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The Pea Patch

I’ve Left This Pea Patch My Last Time

2 Samuel 23:11-12

1. When God gave Israel the Promised Land, it was a land flowing with milk and honey.

• After wandering around the desert land for 40 years, the Promise Land had to have seemed even better than they could have imagined.

• It was a land flowing with milk and honey. It was the place God picked for His children. It was where He would establish His people – His Kingdom – and His Kingdom to come.

• Israel demonstrated in the Promise Land the blessings and favor that would follow all that served the Lord.

• Yet it didn’t come without a price. It was handed to them. The first 11 chapters of Joshua describe one battle after another. These men fought for every inch of a land promised to them.

• Even though God promised them – prepared it for them – gave it to them – they still had to fight for it.

• This is a principle that runs throughout the Scriptures, our enemy the devil will do anything and everything he can to keep us from God best for our lives, our families, our churches, and our ministries.

2. May I remind you that we are at war?

• Terminology like:

Ephesians 6:10-18 KJV

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 KJV

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)

I Timothy 1:18 KJV

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightiest war a good warfare;

I Timothy 6:12 KJV

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2 Timothy 4:7 KJV

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

3. No one tonight could have predicted or ever imagined the war we are engaged in in America.

A. I don’t want to spend our time burdening you with how bad things have gotten.

I could – you could talk all evening about the moral decline of our great nation – the dearth of leadership – the persecution of the church and followers of Christ.

We’d have to be blind and deaf, physically, and absolutely spiritually dead to not know America and its churches are in crisis.

Concerns for the church today:

• William Booth – founder of the Salvation Army, was asked at the end of the 19th century: “Looking into the next century, what are your concerns?”

Booth said, “In answering your inquiry I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be:

Religion without the Holy Spirit

Christianity without Christ

Forgiveness without repentance

Salvation without regeneration

Politics without God

Heaven without hell.”

Without a doubt, he prophesied truth.

Pastors, I believe one of our primary responsibilities and duties to our congregants is to define reality.  

First, let’s acknowledge – we are at war!

• The Middle East is a powder keg that threatens to explode at any moment.

• Iran

• North Korea

• We have been virtually blinded to, and have not fully grasped, that there is a greater war being waged.  

• It is a war that is insidious and catastrophic. It is a war for the heart and soul of our homes, our church, and our country.

• Recently, my belief in this was confirmed by none other than a leader of Al-Qaeda.

• I was watching the news on the morning of April 16, 2014, when in passing, the news anchor said, “A leader of al-Qaeda was quoted saying: ‘We must eliminate the Cross. America is the bearer of the Cross.’”

I couldn’t believe my ears nor my eyes when that played. Could it be that people are finally getting it?

• Although it seems many of our leaders don’t get it – and many of our pastors and preachers are too busy preaching to please, building kingdoms, and convincing us all to believe in ourselves – our enemy gets it! Those who would destroy us understand it.

• The only thing that is keeping America from going the way of the empires and kingdoms and nations that rose to the heights in the past, is there is still a remnant of God-fearing people who are relentless in prayer, committed to sharing the Gospel, and had rather burn than bow to the gods of this culture.

• But slowly and consistently the enemy keeps chipping away at the heart and soul of our salvation.

• Remove the Cross from America, and America is doomed!

• Take away our freedom to worship and America will go down in utter despair!

• Take the Cross out of Christianity and all we’ve got is a religion that is powerless, virtue-less and worthless.

• Remove the Cross from America and our government “of the people, by the people, for the people” will cease.

Every great nation has gone through a gradual decline that led to their demise. And America is on the verge. Here is the progression:

1. The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith.

2. The second from spiritual faith to great courage.

3. The third stage moves from great courage to liberty.

4. The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance.

5. The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness.

6. The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency.

7. The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy.

8. The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay.

9. The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence.

10. And the tenth and last stage moves from dependence to bondage.

These are the ten stages through which the great civilizations have gone. Notice the progression from bondage to liberty back to bondage. The first generation throws off the shackles of bondage only to have a later generation, through apathy and indifference, allow itself to once again be enslaved.

This is true of Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Great Britain, France and Spain. They all enjoyed their time at the top of the world, in many cases, for several hundred years. Then, as they began to decline, they all experienced some peculiar similarities:

(1) an inordinate emphasis on sports and entertainment

(2) A fixation with lifestyles of the rich and famous

(3) Political corruption, and

(4) The loss of a moral compass.

• For the life of me, why can’t our leaders see this?

• For the life of me, why can’t preachers get it?

• For the life of me, why can’t the press understand it?

• For the life of me, why is there not an uprising? Why is there not a ground-swell? Why do Christians not vote? Why do believers not get engaged? Why are our churches closing and our pulpits silent?

