Identity Theft: Chosen

Video Transcription

So how is everybody this morning? Are you excited to be in the house of the Lord? I know I am. Well, greetings to everybody. Glad you're here, and also, welcome to those who watch via the internet. We're glad that you tuned in. Hope these messages minister to you. As you know, we're in our series called "Identity Theft." And we're talking about the fact that many of us probably aren't in danger of ruining our lives per se, but we may be in danger of wasting certain things in our life that God has said to us in His word that we might not be aware of. And so you know I've been talking about this box for the last couple of weeks. And I gave you an analogy in the first message that we did about how if this box would have come to your house, and you didn't open it up for a long time. And then later you opened it up, and you realized there were things in it that you desperately needed to hear. We want to now open up this box today and start pulling out things that God says about you in His word.

And so if you have your Bibles, you can turn to Ephesians, Chapter 1. You don't need to. We put it up here on the screen. You can follow along with the scripture, but Paul says this. Paul says, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him.

Let us pray. Dear heavenly father, I thank You for today. I thank You for what You're going to do. And I thank You, Lord, in advance that I truly believe when people leave here today, they're going to leave differently than when they came in. And so, Lord, what I'm asking You to do is what I have always asked is that somehow You would get involved between the words of my mouth and the ears and the hearts of those that are here and speak to them. And, Lord, we're going to give You praise, glory, and honor in advance. In Jesus name, and everybody said, amen.

So as we go to the box this morning, we're going to pick out a card. And if we were like a really big church, I would have had like a piece of wood, and it would have been real fancy. But we're still a small church. And so you get Chip Bennett cardboard box with a marker. That's the best I can do. It's a project that I did with my kids. Nah, I'm just kidding. But we're going to talk about being chosen. And I don't know how you feel or what goes in your mind when you hear the word "chosen." I know I teach some theology classes at different places. And normally, when you bring up the word chosen, usually, a fight goes on in the classroom, because it becomes that God choose some people or not choose others. And it becomes this theological battle. For many people, when they think of chosen, they think of, "Man, I remember when I got chosen for that play." Or "I got chosen for the church choir. I got chosen for this," and it was a good thing. And then some of us remember being chosen for things that weren't good like cleaning the kitchen up or mopping up the bathroom. Come on, some of you all with me, right?

So when you say chosen, there's a myriad of things that you may go through or things that you may think when I use that word. It maybe theological. It maybe practical. It maybe good, maybe bad, maybe all those things. But what we've got to do is we've got to ask, what does the Bible say about us being chosen? And what I would like to say is is that God had a plan for You before the world was created. Now, if You're anything like me, when somebody says, "God had a plan for me before the world was created," first thing I want to know is, what was the plan? Because I want to get involved, because I believe in God. Some of you may say, "Well, I don't know if I believe," or whatever, so this might be good. But the fact of the matter is, I'm going to say to you, that God had a plan for You before the world was ever created. And this is how Paul says it, and let's look carefully here, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him."

Now, there's a couple of things that need to be unpacked here first and foremost. The idea of being chosen doesn't say that anybody was chosen for salvation in this passage. It doesn't have anything to do with that. It actually says that we were chosen in Him, which means that the choosing is in Christ, that in Christ, those who are in Christ are chosen for something. There's a choosing, but you got to be in Christ.

And so what I would tell you is is God's choosing for you and me, first of all, doesn't have to do with anything of our talents, any of our abilities, or anything that we bring to table. But unfortunately, most of us think that way, because when you get chose for something in life, you usually get chose for what you bring to the table, right? If you get chose for a job, it's not like they go, "Yeah, they can't do that. They can't type. They can't answer the phone. They don't know how to do anything. They don't know how to work with people. We're going to choose you to do this job with people." It doesn't work that way. Normally they're looking for someone who brings something to the table that can help in the picking.

