Last weekend, guest preacher Pastor Phil Pringle of C3 Church in Oxford Falls, Sydney, encouraged the church to remember God in their difficult situations because He will bring them victory.
By Gracie Lepcha
The online weekend service of Aug 1 and 2 saw Phil Pringle, founder of C3 Church in Sydney and leader of C3 Global, also one of City Harvest Church’s oldest friends sharing a timely word. Titled “The God Factor”, the message inspired faith and brought hope to the congregation.
The pastor began his message by stating that “Faith needs reminding. Faith doesn’t need to know new things. It needs to be reminded of things that it already knows. And many times in the Scriptures, the Scripture is written simply to remind us and to revive us to faith by reminding us of the promises of God.”
Highlighting the major shifts in families, business, economy, and education brought on by the current pandemic, Pastor Phil took the church to Hebrews 13:5, declaring upon the church that God will never leave nor forsake His people.
Quoting Romans 16:20, Pastor Phil noted that “the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet”. God understood that peace is not achieved only through negotiation, but also by destroying the enemy. “God is not just the God of peace but also the God of war,” the pastor preached.
However, God is not the one who will crush the devil, He wants to do it through His people. “So make the decision, I’m going to crush the devil under my feet,” the pastor advised.
THE SECRET TO VICTORY
He taught that the secret to victory in warfare lies in James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
There are times when one finds submitting to God difficult; that could lead one to disobey God and resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit. “But when you say, ‘Okay, I’m going to die to myself and surrender’, power comes into your life and in that instant, you find yourself in victory, crushing all the torment under your feet.”
Pastor Phil implored the church to not forget the God factor in their lives. 1 John 4:4 reads, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”. When problems arise and Christians find themselves swimming upstream, “don’t look horizontally to man; look first to God and you will find ways through every challenge that comes your way,” reminded the pastor.
In this time of pandemic, when everyone is looking to scientists to find a vaccine for the virus, Pastor Phil stated that “the church’s responsibility to rise up and invoke the spiritual supernatural power of God.” While the situation is beyond what Christians can comprehend, they can still look to God to help them to face any situation they are in and have victory.
The pastor encouraged the church not to wait for perfect conditions before they take action but to take the step of faith, just like Peter did, stepping out of the boat when there was a storm on the lake. “If we are just waiting for the perfect circumstances, we will lose traction and momentum. That is a very frustrating place to be,” he explained.
Pastor Phil brought the church to Nehemiah 4:14. The prophet was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and God told him not to be afraid of the enemy, failures, or what others think. He reminded the church that God is great and glorious, and encouraged them to fight for their families, friends, and the people they love. Even when they fail, they need to see failure as a journey to develop determination and resilience of character—what the Bible calls perseverance. “That is how we possess our promises,” he said.
Ezra 5:4-5 talks about the “But God factor”—God intervened when the Persian officials were going to stop the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem. Reading Mark 11:22, Pastor Phil preached that when times are hard, believers need to bring God back to mind and start rejoicing about what they see in the future, because God always provides a way through for those who believe in Him.
Quoting Psalms 92:4 and Ephesians 6:30, the pastor reminded the church, “All you’ve got to do is hold your ground, and you’ll find the time will pass, God will come, and the problem will evaporate.”
Even if the issue is unresolved, God would help the believer find a way to live above it. “That’s one of the greatest things that faith can bring into our lives,” said Pastor Phil. “The capacity to live with an unresolved problem, and yet live in victory to live above it. “
Colossians 1:27 reads, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. Pastor Phil extrapolated, “If Jesus is in you, that is the best predictor of a resurrection.”
He encouraged the church with Isaiah 41:10, which reads, “Fear not, for I am with you…”
“There are 365 ‘fear-nots’ in the Bible,” he stated. “Why? Because every day there is something that we will be afraid of. And we need to remind ourselves, ‘God is with me’.”
He went on to speak of three situations that need the God Factor. The first is when one is fearful. In 2 Corinthians 7:5-6, Paul experienced conflict from every direction and he was fearful. But God encouraged him with the arrival of Titus, who was a great encourager.
Pastor Phil noted that very often in life, God uses people to “bring his spirit, his life his word into each other’s heart”. He exhorted the church to build each other up and to put faith into others, even as the rest of the world brings bad news.
Secondly, one needs the God Factor when he gets himself into a mess. When a person makes a mistake, he thinks he deserves to be in the mess. But Psalms 130:3-4 records that God forgives—and that is what salvation is about.
Pastor Phil said that most people mess up regularly but that is no reason to stay guilty and keep condemning oneself. Jonah messed up and ended up in the belly of a fish for three days and three nights. But the moment he cried out, God delivered him.
Thirdly, believers need the God Factor when they are under pressure. In Daniel 3:23, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were under pressure to bow to the statue erected by the king of Babylon. When they refused, they were thrown into the furnace. But God entered the fire with them and the three Hebrew boys were delivered from the flames, unharmed.
“When you are in the fire, don’t forget the ‘But God’ factor,” the pastor said. “You might be in the fire of unemployment, a collapsed business, losing finances in the recent pandemic; of being in the lockdown in a house with unhealthy relationships, but God is in there with you. Reach out to Him, switch on your faith, and wait for God. You’ll find that He will come through for you.”