The Valley of Elah - Pastor Jerry Laudermilk Audio Podcast (2022)

The Valley Of Elah was the physical location that David faced his giant. Spiritually speaking, it is also where we will face our giants! Perhaps it's fear, or ridicule and the diminished expectations of others David faced from Goliath, or perhaps it's a giant unlike Goliath. Either way, it’s there we must take our stand! It's also where the extraordinary power of God can be revealed in us and it’s a place for Spiritual promotion! The place we take our stand, with no hope in self but all faith in God, becomes the place we allow God to take our ordinary and make it extraordinary.


Welcome to the audio podcast and Pastor Jerry lab or glad you stopped by today. Be blessed as you received from God's Word.

Pastor Jerry:

First Samuel chapter 17, verse one, New King James version. Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle and were gathered at Shochoh. Actually the pronunciation is so-ho "which [belongs] to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim, and saul and the men of Israel were gathered together and pitched by the Valley of Elah and they set the battle array against the Philistines and the Philistines stood on a mountain to one side and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side and there was a valley, the valley of Elah between them.


Father, I ask you for your anointing upon this word. Today, Lord, we ask many of us who were here who may be in a place like the valley of Elah, a place of conflict, a place of intimidation... by what may seem like a giant in their life, but today, God, I ask that you let this be a day that many that are facing these giants would find victory in you. Many would muster up the courage to trust you and to believe you and to listen to you rather than what self would say... Listen to you rather than what someone might say about them... Listen to you rather than what we have heard or what we've known, but God listened to you and do your Word. Father, I pray that you to me this morning as your servant, Lord, to sling the stone, to wield the word of God with skill, so the giants, my fall. God, we've already experienced a great move this morning. Your spirit is near so near. Thank you for this anointing. God we ask that today, victory will come and you Lord will do your thing in this place that every person here might receive from you. We give you thanks. We give you praise. We ask this in the name above every name, the mighty name of Jesus. Amen. You may be seated. Thank you, Lord. Let me see where I want to start. We know the story of David Goliath. Let me give you just a little bit of a background. Israel's come out to battle. Goliath is a champion for the Philistines. By the way, you're looking at the valley of Elah on this picture. The philistines have come out and they are. They're ready and they have a champion and fill up. The philistines are powerful at this time. The very powerful. Let me remind you, and I'll. I'll talk a little bit more about this in just a moment, I assume, but let me remind you that when the children of Israel came in to the Promised Land, they were told by God to drive out the inhabitants as they moved forward and they had done a fair job, a decent job in some in some situations, but they had allowed some to stay... Big mistake. Whatever you allow to stay in your life will cause you a problem later if it's not dealt with talking to Christians this morning who have accepted the Lord Jesus as Savior, but perhaps there's still something going on in your life, something you have allowed into your life that you're not getting rid of, and the word of God tells us to lay aside every weight and the sin that does so easily beset us. If we get the sin out of our lives, that's so easily be setting us. We won't be so easily beset. Amen? So they hadn't taken out all of the giants from the land. I preached on that. I couldn't believe it, when I looked back to see when it was. It was five years ago. How many of you have been here less than five years and Abundant Life Tabernacle? Man oh man, that's about half of you. Most have been here less than five years or maybe you've just returned. You'd been here before, but you've just been back less than five years. It's quite a few of you. So you haven't heard that message. The message was, "The Problem With Giants", if I'm not mistaken, we added it later and it is on the podcast and you can go back and listen to it through the website. I believe it's there, but let me tell you a little bit about this because we have to understand the story of David and Goliath is, is basically set up by this other, this previous... It's a preexisting condition. Amen? How many of you know that whatever we did in our past, all those things, the Bible says that all things become new. The Bible says that he who the Son sets free is free indeed. But how many of you know we are bad about taking things along with us? We carry baggage into relationships. We carry baggage, even into our relationship with God that we should be leaving behind. We should be turning it loose, but we carry this junk with us sometimes. And if we have it with us, it weighs us down and it will cause us problems. I'm going to take my time this morning, but I believe, I don't believe I'll preach too long. I remember a couple years ago, I think it was when we flew... I'm not sure... I think it was when we flew to Arizona for vacation, our baggage got misplaced, and um, we didn't have any for, for awhile. They finally delivered it to our, to our room, to our condo, but there was a little while we didn't have our baggage. So we had to do without this. We had to do without that. We had to do without the other. And I want you to know we lived. We survived it. Some of that 'stuff' that we think we can't live without, if we just