These are all weapons that the enemy knows and fears because he can do nothing against them. When I think of the name of Jesus, why do we pray in the name of Jesus? And I do, not out of habit. I do because I know the authority of that name. And so when you pray in the name of Jesus, it's like God has given you the credit card and said, "Now you can use this for any assignment I give you and when you sign off in the name of Jesus, you see it's gotta be His assignment, not something that I'm using the card for for my assignment.

But I wanna tell you, the enemy trembles at the name of Jesus and trembles at any Saint, no matter how big or small they think they are, who knows how to use the name of Jesus and knows how to use the credit card to get the promises of God and the purposes of God employed in their lives. It's like God says, "Kids, you can use your credit card for anything you need to fulfill my kingdom assignments. And I will back it up if you use it in my name and for my purposes."

Brave Church, listen to me, get about the purposes of God and the assignments of God and know this, God's will is God's bill. Can I hear you say that today? God's will is God's bill. Don't open your eyes to, "Oh, I don't know if we should get that big. What would that cost?" God's will is God's bill. I've seen this in living color throughout my ministry years and I wanna plant some faith in you through my own testimony today to know that God has some checks He wants to Brave Church to write in His name.

We were just minding our own business trying to reach people. I'm just a young, green-behind-the ears, wet-behind-the ear pastor, 31 years old and God started growing us in ways no one could have dreamed in Peoria, Illinois, of all places. And so we decided to purchase 40 acres of land. A lot of us thought it was maybe a little too far out from where the main city is and all of this type of thing. Not only that, but now land in Peoria doesn't cost quite as much as it does in Denver, but just put it in your framework because at that time, Mr. Allen, were on Allen road today, Mr. Allen was a farmer and God gave us favor with Mr. Allen, he was dying. This was October of 1991, and he told his kids, "I want the church to have that 40 acres, but they have to have it wrapped up in eight weeks." Now, guys, we needed $135,000 to buy 40 acres of land. You just need to know our church is about 300 people but maybe only 50 are our core group. A lot of unchurched people that are coming, I'm not asking them to pay for the building. And then I found out that because we're a new church plant, our denomination had a rule I didn't know about that said when it comes time to buy land, you'll buy three acres and we'll hold title to it. We'll buy three acres, you hold title to it. So, the denomination is telling me that I can't buy 40 acres. I said, "Well, why not?" "'Cause we gotta buy it." I'm like, "Why do you have to buy it?" "'Cause we have to hold title to it." And so, we're in opposition with our own people. All the meantime, God's doing work and we feel in our hearts, we're supposed to have 40 acres. So, he worked out the details with the denomination. They said, "Fine, if you guys can raise the money, we'll let you guys raise the money." But one of the guys actually just looked at me and said, "How are you gonna raise that?" Guys, you need to know, 135 may not sound like a big deal in Denver, but 1991 in the middle of Peoria with a small church, listen, I had come from a small church and $135,000 was our entire budget for the year. I got eight weeks to raise that. I don't know anything about raising money, but God's will is God's-

- [Congregation] Bill!

- Glad he taught me that when I was just 31 years old. We went to our people, they said, "Let's go for it," and people started giving. And right at the time, so, once you step out in obedience, God has provisions you know nothing of. I got a call from a businessman that I had never met before had never even been to our church. "Hey, I hear you're building this church over there." He said, "Let me know when it comes time to close how you're doing and I'll see what I can do to help you." One day before we're supposed to close, December of 1991, one day before, we've got $120,000. I call up the businessman that I didn't know. He said, "How much you have?" I said, "120,000." He said, "How much do you need?" I said, "135,000." He said, "Okay, I'll wire you over $15,000 tomorrow," and guys, that's how we closed next day, December 20th, 1991 with $135,000 in hand.

And you know what that did for me as a young pastor? God brought me to an obstacle that I had no ability in and of myself to overcome but because we said we're stepping out, we believe we've got the word of God, we believe this is what He's doing, there's evidence that he is doing this, we will step out not knowing how it's gonna happen and then God releases the resource because how many of you know He has amazing provision?

- [Congregation] Yes.

