A Place Called There
Copyright © 1982 John Osteen All Rights Reserved
A Place Called There
Life is so exciting. Our main interest and desire in life should be to ask ourselves, "Am I following Jesus? Am I where He sent me? Am I doing what He told me to do? Am I in the place that He has led me?" I am convinced that if we will follow Jesus, every one of our needs will be met. Maybe you have needs today. Take time to get with Jesus and let Him minister to you. Look back over your life and reflect upon how He has led you in the past. You will see that He has led you to the right place each time. He has supplied your needs. Jesus said, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." He will lead you to where the fish are. He will lead you to where the gold is in the fish's mouth. He will lead you to the place where there is silver. He will supply your needs. Matthew 4:18, 19, "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into 5
the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." There are great rewards when you follow Jesus. If we will follow God, follow the Lord Jesus Christ, He will supply our needs. He will give us a life where His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I realize we are always going to have to command the devil to get out of the way. The devil is always going to be there to contest everything God has for us. The devil is going to contest everything that you try to do for God. You have to stand up to him, stand your ground, demand your rights, shake him off, chase him off, and resist him steadfastly. Living a life of faith is following Jesus. It is not just being in a stationery, comfortable place where you say to yourself, "I've got it made." As ministers of God and as members of the Body of Christ, we are continually subject to the call of the Master. In Matthew 4:19 Jesus says, "Follow Me...." He did not say follow Me for a while and then sit down and stop following. Wherever Jesus goes and beckons you to follow Him, you should continue following Him. I know of a missionary who had a great need 6
for an automobile. He had some great needs in some other areas also and his needs were not being supplied. We were praying with him about the situation. The Lord Jesus led him to go to the Island of Bermuda. Jack and his wife went all the way to Bermuda and nothing seemed to happen. They almost quit and came home. They were so discouraged. Just before they came home, they went to a black woman's church. I believe she was expecting him and knew God was going to send him. The people in that church had been saving money. Right there in that little church, a place where nobody would ever dream could help him in such a way, they bought him a brand new car and gave him several thousands of dollars. His every need was met because he followed Jesus. Our responsibility is to follow the Master. You are not to make up your mind as to what you want to do and where you want to go. Follow Jesus! Our main duty in life is to follow as Jesus directs us. When you are following Jesus, no matter what hardships you endure, He has just passed by them and He knows they are there. He has walked the same path you are now walking. He knows every 7
crevice, every obstacle and every blessing. He said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." After Jesus said that, the disciples did follow Him. As they followed Him throughout Galilee, He taught them how to be fishers of men. How can you get crowds to come hear the Gospel? How can you become fishers of men? What did they do? They got up and followed Him and Jesus demonstrated what every minister should know about getting humanity into the Gospel net. Read Matthew 4:23-25: "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan." No wonder people followed Him! Turn your 8
attention towards the great arena of human suffering. Turn your attention to ALL sick people with various diseases who are tormented, who are possessed with demons, who are lunatic, who have the palsy. Begin to teach and preach to them the glorious glad news and sound the Gospel trumpet that Jesus bore their sins. He bore their sicknesses. He tasted their death. He took their curse. They have a right to be free. When you do all this, you will never lack for people to preach to. We have a responsibility to the demon-possessed. We have a responsibility to the tormented. We have a responsibility to the sick. We have a responsibility to those who are oppressed of the devil. We have a responsibility to those people who live in psychiatric wards. We need to stop playing church and having "bless-me" clubs. We need the house of God to be a house of prayer, where prayer is made and captives are set free! In I Kings 17, the story is told of Elijah, the Tishbite, lifting up his voice to God and to Israel and saying, "As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." Elijah was following the Word of God. God 9