get rid of it we're going to be a whole lot freer. Amen? I want you to stay with me this morning. God's here in a great way and I have some things I want to share with you. I want you to understand the story about David and Goliath. David went out, well, Goliath was out there taunting the armies of Israel and David comes in by the, by the order, by the mandate of his father. He takes his brothers who are a part of the military, they are on the, the army of Israel, they are a part of, of the king's army and they are there and Jesse sends, provisions from home. David takes all of the stuff, cheese and all this stuff to his, uh, his brothers. And when he gets there, he probably tops the hill somewhere like this. This, this view is from the Azekah area. And he probably tops the hill and he sees down in the valley here, he sees the armies of Israel facing off with the armies of the Philistines. And he might not can hear there, but as he draws near, he begins to hear what's going on. And they've got a champion up there. This real big guy. I mean he's big guy. Some estimates have said that he could have been 14 feet tall, but he was at the least nine feet tall. He's a big man. David's just a boy, but size doesn't matter. What matters is if God's on your side, you're a winner! He hears what that giant is saying and he is defying the armies of Israel. He is cursing the God of Israel. And, and, David, he gets all upset and he said, who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he would defy the God of Israel? They all, his brothers and all those around him just kinda like, "be quiet David... You, you're just a boy. You're just a little boy." He said, (I'm just giving you an overview.) "Is there not a cause?" Is there not something we need to be standing up for? Why are we letting him talk to us this way? Sometimes I think that we need to be reminded that as the children of God, we've got something. We don't need to allow the devil to just run all over us and talk to us every way he wants to talk to us! Sometimes somebody needs to get in our face and say, "is there not a cause?! Do you not have some reason that you should stop allowing the devil to talk to you that way? Do you not have lost loved ones that need to be saved?" Then you need to be standing for them! "Do you not need to live a few more years so that you continue to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is not a reason that you should be standing on your feet and declaring the Lord?" Come on, we need to hear that sometimes! We have a cause! Is there not a reason to to share the gospel of Jesus Christ when our neighbors are dying and going to hell? Do we not have a cause? Come on?! Do we have a cause, or do we not? He heard the promise of what would be given to the one who would defeat this champion, and he said, "I'll go do it." I don't know if it was as much about what he would gain, (I really don't think it was) as he didn't like what was being said about the armies of God and God himself. And he said, "I'll, I'll go do this." He said, "I've, I've defeated the lion. I've defeated the bear. The Lord has given me the victory over them, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be as one of them. It's, it's no different!" As I go, I gotta ... I gotta stop in places like this and share what you need to get out of this. Whatever you've been through, if you'll recall that victory that you came through, what the Lord already brought you through it. I'll give you the faith to go on a little further. It'll give you the boldness to say, "I can conquer this too, because God was on my side then and He'll still be on my side as I face this! This might look bigger, but my God's bigger than whatever it is I'm facing and what he brought me through and he showed himself mighty on my behalf and he will do the same thing again!" I'll just tell you, if I had the choice of facing a lion or a bear or a giant, I don't want to face any of them in my own strength. I'd have a hard time picking. You don't have to pick. You don't have to choose what your strong enough to handle because I want to remind you that your God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or even think according to the power that worketh in us. What power is working in us? The power of the Holy Spirit, the power of Jesus Christ. That same power... (Come on somebody. Get with me. Praise the Lord here a little bit.) ...That same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells inside your mortal body! Amen! Amen! Amen! Hallelujah. Okay, so they tried Saul's armor on him. It was way too big. Saul was probably, he was head and shoulders above the rest. He was a big, tall man. Not like Goliath, but he was a big tall man. He's probably this big muscular guy and David's this little boy. This young boy, maybe at that time 14 years old, or something. The armor wouldn't fit him. Got to pause right here too. Somebody else's armor. Is not going to fit you. I don't have to be Jerry Laudermilk Senior. I don't have to be somebody that you, that you look up to, whoever it might be. I don't have to be Suleman Manzoor. I don't have to be Rod Parsley. I don't have to be TD Jakes or John Haggi. I don't have to be any of those people. I don't have to be Steven Furtick. I don't have to be any of those people. I just have to be Jerry Laudermilk Junior with the anointing of Jesus Christ on my life! And I'm telling you, you don't have to be me. We have to be who we are called to be in Jesus Christ. And God has anointed you for your purpose! By the way, it's good to see everybody here this morning. So David goes out and he doesn't wear Saul's armor. He just goes out there like a shepherd boy. He has his rod and his staff. "Thy Rod and thy staff, they comfort me." He has his rod and his staff and he has his little sling in his belt and