Divine Expansion

Introduction:

Praise the Lord. The clock is ticking and at this moment we have less than an hour before we begin New Year 2015. We are seeing this moment because God was faithful in 2014. Yes, down to the smallest details of our life had been guided by God. Let’s lift up your hands and give thanks to the Lord for 2014.

 God has given me a challenging theme for 2015 – Divine Expansion.

 Isaiah 54:2-3 2“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. 3For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.

God wants to see you life moving forward. God has plans to bless you in all areas of your life. Maybe you have faced a setback in 2014. Nothing much has changed for you. God is reminding us that he is going to revive us and bring us again to a place of power and prosperity. I want to announce that a shift is taking place. You are entering into a new season, just like the winds can shift directions, in the New Year things are going to shift on your favour. Some of you are in the same level year after year; you think you have reached your limits. God is telling, “I am going to do a new thing.” God is going to thrust you further than you can imagine. He is going to open doors that you never even dreamed possible.

How to receive the God’s expansion?

1. Understand Your Present.

Remember, God delivered the Israelites from the iron hand of Pharaoh, miraculously divided the Red Sea, and brought them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. But Israel was not faithful to God. They asked for a king. The kings led them to idolatry. They lived a compromised life. Israel sinned against God.

2 Kings 17:7-8

Israel Exiled Because of Sin

7All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods 8and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced.

2 Kings 17:18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.

Look at their present condition.

Israel was suffering in exile. They were completely controlled and overrun by the Babylonians.

Isaiah 54 explains this condition:

a. Barrenness

Isaiah 54:1 Sing, barren woman…. 

b. Fear. Shame. Disgrace. Humiliation. Reproach.

Isaiah 54:4 Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. 

c. Deserted. Distress. Rejected.

Isaiah 54:6 The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit – a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. 

d.  Abandoned.

Isaiah 54:7 For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.

e. Afflicted, lashed, storms, not comforted.

Isaiah 54:11 Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted….

Sin took Israel into the pit of ruin. They were fruitless. There was no growth regardless of how much effort was put in. Israel was one of hopelessness, fruitlessness, and barren.

Tonight, I do not know what your shortcomings were in 2014. I do not know if you have been unfaithful to God. Maybe you have neglected your spiritual life, neglected church. Maybe you messed up in your family or personal life. You could not hold on to your calling.

I see another group of people here: It also maybe that you have done everything right but still faced disgrace in 2014. Maybe your dreams were scattered into pieces. Maybe health wise you struggled, you struggle in your career or business, your peace was scattered. Maybe some of you felt humiliated.

I have good news for you: Barrenness is not a permanent condition. Our God is a creator. God is breaking our barrenness. You may be going through fire and flood or the devil would have taken your blessings; God is promising divine expansion in 2015.

2. God’s promise – Divine Expansion.

Tell your neighbour, “Give me some room, I’m about to stretch!”

Isaiah 54:2-3 2Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. 3For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.

See the words of God: Enlarge and stretch. God is telling: You will not be disgraced. You will spread out to the left and to the right.” You will stretch your own curtains because of what the Lord is doing in your life. So, don’t look at what you are now, see the change that is coming.

Barren women are usually considered fruitless and a failure. The Lord is telling, “It doesn’t matter what your condition is presently, a new season is coming your way. Ignore what people have called you. You, whose life was once a laughing stock, be glad. You, whose hopes were dead, dreams were darkened, eyes were swollen with tears, rejoice, burst into songs of praise and thanksgiving. Your God the Lord God of Heaven has remembered you this day. God plans to prosper you.”

Illustration: Jabez prayed to the Lord, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. God said to Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you.” God indeed did what he promised to Abraham.

So no matter what you condition, don’t hold back…do not let yourself feel like you are useless and wasted. God is not finished with you. You may have tried before and failed, get back up God is going to expand you.

3. How to receive Divine Expansion?

a. Repent.

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Acts 8:22-23 22Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

1 John 1:9 I we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Do not go to the New Year with the old sins. Repent, God is doing a new thing in your life.

2. Believe.

Believe in spite of your circumstances.

Isaiah 54:1 Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labour.

What does the word say?

Isaiah 54:1 Sing o barren woman…

NASB Shout for joy, O barren one.

Singing is a sign of faith. You cannot sing in your troubles if you do not have faith. You got to believe that God is going to change things. That is what Hebrews 11 call as faith.

Do you hear the voice of God? Did you hear the command, in spite of what reality may be saying? There are no children. There is no soft, sweet infant to hold. The arms are empty. The mother is not nursing her child because there is no child. And yet, the Holy Spirit through the prophet Isaiah says to sing as though there are children. The Holy Spirit to shout for joy just as if the child was born. Why? Because the father has declared the children are coming. The father has declared that a breakthrough is coming.

In reality it says, there is failure, disgrace, and frustration. God declares those days are over and days of rejoicing are coming. So believe by faith.

3. Stretch.

Isaiah 54:2 Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.