Another thing we need to also remember is you're never chosen for something and they're not be something tied to what you're chosen for. This is important too because there is a running thing in the church today worldwide when we start talking about identity. I call it the sit-and-soak mentality where you just sit around and go, "I'm chosen. Yeah, man. I am chosen. Thank God. I'm not going to do a thing. I'm just going to be chosen and sit here just like God love on me" and whatever. But that's not what the Bible says. We're chosen for something.

And so when we go to the Bible, and we ask, "What does it mean for me to be chosen?" We have to start unpacking what this means. So, first of all, we are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, and we were chosen for a purpose. You and I were not chosen just to go, "Hey, God chose me. He loves me." And all of that's true. You didn't bring anything to the table. You couldn't have earned it. You couldn't have made it. You couldn't have enough talent. None of those things were what God chose you for. He chose you in Christ based on nothing but His love and His grace towards you. But be chose you for something.

For instance, if you get chose for a part in a play, you play the part in a play. If you chose to play on a basketball team, you get chose to play. And one of the things we do is we forget that being chosen isn't just something that we sit around and go, "I was chosen. It makes me feel good." You were chosen to do something. You were chosen to be a part of a team that God picked. And he didn't pick you because you were great, and you brought the talent, because none of us are worthy of doing these things. But what He chose us to do is what Paul says, and this is important. He chose us to be holy and blameless before Him.

Now, the problem is the church has done a bad job of explaining holiness to us, because as a general rule, holiness becomes all the things that you don't do. If you don't do this and you don't do this, you don't do this, and you don't do that, then you're holy. And so you could go, "Aha, I didn't do this, and I didn't do that. You do this, and you do that, so you're unholy. And I'm holy." That's not the way the Bible refers to holiness. It doesn't refer to holiness as all this don't do list. And unfortunately, we've sold that bill of goods to a lot of people and said, "This is what it means to be holy. You don't drink. You don't smoke. You don't cuss. You don't do this. And so God loves you." Well, the problem is God loved you even if you were drinking and smoking and cussing. He already loved you.

So the idea of holiness isn't what we don't do. The idea of holiness in the Bible, in this idea of blamelessness, is absolutely tied to relationship with others. And I want you to unpack this because for us to understand who our identity is, for us to understand what it means to be chosen, for us to be people that are holy and blameless, that were chosen for something, we got to understand what it is we're chosen for, or we're going to mess this up.

So here's what I want to do. I want you to go back with me to Leviticus, Chapter 19. You don't need to turn there. I just want you to listen to me. This is God speaking to the children of Israel, and He says this in verse 2. He says, "You shall be holy for I, the Lord, your God, am holy." And it sounds like, whoa, it sounds like we need to start putting up stained glass windows and get a choir robe and be holy, right? I'm holy, be holy. Well, what's interesting is is the next verse says, "Honor your father and mother." Now is that what you would have thought would have come next. Honestly, wouldn't you . . . Be holy, for I am holy. Don't do this, and don't . . . It's what start to expect. Now, love your mother and father. Then it goes on to say . . . And by the way when you reap the harvest of your land, when you're actually going out and harvest on your land, don't cut off. Don't glean the outward area.

What do you mean? God is my land. Why can't I take all of it?

No, don't take all of it. Just leave some room on the outer edges.

Why?

Well, because there may be somebody that walks through your land one day, and they may be hungry, okay? And by the way, don't oppress your neighbor or rob him, okay? And by the way, don't do injustice in court. Oh, and by the way, don't slander people. Oh, and by the way, love your neighbor as yourself. Oh, and by the way, here at the end, when a stranger comes into your land, a foreigner that doesn't live in your land, you shall do him no wrong. What you're going to do is you treat them as the native among you. And the reason that you should is because you once were aliens in Egypt. And if you remember, I brought you out of Egypt. I treated you a certain way. And what I want you to do is I want you to reciprocate that love and that relationship to others.