he walks down into the valley to face Goliath. If we read here, we just read in verse three, that the Philistines... Maybe it's verse two... the Philistines were gathered on one side of the valley and Israel was gathered on the other side of the valley and in between in the middle, this valley lay, but I want you to know this valley was there because of the stream of Elah. That's the way it works, this valley is very fertile. It's a good place to grow corn. I read that reading about it. It's a good place to grow corn. Corn takes a lot of nourishment. That's why we put quite a bit of heavy fertilizer on it. They say this... Excuse me. ...This is a good place to grow corn. It was also a good place for battle. A big wide place. And I want you to understand, he walks out there and he's walking out from the children of Israel who had at by this time had been cowering behind their tents and probably cowering behind the trees. There's lots of trees here. I used to think there was these big tall rocks at stood there and I saw this as this a desert land, but as you can see it's a pretty fertile plain. It's a pretty fertile area and I'll talk about these trees in just a minute. They were standing there and they were cowering. And this little boy says, "I'll go out and fight!" And he goes out and he, he walks out through the valley and he, as he gets about halfway, he comes to this creek bed. Now, most of the time this creek bed is dry. In the rainy season it fills up and there's water moves through, but most of the time this, this creek bed is dry and it's full of white smooth stones. I don't know if it matters or not that they're white, but they're white. And I thought about the word of God talking about a white stone that'll have my name on it when I get to heaven. Amen? I just, I just wanted to throw that in. That doesn't matter for this, for this story, but I want you to understand. He looked, he found in this creek bed... by this time, Goliath standing over there and he's about halfway out to him and he sees a little boy playing in the creek. That's what it looks like. He looks out and so David continues and he gets up out of the creek and by this time he's got five smooth stones. Now, tradition tells me that, a lot of people think that these stones were for different things, but tradition tells me that Goliath has had four brothers. I believe he was ready. He was ready! He picked up his five smooth stones and he walked toward Goliath, and Goliath intimidating him. It really didn't matter. His brothers had intimidated him. The king had intimidated him. Everybody been saying, you can't do this. I want you to know, don't worry so much about what somebody else says. If God says you can, you can! Amen? So he walks out there in this giant is, this giant says, "What am I a dog that you would come against me with staves, with a rod and a staff. What is it? What? Why? What do you think I'm a dog that you'd come after me like this? Because see, they had already told him that Goliath was a champion. He was a, he was a warrior that had a great name as a warrior, and David here is this little boy and he's got these shepherds tools and and so Goliath is taunting him. David, (you remember the story) David tells him that God is with him. I want you to understand, we need to realize that God is on our side and whatever the battle is that we're facing, the battle is not mine. The battle belongs to the Lord. We need to understand that when we face the devil, when we're going up against him, the one (that the word says in John 10:10) that comes to steal and to steal and to kill and to destroy. When we're coming up against him, we need to remember that the one that's with us is the one that came, that we might have life and have it more abundantly! We need to realize that it's not my battle! I'm not facing the devil on my own! It's not mine, but the same God that delivered me from the bear and the same God that delivered me from the lion, and the same God that delivered me from the thing in my past, the same God, is with me to bring victory to me today!! And giant, you will fall!! And Goliath said, "I'll feed your carcass to the to the fowls of the air." More or less. He just bragging. David pulls out his sling. It's not, not a slingshot like we're familiar with. This is an actual sling. We think of it this way, but it's actually probably this way. He'd let it go about right here. And it flew... It was the first guided missile and history because it was being guided by the Holy Spirit. Now, this little shepherd boy, a 98 pound weakling. If he was even that much. This little shepherd boy stood there and watched as the Holy Spirit took that stone and hit that giant square in the middle of the eyes and he went down. I want you to understand that that stone probably didn't kill the Goliath. It probably just knocked him out. He was addled, and he's laying there and David runs and he takes the giant's own sword and he cuts the giant's head off and he's victorious. And all of the Philistines, including those four brothers that those other stones were for, turned around and ran as hard as they could run to get away from the power of God that they had seen in a little 14 year old boy. All this happened in the valley of Elah. I'm taking you somewhere. You know you knew all that story, but I'm going to give you some background. I'm to give you some more. I'm going to give you some things that you probably don't know. I want you to understand that, that there is a hidden thing here in this. I want you to first understand that we all face giants. Let me go back to that message that I preached in 2013. It was called "The Problem With Giants" and I, I'm not going to preach it again this morning, but I pulled some principles out of it. Some things that I said in that message and I wanna, I want to