The Lord wants to teach us about reigning. Times are changing, the world is changing, America is changing, the Church is changing. Everything is changing. Humanity has been thrust into a state of volatile transition whether we like it or not. However, transition does not have to be bad even when it is very difficult. In fact, it can be very good when Jesus Christ is the very matrix of upon which our life is woven.

1 Corinthians 8:3 (Amplified)

But if one loves God truly [with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience and grateful recognition of His blessing], he is known by God [recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love and he is owned by Him.]

If one loves God truly with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessings, he is known by God. What an awesome statement.

The Lord has one question for us tonight and that is, “Who is going to reign over you? Will it be Him or will it be you?"

Thank the Lord for the Bible and thank Him for those words in the Bible. To think that we can be owned by God and that we can know Him are two of the most awesome realities that you can imagine. The world wants to own you–it is true. The spirit of the world wants to own you so badly that, when he realizes that you really want to leave the world, he will fight you harder than he has ever done before to keep you. He’ll fight you through circumstances, through battles in your mind and in your heart. He will bring deceiving pleasantries, fears, failures, confusion, chaos, disturbance, and peace to you. Knowing he’ll do anything he thinks he needs to do to keep you, you must understand that this battle between darkness and light, good and evil, God and Satan is a very real battle. And the battle is for one thing only: your soul. It’s a very real war, and it’s not a minor skirmish either. It is a real, dangerous, vehement war. It is a war fought in jealousy over your soul.

Often his temptations are so innocently titillating that it doesn’t actually feel that you are in a battle. You are lulled into floating dreamingly amidst the pleasantries of life. He doesn’t wish to startle you into waking up from your spiritual stupor–unless of course after years of following after you, he finally realizes that the best way to get you is through bitterness. Then he will launch his vicious attacking, forcing you down the bitter path. Nevertheless, his ultimate goal is that you will spend eternity with him.

If you were as jealous for the well being of your soul as he is jealous for its destruction, you would be moving much faster toward God. Satan is jealous over you but the good news is, so is God. Aren’t we glad about that? God is also jealous for you. God’s demands are different from Satan’s. Satan wants to feed you by satisfying the wants of your lower life, your soul life, the life of your flesh no less, stirring, titillating, provoking your lower nature to everything that displeases God and everything that pleases your flesh.

McDonalds fast foods commercials used to say, “You deserve a break today!” There is also a magazine called “You” or “Me,” the focus always being on what pleases you, what you need, what you want, think, and feel. One person said to me that one day in prayer she said, “Well, Lord, if you want my opinion….” He replied, “I really don’t and you value your own opinion way too much.”  I think that is true for a lot of us.  We have been taught that we need to have an opinion. The problem is, we have been taught that our opinion needs to align with the world. The world wants you to have an opinion but they want you to have its opinion. I do not know how best to explain to you how different the opinion of the world is from God”s.

The problem is that if we don’t recognize this, we structure our lives by the false opinions of the world. We run after what we think we need in order to support the opinions that the world tells us we must have. While God says, “If anyone loves Me truly I will reveal Myself to him. If anyone will follow Me completely, if anyone will obey Me and reverence Me I will reveal Myself to him.” And of course in revealing Himself to a person, He reveals His own ways, His secret plans and purposes for the kingdom as well as for the believer. He reveals the Kingdom, Jesus Christ, and eternal life.

Satan is on the other side and he has put before the church an ideal, just as he has put an ideal before the world. But Satan’s ideal is all based on what is false and what will fall. God wants to unveil to you the realities of the Kingdom, the knowledge of God, and the revelation of Jesus Christ, which will bring you stability and bring you into a greater life than you ever thought you could have on this side of heaven. God wants to prepare you well for in the days ahead, even as you enter into your Heavenly home. Satan, on the other hand, wants you to love the things of this world, to be too busy for God and indifferent to Him, to be more prudent and even wiser than God, if even that is possible. Satan wants you to be so busy with the ways and the thoughts and the mindsets of the world that God loses His place in reigning in your heart.

