PASTOR WIL: Number two, Hallelujah, I told you, “Don’t live a lie, produce the truth.” This one here is the sabotage, everybody say, “Sabotage.”

The first one was to impugn your witness with a lie. Let’s talk about sabotaging your witness.

The Bible, again, says “and which accuses them before God day and night.” This here deals with — whereas the first point dealt with lie versus truth — this here deals with immorality versus character.

To sabotage is to deliberately obstruct, damage, or destroy. If our witness is impugned by what others do — that is, lie on them — our witness is sabotaged by what we do. Okay, y’all didn’t know I was gonna make that turn, did you? “Pastor, I thought you was gonna talk about him,” no, I’m gonna talk about us.

See, people can lie on you, but only you can sabotage. If our witness — oh, oh, somebody say, “Hallelujah” — is, is, is, is impugned by others, it is sabotaged by ourselves.

The accuser doesn’t just tell lies on us. Sometimes what he’s tellin’ is actually the truth; we actually did do that. Look at your neighbor and say, “Yeah, they got me, doc, they, you got me on that one.” (Laughter.) “Yeah, I, I really did lose it that day, mm-hm.”

I know I’m saved, but, but I remember, I saw my son in here earlier, I remember there was somethin’ that he did that really frustrated me.

Now, I’ve been teachin’ this class, “Don’t Argue, Criticize, Condemn, or Complain,” I, and I’ve been teachin’ to the couples. I say, “You got to stay in control. Don’t try to handle somethin’ with anger.” But this day, it just didn’t go good. It just didn’t go good, and I went off. Y’all ain’t workin’ with me. I went off.

Now, when you go off, it does feel good, temporarily. Y’all, y’all ain’t workin’ with me, y’all ain’t work— I, I know y’all saved, but when you let ‘em have a piece of your mind, you be like, “Well, that felt good right there.” And I felt good for a second. But then I realized I had just sabotaged what I had been tryin’ to teach.

Y’all still ain’t catchin’ this. You still ain’t catchin’ this.

See, see, sometimes you lose it, but every time you lose it, please understand that you are sabotaging the very thing that you’re trying to teach, that you believe in. You’re sabotaging your own witness.

See, sometimes, Hallelujah, we get in our own way, because we don’t stand for what we believe in. Can I preach in this place? Hallelujah. See, your enemy already wants to shoot you. Just don’t give him the bullets. “Now, look, doc, if you’re gonna shoot me, you gotta get your own bullets.”

Oh, oh, y’all ain’t workin’ with me in here. Can I preach right now?

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See, when you know somebody’s out to get you, don’t give them a reason to get you. When you know they’re tryin’ to get you fired, don’t show up late for work. Can I preach in this place? If you’re gonna fire me, fire me without a cause, but I ain’t gonna give you a cause. “Well, Pastor, you just don’t know what they been doin’ to me.” Yeah, it don’t matter! Don’t sabotage your own destiny! Look at your neighbor and say, “Don’t sabotage yourself.”

See, I, I, I figured out — and what this deals with, see we all struggle with immorality, we all struggle with sin, we all struggle with issues, and one of the reasons why God says don’t let your ministers or your elders or your deacons be novice is that we need you to get some of that stuff out of your spirit before you begin to leave God’s people, because we don’t want you up here (gestures) still dealin’ with immorality down there (gestures). I’m gonna preach right here. Because, see, now, you’ve decided to take on an assignment that represents Christ, and you’re tryin’ to tell people that God is a keeper, and I’m lookin’ at you like, “He ain’t even keepin’ you.” (Laughter.) Oh, no, no, no, no, you tellin’ me to come to church on Sunday morning, and then you tryin’ to fornicate with me Sunday night, I’m, I’m, I’m preachin’ right here, I’m preachin’ right here, y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother. You tryin to tell me that God is love and you’ve been throwing shade at me all week long, you’ve been givin’ me that, that nice ugly, y’all, y’all know how y’all do, you smile but there’s ugly intent behind it, oh, oh, oh, oh, yeah, oh, yeah, oh, yeah, oh, yeah. You in church dancin’ and shoutin’, I see you praisin’ God, and half the people lookin’ at you like “What she got to praise God for after what she’s been doin’ to me?” Why? You are sabotaging your own purpose!

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, they gonna shoot you, stop giving them the bullets.” They gonna do what they gonna do. Oh, look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, do what you gotta do, but I ain’t gonna help you do it.” If you gonna leave me, you gotta leave me all by yourself; I ain’t gonna help you leave me. If you wanna leave, you gotta pack your own bags. I’m preachin’ by myself. If you’re gonna fire me, you’re gonna have to fire me without a cause, so that, ‘cause I might just decide to go somewhere and sue, but oh, y’all ain’t helpin’ me in this place, you ain’t gonna fire me for cussin’ you out, even though you may have deserved it. Preach right there, preach, preach, preach right there, Pastor Wil.

The point that saints gotta get is we can sabotage, sabotage. See, the Bible says, Hallelujah, “Know that in the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, and covetous, and boasters, and proud, and blasphemers, and disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce,” somebody say, “Hallelujah,” Hallelujah, “despisers of that which is good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” And then God said, “You know who I was talkin’ about? I wasn’t talkin’ about the world, I was talkin’ about y’all.” How do I know? ‘Cause He said, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power” — the power — “thereof.”

These are church folk that are acting like this. These are people. And so, what’s happened is — and, and, and I figured out something, mm — preach right here — see, when, the reason why I talk about character — everybody say, “Character” — and this is why it bothers me so much. To me, character matters, because I believe it mattered with Christ. ‘Cause he didn’t say you would know his disciples by how talented they was. He didn’t say you would know his disciples by how rich they were. He didn’t say you would know his disciples by how, how, how, how high they were. He said you would know them by their fruit, by their love — by their character.

And so, I found out that all that other stuff that y’all so coveted — “I gotta get rich, I gotta get this, I gotta get a promotion, I gotta get that” — that stuff, Hallelujah, does not shape character, it reveals character. Mm-hm. Preach, preach.

Because the, the, the, the more richer you get, the more powerful you get, the more of your real character comes out. Oh, I’m preachin’ right here. Some people, the only reason why we don’t know about their dirt is because they don’t got many options for their dirt. Oh, oh, I’m gonna preach right here. I’m gonna preach, I’m gonna preach. See, when you broke, you ain’t got a whole lot of options, but when you rich, everybody comes home talkin’ to you. Well, oh, y’all still ain’t likin’ a brother in here. There’s a lot of rich brothers gettin’ played that wouldn’t get played if they was broke. Y’all ain’t working with me. “Girl, you see that car?” What’s the car got to do with it? “He got a good job.” What the job got to do with it?

See — oh, preach right there — your character is what’s on the inside of you; and every time this stuff keeps coming out, it tells me that this is about what’s on the inside of you. Look at your neighbor and say, “Character.” Say it again, say, “Character.”

Oh, my God, and, and, and so, I wanna preach to some folk, because we’ve got too many people who have allowed their gifts and talents to take them to places where their character couldn’t keep them. Mm, I don’t know about you, but when I get there, I wanna have the character to stay there. When I get the promotion, I wanna have the character to hold on to it. Have you noticed that a lot of these rich and famous people are very arrogant, very stuck-up? Well, the truth of the matter is, they always was like that, they just didn’t have nobody to be like that with.

Oh, preach right here. But look at your neighbor and say, “Don’t live a lie, produce the truth.” Oh, let me preach in here.

The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory”: we all have character flaws, we all have issues on the inside of us. But my question to you, because you have been called to be a witness, your job is, before you ever get there (gesturing), walk on this right here. Too many people are waitin’ to get rich, waitin’ to get married, waitin’ to get this, waitin’ to get that. Work on you right now, so when you get that, you have the character to sustain it.

A lot of people wanna be married, you ain’t got no character to be married! You wanna get married, and you’re still creepin’ with two or three girlfriends! You’ve gotta get character! Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother right here. You, you, you, you, you wanna be rich, you ain’t even faithful with the little 10 dollars you got, you can’t even give God, God a one-dollar tithe, why would He ever make you a millionaire? I’m gonna preach, I’m gonna preach, I’m gonna preach, I’m gonna preach, I’m gonna preach. And so, look at your neighbor and say, “Stop living a lie, produce the truth.”