share these with you because these things are important if you're fighting a giant! And I want to ask you this morning, how many of you here feel like you've been fighting a giant? Can I see your hand? I want you to hold it up. Just keep it up and I want you to look around you. All those hands that are raised belong to 'David's', today. You might say, well, I'm a lady. My name is not David. Maybe it's Davida. I don't care, but you represent the Lord Jesus Christ and God is on your side. If you had your hand up, I want to ask you, has God ever delivered you from anything else? Has He ever been victorious in your life before? Has He ever brought you out when you didn't think you could come out? I want to remind you that that same God that delivered you from the lion or the bear, this uncircumcised Philistine, is no match for him either. Let me give you some principles, for when you're fighting giants. Giants are the amalgamation... (I like fancy words, but I'll tell you what it means. It's just the, it's the mixture) ...giants are the mixture of natural and spiritual. Hmmm! I'm not going to go into the details here to go all into the details of this study. I've preached it before. I might preach it again, but I want you to understand giants are the product of the spiritual and the natural. They are a product of a spiritual principality that has manifest itself in the natural world. Drug addiction is a spiritual principality that has manifest itself in the natural world. Addiction to porn is a spiritual principality that has manifest itself in the natural world. It doesn't matter what it is, it doesn't matter if it is, It is, if it is something that you don't even want to talk about or that you think, this is no big deal. If you can't get free of, free of it, it's something spiritual that is manifesting itself in the natural world! It's a mixture. They are beginning, these kinds of giants, these, these giants that are a mixture, they are beginning in the spiritual powers and principalities, but they manifest themselves, themselves in the natural world where we live and fight! We can often handle natural things with natural means. We can! We can often handle natural things with natural means, but we cannot handle spiritual things with natural means! The Apostle Paul told the, told the Galatians, you did run well. What has hindered you? You started out in the spirit, will you continue in the flesh? We have to realize this is not something "I" can conquer. Most of the time when we're struggling with something, an addiction or a sickness or whatever we think I need to do what I can do to get better. And I'm not saying that we don't have some part in participating with what God is doing! But the victory comes when I yield myself to God rather than yielding myself to whatever it is that's drawing at me. We cannot handle spiritual things are a mixture of spiritual and physical in the physical. It has to be handled with the spirit of God. That's one principle. Next one is giants normally exist in family groups. I'm not telling you this to scare you or threatening you. I'm not telling you that for that reason, you need to understand. I think sometimes we need to understand our enemy so we know how to fight! Family groups: The spirit of fear includes lots of things. It includes intimidation. It includes terror. It includes nightmares. It includes the failure to accomplish purpose because we're concerned with what somebody might say or in other words, the fear of man. It includes lots of things, but I want you to understand that giants exist in family groups. They're almost always affiliated with other giants. Goliath had brothers. If you face one giant, you're probably going to face more than one giant. Whether you realize it or not. That's why sometimes when someone gets free of drugs, they they end up finding out they've turned to alcohol and then they they try to get free of alcohol and they turned to nicotine. I'm just telling you, I want you to know that who the Son sets free is free indeed and whatever it is that's holding you captive, even if it's caffeine, you don't have to stay captive! I love coffee. I love coffee, but I'm telling you, if it begins, whatever it is, if it begins to control you, you can be free. If you want to be free! God wants us free. Amen? So whatever it is that you're facing, maybe it's sickness, maybe it's... I don't have to name a bunch of things. Maybe it's something different. Maybe it's something that I never even say when I'm up here preaching. Maybe you just get nervous when you're around people. That's a spirit of fear. I want you to understand Jesus has already defeated all that at Calvary. All of it! The Word of God tells me that he rendered the devil helpless, basically. It tells me that he made an open spectacle of him publicly. That means God has already won. The devil is a toothless lion. He's not the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He's roaring and he's acting like he's something, but Jesus has already defeated him. So whatever you need is found in Jesus Christ. Giants come family groups, but they are easily defeated if you deal with them... As we go back to the previous, um, previous point here... They're easily defeated if dealt within the spirit. That's where they come from. Let me give you one more. Giants... (Actually, there might be two more, but I'll go with one more...) Giants are gateway barriers. You remember that when the children of Israel were about to go into the land, they were about to go into the land. That's, I mean they were there. They were at the brink, and they decided that they would send out spies. And they sent out spies that went into the land to spy out the land and when they got over there, they saw giants and they came back and they gave an evil report, all except Joshua and