We Love Cenla - How to Have a Deep Desire to Go

In this sermon we learn to go to God during our trials.

James Greer
Oct 27, 2019    29m
In this sermon Pastor James talks about the different ways we hear from God. Through his word, prayer, moments in church and during times of pain and trials. We need to look up to God, look in and look out. God wants to heal us, we jsut need to go to him. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.


isaiah  jesus  sin 

messageRegarding Grammar:

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 Man, it's, it's so exciting seeing uh, we love Cenla. There's all of the community week after week after week. Hey let's welcome the Alexandria campus. Amen? Woo. Hey and Darryl, you all campuses this week, I mean, I mean I saw in the neighborhood, a nursing home singing. You all went to the hospital and ministered to the children and we had a group over here in a different nursing home and they ministered there and they were singing. They fed the homeless in one area. They were fed some firemen and they had Zubu. I mean, we love Cenla was just everywhere. Amen? Man, it's just really making a difference. Journey. Church you're making a difference in Cenla.

James Greer: 00:55 I want you to know that next week, next week we're going to start celebrating our 10 year anniversary here at Journey Church. Amen? But, what we're going to do is how to be spiritually blessed in every single area of your life starting next Sunday. So, you're going to really want to be here. Now. There's many of the, we love Cenla that are going to continue on probably for a month. And then we're hoping to, working with brother Richie, and it is probably March, Richie that we'll probably have another. We love Cenla outreach on the fifth Sunday. And so it's not the end. It's only the beginning of a great movement. And you all are the movements. Ephesians 1:3 said, blessed be the God the father of the Lord Jesus Christ who blessed us with every spiritual blessing. And what I want you to know is starting next Sunday, that will be the series.

James Greer: 01:40 It's the difference a decade can make. But what we want you to do, I used to say, I want my last half to be my best half. Now I want my last quarter to be the best part in my life. Amen? And I want it to be in your life. So we're going to address almost every area of our life. We're going to talk about financial, physical, emotional, spiritual. And so you want to be here. Man, I'll tell you today we're talking about in Isaiah. And Isaiah talks about how to have a deep desire to go. Now those that have gone out into Cenla. I mean, I wanted to go, but so many times I'd have a deep desire to go. But, Isaiah went through some things. At the end it calls him to have this unbelievable deep desire. Now there's things, there's three things I want you to remember that Isaiah went through that aren't in your notes that you're going to need because it was very important. The first thing Isaiah did, and we'll go back to it later, he said, the year King Uzziah died.

James Greer: 02:27 I saw the Lord high lifted up. Isaiah was going through pain. You're going to have time. I'm going to have time. We're going to all have times. We have pain in our life. Amen? But, Isaiah began to move from the pain to the presence of God. And then I'm telling you, when you're in pain, what you need more need thing else to have the presence of God. And then so he went from the pain to the presence of God. And he comes out at the end and he's saying, God, here I am. Use me. He's finding his potential. And that's what I want you to do today. I want you to know that God has an unbelievable potential for your life, and so let's read this. It says in Isaiah 6:8 it says, Isaiah speaking, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then I said, here I am, send me. That's Cenla. Here I am, send me.

James Greer: 03:20 Now see, this is the end when he's finding his potential. We'll go back later on and find the pain that he was going through. But, the first thing you have to do, no matter what's going on in your life, the first thing you need to do is hear from God. That changes everything that changes Isaiah's perspective on his life. It changed his perspective on his pain. It changed his perspective on his potential. So, there is at least 4 ways that you can hear from God. Number one, we hear from God through God's word. It tells us in Psalms 119:104 it says, listen, your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Now see there's two ways to read God's word. So many people just reading God's word for information.

James Greer: 04:14 And when you read it just for information, you're saying, well, yeah, we got God's word and God's word is alive and it could give us a good direction. But, that's not the way God wants you to read his word. God wants you to read his word for transformation, not simple information. When you began to read it for transformation, not just information, are you all ready? You say, God, your word said you are the lamp unto my feet and your guide, God, I need guidance, I need direction. Would you guide me? Would you direct me? And he already said he would. Amen? So you need way more than information. You need transformation.

James Greer: 04:59 In Matthew 4:4 Jesus speaks and he's trying to tell us something, Jesus answers and said, it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. Now, God wasn't saying we didn't need bread. He didn't say we didn't need food. But I will tell you, God's word will do something that physical food wont. See, physical food will not ultimately lead to long term satisfaction. But, see God's word said, listen, my word, huh? Every word that proceeded out of my mouth it brings, it satisfies, it saves and it sustains. So, see you're not just reading for information. You can read for information. Say Gods word said, we should not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeded out the mouth of God. No, no, no. Now you say, God, you said it's your word. God, I'm going to read your word and when I read your word, God, I need to be, I need satisfaction like I've never had. I need you to say what needs to be delivered, protected or rescued. And I need to sustain. I need a new strength.

