New Hope Notes
Pastor Roger Archer
I’m so glad to be with you! We are ohana to the core because 18 years ago here at New Hope Oahu, Pastor Wayne Cordeiro had a learning practicum for 42 mega church pastors from all over the world, plus a gangly good-looking intern (the shuttle bus driver) who drove the pastors to and from the hotel. In the back of the room were two church planters who felt they had no business being there because one had just seven church members and the other, eleven. We huddled together and pretended we did belong! I sat at a round table with my friend Mike Kai, pastor of Inspire Church, and the good-looking shuttle bus driver Jon Burgess! We all just hung out together and said, “If we could ever be like Pastor Wayne, we’ll change the world!
Pastor Wayne took a risk on a mainland haole boy who had failed miserably in his first church and was in deep dark depression when he received a call in Seattle from a guy he had never met before. He said, “This is Pastor Wayne Cordeiro calling from Oahu, Hawaii. I would like to invite you to my learning practicum and I would like to pay for your entire trip.” I can hear the Lord speaking and said, “I’m coming!”
During the practicum, Pastor Wayne spoke to this discouraged, depressed pastor and took a risk and said, “I believe in you and if you will risk again, God will take that which is broken and turn it into something beautiful!” I am your ohana (family)and we’re connected at the heart. I love you and am so grateful to this church and my mentor, Pastor Wayne Cordeiro.
At our church, we would have 5000 people over four campuses (about 20 miles of geography). Since 1998, 31,942 people came to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior because of this church! Our church is a melting pot of ethnicity: the black community, the Latinos, the Asians, and the Hawaiians—much love from our ohana to you!
The title of my message is Risk: Doing The Ridiculous To See The Miraculous. God’s Word is the authority of everything that God ever wanted to communicate to His people and He put it into a book. This book is a compilation of 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over a period of 4000 years. In the third century, the Roman Emperor Constantine gathered 1800 bishops and commanded them to compress the writings they deemed to be inspired (God breathed) into one book, the Bible. The Nicene Council in 323 AD compressed the writings and canonized the Bible—in Greek means measuring stick. The Bible tells us in…
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
God wants you to depend on Him: When you come to the end of yourself, you find the beginning of God—this is the reason you must take risk! Live by faith in what God said, not by what you see. Fear impedes taking risks. We don’t have faith for fear of losing control and being disappointed by people. Life has taught us that things will let us down—people, jobs, spouse, children, and even pastors! We learn by a survival motif that we must defend ourselves and play it safe; but God is calling us to do the opposite—risk all and wager on Him!
In the 10th century Israel had their first king, King Saul, handpicked by God, but he disobeyed God and eventually God took him off the throne. God then looks for a new king and He sends the prophet Samuel to Jesse’s house to anoint David (the youngest of seven sons) as the next king of Israel.
At this time the nation of Israel is at war with Philistia and they enlist Goliath who is 9 feet 6 inches tall (in contrast, an average Middle Eastern male is 5 feet 5 inches tall). Israel is being accosted by Goliath everyday saying to Israel, “I defy your God,” that’s code for using profanity and all Israel was afraid of the giant.
I Samuel 17:34-37 KJV says, “But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’”
Sometimes you must do the ridiculous to see the miraculous! The Bible is full of ridiculous things, such as, “Step out of the boat and walk on water.” “You want to be healed of leprosy? Go dunk in the Jordan River seven times.” God is working feverishly to get you to the end of you so you can get to the beginning of Him! It will take risk.
I Samuel 17:25 NLT says, “Have you seen the giant?” What is the giant in your land that has frightened you? Is it the doctor’s report, your marriage that is not what you pictured when you made your vows, your job that is discouraging and you can’t imagine going to work Monday morning? Some of you are lonely because you wish you had someone in your world. There’s a giant in your land.
David had a righteous indignation because the giant was permitted by his brothers, the army, and the king to defy the Most Holy God. He asks, “What will a man get for killing this giant? Who is this pagan who is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” David had something in him that his brothers did not have. David’s questions were reported to the king and the king says in…
I Samuel 17:33 NLT says, “‘Don’t be ridiculous!’ Saul replied. ‘There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.’”
Sometimes you need to do the ridiculous to see the miraculous! In order for us to live a life of faith, we must understand some things. The following is a roadmap/guide to help you defeat the giants in your life. Are you ready to win?
Game Plan To Defeat The Giants In Your Land:
1. Demand Resolution. A resolve within my heart that it doesn’t matter what I must face, what I must go through, how uncomfortable I may feel, how out of character it may seem to me—it does not matter!
David resolved: Death with honor was worth more than life with shame. David resolved, “If the giant kills me then my last breath on earth is my first breath in heaven.” In life, even if you have Jesus, you will still have pressures. Hardship comes because we’re not in heaven yet. Life that ends in death with honor is better than life lived in bondage. Jesus wants you to be free and says in…
John 8:36 NIV, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Just before my 18th birthday, I gave my life to the Lord and my friends said, “If that’s the way you want to live, we won’t have anything to do with you,” and left within seven days. My dad and I were best friends, but when I told him that I gave my heart to Jesus he said, “If you want to follow this Jesus person, you’re not my son any more” and left. It was 22 years before our next conversation.
There will be opposition in your life. When I gave my life to Jesus and took on the giant, I knew that there would be opposition because of my resolution! I may have felt lonely but I was never alone because my Bible tells me in Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
May I tell you the truth? There will be oppositions—spiritual, relational, and financial battles. And you are fired. God is trying to get you to the end of you so that you have to depend on him ultimately—there will be oppositions!
3. Sense Of Isolation. God is always trying to get us into the wilderness. We have a God with a consistent narrative throughout the Bible of sending His people into the wilderness: When God wanted to talk to Moses, He took him into the wilderness. When Elijah defeated the 450 prophets of Baal, He sent him into the wilderness. When Jesus wanted to communicate with His Father and get in touch with Him, He went into the wilderness. After Paul had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus, God took him into the wilderness for years.
God wants to get us into the wilderness but we want to run from it! In the wilderness it’s just our Heavenly Father (Abba/daddy) and us. When we’re at the end of ourselves and we surrender, we become ready to do the miraculous for God. He wants us in the wilderness where there is no competition between His voice and your ears. Right now, there’s probably a lot of interference between the messenger and the message.
God’s not angry with you because you’re going through hardship; He is not judging you because things are difficult. He wants you in the wilderness so you get to the end of you so you can find the beginning of Him. May I encourage you with this powerful word in…
Isaiah 54:17 KJV: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
END RESULT: Goal realization. When God gets you to the end of you and you defeat your giant and take his head off, you will get your goal recognized. There will be fruitfulness for you—a proverbial light at the end of the rainbow. It will be The Light. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the light.” “I am the light of the world.” God wants to get you to the light so you can have authentic illumination and be free. God has victory for you. Are you ready for the victory?
David saw the giant with his head cut off before the fight began. Twenty years ago my wife and I moved to a little city called Puyallup, WA. We didn’t know anybody there and my family told us, “Don’t do it.”
We had a little house and had our church office in it. We put up a sandwich board sign that read, “Foursquare Church.” The very first Sunday, we heard a knock on the door and I was so excited. Two young gentlemen were at the door, smartly dressed in black trousers, white button up shirt, a skinny little tie and badges on their pockets. I invited them in and because my theology is sounder and I don’t take a breath when I talk, an hour and a half later, one of them gave his heart to Jesus! That was the beginning of a 31,000 people church. We took a risk to go, and Pastor Wayne took a risk on me. Now God is asking the same thing of you that he asked me those many years ago, “Are you ready to risk on God?” God is ready to reward!