Radical Christianity Part 4 – Lee James

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Radical Christianity Sermon Series The River

Is is possible to pray hard? That is the question Lee James seeks to address this week as we continue in the series Radical Christianity.

Audio Transcription

I had an interesting thing happen tonight, I was I was coming in. I felt like for a week and a half the Lord would have me speak on salvation in the goodness of God and the importance of the cross and and and some things like that. And just how much God loves you and how much God loves us and how he wants to impart to us and empower to us. And I was in the shower tonight and the Lord said, I want you to address the issue of pray hard.

And so I had a situation happen to me probably about four weeks ago, I had a very dear friend in Texas. She’s she’s a little bit older than I am, and she was climbing up in her attic. Have you ever seen those attic things that you pulled down, got steps and you climb up in there?  Well, she slipped coming down under her leg, got caught in the one of the stairs and just just snapped her leg. I mean, just. And anyway, so she’s going through all this stuff and she’s had surgery on it. She’s had pins. Well, I was actually coming back from Trinidad and she called me and she said, well, the Lord has spoken to me and said, listen, I, I got a I got a rally, a bunch of people, and we got to pray hard because I need these pins to go into my bone and stay. And so I said, well, we don’t have to pray hard. And we don’t have to rally a thousand or ten thousand people. It just takes two.

And all we got to do is come into agreement and align with the way the Lord teaches us to operate and function in his kingdom. Then that is what moves heaven. It’s not us praying hard. Do you hear my heart in this? I listen. I believe in in prayer. Big time. I believe in prayer. And I think, Pastor, we still on the radical Christianity thing. OK, so with that with that in mind, being a radical Christian, here’s a radical Christian in our culture, one that gets their prayers answered. I mean, I don’t know about you, but if you’re sitting in your vacation and you’re doing what God has commissioned and called you to do and you’re taking kingdom culture into that, you’re taking the love of Jesus, you’re taking the the the ability to listen to people’s problems, listen to their hurts, listen to their their situations. And then when you pray, boom, and then all of a sudden happens, you’ve been you’ve got their attention, right.

Now notice how Jesus did it, Jesus came and he shows up on the earth. He’s preaching the goodness of God’s kingdom. In other words, how good it is. He’s demonstrating how good it is. So when sick people came to him and they were pulling at him, what did he do? He healed them. And what do you think that they walked away going, wow, this this I don’t know, but that guy or not, huh? Absolutely not. They were like, dude, sign me up. You know, even to where tax collectors and sinners were loving to hang out with Jesus because he didn’t show up with a judgmental, critical. I can’t be around this. God, you smoke. Oh, my God, I can’t be around that smoke is too, you know. Listen, we have been called to go into the culture and be salt and light. Right. OK, so here’s my heart tonight.

I felt like the Lord said that we throw a lot of Christian hymns around about like praying hard and oh, my God, we got to get the crowds of heaven. Sorry, I got stuck in the crowds of heaven. Just just the more the hopefully God’s going to hear it. Let me tell you something. You don’t have to be loud. I know sometimes I get loud. That’s just my personality. I apologize if this, you know, gets under your nerves. But let’s go to Mark Chapter or James Chapter five real quick and let’s talk about radical Christianity. These are effective and fervent prayers. Let’s talk about that list. Let’s dive into this. So here’s my notes. That’s what I got after I got out of the shower. Right there. Right there. Just boom. OK, so. All right, James five. Are we there? Everybody there. I’m sorry. I didn’t have slides.

Sorry. James, five let’s start in verse 13. If anyone among you is suffering, let them pray. So if you’re going through something and you’re in a hard time, what is the Lord’s first instruction to you? Pray. Does that mean call the prayer line? Not first thing, first thing you do is you go to the Lord. You submit to God. And if the devil is harassing you, you resist the devil and watch him flee. That’s what we do. If we’re suffering or we’re going through something, if we’ve got stuff on us that’s heavier than we can handle, then go find other people that will get in agreement with you and you begin to pray and believe God for the answer in the solution of what you’re commissioning or petitioning the Lord for. Does that make sense? OK, so notice what he says.