Because you are God’s, and you are His creation, and He loves you and knows the plans He has for you, God is constantly working in your heart. He is trying to touch your heart, revive it if needed, and help you understand that there is something higher than this plane that you can see, touch, smell, and relate to. This life that is higher is greater than what you cling to down here. You were not made for this world! Now, isn’t that a thought? We seem to do quite nicely here, don’t we? But we were not made for this world. We were made for God. The day we gave our heart and our life to Him we were re-created to be able to enter into the fellowship and likeness of God. We were not made for this world. To fit into this world we have to disconfigure ourselves. We have to discard what is holy, dismantle what is true.

I’m seeing a vision right now concerning this very jarring truth. In order to retrofit ourselves back into this world, we have to let ourselves bring chaos and confusion, breaches, dishonor, and the like into our soul until we fracture what God has created as holy in us. Our soul has to be fractured at many different levels in order to embrace comfortably the world, because we were not created for the world. We were created for God. That is why when we become Christians and we really want to grow in God, it is so difficult because we don’t understand Him. His ways are so different from the ways of the world. And what He has to do is to stitch back together what was broken and fractured. He has to put it back together with the balm of the Spirit of Holiness. He’s got to put it back together and realign it to fit the way He created it to fit. He’s got to enter into the soul and He has got to heal it and open up the breaches to then seal them with truth. He has to strengthen your soul so that you can enter into the life of God.

Colossians 1:11-14

[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy. Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the Saints (God’s Holy people) in the light. [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and dominion of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.

"We pray that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to His might.” For the Lord to do what He wants to do in us, He needs to strengthen us. He must invigorate the work that He must do. We do not have the capacity to bear the glory of God without this dynamic work of the Holy Spirit. He wants us to experience the depth, breadth, length, and height of His love but we can’t do that without the strengthening of the Holy Spirit. He must embolden and re-create our soul by the power of His might and the power of His grace.

Ephesians 3:16-20

May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man with the [Holy] Spirit  [Himself in dwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ though your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power to be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God”s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and the length and the height and the depth [of it]: [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you maybe be filled [through all of your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself. Now to Him Who, by in (consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].

Again, there must be this strengthening of the Holy Spirit for us even to be filled with the love of God. His life and His power is so dynamic, so far above what we have known before Christ, that He has to re-create the soul to carry the weight of His glory, His love, and the life of His kingdom.


Now, the enemy of your soul, knowing that and that this re-creation process has to continue and that you are not going to understand what God is doing through most of the process, is going to do what? He is going to seek to distract you constantly, convincing you that you don’t need more of God and that there is not a higher life to be had in this life. You were born to go to church, to praise the Lord on Sunday, to do good work Monday through Friday, and then go to Heaven. If he can convince you of that, that’s all you will ever be in this life. Nevertheless, that is neither God’s will nor His desire. Every person who belongs to Him has a call, a purpose, and it is much higher than anyone in the Church knows. The least of the least is called to much more than the greatest is doing in this hour. But to reach that calling, God must have the privilege of possessing you, of owning your heart, of ruling in your life. He must have the right to dictate His will above your will. He must have that right because only He knows the path out of darkness and into the glorious light.

The Bible says, “He leads the blind in the way he knows not.” And that is exactly what He does. We are blind until He opens our eyes. That enlightening process happens little by little as we walk with Him, pray, study the Word, and obey Him. That’s why He says in His Word that “The one that loves God truly with affectionate reverence and prompt obedience in grateful recognition of His blessing, he is known by God and worthy of His intimacy.”

When your heart had been brought to a place that you desire one thing and one thing alone–intimacy with Christ–then you are on the right path. But when you desire to know God and then continue to play around in the world thinking that the world  can’t really hurt you, filling your soul with things that God did not create you to carry in your soul, then you will never achieve the intimacy you desire. Our soul is only large enough for the one or the other. If it is filled with the world, it cannot possibly be filled with God as well.

