In the past I have been accused of being to transparent in my preaching. My wife will always tell people the person you see at the front is the same person at home. I always smile when I hear people preach /pray who change their voices when speaking. Do they speak that way at home??? Does it somehow make them more spiritual by doing this? During the past weeks since my fast I have been undergoing a spiritual battle. When you fast you are very focused but when you stop you can get lacks. I also know that satan has increased the attack on me personally and our church. This past Sunday was one of those days where I noticed it. Our church has been getting smaller instead of bigger. Satan tries to get me to take my eyes off Jesus and look at numbers and get me discouraged by trying to get me to think God will not keep His promises. Honestly that would be stupid on my part to listen as God has already fulfilled some of His promises to me but the attack is very real. It is okay for this to happen as it worked out okay for Gideon. Satan wants me to cave on my beliefs. I believe God is testing me to see whether I believe what I preach myself. I am very aware I preach a message that has not been fulfilled here yet. We know it has happened as the bible tells us so and we know it has happened since that time because of all the evidence there is for revival. The temptation is to fall into the man-made mode of “doing church” (sorry, I really hate that term). This is where you look for ways to get people to come to church. Church then becomes all about enticement. What can we do to draw more people to church? Many have fallen off track and are desperately looking for help in the area of church growth. They do everything but fall on their knees and seek and wait on God. Waiting on God is not part of most church growth plans. Hummm, what shall we do? Well the answer is obvious you stay the course, stand firm because the bible says if you seek God you will find Him. Now this is going to sound incredibly arrogant but I always listen to my own sermons before I post them on the Internet. The question I asked on Sunday was, “do we believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life? My question to myself is, do I actually believe what I preach? I know for a fact that the attack has increased not only in me but also in those around us at The Rock. Satan is trying to get us to say, “ Is the Lord with us or not?” (Exodus 14:7) “And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarrelled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” This is a very bad thing to say. Now it is summer time but we have had many come and go and now we have a core group of people with whom God is going to do some amazing things like Gideon’s army or the army God gave David. The temptation is to look with your eyes and say oh oh, we are doing something wrong and start looking for other methods. On Sunday I read a verse from Romans 10: that said, “As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” As I read it for our scripture reading, it jumped off the page. If I follow God’s word and do what it says, point people back to and to scripture and teaching people to wait on the Lord I will never be put to shame. How awesome is that? That is why the apostle Paul could sit in prison confident he was serving the Lord. I was told one time recently that I would never pastor more than 60 people because of my belief structure (mainly because I am such an advocate for living by the word of God and not by the how to church growth books). When this person said this I remember wanting to jump across the table and give Him a piece of my mind and maybe a body part connected to be wrist but I didn’t react but inside I was about to explode. How do these (could not find the appropriate adjective) people get in positions of leadership? I remember feeling this awful feeling come over me that I spent praying off on the way home. This voice, which was not God by the way, still tries to haunt me. I really despise it when people with no discernment whatsoever like to play God. On one hand if God wants me to serve sixty people then so be it but I will not accept someone’s lack of vision in my life because I do not follow their manmade methods. I should actually thank this person for the blessing. Deuteronomy 23:5 “However, the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you.” People in leadership need to be very careful with what comes out of their mouths when trying to guide someone. Don’t curse – bless, it goes better for everyone. I have borrowed John Wesley’s motto of “the world is my parish” so join with me and wait on God and lets us rejoice before hand in the immeasurable things God is going to do. If you have satan’s stinky breath breathing down your neck, shake him off and believe with Caleb, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” God wants to bless us in abundance don’t listen to your eyes but “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight.” So the answer is yes I do believe with all my heart, soul and mind what I am preaching and I believe with Elijah that it will rain.