Provoked to Power

You can go from being provoked to anger to having power when you commit to God.

James Greer
Jun 2, 2019    24m
In this sermon Pastor James Greer teaches us that we can go from being provoked to anger and bitterness to having power and peace in our lives when we commit to God. He uses passages of scripture from First Samuel to illustrate how powerful this can be. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

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This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: 00:00 (Missing audio) But man, they are living proof of what I've been preaching about, how God is the daughter of The King. And Miranda and Anna, I know them both and I'm going to tell you, they go to their heavenly father, and he ministers to them. And man, I love their key verse and it says, I'll be a father to you and and too my sons and my daughters of the Lord God Almighty. Man. Our series has been that, it says, Daughters of the King. But man, I'm going to tell you, ladies, you got the power. I mean this Sunday and next Sunday, this Sunday we're talking about how Hannah she had her womb had been closed, and she learns some secrets from God, and God opened her womb and gave her a child. But really she had been provoked, she had been bullied, and she learned the insights that I can learn and you can learn, at any age and that God can turn it around. You can go from being provoked to being promoted. Amen?

James Greer: 00:56 You can also learn insight that a next Sunday that Deborah, Deborah was one of the kings, and how God used her to take a man who is not where he should have been spiritually and how she brought him along and how he was used greatly. And Man, every woman wants to take, whether it's her son or her man, and help him to grow to another level spiritually. So you're going to want to be here next Sunday as well.

James Greer: 01:20 So when I say be provoked to be promoted, or you can be provoked and it'll bring pain in your life, you can be provoked and you end up having pity in your life. And today we don't call it being provoked, we call it being bullied, we call it being made fun of, we call it being picked on. And it doesn't matter, what Hannah learned, whether young or old, can be applied to my life and be applied to your life. See what happened in Hannah's life. Her being provoked caused her to want more in life, and that can happen in life. See, you can go through some hard times in your life, and you can let your hard times cause you to want more in life.

James Greer: 02:07 I can remember when I was younger and having to get bused to another school, and it seemed like when I went to that school, everybody had newer cars and I can remember being upset. I can remember going home and crying, I said, nana, I don't want to drive my Fairlane to this school. And I can remember saying, I'm going to let it provoke me to wanting to have a better car. Even at 66 years old, if you'll notice, I still like to drive a better car. That started back when I was real young, when I was in high school, I could have said, oh no, this is going to destroy my life because I have to drive my Fairlane to school, and they drive better cars and better trucks. No, no, I said, I want to let it drive me to doing something better in my life. Amen? You all know I couldn't read, I still can't read, but I allowed it to provoke me to want something better in life. Now I love to read now, I read all the time. Now, I still don't read well, but, it drove me to read better. So let something that provokes you, somebody that maybe picked on you, something that weakness in your life, it can cause you to drive you to do better in life. It may be the way you were raised in life. My parents did the best they could, I loved them, they were really great. They did the best they could, but I wanted something different in my life. And you can let it want something more in life. See, those that come in to provoke you, it can promote you if you allow it.

James Greer: 03:38 See Hannah, Hannah would've been fine. She was married to a good man, he was probably a rich man, and he wanted what's best for her. He had two wives though, and one of them provoked her. Hannah couldn't have kids, but the other one could, by the same guy. You know, they had same man, two wives, different results. One of them was Peninnah, she could have kids, but Hannah couldn't. Same man, different results. Hannah became so discouraged, you're going to see later, so disappointed. Her husband walked up to her and said, listen, I don't care, am I not better than ten kids? That's the way men do, they don't have a clue. You know, every man thinks, am I not better? Hannah wanted more in life. When I get with God, and when you get with God, you should want more. You shouldn't just settle for leftovers, you shouldn't settle for being so so. When you're with God, it should drive you for wanting the best marriage, you should want the best out of life, you want the best God has for you, not just to get by. You are sons and daughters of The King. Now, ladies, you got the power of God on your side. Now, Hannah, she couldn't get pregnant, she couldn't have a child. But see, she couldn't have a child by the visible man in her life, but later on by the invisible man she could do the impossible. See, man couldn't give her what only God could.

James Greer: 05:19 See, that's the problem today, men and women, there's so many people, they're looking to what man can do instead of what God can do. Let me give you some insights, ladies. How many women are unhappy because they're looking for a man to give them what only God can? See, I believe that if those same people, those same women, would begin to let God meet their needs, that it wouldn't be long that they would see their man or their husband different. See who do you look for, who Do you look to, when you have a physical, emotional, or financial need? Who's the first thing you do, what's the first thing? Do Look to God, or do you look to some man, or do you look to some job? Because see, that's who your king is, and there can only be one king in your life, and that is The King of Kings, and that is the Lord of Lords. And that tells you who the king is, the first person you'd look to when you have a need in your life, that's The King. God's a jealous God, there's only going to be one king, and he wants to be the one.

