Who Do You Say I Am?: Sermon By Deaconess Sarah Muendo
Now when Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? And they answered, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am? Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven.
And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros—a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven. Then He sternly and strictly charged and warned the disciples to tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.Matthew 16:13-20 (AMPC)
Each and everyone of us are people of power. We possess power because He is powerful and He has given us power. We have been given everything we need for life and godliness.
He tells us who He is and that informs who we are. This definition is a spiritual revelation.
People had different perceptions (human understanding) about who Jesus was. Peter had a revelation of the Spirit.
Perception is everything. How we see God determines who God is to us. When we do not see clearly, God cannot be anyone else in our lives. For the people who saw Jesus as John the Baptist, that’s all He was to them – a baptizer in water. For those who saw Him as a prophet or a devil, He couldn’t be anything else to them. They were not able to see the Son of God for who He is.
Before Moses’ time, God had revealed Himself as El Shaddai – God Almighty.
In Exodus 3, God reveals himself as I AM.
Now behold, the cry of the Israelites has come to Me, and I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? God said, I will surely be with you; and this shall be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain [Horeb, or Sinai].
And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, I Am Who I Am and What I Am, and I Will Be What I Will Be; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I Am has sent me to you! God said also to Moses, This shall you say to the Israelites: The Lord, the God of your fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has sent me to you! This is My name forever, and by this name I am to be remembered to all generations.Exodus 3:9-15 (AMPC)
In the book of John, Jesus said He is the Bread of Life; the Way, the Truth and the Life; the Good Shepherd; the Light; the True Vine.
Christ didn’t ask the question on His identity because of a crisis or need to be affirmed in esteem. He asked the disciples who He was to reveal the limits they had placed for themselves in their relationship with Him.
Let us pray that we will see God as He is so that we are not limited in our relationship with Him.
God is concerned about how we see Him because it determines everything about us. The first education of a son is sight – as far as your eyes can see…
They answered Him, Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus said to them, I am He. Judas, who was betraying Him, was also standing with them. When Jesus said to them, I am He, they went backwards (drew back, lurched backward) and fell to the ground.John 18:5-6 (AMPC)
John The Revelator saw and heard things in God. There are things you see in God that influence the walk of dominion.
Perception all through the Bible is a warfare tactic. How you see your opportunities, challenges, people around you, etc, determines their impact in your life.
How you see your battles determine whether you will win or not.
Correct perception will keep us in God in the good times and bad and it determines how far we see in God. How far can you see in God? How wide, deep and long do you want your dominion to be?
The spies saw themselves as grasshoppers but Caleb and Joshua perceived that the giants were like bread in God’s eyes.
There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.Numbers 13:33 (AMPC)
Only do not rebel against the Lord, neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their defense and the shadow [of protection] is removed from over them, but the Lord is with us. Fear them not.Numbers 14:9 (AMPC)
Those who saw themselves as grasshoppers had already lost the fight. They did not have to physically go to the promised land to fight.
When the king of Syria was warring against Israel, after counseling with his servants, he said, In such and such a place shall be my camp. Then the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, Beware that you pass not such a place, for the Syrians are coming down there. Then the king of Israel sent to the place of which [Elisha] told and warned him; and thus he protected and saved himself there repeatedly. Therefore the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing. He called his servants and said, Will you show me who of us is for the king of Israel? One of his servants said, None, my lord O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber. He said, Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him. And it was told him, He is in Dothan. So [the Syrian king] sent there horses, chariots, and a great army. They came by night and surrounded the city.
When the servant of the man of God rose early and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was around the city. Elisha’s servant said to him, Alas, my master! What shall we do? [Elisha] answered, Fear not; for those with us are more than those with them. Then Elisha prayed, Lord, I pray You, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, Smite this people with blindness, I pray You. And God smote them with blindness, as Elisha asked. Elisha said to the Syrians, This is not the way or the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek. And he led them to Samaria.
And when they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, Lord, open the eyes of these men that they may see. And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw. Behold, they were in the midst of Samaria! When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, My father, shall I slay them? Shall I slay them? [Elisha] answered, You shall not slay them. Would you slay those you have taken captive with your sword and bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and return to their master. So [the king] prepared great provision for them, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.2 Kings 6:8-23 (AMPC)
Elisha was able to perceive the angel army and prayed that his servant’s eyes would be open. He could see that the battle was already won even before it began.