had said that if Israel rebelled and started after idols, He would shut up the heavens. He said if they would repent, He would open the heavens (Deuteronomy 11:13-17). Elijah saw them turning from God. He knew the Word of God in regards to this matter. He knew they had broken the covenant. When they turned back to God, he knew the rain would come, because they had restored their covenant-relationship to God. We are living in a world filled with trouble. We are in a world of stress. We are in a world that is in chaos. No doubt the end time is upon us and our days are similar to those we read of in I Kings 17. Elijah represents the man of God, the preacher especially leading his flock, or in his ministry. During this period of famine, in the time of drought, in the time of great distress and upheaval, it is of utmost importance that Elijah listen to God and do EXACTLY what God tells him to do. Our business today is to tune our spirits to the Holy Spirit, to listen to God, to do what God tells us to do, and go where God tells us to go. When we do these things, our needs will be supplied and we will be safe! Elijah drew aside from his daily routine and 10
prayed. He sought God. It is important to get in touch with God, to hear from God. We need to get away from people. There is a time we need to draw away. People will confuse you. They will discourage you. They will talk about other people. They will drag your faith down many times. Sometimes you just have to get alone and climb the hill of God, above the fog and smog of this world. Wrap your fingers in the garments of God and say, "My Father, my Father, I will not let you go until you bless me!" We must seek God diligently and follow His direction for our lives. I Kings 17:24, "And the Word of the Lord came unto him, saying...." Elijah heard the voice of God. Now God told him where to go and what to do. He said, "... Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee THERE." God can tell you where to go. There is a PLACE for every person called "there." That place called "there" is where God said, "I have commanded the ravens to feed thee." If you are not in that place called "there," and the ravens come 11
and bring the food "there," it is not God's fault if you are starving! God sent me back to Lakewood Church from the Philippine Islands to pastor. I did not want to come. But you see, Lakewood Church was my place called "there." If I had said, "No, no, no, I am not going to go," I would be in a mess. This is where God commanded the ravens to feed me. If I had not come, I could not blame God. I might still have had a good ministry. But there would be a strain, a grating and a pulling down in my system. There would have been a strain and a burden upon me. When you are in the place called "there," His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I believe there is a place called "there" for every minister. Every believer can apply this principle to his own life. THERE IS A PLACE CALLED "THERE"! That does not mean there will never be battles to fight. That does not mean you are not going to come against some tests and trials. There can never be a testimony without a TEST. When you are secure in the place called "there," you can command the devil to leave you. The devil may try to prevent the ravens from bringing your bread. Command the devil in Jesus' 12
Name to "GO! GOD SENT ME HERE TO THE PLACE CALLED 'THERE' AND I CHARGE YOU GET OFF M Y TERRITORY!" Then you can enter into God's peace and just praise God. Soon, the little ravens will come by. When you are in the place called "there," they will come. Now if they never come, you need to evaluate the place you are in. Major on loving Jesus. Wrap yourself up in your devotion to Him, make Him first in your life, and go where He directs you (no matter what men say). GO TO THAT PLACE CALLED "THERE," AND HE CAN FEED YOU WITH THE BIRDS OF THE AIR!! God has unlimited resources. God is in charge of this world! Even a tiny worm brought destruction on King Herod. The Bible says he was eaten of worms. God can take the worms and destroy the enemy. God is interested in anybody that will spread the Gospel. Our responsibility is to go where He told us to go, to do what He told us to do, and to stay where He told us to stay. We have no right to do what we want to do. We are to obey His divine orders. Just because God sends you to one place, does not mean you are going to stay there forever. I 13
Kings 17:5-7 tells us that Elijah "... went and did according unto the Word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land." Do not try to stay when your brook dries up. More problems in churches come after the brook has dried up and GOD WANTS YOU TO MOVE ON AND YOU JUST HANG ON. God is not going to do everything in the same way throughout life. Do not try to hold God to doing certain things the same way all the time. If your brook dries up and just suddenly everything goes wrong, examine yourself. Go before God and say, "God are you through with me here? Are you trying to tell me something?" I Kings 17:8, 9: "And the Word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there...." In the midst of the great calamity of that day, the man of God was responsible to stay in touch 14
