290 A Hole in the Hedge
Today I want to look through a “Hole in the Hedge”?
“What on earth are you talking about?” I hear you ask.
I’m talking about the Law of Confession! This is a Biblical Law which has to do with our TALK more than our WALK?
In August 2011, I Preached a Sermon over these air waves entitled “Speak to your Mountain” about the power of the Tongue. (Today I want to expand on that theme)
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived tells us that
“A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof“. Proverbs 18:20-21
Notice that Solomon does not say that Death and Life are in Gods power, or in the Devils Power, or in the Surgeons power, he says that that power is in your tongue and in mine. That’s an amazing statement, and together with other such Biblical truths it forms what we call the LAW of CONFESSION.
(Confession in this context is not about “confessing sin or wrongdoing” rather it is about the things we speak)
Listen very carefully to me today, for what I have to say is not only Information but Revelation and will transform your life and your circumstances (as it has mine) if you can grasp its message and its significance. This is perhaps one of the most important truths in all of the Bible for within this Law of Confession, hangs the Law of Faith. Faith cannot operate without confession. We shall look later at how that works both Historically and Practically, both in the pages of the Bible and in the moments of your Day. Suffice to say at this point that without declaring you are saved (confessing Jesus as Lord) you will not be saved. Without calling yourself “healed” you cannot be healed. Without considering yourself “favoured” you cannot enjoy the favour of God. The words we say either prove or disprove the faith we claim or proclaim. It’s a Law!
So then, I want to look through a Hole in the Hedge? This Hedge is a hedge of safety and protection which God has placed around all of his Children, including you and me. It is an impenetrable hedge, God put it there and God keeps it there.
I am not speaking now of a Box Wood hedge, or a Hawthorn hedge, no, this hedge is a spiritual hedge. It is not visible to the natural eye, but is very visible to the spiritual. Sometimes when I am praying in the Spirit God gives me glimpses of it, and I can tell you that nothing can get over it, or under it, or through it or around it, it is a mighty powerful hedge, and the devil and every demon in Hell know well that they dare not try to penetrate it without permission.
It is possible to see in the Spiritual realm, (but you must believe in it, and you must want it) So you remember that in
2 Kings 6, when Elisha was in Dothan, that God gave him to see that all around him was a secure hedge of fire, made up of horses of fire and chariots of fire. His servant boy could not see them until God opened his spiritual eyes, but Elisha the man of God could see them. God grant us vision to see beyond the natural to the spiritual, and beyond the physical needs of our neighbours to the eternal essentials.
The existence of this hedge is also borne out, or proved in the story we read earlier in today’s Service from the first Chapter of Job. Let me recap as I read again from verse 10 (where the Devil says) …“Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land“. Job 1:10
Satan had been trying to get in on Job, to destroy him, and he had discovered that this hedge was impenetrable so he lines up with the Angels again and must seek permission – even if the hedge has a breach in it, Satan must first of all get the approval of God to touch any of his children, God has not only saved us but He has sealed us (Eph 1:13) – It is as if God was saying to the World, the Flesh and the Devil …“Do Not Break the seal – do not Tamper with any of my Children.”
It would appear from a closer examination of the story of Job, which has many wonderful practical and spiritual lessons in store for us, that Job himself realised that by careless talk he had created a breach in the hedge and what he had feared and talked about, the calamity he had dreaded had come upon him?
In his prayers He says to God …
“ Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” Job 6:24
Many of us need to “hold our tongues” when it comes to idle talk. We say things like … “These children will be the death of me” and “I’m dying to go there” or “this car costs me an arm and a leg” innocently assuming that we do ourselves no harm – without realizing that such chit-chat breaches the hedge and opens a door for the Devil to get in.
Listen …Ecclesiastes 10:8 reads
He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. There it is THE HOLE IN THE HEDGE! How many have been bitten by that old Serpent the Devil because they have carelessly breached the defences of God by idle chatter – telling all and sundry that their confidence in not in God, but in some Medication, some great Doctor, some great Pension plan, some secure housing scheme, some new job opportunity or some new promotional promise.
Right there we break down our Divine Defences and claim from some other source of protection, and the favour that we think we need. We look back over our shoulder to the world for our hope and our help and Satan is free to step into our circumstances and bite us. Then we wonder why we are suffering and struggling just like the atheists and the agnostics around us? Satan cannot touch us unless we have provided some means of access to him, and if there is a hole in the hedge, He will come through it.
Let me say that where you are today is a direct result of your mouth. When I first received that revelation I rejected it utterly, but God had to show me that it was the Truth and a truth which he underlines in His word – it is His word not mine.
But I can’t just say that, I must prove that to you.