James Greer: 05:51 Say I'm going to tell you, I don't want you reading just for information. I want you to read for transformation. Amen? And Hebrews 4 puts it this way. Hebrews 4:12 says, the word of God is quick and active and sharper than a two edged sword. But the amplified version puts it this way. The word of God speaks, it's alive, it's full of power. It is making it active, operative. It energizes. It's effective. It's sharper than a two edged sword. I know God's word will do this because every single Sunday, no matter how I feel, once I start getting in God's word, starts out preaching God's word, I get energized by God's word. Amen? As man. If you need to be energized, you get in the word, and you get under the word, and you personalize the word. Don't do it just for information, you do it for transformation it's like a changed life.

James Greer: 06:43 So, number one is get into God's word. Second, if you want to hear from God, is prayer. Now, I'm going to give you my go to verse. I'm going to give you my go to verse. When I overreact, which I do often, or when I'm fearful, I couldn't believe last Sunday, I was just so on fire. Man, I thought, I'm sure you all, the greatest insights. When you're saved and when you're dependent on God and when you're representing Christ, you can just have peace in any situation. Well, I got into a situation and I didn't represent Christ very well, and I said something I was sorry for. And God says, hey, I don't think Jesus would have said that. But God's word be true and I'd be a liar because I could take those principles and I can have peace no matter what's going on. And it's just like this.

James Greer: 07:39 Sometimes when I overreact or when somebody says something and I overreact to it, I go to this verse. Or whether I have fear, frustration, I go to Psalms 46:10 and it says, be still and know that I am God. It not only says that I need to be still, but I need to know that he's God. One of the other translations says, calm down and know I'm God. What do you need more than anything else? When you're upset, calm down. To be still and know that I'm God. I'll be exalted above the nations and I'll be exalted here on earth. See, now he's telling you, I want you to know that I'm God. And he said, I'm not just some God. He said, listen, I'm the Lord of host and he's with us, the Lord of Jacob, the God of all the army. Now listen, when you really start praying and you really start going in this verse, you really start saying, Hey God, I need to calm down. I need to know who you are. I need to know you're the Lord of the host.

James Greer: 08:28 You all do know when David was going to fight Goliath, and Goliath was saying, hey, who are you? Come to me. I'm going to do this and do that. And David said, you come with the spirit. You come to the source, but I come to you and the name of the Lord of the hosts, the Lord of the armies is on my side. And he took a rock and he slung and he killed that sucker. Amen? And so. when I need to get upset. I said, God, I personalize it. I say, God, I've been upset, maybe I've been worried, I've been frustrated. But, you said the Lord of hosts is on my side, the Lord of all the army, the Lord that defeated the Egyptians, the Lord that set him free from bondage. He's now on my side. He's on your side. Amen? You’ve got to be still. You got to know that he is God.

James Greer: 09:22 And then third, God often speaks to us during special moments during church. I mean, God says it two or three together. He is also let God speak to you today. Let your heart be receptive. Say God, speak to me. I can't, God I didn't come just for information. Got out, came for transformation. Some of you were upset and Hey, now you've got the Lord of hosts. No matter what it is, so God be still, be quiet long enough to hear from God. Third, special moments in church. I've been in church before and God spoke to me about something, had nothing to do with the preacher was saying. I came in and I was worried and I left worshiping God, and see that's what God wants you to do. Ephesians 3:10 puts it this way. He says to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities until the power is in heaven. God said, listen, when you're in church, I want you to have special moment where the Holy spirit that lives in you, who is a person, can speak to you.

James Greer: 10:22 John the Baptist father, his name was Zachariah. He served in the temple. He was at church. They had been praying and praying for a son. They thought they were too old. They thought his wife was too old. But to tell you what, in Luke 3:13 it says this, and they said, but the angel of the Lord, don't be afraid Zachariah. This is John the Baptist dad, physical father. He said, for your prayer is heard your wife Elizabeth, go to bear you a son and the son should be named John. They were way past childbearing year. It was like saying, Hey, I came to church today and God said, he confirmed that he's going to answer a prayer that looked almost impossible. So if you're here today, I'm praying that God will answer a prayer that maybe you've prayed, and prayed, and prayed that it bring honor and glory to God and he'll do it today while you're in church. Amen?

