It is so wonderful to be back here with you. What a lovely bunch of people you are. I mean you’re absolutely gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful. There’s a study that was done that said that one out of every three people is gorgeous and I’m going to prove it to you. So what I want everyone to do is I want everyone to turn immediately to your left. Turn immediately to your left to get a good look, okay. And turn immediately to the person on your right and get a good look. Now obviously I’m not talking about either one of those two.
There comes a point in everyone’s life when we need to hear the Lord say “what do you want Me to do for you?” Now I am not talking about some kind of Santa Claus dream in the sky. Talking about a legitimate need, based upon one’s desire to break through the barrier, to make a quantum leap, to jump to the next level, to get around that obstacle that sits in our way and we desperately need to hear the Lord say “what do you want Me to do for you?”
I am honored and privileged to be the son of a bartender, who worked for 51 years in that trade and worked double shifts to put me through bible college. I am honored and privileged to have a mother who struggled with many different things but she overcame those struggles to become one of the most outstanding Christians that I know, and as a matter of fact, she is here this morning, and I would like to ask my mom to stand. Would you please stand?
Our family overcame one of the greatest barriers because we were a family with a huge hole in our heart and it was a hole that only God could fill. But you know God is in the process of doing many wonderful things these days, and He’s in the process of helping people break the barriers that exist in their life. And if you’ve come this morning or you’re watching via television, I want you to know that God will empower you to break through the barriers.
Kevin was a ten year old little boy who had been abandoned, had been abused and neglected by his biological father, wound up in the foster home, and he received an invitation by a ministry that had the name of Royal Family Kids Camp. They set up this camp in the upper northwest that had a huge lake, and they invited a man by the name of Sven, who was a retired fisherman to teach this kids who came from these desperate situations how to fish. And the counselors knew that if they could at least help the kids experience some sort of breakthrough during their week, they could literally revolutionize their lives, and so they had the mentality of what can I do for you? There’s only one problem though. Kevin was deathly afraid of the water. Last place he wanted to be was near the lake, so his counselor, looking for some kind of strategy to help him with his breakthrough, suggested that he wear a life jacket. I mean after all he said to Kevin all the other campers are wearing their Spiderman uniform and their Superman uniform, they’re even wearing them to bed. Why don’t you try on this life jacket, and Kevin loved the idea so he wore it to breakfast, wore it to lunch, wore it to dinner, you know how these kids, he never took it off.
So the next day, he suggested that Kevin go for a little walk down by the edge of the lake, and they did. And Kevin was a little hesitant but after all he was wearing his life jacket. So he plopped down in the sand and began to make some sand castles. Occasionally would look up and see Sven, the fisherman out there teaching kids how to fish. The next day, towards the end of the afternoon, his counselor turned to him and said you know why don’t we at least walk out and greet Sven out on the dock. Well the last thing that Kevin wanted to do was to walk out onto that dock, in the midst of his greatest fear and his greatest obstacle. But the counselor was fairly persistent, reminding Kevin that after all, he was wearing a life jacket.
So they carefully walked out onto the dock and as soon as Sven saw this ten year old little boy, with his nice little life jacket on, Sven perked up and said what a strapping young man. I’ve got something just for you. And he reached down and he placed a fishing pole into Kevin’s hands and he just clenched onto that thing. He said while we’re at it, why don’t we slap some bait onto that hook. And they baited the hook. And he said to Kevin, why don’t you watch me teach you how to cast. Now Kevin wasn’t too excited about the idea, after all, he was within a few feet of his greatest fear, but he felt well I do have a life jacket on. So Sven reached down, picked up his own pole and started to teach him how to cast. He whipped that pole back and launched that bait out a good 50 yards. Wheeled it back in. Did it again. Brought it back in. He said Kevin why don’t you try.
