Fight Club | Fighting with What is In Your Hand

How To Use Your Spiritual Gifts To Further His Kingdom

James Greer
Jun 26, 2022    32m
How do we get through challenges in life? It is simple - use your spiritual gifts to further God's Kingdom. He does not ask for what we don't have. Rather, He uses what we already have. God desires for us to depend on Him. When God calls you, He equips you with what you need. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

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: [00:00:04] Hey. Morning, Journey Church. Let's hear it for our fight club guys. Amen. And Greg Richie worked with those kids a couple of days, a couple of nights a week. Let's hear it for Greg. Amen? That's his ministry. We're going to be talking about how God gives everybody a gift and how you should use it. And that's one of his gifts, and he uses it here at Journey Church for free and trains those kids. Amen? Man, I want to tell you, I had the privilege this week to go to McAllen, Texas and take some pictures of some birds. And it was so cool because it's kind of like an illustration of God's power in people and how it's not the size of the person, but it's the power of God. And see, these birds, there's these kerikeri birds. They're real big. They call them Mexican eagles. And to look at them, you'd think they were mean motor scooters. I mean, what they probably are, they're kind of like scavenger birds. But there's these little Orioles birds and the mockingbirds, they attack these suckers. They are not afraid. In fact, they sit on his head and then sit on his head and fly. And the mockingbird would come by and try to grab that sucker's tail feathers. And I'm thinking, this is unbelievable. Here's these two huge birds, and these little bitty birds are not scared of them. It's kind of like Christians.

James Greer: [00:02:24] It's not the size of the problem that you're facing in your life. It's the heart and the power of God in your life. And so many times as Christians, we look at the problem and the big problem instead of the power and presence of God in our life. We shouldn't be worried. And these little birds are just going all over the place. One time, one time, one time. Josh, you remember? Those birds flew under those suckers' wings. It's just unbelievable. They flew under the wings, out the other side, and the mockingbirds would try to get their tails. And I'm thinking, these dudes are huge. They don't care. We as Christians, man, when we're in the power and the presence of God, we shouldn't be looking at the problem. We should be looking on who's with us, not who's against us. Amen? We're going to be talking about Moses today. God is calling Moses to lead the children of Israel out of bondage. God is a big God. Amen? When God calls us to do something, He says, I'm on your side, man, we ought to go for it. Right? Yet, Moses, man, he had been in the desert for 40 years, tending his father-in-law's sheep. I mean, I guess that's an okay job. But if God calls you, God comes to him in a burning bush and he says, Moses, I'm going to give you this great job. You can be the leader.

James Greer: [00:03:46] You're going to lead millions of children of Israel out of poverty. In fact, you're going to face Pharaoh, but you're going to win. That's a pretty big job compared to tending sheep in the wilderness, in the desert. Amen? Instead, Moses is much like us. Moses said, But suppose they don't believe me and they don't listen to my voice? Suppose they say the Lord has not appeared to you? When I first wrote this message a couple of weeks ago, I thought about how Moses was really worried about how everybody else would not believe that God has spoken to him. The real truth is Moses didn't believe what God was asking him to do. And the real truth is that most people, most Christians, most of you, man, the balcony is looking good tonight. Amen? Today. Y'all rocking the house up there. What do you say for the balcony? But the problem is most Christians, even at Journey Church, it's not so much you're worried about other people believing that God is calling. You can't believe that God is using you and wants to call you. Oh, no. See, that's the real problem. So the Lord said, Listen, listen, I'm going to give you a son, Moses. And the Lord said to Moses, What's that in your hand? He said, It's a rod. God's giving everybody something, something that you can use, something you can use to further the Kingdom and free the people. And he said, cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground.