Caleb. They came back and they gave an evil report and they said, "the inhabitants of this land are, are, giants! In their sight, we are like grasshoppers. They are huge. They are huge people!" They came back with that report. I want you to understand that the Lord told them they could take the land. I want you to understand that the report of Joshua and Caleb is, "We are well able!" ...because they were looking in the spiritual realm and the people were looking in the natural realm. The other spies were looking in the natural realm. I want to tell you, you are well able! You're well able to be free of whatever it is! You're well able to have your healing! You are well able to gain your victory! You are well able to see your children saved! You are well able... because God in you will do it. They're gateway barriers! Those giants that were in the Promised Land kept a generation from receiving their promise... because of the evil report, because of what the spies said and the people agreed with, all except Joshua and Caleb... All accept them the people who agreed with that, they were not allowed to go in. I want you to understand these giants were gateway barriers. They blocked their path and because of their fear of them, rather than their fear of God, they were not allowed to enter in! And the Lord said, because they wouldn't trust him, that they would not get to go in, but he would raise up a generation. I want to tell you right now that we're standing on the precipice of a move of God, and I believe it with all my heart, and either we receive it or somebody else gets it!! And I'm going to be in the middle of it! We are well able. We are well able to take the land! We are well able! I declare I won't miss it! I'm going to be a Joshua! I'm going to be a Caleb! I'm not going to stay back and miss it and die in my place... my sorry.. sin-sick place! I'm not going to do it! I accept what you have, God and I'm going forward and I'll be victorious in you! Come on? Are you in on this or are you not? Giants or gateway barriers. They are assigned as 'next level blockers'. They are intent on keeping you from your destiny. What is it that's blocking your destiny? I've gotta to pause right here for just a minute. I'm getting there. I'm, I'm really getting there. You might not know it, but I'm getting there. What is it that's hindering you from going to the next step? Is it fear? Is it, is it the lack of focus? Come on, I got to pause right here because this is what the Lord is, the Lord is saying. Some of us could get where we're supposed to go if we could just focus on the right things, but we've got so many distractions. We have so many things pulling at us, so many things dragging at us that we get so... You know the word bumfuzzled? I don't know... I don't really know what that word, where that word came from, so don't track it and say, well, that pastor that came from a bad word. I don't mean for it to be. I don't know where it came from, but I know that it means you're just completely discombobulated... All confused. Absolutely, all confused. I know that I need to do this, but I don't know how to get from here to there. I don't know what I need to do. I don't know how to do it. I don't know. I know this, but I don't know that. How many of you feel like that? Very often. I feel like that! And sometimes this haze of confusion is a trick of the devil that will keep you from your destiny. If you could just get done what God is saying and not do everything else that everybody else is saying. If you could get to the place where you'd focus on what his spirit is saying, rather than hearing all these other voices in your mind, sometimes you'd get to the place where you would say, okay, I've got it now. I can move forward. Sometimes those things, those distractions, are giants and they keep us from our destiny. That's what giants are intent on doing, keeping you from your destiny. But because of that, when they are defeated you gain promotion. You get it? Right there was your cue to shout. When they're defeated, you get promoted. I don't know if you know it or not, but David was taking... He didn't usurp any authority that was not given to him. The king said, go on and you go fight him. You be our champion. If you think you can do this, you go on. He didn't just take authority that he wasn't given. I believe in authority. He yielded to the authority of the king. The authority of the king was given to him and he went out and fought on Israel's behalf! But David was standing in the place of the champion. He was fighting for Israel. He was leading Israel into battle. That was the king's responsibility. I want you to understand, I've got to bring this into that. Later on, David's shark, his responsibility, and he should have been out there fighting battles and he wasn't out there fighting battles and instead he was up on top of his house and he was looking off and he saw a beautiful woman and he looked too long and it drew him into sin. If we're distracted by the things around us, we will be hindered from our forward progress! I know he repented and the word of says that he was a man after God's own heart. Thank God for His mercy that can draw us back even when we've been off track! But I'm here to tell you, it's time to get our focus. It's time to keep our focus! It's time to put these other things out of the way, put them in their proper place and some of them belong in the garbage. And when we get to the place where we have defeated our giant, that's when we move forward. David began to move forward from that day. It was still not immediate that he became the king, but he began leading the people into battle. Later on, just a little bit later on, you remember the ladies of Jerusalem were declaring, Saul has killed his thousands. David has killed his 10 thousands. That's because