Oh, can I preach in this place?

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The Bible says, “For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” What is He trying to say? He’s saying, now that you have the Holy Ghost, before you get any place, let’s build some character. Let’s build some real love. Let’s build some joy, because the place that I’m taking you is gonna depress you, and you better have some joy on the inside of you, to keep you. The place that I want to take you in your destiny is gonna have some haters. Preach right here, Pastor Wil. And you better have some love that conquers a multitude of evil. The places that I take you is gonna try your very soul, and you better have character to stand on that stand and say, “For God I’ll live.”

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, don’t live a lie. Produce the truth. Produce love. Produce joy. Produce long-suffering.” Looks like I’m borin’ some of y’all. Look at your neighbor and say, “Stop living a lie, and start producing the truth.”

Oh, I know we all have sinned; but God is a keeper. I know we fall down, but we get up. But there’s a time in your life that you can produce enough fruit that you don’t keep fallin’ down. After you’ve done all that you can do, just stand. Just stand.

Somebody was telling me, “Pastor, I struggle with this sin, and I struggle with that sin, and I struggle with this sin, and I don’t know what to do.” God says, tell them this. Oh, my God. Hallelujah. I, I, I read this and I thought it was awesome. This man, oh, Hallelujah, he said to Socrates, he said, “Socrates, I want the wisdom that you’ve got.” Socrates took him to a river, and he took him by the head, and he pushed his head underwater. Y’all ain’t gonna work with me. And then, when he brought his head up, then Socrates said, “What do you want?” He said, “I want wisdom.” So he pushed his head back underwater, and held it under a little bit longer, and then he pulled it back up, and he said, “What do you want?” He said, “I want wisdom,” so he pushed his head underwater, and this time he held it for a long time, and then he brought the man back up, and he said, “What do you want?” He said, “I want to breathe.” (Laughter.)

Socrates said, “When you want wisdom as bad as you want to breathe…” Y’all still didn’t catch that, see, ya’ll didn’t catch that. See, y’all want stuff — but when you want God as bad as you want the stuff, you will get rid of that mess, ‘cause you know that God don’t like ugly. God don’t like fornication; and when you want God more than you want your fornication — when you want God more than you want your lies — when you want God more than you want homosexuality — when you want God more than life itself — you will get what God has for you, ‘cause you will have developed the character of love. See, I know we got haters, but when you want love bad enough, you will get love to overcome your haters.

Y’all ain’t workin’ with me. I know you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. But when you want joy bad enough, you’ll have joy that’ll get you through. (Singing.) Those depressing times — when you want long-suffering and gentleness bad enough, you will get everything that God has for you. (Speaking.) Somebody say, “Hallelujah.” Say it again, “Hallelujah.” Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, stop living a lie and produce the truth.” Are y’all getting this message? Well, somebody give God a praise. Say, “Bless the Lord.” (Singing.) Oh, Lord. (Speaking.) So let me finish this…

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PASTOR WIL: 1 Peter 1:7 talks about the trial, the trial of your faith.  Later on, in the fourth chapter, he says, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trials which come to try you, as though there were something strange about this.”  Life is about a series of trials and examinations. 

Everybody listen to this: they are designed to determine whether or not you are guilty or innocent.  And the way that is determined is through evidence.   

Everybody push your neighbor and say, “Evidence.”  Look at your neighbor and say, “What is your evidence?”   

Now, now, check this out.  The only way evidence can be introduced in a trial is, there must be a witness.  Okay, y’all ain’t workin’ with me.  The only way evidence — I mean, it don’t matter, it, it, but — any of it, even blood evidence, the scientists got to come and be the witness and say, “This is the blood.”  The eye-witness got to come and say, “Yeah, that’s the one.  I know they’re sayin’ ‘it wasn’t me,’ no, it was them.”  Oh, y’all ain’t workin’ with me.   

Evidence can only be introduced by a witness.  “Well, that’s what they told me you did.”  Somebody say, “Witness.”   

Now — preach this, preach, Pastor Wil — now, when the accuser cannot discredit the evidence, he will discredit the witness.   

Y’all remember O.J., don’t you?  “Oh, no, O.J., this blood right here say you 99.999999, one out of five billion, that’s you.”  They couldn’t argue the evidence, so what did they do?  They attacked the witness, Mark Fuhrman, as a racist.  “Y’all just tryin’ to get a black man.”  They couldn’t fight the evidence, so they had to discredit the witness.   

God told me to tell y’all, your evidence is solid.  “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.”  Your evidence is solid!  And so, what the enemy wants to do is discredit your witness.  Can I preach in this place?  He says, “For the accuser of the brethren is cast down, which accuses them before our God day and night.”  The evidence cannot be disputed!  Jesus was perfect.  He did die, he did shed his blood.  And since he can’t discredit Christ, the testimony, the blood, he discredits those who are on trial giving the testimony. Mm. 

This is what’s going on in Christendom today.  It’s not that Jesus ain’t real.  Those that are on trial for the church…  We are the ones that are being discredited.  They lookin’ at church folk and sayin’, “Your life is raggedy.  You talkin’ about Jesus, and look at you.”   

Oh, can I preach in this place?   

And, and, and, and so, he can’t touch the evidence, so he messes with the witness.  The witness, the witness.  His strategy is to thwart God’s purpose by discrediting our witness.  His strategy is threefold: first, he impugns the witness; secondly, he sabotages the witness; thirdly, he destroys the witness.   

Can I preach in here?   

But when we recognize the power that has been given to us through the trials of life that we’ve already been through — I’m gonna preach right here — the Bible says we have the power to overcome him.  Oh, y’all ain’t workin’ with me.  “By the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.”  

Our message title today is “The Power of Your Witness,” subtopic — look at your neighbor and say, “Don’t Let Them Take Your Testimony.”  Uh-huh.  Don’t let ‘em take your testimony.  Let me say that one more time: don’t let them take your testimony.  ‘Cause they workin’ you.  They workin’ you.   

Let’s, let’s, let’s break this down.  Let’s break this down.  Say this with me; say, “Fight a lie” — come on, say it with me, saints — “Fight a lie, or stand on the truth.”  Say, “Live a lie, or produce the truth.”  And finally, say, “Become a lie, or tell the truth.”   

Alright, let’s talk, let’s talk, let’s talk.  

The “fight a lie, or stand on the truth” is about impugning your witness.  Everybody say, “Impugn.”  Impugn means to dispute the truth, the validity, the honesty of a thing.  It is to question, dispute, or charge, or accuse.  When a person’s witness is impugned, the evidence that they introduce becomes discredited, not because something’s wrong with the evidence; something’s wrong with the witness. 

Our witness can be impugned by a lie.  Can I preach in here?   

David said that, “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs on my head: they would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully.”  Now, “being my enemies wrongfully” means that they’re doing it through a lie.  Everybody say, “Lie.”  Come on, say it again: “A lie.”  A lie, a lie.  “Many times,” the New Living translation says, “they try to destroy me with lies,” “destroy me with lies.”  Satan’s strategy today to thwart God’s — that is, to impede, obstruct, or ruin, or stop — Christ’s purpose is through a lie.   

See, I need y’all to understand something: the Bible says, “And we know that all things work together for the good of them who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”  Push your neighbor and say, “Purpose.”  Say it again, “Purpose.” 

See, many of us have allowed lies to destroy our purpose.  We’ve allowed lies to destroy our purpose.  You had a purpose for being here, but you allowed a lie to make you quit or give up.  You had a purpose for your calling, but you allowed a lie to make you stop.  You had a purpose for being in that relationship, being in that marriage, but you allowed a lie to make you quit and give up.   

This is how the enemy impugns our witness.  He discredits, it’s not the truth.  He’s disputing the truth.  But look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, don’t fight a lie, stand on the truth.”   

See, let me be real clear.  I figured out somethin’.  When somebody’s lyin’ on you, the last thing you need to be doin’ is goin’ out there tryin’ to get it straight, ‘cause you’re fighting a lie, and you’re fighting a liar.  You can’t fight a lie.  You can’t fight a liar.  Oh, y’all still ain’t catchin’ this.  ‘Cause I think I’m walkin’ in some of y’all Kool-Aid right now, walkin’ in some of y’all kitchens right now, because you get livid when somebody lies on you, and you gonna try to go get it straight.  You don’t fight a lie.  Oh, y’all ain’t workin’ with me.  Somebody say, “Why?”   

