Rollan Fisher

Joshua Generation - Part 3

joshua generation

Joshua Generation: Your Hiding Place

  • Your Hiding Place

  • The Scarlet Cord Of Christ

Your Hiding Place

Joshua 2:1-24
And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, “Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” 6 But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out. 8 Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father's house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the Lord gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.” Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall. And she said to them, “Go into the hills, or the pursuers will encounter you, and hide there three days until the pursuers have returned. Then afterward you may go your way.” The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear. 18 Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father's household. Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear.” And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. They departed and went into the hills and remained there three days until the pursuers returned, and the pursuers searched all along the way and found nothing. Then the two men returned. They came down from the hills and passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they told him all that had happened to them. And they said to Joshua, “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.”

View the land, especially Jericho.

HAVE YOUR EYE ON THE HIGH WALLED UP CITY

The people of Jericho heard the reports of all that God had supernaturally done to deliver the Israelites from slavery and win their battles.

The people were scared because of the judgment that would come against those who stood against the God of Heaven and Earth, the God of Israel. The good news, as always, is that this God gave an opportunity for reconciliation with himself through faith and repentance. This is what Rahab would exemplify.

RAHAB CHOSE THE RIGHT SIDE

Rahab put her faith in the one whose power was greater the human forces that she saw in front of her.

Some, however, still resisted.

The enemy will try to stamp out the purposes of God since he knows the work of God that’s been done in people’s lives in times past. He knows that if the people of God rise up, God will deliver again.

In what ways is there resistance to the life of God in us?

We’ve all hidden in the things that we think will give us comfort, security, a sense of belonging and keep us safe. What is that for you?

Rahab had to make a choice of with whom she’d hide.

Have you made your choice?

Some hide in their work. Some hide in their favorite tv programs. Some hide in a relationship. Some hide in their habits or additctions, their forms of escape whether illicit or though cyberspace. Some hide in their objections to faith because of misunderstandings about the faith.

“The older idea of the body being bad and the soul being good - of the emotions (resident in the body) as bad and reason as good - changed under Christianity. And these new views of the importance of the body and the material world laid the foundation for the rise of modern science. The material world was no longer understood as an illusion or simply something to be spiritually transcended. Nor was it just an incomprehensible mystery but, according to the Bible, it was the creation of a personal, rational being. Therefore it could be studied and understood by other personal, rational beings.” - Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God (pg. 45)

The coming conquest by the Israelites became good news to Rahab even as the gospel of the coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ is good news to us.

Luc Ferry wrote the informative book A Brief History of Thought that helped to illuminate the following realities, which you can imagine would be mind-blowing for an ancient prostitute. These are the things she could have hope in as she put her trust in the God of the Israelites:

“In general, Christianity brought an unprecedented idea of the importance of the individual. “For the Buddhist, the individual is but an illusion, something destined for dissolution and impermanence; for the [Greek] Stoic the individual self is destined to merge into the totality of the cosmos; Christianity on the contrary promises immortality of the individual person: his soul, his body, his face, his beloved voice - as long as he is saved by the grace of God.” It also undermined the elitism of antiquity. “Salvation” for the Greeks had to do with philosophical contemplation, something only people with training and leisure could do. For Christians, however, salvation came through dependent, trusting faith that Jesus had saved them, doing what they could not do. In this sense it was much more egalitarian than other kinds of ancient and classical thought.” - Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God (pg. 45-46)

The cross of Jesus is the great equalizer for Dealing with Discrimination

Rahab was a prostitute who would have a community stigma attached to her. However, she cane into the same grace which the Israelites were now standing.

(Racism and Champ Bailey’s Hall of Fame speech - listen to those experiencing something different from you.)

There should be a depolarization in the church.

Why I Love the Church of Jesus Christ

Once given the hope of this salvation, Rahab was taking the action necessary to keep faith alive in the midst of hostile territory? Are you?