he had already defeated giants in his life. Saw, didn't defeat his giant. He was still facing his giants. I want you to understand that God wants to take you to the next level. We hear that it's so cliche. We've heard it so many years, but God wants to take you from this place where you're at and get you past it and get you into the next phase of your life and of your ministry, and if you are not willing to face the giants that are holding you back in your land then you will not move forward. But if you're willing to face them and allow the Lord to fight for you, you can be victorious and you can receive your promotion in the Kingdom of God. Okay. That was my introduction. I want to make the rest of this quick, Back to our text. Let me read this for you because I want to focus on verse one through three. First Samuel chapter 17, verse one through three. King James version says it this way, "Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle and we're gathered together at Shochoh, which belongs to Judah, pitched between and pitched between... In other words, they put their tents between Shochoh and as Azecah." (This view actually is from the top of the mountain looking down from Azecah.) "...and they put their tent between Shochoh and Azekah in Ephes Dammim and Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together and pitched by the Valley of Elah and set the battle array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood up on a mountain on one side and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, and there was a valley between them. Some versions say, tells us, makes it clear to us, that Azekah belongs to Judah. Anybody's version say that? Okay. Azekah belongs to Judah. What does Judah mean? Praise! I want you to understand... Let me, let me just give you, let me give you some of the meanings of these words because this is something that I was... I had studied this I didn't get anything out of it early yesterday. We drove to almost to Kentucky to pick up our nephew and and while we were on the road, Tracy and I were driving, the girls went with us. We hadn't picked Gunner up yet and we got down the road and all of a sudden out of nowhere. Wow! Tracy said, what? What? I said, wow! She said, what? I said, I just got a revelation from the Lord. She said, driving? And I said, yeah, what I was studying this morning. I couldn't get it. I just didn't know what the Lord is trying to speak to me and just I wasn't even thinking about, about the word. I wasn't even pondering on it, that I knew of... and all of a sudden it popped in my head. The Lord said, I want you to get this. I want you to understand this. She said, well, sometimes you just have to leave stuff and just go on and let your mind clear and I want you to understand sometimes that's the case for us. We have so many things running around. What can I say, God, how can I say it? And we just need to get alone with God and just study his word, put it all in, and then just wait for him to pull it out. And that's what happened as I was driving yesterday. I want to share something with you. This word, Shochoh, and it's not talking about Soho, New York. This word Shochoh, it looks like so-ko, but it says the word meant "hedge". How many of you have ever heard somebody say, Lord, put a hedge of protection around about them. Okay, now there's nothing wrong with that, but they came inside the hedge. I gotta tell you something. We're talking about spiritual things. I've got about 10 more minutes that I believe, that this is going to take me. Stick with me. They came near the hedge. They came inside, basically the hedge. They had come into Judas territory and they had settled where they, were Israel may have thought they would have been safe. They settled near and pitch their tents near Shochoh and they were between the hedge and Azekah, which is a part of Judah. I want you to understand that the devil doesn't care. Listen, the devil doesn't care where you think you're safe. He doesn't care if you think you're safe in this church house. We've seen that all over the news. He doesn't care if you think you're safe in the church house. He doesn't care if you think, well, I'll go into praise and while I'm in praise, the devil can't bother me. There I've heard people say that in my place of praise, the devil can't get to me. That's not the truth. The word of God tells us that the devil appeared before the Lord with the sons of God. He walked the stones of fire, that he went right into the presence of the Lord. I don't know that he has access there now since Jesus has has, has already defeated him, but we know that he has been in the presence of the most high God, even in his fallen state. And I want you to know that even when you're in praise, the devil is a liar and he is a conniving, a conniving... Oh my goodness. I don't even have a word for him! He's a, he's a skunk. He's a snake. There you go. While you're in praise... Can you stand up just for a second? I won't embarrass you. I just want to use you as an example, he'll go... "Everyone is watching you." That's what he'll do. You say, "they are?" See she's looking to see who's watching! But the devil, the word of God tells us that he is the accuser of the brethren. He might be saying about you, to you, that Sister Haddox... sitting here behind, I don't know if you know her or not.... He might be saying that she doesn't like the way you're praising the Lord. I can tell you sister loves it when you're praising the Lord, so don't worry about that. This right here is a woman of God. She is a woman of God. She is an example to the flock. I want you to understand though the devil. He's not afraid of your praise. He'll come right in among your praise and and even during the preaching, he'll come in and he'll say, "you know what? He's preaching on you."