James Greer: [00:05:22] And it became a serpent and Moses fled. I don't blame him. I'm scared of snakes, too. He didn't even know what it meant to do that. And so the Lord said to Moses, Reach down and catch it by the tail, and we're going to find out why he caught it by the tail. And he reached down, and he caught it and it turned back into a rod. And so he's getting him to the point to say, hey, I'm getting you ready. I want to use you and I want you to do what I've called you to do. I want to give you a quick summary of the whole message, and then we'll preach the message. First of all, I want you to know if you're saved, God's already given you everything you'll ever need to accomplish God's purpose. See, don't say, well, if only God did this, if only God give me more money, if only God gave me more education, if only God. No, no. God's already giving you everything you need. Everything spiritually, emotionally, financially. Anything you ever need, God's already given it to you to accomplish what He's called you to do. See, our greatest temptation is not to believe what God tells us. Your greatest temptation is to come Sunday morning, I preach the message, and it applies to you and you try to apply it to somebody else. See, you don't believe God. You don't believe God's already given you what you need.

James Greer: [00:06:47] We struggle with what God says and what He's already given us. It makes God angry, but God still, thank God, He's slow in his judgment and He still wants to use us. Sometimes He sends other people beside us. Do you even know what, in Moses' case, it was a rod. Do you know what so to speak God's rod is in your life? And are you using it? Do you understand, if you go long enough and you don't use what God's given you, you could lose it? The happiest times in your life is when you finally find out what God's given you and you use it because He blesses you. There's no more greater fulfillment than doing what God's called you to do. But we've got to remember that we all have an old nature. Call it a curse or maybe a snake. I don't know. When I first wrote this message, I said, the problem is most people don't understand God's calling. That's what I wrote. It was the introduction. It says, Hey, man, we're ending the message, the fight club and Moses fought with God. And I said, you know, I wrote the first statement, most people don't understand God's calling. Then I said, That's not true. I'll tell you why it's not true. Because God, this Old Testament is a picture of a New Testament application. That's a physical picture of spiritual application.

James Greer: [00:08:18] Now, the first calling to Moses, God spoke to him in a burning bush. That's pretty clear. And what I want you to know is God's making His calling clear to you. You're just making excuses why you don't accept the calling. Now, it may not be to lead millions of people. Most people are not called for that kind of leadership, but everybody's called. Most are servant gifts. Most of them are called to serve and help other people. But you're still called. You still have a gift. Most of you, maybe you don't understand is maybe you just want to make excuses. Number one, number one, point number one. God wants you to use what you already have. Why do you want God to give you something else when you're not using what you have? He wants you to use it to further God's Kingdom and set His people free. Derek, isn't it good we got to baptize you, brother? Amen? Doesn't it feel better to be free out here instead of in jail? Amen? That's freedom, isn't it, baby? And Derek says... Hey, he knows what freedom really is. God wants to take the natural that we have and use it in a supernatural way, which could be called the favor of God, which is one of my next devotions, which I can't wait. The favor of God is simply when God takes the natural, does the supernatural. It can be in a person, place, or thing.

James Greer: [00:09:41] It can be in a place like Journey where He does the supernatural. Do you realize we baptized two in the first service, we baptized two in the second service. Y'all ready? And we're going to baptize two in the third service. That's God taking the natural because Journey Church is a natural church. I guarantee you. We got the most ordinary people working here you'll ever find in your entire life. And me being number one. But we're going to baptize six people this Sunday. Some churches go all year and don't baptize six people. That's why God gets the glory. They say, How does Journey Church do it? They said, they got the most ordinary people at that church. I know it, but we got God. Ordinary plus God equals supernatural. So I say we got the favor of God. So sometimes it's a place. Sometimes it's people. Am I ordinary or what? When I started preaching, I could barely read. That's pretty ordinary. And y'all said, I know. You still don't do very good. When I got home last Sunday, my wife said, the word was not poo poo. Said, yes, it was. How else? She said, Well, it's not always poo poo. It's another way it's pronounced. I said, I like poo poo. She said, You just don't learn. I said, Well, it's just ordinary. I mean, you know, it's okay. It is what it is. Amen? God takes the natural and does the supernatural. Now sometimes a person, sometimes a place, sometimes a thing.