A Devotion to The Word of God, Regular Christian Fellowship, The Sacraments, Prayer and a Commitment to Church Involvement are Essentials in this Modern Fight (Acts 2:42-47).

Proverbs 28:13
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Who’s Hiding Who?

Are you hiding Jesus amongst your co-workers, family and friends?

OR

Do you, like Rahab, find yourself hidden in the hope of Christ and his salvation?

Though Rahab did not grow up with the law or covenants of God. Upon her change of allegiance to the God of the Hebrews, she, through faith, became one of four women named in the genealogy of Christ as an heir.

Hebrews 11:31
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

The Scarlet Cord Of Christ

The Scarlet Cord:

A Looking Back to the Passover Blood

A Looking Ahead to the Shed Blood of Jesus on the Cross for the Forgiveness of Your Sins.

Repent and Bring Your Household into the Household of the Lord, under Christ’s Scarlet Cord so that they might be saved.

Why is it important to stay in church?

*You must remain in the house, underneath the covering of the scarlet cord to avoid the destruction coming on others.

Just as the spies remained three days in the hills to escape their pursuers, so we must remain in the faith, in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for our salvation.

Matthew 21:28-32
28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Second City Church - Joshua Generation - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Joshua Generation - Part 2

joshua generation

Joshua Generation: A Purpose Greater than Me

  • A Purpose Greater than Me

  • A God Greater than My Purpose

A Purpose Greater than Me

***You are not independent in the body of Christ. Your calling and destiny is wrapped up in others.

You have not ultimately fulfilled your purpose in Christ until you’ve done all that you can to see those to whom he’s connected you come to know Jesus and fulfill their call in him. ***

Joshua 1:10-18
And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’” And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, ‘The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them, until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”

It starts with the leaders.

The congregation repeats back to Joshua the charge given him by God.

So many Christians live dissatisfied lives because they focus and rejoice in their own achievements and not the success and progress of their brothers and sisters.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

*Your strength is found in how well you help others take their land and walk in the truth of Christ.

As James Earl Jones voices Mufasa in Disney’s the Lion King, we’re also reminded of wisdom from another role he voice-acted -

Darth Vader

Numbers 32:1-22 (NIV)
The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon — the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan. ” Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them. The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone. “And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel. If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the wilderness, and you will be the cause of their destruction. ” Then they came up to him and said, “We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children. But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place. Meanwhile our women and children will live in fortified cities, for protection from the inhabitants of the land. We will not return to our homes until each of the Israelites has received their inheritance. We will not receive any inheritance with them on the other side of the Jordan, because our inheritance has come to us on the east side of the Jordan.” Then Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for battle and if all of you who are armed cross over the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him — then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the Lord and to Israel. And this land will be your possession before the Lord.

The lesson of Dan, Reuben and the Half-Tribe of Manasseh:

They gravitated to what seemed like calmer pastures, where the battle against the kings of Canaan had already been won. They surely would have asked the question, “What would be the best grazing area for MY flocks?” rather than “What ground has God called me to take with my people?” Moses’ response was clear (Numbers 32).

There is no living out the gospel without some measure of suffering (the battles of Israel; Acts 14:22). We can be too loaded down with the pleasures and comforts of this world to long for the next, which God says will be far sweeter and superior (Colossians 3). It is hard to live for Jesus in this state. (Think about the rich young ruler, Jesus saying it is hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom, the explosion of faith in the non-western world, the reality that if you make above $32,400, you are part of the world’s economic 1%).

“So if you’re an accountant, a registered nurse or even an elementary school teacher, congratulations. The average wage for any of these careers falls well within the top 1 percent worldwide.“

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050615/are-you-top-one-percent-world.asp

“Christianity, then, saw the battle for human virtue as no longer one of head versus heart (becoming more rational), nor mind over matter (getting more technical mastery over the world). The battle was over where to direct the supreme love of your heart. Will it be toward God and your neighbor, no matter who your neighbor is? Or will it be toward power and wealth for yourself and your tribe? Augustine was the first to formulate this, drawing in Biblical teaching. Cambridge historian Henry Chadwick argued that Augustine “marks an epoch in the history of human moral consciousness.” For the first time the supreme goal of life was not self-control and rationality but love. Love was required to redirect the human person away from self-centeredness toward serving God and others. Augustine’s Confessions laid the groundwork for what we would call psychology in a way that non-Christian classical thought could not have done.” - Timothy Keller, Making Sense of God (p. 45)

Remember the cross of Jesus Christ.