If anyone among you is suffering, let him pray. If anybody is cheerful, let us sing songs. Let’s celebrate. OK, is anyone among you sick now? Two weeks ago we were here and I think pastor stood up and he said, hey, is anybody in here struggling with sickness?

And how many? We had two people. I think two people stood up. And you know what? He prayed a prayer of faith over those people. Does that make sense? That is very biblical. I think sometimes in our churches, we we we tend to want to put prayer in the closet when it’s one of the most powerful things that we’ve got. OK, so Liquidy says if anyone among you is sick, let them call for the elders of church and let them pray over them, anoint them with oil and pray the prayer. Faith in the name of the Lord and the prayer of faith will save or deliver.

The word is, you know, I’m right now the new King James will deliver or heal the sick and the Lord will raise them up. And if they have committed since, he will forgive them. That’s pretty cool. I just think that’s cool. I don’t know about you all, but I like to be healed. I like to be able to walk around and my body feels good, I don’t like to hurt, I don’t like to feel I don’t like to be under the canopy of that. We fear Covid. I just don’t like that. Julie and I just got back from Telluride and they are on like a mass lockdown. I mean, it’s like mass police are walking around and you come into the city and it’s like something’s not right here.

There’s not a freedom. It’s there’s a it’s a beautiful place, don’t get me wrong. But, man, when we were we were we were walking through the signs up all over the place. If you’re not mask, if you’re not triple mask, you can’t come in and all this. I felt so unwelcome. We walked up the street down the street and left, said, I’m out, I’m out. There’s something about freedom that we have been created to enjoy. Right, OK. And I want you to know something. God wants you whole. He does. Jesus hung on the cross so that we could be whole, we could be healed, we could be joyful, we could be loving, we could be generous, we could be prosperous so that we could give to every need that we see.

Anyway, let’s keep going, OK? And the prayer faith will save the sick. All right. Look at this verse 16. Confess your trespasses one to another, and pray for one another that you may be healed. Now, watch this. Here it is. Here it is in my translation. The effective, fervent prayers of a righteous man or a righteous woman avail much. That’s my heart for you, my heart for you is that you don’t learn to pray hard. My heart for you is that you learn to pray effective so that when you speak, it’s almost like the angels of heaven are going. You know what they say. The devils are standing out at the door of your house going, oh, my God, they’re at it again. Get out of here. Here comes heaven. They’re looking around and they’re going, I’m out. I am out. I am not losing all my notes, OK? There we go. Just leave it there. Get them in a little bit. OK. So the effective, fervent prayers of a righteous man or a righteous woman, avail, much less look at James.

Go back over a few pages and let’s look at James chapter one, James chapter one. And we’re going to look at verse six and seven. But if any man ask, let him ask in faith, do not doubt for he who doubts is like the wave of the sea. He is driven and tossed to and fro. So here’s here’s how this works in prayer. God wants a pastor said something the other day about believing was the Greek word you used. It meant fully persuaded. You remember what it was. I get it. Hey, brother, I get it, I get it, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ll pull it up in a minute. When you do that and you’re going through all this stuff, sometimes you just can’t think of it. OK, so listen, it means fully persuaded. OK, there. Pistol or. Yeah, there you go. They go. Took the spouse, the spouse jiggled the brain and there it is. OK, all right. All right. Yeah. All right. OK, so notice what he says.

He says ask in what? Ask in faith so that when you go to the Lord, you know that you are a child of the father and that he hears what you’ve got to say. OK, so one of the things that’s important and when I say I think I spoke, I don’t know, a few months ago on faith and we talked about Hebrews 11, Chapter six, that talks about the first step of faith or our foundational faith is that we believe God exists. We we believe that he created the universe and we didn’t just climb out of the slime of amoebas, and all of a sudden next thing you know, man appears. And, you know, we believe that God created Adam and Eve and they formed the first family in the family spread throughout the year. We believe that God created the unit. We believe that that’s our foundational doorway into relationship with God.