Because a liar has no foundation.  If you confront a liar about a lie, what will the liar do?  Tell another lie!  Y’all still ain’t catchin’ this!  If you catch a liar in a lie, he will just shift his foundation into another lie.  It does you no good.  That’s why you can’t fight and argue a liar.  The Bible says, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a liar from the beginning, and so are you.”  So when you try to fight a lie, you just dig yourself in deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper.   

And so I figured out something: when somebody lies on me, my strategy should not be to try to fight the lie; my strategy should be to stand — I’m preachin’ all by myself — on the word of truth.   

See, a liar has no foundation, no moral fiber, no truth.  You can’t tell me a liar is telling the truth.  You can’t act like, if a liar tell you, “Okay, this, I’m tellin’ the truth now,” he’s lyin’ right there.  Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother right there.  You can’t believe them.  When they tell you they tellin’ the truth, they lyin’.  Hallelujah.  They have no truth, so when you confront them with their lie, they just go to another one.   

And so God says, “Let God be true, and let every man a liar.”  So your answer is, when the enemy tries to impugn you with a lie, is to just stand on the truth of God.  “Why would I ignore that lie, Pastor, and just stand on the truth?”   

Y’all ain’t workin’ with me.   

I’m gonna tell you why: because a lie has no foundation.  A lie has no foundation, and when something has no foundation, guess what?  As soon as the stress and the pressure and the storms hit a building with no foundation, the building is going to fall.  Y’all ain’t workin’ with me.  The Bible says he built a great house, but he built it on sand.  When the storms came, the, the, the house failed and great was the fall of it.  Some of y’all, if you just hold your peace… a storm is gonna blow that lie over.  Hallelujah!  But He said, “But if you build your house on a rock, what is the rock of the saints?  It is the word of God.”   

See, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know you wanna fight that lie.  But God told me to tell y’all, just give it some time, because everything that is not on the foundation passes away.  Even Heaven — I’m gonna preach right here — and Earth shall pass away, but my word shall stand; and as long as you are livin’ on God’s word, as long as you are standing on truth, I don’t know when, I don’t know where, I just know God’s word is gonna stand!  God’s word will be true!  ‘Cause even God said — oh, my God, preach right here, Pastor Wil — when God could not find anything else to swear by, he swore on Himself.  Why?  ‘Cause God is the word, and the word is gonna stand.   

And I am a firm believer — if I know I’m in the right, I ain’t gotta argue with you.  If I know I’m standing on truth, I’m not gonna argue with you.  I’m just gonna stand on God’s word.   

Push your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, don’t fight a lie.  Stand on the truth.”  If you got that, give God a praise.  

(Applause.)  

We’re killin’ each other tryin’ to fight this stuff.  Just stand on the truth.  Just stand on what you know, that you know, that you know. 

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PASTOR WIL: Revelations 12:10, it says, “And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation, and the strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of the brethren is cast down, which accuses them before God” — how long? — “day and night.”  

But look at this.  “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to death.”  

Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you” — and He tells us why — “and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  

Today, in this sixth sermon in this series called “The Power Of…” it really talks about the power of the Holy Ghost.  One of the challenges for Christians is, we accept Christ, God endows us with the Spirit — but most Christians never activate the power.  So it’s like having a Maserati, but you never turn it on, you never crank it up.  You just leave it in the garage.  You have all that power, all that energy, but you never use it.  And the challenge that most people don’t understand is, you can’t do your assignment without God’s power. 

Marriage…  We just talked about the couple who just got married.  Let me be real clear — I know you can love each other, but let me tell you somethin’: you need the Holy Ghost just to keep lovin’ some of these folks.  (Laughter.)  Okay, y’all ain’t workin’ with me.  I know you like that job, but these people right here…  Look at your neighbor, say, “You’re gonna need the Holy Ghost to do this right here.”  You need the power of the Holy Ghost.  Me and my wife, there’s a reason why…  We ain’t lucky.  We had the Holy Ghost, to stay married for 30 years, to pastor for 18 years, to get through the challenges and struggles.  You need the power of the Holy Ghost.   

And so, I’ve told you about, how do you get this power?  Number one, you got to have the power of fasting, which defeats lust; the power of prayer, which defeats trouble; the power of faith, which increases your measure, your hope, your word, your work; the power of praise, parts one and two, which shifts your atmosphere and shifts your soul.   

Today, I want to talk about the power of your witness.  The power of your testimony. 

Life — everybody catch this — life is about a series of trials that you go through.  A trial is an examination of evidence that decides your guilt or innocence.  Everybody, check this out.  We are constantly in trials, being examined — by ourselves, by others.  We examine other people; they examine us.  We try them.  We examine, we put them on trial.  We examine to see their love.  We examine their faithfulness, their own trial to see how committed they are.  We examine people for their character.  That was one of the challenges I had with this election, because when I took some of, one, one of these people through — okay, y’all ain’t workin’ with me — through the examination, I’m like, “Dude…  You guilty.”  Okay, y’all ain’t workin’ with me.   

We, we, we, we examine friendships, love…   

Sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose.  But just as there are natural trials of life, there are also sometimes spiritual ones going on as well. 

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I don’t know about you, but I like my life living with my wife.  I don’t gotta hide anybody I’m tryin’ to talk to on the side, ‘cause I ran away from that.  Me and my wife got a access code on our phones, so people can’t get into our phones.  But guess what?  She’s got my code, and I’ve got her code!  ‘Cause I don’t have to hide, ‘cause I done already fled that mess, I fled tryin’ to creep in the middle of the night, and I walk with my head up high because I walk towards God.  I walk in love.  I don’t care who hates me – I got so much love that it overcomes a multitude of evil.   

You can talk about me as much as you please, but rumble, baby, rumble – I got another talk, and I’m bringin’ my talk!   

Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!  You thought you kept me, but baby, I’m about to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.  You gonna be bleedin’ and don’t even know it, ‘cause I got the sword of the spirit!  It’s a two-edged sword, cutting to the white meat, cutting to the joints, the marrow.  

Somebody scream, “I gotta run, I gotta run!”   

(Applause.) 

Woo!  

Stand to your feet.  Stand up, stand up, stand up.   

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I’m in for a fight.  But I’m gettin’ ready for it.  See, last year, I wasn’t ready for it.  But this ain’t gonna happen no more.  Oh, no, no; I’m gonna be ready this time.  I’m gonna work out, I’m going to the gym, I’m getting in my scriptures, I’m gettin’ on my knees, fasting and praying, I’m seeking the word of God, and allowing the love of God to come up on me.”   

Push your neighbor and say, “I’m gonna be ready the next time.” 

Lift those hands up high.  Get ready to talk a good fight.  Get ready to walk a good fight.  That’s how you live. 

Let me tell you somethin’ with those hands raised: don’t you ever let the devil tell you that walking holy is a burden.  It’s a joy.   

Oh, yeah.  I love not having to look over my shoulder ‘cause of some mess I done got myself in.  The devil is a liar.  I don’t have to hide anything.  I love walking righteous, and walking holy.  If somethin’ comes up, I know it ain’t because I did something crazy or something crooked.  I can walk in joy and walk in freedom and walk in liberty.   

You know why I go to sleep?  ‘Cause I substituted my depression for peace.  (Applause.)  The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep my heart and my mind.  I substituted that anger for love.  Baby, I ain’t got nothin’ but love for you.  I’m gonna pop you upside your head, but I still got love for you. ‘Cause I told you – I’m gonna sting like a bee, I’m gonna hit you with that word, now – but I ain’t got nothin’ but love for you.  

Somebody say, “Love, love, love, love, love.  Love, love, love.” 

Give Praise to God with Pastor Wil Nichols in Durham, NC

Founded by Pastor Wil Nichols and his wife Dr. Grace Nichols, Victorious Praise is a vibrant Christian church in Durham, NC devoted to exalting our Lord through music, the arts, and exuberant praise.  We welcome worshippers young and old into our loving, dynamic community of men, women, and children who want to grow closer with Christ and discover their divine purpose in this life.  To learn more about our holy mission, contact Victorious Praise at (919) 957-7500.