"When God becomes a Man and lives as a creature among His own creatures in Palestine, then indeed His life is one of supreme self-sacrifice and leads to Calvary."

C.S. Lewis

Do not think you will fulfill the call of God without it coming with great COST to you.

"Those who give much without sacrifice are reckoned as having given little."

- Erwin Lutzer

(Luke 21:1-4)

The problem is we are myopic by nature and easily fall into traps that say as long as I and my family are accomplishing our goals, we’re well provided for and happy then that’s all that matters. We feel like we don’t have time or motivation to take the gospel to the land that God has called us to take with the people with whom he’s called us to take it.

A God Greater than My Purpose

*The only one who can free us to live in such love, free of a selfishly motivated altruism is Jesus Christ.

As we remember this, the fruit of the flesh that we are resisting is rivalry or selfish ambition (Galatians 5:20). The command we are obeying is fighting as one man for the faith of the gospel.

Philippians 1:27-2:4
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

How do we live this way?

Decluttering Our Lives

We need to daily and intentionally make room for God and his Kingdom Purposes (reconciling the world to himself through the cross/gospel of Jesus Christ) with the people he’s given you (Acts 2:42-47).

Out of his mercy toward us, God will allow anything that we trust in before and besides him to be taken away that our hearts might be freed and our lives ultimately saved.

clutter

(Genesis 22)

What needs to be cleaned out of your life?

Mark 8:34-38
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

It is impossible for us to live faithfully this way without being inwardly redeemed by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Joshua means “the Lord saves”, again foreshadowing his transliterated name Jesus.

Jesus alone is both our establisher and propeller to greater works. His salvific work on the cross brought the means for our forgiveness of sins and establishes us in true righteousness - reconciliation with God through faith in the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He then calls us to understand that we are “blessed to be a blessing” seeing those around us come into the saving knowledge of the gospel and all of the good news that it brings.

Second City Church - Joshua Generation - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Joshua Generation - Part 1

joshua generation

Joshua Generation: Advancing in the Promises and Purposes of God

Part 1: Be Strong and Courageous

  • A Land

  • His Word

  • A Command

Joshua 1:1-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Human Right

A Land

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory.

In life, God will give you the land of your own soul as well as the places that you set your feet to grow the influence of the gospel, spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God. (Prayer Walk Plug!)

Personally:

“If you are ready to partake of grace you have not to atone for your sins–you have merely to accept of the atonement. All that you want to do is to cry, “God have mercy upon me,” and you will receive the blessing.” - Dwight L. Moody

Every effort that you make for forward advance in the promises and purposes of God (whether with your marriage, with your child rearing, ministry, finances or career) will be met with demonic resistance that you can not face on your own. Thus you need the cross, Christ paying for your sins and his ever present help in times of need.

5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.

Be strong (Hebrew Word - chazaq): has primitive roots in words including: to fasten upon, hence to seize, repair, fortify, obstinate, conquer, confirm, contend, establish, hold firm, harden, grasp, maintenance, make one stay, become (grow) mighty, overcome, persevere, prevail, recover, resolutely, retain, severe, seize, stand firm, support, be sure, take, urge, be urgent, withstand.

Publicly:

Everywhere you go, because of Christ in you (and the fruit of the Holy Spirit through you), you become the thermostat, rather than the thermometer, in the room.

thermometer

“God doesn’t just give us grace; He gives us Jesus, the Lord of grace.” -Joni Eareckson Tada

His Word:

7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

“If Jesus is the Son of God, his teachings are more than just good ideas from a wise teacher; they are divine insights on which I can confidently build my life.” -Lee Strobel

You are what you eat, even when working out regularly.