So I want to focus now on what is the Thrust of my Message and for that I have chosen a text from Proverbs 15 at verse 4, where we read …
“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”
Let me read that again from the Amplified Bible
“A gentle tongue with its healing power is a tree of life, but wilful contrariness in it, breaks down the spirit”
It is clear that perverseness of speech or contrariness of speech imply speaking contrary to the word and the way of God. When we speak anything other that what God speaks concerning us, we create a breach in the spirit, or a hole in the hedge. We are speaking out of line, out of tune with Gods word, we are speaking rather as men think not as God thinks. Our speech indicates how much of Gods ways live in our hearts, or how much of worldly ways live there? When we speak only about those things which we see in the natural, we make no room for faith, we do not “call those things which are not as though they were” Hebrews 11:3
Faith is not only about Revelation, Faith can lodge in the Head but it must live in the heart. God must see that our belief in him, our confidence in him, is not just about our walk, but about our talk; for “Out of the abundance of the Heart the mouth speaketh” – Luke 6:45
What is inside must come out! When Faith is at work we do not speak only of those things which we see. We speak of the things which God sees and the promises which God has made to us. Abram could see no children, no family, no way in which he could become the Father of nations, so God changed his name and called him Abraham, (the very word means Father of Nations…) The name change was to get him to speak it out that he was the Father of nations. Abram believed in his head, but it wasn’t until it got to his heart that it became evident on his lips. Then he saw the miracle of his 90 year old barren wife give birth. We will never say what we don’t or won’t truly believe.
Don’t keep rehearsing what the doctors say, what the politicians say, what your bosses say, what the neighbour says or even what the Preacher says, if it does not line up with what God says, forget it, and focus only on what the Bible says. Only Glorious things are spoken of us in Zion. Praise God. Hide Gods word away in your heart. Refuse to make a hole in that hedge, like a little motto on my desk reads … Nothing Negative Never!
Start living like that and see change in your life!
Now I hear some of you respond, “I’m not going to tell lies” but its not a lie to speak Biblical Truth in the face of Human failure and Hard fact. This is exactly what God calls “the wholesome tongue, the Tree of Life” of which I spoke a moment ago from Proverbs 15:4. I want to illustrate that today as I read you a Biblical Story for it is vital that you grasp this truth.
Turn with me if you will to what is a remarkable story found in 2 Kings chapter 4. A story of the Faith of a Shunamite Woman.
And I want you to see the whole picture – so I’ll read the whole story. Let’s read from verse 8
2 Kings chapter 4: verse 8
(8) “And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
(9) And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.
(10) Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.
(11) And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there.
(12) And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.
(13) And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.
(14) And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.
(15) And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door.
(16) And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
(17) And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.
(18) And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.
(19) And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother.
(20) And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
(21) And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.
(22) And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.
(23) And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.
(24) Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee.
(25) So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:
(26) Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.
(27) And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.
(28) Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?
(29) Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.
(30) And the mother of the child said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her.
(31) And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked.
(32) And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.
(33) He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.
(34) And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.
(35) Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
(36) And he called Gehazi, and said,
Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she
was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son“. Amen.
Now I don’t believe that I’ve read such a long story in the middle of any sermon before but I wanted you to grasp the entire scene. What we see, what you and I can see, what the woman could see, what the servant Gehazi could see and what the man of God Elisha could see was that the Boy was dead!
But did she say he was dead? NO!
Did she say he was sick? NO! Did she say he was poorly? NO!
HE WAS DEAD but she refused to accept anything that looked differently from what God had promised her. Her focus was on Gods promise, Gods word, not on her circumstances and she got her miracle and she got back her Son from the jaws and the grip of Death. She refused to create a Hole in the Hedge which God had put about her and her house. Praise God for evermore.
Some critic will say “She lied” but did she lie when she said “All is well”? NO. Because – where all was well, was not on the outside, but on the inside. All was well in her heart.
And my dear friends if all is not well on your “outside” today,
you may need to examine your “inside”.
Take a fresh look into your heart for my Bible says …
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life“. Proverbs 4:23 and as I said a moment ago, what is IN will come OUT!
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
Here is what I believe to be the Revelation in all of this.
Jesus said: “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:22-24
So Jesus says that Faith in Prayer will result in us receiving whatever we say! Remember now that the Shunamite Woman refused to say anything Negative. Yet when you and I pray we are often praying about the aches and pains, praying about the bills and the pressures we face, praying about the pain and problems we need solving … and often we get what we say – we get what we pray. Say the bad, Pray the bad and you’re likely to receive the Bad. But say only the good, Pray only the good and you’ll get the good. The Shunamite woman’s story proves it. When things are bad, you don’t need to tell God that they are bad, God knows better than you how bad they really are, so stop telling him what he knows. Instead, say “Lord you are my light and my salvation, you are the strength of my life of whom (or what) shall I be afraid… Thank you father that only Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, enable me to keep my focus on the good only” and start praising God and thanking Him that “he has only Good for you and not evil” …remind him that you are grateful for those “green pastures and still waters” of Psalm 23. Thank him that “no good thing will he withhold from the upright.” Thank Him that you have been made the “righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” and rejoice that “By His stripes you were healed” … and mark my words, if you take your focus off your body, your ailments and your circumstances, they will begin to line up with the words you speak, they will align themselves with the promises of God, and you’ll see the miracle you speak. So…
“Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile“. Psalm 34:13 If you do, you will have blocked up that Hole in the Hedge.
God Bless you … Amen.