Follow The Dove
Sunday sermon by Pastor Rajesh Mathew, the last Sunday of 2019 (29th Dec 2019)
Genesis 8:20-21- 20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
We are at the end of 2019. No matter what the devil tried to do to destroy you through the year, it did not work. Hs evil plans did not prosper. Give God the glory for it! Jesus gave you the grace to lift Him up.
- In the scriptures above we see that Noah built an altar and sacrificed clean animals. The fragrance of that sacrifice pleased God.
- It had rained for 40 days and 40 nights. The whole earth was filled with water and everything that had to be destroyed was gone. The ark rested on Mount Ararat and Noah stepped out of the ark and the first thing he did was build an altar and sacrifice unto the Lord.
There must have been so much of loss. Noah could have cried after he stepped out of the ark. Everybody was lost. There were no cousins, no uncles and aunts, no college mates and no friends of Noah. Everything he had was lost. Noah could have cried. But in the midst of all the destruction, he built an altar and sacrificed unto the Lord.
BUILT AN ALTAR
Tell the Lord this- Even if I have nothing to thank the Lord for in 2019, I will still glorify You and offer a sacrifice unto You. Worship Him and heavens will be pleased by the sacrifice.
There was not a single tree, no green leafy plant. Nothing to feed his family or the animals. But Noah did not weep. He built an altar. In 2019 build that altar and be ready to worship the Lord.
The things that the Lord has kept for you is beyond your imagination.
- What will be the first thing that you will do if you were in that ark and you stepped out of it? You would have been hopeless or worried about the future?
- If HE gave you an ark to deliver you from the flood, will he not also provide what you need?
- You need to first realise that HE has rescued you from such great destruction. Do you have that kind of gratitude and heart for the Lord this morning? If so, worship Him.
- In the midst of the destruction and questions, it is His mercy that has kept us through it all!!! Be aware of this and worship Him. In 2019, I have been kept by Him. Be grateful.
What will be your first effort or priority?
When you have everything, sometimes God is not a priority.
Pastor says, “When I was reading these scriptures, I thought that when the Lord saw all that was lying dead around Him, the floating carcasses and decayed bodies, God would have been sad and that’s why He would have said I will never again do this. NO, that wasn’t why He said it. It was only because Noah built an altar and worshipped Him, God made that decision!
God said---I am going to change your course of life. Never again will I destroy mankind by a flood. God is looking to remove something in your life when you worship Him. The every course of mankind was changed because somebody chose to worship the Lord.
Prophecy: Those that will step into 2020 in worship and in prayer, the Lord will change the very course of your life and of your family.
- An altar brought about such a great deviation in a person’s life.
- If this Word gets inside of you. If you pray and worship the way you are meant you, God will change the course of your family.
- A lot of people had belittled, mocked and spoken badly about Noah. It was this same Noah’s act of building the altar that caused the Lord to change human destiny.
The course of my family is going to change.
New gifting, anointing, promises and revelation will be released upon your life. The spiritual level is going to change. Your material life’s level will shift.
Who else built altars?
1) Abraham- In Genesis 22, Abraham built an altar. God told him to sacrifice his only son Isac. It was a sacrifice that would have shaken heaven. Jehovah Jireh was revealed there. It changed the course of history. Abraham is showing forth that he loves the Lord much more than his son. If you love anything more than Jesus, you are an idol worshipper. Your time, your money, and your relationships cannot be more important to you than Jesus.
2) Elijah- 1 Kings 18- 0 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” 32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord;
- Elijah built an altar. He repaired the broken altar. Earlier there may have been worship in your life, but it is broken down now.
- When we have a problem in our lives, Godly wisdom is to understand the reason behind this problem. That land had not seen rain. King Ahab called Elijah the troubler of Israel. The prophet replied and said to him that the reason for this problem is that the altar was lying broken and that the people of the land were worshipping idols instead of the Living God. He re-built the altar of God. That is where the fire came down.
- Elijah repaired it. He picked up 12 stones (representing the 12 tribes of Israel). Indicating one family. Build your family. A family that prays together stays together. Keeping those stones together brought the fire of the Holy Spirit
- Only the shape of the altar is there but there is no sacrifice.
If you pray as a family, if you worship the Lord with all your heart and prioritise Him, the fire is coming.
3) Malachi- In the times of Malachi, the people placed what they did not want on the altar to worship God. God was not their first priority. After attending weddings, meetings, family functions, holidays and all that, they gave God their last five minutes. They would only light fire on the altar without placing anything on it. Just to show people that something was there. It can be likened to some of us who come on Sundays only to show others that we are there (or just to please family members who would otherwise question you as to why you weren’t in church).
When you place everything on the altar and prioritise God, the fire comes down.
- Can you say confidently that HE is my all in all? He is my everything? The Word says that you shall love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength and have no other gods before you.
The New Testament application of this is seen in Romans 12:1- I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
- Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.
- In 2020, do you want to step into the fire of the Holy Spirit or do you just want a show?
- Offer yourself as a living sacrifice. ‘Not just my mind, not just my spirit but also my body.’
- People ask why do you jump and run and worship. Is it not an emotion? No, it is not. Your body belongs to the Lord and the Holy Spirit dwells in it. If your body belongs to Jesus, glorify God through your body
Genesis 8:4-6- 4 Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen. 6 So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.