James Greer: [00:11:21] Sometimes it's little, sometimes it's big. But it always brings honor to God and helps further His Kingdom. That's what it is. God was trying to show Moses His favor. And at first, I said, Moses didn't understand. Yeah, Moses understood it. He was trying to refuse it. Sometimes people miss it. Sometimes they replace it. You know how they replace it? God gives them a talent. God opens a door, and they use it for the self. We all know talented people that God gave them the talent, but they misuse it. They use it for their own glory and their own self. They misuse the talent. And sometimes they just misuse it. I'm reading a book, and it's a Tim Tebow. He's a football player. I don't know much about him, but y'all probably know. And he wrote a book called Mission Possible, Not Impossible. He doesn't miss it. He didn't replace it. He knew why God gave him talent to play football. And it wasn't about him. He says, God gave me the talent to play football. He gave me recognition. But it was all to further God's Kingdom. It was a platform to give God the honor and glory and to bring as many people as possible to Jesus Christ. It was to minister to people that were less likely. It was the people that were hurting. It was people that were orphaned. God gave me a platform,, but it was not for me.

James Greer: [00:12:48] It was for them. See, he didn't miss it, and he didn't misuse it. He knew what God had given him the talent for. But do you? God's not hiding His gift from you. It's like Moses and a burning bush, and you'll find out otherwise. He was making it clear. The problem was not other people. It was Moses. And Moses answered and said, Suppose that they don't believe me or listen to my voice? Just suppose. Suppose they say the Lord is not appeared to you. You know? So what? The Lord said to him, What's that in your hand? He said, It's a rod. Well, I'm wondering what's in your hand. What has God given you? He's already given it to you. And then he said, well, cast it on the ground. So he cast it on the ground. And it became a what? A serpent. Say serpent. And Moses did what? He fled. The problem is most people, when they throw it on the ground and they fled, they never come back. See, one of the greatest temptations is not using what God has already given you. See, most people want to make excuses instead of using it. So see, God's already given you a talent, a gift for you to use that talent or gift. You can use it or you can excuse it. We're fixing to have a new series of VBS. We're calling it the Assembly Avengers VBS. It's kind of like this. When we as a group, there's many members in one body.

James Greer: [00:14:25] Not all members have same. Also, we'd be in many or one body in Christ. When a whole church starts finding its place, some of you are the toe. Some are the hands, some are the fingers, some are the eyes, some are the ears, some are the mouth. We got a lot of mouths. But anyway. Too many mouths. You're not all mouths. But anyway. But the real truth is when we all come together, man, we can't be stopped. And that's what this is all about. Just find your place, and God can use us to do even greater things. And God wants us to depend upon Him, not ourselves. And that's why when it says, he said, cast the rod on the ground. And it became a serpent. And Moses fled from it. But then he said, and the Lord said to Moses, Now you reach down and reach out. Reach your hand and take it by the tail. And he reached out his hand and he caught it and it became a rod in his hand. That's the natural becoming supernaturally blessed. You know, the difference is this. You're feeling useless, and you want to be useful. In other words, can you imagine, I'm wandering around the wilderness. I'm not really wandering. He's tending sheep in the wilderness for his father-in-law. You ever worked for your father-in-law? [inaudible]

James Greer: [00:15:44] It's okay. But in the desert versus being one of the greatest leaders in the world. Some of y'all are working in, you got a good job, but you don't realize how God wants you to use you on the job. So you're working on a job, but you don't feel fulfilled on the job because you think you're just working on the job. And God's got a purpose for you on the job. Till you find the purpose on the job, you're just getting by on the job. So you feel a little useless instead of useful. You're stressed instead of stretched. It's okay to be stretched. But don't stay stressed. That's unbiblical. It's unbiblical to live a stressed life. It's not to be stretched. We want to be stretched to be challenged to do new things and better things. God wants to stretch you, but He doesn't want to stress you. He wants to stretch Moses. Hey, man, it's good that you've been tending sheep. But, man, how about leading the people out of bondage for God? Man, wouldn't that be something? That'd stretch you. Man, you're going to be one of the greatest leaders in the world. It'll be in the Bible for the history of the world to read. That's stretching you. No, I think I'll just tend the sheep. That's what some of you are doing. You're just tending the sheep. You go from fear to fearless. I just live a fearful life.