Church Member:

"Hmm... Been there."

Pastor Jerry:

"He's preaching on you. Did you hear what he said? You told him that two weeks ago." I promise you I don't intentionally do that. There's been some times that I wanted to, but I don't intentionally do that, but sometimes when I'm preaching, the Lord will bring things out and later on when I get home, I'll say, oh Lord, did I say that? Somebody's going to think I was talking about them. That is not my intention, but I do want you to know that the devil will take whatever he can and he'll cause division. He'll cause fractions. He will cause you to think that somebody is against you when they're not, and he's not afraid to come right into the church house to do it. He's not afraid of your praise. He's not afraid of your worship. He's not afraid of it. He used to be the worship leader in heaven and he knows what it is, but I want you to know that there is somewhere that he can't get. I'll tell you that in just a minute, but they were a part of Judah and they came in even across the hedge and near the praise and the devil will do the same thing.


I'm talking about giants! Talking about giants corporately as a body... We need to get past the giants. This brother right here blessed me so much. Wednesday night. I'm not. I'm not meaning to embarrass you. I hope I don't, but he blessed me so much. Wednesday night, can you stand up? He said that he had been received here with love and we didn't treat him like his skin was a different color and I said, brother, you have different color skin? This is my brother. If you've got a problem with that, then you've got a problem with me because this is my brother. It's what matters is what's on the inside. We have one blood. We're have one blood. I want you to understand the devil has divided us for too long. He's kept the Baptist in the Baptist churches. He's got the pentecostals in the pentecostal churches. He's kept. He's kept the blacks in their churches and the whites in their churches. When really what it all boils down to, if we're believers in Jesus Christ, we are one body. We are one blood! We stand united in the name of Jesus Christ! And devil, you can take that and you can hear what I'm saying. We noticed you have no place in this house! Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Thank you brother. Oh, praise God. I told you I had a good one. Thank you, Jesus. Oh, so the Philistines came in and they camped near the hedge and between the hedge and Azecah, which means a place where that where's there's been digging place that's been dug out. I've thought about this. What can this mean? What can this mean? A place of holes, a place where things have been dug out. Wednesday night we talked about a treasure. Jesus said, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man who in a field found a treasure and he he, he dug it out basically and then he found it. He hid it and he went and sold everything that he had and he bought that field. I want you to understand the devil doesn't like it when you're worshiping. He doesn't like it when you're surrounded by a hedge of angels for protection. He doesn't like it. Certainly when you begin to dig into the Word of God to find out what God has to say to you. He doesn't like it, but he's not going to stop there. As a matter of fact, it might stir him up a little bit, but there is a place that he can't go. This says that Azecah was in Ephes Dammim. Shochoh (Soho) belonged to Judah, belonged to praise, but Azecah and the Philistines, were closer to Shochoh. They were between Shochoh and Azecha, but Azecah was in Ephes Dammim.

Speaker 3:

It doesn't mean anything to you right now, but it will in just a minute. This compound word means the border of blood, the border of blood. The devil might come into your praise. The devil might try to cause you hardship and trouble or trial or distractions while you're trying to praise. He might even come in where you, where you feel like you've been hedged in and you're in the house of God and things are, are good, but I want you to know that there's a place that the devil can't come. There was a place that the Philistines couldn't go.