The ark was below. When it rained, it was flooded and the ark rose up above the waters. At the end it, it was on the top of Mount Ararat.
Earlier on, the level at which you were when you were facing problems is not where you will end up. If you choose to worship God in the midst of your problem, God will lift you to another level- A higher place. If you glorify God, heavens will release a grace upon your life that will rise you up to a higher place.
You are going up higher for the glory of God. Worship Him in the midst of your struggle.
Tell your neighbour- You will not find me where I was earlier. God has taken me higher. God has taken me to a different level.
If you glorify god and pray in the midst of your problems in your business, God will lift you to a higher level. Glorify the Name of Jesus this morning.
You should have drowned! But you did not. Were there no problems in 2018 and 2019? Did you not survive it? You could have been destroyed.
Ephesians 2:6- 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
- You are seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.
- The Ephesian church had problems. But their level was different. They were seated higher (than their problems). They were buried with Christ and resurrected with Him and now seated with Him at the high levels.
FOLLOW THE DOVE AND NOT THE RAVEN
Noah had two birds. One was a raven and another a dove. Noah stepped out of the ark was not listening to the testimony of the raven but the testimony of the dove
In 2019 you may have sat with ravens that hung around with the dead. But in 2020, you need to be with doves. You need to follow the dove. In 2020, you will hear the Holy Spirit’s voice
|It looked for and searched out the dead carcasses||It looked for what was alive|
|The raven will remind you of your past||The dove will show you your future.|
|The raven will show you the hell that you lived||The dove will show you the heaven that you will enter into|
|Raven shows fear.||Dove shows you faith.|
|Raven will sit on the dead, decaying||Dove will sit on the living, green things that God is showing it|
|Ravenous (greedy, predatory) words||Represents Holy Spirit’s voice|
|The raven will tell you it is not possible||The dove will tell you that you can do all things through Christ|
- There are too many people who are following ravens- dead happiness, dead dreams and dead relationships. Don’t go after what is dead. But follow that which is living. Follow the Holy Spirit.
The season where you walked behind the dead things is over. The season of the raven is over! 2020 is the year where you step into the living things that the Lord has kept for you.
- The dove came back with a green leaf. The flood had destroyed everything! But the dove seemed to have found one olive tree. An Olive tree takes a minimum of 5-12 years to come up after being planted. But that which would take so much time, the Lord speeded up!
If you go after the dove, those situations that you thought would take very long to be sorted, will immediately be resolved. A sudden change, a sudden shift!
Anecdote: When I went to Israel, I saw Olive trees. When I asked the guide how old they might be? He said 1500 and 2000 years old! The olive trees, during the time that they grow up, the youngsters throw stones at it and all the stones lie all around the tree. The roots of the Olive tree grow intertwined within the rocks/ stones. They grow close to the rocks and so when the winds and floods come, the tree remains firmly rooted.
No matter what stones and problems are thrown at you, when you grow rooted in the rock of Jesus, you will survive them all. You will come up through any problem and any challenge and stay fresh.
Declare this- I will become green again. I will flourish again. I am growing rooted in the rock of Jesus. Look at somebody and say- you will survive. You will come up. Something will come forth through you.
When all other trees die, the Olive tree stands. It is a resilient tree and a surviving tree.
The storm doesn’t define you. It reveals who you are
You are the righteousness of God. You are a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ. You are a peculiar people, the called out ones, you are a royal priesthood and a Holy nation. You will declare the glory of God. You are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ.
If it is possible, watch a film called Breakthrough based on a real life story, by the 20th century fox, a secular production house. A 14 year old boy falls into the water when the ice berg that he was standing on breaks. The mother of the son was in a Bible study when she heard of the news of her son. This mother ran back to him in the hospital and cries out loud---Holy Spirit, give me back my son!
The nurse and doctors watched and the boy’s heartbeat returned.
If you go after the Holy Spirit/ the dove, that which is dead will receive life back. He will release faith that will not take ‘No’ for an answer. A faith that will cause you to pray till the fire from heaven comes down.
Don’t follow the raven, even on Instagram and on the Facebook. There is no life there.
Only when the dove told him to, Noah got off the ark.
The Holy Spirit says- never again! God is going to release a never again moment in your life! No disease, no lack, no poverty, no curse, no bondage. Never again!
I am not a slave to that sin. I will not fear that again! NEVER AGAIN. No, you won’t be destroyed, no you won’t fail, no you won’t be in debt. NO NO, NEVER AGAIN! You won’t be destroyed. Never again!
If you go after the dove, if you build your altar and worship as you should, God will release a never again anointing
God is releasing a NEVER AGAIN anointing!!
What is there on the altar?
- Only clean animals. Noah had both clean and unclean animals in the ark. But he placed only that which was clean.
- Only those who have gone through a problem can offer God a clean sacrifice. Those who think they arrived by their own strength and effort, can offer him only unclean sacrifices.
- When Noah sacrificed, God said something:
Genesis 9:1- So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
You will be fruitful and you will multiply. God, by this declaration restored Noah to the original purpose of his life. This was a promise that GOD had spoken Adam which was lost by the fall of Adam. The purpose for which you were called out will be restored when you build the altar and worship Him with all of your heart. Whatever is the reason that God sent you on the earth, HE will restore you back to that very reason.
Some of your broken altars needs to be repaired. You are a fool if your altars are empty. Love God more than anything else!
Build the altar. Worship. Pray. Follow the dove