Whenever I hear a sermon that moves me, I listen to it several times over. A moving sermon can be rare, but when it happened to me yesterday, I listened to it over and over and over on Facebook's replay. All I could say was, "WOW".
When Pastor Ron Carpenter Jr announced that he was taking over Jubilee Christian Center in San Jose, California, I was happy for him. He was the lead Pastor of Redemption in Greenville, South Carolina, and with live-streaming you could listen to him from anywhere. I sometimes tune in to his teachings and glean from his leadership.
Yesterday, he gave us ALL one of the richest spiritual awakenings I think he's ever preached.
The Kingdom Of God
"The Kingdom of God", he said, "is what Jesus came to bring - Heaven here on earth."
Now although this is truly magnificent in and of itself, it wasn't the revelation I'm talking about, nor the reason for this post. He went on to say that God never intended earth to operate without the Kingdom. Jesus had to come to bring the extension of the way heaven operates, which works within a culture of honor.
A what? A culture of honor?
You see, we live in a culture of disrespect, as Pastor Ron pointed out. Not like anyone has to tell us this but the level of disrespect today is absolutely mind boggling. It goes way beyond anything I've ever seen in my lifetime, and one has to ask themselves, "How much longer will God tolerate such disobedience?"
But that wasn't the reason for this post either.
The Flash of Light
The flash of light I'm referring to is when he said this,
"Honor is the seed of access.
The proof of honor is adaptation."
Now, in case you can't see how this is mind-blowing to me, may I break it down for you?
"Honor is the seed of access" meaning that whatever you honor, you will have access to. If you disrespect someone or something, you'll not have access to them for long, if at all.
What you disrespect will move away from you. What you respect will honor you in return. Honor is the seed of access.
I'll get to the second half in a minute, but understand that there is a clash of 2 Kingdoms; the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of earth. God's Kingdom, according to Psalms 103:19, "rules over all.” This means that God’s reign or rule, governs all things, which is why we often hear the phrase, "God is in control".
God is NOT in control of our thinking or our choices however. He most certainly governs the earth but not our minds. We were allowed to choose because of his love for us.
Now to the second part of Pastor Ron's statement. "The proof of honor is adaptation."
He gave the example of Queen Esther, who was Hebrew, not Persian. She was bathed in oil for one year just to be able to have access to the King for one night. She adapted to show honor.
Joseph, when placed in a new palace, shaved his beard to show he could adapt, which was to show honor.
Are you seeing this?
I wanted to hold a large Set Free live event at my home church. I also wanted to speak at other organizations that want a Kingdom culture. In order for my church to give me access, I needed to show them honor. The proof of my honor to them would be to adapt my life into their culture or around their schedule. If I get rejected by them, it may be because I've not honored their schedule, or their culture. Had I tried to find out what time worked better for them and worked around their schedule instead, it would have showed that I was honoring them. I may have missed an opportunity to live out my destiny according to God's desire, but now that I understand why honor is so vital in gaining access, I can try again. With God, anything is possible!
Why Jesus Couldn't Do Miracles At Home
Jesus, in Mark chapter 6, was clearing out the hospitals by healing everyone he came to. When he left that town he went back home, and yet he couldn't perform one single miracle, not even one. BUT WHY?
Did Jesus' power to heal disappear? Did he suddenly struggle with the fact that He is the Son of the Most High God? He was the same Jesus that healed the Centurion servant. The same Jesus that cast out demons. The same Jesus that healed the blind and raised people from the dead. So why couldn't he live out his destiny in his own home town?
The People in his hometown held attitudes of disrespect toward him. He was just a carpenter's son to them. He was a young kid to them and they couldn't see beyond their own attitudes to understand the power He had to move mountains. Because of this dishonoring attitude, it prevented Jesus from showing the miraculous love of the Father.
"The culture of honor causes the Kingdom culture to move." Said Pastor Ron Carpenter. And it only makes sense that the culture of dishonor pushes the Kingdom out through disrespect. This is so sad to me.
Matthew 13:44 says, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field."
Pastor's interpretation of this was awesome. He said that treasures are almost always hidden. They're hidden under dirt so that the casual bystander cannot extract it. But those who look for the treasure and find it truly commit to it. They'll not only find the hidden treasure that's buried under the dirt but they'll find a way to pay for the entire property just so they can be part of the process to their destiny! They may have to dig for years! They may have to go through tons of dirt to reap the benefits of their destiny, but reap they will as they honor the process and adapt to doing whatever it takes to get there.
Now Can You See It?
We are all messy, we all have dirt in our lives, and in order for us to get to the treasure, we have to truly commit to showing up every single day no matter what.
So here are a few questions to measure the culture of honor you have in your own life.
Have you reached the treasure in your spouse?
Have you discovered the treasure in your children?
Have you found the treasure in your job or work situation?
Have you committed to a relationship with Jesus for the long haul?
A culture of honor, to me, is celebrating who a person is in God's Kingdom without focusing on who they are not. Choosing to honor the culture of whatever your destiny looks like means going through the dirt to bring the Kingdom to earth. Whenever you come from a place of honor, you won't look at others and be disgusted. You'll see them through Jesus' eyes instead.
I'm still working on this culture of honor just like you are. I want this for my life, this destiny that God has for me, and the destiny God has for you, to be part of Kingdom culture in my home, in my city and in my country of America. Will you join me?
Let me know your thoughts below and share this post if you found it worthy of sharing.
On Earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.