On the other hand, the entire army was struck with blindness. Later their eyes were open, they feasted and were let go. There was no need for fighting.
The battle was won by their sight or lack of it. There was no physical clashing of swords per se. Power of perception in spiritual battles. #SELAH
We are living epistles. How we see God determines how unbelievers in our lives see Him.
Our mission is dominion – it’s what we were created for. That’s why we pray for things on earth to be as they are in heaven. Our jurisdiction is the CBD while our strategy is homes, schools and workplaces. One of the weapons we have in this season is perception.
Ask and it shall be given to you. If I ask, and do not get it is because I ask amiss. We can only get what we ask for if we ask the right question. It takes accurate perception to do this.
How we present ourselves to the people in our homes, schools and workplaces determines the outcome of how we relate with them.
Our home situations and other environments can largely affect how we see God, ourselves and the world around us.
Correct perception is a factor of dominion. God asked Abraham to open his eyes – as far as he could see his inheritance lay.
How you see opportunities around you will determine whether you take them or not. How you see your challenges in the workplace will determine the value and solutions you deliver.
Parenting is the highest form of discipleship. You take a child from nothing and teach them how to see the world. In the same way, we take baby Christians and teach them how to be believers.
Whatever we harbour in our hearts – good and bad – we pass on to those we are imparting. The lens from which we see the world becomes the lens with which they see the world. This is how dominion happens.
For example, rife cheating in schools and punitive measures being promulgated to curb it. The students, as a result, will have a warped perception of learning where they see it as a process that is not fun but punitive. Our school experience determines the attitude we have towards learning for the rest of our lives. A bad learning experience can cripple your passion and your call. The impact of such a bad school system is powerless saints at the gates of society.
Another example is in workplaces where there is plenty of frustration and humiliation. The result is that people have a negative perception of work, which was meant to be done as unto the Lord. Work because promotion does not come from East or West, it comes from the Lord. The prevailing circumstances at work are designed to blur our God out of the picture. Work your worth, work because you are a son and your career is Spirit-led. God’s test for us is faithfulness not the pay check.
How we take what God gives us is determined by perception. Your revelation of Christ – your perception of Him – will determine how far you go in this walk of faith.
In 2016, God will reward they that have a pure heart. Purity of heart is to not charge God wrongly; it is taking time to see God for who He really is and seeing people for who they really are. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. When we seek God in earnest, we find Him abundantly.
The Father says today ask, seek, knock – you will not be disappointed. The summation of all interaction between heaven and earth is contained in that simple understanding. When you ask Me I will answer. When you seek Me I will be found. When you knock I will open to you and bring you deeper into a more complete relationship with Me. This is who I am and what I do. I am not excluding you. Say of your soul “I am not excluded…” Declare in your circumstance “I have asked – and HE WILL ANSWER…” In so doing you are prophesying your own outcome. When you stake your expectations on the reliability of My promise and the affirmation of My character you will never come up empty. I am the Great Superintendent of all things and there is no negligence in Me. I am not an absentee father. I am not a dead-beat dad. You are not a latch-key kid left to your own deserts. I am here. I am with you. Roll your cares upon Me for I am taking care of every need in your life.
Close your eyes for just one moment and realize that you are not limited. My very nature is limitlessness and I live in you. It is not possible for My Spirit to reside in you and not impart and affect you in such a way that you take on My characteristics and nature. You will see Me and be like Me for you shall see Me as I am. I am limitless. I am without limitation. Nothing is impossible with Me for I invented – in fact created possibility. That is My nature and because I live in you that is your nature. Being like Me is more than developing the moral equivalent of My altruistic personality. Being like Me is doing what I would do were I facing your challenges. When I saw the darkness I spoke. When I saw the chaos I created. When I saw the opposite of what I purposed then I spoke the thing desired and all the cosmos bent to My will. Because you are in Me and I am in you – this is likewise your portion. Because you have yielded to My Lordship and given yourself over to My purposes – you are forever changed and your circumstance will without fail adjust to that new, blessed reality.The Father Says Today: May 25th, 2016
God wants us to see much more than we know. The complexity of God is often presented in the simplest of forms. The simplicity of God can confuse the carnal man.
May we see God and ourselves as we really are.