So when you talk about identity, we're not doing something so that we can check off, okay, I didn't cheat on my wife, so I'm holy. I didn't rob from somebody, so I'm holy. I didn't . . . No, what God's wanting you to understand is it's a backwards deal. The reason you're not cheating on your wife, the reason you're not robbing someone, the reason you're leaving your land open is because you know that God loved you, and you're just returning that favor to your fellow man and fellow woman back. And that's what God says it looks like to be holy. That's holiness. Holiness is the way . . . So like the Bible says, "Love your enemies." That's why the Bible says, "If you can't forgive, God doesn't forgive," because what God's saying is if you understand what I did, I delivered you from Egypt. I took you out of your bondage and your oppression, and I saved you and brought you into the promised land. And what I want you to do is I want you to mirror what I've done for you to everyone else.

And so Paul's saying, "Hey, listen, God's got a team. He chose you and me to be on a team. And the team He chose us to be on was the team that went out and gave love to everybody." It wasn't the team that went out told everybody how to live. It wasn't the team that guilted everybody into doing something. It wasn't the team that we had to sign up and do all these check marks on what we did or didn't do. It's the team that realizes that, "Hey, man, we were in bondage, and God delivered us. And He did that for us. And all He's asking, because He's chosen us for something, is that we will mirror back the things that He has done for you and me."

And Paul says it this way in Philippians 2. And if you know anything about the book of Philippians, Paul has a little problem in the book of Philippians. He's got two ladies in the church, Euodia and Syntyche in Chapter 4 that are not getting along. And so he starts off by telling everybody, "Hey, it's great. Live in Christ. It's fantastic, enjoy, and all this stuff." But then in Chapter 2, he starts to build, because Paul understands how to write. He's a great rhetorician. He starts off by going, "Hey, you know if there's any love in Christ, and you really had to change life, and God's really done some stuff in your life, then you need to start treating people right. And you need to love people. And you need to put others before yourself. You know like Jesus, the mind that Jesus had. Even though he was God and he could have claimed to be God, he decided to take on the form of a man and took on a form of a servant, and he gave his life. You do the same thing."

And here's what Paul says, listen to this. He says in Chapter 2, verse 14 and 15. He says, "Do all things," this is in church, "without grumbling or disputing." That's a miracle in a church, right? The grumblers and the disputing? He says, "Do all things." But listen, because this is not what you probably think, "Do all things without grumbling or disputing that you may be blameless." Wow, man. The way I respond and relate to other people is the way God sees me as blameless and holiness. The vertical relationship that I had with God has horizontal implications. What God has chosen me for is to be a mirror image of himself, is to reflect His love and His mercy towards everybody that I've been around. He says, "Do all things without grumbling or disputing that you maybe blameless and innocent."

Listen, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation among whom you shine as lights in the world. And see, that's what we're about here. We're trying to find our identity. Our identity ain't running out, telling everybody how to live, telling everybody how to do this or what to watch or what clothes to wear or how to vote or any of that stuff. Our identity is to showcase and to be a mirror of what God has done in us. And Paul is saying it works out in the way you relate to other people. I've called you, God says, "I've chosen you to be holy and blameless. I want you to be a people that genuinely show forth valid relationships to people, that give them dignity.

Seriously, somebody's a foreigner, doesn't live in your land, doesn't live in your country, shows up on your property. Probably the last thing most of us would do would say, "Yeah, hey, you know what? I didn't carve off some of that corn just for you, so you go ahead and have some." We probably got posted signs and run out and bear in arms or whatever else we'd be doing as Americans. And God says, "No. I want you to treat these people good. I want you to love people. I want my people to be people that look like me. I want them to be loving people. I want you to be chosen." 

And here's what happens, because this is the problems going on in the church. We've got people. And it's an understood thing. You cannot get your salvation by what you do, period, end of story. So if you're in here today, and you're wondering, "Okay. Man, I really would like to make a relationship with God." Well, there ain't nothing you can do. It ain't joining the church, not praying more, giving more, any of that stuff makes you right with God. What makes you right with God is believing that Jesus Christ is the one that died for you and gave His life for you. That's what makes you right with God. You can't earn enough, bring enough, do enough, none of that stuff. All that's done.