James Greer: 06:21 Let's read the story in First Samuel chapter one, I'll start kind of the first verse at the end, "There was a man named Elkanah, and he had two wives. And name of them was Hannah was one of them. That's where Josh and Heather got their daughter's name called Hannah Grace. Yeah, yeah, woo hoo, and that's where she came from. "And the name of the other one was Peninnah, and he had a child, but Hannah had no children." Verse three of First Samuel, "This man, he went up to the city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of the host in Shalom, and at two sons were there of Eli's Hophni and Phinehas the priest of the Lord were there. Verse four, and whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give a portion to Peninnah, his wife, and to all their daughters. But when it came to Hannah, listen, when it came to Hannah he gave her a double portion." Do you know why? Because loved Hannah. "He loved Hannah more than he loved his other wife, but the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival, the other wife also provoked her severely, to make her miserable." To make her what? Miserable. "His other wife provoked Hannah miserable, provoked her so bad, and bullied her so bad, because the Lord had closed her womb, because she couldn't have kids. And every time they went up to give an offering, his other wife continually bullied her, provoked her, made fun of her, made her feel so bad, and that it was horrible, and yet, she did it year after year after year after year. When she was up to the house of the Lord that she provoked her, therefore she wept, and she didn't eat there."

James Greer: 08:19 What will you allow being provoked to do in your life? What do you do when you're provoked? What do you do when you're picked on? What do you do when somebody makes fun of you? Provoked means to belittle, to try to bring grief, to trigger. This doesn't only apply to daughters of The King it applies to young and old. When people make fun of you. Do you understand, when you make fun of somebody, you're really making fun of God? Do you understand, when somebody is making fun of you, they are really making fun of God? You have very little to do with what you look like. I mean, you should eat right, do the best you can with what you got. Amen? But you still, you are who you are, and God made you look like that. When you make fun of somebody or somebody makes fun of you, they are really making fun of God. So, be very careful in what you say about somebody else. Provoke can mean, to stimulate to take action. It can mean to stimulate the wrong action, or it can mean to stimulate the right action. See, Satan learns what triggers you, Satan learns what stimulates you. If it stimulates the wrong action, to anger or to pity the wrong way, Satan can pick up on it. Satan always, he doesn't always know what's in your heart, so he watches for your actions and listens for your words. See, he walks about like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour. And so he listens, and he uses people, so he finds triggers. And if he says something provokes you into anger, or to wrong actions, and he sees that he'll send others around. First Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant for the atmosphere. For the devil walketh around seeking who he can devour."

James Greer: 10:11 Verse Eight said, "And then Elkanah, her husband, said to Hannah, why do you weep?" I love this part. "Why do you not eat?" Oh good, you all have it, it's not working back here. Okay. "Why do you not eat? And why is your heart so grieved?" I love this part, it's one of my favorite things in the Bible. Here's her husband, this is Hannah's husband. "Am I not better than ten sons?" Does that not sound like a man? His wife is crying, and she's weeping, and she's just hysterical, and he walks in, but you've got me baby. That's the way men are, hey, if you've got me, what else did you need in life? Oh, we don't have a clue. Ladies, if you all want to know one thing, when it comes to your emotional needs, men are not very sharp. And all the women said, Amen. Hey, I want you to know ladies, her getting her needs met, you ready, didn't depend on him. Here's the insight, having your needs met does not depend on your husband, he has not got a clue. Amen? You can go straight to The King of Kings and Lord of Lords and he can meet your needs, even when your husband can't, and all the ladies said. Amen. And the men said, oh me. So it's really fantastic, ladies and men both. can I tell you something? You can either let other people discourage you, bring sorrow, belittle you, or you can go to the King.

James Greer: 11:54 If you're not careful when you allow others, even if it's your husband, to provoke you the wrong way. You Ready? You become pitiful, and painful, and live there. There's many people today that God wanted to promote you, he wanted to bring power in your life. But instead, because of what somebody else did, they tried to bully you or provoke you, or belittle you, instead of allowing the power of God to work in your life, you've decided to live a pitiful painful life that God never intended for you. It happens to men, it happens to teenagers, it happens to kids, that was never God's intent, God's intent was for you to have a better life. And God's intent for today is to shine light on that and expose it. You're daughters, and men, and child of the King.