PASTOR WIL: Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, get ready to walk a good fight.” 

In this first letter, Paul says to Timothy, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.”   

If you gonna talk that talk, you better be ready to walk the walk.  You got to back up what you’re sayin’.  You can’t tell people how bad God is and you wimp out after 42 seconds.   

I’m gonna preach all my by myself.  Let me go over here. 

You can’t tell people how bad God is and you quit, and you givin’ up, you tell, “I can’t take it no more, I quit, I’m out of this marriage.”  Hallelujah.   

Dr. Wil and Dr. Grace can’t get no divorce!  We’ve been talkin’ that talk too long.  Y’all ain’t hearin’ me.  We’ve been writin’ books and talkin’ that talk, tellin’ everybody this thing can work.  You don’t have to endure marriage; you can enjoy it.  Now, I can’t show up next Tuesday and say, “I’m through.  I’m out.  Deuces.”   

(Laughter.)   

I can’t do that!  

Look at your neighbor and say, “Walk that walk.” 

Oh, yeah – you gotta walk that walk.  If you gonna talk it, you better walk it.  Hallelujah.  Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  You’ve got to talk that talk.  Don’t let your mouth write a check your behind can’t cash.   

(Laughter.)   

Oh, y’all…  I’m preachin’ right now.  Hallelujah.   

I know, I know, I know First Lady been goin’ through and dealin’ with Pastor Wil from time to time.  Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  I know y’all think I’m nice and sweet and sugar and spice, but First Lady be goin’ through it with me sometimes.  But she’s gotta walk that walk.  Y’all ain’t helpin’ a brother in this place.  And I know her name is Grace, and she epitomizes it – the epitome of Grace.  But Dr. Grace’ll let you know a few things, if you get her on the wrong day, the wrong side.  (Laughter.)  And I gotta walk that walk.   

I’m gonna preach in this place.  Look at your neighbor and say, “Walk that walk.”  You gotta walk and get ready to walk that walk.  

Too many Christian folk have been labeled hypocrites because they don’t live out what they’ve been talkin’ about.  Preach!  They don’t live what they say.  And so the world thinks we are a bunch of hypocrites because we talk about God’s love, but then we show anything but love.  We talk about the love of God, and we don’t even like each other in our own church.  God said, “By love shall you know my disciples.”  These people don’t know us, because we don’t look like God, we don’t walk like God.  We don’t talk like God.   

Push your neighbor and say, “Walk that walk.”  Come on, push ‘em again and say, “Walk that walk.”  You gotta walk it, baby, you gotta walk it.  Hallelujah.   

Jesus went to – oh, preach God – he went to a fig tree, because from a distance, it was talkin’ that talk.  That fig tree said, “Come to me, ‘cause I got what you need.”  Jesus was hungry, and he went to the fig tree.  But when he got there…  

The leaves said he had somethin’.  The leaves represent your testimony – that’s why God says your leaves shall not wither when you stay in the word.  They represent what you have, who you are.   

…And when he went there, he found no fruit on the tree.  Preach right here. 

God was so frustrated that he cursed the tree, and that tree died.  You know why?  ‘Cause He said, “I ain’t gonna let you tell anybody else this testimony, and have them walk out of their way to show up in your life, only for you to cuss ‘em out.”  

I’m gonna preach all by myself.  I’m not gonna let any—   

And he cursed that tree!  You don’t want God to have you being a hypocritical Christian who talk a talk but won’t walk the walk. 

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, get ready to walk the good fight by living the word.” 

He said, “Flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”  That’s how you walk that walk.  You gotta flee, and you gotta follow.   

Everybody say, “Flee.  Follow.”  

First, you gotta flee that which hinders your walk.  When that boxer takes on a fight, he has to give up some stuff.  He has to flee all the fatty foods.  He has to flee sleepin’ in ‘til 12:00 in the middle of the day.  He’s got to flee anything that hinders him for the fight that’s coming.  He’s gotta wake up early, he’s gotta go for a run, he’s gotta eat the right diet.   

And so God told Timothy, He said, “Flee these things.”  What things?  He said, “For the love of money is the roof of all evil.”  He wasn’t telling him to flee money – He was telling him to flee the thing that produces the root of all evil, and that is the love of money. 

The Bible says in Galatians 5:19 – are y’all getting anything out of this? – “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these.”  This is what He wants us to flee: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness” – unbridled, uncontrolled sexuality – “Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, and I’ve also told you again in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  You cannot advance the kingdom of Heaven if you won’t run from this mess that’s hindering you.  Hallelujah.  You got to tell some of that mess, “I left you in 2016, and you ain’t coming with me, ‘cause I gotta fight to fight, I’ve got to flee, Hallelujah, generational curses; I’ve got to flee adultery and fornication.”   

Y’all shutting down on a brother.  Y’all ain’t ready to work.  You gonna have to get up at 5:50 in the morning to go to prayer, preach right there.  You gonna have to tell that devil, “Deuces you are out.”   

Oh, y’all ain’t working with a brother.  Oh, somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  Look at your neighbor and say, “You gotta flee, and then you gotta follow.”  

Oh, he says, “Follow after righteousness, after godliness, after faith and love and patience and meekness.”  And so, when I begin to look at what God was saying, He was telling us what to follow.  He was telling us that I don’t want you to have a tree without fruit on it.  And so, He said, “I want you to flee the works of the flesh; but I need you to run after the works of the spirit.”  And they are the fruit of the spirit, which is love and joy and peace, longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness.  Faith, meekness, and temperance.  Against such there is no law.” 

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I gotta learn and produce fruit.”   

See, I figured out something.  It isn’t that you gotta stop eating; you just gotta start eating the right things.  And then, Grace went to the gym, and we said what our goals were.  I’m thinkin’, “I’ve gotta diet and stop eating.”  But they said, “No, you don’t.  You just gotta flee the wrong things.”  But when you flee the wrong food, make sure you run after the right food.  So I want you to get some spinach in your diet.  I want you to get some Greek yogurt.  I’m preachin’ all by myself.  I want you to get some chicken – not the fried kind.  Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother.  I want you to get something that’s gonna be healthy, and I want you – and I – this one blew me away – he said, “I want you to eat three full meals a day.”  I’m thinkin’, “You gettin’ ready to cut out a meal.”  He said, “No, I’m just gettin’ ready to change your meal.”  

God don’t want y’all to kill yourself!  He just wants you to get the right thing.   

Oh, preach right there.   

See, a lot of people think church is about not having fun, about giving up this, and giving up that.  “Oh, I gotta go do this, and I gotta, I gotta stop doing that.”  But God says for everything you give up, I’m gonna give you something to replace it.  When you give up the works of the flesh, I’m gonna give you the works of the spirit.  When you give up hate, I’m gonna give you love.  When you give up anger, I’m gonna give you joy.  I’m gonna give you joy!  When you give up depression, I’m gonna give you peace.   

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I gotta flee; but then, I gotta follow.  Follow after righteousness.  Follow after goodness.”  Look and say, “It ain’t about what you can’t do, but it’s about what you’re gonna do; and I see Christ workin’ it out for me.” 

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Victorious Praise is a Christian church located in Durham, NC.  With over 1,500 members in a congregation that is growing all the time, our mission is to help families, couples, and individuals know the redemptive power of Christ through exuberant, joyful praise.  If you’re looking for a friendly, exciting, community-oriented Christian church to join in the Durham area, we invite you to worship with Victorious Praise.  To learn more about our schedule, our mission, our beliefs, or any other aspect of our church, please contact us at (919) 957-7500.

PASTOR WIL: Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, get ready to talk a good fight.”   

Somebody say, “Talk a good fight.”  

One thing I learned about boxing and MMA and these things is, what happens before the fight ever starts.   

Paul said to Timothy, “Preach the word; be instant in season and out.”  Some people lose the fight before they ever get into the fight, because they got out-talked.  