Before we see increase on the outside, we have to make room for it on the inside. You cannot get what God wants without enlarging your capacity and it takes hard work. You want change, be willing to stretch.

Illustration: We had love birds in my house when I was a teenager. Initially, it was just 2 birds in a small metal cage. One vacation I decided to enlarge the cage capacity. So it took an old wooden cupboard and started working on it to make room for more birds.

In the process, I spent a lot of time, hammered my thumb, dropped things on my toe etc. When the cage was completed everyone loved it and said, “Oh it’s so beautiful, it looks great.” We all love the finished product, but let there be no mistake, hard work is required for enlargement.

Noah had to cut wood & actually build the ark. Abraham had to leave his father’s home. Joseph taxed the people to prepare for the famine. Jesus had to give his life to give us eternal life.

Maybe you need to change your perspective to receive divine expansion. Jesus said, “You cannot put new wine into old wine skins.” A wine skin is a leather container. When it got old it would become hard and rigid, not able to expand. If you put new wine into it, when the wine expanded it would burst the wine skin.

God is saying you are not going to see increase if you are stuffed in the old ways of life, old ways of thinking, old habits and sins. We need to work hard, renew our commitment to God and enlarge our capacity for God.

Illustration: If I have 5000 litters of water to give you and if you only have a one litter bottle, the problem is not with the supply, it is with your ability to receive. If you get rid of the small container and get something larger, you could get more.

It is the same principle with God. No, you got to get rid of that one-litre bottle attitude. Enlarge your capacity for God.

Illustration: In 2 Kings we have the story of a widow. Her husband has died and she does not have the money to pay her bills. Now the creditors are coming to take her sons as payment. The only thing she has of any value is a small pot of oil to cook with. The prophet Elisha came to her house and told her to do something extremely strange. He said, “Go out to the neighbours and borrow as many as empty pots that hold oil that you can possibly find.” He said specifically, “Borrow not a few, get as many as possible.”

He was saying in effect make room for abundance. She went out and I can imagine she found 5 or 6 of these empty pots. When she came home, Elisha told her to pour her oil into one of the empty containers. It looks like she was just transferring her oil from one vessel to the other but the Bible says her oil never ran out but the container did. She kept pouring and pouring. God supernaturally multiplied it until all of those containers were filled.

Here is my point. She was the one that determined how much oil she would have. If she would have had one container, she would have one full, if 10 then 10 full, if 50 then 50 full. God wanted to fill her, God has unlimited supplies. It was not up to God how much she received, it was up to her capacity. That is why the prophet said, borrow not a few. My question today: What kind of vision do you have for your life in 2015? Are you willing to stretch yourself for receiving that vision?

Some people have a barely get by container. They got a tiny little container. God says, “Alright, I will fill your small container.” Some of you like this lady has 5 or 6 containers. You are believing to pay your bills, feed your family, have that problem taken care of, that is good, God will fill those containers.

Some of you here at City Harvest. You have radical faith, you are not calling for one, two or 10, you are saying I have a couple of thousands of empty containers and I am waiting for my God to fill them. I am willing to make adjustments. You know God can do exceedingly and abundantly beyond. You know God can do more than enough. You are positioning yourself under the open windows of heaven and the promise of God for expansion.

Remember this principle when you look for a breakthrough or enlargement in any area of life. Matthew 6:33 But seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. There is always priority required and our first priority must be God.

Are you willing to stretch to receive God’s best? If you have to receive God’s best expansion in your career, family, studies, finances, business you need to be willing to stretch. Stretch in my commitments to God. Seek His Kingdom.

Pastor I don’t have time for God. Then, make time. Turn the TV and computer off.

Extent your capacity for God in your: Prayer & Devotion. b. Holiness. c. Tithing. d. Commitment to church & ministry.

4. Result of Divine Expansion.

What happens when God expands us based on Isaiah 54.

1. Days of joy and prosperity.

Isaiah 54:1 Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labour.

God is telling, “Your barrenness is going to change.” I can see change in my spiritual eyes.

2. God will restore us.

Isaiah 54:6 The Lord will call you back as if you were wife deserted and distressed in spirit.

God is restoring all that the devil has taken away. I can sense the restoration of our blessings, peace, finances etc in the Lord. If you believe say an AMEN!

3. God will protect us.

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.

In the past God allowed Babylon to overcome His people, but this will never again occur. Peace and safety are the heritage of those who trust in the Lord. And if you are a child of God this applies to you as well. If you are trusting in Christ Jesus know that “no weapon” that comes against will prosper.

Conclusion:

God is going to bless and enlarge you is this year. Will you go ahead and believe and stretch yourself for that enlargement. God has explosive blessings, blessings that can thrust you years ahead. God wants to bless you beyond your normal income, beyond your salary, beyond your retirement, beyond your feeble health.

You might have been barren, you might have been living in disgrace but God is prophesying that singing and rejoicing is coming. God is going to expand you to your right and to your left. He is going to multiply your joy. You do not know how it is going to happen but God has a 1000 ways to increase you. Amen.