Perhaps you’ve been saved for five, ten, or fifteen years; perhaps you started out running after God and somewhere along the way you allowed your zeal and your hunger to be diluted through busyness or some hurt; or perhaps there were certain desires and passions that you never put to death in the early days of your Christian walk. These are weeds, even thorns growing up among the wheat. One day these very things will choke the wheat or the life out of the Word in you until you become dull and apathetic. The zeal, the chasing after God, would begin to slow down until that innocent childlike, bride-like hunger for our Lord Jesus Christ begins to wane. You begin to become satisfied with the world. Know this: The spirit wars against the flesh and the flesh wars against the spirit from the day you give your life to Jesus. That war will end only the day that your soul-life has lost its power. Until then the battle rages on. But God is ever whispering in your heart: Rise up, come follow me. And your soul is ever warring against those words. No–don’t follow Him: follow the desires of your heart, follow the thoughts of your mind, the intellectual leanings of the day, and the tantalizing culture of the world. Follow after business, follow after love, follow after anything but God!

Do you understand?  Our soul is ever warring against the will of God. We think not; we think that our soul wants the will of God; but that is not what the Bible teaches. Our soul does not want the will of God; our soul wants the life of our flesh. Our spirit, on the other hand, wants the will of God and our spirit is fighting to attain the will of God. But unless there has been much self denial in your Christian walk, your soul is winning and it is winning so much you do not even realize that your spirit is fighting back. You do not realize that the Lord”s voice is becoming ever more silent. Right now, at this very moment, it is time to turn around, to look back to the time when you were hearing His voice and it was clear, beautiful, and passionate. Once upon a time, you had desired what that voice had to say. You desired the will that that voice was provoking in you to accomplish. The Lord was then revealing Himself through His Word and through His life. Look back to that time. Reflect on how you had become dull to the call of that voice. Retrace your steps. When did the voice become dull? When did the life become less desirable? When did you decide that it was alright to become so busy you could not devote yourself fully to God? When did it happen? When did the zeal of God lose its grip on you? How old were you in the Lord and what happened at that time to deflect you from the path? Recall it, undo it, and turn from it. If there is need for forgiveness, then forgive; if there is need for repentance, then repent. Change, let it go, and run again. Run as hard and as fast as you can into God by cleansing your way now while the Spirit is dealing with you. Run straight back into God. Let go of the world and run into God. Run back to Him before it is too late, for there is a time when the voice not only becomes dull but the voice quits speaking altogether. When that happens, you can never find your way back to that glorious promise again.

Your heart and your flesh are at war. Part of you wants God, wants the way of God, wants to know Him, wants to rise up in Him. Part of you likes the world. The Bible says that there is pleasure in sin for a moment. The truth is the Church likes the world. We love God but we also love the world; we love God but we also love television and good novels; we love God but we also love to go shopping, golfing. Do you understand? We love God but we also love to have our rights and our will to remain very much intact. We love Him but we still really want things to go our way. When someone offends us we really want to carry the offense for a while. We love God but when we really feel like biting back. We really want to have the privilege to do that. So we talk about one another under the guise of inviting prayer. If it is not convenient to serve, then we do not want to serve, and we do not want the Spirit to convict us about the need to serve. If it is inconvenient, we do not want to sacrifice when He calls us to sacrifice. When a brother or sister requires or needs our sacrifice we get resentful that we have to make the sacrifice.

What am I saying? God is calling us in many ways. He is seeking your heart to come into alignment with Him and He does it in many fashions and in many ways. His Word unveils that to us. It helps us understand that if you want to walk like God wants you to walk you must think like Him. You must understand Him, know what He knows, and see things the way He sees them. Otherwise you are constantly tripping along the path. God is calling, He’s directing, but you cannot understand and you cannot see. You don’t sense because you don’t understand God and His ways. So you trip and you fall and you stumble until you give up. You didn’t realize that one of the reasons you fell and stumbled is because you had things in your spiritual pocket that kept upsetting your balance and those things are things that are not good for your soul. I can remember chatting with Bob Jones and him telling me of an experience he had many years ago. He was walking down this ditch and the Lord suddenly spoke to him: “Bob, get that gold out of your pockets.” Bob replied, “What? Why?” God said, “Bob, get that gold out of your pockets and do it now! Take it out of your pockets and throw it away, do it now!” And so Bob did. And the minute he did he heard behind him this rushing river. So he looked back to see what was that all about and where it was coming from. The water, much to his surprise, was coming right at him from behind him in this ditch. So he began to try and run up the sides of the ditch, making the plateau just in time to avoid being drowned. When he got to the top the Lord spoke to him again and said, “Now, Bob, aren’t you glad you got rid of that gold?” Of course the extra weight of the gold would have slowed him down in his ascent and made it impossible for him to get to the safety of the bank in time.