James Greer: [00:17:07] I don't want to do that. I'm scared of what the Pharaoh Does. Man, you're going to stand before Pharaoh, but you got God doing miracles for you. Parting the Red Sea, turning water into blood. Oh, man, that's powerful. Amen? No, I'll just stand here and tend the sheep. So God says, I want you to throw the rod. It turns into a serpent and He says, I want you to now take the serpent, you catch it by the tail and you catch about a tail and it turns back into a rod. Does anybody know why He turns it to the serpent and then turns it back to a rod? Because every one of you, me and you and every single thing in our life and our career and our marriage, everything and our strength and our gifts, we all have a touch of the serpent in us, the curse. By nature, we all have a touch of the curse in us. And if you're not careful, we'll let the curse override the supernatural power of God. And so He told Moses, It's time for you to let God control you. Take the serpent by the tail. And if any of y'all know anything about snakes. I was growing up, lived out of city limits. You just went over the levee, and there was a Red River. There were lots of water moccasins and lots of snakes. Now, when I was young, we would catch snakes. Ever catch a water moccasins by the tail and say, okay, I'm going to drop it over here?

James Greer: [00:18:33] No, no. You get his head and you smash his head and you pick his head up. Or if you caught it by the tail. This is gross. You would. Yeah. You would catch it just long enough to pop its head off. Just telling you. But you never walk around with the tail. Because if you just picked it up by the tail, that sucker would bite you. So what God was telling Moses, You give the tail, you pick it up by the tail and you give the head to me. What He was saying is you surrender your life and control to me and quit worrying about it. You just do what I'm telling you and let me take care of that. You quit living a stressful life and do what I say, and you leave the rest to me. Because I'm going to tell you, when you take the natural and you give the other to God, you can have a better marriage, you have a better job, you have a better career. Because now you're just doing, you're surrendering what you used to worry about to God. That's good, Brother James. Some of y'all can just relax. Man, you can go from being stressed to stretched. He's stretching you on your job. He's not stressing you. You're going to work and you're trying to control everything. You're trying to hold everything. You're trying to be the powerful one.

James Greer: [00:19:44] Let it go, man. Let it go. In your marriage, you're trying to do everything. Why don't you turn that part over to God? You do the best, the very best you can and you let God do the rest and you let Him bless you. Amen? You're preaching now, brother. Now God wants to confirm your gift. He wants to confirm your calling. He probably already has. It doesn't matter if it's on your job, in your sports, in your hobby, in your family, in your church, by your pastor, by whoever it is. He will confirm it. Now Moses, Moses just kept on and on and on and on. My goodness gracious. God said, I'll tell you what else. That they may believe the Lord God, the Father of God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has appeared to you. I'll tell you what else you do, Moses. He says, Furthermore, the Lord said to Moses, Now put your hand in your bosom and he put his hand in his bosom. And guess what? And when he took it out, it had leprosy. It was just white as snow. So he said, Now, tell you what, Moses. Put it back in your bosom and when he took it out, it was clear, restored like flesh. In other words, He said, Listen, I'm doing everything I can do, Moses. I mean, how many people you put your hand in there and you take it out? It's got leprosy.

