Pastor Matt Fry continues the series titled, "Heart Of A Champion."
There is a champion inside of you. It's the power of God working in us. God's power is greater than the Devil's power.
At the Lord’s command, the whole community of Israel left the wilderness of Sin [a] and moved from place to place. Eventually they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. 2 So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded.
“Quiet!” Moses replied. “Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the Lord?”
3 But tormented by thirst, they continued to argue with Moses. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?”
4 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What should I do with these people? They are ready to stone me!”
5 The Lord said to Moses, “Walk out in front of the people. Take your staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you.6 I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai.[b] Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on.
7 Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord here with us or not?”
Israel Defeats the Amalekites
8 While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. 9 Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”
10 So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. 11 As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. 12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.
14 After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). 16 He said, “They have raised their fist against the Lord’s throne, so now[c] the Lord will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.” Exodus 17:1-16 (NLT)
Pastor Matt talks about how the people left Egypt and started complaining. Satan wants us to complain and have a bad attitude.
In this passage, we see the first battle of many while going toward the Promise Land. Joshua and the men are fighting the battle. God tells Moses to go up on a hill and raise his hands. Pastor Matt says there is power in rising of the hands.
For as long as Moses' hands were in the air, they were winning the battle. So, Aaron and Hur went over to help Moses keep his hands lifted up until the sun went down.
The point is this, the battle wasn't won in the physical world but in the spiritual world.
The Power Of Prayer
You don't have to be the most talented, gifted, or most likely to succeed. It doesn't matter your background or talents you have, but when you go to God in prayer there is power.
Prayer is the most important weapon and tool for victory. When we pray for kids, marriage, family, friends, neighbors, and people who are hurting, we can experience victory. In the physical it may not look like it's possible.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 (NLT)
So, when you pray alone awesome things can happen, but when you pray with other believers you can see even greater results. Why? Because you are touching heaven. It may not make sense, but you know it is God.
“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, [a] I am there among them.” Matthew 18:19-20 (NLT)
Matt talks about a time when he prayed with fear, not faith. God then convicted him and said that you are not praying with faith. If you believe God is a God of power than you should believe he can change lives through prayer.
This power of prayer is available to all of us, not just pastors.
Pastor Fry recounts a Saturday night service. A woman came up to him about a pain in her back. She had been to the doctors for 5 years. However, nothing worked. When she heard him talk about praying she decided to pray with faith. She later came back and said that she was healed. God really can answer prayers.
Let's pray for people. No matter where you are. What if he doesn't heal? It doesn't matter, pray with faith. Let's pray bold prayers, not whimpy prayers. Let's pray about marriages and broken homes.
Don't doubt or hesitate, but let's live and pray in faith.
The Power Of Relationships
Aaron and Hur understood the power of partnerships.
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)
Why were Aaron and Er champions? Because they understood the power of working together. When Moses had no more strength, the two came in to help win the battle.
Where can you find these kinds of people? They are planted in God's House.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, 15 To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Psalms 92:13 (NKJV)
Anyone who has ever planted a tree knows that you have to plant a tree and let it grow. Moving a tree does not make for a healthy tree.
Pastor talks about a conversation with church leaders who find some of their members who just move around a lot. Some look at church like a grocery store, they bounce around.
Remember, the grass is greenest wherever you water it. There is something about being planted and nurturing relationships where you are.
Where do you find friends? Wherever you celebrate with other believers.
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1 (NLT)
How do we find friends? When you are connected with other believers.
At C3, we call these Connect Groups. It's not a C3 thing but a Bible thing. You can actually trace this back to the Old Testament.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47 (NIV)
The best Connect Groups have food (and coffee).
Remember, it's not about the Pastor or the staff to care for everyone's needs. Instead, it is through the work of the each member in these smaller groups that can do that.
Pastor Fry talks about a time he visited South India. He met with a guy named Pastor Mohan who has over 35,000 people on an acre of land. Starting at 4:30 am until late at night, Pastor Mohan preaches the gospel. Matt asks, how did this happen? Mohan said that God blessed him and he got a couple of thousand. Unfortunately, they got stagnant.
After talking with them, he found that small Connect Groups was the key to their growth. All things being equal, the only change was the smaller groups.
Pastor Matt talks about using these resources (and support groups) to help reach those who need help.
In his closing comments, Pastor Matt encourages us all to get involved in a Connect Group. Commit to 10 weeks.
Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. 4 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. 5 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft! Exodus 31:1-5 (NLT)
Do You Need A Fresh Start?
If you need hope or help. God wants you to know that he loves you. Jesus died and rose from the grave. If you would like to know Jesus as your savior then pray this prayer.
Dear God, I realize I've sinned and I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross and rising from the grave. Come in to my heart and save me. Thank you for giving me eternal and abundant life. Help me to live for you, for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
To share your story, want more information about next steps, or just in need of prayer, please contact Pastor Matt Fry.