So Kevin very carefully walked to the edge of that dock, within 18 inches looking at the water, and decided he would copy everything that he saw that Swedish fisherman do and pushed down the cast button, pulled it back and launched it with all of his might, and went flying head first into the water. The counselor and Sven could not believe their eyes. Their worst nightmare came true. They couldn’t believe it. And Kevin’s worst nightmare came true as well. And before he even hit the water, the counselor was in the water, and Sven was on his belly waiting to rescue this kid and as soon as he bopped back to the surface, he grabbed him by the hooks of his life jacket and put him back onto the dock and rivers of water were just gushing out of him.
And they looked and they noticed that Kevin was still clenching onto that fishing pole. And as his eyes began to follow the fishing pole up to the end, they noticed it was pointing downward and at the end, where the bait was, now hung a big old fish. What are the odds? What are the odds of catching a fish. He overcame one of the greatest barriers that he could ever imagine, one of his greatest fears stood within 18 inches, flew into the water and because of that loving, caring, experience of somebody who loved him so much, he overcame that barrier and spent the rest of his week with his feet hanging off the edge of that dock, fishing next to an old Swedish fisherman.
You see God places people in our lives to help us break the barriers. And I don’t know what it is that you’re facing or what mountain it is that you need to overcome, but I want to tell you this morning that God will empower you to break the barriers that you face. There is no barrier that is too insurmountable because God will do it and He’ll do it through you.
There was a young man who was taken by a certain path every day. The sun was beating down upon his skin, and his skin was bronzed from that experience day after day. And about the noon hour, it was 72 degrees, fairly cloudy like today and the food you could smell from the neighboring houses and the ladies that were preparing the lunchtime meal, you could smell all this aroma and including the farm animals that were by, and all of a sudden as Bartimaeus is standing or sitting by the side of the road begging, he hears this rumble. It’s an entourage that is moving in his direction and he knows that this is not some regular entourage, that it’s perhaps one to two hundred people that are parading in his particular direction. Of course his hearing is enhanced because he’s blind. And so he reaches to the next person who is beginning to form a line, along with him and many others that are waiting to see what this entourage is all about, and he asks the person what is it that I’m hearing? And he says I believe its Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. Jesus? The great healer has come to my town?
Now he realizes that he has one shot and so he decides to use, based upon his faith and his belief, the only tool that he has. He decides to use his voice. And as soon as Jesus crosses perpendicular, he raises his voice and he says “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!” And the people standing next to him said shhh, be quiet. He doesn’t care about you. Have you ever noticed that there are people in our life that have the gift of raining on anyone’s parade? And that people sometimes have the gift if they’re miserable and lonely and have nothing to do that they’re always on a mission of looking for other people to do it with them?
Shhh be quiet! It can’t be done. He doesn’t care about you. But very clearly it states, he raised his voice all the more and said “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me.” And Jesus stopped. And with two words, He says to His disciples, “Call him.” Immediately, two disciples are dispatched like special forces units and they penetrate that crowd and they grab this Bartimaeus and he throws off his cloak and notice that they say, those who are standing around him, they say oh hey cheer up, the master is calling you. Don’t forget us when you’re famous. As he comes before the Lord, the world stops. You could hear a pin drop. And the Lord looks at him and says “what do you want Me to do for you?”
And he could have said anything but he said “I want to see. I want to see.” And the Lord said “your faith has healed you.” And immediately signals that had never been sent from those optical nerves began to penetrate that nervous system and send those signals directly to the cerebral cortex, where he began to interpret distances and dimensions and colors for the very first time. And he began to follow Jesus based upon that one question: what do you want Me to do for you?
You know I could turn slightly to pastor Schuller, to Sheila, to the choir, to the orchestra and every one of you and to the 20 million people who are watching and I could ask that question, what would you want me to do for you? And there would be 20 million different answers. The great thing about God, friend, is that He has the power and the ability to meet you just as you walk through the door. There’s not one stamp answer for everyone, there are different answers for each person. He has the ability to meet the needs, to break the barriers no matter how great, not matter how insurmountable. And He will break those barriers in your life this day.