What happens is once you start talking about being chosen, and you say, "Well, hey, God wants to do these things." There's people that prop up in the church. They're, "Ah! Sounds like works. Sounds like you're trying to make me do something." Well, I'm not trying to make you anything. I'm just telling you the Bible says that we were chosen for a purpose. And it's so easy to sit back and go, "I just want to be chosen. I just want to be chosen. I don't want to have to do anything. Isn't that works?" It's because we don't understand the idea of work. We got a skewed version of that. You were created, you were created to do things. And I'm going to explain this to you. I don't care if anybody want to argue with me after church. Meet me in the hub. This is the way you're wired. It's the way I'm wired. When you are doing the things that God has given you in your life, and your giftedness is flowing, and you're out doing, and you accomplish something for the kingdom of God . . . You know how God's wired you? He's wired you to go, "Man, that felt great. That was good. Man, that was fantastic!" I mean these singers get up here and sing, and they know when they hit that note, and they hold it, and you are all like . . . They walk out slapping five, going, "Man, we nailed that song. It was awesome." There's something beautiful about that.

But what we've got is a skewed view, because we go back to creation. Go back to Genesis 1 with me. We got God comes in. He starts creating. And this creating that he does . . . Remember, he comes, the world doesn't have any form. It's void. It's just there. And so God shines his light, remember, "Let the light shine." The spirit starts hovering. The light shines. And then all of a sudden, he starts creating and making the world good. Paul likens that to our salvation. He says that we were people that didn't have any form. We were people that were void. And God's spirit started hovering. Nobody can come to the Father unless the spirit draws them, John 6:44. And then his light shines, and the gospel shines. He says you're a new creation. He's like the light of creation shining into your life. He understands. That's the way God works. But at the end of the day, seventh day, God did something. He rested. That doesn't mean He got on His La-Z-Boy chair and sat down and did nothing. That's not what rest is. What you need to understand, that whole idea of rest, is that the world was not functionable. And so you would be busy trying to get things in together, and you couldn't do good work. You couldn't do things that matter. Your identity would be messed up. So God orders the world the way he needs it. And then everything is good, which means He's no longer trying to get the world to function. Now, he's created it good, and He can get about his task of what he's doing.

What God wants you and me to do is to get an identity that were not running around trying to put out all the fires of chaos in our life where we're constantly burdened and constantly dripping with guilt and misery and everything else. He wants to get us to where we have the right identity so that we're after the right things, and we're in rest because we're not trying to put all these fires out, but we're about the father's business. We're doing what he's called us to do. And when you're in that zone, you have abundant life. And that's what I want for you. I want you to have abundant life.

So here's the way Jesus says it, because sometimes you got to get with Jesus and just take some time here. In John 15, Jesus talks here, and he says in verse 12, he says, "This is my commandment that you love one another." And then we call this in an inclusio in the academic world. In verse 17, he says, "Love one another." So what you can do is understand that's the way the rhetoric, that's writing, that's the way to speak, where you start with something and end with something. So everything in between is talking about loving people. Well, in that passage where He's talking about loving other, He says this, "You didn't choose me. I chose you, and I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide." So here in the context of loving people, Jesus throws in this idea of chosen. Well, that would make perfect sense because you were chosen to be holy and blameless. You were chosen to be people that reflect what God's done for you.

So let's unpack this a little bit. First of all, you don't get to pick the parts of being chosen that you want. And this is important. Somebody needs to hear this. This is so important and we go, "Ahah! Yeah, buddy! Bible says I am chosen. Woo-hoo! That's awesome. God, I love it. I'm victorious. I'm a winner. Man, I am all those things. This is fantastic!" You go, "Yeah, that's right, man. That's great." Hey, what I'd tell you is, though, you don't get to pick the parts of chosen that you like. See, if you want to win, you got to compete. Come on, this is better preaching that you all are letting on. I'm telling you right now. I want to be victorious. Well, you don't get victorious unless you fight and win. I don't want that fighting and winning and scratching and clawing. I just want to be chosen. I just want to sit and soak. Don't tell me all the other stuff, man. That sounds like some stuff I go to go do, man. I don't really want to do that. That's why Jesus says, "Hey, you didn't choose me."

