Turn away from your problems to see the possibilities, said Phil Pringle to City Harvest Church in his recent message.
“City Harvest Church, you’re going to make it through!” said CHC’s advisory pastor Phil Pringle as he opened his sermon over the weekend of Mar 7 and 8, 2015. “You are not going under, you’re going over! You are the mighty church of God.”
Pringle is the founder and president of C3 Global Network of churches, a thriving movement of more than 200 churches worldwide and the senior pastor of C3 Church in Oxford Falls in Sydney, Australia.
Paul’s Prayer For The Church
Before he began his message, Pringle got the church to stand up and read from Ephesians 1:17-20. He explained that this was a prayer that Paul made: “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”
Paul was praying that the people of God would start to see the hope of His calling, the riches of the glory of His inheritance and the exceeding greatness of His power.
“If you don’t see it, you don’t get a thing. You really only get it when you see it,” Pringle explained. Paul was also praying that God would give the Ephesian church the spirit of wisdom and revelation—that meant they would not be just wise about one thing, but in all things in life and in the knowledge of Jesus.
“We can’t know Jesus by our natural mind; we know Him because the Father reveals Him to us and He reveals Him to people whose hearts are hungry for Him. When we are in trouble, we need to see what God was doing all around us.”
Reading from 2 Kings 6:15-17, Pringle said that people can wake up and feel that they are surrounded by problems; and these problems shut their eyes and cause them to be blinded to their future.
When Jesus died on the Cross, the disciples were lost and they could not see their future. When Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian maidservant who gave birth to Ishmael, was thrown out of Abraham’s household, she was lost and depressed. She thought she and her son would die in the wilderness until God opened her eyes and showed her a well of water.
“Fear and depression close our eyes to the possibilities that are all around us,” Pringle explained.
In 2 Kings, Elisha’s servant was troubled by the large numbers of enemy troops in front of him, but Elisha did not let fear blind him. He lifted up his eyes and prayed the same prayer that Paul did—that God would open the eyes of the servant, and showed him the army of angels ready to fight for them.
“Even though it is tempting to look at the problem, you can’t keep looking at it. As long as you are looking at the problem you can’t see what God is doing,” Pringle told the congregation. “You need to look to Jesus. It’s a spiritual discipline. Keep looking at Jesus and your eyes will be opened to the mighty power of the Holy Spirit.”
At the service on Sunday, Mar. 6, Pringle further enlightened the congregation by explaining the context of Ephesians 1:17-20. Paul prayed this prayer so that he could underscore the importance of these three things:
In Ephesians 1: 18, Paul said “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling.” Pringle explained that if one cannot see hope because of the pressure or the darkness in mind, desperation and despair follows hard on its heel.
“But there is always a way out!” proclaimed the preacher.
Pringle referred to Numbers 21:6, in which the children of Israel was bitten by snakes in the desert and were blinded by the situation, but when they started to turn away from their circumstances and look at God, they were miraculously healed.
Speaking into the hearts of the congregation, Pringle said, “God doesn’t give you a vision and let you run out of resources. You are going to make it and you are going to have the resources to make it happen. You are not going to run out of finances, you are going to have the resources to do what God wants you to do.”
Pringle highlighted the point with this: “Nothing can keep Jesus in the tomb! There is not one thing or one person that could do that because Jesus was resurrected!
The pastor closed his message inviting those who needed healing and other miracles in their lives up to the stage and he prayed for them.