- Fast forward, it's now 1999. Church has grown to over 2,000 people. At that point, the largest church in Peoria. I'm approaching 40, we're gonna be building a 3,000-seat auditorium. Fact, we put it in the first 1,800. We finished up the 3,000 later on. Now I got two problems and we're down to a place where hey, 40 acres ought to be enough, but there's 18 acres left and we wanna know, well, before we start putting these buildings up around here, it makes a huge difference whether you're on acres or 58 acres, because that's where help us know where we're supposed to put the buildings. But like I said, now, all these houses are coming up around us and we don't want houses sitting on top of us. So, we really feel in our heart that we're to buy the extra 18 acres. Now, that's gonna cost us $360,000. We only have $60,000 in our reserves, why? Because we'd been in building mode from 1991. I need $300,000. That's one big hurdle. There's even a bigger one, that one's probably my bigger one but there's one that if this one doesn't get solved, it doesn't matter whether I have $300,000 or not, the developer named Dale has gotten sideways with Northwest Community Church. And he said, in no uncertain terms, "I will never sell you guys that land."

I think God loves it when somebody says, "I'll never." One night in April of 1998, we met as a board to discuss what we were to do. The building campaign was gonna be in 1999, so, this is all taking place in 1998. Design in the next phase, we need to know whether it's gonna be 40, 58 acres. That night in the room, Tuesday night, we prayed. We asked God to make clear His will. We felt in our hearts, "Lord, you've spoken to us. Our hearts come alive because we believe you've dropped a seed of faith in us. We believe we're gonna have that extra 18 acres." So, we ask him to move mountains on our behalf. We said, "Lord, if we've heard your will, you're gonna have to change the developer's hearts toward us. Lord, we ask you to do that in Jesus name. And then Lord, if you're calling us to do this, you know we need $300,000 quickly."

That was our prayer on Tuesday night. I'm not embellishing. Wednesday morning, I walked in the office. My executive pastor was there. He's the one that was the developer of all the buildings and the land and everything, he said, "You're not gonna believe who called me last night." I said, "Who called you?" He said, "Dale, the developer, he couldn't sleep." Yeah, he's out driving around 10:30, 11 o'clock, calls my executive pastor, he says, "I couldn't sleep. You guys are supposed to have that land and I'll sell it to you." Wow, God's will is God's bill. So, man, we removed one obstacle. I was like, "Okay, God, any idea where I can get 300,000?"

Remember, I need 360, I got 60. Oh, I wish I gotta go back through. I wanna put this in a book someday, but Brave, I'm telling you. Don't tell God what he can and can't do. I don't remember if it was a day after, two days after, this is what I'm saying, I don't wanna embellish. I'm only telling you God changed Dale's heart the night after and I'm saying within a day or two, I receive an unexpected envelope to my office. I remember I'm out walking around on the land as I open this thing up and it's from a wealthy businessman that I had led to Christ a couple of years earlier, he knew nothing about the Tuesday night prayer meeting. Anybody care to guess when I pulled the check out? Come on, $300,000. Yeah! Are you kidding me? I called up Dick, the businessman. I said, "Dick, you have no idea." I'm crying, just like this. "You have no idea what you just did." "Cal, I just sold some businesses and merged some businesses and I just wanted to bless the church." Well, you blessed us, brother. I knew he knew that we were gonna be building within a number of months. But he knew nothing about the land, and so I wanted to honor his intentions. As I said, "Dick, I called you first of all to just say thank you so much." But I said, "I wanted to make sure that I honored your intentions with this check." I said, "You know, we're gonna be building the auditorium. And I thought maybe you were sending that over as a lead gift into the auditorium. But I also want you to know that we have the opportunity to buy the final 18 acres and your check was exactly to the dollar what we needed." Now, Dick was a no-nonsense businessman. He just, one line and he's got it over with. I'll never forget this as long as I live. He said, "Cal, you're never gonna have the ability to buy that land again. So, you use that $300,000 to buy the land and when it comes time to put up the building, I'll give you another 300,000," and he did.