Muhammad Ali won many of his fights before he ever got into the ring.  Muhammad Ali won many of his fights before he ever got into the ring.  Somebody say, “Why?”  Because he talked that talk.  Oh, y’all ain’t working with me.  He told his enemies, “I’m gonna float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.  His hands can’t hit me because he can’t see me.  Now you see me, now you don’t.  He thinks he will, but he won’t.”  Muhammad Ali said things like, “I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m pretty, I’m fast, and you can’t get me.”  He said, “I can’t be beat, I can’t possibly be beat.  If my mind can conceive it, my heart will believe it, and I can achieve it.”  He said, “If you dream about beating me, wake up and apologize to yourself.”  (Laughter.)  Don’t even dream about it.  He had them guys so psyched out, by the time they got into the ring, they was already done, already defeated.  

And the Bible says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  You must understand the power that you have in your lips, in your tongue, in your mouth.  We hear – and see, here’s the problem:  when you let somebody talk to you, but they talkin’ that wrong talk.   

Death and life.  It’s not just life that’s in your tongue; it’s death also.   

When the children of Israel were to take, Hallelujah, the walls of Jericho, God said, “Don’t say a word, because I don’t want no doubters tellin’ us what we can’t do.  I know these walls are almost 20 feet tall.”  I’m gonna preach all by myself!  I know that people can live on the other side of that wall for years and years and years, because they got streams and crops and things, but God said, “Don’t you say a word, ‘cause I don’t want nobody talkin’ that bad talk, talkin’ that talk of death, talkin’ of that talk about what you can’t do.”   

Hallelujah.   

We got people around us that talk that wrong talk: “You will never be anything.  You will never amount to anything.  You’ll never accomplish anything.”  We have the world talkin’ that wrong talk.  Hallelujah.  “You were born on the wrong side of the tracks.  You have the wrong culture, the wrong race; the wrong place, the wrong time.  If it wasn’t for bad luck, you wouldn’t have any luck at all.”   

And you will talk that wrong talk to yourself.  You will convince yourself, Hallelujah, that you can’t do it.  You will tell yourself that you can’t make it.  But look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, get ready to talk the good fight by preaching the word.” 

See, I need y’all to get this.  See, this is the good talk.  Paul said to Timothy, “Preach the word; be instant in season, and out of season.”   

So, “preach” here means to talk what God says.  A preacher, Hallelujah, tells what God says, and I need every saint of God in here to understand that you got to learn how to talk that talk when your devil is getting ready to take you out.  When you’re getting ready for the battle, don’t wait ‘til you get in the battle to go try to learn scripture.  You better get your talk on now, you better get that word on now, so that you can talk that talk when the devil ever shows up, you can tell that devil, “Come on, now you see me, now you don’t.  I’m gonna sting you like a butterfly and pop you like a bee.”  

Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother in this place. 

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I better talk that talk.”  You gotta learn how to be—    

And he said – here’s the truth – he said, “Be instant in season and out.”  Let me tell you what that means.  That means be ready.  Always be ready.  When he says, “Preach, be instant in season…”  

See, some y’all talk the talk when things, when you are in season, when you’re the flavor of the month, when everything is going your way.  When you’re in season, when you’re in season.  When your money is right.  You can talk the talk then.  You dance the dance when you get the new car, the new house.  You talk about how God good is [sic], how good God is, when you’re in season.  But God, but Peter, Paul told Timothy to be instant in season and out.  He said, even when they take the car, still talk that talk.  Hallelujah.  When you get laid off from the job, still talk that talk.  When things ain’t workin’ out, still talk that talk.  

See, that’s what the Hebrew boys said, they said, “My God is well able to deliver us out your hand.”  But if he don’t, but if he don’t, either way, if we are out of season, God is still able.  You gotta be ready no matter what’s going on in your life, Hallelujah.  Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”   

Look at your neighbor and say, “Be ready to preach.  Be ready to give that good news.”   

The Bible says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing” – what? – “by the word of God.”  So if you’re gonna talk that talk, you better study.  You better have God’s word.  You better have studied God’s word, heard God’s word, so you can speak God’s word.  Most people can’t talk that talk, ‘cause they don’t know what the talk is.   

David said, “Thy word have I hid in my heart.”  He said, I’ll put that word in me.  He said, I’ll meditate on it day and night.  “His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”   

Why do you need the word in you?  So you can talk it, baby.  So you can speak it.  ‘Cause you’re about to speak life into yourself.  You can’t speak what other people say – you gotta speak what God said.  People will tell you what you can’t do.  I don’t care what they say.  The only thing I care about is, what did God say?   

And I read somewhere that God told me I was more than a conqueror.  I read somewhere that God told me, “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.”  I know, I know, I know, I know I’m in a battle.  But look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, talk that talk.”  God said, “His delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”   

So when somebody tells you what you can’t do, you make sure you study, and you know to go back and say, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”  When somebody tells you that you don’t have enough to make it, you better get ready to talk that talk and say, “But my God shall supply all my need according to His riches and glory!”  When somebody tells you they out to get you, they comin’ to get you, talk that good talk, and tell them, “No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper.  You don’t know who you messin’ with!” 

Oh, God, you’re makin’ me get happy in this place, ‘cause I got my talk on, I got my talk on! 

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, get ready to talk a good fight by preaching the word.” 

Give God a praise right there. 

(Applause.)  

Let me give you a few more minutes here, and we’re gonna finish this on Wednesday night.   

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Victorious Praise was established by Pastor Wil Nichols and his wife, Dr. Grace Nichols, to help Christians of all ages grow closer to God through the redemptive power of praise, love, and worship.  Through musical events, community outreach, and powerful sermons, our Durham church strives to help worshippers from a diverse range of backgrounds build stronger, deeper relationships with God.  To learn more about what we do and believe at Victorious Praise, please contact (919) 957-7500 for church information.  

PASTOR WIL: 1 Timothy 6:10, 2 Timothy 4:1.  It says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”  Check this out. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.”  

Now, in his second letter, if you’d go there, 2 Timothy and the fourth chapter, 2 Timothy 4:1, it again speaks here, and he says, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.  For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.”  First letter, he said fight the good fight, and this one, he ends by saying I have fought a good fight – I have finished my course – I have kept the faith.  

I’m not going to finish this message today, so I’m going to encourage everyone to join me for the first [indiscernible] teaching of the year this Wednesday as we finish and conclude this message.  But the theme for 2017 is found in Matthew 11:12.  It says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, but the violent take it by force.”  The New Living translation says that the kingdom of heaven is forcefully advancing, but violent people are attacking it.  That is to say that this year, 17, the seventeenth year of this new millennium, seventeenth year, the number 17 is the number for victory.  God says this is the season of reward; this is the season of victory.  And I need everybody in here to have a mindset in 2017 that I’ve got the victory, that I’m going to reap victory, I’m going to walk in victory.   

And so, as we go into this year, I want you to understand that “victory” means that you’re in a fight, “victory” means that there’s something that’s trying to withstand you.  God says your reward, your victory is there, but the devil is not going to give up without a fight.  And so you’re gonna have to go in and take what God has for you. 

So last night, we gave you a message: winning the fight of your life.  Winning the fight of your life; the fight for your soul, the fight for your body, the fight for your spirit; that you’re gonna have to trade your fear for faith, trade your suffering for glory, and trade your giving up for endurance.  

Now, as we move here today, I want to digress just a bit, because I need you to think about preparation.  Preparation.  Paul, in his first letter to Timothy, says, “Fight the good fight of faith.  Fight the good fight.”  But in order to fight a good fight, you’ve got to prepare for a good fight.  You’ve got to prepare for a good fight.  

I was tuning in, looking at the ESPN to see how Ronda Rousey did, ‘cause I just knew she had prepared to fight a good fight.  Then they told me she got knocked out in 42 seconds.  I said, “Oh! Oh, no, no, no!  No, no, no, no, no, no, you can’t take me out in 42 seconds, devil.”   

Okay, y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother. 

Somebody say, “A good fight.”  

If I go down, and if you see me down, trust me: there’s a guy…  Okay, I’m gonna try it over here.  If you see me down, please know that there’s a guy missin’ some teeth.  (Laughter.)  He got some bite marks – y’all ain’t workin’ with me – he done been kicked in the shin, he been scratched…  Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother.  Oh, I’m goin’ in, oh, I ain’t goin’ out like that.  Some of y’all gotta tell the devil, “I ain’t goin’ out.  Now, I may go down, but I ain’t goin’ out like that.”   

(Laughter.)  

Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating back to the fifth century.  It is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu.  It is commonly thought of as a definitive work on military strategy and tactics.  Some of its, one of its most famous quotes is, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy before or even without the fight; to appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”   

Paul said, “In my weakness, I am strong.”  God’s grace is sufficient.  If you know your enemy, and you know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles, ‘cause you know.   

It’s all about preparing for the fight.  Preparing for the fight.  Getting ready for the fight.  Knowing that you’re going in, but you’re ready for that fight.  

And so, for the few weeks here, I put up my stage, and I wanted to take you into the ring, into the fight, in preparation.  A lot of this equipment here is for preparation.  These here (lifting gloves from corner of stage) are your, your workout gloves, and so, they are not your actual fighting gloves, they’re for working out.  And while you’re working out, you’ve got all of this equipment here.  It is to prepare you for your workout, get you ready for the fight that’s coming.  (Kneeling, opening backpack.)  And so I told you, I wanted to digress today to take you into the fight.  And so, you got your headgear – I’m not gonna put it on, ‘cause I might look stupid, praise Jesus (laughter) – but you got your headgear, and that is, so while you’re boxing, you know, you’re getting a little protection while you’re growing.  And so, you get your gloves here, and you got your speed bag – oh, praise Jesus – and I learned how to hit this the other day, Sister [indiscernible] goes to boxing and she showed me how to wrap my hands – ‘cause you gotta protect your hands – and she showed me how to do all of this stuff, showed me how to do the speed bag, and so, I got it a little bit.  

(Hitting speed bag.) 

Come on.  Come on, Pastor Wil.  

(Laughter.)  

I told y’all I wasn’t going out like that.  

You got your heavy bag, so when you go to that body, you gotta get used to hitting a body that don’t wanna go down, you gotta keep hittin’ it and hittin’ it and hittin’ it and hittin’ it and hittin’ it and hittin’ it.  And so, you’re getting prepared.  

But, but see, sometimes the enemy wears you out, and wears you down, and so, you also have to get your wind up, and so, you’ve got your jump-rope…  I ain’t gonna even try to jump-rope, praise Jesus.  (Laughter.)  Y’all ain’t gonna see a pastor flat on his back that’s tripped over the rope, praise Jesus.  (Twirling jump-rope.)  Just imagine if I was jumpin’ rope, just imagine if I was jumpin’ rope, praise Jesus, praise Jesus.  Hallelujah.  Shoutin’, jumpin’ rope, praise the Holy Ghost.  

The point is – before I go into the fight, I gotta get prepared for it.  I gotta know how to hit, I gotta know how to take a hit.  Y’all workin’ with a brother right now?  Gotta get my wind up, I gotta be ready.  

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, this fight, you’re gonna have to get ready for.”  Say, “Today’s message is the pre-fight.  Are you ready to rumble?”  

Are you ready?   

The rumble ain’t started yet – but are you ready?  

Give Praise to God with Pastor Wil Nichols in Durham, NC

Founded by Pastor Wil Nichols and his wife Dr. Grace Nichols, Victorious Praise is a vibrant Christian church in Durham, NC devoted to exalting our Lord through music, the arts, and exuberant praise.  We welcome worshippers young and old into our loving, dynamic community of men, women, and children who want to grow closer with Christ and discover their divine purpose in this life.  To learn more about our holy mission, contact Victorious Praise at (919) 957-7500.

 

PASTOR WIL: I feel somethin’ in this place.  I know some of y’all shuttin’ down, but, but, but, but help me sound mad.  I don’t sound right just now.  But, but, but, but we can’t forget the God of the Bible — I sound very weak up here — we can’t forget the God of the Bible, because He is the one that gave us the power to obtain wealth.   

Give me another mic if y’all can’t get this one together. 

(Singing.)  Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  Say it again, “Hallelujah.”  Look at your neighbor and say, “Don’t forget.”  Say it again, “Don’t forget.”  Don’t forget the God of the Bible.  Hallelujah.  (Switching microphones.)  This one ain’t no better.  But I’m gonna preach anyhow.  Oh, oh, oh, Lord!  I feel the Holy Ghost down on the inside of me, and He’s tellin’ me to go ahead.  Somebody say, “Go ahead and preach, Pastor!”  I feel my power coming, I feel my health coming, I feel my anointing coming, and it’s gonna come right through my money.  It’s gonna come right through my finances.  I feel that somebody’s gettin’ ready to get the Holy Ghost because of my money.  Somebody’s gettin’ ready to get delivered because of my money.   

(Speaking.)  Sound, I’m still waitin’ on y’all.  Raise me up, raise me up.   

I feel something on the inside of me telling me to go ahead, somebody, go ahead, go ahead, go ahead, go ahead.  I need everybody to get on your feet and give God a great big Shabach praise.  

Come on, sound, y’all ain’t raisin’ me up quick enough.  

(Applause.) 

I feel the hallowed coming, I feel the hallowed coming.  Somebody, if you’ve got your preachin’ voice, open up your mouth and give God a great big Shabach  praise, give Him a Shabach  praise, give Him a Shabach  praise. 

(Applause.) 

Ah!  Oh, Lord!  I feel something, it’s pushing.  I feel God is about to turn around somebody’s money.  God’s getting ready to shift you.  Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, now that I’m content” — say, “Neighbor, now that I understand purpose” — say, “Neighbor, God has a reward for me.”  And say, “Neighbor, I prophesy that today is my last broke day.”  Say, “I prophesy that today is my last day that I’m gonna have to worry about bills.”   

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I wish three people would’ve grabbed that prophecy and just start screamin’ right there.  Screaming right there.  Blessing the Lord, blessing the Lord, blessing the Lord, blessing the Lord, blessing the Lord.  

“Pastor, why’re you getting happy?”  Somebody say, “Why you gettin’ happy?”   

Say, “I’m getting happy because I’ve done what I’m supposed to do.”   

I heard Jesus say, “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to pay every man according as his work shall be.” 

You see, some people got deceived, and they lost out.  Some people forgot, and they lost out.  But I’ve come to tell you, don’t get discouraged, ‘cause God told me to tell three of y’all, “Let us not be weary in welldoing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.”  Don’t y’all give up on doing good work, don’t give up on tithing, don’t give up on sowing.  “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked.  Whatsoever man soweth, that shall he also reap.” 

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I’m about to get happy in this place.”  Say, “Neighbor, you wanna know why?  Because I’ve been payin’ my tithes.  I’ve been givin’ my offerings.  I’ve been blessin’ somebody, and God told me not to get weary in welldoing, for in due season, we shall reap if we faint not.”   

Y’all scream and give Him a praise right there.  Scream and give Him a praise!  Scream and give Him a praise. 

So check this out.   

Sound, y’all still need to help a brother out. 

So check this out.  (Singing.)  So first I told you, you need to be content with your money.  Then I told you, you need to remember where you got your money.  And the final thing you gotta do is, you gotta be patient with your money.  Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, God is coming quickly, but you gotta wait on quickly.”  Some of y’all didn’t catch that.  See, some of y’all are in a hurry.  But God didn’t say He was coming in a hurry.  He said He was coming quickly.  (Speaking.)  You know what “quickly” means to me?  It means that I can wait and wait and wait and wait — and then, all of a sudden…  Y’all didn’t even get that.  See, y’all in a hurry.  God ain’t in a hurry; but He can do it quickly.   

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, you can be broke for 20 years, and in the blink of an eye, God can turn it around in 20 minutes, ‘cause He came quickly,” because He came quickly.  (Singing.)  He wasn’t in a hurry!  You can’t hurry God!  But He can come quickly.  “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man…”   

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, there’s a reward that’s coming your way.”  I heard God say, “I’m gonna reward you for your faith,” because without faith, it is impossible to please God.  But he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder to them that diligently seek Him.  Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, it might be Hump Day,” say, “Neighbor, it might be Wednesday,” but say, “Neighbor, I’m happy right now, ‘cause payday is on Friday.”  Put your time in, ‘cause payday is coming after awhile.  Put your time in, ‘cause payday is coming after awhile.  Give three people a high-five and say, “Payday is on its way, it’s on its way, it’s on its way, it’s on its way, it’s on its way.”   

Woo!  Woo!  Woo!  Oh!   

(Applause.) 