James Greer: 11:23 And then fourth, fourth, what you hear from God, it's when you're in pain and sorrow. We hear from God and God hears from us. Isaiah 6:1 it says it was the year that King Uzziah died, that I saw the Lord he was sitting on his throne, and he was high and he was lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple. See, Isaiah was discouraged. He was hurting. He felt somewhat defeated, but through his pain, are you all ready? He began to come into the presence of God. He began to see God lifted up and though his earthly King had died, you all ready? He was coming into the presence of the King, a King who would never die, who would never leave him. Amen? And so see, God's helping him. He's helping him process his pain.
James Greer: 11:54 Now, there's deep pains that'll never leave you. Our granddaughter, has been about 15 years ago that passed away. That pain will always be there, but God wants to help us process through the pain to come into his presence, where we don't miss our potential. What I found out. Way too many people stop right here and they're living in their pain, and that's not where God wants you to stay.

James Greer: 12:49 I mean you, you can groan, you can hurt, you can grieve. Sometimes the groaning and the desperation is where we can go into the throne room of God that he shows up. It's during that time that God understand Exodus 2:24 and 25 puts it this way, so God heard their groaning. What did God hear? Their groaning, their desperation, their sigh, their grieve. God remembered his covenant with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and God looked down on the children of Israel and God acknowledged them.

James Greer: 13:29 Like I said, I know they're growing. I know they're hurting sometime. You ready? Sometimes when we get to the point that we're groaning in desperation, it can actually be good because God hears us and then we hear God like never before. And Exodus 6:5,6 it says this, and I have also heard the groaning, the desperation in the grieving of my children of Israel, who the Egyptians kept in bondage. Is there some people today that are in bondage and God wants to set you free. Matter of fact, the Lord of hosts defeated the Egyptians and I have remembered my covenant, therefore says the Lord unto the children of Israel. I am the Lord. In other words, he says, I am the one in charge, I am the one with ultimate authority. I am the one over all the army and I'm going to bring you out from under this. What burden are some of you all here today? Don't answer. Let me out here today. Have a burden and can I give you a free insight? You don't have to wait for something spectacular to happen. You can give it to God today. Amen? He said, I rid you of your bondage. Some of you all are in bondage and God wants to deliver you, I'll redeem you. I'll rescue you. I'll save you. I paid the price for you, and I'll stretch out my arm and with great judgment. I mean sometimes in our pain, our sorrow, our groaning, our hurt. God not only hears us, it just brings us into the very presence, the very throne room of God, and God said, let me help you. Let me minister to you, let me care for you. Let me remove your burdens. Let me set you free.

James Greer: 15:11 Then sometimes I just don't even know how to pray. I use this verse this week, Romans 8:26 there was somebody that had been going through something, going through something, going through something. They just seem like they just kept going through things and I really didn't know what to pray for them. I sent them this verse. Sometimes it's in my own spirit and sometimes it's for other people that says likewise, the spirit, he also helps in our infirmities. He also helps brother James in his weaknesses. He also helps you. See, personalize it. When I don't know what I should pray and I have times where what I ought to pray, but the spirit himself makes intercession for me with groaning, which cannot be uttered. I mean, God says you don't know, but I know your heart. Guess what? The Holy spirit lives in you and I can communicate. My spirit can communicate with God through his spirit. God the father, God the son, God the Holy spirit, and he says, what? Your groaning and the Holy spirit is going to groaning and I'm going to intercede for you and I'm going to intercede for that person and God can hear it. Amen? It's a great verse.

James Greer: 16:16 And then Judges 2:18 and when Lord raised up, judges for them in the Lord was with the judges and he delivered them out of the hands of their enemies and all the days of the judge, and the Lord was moved to pity by the groaning because of the oppression, the oppressed, and they harassed. Can you believe God said, I'm moved with pity. God said, listen, when you're hurting, it's almost, you all ready? When you're really hurting, you're really groaning. It's almost like God said, I'm hurting. I want you to come into my presence. I want to minister to you. See, I don't know how bad you're hurting. I don't know what you're going through today. I do know one thing, you're not here by accident. You're here by divine appointment and God is saying, let me minister to you today. I mean not someday, today, right?

James Greer: 17:19 Psalms 34:18 says, the Lord is near to those who are brokenhearted and saved such as have a contract heart. That word saved means I rescue, I deliver, I strengthen, I help, I defend today. God said, lets, in other words, Jesus is saying, listen, the Lord is close to those that are brokenhearted? If your broken heart and you do not have to wait the very moment that you're here today, God says, I want to be close to you. I want to save those whose spirit has been crushed. You just came in, your spirit is crushed, you're discouraged, you feel like you've been defeated. And he said, I want to do it.