And I ask, why are we silent?

• Have we lost our moral clarity?

• Have we forgotten our calling?

• Have we forgotten our heritage?

• Have we become so inoculated with such a mild form of Christianity that we have become immune to the real thing?

• Why are our pulpits silent?

• Why are our prayer closets dusty?

• Why are our eyes not red and our knees not calloused?

We need a revival in America!

We need a preacher – a prophet – a priest of God to stand and declare, “Thus saith the Lord!”

• We must rebuild our altars. We must return to the Cross!

The generations that follow us are at stake!

You know it – I know it – we are only one generation away from losing the Promise and Provisions and Purpose from God for our great nation.

• 87% of those 20-35 say God and the church have no relevance to their lives.

• We must have revival! We must have renewal! We must have restoration!

1. America does not need another symposium or conference on “relevance and the church.”

 2. America doesn’t need another denomination to cow-tow to modern relativism and, in the name of tolerance, coddle sin!

3. America needs a preacher of righteousness – one crying in the wilderness – a courageous - spirit-filled – anointed prophet of God to lead us back – back to the altar – back to the prayer closet. Back to teaching – preaching- proclaiming, “Thus saith the Lord.”

The Text

1. The story

2. Finally, Shammah had enough.

• Shammah stand between 2 armies – one who came to fight – the other running in fear.

• Maybe at first he starts to run. Maybe he thinks, “Here we go again.”

• But I think Shammah comes to terms with there’s no point in running for your life, if once you get there, you have no reason to live.

3. His friends are running but Shammah thinks, “No more! I’m not running. I’m tired of running!”

These Philistines don’t own this field. They didn’t till this ground. They didn’t plant these peas.

• They didn’t hoe the weeds and water the plants and nurture this crop.

• These aren’t their peas. These are my peas.

• They may take my life. They may spill my blood right here, right now. But I’m not running. I’ve run for the last time.

• If I die, I’ll die with my pea pods hanging out of my pockets. For I’ve left this pea patch my last time.

• And how ‘bout it? This community doesn’t belong to the devil. It doesn’t belong to the drug lord. It doesn’t belong to those who hate my Jesus and fight to destroy our values and Christian principles.

• I may stand alone. I may fight alone. But if I die, I’ll die with my children in my arms. I’ll die with my family behind me. I’ll die clinging to the Cross of Jesus, for I’ve run the last time!

Worship Set

Open Up The Heavens

- Meredith Andrews, Stuart Garrard, James McDonald, and Andi Rozier

Verse 1

We've waited for this day
We're gathered in Your Name
Calling out to You
Your glory like a fire awakening desire
Will burn our hearts with truth

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus)

You're the reason we're here
You're the reason we're singing

Chorus 1

Open up the heavens we want to see You
Open up the floodgates a mighty river
Flowing from Your heart
Filling every part of our praise

Misc 2 (Interlude)

Oo oo oo oo oo

Verse 2

Your presence in this place Your glory on our face
We're looking to the sky
Descending like a cloud You're standing with us now
Lord unveil our eyes

Misc 3 (Bridge)

Show us show us Your glory
Show us show us Your power
Show us show us Your glory Lord

Misc 4 (Ending)

Oo oo oo oo


- Christopher Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Ntele, Steven Furtick

Verse 1

The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now
The Savior knelt to wash our feet
Now at his feet we bow

Verse 2

The one who wore our sin and shame
Now robed in majesty
The radiance of perfect love
Now shines for all to see

Chorus 1

Your name
Your name
Is victory
All praise
Will rise
To Christ our king

Verse 3

The fear that held us now gives way
To him who is our peace
His final breath upon the cross
Is now alive in me

Misc 1 (Bridge)

By your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me
In your name I come alive
To declare your victory
The resurrected king
Is resurrecting me

Verse 4

The tomb where soldiers watched in vain
Was borrowed for three days
His body there would not remain
Our God has robbed the grave
Our God has robbed the grave

My Victory 

-Darren Mulligan, David Crowder, Ed Cash, and Hank Bentley

Verse 1

You came for criminals
And ev'ry Pharisee
You came for hypocrites
Even one like me
You carried sin and shame
The guilt of ev'ry man
The weight of all I've done
Nailed into Your hands

Chorus 1

Oh Your love bled for me
Oh Your blood in crimson streams
Oh Your death is Hell's defeat
A cross meant to kill is my victory

Verse 2

Oh Your amazing grace
I've seen and tasted it
It's running through my veins
I can't escape its grip
In You my soul is safe
You cover ev'rything

Misc 1 (Bridge)

Behold the Lamb of God
Who takes away our sin
Who takes away our sin
The holy Lamb of God
Makes us alive again
Makes us alive again

Misc 2 (Ending)

Oh a cross meant to kill is my victry