But then if you remember, one of the things I began to do was show you what we call operational faith. And there were four different types of faith that Jesus points out in the New Testament as he’s teaching the crowds and as he’s teaching the disciples. The first one was no faith. That’s what he told them to get in the boat, go over to the other side. They’re freaking out. Everybody’s panicking, saying, we’re going to die, we’re going to die. All this. They didn’t have a good prayer life in that boat, I’m telling you. It wasn’t a good prayer life in that boat because Jesus came and he kind of rebukes them and he says, what is your problem? I said, we’re going to the other side. And he was expecting them to have learned what he had been teaching them about speaking to your mountain. Does that make sense? And so he gets on them about it, and they’re looking at him like, oh, my God, who is this? What kind of preacher is this? He speaks to the wind. He speaks to the water.

And he goes and he’s trying to teach them to do that. OK, and then the second is the second kind of faith was the the the little faith. And that was where people people were double minded. And that’s what James is talking about here. They’re double minded. They believe one thing when they pray. Yeah, but and then you’ve got this battle for a belief system going on in your brain and you’re trying to land the airplane on faith, but you’re going back and forth and back and forth and you’re just wishy washy. And it says that the Lord will not answer that kind of prayer. So for me as a leader, one of the greatest things that we can do is teach you to be effective, fervent prayer, because when you pray and heavens moving and you have you have got angels going and answering your prayers and and things are happening and and people are going, man, you want get you want that God to pray for you. You want that. But it’s your tell your you’re witnessing to people that God is alive and that he’s not some dead little cute little picture on the door of a church.

He’s alive. Jesus said, or the Bible says Jesus. The Bible says he’s the same yesterday, today and forever. That means what he was doing yesterday. He’ll do it today. He’ll fix it today. If you’re going to do stuff, I want you to know he’ll fix it problem, you fix it, he’ll fix it, but he’s going to use you to do what he has taught us, how to function in the kingdom. Does that make sense? OK. All right. Let’s look at another one. Let’s go to first, John, chapter five. Pastor Mike, that’s towards the end of the Bible. There you go. First, John, Chapter five. First, John, Chapter five, and we’re going to look at verse 14 here, and I think I mentioned this just a second ago now this is the confidence that we have in him that if we ask some things, only some things now, we as Christians, we can only ask for some things. Right. What does it say? What? Anything, anything. Something that’s going on in your world, what are you asking for? I want you to know that daddy does not shame you for asking for anything. We asked today in prayer that our dog would not tear up his bed. He’s digging at it and chewing on that stuff and it’s making him sick and he throws up vomit. And so we’re like, we don’t know what to do, so let’s pray. Now, that might seem silly to some people, but OK.

All right. All right. Just chill. All right. Well, this is the confidence that we ask anything according to his will. In other words, we have to do due diligence to go to the word of God. Find out what the word of God. Find out what the will and testament of the father is and then ask according to that. Makes sense. So we got to ask, according to his will, a lot of people are still in those prayer modes of Lord, if it be your will. And I can see him as daddy up there kind of sitting on the throne. And he looked over at Jesus and Jesus looks back at him. He said, I told them, I told them, I told they’ve told him, just wait, don’t get it. The Holy Spirit will heal your soul. OK, asking according to his will, going to his word. Find out do due diligence. Find out what the Bible says about it. I mean, you hear a lot of stuff. There’s a lot of voices playing in our minds these days. A whole lot. And just because you hear something. I like being a berean of the word. If I hear something and I can’t find it in scripture, so I just throw it out. I go. It sounded good, sounded sounded good, sounded religious, sounded spiritual.