James Greer: 12:57 So what are you to do? What do you do when somebody makes fun of you? What do you do when somebody provokes you? Provoke them suckers back. Amen? No, not really. We're to rally other people, and get even with them, that's what we do. You can't believe what so and so says, so we get a lot of other people to talk about them. That's what we do, that's why we never experience the power and presence of God. You know in Matthew it says, when somebody hurts you, to pray for them. Oh, that's a thought. We don't teach that, we don't do that, we try to get even with them, and then we get hurt ourselves and hurt them.

James Greer: 13:28 Verse nine it said, "Hannah rose after they had finished eating and drinking. And Eli the priest, he was sitting there on the seat, the doorpost the Tabernacle of the Lord. And she, listen, and she was in bitterness of her soul." What was she in? Bitterness of her soul. Remember that. "But she prayed, and she prayed to the Lord, and she wept and she was in anguish." See, there's something that she needed more than anything else, she needed a word from the Lord. She didn't need a word from the world, she needed a word from the Lord. And this is what you can't do, before you can get a word in you, you've got to get the world out of you. And when I say you've got to get the world out of you, or you've got to get the word in you, you've got to get the worst out of you . She was bitterness in her soul. See, I believe what had happened to her, that the other wife had kept provoking her and provoking her, and she became grieving, she becomes sorrowful. Well, she had become bitter. And See, I believe the bitterness is just like your heart. See if you're not careful, just like her womb had been closed, our heart becomes hard. And it becomes hard towards other people, it becomes hard towards God, and then God cannot work the power that he wants to have in our life. And so what we've got to do is we've got to get the world out, where we can get the word in. You got to take care of the bitterness, and the unforgiveness, and the hatred, and the jealousy that's in your life. You got to delight yourself in the Lord, where he can give you the desires of your heart, the secret petitions of your heart. You've got to get rid of that. So what is the first thing you got to do? You got to get the world out, and the word in. How do you do that? Get rid of the bitterness in your life. Number two, you've got to commit your life and your family to the Lord.

James Greer: 15:23 Verse 11 she said, "God, I'm going to make a vow unto you." She got rid of the bitterness. "She said, now God, I'm going to make a vow unto you, to the Lord of the hosts. Man, I wish we could preach on Lord of the host. That's who David got, when Goliath came against him. He said, yeah, you come at me with a spear and a javelin, but I come to you with the Lord of hosts, the Lord of the armies. "And she said, I've vow unto you, the Lord of the host, the all-powerful, and the god of all the armies. She said, if you'll indeed look upon my affliction of your maid servant, and you'll remember me and not forget your maid servant, but give your maid servant a male child." Man, she said, God, I not only want a child, I want a male child, I want to carry on the lineage. I want them to stop provoking me, and said I I'll give him back to you, God. "She said, God, I'm going to put you first in my life, my child's going to be given back to you all the days of his life. No razor shall come upon his head." She said, first of all, I get my life right. She said, I get the world out of my life, I get the word into my life. I get rid of all bitterness, and I get rid of hatred, I get rid of jealousy, I get of unforgiveness, and then I get my life lined up with you. I get my priorities right. I love the Lord thy God with all my heart, all my soul, I get you right God. Because let me tell you what, you all ready? Amen? Are you all ready? This is important, man, it can change your life. You get your priorities right, you get your position right, you get the power of God that's right and you get the privileges of God.

James Greer: 16:51 See, I'm going to tell you the most important thing you can do is turn around and say, I'm going to get my priorities right with God, I'm going to put him first place in my life. Because when he gets first place, I get positioned right with God. When I get positioned right, I then get the power of God. And when I get the power of God, he gives me the provisions that I've wanted all along. This could radically change every single person's life in here, whether you're a man, woman, boy, or girl. See you're daughters of the King, then you get the privileges of going to the King, and him answering your prayers like never before.

James Greer: 17:22 So number one, you've got to get rid of the bitterness, you've got to get rid of the world, and get the word. Second of all, you've got to make a commitment to putting God first in your life. Third of all, you've got to just believe it'll happen. Just believe it will happen. Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it's absolutely impossible to please God. For he who comes to God, must believe that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him."