Dieters can feel like they’re never getting anywhere - they are in the gym every day but still feeding on Dunkin Donuts.

Picture a barbell in one hand and sweets in the other.

What are you consuming that is short-circuiting your progress?

We need to not just acknowledge God, but give Jesus the reigns of our lives (Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take the Wheel).

“God does not guide those who want to run their own life. He only guides those who admit their need of His direction and rely on His wisdom.” -Winkie Pratney

We all want the blessings. We don’t always want what it takes to get them - allowing Jesus to be Lord of the DECISION-MAKING in our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-12
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

“Individuals could profess to not be secular people, to have religious faith. Yet, at the practical level, the existence of God may have no noticeable impact on their life decisions and conduct. This is because in a secular age even religious people tend to choose lovers and spouses, careers and friendships, and financial options with no higher goal than their own present-time personal happiness. Sacrificing personal peace and affluence for transcendent causes becomes rare, even for people who say they believe in absolute values and eternity. Even if you are not a secular person, the secular age can “thin out” (secularize) faith until it is seen as simply one more choice in life - along with job, recreation, hobbies, politics - rather than as the comprehensive framework that determines all life choices.” -Timothy Keller

Making Sense of God - Timothy Keller

A Command

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We will all try and fail at some point. So often, our confidence is based on a sense of being able to achieve perfection. However, Jesus alone lived the perfect life and now offers grace and forgiveness to those who would abandon their self sufficiency and fall on the strength of God.

“Christ not only supplies the necessities of his people, but he gives them abundant and superabundant joy in the luxuries of his grace. You do not really preach the gospel if you leave Christ out; if he be omitted, it is not the gospel. You may invite men to listen to your message, but you are only inviting them to gaze upon an empty table unless Christ is the very center and substance of all that you set before them.” -Charles Spurgeon

There is no being strong and courageous for the promises and purposes of God without reconciliation with God. Repent of your self sufficiency, come to the cross of Jesus in faith for the forgiveness of your sins and move forward knowing that Immanuel is with you.

Acts 3:17-21
“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

Second City Church - Joshua Generation - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Worship In Songland - Part 2

worship in songland

Worship in Songland: Know the the One for Whom You Write

  • Praise that Pleases the Lord

  • Worship that Pleases the Lord

  • Turning to the Lord

“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.” - A.W. Tozer

We Worship With:

  • The Head

  • The Heart

  • The Hands

In the Studio - Why it's important what we do in praise and worship

Of David

Psalm 22:3-5
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

"It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men." - C.S. Lewis

The Hands (You’re Body in Worship)

"Our entire being is fashioned as an instrument of praise. Just as a master violin

maker designs an instrument to produce maximum aesthetic results, so God

tailor-made our bodies, souls and spirits to work together in consonance to produce

pleasing expressions of praise and worship. When we use body language to express

praise, that which is internal becomes visible."

"A Heart For Worship" by Lamar Boschman

Praise that pleases the Lord

  • Clapping

  • Shouting for Joy

  • Singing

  • Playing Instruments

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” —Victor Hugo

  • Dancing

CELEBRATION!!!

This is praise.

Of the Sons of Korah

Psalm 47:1-9
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!

Of David

Psalm 30:1-12
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed. To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord , be my helper!” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Worship that Pleases the Lord

  • Bowing

"The first element in worship is adoration. The Hebrews expressed this by their posture

and not alone by their word. For they prostrated themselves before God. “O come, let

us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” They did not come

with an easy familiarity into the presence of God, but were aware of his greatness and

majesty, and came with a sense of privilege to His house."