Brave, listen to me, listen to me. You get on your faces and ask God what he wants. You follow His will, you grab hold of His purposes, it's not up to you to decide what he can and can't do. His will is His bill. And I'm telling you that because you're gonna have some big obstacles in front of you in the days ahead, but if you'll follow God, you're gonna see God provide in some really amazing ways. Why? Because I know he's got an assignment that's gonna blow your minds. Question is, do you want it? Do you want it?

- [Congregation] Yes.

- He's letting me know He knows how to spread the table. I have seen God set the table over and over again and He will do the same for you as you stay focused on your opportunities instead of your obstacles, on His purposes, instead of your problems, on His assignments instead of your confinements. And I say to you individually and as a corporate body, His will is His bill. Listen, He doesn't call you to follow and then not provide. You may be up against some challenges in your business life or in your home life or whatever today, you bind the enemy in Jesus' name wherever there is enemy interference that is weighing you down, you keep confessing the promises of God over your situation, you keep praising him for the victory that is on the way. He has granted you an authoritative position and promise and all sufficient provision. Can I hear an amen in the house today?

- [Congregation] Amen.

- All right, here's reality number three, and this is the one that a lot of times causes us to just not utilize our position, not utilize our provisions. This is a word for some of you today, reality number three. God has anointed you with lid-lifting permission, has given you position, your provision, now he's giving you permission.

What does lid-lifting permission mean? Let me explain it to you. So, many believers, and so many churches are held back not because God has put a lid on them, but because they have limited themselves through their own thinking. They have self-imposed lids. "We can't do that." "We've never done that before." "What if we fail?" "Might cost money," oh, you think? "I tried that before and got burned." Someone once said if a cat jumps up on a hot stove, you can be sure of one thing, that cat will never jump up on a hot stove again, because every stove is a burning reminder of what happened last time.

That's what happens to us as well. We come up with all kinds of excuses for why we can't do what we otherwise could do. Did we give ourselves permission to walk by faith rather than to live with the lids of failure or unbelief? Remember when God told the Israelites that they should go in and take the promised land? You remember He didn't say, "You might be able to do it." He said, "I've given you the land, now go take it."

There's the partnership, we're in training for reigning all the time. Do you know how many men there were in Israel at that time of fighting age who all received that assignment? 603,550, all of them with the same promise. "I've given you the land, go take it." Do you know how many of those 603,550 actually got to experience the promise of God? Two, Joshua and Caleb. You know why? Because the representatives of the people, the leaders of that day went out and they came back with a we can't mentality. "They're bigger than we are. We can never take them down."

God didn't send you out to decide whether you can do it or not. He didn't ask you to vote on it or not. He said, "It's my will to give you the land, now go take it. You just go out and check out the land so you can see what a great deal is that I'm giving you. They come back and change the assignment. "We can't do it, we can't do it, we can't do it."

How many of you know it's always for whatever reason, a little easier to listen to the we can'ts than the we can? I want you to see something here in this passage that I hope will change it for some of you, because God says today what He said then, "I wish I could find some people to give themselves permission to do what I have already decided to do."

Brave Church, God is looking for some 'we can' people around here. I didn't say just weekend people, I said we can people. He wants to lift the lid on our minds and inspire us with faith-filled thinking.

So, the next part of this verse, verse five, "You anoint my head with oil." Stop there, pretty interesting word choice. The word for anoint in the Hebrew is always "Mashach." You go with me to Israel and we have partners in the West Bank, we have Arab Christians in the West Bank that we're partnering up with. We have a messianic congregation in Israel that we're partnered up with. If you worship with the Hebrew-speaking congregation, you'll hear which means Jesus, the anointed one, the Messiah. In Greek it's Jesus , which means the anointed one. So, in Hebrew, the anoint is always "Mashach" and you'd think, He anoints, He "Mashchs" my head with oil. It's not the word used here. In fact, there's a word used here that is never used for anointing. I think the translators are puzzled. "Well, what else would he do to a sheep's head?" Here, the word is "Deshanta."

The actual translation of this word should say, guys, listen to me now, some of you need this today. "You have freshened or fatten my head with oil." "What are you saying, Cal? The Lord wants me to have a fat head?" And my answer is yes. So, long as it's the fat head of faith and Godly confidence. He has anointed you to walk with a permission-giving mindset and to take new ground for the kingdom rather than to live with self-imposed lids or other imposed lids that hold you back.