James Greer: 17:48 Then verse 12 it just pops right in there and it just says, "And it happened." She had been getting her life right, and it happened. "As she continue praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now, Hannah, she spoke in our heart, only or lift moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore, Eli, he thought, hmm, thought that she is drunk." Man, she is just praying to God, and just weeping, but her voice didn't. She was moving her lips, but it wasn't coming out. "Eli said, how long have you been drinking? Put the wine away." Everybody's seen some women like that. "And Hannah answered said, no, my Lord, I'm a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I didn't even drink any wine. No intoxication at all. I've been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Don't consider your maid servant a wicked woman. For out of the abundance of my complaint of my grief, I have spoken until now. Oh, Eli said, oh, so you have just been pouring out your heart to God. You've been getting your life right. You've been confessing your sin. You just wanted God to answer your prayer. You're right with God. And Eli answered and said, well, just go in peace. The God of Israel has granted your petition." You remember when she said earlier, she said, the Lord of host, she said, the god of Israel, if you'll just remember me, I'm going to commit my life, I'm going to give my child to you. Now Eli, the spokesman of God, he says, hey, guess what, go in peace. In other words he's saying God heard you. That what you asked is granted to you. See, by being a child of the King, you've got the privilege of going to the King, and you get the privileges of being a child of The King.

James Greer: 19:24 Verse 18. "And she said, let your maid servant find favor in your sight. So the woman went away, (Are you all ready?) ate, and her face was no longer sad." Another translation said, "She ate and her countenance was changed." You do realize when you get right on the inside, your physical countenance can change on the outside. I mean your total appearance can change, and God wants to change it.

James Greer: 19:58 And last, you need to do what you said you're going to do. When you make a commitment to God, when you tell God you're going to do something, when you tell God, hey God, I'm going to start committing to the Lord. I'm going to be here on Sundays, I'm going to tithe, I'm going to read my Bible, I'm going to follow through with whatever it is. You need to do what you say you're going to do.

James Greer: 20:15 Verse 19 I love it because, "Then they rose early in the morning, and they worshipped before the Lord." Man, there's nothing like worshiping God. See, that's kind of what we do, man, when we come in in the mornings and and when they're leading worship man, we're worshiping God, and we're saying, hey, God, we love you. And then I come in to preach, and God said, good, now I've got a word for you. We worship, and then we hear. We worship and then we hear. "And they worship before the Lord, and in return they came into the house, and then Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. So it came to pass, in the process of time, that Hannah conceived and bore a child and called him Samuel." When we do our part, God will always do his part, and then some. Now Elkanah, he did his part too, he knew his wife. God knew her better. He had already known her before, when she couldn't have a child. He knew he, God knew her better, and the result was she had the child that she had always wanted.

James Greer: 21:31 So where are you at today? Let me give you some steps. First of all, you got to get rid of any bitterness, anger, jealous, hatred in your life. You've got to get the world out of your life, where you can get The Word in your life. What you need more than anything else is to hear a word from God. I don't know what's going on in your life, but you need to say, God, I need a word from you this morning. I can tell you, my quiet time before I came to church this morning I was just struggling about something, struggling about something, struggling about somebody. And I said, God, just gave me a word, It was as clear as could be. I said, oh, that's what it was. God, I just need a word, and then I just had perfect peace about it. Somebody all came here this morning, you just need a word from God. Can I tell you, you've worshipped God, may have heard a word from God, and now let God speak to you. Man, some of you all have been just playing, and God said, now I want you to commit to God. I want you to commit to putting God first in your life. She said, God, if you'll answer my prayer, I'm going to get my son to you. God said, I want you to give your life to him. He wants you to give your life to him. He wants to be the Lord of your life, he wants to be the King of your life. Why? Because then you have the opportunity to go to The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Quit trying to live your life on your own, quit trying to be your own king, quit looking to your mate, to your job, and other things to be your king. He wants to be your king this morning. Then you get the privileges of going to him. Then believe he can do it, believe there's absolutely nothing too hard to God. And then do what you committed.

James Greer: 23:06 So would you stand this morning and let me pray with you, and pray for you. God, I'm so thankful that we have the privilege to come to you. God, if there's somebody here that's never made you their king, they're not sure that they're saved, God, this morning would be the day. That man, what a privilege it is, make sure they'd go to heaven. Maybe they'd never followed through in baptism. Maybe they need to join this church. God, maybe they just need to hear word from you, God. They're in the right place, and they're here at the right time. Oh God, what a privilege, what a privilege it is to be a child of the King. God, whatever decisions need to be made, this morning. God, we don't have to worry about anything else, you're in control, cast out fear, cast out doubt, cast out discouraged, give us a peace and give us a power beyond all understanding, God. Help us to understand who we really are, help us to enjoy our privileges, helps to go to that King this morning, and help us go with the answers that we need. So God, whatever that is that we need, help us to come this morning with an unbelievable expectation. We'll give you the honor and the glory and the praise. In your name we pray. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360