"Worship in Ancient Israel" p. 257

H.H. Rowley

  • Kneeling

  • Prostrating

“At the very least, they can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget, what you must always remember, that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds; in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.” - Screwtape speaking to Wormwood in C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters

  • Humbling Ourselves

  • Lifting Hands in Surrender

Holy of Holies before the awesomess and Majesty of God

I’m more focused on the glory (kabod) of God than who or what’s going on around me.

Intimacy (people act like if they don’t post something on Instagram, the life event isn’t validated or didn’t happen. This destroys the secret life and intimacy with Jesus and people that you love. Turn these moments instead to worship of God to testify to his life of blessing and deliverance Matthew 6; Revelation 12)

Getting off the phone - destroys intimacy with spouse, children, world around you. We are more irritable

  • Exchange

  • Crying out to God

“If this fails, you must fall back on a subtler misdirection of his intention. Whenever they are attending to the Enemy Himself we are defeated, but there are ways of preventing them from doing so. The simplest is to turn their gaze away from Him towards themselves. Keep them watching their own minds and trying to produce feelings there by the action of their own wills. When they meant to ask Him for charity, let them, instead, start trying to manufacture charitable feelings for themselves and not notice that this is what they are doing. When they meant to pray for courage, let them really be trying to feel brave. When they say they are praying for forgiveness, let them be trying to feel forgiven. Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling; and never let them suspect how much success or failure of that kind depends on whether they are well or ill, fresh or tired, at the moment.” - Screwtape speaking to Wormwood in C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters

Of David

Psalm 145:14-21
The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Turning to the Lord

“The purpose of this Christian society called “the church” is first to glorify God by our worship. We do not go to church just to hear a sermon. We go to church to worship God.” —Billy Graham

It’s not a matter of culture, it’s a matter of freedom

2 Corinthians 3:15-18
Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

The cross of Jesus and his Resurrection Give us access to this freedom. Repent and believe the good news for the forgiveness of your sins today!

Second City Church - Worship In Songland - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Worship In Songland - Part 1

worship in songland

Worship in Songland: The Story Behind the Song

  • Christ Our Song

  • Before the Song

Before the Song

We all have a story. We don’t have a song until we realize who Jesus is and from that which he has actually rescued us.

Isaiah 42:10-17
Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands. The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant. I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, “You are our gods.”

Today, people’s convictions are more emotional than intellectual, more populist than spiritual or submitted to God.

“To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.” - A.W. Tozer

The attempt to normalize sin can deaden our convictions in regards to God’s character and the inner holiness that should be evoked in a life of worship to God (think about the commercials you watch).

Isaiah 5:20-23
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right!

The images being presented by our culture try to strip the understanding of our salvation, and thus the source of our joy.

“About a century ago, the Soviet formalist filmmaker Lev Kuleshov conducted a series of experiments with filmic montage. In the most famous one, he edited a short film consisting of short clips of various subjects: an actor’s expressionless face, a bowl of soup, a woman on a couch, a girl in a coffin. The same clips edited into different sequences produced different interpretive results in the viewer. The deadpan face of the actor appeared to take on different emotions depending on which image preceded or followed it—he appeared dolorous, for example, when seeming to “look at” the dead girl in the coffin. This effect of filmic editing has been called the Kuleshov effect, and it’s had an enormous influence on filmmakers including Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Francis Ford Coppola. It also forms the backbone of reality television, in which meaning is almost entirely produced in the editing room.

Kuleshov’s disciple Sergei Eisenstein would eventually call editing, and montage in particular, the key formal property of cinema (the famous Odessa-steps sequence in his 1925 film Battleship Potemkin is the canonical example). These traits allow film to link together seemingly unrelated images, relying on the viewer’s brain to make connections that aren’t present in the source material, let alone the cinematic composition.”

From: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/01/viral-clash-students-and-native-americans-explained/580906/?fbclid=IwAR0Y567YTbxPFLfY_0x8UOtca2okOPt8Xncq5FJ0Nh81P89PCpyCW7UEzLs

We are living in a culture where backsliding is affirmed by the majority, and lukewarm living will not evoke a second glance. What people need is to be born again.