with God and continually do what God said and go where God sent him. God told Elijah, "Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee." I want you to notice two things here. First of all, in both instances, God commanded somebody to take care of Elijah. He commanded ravens, and He commanded a widow. It was a starving widow, a widow that did not have anything, but a widow that could get rich and be taken care of if she would do what God said. It was a widow that could see miracles. God is deeply interested in this man who represents all of us. He said, "I have COMMANDED the ravens; I have COMMANDED the widow." Quit trying to raise money by pleas of impending disaster. Stop begging! Be reputable. God commanded a widow. If you will seek God and follow where God wants you to be, and stay close to Jesus and stay in love with Him, and obey Him, and go where He wants you to go, He will command people to take care of you. God has people who will obey His command. 15
God has people He will command to give you one hundred thousand dollars. He will COMMAND them to give you an airplane. He will COMMAND them to give you a ship. He will COMMAND them to give you a home. He will COMMAND them to give you something out of their bank account. People will be glad to bless you. If you are one of those that God commands to do it, it will be such a joy. Whenever Jesus has spoken to my wife, Dodie, and I to bless others, it has been such a privilege to be commanded to give. Tears of joy came to us in knowing that Jesus would trust us to be channels of His blessings. Those who are commanded of God are not to be pitied, they are to be envied because they are honored by the Lord Jesus Christ. When you have a burden for some ministry, or some evangelist, or some mission outreach and God keeps putting it on your heart, do not push it aside, rejoice, rejoice! Obey as quickly as you can, because the devil will try to rob you and deter you from what God commands. God commanded a widow because He wanted glory. God wanted the glory. If it had been a rich man, he might have only given from his 16
abundance. This widow woman had nothing. She was preparing to gather some sticks and cook her last cake and die with her son. I Kings 17:12-15: "And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days." Throughout the famine the cruse of oil did not fail nor the meal barrel fail. This widow woman who had nothing was chosen of God and commanded of God to take care of a ministry. To do it she had to have daily miracles. So, if God commands you to do something and you do not have the wherewithal to do it, say, "Hallelujah, hallelujah, God is going to keep me in miracles!"
I Kings 17:9 says, "Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman THERE...." There is a place called "there." If I am there in the place called "there," where Jesus sent me, He will sustain me. He will take care of me because He has commanded that I be taken care of "there." If I am not there, I cannot blame God. I am going to be there! "There" is where God has commanded the ravens and the widow to take care of me. If I am not there and the ravens come, and the widow supplies, I will not get what God provided. I am going to go to the place called "there." Seek God. Know with assurance that you are in that place called "there." God will then cause your every need to be met and you will blossom into the fullness of your ministry. Make this your prayer: Father, In Jesus' Name, I seek Your divine guidance for my life. I thank You that Jesus lives in me and the Bible says that He is made unto me wisdom. You told me that if I lack wisdom, to ask You, 18
and You would supply me with all wisdom for every situation liberally. As I now ask You, I thank You, Father, that from this time forward You are supplying me with the wisdom that I need. I am Your sheep and I do hear Your voice, and no other voice will I follow. I trust in You, Lord, with all my heart and I do not lean unto my own understanding. I acknowledge You in all my ways and I know that You are directing my path. I will follow the way of peace, for Jesus, the Prince of Peace, lives within me. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. As I read and meditate in Your Word, You will speak to me. I thank You, Father, that the Holy Spirit lives within me and He will guide me into all truth. He will not guide me into error, but only into truth and good. My spirit does bear witness with the Holy Spirit confirming the will of God for my life. I rebuke any confusion or frustration and I boldly declare that I will rest in 19
Your love. I commit my way unto You, and You shall bring it to pass. Thank You, Lord, for keeping me in Your perfect way! Amen.
The preceding confession is based upon the following scriptures: I Corinthians 1:30; James 1:5; John 10:4; Proverbs 3:5, 6; Isaiah 9:6; Psalm 119:105; John 16:13; Romans 8:16.
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