James Greer: [00:20:57] Oh, my goodness. You put it back in, it comes out. It's white as snow. I mean, Moses, I mean, I talked to you in a burning bush. I took your rod. I turned it into a snake. You picked it back up. I've shown you leprosy. Later on, I'll take the water and I'll turn it into blood and I'll turned it back to water. I mean, Moses, come on. So what I'm trying to tell you, the problem wasn't Moses worried about what everybody else said. The real problem is Moses worried about believing God. The real problem with me and you, it's not worried about everybody else says. The problem is, are you ready for what God has for you? If you are, God to supply all your needs. But I understand Moses. I mean, I understand verse 10 better than probably anybody in this room. Because I said this to God when God called me. And Moses said to the Lord, Oh my Lord, I'm not eloquent. Neither before you called me or after you spoke to my servant. For I am slow in speech and slow in tongue. He says, God, I don't speak well in front of people and I stutter. When God called me, I didn't speak well. I didn't stutter, but I didn't read well. Y'all don't think I read well now. You should have seen before God touched me. It was really something then. And God said this. Who made man's mouth?

James Greer: [00:22:21] What do y'all say then? Who made it? God did. Who makes the mute? Who makes the deaf? The seeing? The blind? Have not I done that? The Lord? He said, listen, I'm the one that did all this. I'm the one that created this. If I want you to speak, you'll speak. If I want you to talk, you talk. If I want you to see, you'll see. And God's saying, Listen, whatever I called you to do, I'll equip you to do and I'll give you the power to do it. And the same thing is with you and the same thing is with me. God's got a sense of humor. I can remember when He called, I pulled over on the side of the road and started laughing. I said, God, you got to have a sense of humor. God didn't laugh. He said, You just do what I told you to do and I'll take care of you. It's been the greatest ride of my life. I enjoy preaching, get more fulfillment out of anything I've ever done in my entire life. God has shown Himself through that more than anything else. He's confirmed it more than anything else. Said, now I've told you everything. Now go and I'll be with your mouth and I'll teach you what you should say. And you're going to say, Sure. Now Moses is going to say, Yeah, buddy, I'm ready to go. Let's go, God. Let's go, God. Nope. Still didn't go. Still wasn't ready to go. So God was really getting a little ticked off at him.

James Greer: [00:23:47] But he said, Oh, my Lord. Please send by the hand of whomever else you may send. So the anger of Lord was kindled. No joke. Against Moses. Thank goodness we have a God that is not only slow to anger, but He's slow to act on His anger. But He said, is not Aaron the Levite your brother? Of course, he is. [inaudible] I know that he can speak well. And look, just happened to be by coincidence. No, by God's divine appointment. He's also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he'll be glad in his heart. In other words, man, he's going to be glad to speak for you. It's going to be a calling, a blessing. Now, you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth and he will be with your mouth and with his mouth, I will teach you what you shall do. In other words, he said, I'm going to use Aaron to speak for you. So he shall be your spokesman and be the people, and he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to Him as to God. In other words, he said, Listen, I'm going to do it and I'm going to tell you what to do. I'm going to tell you how to do it. And He goes on and on. And finally, He says, in 17, and you shall take this what?

James Greer: [00:25:15] Rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs. He started out with a rod. He's ended up with a rod. He started out with the rod, ended up with the rod. And he said, God, I've got a question for you. I want you to use what you started out with. My question to you is, what's God trying to get you to use? What's in your hand? What's in your heart? What's in your mind? What is it God is trying to use? What's He trying to bless you with? What are you missing He's blessing you with? Most of us can use it or you're making excuses of it. Excuses causing you to miss the greatest blessings God has for you. In closing, let's put this. Once you're saved, God has given you at least one gift. To bring honor and glory to God. The Bible says, in whatever you do, eat, drink, whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. But remember this. If you do not use it, you will eventually lose it. In Matthew, He's talking about gifts and talents. When He said to this. He said, then he who had received one talent, one gift, he came and said, Lord, I knew you would be a hard man. God said, Where is it? And he's making excuses. You reaped where you had not sown. You gathered where you did not scatter. In other words, this man is making excuses why he didn't do it.

