Everett Swanson - Olympia II Washington Convention - August 2007

Hymn #271

John 1:12, "But as many as received Him gave He power to become the sons of God who believe in His name." We’ve been given power. One time, a blind man in John 9 came to Jesus. He knew Jesus was the only one who could heal his eyes. Jesus turned it around and put the responsibility in his hands. "Be it unto you according to your faith." Jesus will do the miracle part if we believe and do the possible. When we commit to Him, He will commit to us. Jesus asked this blind man, "Do you believe I can do this?" He said, "Yes, Lord." Then Jesus put it back in his hands, "Be it unto according to your faith." How much vision you will have in the new year is according to your faith.

In James 4:8, "Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you." Do you want to be closer to God? He is waiting for your commitment. As soon as you draw nigh to God, He will draw near to you. Perhaps we are not quite there yet. There was a Sunday morning meeting on this place. I was trying to listen to the meeting. I had the flu and couldn’t be there. I heard voices and I knew that person and this person but there I was outside. I couldn’t take the bread and wine because I was outside. I was close but not close enough. Mary was at the feet of Jesus. Could we get closer than that? John worked his way over to Jesus and leaned on Jesus. He wanted to be close to Jesus. 2 Corinthians 6:16, "I will walk in them." I will be their God and they shall be My people. The Spirit comes inside. I will enter into you. Something of God comes inside which is even a little closer yet.

One son came to his father and said he can’t get the truth. The father told him the reason was because he didn’t have the nature. God wants to give us a new nature that will feed the life within. Jesus said, "He that eateth this bread will live forever." Our "forever" is effected when we are feeding on Christ. When you are around someone you know, you know right away if they have been feeding on the things of God. One day I was at a farm house and I went out to see what time sheep started feeding. They came out and began feeding on grass and clover. They weren’t thinking, "I had this yesterday." They were so excited to have pasture to feed on. They ate and then laid down and they were contented.

Revelation 1:8, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day." As soon as John committed the door to heaven was opened. If you want an open heaven, you need to commit to God. In Malachi 3, it tells us He will open the windows of heavens and pour you out a blessing and you won’t have enough room to receive it. Then the Lord promised him He would take care of the devourer. What a privilege we have to pay the price for an open heaven. It would be interesting to watch Daniel open heaven three times a day. The power was in Daniel. He had an open heaven because he committed his life to Him. It is up to us to decide how close we want to be to God.

I saw a picture of a paratrooper in an airplane and the door was open and suddenly he jumped and they photographed him. Under the picture there was one word, "Committed." There was no turning back. He was committed. In one class the teacher said, "I’ll teach you how to pack your pack but how you pack your pack will determine if you are committed." Dan Hilton said one time, "I am in this over my head." Dan was a committed servant. When we are willing to risk everything, we risk nothing. When we give our all, then our song and joy begins.

The length of the famine is in your hands. In 2 Samuel 21:1, we read about David in a famine for a year. It didn’t need to be a year. Where are you? We sometimes panic and wonder where the mercy of God is. The length of the famine was in David’s hand. This famine went on for three years. David went to God and asked, "Why the famine was going on?" God told him the reason and David took care of the problem and the famine ceased. The Lord has committed a lot into our hands.

When we do something on the earth, something happens in heaven. When someone commits their lives to God, suddenly there is joy in heaven. The angels rejoice. Great rejoicing over one sinner who repents. We can do something during the week that effects heaven. Matthew 10:32, "If you confess Me before men, I’ll confess you before God." He said two things, "I’ll talk to the holy angels about you and I’ll talk to God about you." Committed lives bring rejoicing.

Sometimes we give our testimonies and we want to do better and then we find out it doesn’t happen in our lives. We can have four wonderful days of conventions and we can lose it all before we leave the convention. We need to try and commit more time to God. If we pray a certain amount of time, try adding ten more minutes in the morning. Try it! The Lord has asked us to pray that God would send laborers into the ministry. New workers are a product of your prayer life. You had a part in the harvest. Our prayers can be effective. Our effectual fervent prayers can have an influence. If we don’t say what we are going to do our prayers could be an abomination, Proverbs 28:9. We can pray that God will keep those who are in the ministry. Workers are vulnerable. Satan wants to destroy the ministry. Thank you for your prayers. Someone prayed and God said, "I saw your tears." They were committed.

In our field, we have a 99 year old lady. She is full of life. Her son, who is a school principal, asked his mother to come to this meeting in a restaurant. Many people were there. Suddenly his mother decided she wanted to sing. She sang that hymn, "Give me a heart that is tender true." When she got through, the room was quiet. Have you asked God to take out the hardness so you can have a tender and kind heart? I visited her later in the care facility and she said she was so happy. She sang hymns and put them on a recorder and she listens to the hymns all day. She is so happy and she is rejoicing all the time. She could be talking about negative things or she could talk about her health problems. She never mentions it. She comes to the gospel meetings and she sits on the front row and then she goes home and she tells everyone what she has heard at the meetings. Everyone loves her and hugs her. She has the goods. She is a committed soul.