166c4f5a21ffe5f62597cb401d3dbd72.jpeg


“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” - Rick Warren

Christ, Our Song

You sing about the things that make you come alive.

When we realize who Jesus is and the destruction that he saved us from on the cross, He becomes our joyous, daily song of eternal salvation.

*Encourage our songwriters to write

Psalm 92:1-15
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep! The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O Lord, are on high forever. For behold, your enemies, O Lord, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me fresh oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants. The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Christ is our righteousness.

“You stand before God as if you were Christ, because Christ stood before God as if he were you.” - Charles Spurgeon

Second City Church - Worship In Songland - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church Bringing Life to the Dead

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church Bringing Life to the Dead

  1. The Challenge of Modern Stoicism

  2. Christ’s Power to Resurrect the Dead

The Challenge of Modern Stoicism

We repeat instruction because it is repeated in Scripture.

It is a safeguard (Philippaians 3:1; II Peter 1:12-15; I John 2:21)

Those who start strong but fizzle in the end do so because they do not employ the ways of the Lord

Acts 20:1-6
After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. These went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas, but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for seven days.

"By flooding the consciousness with gnawing unpleasantness, pain provides a temporary relief from the burdens of self-awareness," researchers who investigated the phenomenon are quoted as saying. "Pain helps consumers create the story of a fulfilled life." -Inc. Magazine article Jack Dorsey Just Said He Sometimes Doesn't Eat for Days. Why Do So Many Founders Like to Torture Themselves?

There's one more possible explanation for the extreme behavior of a strikingly high percentage of successful founders, which comes from the New York Times' Nellie Bowles. Many of these fans of extreme self-deprivation, she points out, are equally enthusiastic followers of the ancient philosophical school of stoicism (though not Dorsey, at least not publicly), which "argued that the only real treasures in life were inner virtues, like self-mastery and courage."

If you're rich and bored and have it all, the only thing left to strive for may be the discipline to not eat or walk barefoot in the snow.

But from Roman times on up to today stoicism has also always been a favorite philosophy of the elite. At least in part that may be because of its relentlessly inward focus. It calls on the individual to shape him or herself to be better, not to shape the world to be better.

"Stoics believed that everything in the universe is already perfect and that things that seem bad or unjust are secretly good underneath. The philosophy is handy if you already believe that the rich are meant to be rich and the poor meant to be poor," Bowles writes.

Christ’s Power to Resurrect the Dead

Acts 20:7-16
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted. But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we went to Miletus. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church for All Seasons

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church for All Seasons 

Life is a journey traveled out in seasons. The ups and downs of life will come. Times of celebratory victories and fiery trials will come. God is an ever present leader, help and guide during each of these seasons. His church is a ship he has designed to sail through all seasons.

Acts 19:21-41
Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way. For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.” When they heard this they were enraged and were crying out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel. But when Paul wished to go in among the crowd, the disciples would not let him. And even some of the Asiarchs, who were friends of his, sent to him and were urging him not to venture into the theater. Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. Some of the crowd prompted Alexander, whom the Jews had put forward. And Alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to make a defense to the crowd. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours they all cried out with one voice, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” And when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis, and of the sacred stone that fell from the sky? Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. For you have brought these men here who are neither sacrilegious nor blasphemers of our goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. But if you seek anything further, it shall be settled in the regular assembly. For we really are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.” And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.

Who was Artemis and what did she represent that was worshiped?

The economic and social impact of the gospel.

The church allows you to avoid the trappings of “group think”.

Understanding the things and principalities worshiped in our culture will help you navigate and stand for the unchanging truth of the gospel in the midst of shifting tides.

From people who are believing for children to new parents to empty nesters; from those starting careers to being in the middle of life-altering job transitions, to retirement, God has his church to remind you of his person, his purpose and his provision for you.