And see, when you understand what he's saying in the first century, you get to choose the person you get discipled by. Everybody does. That's what you do. You choose the one you like. You go, "I like this guy. I don't like that guy. This guy is a little better. This guy is the guy I want. You can disciple me." Jesus says, "It ain't the way it work here. You didn't choose me. I chose you. So you don't get to pick the parts of being chosen that you want. I chose you." Then he says being chosen is for action. You were chose. Nobody is chosen to do nothing. You're chosen for something. Here's what he says. He says, "I chose you and appointed you that you should sit and soak." No. He said, "I chose you that you would go." You say, "Oh, man. I feel like you're telling me to go do something." I'm not telling you to go do anything. I'm telling you if you are chosen, that you're supposed to be chosen for something. And what I'm telling you is not that you have to keep some list and some to do, that what God wants you to do is when you fully realize that you've been chosen, he just wants you to reflect what that looks like, what he's done in your life to the other people that are around you. And I'm telling you this, if you're having a hard time reflecting back, then I want you to get on your knees and remember where you were when God found you and what that meant like. And you'll find it's not that hard to return the favor when you spend the time looking at him rather than everything else.

But not only are you chosen for action, listen to what he says, "You're chosen to bear fruit," listen, "that remains." This isn't transient fruit. This is fruit that remains. Listen to me, this is really important that you hear this. It's very important. No Christian is called to be unproductive. None. None of you are called to be unproductive. You are chosen by God to go and bear fruit and bear fruit that remains, that has substance. And that's every area of your life. You're supposed to be people that bear fruit. And the way all this works out is this. Paul got it in Philippians 2. He got it. He realized that when the church doesn't come together, it doesn't do what it's supposed to do. Then the people don't act the way they're supposed to act. When the church is all disjointed and grumbling and complaining and everybody's about themselves, they forget who they are. What happens is they turn inward. And what God wants us to do is turn outward.

So what I want to do is I want to give you a short little story. I want you to pretend you're at the Van Wezel or down at Venice Theater. And we're going to have a short little story that I'm going to narrate. And I think this is going to make a point. It's called Mary and Elizabeth, a short story on being chosen. And I'm taking it out of Luke chapter 1. So here we go. Curtain's there. Music's playing. They're getting ready to play? And everything, the mood's there. You've been to dinner with your wife or your spouse or whatever. And the curtain goes up. Scene one. Here's the way it goes.

Elizabeth was barren. She's an old lady. You can't have children at her age, but she was chosen to give birth, chosen for something. Well, scene one continues. Little girl named Mary was a virgin. In the same way you don't have children when you're barren, you don't have children when you're a virgin. But she was chosen to give birth. So here we've got two people chosen that bring nothing to the table to accomplish what God's called for them to be at all, because you can't be a virgin and have children. You can't be barren and have children. God's chosen them for something.

And so Elizabeth is old. And the Bible says in verse 24 that Elizabeth conceived. In 5 months, she hid herself away. Well, I can imagine why she hid herself away. First of all, a lady at her age walking around town saying I'm pregnant, people are going to go, "Yeah, right. I'm not going to believe a word you say." Secondly, she's old, which she's probably prudent. She probably realized, "If there's anyway in the world I'm going to have this baby, I can't be out running around doing stuff because I'm old. I need to be laying around and taking it easy and hope this baby happens. But on top of it, not only has Elizabeth got the problem of being barren, the problem of being old, the problem of being pregnant and nobody believing her, she's got a husband that was the pastor of the church, he was a temple worker, I'm trying to make it relevant, the pastor of the church who is praying in church and had a vision of the angel and didn't even believe it. And he can't speak. So she sat at home, knocked up, old, wondering if she's going to have a baby with a dumb husband who doesn't believe, pastor who can't say a word.