Luke 6:36, "Give and to you it shall be given." The same measure it shall be measure to you again. We decide our own measure. If want a larger heart, it is up to you. If you want to be more forgiving, it is up to you. He wants to give you power to do it. 1 John 4:4, "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." Satan doesn’t have a chance, the world doesn’t have a chance because greater is He than is in the world. That is how it happens.

One of my companions told me the reason why he is in the work. One day his mother came to him and asked him about some damage in the bedroom upstairs. He said he didn’t do it. She said to her son, "You have lied and you will be punished." She told her husband about the damage when he came home from work. He spoke up and said, "I did that damage!" The mother took her son and went into the bedroom and closed the door and began weeping and she asked her young son for forgiveness. That spirit came from God into her heart and she shared it with him. This is a mighty kingdom. When you leave this convention, you won’t face one thing but what you can’t get victory.

He said, "You have overcome the wicked one." He gave him power over Satan and over temptation. That power is on your side. Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with an angel all night. There are people in this meeting that have wrestled with angels. No matter what kind of pit you are in you can find God and get power to overcome. "When you seek Me, you will find Me." When we search for God and are committed you will find the help. One religious lady said she couldn’t find God. She prayed and asked, "Would you find me?" And God did. She found her way to the convention. The angel told Jacob, "You are going to have power with God." When you pray, you are going to have power. When you meditate, you are going to have power. It is there for us. It will enable us.

I went to a doctor because I wasn’t feeling just right. When I got up to leave the doctor asked me, "Is this is all you want me to do?" She had committed time for me and I didn’t use the time wisely. We have the great physician who knows about us. Perhaps God has more to commit to us but we don’t want to take time. We walk off. If only we knew the power He has to commit to us.

God once said to the children of Israel, "I could have destroyed all your enemies. I could have made your peace like a river. I could of made your righteousness like the sea. I could of brought honey out of the rock." We have forty chapters of wanderings because they weren’t committed. Those chapters didn’t need to happen.

We read of Jesus’ commitments. When Jesus came to earth, He didn’t come having it all made. He said, "God gave me the doctrine, the spirit, the works. I go to the Father. I can’t do anything on my own." He wouldn’t speak unless God spoke to him. In Luke 2:49, "He said, 'I must be about my fathers business.'" He was committed. "I must walk today, tomorrow, and the day following. I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day. The scriptures must be fulfilled. I must needs go through Samaria." These were commitments.

Jesus went a little farther in the garden. When Jesus came into the garden, there was a possibility of sinning because Jesus had a fleshly nature and another will. Jesus struggled with His flesh and His will and He prayed and He prayed and He wasn’t conquered. He came back the second time and then the third time. In Hebrews 12:4, "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." This is exactly what Jesus did. He went to the garden and it cost His blood. If it wasn’t for His blood, there wouldn’t be any blood. The disciples observed Jesus and He was bleeding. They knew He was in a great struggle. He got the victory because He was committed.

Isaiah 53, He poured out His soul. When you pour, it is controlled. If you spill, you don’t have any control. Jesus poured out His love, His mercies. I was in Ukranine and I met this lady. She was attending meetings. She had never attended convention. She didn’t stay long and she left and I felt for her. She went out and she was weeping. She felt unworthy of these people and these meetings. She was committed. She felt unworthy. She missed several meetings and came back. She gave her testimony and she said she didn’t feel worthy to be there but she was staying. She was committed.

1 Chronicles 4:10, Jabez asked God for five things. God said He would do it. Jabez prayed but there was something behind his prayer. "Would you bless me?" God said He would. But He waited for the commitment. Revelations 3:18, go and buy a blessing. Buy gold tried in the fire. Buy a clean garment. Buy eye salve. We can be as rich as we want. Jabez asked God to love him. He wanted his coast to be enlarged. A lady was baptized. Her coast increased. After she was baptized, she said she had more willingness than in all her life. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. When workers get into the work they wonder how they got there. It is by willingness.

There is a lady in Canada. She is 94. She takes a bus everyday, a 4 hour trip and goes to the care home to help a lady. She feeds this lady lunch. This lady is incapable of saying, "Thank you." She felt this was a privilege. One day that lady died and our friend found someone else to help. She was a committed soul. Another lady said, "I didn’t know I could love this much." Her boarders were enlarged. Then he asked God, "Would Your hand be with me?" Jesus said He could cast out devils with one finger. Then Jabez asked, "Keep me from evil." God said, "Yes." God enables us and He prevents. We are prevented from doing this and watching that. Last one, I don’t want to be grieved. I don’t want to see sorrow. The cost of obedience doesn’t compare to the pain of regret. Matthew 6,  Jesus talked about forgiveness, "If you forgive, I’ll forgive you." It is up to you. It takes commitment to forgive.