Listen, walking in that confidence is nothing else and nothing more than the confession of Philippians 4:13, which says, "I can do," there is an I in the partnership. "I can do all things through Him who gives me the strength." Now, listen, I get it that an arrogant head, a big head of fleshly arrogance says, "I can do all things," and puts the emphasis on the I. But a fat head of Godly confidence says, "I can do all things through Him," and puts the emphasis on Him. I

t only makes me wonder how many people are crippled in the body of Christ today because of wounds in their hearts and lies they've picked up along the way that tell them to just stay quiet, play small 'cause they're not good enough, big enough, bright enough, whatever enough for God to use them? For over 40 years of my life. I labored under inner thoughts of self-condemnation picked up through some verbal abuse when I was 12. I didn't know how to combat that when I was 12, it went in and I began to repeat it and it became the interior thoughts towards myself. And that was only exacerbated from my earliest days. I go back to my earliest days, my earliest memories that no matter what I did, it would never be enough because I wasn't enough.

And I'm telling you guys, if you have those kinds of restrictive thought patterns in your mind, you can know factually that you are occupying an authoritative position and you can know that God has spread a table of provision, but will never take it up and do anything with it because you'll be backing up all the time going, "No, not me, He didn't mean me. I could never do that. I can't, I can't, I can't."

And some of you today, the Lord say, I just wanna anoint your mind so that you begin to understand not only who I am, but who I've made you to be. That you lift the lids so that you can slay your giants." I praise God for the day that He revealed those wounds and those lies in my life and he taught me that I had the authority to tear up every agreement I'd ever made with the enemy. I'm helping lots of others, I've helped hundreds of others come into freedom.

I talk about the fact today, the church is forgiven, but not free. God wants us to be forgiven and free. What a glorious day, day God revealed those wounds and those lies taught me that I could take care of them and He brought me out from under self-imposed lids and demonic strongholds and my thinking fat in my head with Godly confidence and set me free.

And He wants you to walk in that same confidence today. Brave Church, in that light let me just make it personal for you as a church today. Let me paint a new picture of permission for you today. I looked it up this week and the city of Denver as I think, somewhere, the city proper, somewhere in the neighborhood of 750,000 people, you may have gone to 800 already 'cause you're one of the fastest growing cities in the country. A lot of people apparently love the mountains. You have over 3 million in the metropolitan area. However, you're like 38 out of 50, in terms of most unchurched states. Now I know we could go down to Colorado Springs and there's a lot of Christians that have their headquarters there and this type of thing, but when you just think of Colorado, you're number 38 out of 50, least religious. And I would say that a conservative estimate would suggest that 60% of Denver, at least 60% of Denver, think in terms of 450,000 people just in the city, proper, maybe 1.8 million people in the metropolitan area do not know Jesus. They likely aren't in church today, some oppose everything he stands for, others just don't know what they don't know. Let me ask you this, how many of those people do you think God would love to see come to Jesus Christ? what else you can be sure of? That cat won't jump up on cold stoves either. That cat won't jump up on stoves

- [Congregation] All of them.

- I knew you'd say that. Sounds like a verse. He's not willing that any should perish, but that all, I've studied Greek word all, and you know what it literally means? All.

- All.

- He's not willing that any should perish, so, I say to you, congratulations, that's the size of your opportunity. You never measure your church by who's already there. You measure it by the size of your opportunity. "Oh, aren't we big enough?" "Oh, ARE 450,000 people still going to hell?" You don't think God might have you pick up a few more?

And I wouldn't just be saying this to any church. I'm saying, I look at the people, I look at where he's located you, the fishing pond, I look at the leadership, I look at the pastor, I look at the gifts and I'm just telling you, guys. You're gonna have to make a decision that you want, what God wants to do 'cause He'll allow you to forego it. He'll allow you to forsake your promise land, but we can't. God wants you to reach in light of those 450,000 people that need Jesus, I wanna tell you something, guys, do you see how 10,000 isn't even a drop in the bucket? And go ahead and plant as many satellite churches as you want, you have permission. Get with God and ask Him what I'm telling you isn't what He's saying. "If you conclude now, Cal, it's just a crock." Then fine, I know what's on your pastor's heart.