Some of you are going to your husband, "You hear that, honey?" Yeah. It's like I hope Chip breaks into marriage encounter right now. I'm not going to do that. She's got problems. She's chosen. 

Mary is a virgin. She's got a child. She's the talk of the town. She's chosen. Both of these women were chosen. They were chosen to bear a child. But they both had incredible issues, incredible problems, incredible obstacles in their life. But they were chosen. Curtain drops.

Scene two. We find that Gabriel comes to Mary and tells her what we know she's pregnant. And another month has transpired. Now, it's six months. Elizabeth is in seclusion. So Elizabeth has been in seclusion for six months. And anybody that has any sense would know that at her age, the baby probably is not really giving a whole lot of movement inside, not really doing a whole lot, because she's old. Any doctor would tell you that. For her to be having a baby at this age is going to be tough, on top of it with a husband walking around the house who can't even speak, who you knew should've believed and didn't believe. She got some issues, but she's chosen.

Well, Mary is in shock. And you may think if I'm chosen that should just make me feel . . . No, when Mary got chosen, it says that she was troubled. To be chosen doesn't always mean . . . because you can't pick and choose the parts of chosen that you like. Sometimes, chosen is scary. Sometimes, chosen is frightening. Sometimes, chosen is difficult. So she's in shock. And she's looking for Regis Philbin to phone a friend, and she can't find him. I don't know, anybody find Regis anymore? Anyway, so she's in shock and needs a friend.

Two chosen people are getting ready to meet up. They have very little in common. But they're family. One's old, one's young. One's married, one's engaged. One's barren, one's a virgin. But they're family. Curtain drops.

Scene three. Mary goes to Judah and knocks on the door. She's chosen. Another chosen person in the house hears her voice. The Bible tells you the baby leaped for a reason. She's old. She's probably feeling maybe no . . . I felt the baby. There's a reason why that baby leaped. It kicked her into another gear of, wow, man, maybe God's really going to do something. Two chosen people meet up. And all of a sudden, something starts happening. Baby started leaping. She starts getting filled with the spirit. Mary starts singing a song. She goes, "Oh, God's taken the lowly and raised them up." All of a sudden, two chosen people that have difficulties and problems and issues in their life meet up. And all of a sudden, something starts happening. Those dreams and ambitions and those things they were chosen for start to come to fruition. And all of a sudden, babies are leaping. People are getting filled with the spirit. Mary is singing a song. And instead of them sitting around talking about all of the issues of their life, what they realize is they are chosen. And that, my friend, is what church is all about.

That's what we do here. The chosen come in here with the problems and the pains and the difficulties and the babies that haven't leapt in a long time and the dreams that maybe they thought were going to happen and never did. And what happens is the chosen gather. And when the chosen gather and they start focusing up on the fact of what god has done in Christ, all of a sudden, things start happening. And people start getting saved. And people start getting free. And people start getting things to go away, because you're chosen to look a certain way and be a certain way. And God will always honor His word, because what He wants for you and me to be is people that walk out of here and are chosen and are holy and blameless and can birth those children that God has given to us, to the world. We all like Mary are called to birth Christ to the world.

And when you come together and we come together and knock on the door . . . And some of you know what I'm talking about. It's not about coming to this building. This building has nothing to do with it. Some of you all gather at somebody's house. You knock on the door and say, "I'm going through this. I'm going through that." And next thing you know, you're sitting there praying with each other, and you're believing. And next thing you know, you're feeling better. And you're feeling the weight of the world, because you are chosen. And when chosen people meet up, things starts happening, because what God wants us, he wants us to be healthy. He wants us to be people of identity, because the people out there need to see the chosen people of God. They don't need to see rules. They don't need to see religion. They don't need to see a list of do's and don'ts. They don't need people to tell how to live their life. What they need to see is Jesus in us with an unconditional love that goes further than anybody else and loves harder than anybody else and loves enemies and loves people that have done them wrong. That's when you start a revolution, when that stuff starts happening.