In every season, God gives you his church to be strengthened in the:

Person of God (i.e. - his comfort and faithfulness as you wait on children; his protection as you look to overcome sin)

Purpose of God (i.e. - when you’re sorting through life direction)

Provision of God (i.e. - when you’re looking for a spouse)

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King Jr

How do we live with such a mentality?

Romans 12:9-21
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Jesus went to the cross to take the punishment for our sin. It shows us that he is familiar with suffering. He rose from the dead victoriously to give us the hope of forgiveness as we turn from our sin to the joy of new/eternal life in him. In whatever season you find yourself, he has given you his church with which to walk out this gift.

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church Known By the Lord

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church Known By the Lord 


We need Holy Spirit power and the authority of Jesus to drive out evil because we are facing down demonic powers on a daily basis.  You may see the enemy binding people in your city, your home, your workplace or even your own soul.  God wants to deliver.  Christ came to destroy the works of the devil to set you, people, cities and nations free by the power of the cross and God’s resurrection gospel.  He has called his people to usher in this freedom. 


It’s Not About What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Acts 19:11-20
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

Desire to grow in the authority of Christ. 

People say, “But I feel so weak, so I’ll-equipped, so unworthy...”



“The biblical model is that God deliberately chooses imperfect vessels - those who have been wounded, those with physical or emotional limitations.  Then he prepares them to serve and sends them out with their weaknesses still evident, so that his strength can be made perfect in that weakness.”  

- Christine Caine

Our culture suffers today because of the idolatry of self and independent calling.  Many are whipped by the devil like the sons of Sceva because they are both formulaic in their ministry rather than relational, and disconnected from the body of Christ from which we are to derive the Lord’s strength.  

The only way to walk in the power of God exemplified in Acts is to first have an intimate walk with Jesus and be full of the Holy Spirit.  The believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They were then filled repeatedly with joy, boldness to be witnesses, skill to reap a harvest of souls and authority to push back the Kingdom of darkness in their everyday lives (Acts 4:8, 31; 7:55; 13:45, 52...). 

What does it look like to be this in tune with Jesus?

deer longing for water

Devote yourself to being close to Jesus. 

Mark 3:13-15
And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.



It is not a matter of time so much as a matter of heart; if you have the heart to pray, you will find the time.

- Charles Spurgeon


*Don’t get used to footholds of the enemy in your life from which God wants to deliver you.  



You will never know the fullness of Christ until you know the emptiness of everything but Christ.

- Charles Spurgeon

It’s Not About Who You Think You Know, It’s Who Knows You

Determine to be known by God. 

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 
Now concerning  food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

Knowledge has its limits (Deuteronomy 29:29; I Corinthians 13:8-13).  Faith, hope, love and obedience can be ever increasing. 

Satan can fill your heart as surely as God the Holy Spirit can (John 13:27; Acts 5:3).  You must be on guard.  Walk in the ways of God with and through your local church body.

Matthew 7:15-23 
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’


You are known by God when you repent of your sin, walk with Jesus, love him and obey his commands.  This is proven when you are knit together and serve Christ faithfully in and through his church.  This is when you come into alignment with God’s will, increase in his authority and become known to the enemy because you join Christ and his people in his Kingdom advance.  In Christ, we are always led in triumphal procession (II Corinthians 2:12-16) and have the eternal victory by his resurrection from the dead.  

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church With More To Learn

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church With More To Learn

  • A Matter of Perspective 

  • A Matter of Exposure


A Matter of Perspective

Acts 18:24-28 
Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

How big things can seem in our youth 

Psalm 37:23-26 
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.

The immensity of the trial is felt in proportion to your present capacity (think weight lifting).  God uses it to grow and strengthen you (Romans 5:5-8)

Experience Brings a Weight of the Glory of God

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other 

A Matter of Exposure

Acts 19:1-10 
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all. And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

The person of the Holy Spirit 

Summer Reading List:

  1. The God I Never Knew by Robert Morris

  2. Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere 

  3. Holy Fire by RT Kendall

Amongst other things, we see here that the Holy Spirit has a role in testifying to the crucified, risen Christ, filling people with boldness to preach, convicting men and women of their sin, opening their eyes to the truth of the gospel through signs, wonders and miracles and conforming people to the image of Jesus.