My wife and I serve as missionaries, and we do hold crusades all around the world, and 12 years ago we had this vision that God wanted us to make a quantum leap, to get to the next level because our crowd sizes were roughly 1500 people. And we felt that they should be approximately 5,000 people. And as I was praying, the Lord spoke to me and He said Jason, I want you to go into Channel 7 there in Costa Rica, it’s the CNN affiliate, the most powerful secular television network in the country and I want you to talk to the owner and tell the owner that you want five commercial spots for the foreseeable future, announcing these crusades, 10 days leading up to each crusade, free of charge. I said come again? He said you tell them we want five commercial spots, 10 days leading up to each crusade for the foreseeable future, announcing these crusades free of charge. Now as you could imagine, I thought it was the pizza that I ate the night before. But the impression continued to grow, so I picked up the phone and I called the secular network and I got all the way up to the assistant of the owner. And I said we have got an idea that we think is going to revolutionize this country and we just need 15 minutes with the owner of the network. She said send me a fax. I sent the fax, and ten days later my phone rang. She said you’ve got 15 minutes with the owner the network. I thought now what am I going to do? The Lord said you tell her, we want five commercial spots announcing these crusades, 10 days leading up to each crusade in the foreseeable future, free of charge.
So I got in my car, got my Italian suit on, drove to the network headquarters with my crusade coordinator, get up to the conference room, sat down in the most luxurious conference room there on the third floor of Teletica, that’s the name of the network. About ten minutes later, the doors open up and one by one, the executives of that network come filing through the door in their designer suits and rounded the outer perimeter of the table and sat down almost in unison. My blood pressure was 220 over 110. Ten minutes go by and the door opens. It’s the owner of the network. A 75-year-old woman came walking through the door. I always hear a few ladies say amen, when I say that; I don’t know why that happens to be the case.
As soon as she walked through the door, all the men stood at attention. She came in, sat down and all the men sat down. She looked at me and she said what do you want me to do for you, young man. And the Lord said you tell her. You tell her we want five commercial spots announcing these crusades for the foreseeable future, 10 days leading up to each event free of charge and I said to the Lord you know that’s really easy for You to say!
With a smile on my face, I looked at her and I said the Lord has given us a vision and a burden for this country. That in the midst of gang violence and drug addiction and the drug trafficking that’s taking place in this country, that God loves this country, He loves this nation, He doesn’t come to condemn it, He wants to bring a message of hope, of encouragement, of inspiration and we need your help to pronounce and to proclaim that message of hope by granting us five commercial spots for the foreseeable future, 10 days leading up to each event, announcing these crusades free of charge. She sort of looked at me like the RCA dog. She said did you say free of charge? I said yes ma’am. She looked at her associate, looked back at me, she said well that sounds reasonable to me. Do any of you men have a problem with that and all the men said no ma’am. She said well give them whatever they want. Is that all you came in here for? Is that all you came in here for? And I said well for now. And since 1997, we have received five commercial spots announcing crusades for the foreseeable future, 10 days leading up to the event free of charge.
She got up and left. I turned to her associate and I said tell me, am I on candid camera? How was that so easy? He said Dona Olga loves the work of the Lord. And in one split second I realized that God has agents all over the world who are planted to help people break barriers. Friend you can rest assured that God will help you break barriers. He has people placed in strategic places who are equipped to help you break barriers. Perhaps you’re watching, perhaps God has been dealing with you about becoming an agent, a strategic agent to help this ministry continue the evangelization of the world. I would encourage you to do that. As I sat there in that board room meeting, I remembered vividly the fact that there’s no barrier that God can’t overcome and I close with this.
It’s true that I do not come from a churched home. I mentioned before that our family had a huge hole in its heart, a God hole that only He could fill. And as a 15-year-old punk kid, I sat in a Christian missionary alliance church, when a Hispanic family invited me to go to church with them. And as that pastor began to share, as he began to enlighten me about God’s love, it was as though God had looked at me through the eyes of that pastor, as a 15-year-old kid, and He said “what do you want me to do for you?” And I said I want to be free. I want to be free. And 28 years later, friends, I am free indeed. For He who the Son sets free, is free indeed.
Perhaps you’re watching this morning and you would say you know I’ve got insurmountable barriers. I need to wipe the slate clean. I need to start all over again. I need a new, I need a new life, I need to begin that new life with God.