When you understand that you are chosen, and that is your identity, that's when revolution hits, because now, it's no longer trying to do all these things to get God to love you and everything else, because He already does. It's called to get your life calibrated in a way where the formlessness and the voidness gets God working, and all of a sudden, it's good. And now, you can do what God's called you to do. You can walk in your identity. And I'm here to tell you when you're walking in your identity, and you're doing things for the kingdom, and you're loving people for the kingdom, and you're reaching out for the kingdom, you're going to have a life that's so full of joy and abundance. You won't know what to do but tell everybody around you what's going on in your life. And that's the way God's wired you, and that's the way we should live.

Reminds me in Isaiah 10 . . . I grew up in a Pentecostal charismatic church. And one of the things we used to always hear when people pray, it was all the time, "God, the anointing breaks the yoke." I don't know if you've ever heard that or not. When I was a kid, I was thinking it was like the egg, the yolk. I didn't quite understand what that meant. Then I understood that it was the yoke thing. And then I went to school, learned a little Hebrew, and realized that's not even what the passage is saying at all. It's a bad translation. It's out of Isaiah 10:27, for those of you all who don't know where it's at by chance. But in Isaiah 10:27, I like the way this translation reads it because it's right. It says that the yoke will be broken from your neck. And the yoke will be broken because of the fat.

You say, "Goodness gracious, what in the world do you mean Bennett with fat?" I'll tell you what I mean. Isaiah writes to these people who are under oppression, the Assyrians. And he's likening them to the Egyptians that had them in slavery. And he says, "Here's what's going to happen. You're going to be there with these yokes around your neck. And you're burdened over." [inaudible 00:33:14] you all have that. But what God says he's going to do is he's going to start nourishing them. Even in their bondage and their slavery, I'm going to nourish you. I'm going to nourish you. I'm going to nourish you. And you're going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. And you're going to get fatter because you're being nourished. It's all figurative and spiritual. And all of a sudden, because you get so much going on, you're going to get so big that that yoke is going to pop off. 

And see, that's what needs to happen in some of our lives. We need to get in here and stop worrying about all the other garbage of what we think church is about, because it's not about the building. It's not about the drums. And it's not about this, and it's not about that. It's about you and me coming together and connecting with God and connecting with one another and letting God do everything that He said He would do. And all of a sudden, yokes start popping on people. People get healed, and finances gets better, and marriages are restored. And instead, we're complaining about something that's absolutely insane. Music's too loud. Or this is going on. You're missing out on the greatest thing of all, which is getting together and two chosen people getting together and connecting with God and seeing God do something great. Don't lose that. You lose that, we lose everything the church is. Everything.

Well, get fired now, because you got a little too crazy. Anyway, dear heavenly Father, I come to You right now. I love Your people, and I love this fellowship sometimes. But I do. I love Your word. What I want, God, is I don't want to be another building, another place in town where people can come and practice their religion. I want to be a place that's on fire, that the spirit of God is setting people free. The spirit of God is liberating people. That as Jesus said, the spirit of the Lord is upon me, and He's breaking everything. He's making things different. He's making things new. God, help us to realize we gather here not to take in the sights and the sounds and what people are wearing and all of that stuff. We gather here for a purpose. We gather as the chosen people of God to come in here and to focus upon you and to love one another and to watch you bombard our lives and set us free. So when we walk out of here, we're like calves that got released from a stall. And we're jumping through the malls, and we're jumping through our places of work. And our family's saying let me tell you what God has done for me. God, that is the reality that we want. Give us our identity. Help us to be people who understand they are chosen. In Jesus name, and everybody said, amen.