James Greer: [00:26:39] See, instead of using it, he's excusing it. I was afraid. There's another excuse. I went and hid the talent in the ground. Look, now here it is, God. It's yours. You've come back and you want it. So, you know, he said, I didn't blow it, but here it is. The only thing I did was make excuses for it. But the Lord answered him and said, No, the real truth is you are wicked and you are a lazy servant. You just didn't want to use your effort and energy. You knew I reaped where I didn't sow . Oh, no. And I gathered where I have not scatter the seed. See, he was lazy. That's his problem. So you should have at least deposited the money in the bank where I could have come back and received my own interest. But you didn't do that. Take that talent from him, give it to the one who had ten talents. That's who you give it to, the people that are busiest. For to everyone who has, more will be given. And to him that has abundance, but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. Now, this is a part I don't understand, but I want to try to. And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I don't understand that part. I do understand this. God's given every person, every woman, every boy, every girl, once you're saved, He gives you a gift.

James Greer: [00:28:02] He gives you a talent. It's to be used to further God's Kingdom and help set people free. That may be in your hobby. It may be at your church. It may be on your job. But He's given you one. When you don't allow God to work through you, to use that to go from useless to useful, from stress to being stretched, you're not happy. I don't know about the gnashing of teeth and the weeping. I just say you become miserable because you missed out on the gifts. See, I believe the greatest gift next to salvation is God's gift. The most important thing you'll do is salvation. The next most important thing you'll do is say, God, here I am, use me. Now you can come and make excuses all you want. But God made it clear that those excuses do not work. If you don't know what it is, you can come today and people will help you do it, help you find it. God made it clear that it doesn't matter how old you are. Moses was 80, and God just began to use him. When me and Josh went to this place this weekend to take some pictures and I said, as a guy, I hope it isn't too far. You know, I'm 69. I have to walk. He said, That's okay. I'm 82. I run the whole ranch and own it. I said, I feel fine. It's not your age.

James Greer: [00:29:37] You're never too young, you're never too old to be used by God. So don't be making excuses. When you don't, you will eventually lose that happiness and that joy that God has for you. Just wonder, what and where has God called you. If you don't know, if you really, really don't know, most of you know. Because at one time in your life, it's been confirmed to you. Many times in your heart, your spirit. Many times by somebody else. He's not trying to hide it from you. He's trying to confirm it from you. When you run from it and you don't use it, you'll eventually be stressed. You'll be unhappy. It'll even lead to mourning. I want Journey Church people to be the happiest, most fulfilled people in the whole wide world. We can be like that small bird attacking those big birds because we know we got the power of God living in us and there's nothing too big. Would you stand and let me pray with you? God, I thank you that we can have your power and your presence. I thank you for the gifts that you call us to. It's not something that we have to do because God, it's something that we get to do. It's something that brings more joy, more pleasure than anything else we do. I thank God next to salvation is the most important gift, the most important thing that we do. God, impress upon our hearts today what that gift is. Impress upon our heart to accept that gift and impress upon our hearts if we're really not sure what it is, that we say, Hey, help me to find that gift.

James Greer: [00:31:10] We have tests, we got people, we got staff. They'll give. They'll help you. They'll stay with you till you find your place. It's not always just here at church. It can be. It can be on your job. It can be in your hobby. But God has a place for you to be used to honor and glorify God, to further His Kingdom. And you'll find a new happiness and joy that you've never had in your life. Now, maybe God's called you to join his church this morning. I pray that if He has, today would be a day. Just come to the altar and talk to one of these people. Maybe we've had two baptisms, four baptism, we got six. Maybe you want to sign up for next week. We've already got people signed up and you want to say, Hey, I want to be signed up for next week to be baptized. You know, maybe you want to come and you just want people to pray with you and pray for you. Maybe you're hurting and you need people to pray for you. Maybe you just need help. Whatever it is, I pray, don't go home. Don't be afraid. Come and let God have His will and His way in your life. I ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

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