Somebody say, “Neighbor, I felt myself getting a little weak when I was waiting on God’s ‘quickly,’ but then I read in the Bible what God said: ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall, He renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”   

Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I almost quit, but I changed my mind, I changed my mind,” and say, “Neighbor, I believe I’ll run on and see what the end’s gonna be.”   

Somebody scream and praise Him, somebody scream and praise Him, somebody scream and praise Him.  Oh, Lord.  Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God, oh, God.   

(Applause.)   

(Speaking.)  Maybe it’s just me.  God didn’t tell me to work for it, but He did promise me that He’s gonna give it to me anyhow.  (Applause.)  He said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all His righteousness; and all these things shall be added.”   

See, I feel sorry for people who only work for a paycheck.  You know, I work for a purpose.  I work because I got an assignment, to get the job done.  And when pay come, ladies and gentlemen, that’s just a bonus.  (Singing.)  That’s just a bonus.  That’s just a bonus.  (Speaking.)  Everybody scream, “This is just gonna be bonus time.”  This is gonna be bonus.  When you see me with my money, please understand: that ain’t why I was workin’.  That was just my bonus.   

Look at your neighbor and say, “Stop workin’ for a bonus.  Work for a payment in your promise, and allow God to give you whatever He want to give you.”   

Come on, give God a praise right there.  

(Applause.)   

The power, the real power, the real power, the real power.   

I need everybody that this message blessed, meet me at the altar real quick.  We’re gettin’ ready to go home, but I want to, I want you to come up here to this altar real quickly.  Those that, “Okay, Pastor, you preached to me today, you preached to me today.” I need some folks that don’t have a job to be on this altar.  I need some people strugglin’ with their finances to be on this altar.  I need some rich folk on this altar, ‘cause if you’re not kept, the devil will have you forgettin’.  I need some people that have felt a little disheartened and discouraged about their plight in life to be down on this altar.   

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PASTOR WIL: So I talked about the deceptive power of prosperity.  Let’s talk about the divine power of prosperity.  Divine power. 

If deceptive power deals with destruction, divine power of prosperity deals with purpose.  Everybody say, “Purpose.” 

In our second lesson text, the Bible says, “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may” what?  “Establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers.”  He didn’t just give me power to get wealthy — he gave me power to get wealth for a purpose.  Somebody say, “Purpose.”  There’s purpose behind this, there’s purpose.   

See, the second reason prosperity can become evil is when you choose to forget your purpose.  See, you can have stuff; but you can forget why you was given it in the first place.  And when you forget, you start abusing it.  Yes, yes, yes.   

See, before he said, “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God,” earlier in that same chapter, Deuteronomy 8:11, he said, “Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thy have eaten and art full” — lest when you get paid, lest when you get a little somethin’-somethin’ — y’all ain’t hearin’ me — “and has built your houses and dwell therein,” you’re gonna start lookin’ around, talkin’ about what I’ve done.  “Look at how good I am.”  Mm.  Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”   

Here’s how I know people have stepped off into that: because they lose their minds when they lose it.  See, when you think you’ve accomplished something, then when you lose it — I’m gonna preach all by myself — you lose yourself, ‘cause you thought it was yourself who gave it to you in the first place.  So you start feeling inferior, and feeling depressed, and feeling sad, because you act like it was yours in the first place.  I am preachin’ right now.  And so, because we’ve identified ourselves with the stuff we’ve accumulated, as if it was us who did it, then when we lose it — I’m preachin’ right there — we lose ourselves.  Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  

A lot of people forget God when they get their stuff.  A lot of people forget God when they get their little money, get their little house.  A lot of people forget God when they forget their source.  

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Now, I don’t dispute that there are churches and pastors and things out there that are wicked and crooked.  But there is a reason why there are more churches in poor neighborhoods than in rich.  And it’s not because all those churches or pastors are crooked and are trying to prey on the poor people.  Actually, the reason is, is because when you’re poor, you realize who your source really is.  When you rich…  Oh, yeah.  Rich people don’t have a need, they don’t feel like they need to go to church.  Let me be real clear: when you don’t know how you’re gonna eat tomorrow, you might go to church today.  (Laughter.)  Am I preachin’ to anybody up in this piece?  When you got enough money to live for three lifetimes…  “Do I need to go to church today?  Eh…  I’ll just send the reverend a check.  Eh… I gave it at the office, already took care of the poor.”   

Oh!  I’m not just makin’ this up, this is what Jesus said.  He said it would be difficult for a rich man to enter into Heaven.  He said it would be more difficult than it would be for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.  Therefore a rich man won’t make it to Heaven.  Somebody say, “Why?”  ‘Cause he forgot.  He forgot how he got rich in the first place.  He forgot what was the source.   

“The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”  Everything good is from God, you forgot how you got that in the first place.  “Well, I was, I was smart, I was educated, I was a hard worker.”  God could go off on one brain cell and you won’t even know your name tomorrow.  I am preachin’ by myself!  “I inherited this.”  Well, who gave your mama and your daddy the idea to look at each other?  I’m preachin’!   

And so, these rich people forget their source, and God says it is exceptionally difficult for them, and so, we don’t many churches in rich neighborhoods because the rich folk don’t feel the need to go seek out their God for help.  Ah, look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, prosperity requires a choice to remember.”  But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is He that giveth thee the power to get wealth.  Whatever skills, whatever talents, whatever abilities you have that earn you income, you must understand — God gave that to you.  If you are smart, if you are educated, if you are intelligent, if you have intellect, please understand: God gave that to you.  If you have a gift, if you have a skill set, if you have anything that earns you mean, please understand: God gave you that talent, that ability, that skill set to get money.  But not just to get money — to get money with a purpose.  Preach right there!  To get money with a purpose.  I gave you this talent to go get that money so that you can fulfill this purpose.  Preach right there.  Ah, yes Lord, yes Lord.  Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  You’ve got to remember — we must remember God, because God has divine purpose.  When we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, called according to his purpose, you will then understand, even this little change in my pocket is about purpose.  I always keep a little piece of money, because I never know when God wants me to use that for a purpose.  I always keep myself — I don’t spend right to the edge, I, I, I, I try to keep my budget below my income because God wanna do somethin’; but if I done tied all my money up into my car loan, my house note, then when God wanna do something with that money He gave me from the gift that I got, I can’t do it, because I done spent it all on myself.  I’m gonna preach in this place, Hallelujah.   

“Pastor Wil just tryin’ to take all of your money,” no, I’m tryin’ to take y’all to Heaven, because, I was tellin’ somebody, my car that I’m drivin’ right now — and I like that car — but I bought that in 2006, that means that vehicle is 10 years old.  And if the Lord say the same, I’m gonna be drivin’ it 10 more years from now.  I ain’t tryin’ to spend no more money on no vehicle.  I told my man, I said, “Go black that out, put some new rims on it, we could go for another three, four years.”  Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother in this place.  ‘Cause I don’t wanna take that money and spend it on a car note, because God might wanna use it on the kingdom.  God might wanna use it on the kingdom.  My wife wants a new house, and I might get a house, but God’s gonna have to give it to me without sorrow, I’m gonna preach right there.  “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow.”  The next house I’m gettin’, that joker gonna be almost paid for, or God gonna have so much money comin’ in that I can see where I can pay it and still have money for the kingdom, because that’s my real purpose for getting what I got.  Oh, somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  Say it again, “Hallelujah.”  Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, there’s purpose in your life.”  Hallelujah. 

What’s the major purpose?  What’s the major purpose for your money?  I’m so glad y’all asked.  The Bible says that when Jesus was leavin’ this earth, he said, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.”  If God wanted us to know something, He would have given us His final message when He left here, when He said, “Your message is to tell people about me.”  But I got a problem.  The Bible says, “How can they preach except they be…?”  (“Sent.”)  And I don’t care any way you look at it — to be sent is gonna cost you somethin’.  To be sent — if y’all wanna send me to preach in Michigan — y’all ain’t helpin’ a brother in this place — y’all gonna have to buy a brother a airline ticket.  If y’all wanna send me to preach in Pennsylvania — which, I’m goin’ in a few weeks — y’all gonna have to send me there.  Y’all ain’t workin’ with a brother in this place.  And so, in order for the gospel…  There are hundreds of people watching us right now — though you should be in church, you should be in church, you should be in church — but the reason why they can sit at home and watch us is because you all sent the gospel through the internet, through the high-def cameras — oh, y’all ain’t helpin’ a brother in this place — so that people all over the country could get this word, ‘cause you sent it!  And then, God blew me away.  He said — we’ll go to Acts 1:8, we’ll go to Acts 1:8, ‘cause I told you, your assignment is to go “unto the uttermost parts of the earth” — He said, “How can they preach except they be sent?”  And then He sent me to Acts 1:8.  He said, “But you shall receive…?” (Audience: “Power.”) 