James Greer: 18:03 Why do you want to wait? Why not do it today? Why not let him have his will and his way in your life? Why does so many people say, man, when something spectacular happens, that's what I'm going to do it. That's not what he said. He said, I'm close to the broken heart. If your brokenhearted and God says, I'm close to you, I'm here to save you, deliver you, to minister you to strengthen you. God, he's here. He's here for you. Second, second. So how can we get relief, refreshed, renewed? How? How can we really go through our pain to God's presence? God use our potential. How can we do that?

James Greer: 18:55 First we've got to remember like he did. Isaiah looked up. So whatever's going on in your life today, the first thing I tell you to look up to God, look to God. Isaiah 6:1 said, that the year King Uzziah died. I saw the Lord sitting on the throne and he was high and he was what? Lifted up. What's the first thing you need to do today with your pain, your sorrows and your heart ache? You need to do what? You need to look up. And the train of his robe filled the temple. See, he knows to look up. See, this is very careful. You have to be very careful. You've got to know, am I looking up to God or I'm looking to an idol. And I am I looking to the idol or my worshiping God? How do you know that? How do you know who you're looking to? You ready? When you're in pain, do you go to God? You worship him? Do you look to him or do you look to something else? I'm telling you right now, if you're in pain, whatever you're looking to, that's your idol. And if you're looking into anything other than God, that's called idolatry.

James Greer: 19:51 Well, when I have a need, where did I really look? Do I worship and do I look to God? He said he'll supply all my needs or I look to my job or to somebody else? Who did I really look to? Who is the idolatry in my life? Or am I just going to worship God? So when you're in pain, when you have a need, when you're really hurting, who do you look to? That's your God. That's your idolatry if it's somebody other than God. What do you do when you're really celebrating? Do you celebrate with God? So whatever your go to is that is your God. If it's God, Hey, he's the center of your life. If it's your God, he's going to minister to you. If it's God, he's going to provide for you. If it's idolatry, it's not because you're worshiping the things that he created instead of the creator.

James Greer: 20:38 The Psalmist puts it this way, had this written in front of my Bible, 121. I'm going to lift up my eyes. God, before I ever preach I read this, I lift up my eyes to the Hills from which comes my help. Where's my help come from? From God. My help comes from who? The Lord. Capital L. O. R. D, the Lord of the hosts. The Lord of the army is the one that's ultimate charge. He also made heaven and earth. See, I really read it like that. I say, God, I'm looking to you. God. You're the Lord. You're the one who knows when I am in trouble. God, if he made the heavens and the earth God, you can take care of me. Amen? So the first thing we need to do is to look up.

James Greer: 21:24 The second thing. As you come into God's presence, you began to look in. That's what we don't want to do. We don't want to look in. We want to look up. We want to come into his presence, but we don't want to look in. Isaiah 3:5 he's walking. He says, and one cried unto another said, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts. Man, Isaiah is still looking up. The whole earth is full of his glory, man. He's still looking up and the posts, the doors, they were shaken by the voice of him who cried out and the house was filled with smoke. I mean, my goodness, he's looking up and he's praising God and he's going into God's presence. Then he says, I looked in, woe was me.

James Greer: 22:05 Did you know every one of us has a woe was me. Did you know every one of us have secret sins? Did you know every one of us needs a touch from Jesus Christ? Did you know when you come in the presence of God? I want to get to this later, but didn't it wonderful before God even talked about the sin before he even convicted most sin, he loved him. He praised him. He brought him into his presence. Now Isaiah said, woe is me. I'm undone because I'm a man of unclean lips. I can say that and I dwell in the midst of people of unclean lips. But guess what? For my eyes have now seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Amen?

James Greer: 22:49 The Lord of what? Hosts. And the posts and the doors were shaking. I mean the God said Hey, isn't it something you all want to hear something great? I don't know how you all raised. I wasn't raised this way. Isn't it great that through his pain, through his sorrow, even before he addressed what his sin was, God said, man, come into my presence. He didn't wait until they got all cleaned up. He didn't wait until all the sin was removed. He said, I want you to come as you are when you come to God, as you are in your pain, you began to come into his presence. Isaiah became broken and I saw God's goodness and it led to the inside job. For him to say, sometimes it's God's goodness that leads to repentance. See, I use like if I'm, if I'm not clean enough to come to God, I messed up too much to come to God.