So, if God said to you today, "Brave Church, starting today, I want you to focus on reaching the unchurched and the lost around you and I want you to plan for 10,000 people attending here on average within just the next few years." I know you can probably hardly bring yourself to believe it, but what would it look like for us to believe that God permits us to dream it because God wills to bring it? And I'm gonna say, do you guys not understand with the amount of unchurched people, you can have all kinds of churches going to 10,000 and we still got plenty more to reach?

So, I wanna challenge you to start thinking, praying, believing, and planning, to reach those people and to remove whatever self-imposed lids you need to remove and to only stop moving towards that if you get a clear word from God to stop, 'cause I got pretty good idea you're gonna hear that. Or until He says, "Brave Church, I don't want you to reach anymore. It's killing me, you're reaching too many people." I always say, "Go," I know it's His will, He's already told us to go. So, I say "Go, unless God says no, not sit until God says, get."

He's already said get and He's told us that when you get, He'll go with you and you'll go knowing that you occupy an authoritative position and that He's given you amazing provision. You just now have to give yourself some lid-lifting permission because He has, and that will lead to reality number four quickly.

Reality number four, God has invited you into a life-satisfying privilege. Walk with the shepherd, operate in His authority, utilize and experience His provision as you step into your assignments with Godly confidence and you won't be able to contain the joy and the blessing, you will have a first-hand testimony of how this verse ends, my cup overflows. He's not talking about the overflowing cup that comes with it 'cause you're just lying out there in the green pastures beside the still waters. No, the overflowing cup comes when you see what God does with the enemies. "Oh my gosh, Lord, are you kidding me?" When on Wednesday morning you heard, hey, Dale was out driving around and he couldn't sleep, wants to sell his land. When a couple of days later, a $300,000, your cup over flows.

I'm in transition right now. My son will be following me as the senior pastor at the end of next March. I'm not retiring, I'm gonna serve the broader church. I've given God a reason to leave me here until I'm 100 years old. I'm gonna go as hard as I can for as long as I can. But I want you to know, guys, I'm not telling you that it's all been roses. I've faced my challenges, but in 40 years of ministry, I've had a lot of times where I couldn't contain it, God, my cup overflows.

You get a church that's alive in the Lord and understands these principles, and I'll tell you what, people are gonna stand in line to get in. And an overflowing cup just means it's like it's full, it can't handle anymore. So, what I felt like just a couple of weeks ago, when a 80-year-old lady, I hadn't met before, we do some ministry after the service and she came down and she was beautiful lady, had her hair all done up, all braid nice. We don't make people wear masks, but she had one of those, what I call a Nashville mask on. It was black with sparkles all over, it was beautiful. And she comes down and she's crying and she goes, "You have no idea how much you helped me today." And it was a net draw weekend where we ask people to come to Christ and we ask them to pick up a yes packet, which is a new believers Bible and a book and some other things and I looked down and she's got a yes packet in her hand. I said, "You asked Jesus into your life today." She said, "Yes, I never knew. I never knew what you told me about today." I said, "Praise God."

And then the real story comes. She says, "I wasn't even trying to come here this morning. I was trying to go to Walmart," and she said, "It's like, my car just turned in here. And I knew I wasn't in the Walmart parking lot but something inside said, 'You need to go in there today.'" You tell me what causes an 80-year old, listen, if she'd said I was just, no, no, no, she knew she was not in Walmart parking lot. What causes her to get out at a church she has never gone to before, walk into a strange church, sit on the back row, listen to a message she's never heard before and respond to a Jesus that she had never known before?