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Oh, I’m gonna preach in here.  See, I know “power” only meant dancin’ and shoutin’ for y’all, I know “power” only meant speakin’ in tongues and rollin’ on the floor.  But He said, “You shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you,” to do what? “Preach right there, Pastor Wil.”  To “be witnesses,” Hallelujah.  “Where, Pastor?”  “In Jerusalem,” Hallelujah.  Well y’all, I could preach to y’all, it ain’t gonna cost me a whole lot.  I do gotta get the lights on, keep the mortgage paid, the electricity; but I’m gonna preach to Jerusalem, and Judaea, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, that’s Durham.  So in order to get the word to Durham, you know, we gotta do some commercials, we gotta do some promotions, ins and ends, Facebook promotions, broadcast, all of that, but we got to get some money to go to Jerusalem and Judaea.  Then He said “Samaria,” that’s the whole region.  Now, now, now, we need a teeny broadcast that goes down to Fayetteville and the High Point — y’all ain’t workin’ with me — and Greensboro, because we gotta get to Samaria.  But then He said “unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”  Look at your neighbor and say, “Money, money, money, money, money.  Why’s the pastor always raising money, money, money, money, money?”   

Because you have been given power.  (Applause.)  You have been given power to get this gospel out!  Can I preach about your money today?  Can I preach about your money today?  Can I preach about your prosperity?  What are you usin’ it for?  God said, “I gave it to you to get the gospel out.”  How many of you are helpin’ to get the gospel out, versus gettin’ a new pair of shoes?  Helpin’ to get the gospel out versus getting’ a new number five, number eleven braid in your hair?  How many of you are gettin’ the gospel out versus gettin’ a new suit?  Y’all ain’t workin’ with me in this place.  How many of y’all are usin’ your gift to get the gospel out, versus goin’ to the latest shows, the latest this, the latest that?  But I don’t know about you, but God gave me power to obtain wealth because I got purpose.  Push your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, that money’s got a purpose with it.  That money’s got a purpose.”  Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  Say, “Neighbor, don’t forget, because prosperity” — say it again, “prosperity” — “has a purpose.” 

Come on, give God a praise. 

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PASTOR WIL: Y’all gonna help me this morning?  

Let’s look at this, let’s look at this, let’s first look at this first passage we gave you, and talk about this from the first perspective.  It would be the deceptive power of prosperity.  Everybody say, “Destructive.”  The deceptive power of prosperity.   

In our first lesson text, the Bible says, “For money is the root of all evil.”  This first reason prosperity can create an evil nature is when we — everybody check this out — when we choose discontentment.  This is when money and prosperity can take on a evil nature.  As we stated earlier, money itself is amoral; prosperity is amoral.  But it is a choice to love it.  It is a choice to become discontent with what you have.  We become susceptible to its evil nature when we allow ourselves to become discontent with where we are, or our state in life.  Are y’all getting this?  And if power will deceive you, Paul said, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” 

I love the New Living translation of that same passage.  It says this: “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation, and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.”   

A lot of people have fallen, even in Christendom, even in the church, because of the lure of money; because they were never content with what they had.   

Money can destroy you spiritually, it can destroy you emotionally, and it can destroy you physically.  Everybody say, “Spiritually.”  The Bible says that the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches and the lust of other things enter in, and choke the word, and you become unfruitful.   

Do you understand that there is an assignment — and we’ll get into that a little bit later — a purpose in your life that God has called you?  And if you are not careful, that lure of money will pull you away from what is necessary for you to fulfill your assignment, and will literally choke the word…   

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Somebody was askin’ me, “Should I take this job or should I not take this job?”  And I said, “What is your assignment?”  What is your assignment?  I preach on Sunday, so I don’t care how much money they offer me, I can’t take a job on Sunday.  Oh, y’all ain’t workin’ with me.  I know preachers who got a job on Sunday.  But I can’t do that!  Because that’s my assignment.   

The enemy will literally destroy you spiritually.  He will destroy some of us emotionally.  The New Living translation, in Matthew 6, you can study that later, but the New Living translation says, “Don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What shall we eat?  What shall we drink?  What shall we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of, of, of, of, of unbelievers, so why should we, as believers who believe in God?  If God will take care of the, of the birds, and the flowers, how much more shall your father take care of you?  Why are you stressed out about whether or not you’re gonna have your rent money or your car payment or your that?  God’s gonna take care of me, Hallelujah!  Ain’t no use to me stayin’ up all night worryin’ about something that I cannot change!  But this money will have you so stressed out, so messed up, that you can’t sleep, because it is messing with you emotionally.   

Some people are destroyed physically by money.  Even though the Bible says, “For the wages of sin is” what?  “Death.”  Death, death, death.  It will ultimately lead to our physical destruction.  And therefore, prosperity, in this first point, requires a choice of contentment.  Everybody say, “Contentment.”   

See, in our lesson text, where he says here, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation,” he says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”  If you go back two verses, in verses 6:6 it says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 

I need everybody in here to understand.  I don’t care where you are in life — your assignment as a Christian is to be content with whatever state God has you in, because your God is your shepherd and you shall not want!  The Lord is my shepherd, and He shall supply all my need according to his riches and glory!  For me to be discontent is for me to tell my daddy, “I don’t like what you’re giving me.”  The devil is a liar.  Paul said, “I’ve learned how to be content in whatever state I’m in.  He said, “Let me be real clear: I thank you all for helpin’ a brother out with your little offerings, but, but, but, but, but, I want you to understand something.  I’ve been broke, but I still was good.  I’ve been rich, but I still was good.  My stomach has been full, my stomach has been empty; but I’ve learned how to be content in whatever state I’m in!  Somebody say, “Why?”  Somebody say, “Why?”  ‘Cause my God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory.  My God is on the case, even if I lose a job — my God.  So I don’t care if I’m in Section 8, thank God that He supplied Section 8.  I don’t care that I have a one-bedroom apartment, thank God for the one-bedroom apartment.  I don’t care if I lost my car, thank God for the bus pass and the church van!  I don’t care if I ain’t got but two suits, thank God for a washing machine!  Y’all ain’t helpin’ a brother in this place!  Oh, my God shall supply, and so I’m gonna be content.   

Now look at your neighbor and say, “Don’t let them fool you.”  Don’t you let this money fool you.  My God shall supply.  I’m alright, baby.  (Singing.)  Somebody say, “Hallelujah!”  Say it again, “Hallelujah!”  Push your neighbor and say, “I can do all things!”  Come on, say it, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”   

(Speaking.)  Let me tell you how bad my God is.  He can take me through when I’m broke.  Let me tell you how bad my God is.  He’ll make me feel full when I ain’t got nothin’ to eat in the house.  Let me tell you how bad my God is.  He will move mountains, and I don’t even have a reason to tell y’all how the mountain got moved!  I don’t even know how I made it through this year, but look, here it is, it’s the last month of the year, and I’m still here!  Ain’t had nothin’ but a two-bit piece of job, but I’m still here!  (Applause.)  Woo!   

Look at your neighbor and say, “That’s a bad man right there,” say, “Oh, yeah, I can do all things.  Somebody say, “Hallelujah.”  Look at your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, don’t be deceived by prosperity.  Choose contentment with God, Hallelujah.”  Y’all got that?  Be content, just be content.  I don’t care what it is, just be content.  Be content. 

Let’s go on.  

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Victorious Praise was established by Pastor Wil Nichols and his wife, Dr. Grace Nichols, to help Christians of all ages grow closer to God through the redemptive power of praise, love, and worship.  Through musical events, community outreach, and powerful sermons, our North Carolina church strives to help worshippers from a diverse range of backgrounds build stronger, deeper relationships with God.  To learn more about what we do and believe at Victorious Praise, please contact (919) 957-7500 for church information.  

 

 

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