But is it Kingdom is it going to produce fruit in the kingdom of God? OK, so let’s look at another scripture. OK, so Matthew 18, let’s go to Matthew, Chapter 18. Tony, that’s a New Testament right here. Yeah, that’s right. Matthew, Chapter 18 picking on the leaders tonight, picking on the leaders. All right, Matthew, Chapter 18. We’re going to go to verse 19. OK. Now, watch this, this is power, assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bond on Earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, verse 19 again. Now notice he says again. So that means he said this before to him. But we’re just reading it right here, OK? Again, I say that if two of you. How many does it say we need a multitude? No, If any two of you get together, this is why I believe that there is such a war. My wife has told me for this for years. This is why there is such a war against husbands and wives praying together. Because not only are you one in the flesh, but if you get together and you get in agreement and you pray together, things happen. I mean, things happen. Kids start coming back. I mean, answers to prayers or jobs and direction, and you’re working together and and you’re in agreement.

And and it’s a powerful thing. But that’s why the devil fights it so bad. He fights against it because he doesn’t want us to get in agreement with each other. He’s looking for to to be divisive so that we’re not as powerful, because he knows that the law in the kingdom of God is if I can get just two of them. Bless your heart, Lord. I tell you, if I can get just two of them to agree. Young people listen to me. If you get another partner in school, you can turn your school upside down. I had some kids in our youth group years ago out in Callahan Calhan, not Callahan, Calhan, OK. And they went to they went to school out there, and they wanted to start a they wanted to start a of an FCA. It was actually the FCA, but it was a Christian club. And and the principal was dogmatic against it. I mean, very dogmatic. Yes. He shut everything down. I mean, the raps were on the school and they were just heartbroken. I said, well, why don’t you do what the Lord says do? Now, this is a this is a teenager that goes to school. And so what they did was they got two or three of them together and they begin to ask God to open up the school for them to have a campus club on site that they could just do Bible study. And guess what happened? Within two months, that principle got all of a sudden in the middle of a school year, zip gone. New one comes in. Guess what he was? He’s a believer, guess who had him adopt a club?

The student, now they’re 15. Now listen to me, young people. Listen, listen, listen. There’s no such thing as a junior high or an elementary or a high school or college age. Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that dwells on the inside of Jesus is dwelling in us. Saying so if young people get a hold of this, they’ll turn the world upside down. They really will. They will. Parents, if we get a hold of this, we’ll turn our neighborhoods, we’ll turn our jobs. Our vacation will turn it upside down because we will begin to get our eyes off our self and begin to pray and ask God, what do you say about this? And then we’re inviting heaven to come and invade our situation. Does that make sense? OK, let’s look at one more Mark 11, Mark Chapter 11. Did I finish that one? It’ll be done for them by their father, which is in heaven, for where? Two or three agree and gather together. There I am in the midst. Let me just piggyback on that. Jesus says, look, look, folks, it’s not us. Do you get me this, not us? I don’t know in my own strength, I don’t know that I can do anything but him through me, his power.

So what we’re doing when we get together and we’re agreeing and we’re praying, he says, there I am in the middle of you. And I’ll do it. It’s the manifested presence of God that goes for when I was younger in ministry, I used to think it was me. I used to think it was my excitement. I used to think it was how loud I got. And then the Lord was like, what are you doing? Dude, you’re all over the place. You’re yelling, screaming. You act like you’re out on the field and you know, and nothing’s  happening. And he started showing me these little tweaks that need to go on in my life. And all of a sudden, prayer started getting answer. All of a sudden, things start moving. All of a sudden, everything begin to change in my Christianity.

And it began to get fun. That’s the way. Last one, Mark. Sorry, Chapter 11. And we’re going to look at verse 23. Uh. How you like this going page to page on, you just, boom, I get your brother, I feel you. How many of you appreciate Pastor Mike and Holly, huh? How many of you appreciate? I appreciate that. Yes, I do, too, y’all. All right, Mark, 11, 23 and 24. This is right after Jesus is curse the fig tree. We kind of talked about this as great faith. OK. Knows what Jesus is teaching his disciples. He sits them down. He has a Sunday school lesson with them right after he looked at the fig tree or the day before he looked at the fig tree and he said, you’ll not bring forth fruit again. Peter walks Bongo’s dude. Look at that tree made from the roots. That thing has dried up. That’s that’s that’s that’s that’s never mind, I’ll just keep going. All right, so. All right. Verse 23 for assuredly I say to you. Says to who? I write your name right there. Write your name. This is God speaking to you. This is God speaking to me every time we read this book. If you’ll look at it like, Lord, you’re talking to me, you’re talking to me in there.