That is a picture for us.I If we have the love of money in our heart we are not going to be able to run to safety when we need to be able to. The things of the earth bog us down. The things of the world are too heavy for our soul and they encumber our race. We must let them go because the days are going to grow harder. Times are changing, the Church is changing, and you must change also or you’ll be left behind. But if one loves God truly with affection of reverence and prompt obedience and grateful recognition of His blessing, he is known by God. What an awesome thing to know that you are known by God, deemed worthy of His intimacy and love, and owned by Him. There’s nothing I want more in this life than to be owned by God. I want to be owned by God. I don’t want just to be His child; I want to be completely owned by God–not my own desires or wishes, not by circumstances or even by the call. I want to be owned by the Father. When you are owned by Him, He gives you intimacy. The more He owns you the more intimacy. But you must be worthy of those things, for it does not happen accidentally.

In this hour God is calling His church all over the world to throw away the gold, to throw the world out of our pockets, and to be drawn near to Him to find life in the intimacy of God. But the question is, who will reign in you? Who is going to be your reigning king? Are you going to let God have His throne in your heart afresh and anew? Will you let Him ignite the flame and the passion of the Lord in your heart? Will you return to your first love and bring your life to the altar and dedicate it to His will alone? More than ever before, will you acknowledge that there is a price to pay to keep that will on the altar? It’s not going to be easy, but will you do it? Look into the eyes of God and say to Him, “I made a mistake, I put something before you, I’m reaping the fruit of that now, and I don’t want to anymore. I want to come while the door is open and I want to enter into the chamber of intimacy.”  

Will you do it now? Will you challenge your own heart to arise and go higher, to leave the past behind and move on with God, because God is moving in this hour? What will you do and what will you say? Who will reign in you? God is calling; He is pulling on your heart very hard these days and you don’t want to miss the will of God. You really don’t want to fight Him anymore. You want to heal. Turn your will over to Him now. 

Altar Call:

How many of you are feeling this pull on your heart? Come to the altar, don’t be ashamed. Be bold. Believe you’re coming to the King. Just kneel down. Talk it out with God. Weep before Him. Tell Him you’re sorry for all the time you’ve taken in this war, rather than simply yielding yourself to Him. Please come.

Jesus, you’re pulling our hearts. Sometimes it can be so hard, Lord’ We don’t know what to say or do, but bring us through to the right altar, Lord. Help us not forsake Your will again.

Bow the knee to Him now! David said, “I will not give to the Lord something that has cost me nothing.” It’s time for us to pay the price! There is no greater love than that a man will lay down his life for his friend.

Lord, you are our friend. Tonight, we want to lay down our lives for you! Let your Spirit be free in us, Lord. Help us to yield tonight. A time like this is the greatest moment in the human heart, when at last it can fling away self will and yield to our God. Come Lord Jesus!

Wrestle it through; God is pulling so hard on some hearts. Cry out for the grace to make the right decision tonight. Don’t leave here like you came. Say, “I want to be changed, Lord; I want to quit with the excuses and run with the grace.” 


Lord, there are some here tonight who are at their crossroads and I pray that you will bring them through on the right path, commitment, decision, humbling, brokenness. Lord, that you will reveal Yourself to them as never before.

The spirit of the world is pulling, tugging. God is fighting for you, for His highest and best for your life. Throw away the things that distract, throw them away tonight. Just throw them away and run with the vision of God.