John 16:4-15 
4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019

Chicago Fire - Jesus and a Church Submitted to His Will

Chicago Fire Sermon Series

Chicago Fire: Jesus and a Church Submitted to His Will

In our own minds, we all have hopes and dreams - plans for your family, children, career, ministry, and life. 

But somewhere along the road, we’re all thrown curveballs, diversions to the roadmap we were laying out for ourselves.

Do these feelings sound familiar?: 

Frustration, dissatisfaction, anger, lack of contentment.  

Moving forward in faith with holy ambition 

vs. 

Being disgruntled and discontent

Why do we so often end up in the latter?

*Knowing God’s will and submitting to his will are two different things.  Knowing God’s will involves being aware of HIS objectives and goals (whose are you following today, HIS or your own?). 

Submitting to God’s will involves process, timing and circumstances we would not have chosen for ourselves, but in the wisdom and sovereignty of God, are necessary for our development and his glory.  

Knowing God’s Will 

Submitting to God’s Will

Knowing God’s Will

Acts 18:18-23 
After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus. When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

Paul knew the will of the Lord by (Acts 13):

  1. The Word of God

“Your call will become clear as as your mind is transformed by the reading of Scripture and the internal work of God's Spirit. The Lord never hides His will from us. In time, as you obey the call first to follow, your destiny will unfold before you. The difficulty will lie in keeping other concerns from diverting your attention.”

Swindoll Charles R.

2. The Holy Spirit directing through times of worship, fasting and prayer 

3. Christ-ordained confirmation through God-given and vetted counsel. 

It’s an issue of Control vs. Confidence (Trust) in the Lord

Proverbs 16:1,3,9 
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. 
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Submitting to God’s Will

“If you aren't vigilant, if you aren't daily humbling yourself before Him, seeking His face, discerning His timing, operating under the Spirit's control, you may push and shove and force your way prematurely into that place where God wanted you, but you will not have arrived in His own time.”

Charles R. Swindoll, Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication


Job 42:1-6 

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

“God doesn't work on our timetable. He has a plan that He will execute perfectly and for the highest, greatest good of all, and for His ultimate glory.”

Charles R. Swindoll



God’s plans vs. Our Own

-Timing 

-Manner

-Results 

We know in part and we prophesy in part 

(I Corinthians 13)

“To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.”

-Elisabeth Elliot

Joseph (Genesis 37-50)

Disappointment, discouragement and disillusionment are the result when we project our plans onto God’s.  

“You and I can become so dedicated to the will of God, we can be so driven by a false sense of purpose, that we might inadvertently take matters into our own hands and leave God completely out of the loop.”

Charles R. Swindoll, Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication


Fruitfulness, Joy and Longevity result when we make faith-filled plans, trusting God and submitting to his will

When the Lord makes it clear you're to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others.

Swindoll Charles R.


Be fruitful while you wait (through your church)

snow white and dwarfs working

snow white and dwarfs working


Acts 18:22-23 

When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

How not to miss the will of God: 

***Counsel and the will of God!!

Who will you let into the decision-making part of your world?

Proverbs 24:5-6 
A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might, for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Paul eventually ended up back in Ephesus, where he would minister for almost three years (Acts 19:1-10) and through his ministry, the entire province of Asia would come to hear the gospel.  He had to submit to God’s process and timing for this to be done, while moving forward with faith-filled plans in the light of his then present revelation. 

Our Posture: We advance (with the gospel) by faith

The Result: Increasing fruit and fruitfulness wherever the Lord wills

“I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame, and I choose it above all things on Earth or in Heaven.”

A.W. Tozer

Second City Church - Chicago Fire - Pastor Rollan Fisher 2019