James Greer: 23:37 I say things too much to come to God. Man. Isaiah was the same type person and he said, man, I'll look it up, but I came in to God and then God dealt with me. Romans 2:4 puts it this way. He says, don't despise the riches and the goodness and the forbearance and the long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads to what? Repentance. Let's say the very, you all ready? The very moment Isaiah confessed his sin or acknowledged his problem, God reached down from heaven and removed it just like that. I thought Isaiah needed to be wallowing and begging and said, Oh God, I can't believe I did this. I can't believe my lips are so bad. I can't believe I'm amidst the people. No, no, no. I mean he'd kept because he was in God's presence.

James Greer: 24:19 I mean, when I was raised, I'd think, man, you just can't hardly come into God's presence because you're just not good enough. You've just messed up to much. Just coming to work. Just coming to church, the way you drive and the things you said, there's no way you can come into God's presence, much less God's church. Amen? But that's not how Isaiah came to him. Isaiah came to him discouraged, disappointed and broken. He walked right into God's presence and then in God's presence. He said, Oh man, I have unclean lips that need to be touched. And God's just reached down and touched them immediately. Did you know, I guarantee you there's people in our congregation right now that areas of their life that just need to be touched, need to be removed, need to be clean.

James Greer: 25:20 I want you to know that God loves you. He created you. He wants to fellowship with you. I never understood how bad God really wants my fellowship. Man, he created me to have fellowship with me. He wants to remove everything else. That's why Acts 3:19 puts it this way. It says, repent, therefore and be converted. Why? That your sins be blotted out and times of refreshing come. God says, I want there to be a refreshing in your life. So listen, what do we do? We looked up, we looked in. Now we've got to look out.

James Greer: 25:40 We had the pain. We came into God's presence and now God's going to say, Hey, you're going to start seeing your own potential. God saw Isaiah's potential all along. Isaiah could not see it because he was hurting in the midst of the pain. But when he comes into God's presence, he begins to see it. In Isaiah 6:8, he says, now he hears him. I heard the voice of the Lord, whom shall I sin and whom will go for us? Who's us? It's in heaven. God said, God the father, God the son, God the Holy spirit. Who can we sin? God decided to use me and you here on earth.

James Greer: 26:25 And then he said, here I am. Send me. That's what's been happening at Journey Church. You've been coming to church and now you're saying, here I am, God, send me. Warning, don't get stuck in your pain. Hurt, grieve, groan, but don't live there. Let it move you into God's presence and let God's presence move you out to your potential. The happiest people on though are the people who look outward and serve others, not the people that's always looking inward to be served. As we get ready to close, I want you to know that I know some of you are in pain. The wonderful thing I listened to me, the wonderful thing is this. I don't care how much pain you're in. God's presence is here. He's here and not only is his presence here, he wants to minister to you like never before. He wants to help you move through your pain and he wants you to see the great potential that you have. You have a purpose. He's got a plan. Don't live in the pain. So this is what happens. You might have a prayer that you need prayed today. Where two or three gather together there I am. You're in the house of the Lord. Man, what a great place today. You all ready? To bring your prayer to the altar and give it to God.

James Greer: 28:01 Isaiah, Zachariah. He was in church and God said, I heard your prayer. You're going to have a son. I don't know what your prayer is. Zachariah, it looked like it was impossible, but it wasn't that day, and today might be the very day that you come and you pour your prayers out on the alter and God answers it.

James Greer: 28:19 Some of you have a sin or a habit. See, the very minute he took the coals, any he touched Isaiah's lips and he immediately healed him. Some of you all need forgiveness. Some of you all need immediate cleansing. He didn't wait. He cleansed him that very moment. I'm going to tell you, you can come and confess your sin and God will forgive you immediately today. Maybe you need a touch. Some of you are in pain and I can tell you, God said he's close to the brokenhearted, those that have been crushed. He said, I want to save you, not only save you to go to heaven one day said, I want to deliver you. I want to help you. I want to defend you. I want to make you safe. I will make you free. And God said he'll do that. Don't leave here waiting for something spectacular to happen because it's already happened here today. So wherever you're at, today's the day that you can let God work in your life and a great, great and mighty way. Would you stand?

James Greer: 29:36 God, you are such an awesome, awesome God. Man, you are working in our church, in our lives in such a great way. God, whether it's a prayer that needs to be answered, whether it's a sin and that needs to be confessed. Whether it's a pain that needs to be ministered, where somebody needs to come and join our church, follow through in baptism. God, you have your will and your way in their life because it is a great day. And let the invitation be from Jesus Christ as his name we pray. Amen.

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