Come on! Listen, Brave, just be the church that He can plant though He's got more. He got stories like that all along the way for you. He's out there fishing. You just give him a place to bring Him. I wish I could have Stephanie on stage with me today. One of the things I'll be doing when I transition as well, I do what it's called setting captives free conference. And I had just done one in May. I had Stephanie stand up there with me. I hadn't heard the rest of her story yet, so, I wasn't sitting there going. "I've gotta make sure her testimony's good. I just want her to be raw and real." December, she came to see me. I didn't even know she was in our church. She and her husband have just been, they're moving to Texas now, but they just stopped for three years, and she said, "This church changed our lives." Stephanie was out ranting and this type of thing because some guy apparently grabbed her rear end in a restaurant that she was leaving just a couple of days before and it exploded in some other ways that she'd been abused in her life and she called me, "Would you see me?"

And I wanna tell you, guys, it's this past December. We sat there in the office and I watched our Lord Jesus spread the table and break off enemy influence in her life. She released a mother and father that never loved her. She forgave them with all her heart. She forgave others who had wounded her. She invited Jesus into those wounds. She broke off those lies. She's in my office saying, "Cal, I've been on antidepressants for 17 years. There've been times I didn't wanna live, I just wanted to kill myself." She said, "I smoke marijuana just to get to sleep every night." She's married and her marriage is on the rocks and everything else.

She stands there five months later. "Stephanie, I didn't ask you, I wanna know, what's happened?" She said, "Oh my gosh." She said, "Cal, I'm walking in freedom today, absolute freedom." She said, "17 years," she said, "I am off every drug I was ever taking." She said, I don't have to smoke marijuana to go to sleep anymore." She and her husband are in this amazing place. She's like a bodybuilder and that's great. She actually did the full-fledged bodybuilding, but she told me, I was a singer too, she says, "All I ever did was I realized now I did everything I could just 'cause I wanted to attract attention." I'm not saying there's anything wrong with bodybuilding, but I said, "If your motive is I just wanna attract attention," she said, "And being a singer, I wanted to be on the stage so I could attract attention." She said, "It's so nice, it just feel like the Lord Jesus loves me today."

Let me close with Nick. 40 years old dragging his oxygen tank behind him, stage four lung disease. What do they call it? CLPD, right? So, not only some serious physical issues, but he said he needed deliverance in his life, some change broken. His recent email dated April 30, he said after his deliverance, he went back to the pulmonologist who said he is one of two people he's ever seen where the effects of CLPD have been reversed. His lung capacity has gone from 40% function to over 90% function, which is better than yours today, and he is completely off oxygen. And when he closes his just, "Praise, God. I'm absolutely at a loss for words."

And I get stuff like this in my office. I go, "God, I can't hold it anymore. My cup overflows 'cause you are the God of Psalm 23:5. You wanna show your church that you're the God of Psalm 23:5." Brave, that's who He is. Let Him be that in your midst. You have what people around you need, God has given you everything you need to reach them. There's no joy like kingdom joy, and there's nothing else worth giving your life, your energy, your time, your resources to.

May He cause your cup to overflow as you stand in your position, equipped with His provision, anointed with His permission, partnering with Him in the greatest privilege on earth, amen. Up here slobbering like a baby. I want you to stand, I wanna pray over you today and we're gonna sing this song. Just bow your heads and your hearts before the Lord and I really felt like He sent me here today to say to you, Brave Church, prepare yourself to receive what God wants to release here. He has appointed you and He has planted you, not so that you can bring glory to yourself, all the glory is gonna go to Jesus, Give yourself permission to go to where God wants you to go. His will is His bill. You don't need to know how you're gonna get there. You just need to say, "Okay, Lord, you wanna take us to 10,000 beyond? I'm with you, I'm with you." You got a leader who's gonna take you there. God's already doing it. He gave you the first fruits at Easter. Ain't gonna be God to hold you back.

Father, I pray that you lift the lid faith in this church today. I pray that corporately, I pray for individuals. Lord, would you fatten some minds with Godly confidence? Would you show them where they've been believing lies from the enemy who's kept them bound in unworthiness and insignificance, not being enough, I say, oh yes you are, in the name of Jesus. He created you for such a time as this. He placed you in a position of authority, has spread the table. Father, I pray blessing over this church that you will remove every obstacle to their future and you'll set free a harvest that will blow the minds of all of us. And we'll simply fall on our knees and say, "God, my cup over flows," in Jesus name and all God's people received and said, amen, amen.

- Amen.

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