So I’ll say, OK, for assuredly, he says, Leigh. I say to you, when you say to this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea and leave. If you don’t doubt in your heart, but you believe that those things that you are saying will come to pass, you will have whatever you’re saying. Thus, that’s that’s a powerful statement coming from the creator of the universe. Wouldn’t you agree? You want to change your world. You want to be a radical Christian. Just do the simple things. Well, we don’t have to yell. We don’t have to shout. We don’t have to scream. We don’t have to gather the millions. All we got to do is believe. Simple belief. That when we say something, see, here’s what’s happening, what’s happening a lot of times is we are getting what we say. A lot of it is in the negative. A lot of it is is tearing us down. A lot of it is those subconscious belief systems that the devil is whispering in our ear, telling us, well, you’re no good, you’re not pretty, you’re to you’re too big, you’re too little year to this year to that blah, that blah, blah, blah. He’s a liar every time he speaks. No, that he is the father of lies. And so if the devil’s talkin, he’s lying. And so if he’s telling you you’re ugly, you’re beautiful. If he’s telling you you’re never going to accomplish it, it’s in motion in heaven to get accomplished.

He’s lying. He’s telling you the opposite so that you will agree with him instead of agreeing with God. Does that make sense? I say we bust him in the head. I say we get. I say we get rebellious. And every time he tells us something that we think, well, you’re no good, you’ll never accomplish this. I mean, he just bombards us with this stuff. Why don’t we get rebellious against him and not God and go, I just believe with God. I believe that I’m the apple of his. I’m his favorite. I don’t know where you all are. I’m his favorite. You see what I’m saying? Let’s let’s agree with God. I want to see Disciple’s made. I want to see people that reflect Jesus. They love their neighbors. I don’t care if it’s a crack house. They love their neighbors. They’ll go out and talk to them, they’ll go out and share with them. You know, I made a snide comment. I said, oh, God, my neighbors are out again. They got dead stuff laying all over the yard, bones and graveyards. And I’m going, oh, I wonder what kind of spirits those are attracting. And the Lord speaks to me and he goes, and what are you going to do about. Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m like, well, OK. All right, so here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to just pray. We can pray for our neighbors. We’re going to bind up spirits of death. And and and we’re going to we’re just going to love God and love people and love our neighbors.

And that’s where they’re at. But if I get so religious that I can’t go or they’re demons over there, I can’t I can’t step over on that side of the house. You know, I got to get over. We can’t be like that, y’all. We can’t. We just can’t. All right, if you say to your mountain, be remove a stop telling God about our mountain and start speaking to our mountain, about our God and about what his will says, because that’s what moves. I think it’s Jeremiah. I think it’s Jeremiah. Chapter one, verse 11, I think. Don’t quote me on this, but it says that the Holy Spirit is hastening to perform the word of God. So when we release God’s word into the atmosphere and into our situation and into our circumstance, we might not see an instantaneous somebody jump up out of a gurney that sick or crippled or something that we might not see that right then and there. Or we might. But if we know and believe that the things that we say are coming to pass, if you’re praying for somebody at Wal-Mart, know that the words that you say are coming to pass heaven is moving. Matter of fact, I believe the description of it in the Hebrew is that the Holy Spirit is hastening to perform it like a cat ready to pounce on its prey or a tiger. Let me say tiger cats from.

That might be a squirrel, right, you know? OK, so so anyway, with that being said, my encouragement, Rob, if you guys want to come on up. My encouragement is let’s just do these little tweaks. Let’s just do these little tweaks, let’s just get good at getting an agreement. Let’s get good at praying together. Let’s get good at believing what God says about it and saying to our mountain and seeing things shift. Do you realize there’s enough firepower in here to shift the city? I mean, really shifted. Yeah. More than enough. Exactly. It only takes two. Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed that. And I hope you you put it into practice. Amen. All right. All right, sir. Thank you.