That was a place that we're safe and that's when we are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. There is a border of blood ...and the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed me from all sins! The blood of Jesus Christ has been applied to my life! The blood of Jesus Christ, brought my redemption! The blood of Jesus Christ paid for everything. My healing, My joy, my peace, the blood of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah. The border of the blood. Now I want to, I want to take this and I'm coming in for landing. I want to take you back to the valley of Elah. The word Elah... The word Elah, most people would say that it means oak, or it means Terebinth. The Terebinth the name for the Terebinth tree was Elah. Some people called it an Oak, but it was actually a Terebinth tree. A Terebinth Tree is a pistachio nut tree. So this tree was a large tree, it can just be dwarfed if there's too much around it, but in a fertile plain like this, it's going to be a very big tree. And they were camped, Israel was camp near the Terebinth Trees. I remember a story going back... We've got to get this. I remember a story going back earlier, back when Abraham was called to go to a place that he didn't know that he camped under the Terebinth Trees and when he camped under the Terebinth Trees, there came three beings to him and one was like into the son of God, and I believe that he met with God under the Terebinth Trees. And we see this, we see a couple things. They had, they had history to say that God comes in a certain way to a certain place. Trees in that day were revered highly. They were looked at... They were thought of as strong, powerful things and strongholds, and I believe that when they chose that place to camp, when Israel chose that place, when the king chose that place, they probably said, we'll camp here because it will be fortified. The enemy can't just come in and run us over. We'll have trees to get in and among and we can fight here and their strength here, and as a matter of fact, God has been known to shown us show up under Terebinth Trees. That's what I think. What I want you to know, if you follow that word back, I love to follow the words back. They call it entomology, I think, but I love to follow those back to their roots. If you follow that root word back, it implies strength, but the original word means twisted and one version of that pronunciation... There's a bunch of them. Elah, Alah, Ella, Allah. I want you to understand what this is saying, and I'm not saying Ella's twisted Ella stands for strength, but what I'm saying is we have to realize that the devil will try to twist our understanding of where the power is. The power is not in the hedge that surrounds us, which the Bible says the Angel of the Lord is encamped about those who fear him. They are powerful, but the power is not in the angels. We don't worship angels. The power is not even the praise because I can that that would mean I could turn it on and I could turn it off. I want you to know that God's power can't be turned off. The power is in the blood of Jesus Christ! The power belongs to God! Now, I want you to realize that when the children of Israel were camped in the valley of Elah, the Valley of the Terebinth Tree. They were camped in a place. It seemed that they were in a pretty strong place, but they had, I believe they had a twisted idea of what was going to happen. They expected things to happen according to their ideas of how it was going to happen, and when God sent a little shepherd boy, it just didn't match up to what they expected. I want you to know you cannot put God in a box. Whatever you think he's going to do, he's going to do something completely different than that. When you believe you've got God figured out, I want you to know that you're getting ready to be thrown for a loop because God is bigger than anything you can try to imagine him to be. We can get so caught up, so carried away. (My 10 minutes are up. Give me five more.) We can get so caught up, so carried away in our form, in our fashion, in our history and our tradition and our way of doing things that we think that's the only way God can meet with us. It's not. It's not. God's always full of surprises. He does things. I believe he does things just a mess us up sometimes. He's always full of surprises and I believe that they settled there and they camp there because they thought this would be a strong place for them, and still they were fearing and they were trembling. God sent a little shepherd boy, boy to the valley of Elah and he went out and he fought out in the wide open and he had the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon him and he was victorious. We can get, we can get so carried away... Listen to me. ...We can get so carried away thinking that we have it figured out that we missed the move of God. We can get so carried away with our little schisms our little pieces of doctrine. Come on now. I'm, I'm, I'm getting on somebody's high horse right now, and I don't mean to break anybody, I don't mean to cause you pain. But we get so carried away that sometimes we think we're the only ones going to heaven. We get so carried away that we think we have it all figured out. Nobody else knows nothing and I want you to understand that there are some things that we have right and there are some things that we have wrong and God is the only one who has it figured out, but we're all trying to do our best to please God with all that's within us. Am I saying except anything? No, I'm not, but I am saying it's time for us to stop judging the body of Christ and allow God to do what he wants to do in the body of Christ. The devil will twist even the things that you think are strong. The devil will twist them and he will manipulate you if you let it. Do you recall that when Jesus was in the wilderness, Lindsey mentioned this last night or was it this morning? Last night. When Jesus was in the wilderness, the devil came to him and began to quote scripture. "Has God not said that he would bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. Go ahead and cast yourself off the pinnacle here of the template." Jesus said, "thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." I want you to understand the devil will twist. You, might have a good understanding of the doctrine, a good understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ, a good understanding of the word, but if he can, he'll twist that. He'll make you think. You have power and you will find yourself in the wrong area and you'll find yourself weak. What are you saying? I'm saying don't get prideful in yourself. Do the same thing that David did. Take off all the... I'm not saying take off the armor of God. Take off everybody else's armor. Put on the whole armor of God and run into battle. That's what David did. He ran into battle. He didn't think he could defeat that giant. He knew that God could! And when we begin to think as a church or as a people or as individuals that we've got it all figured out. That's when we began to fall. The Bible says, when you haughty, a haughty spirit goes before a fall, destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. I want us to understand when we began to think we've got it all figured out, we began to allow the devil to twist what really is strong when we think we know it all, when we think nobody else has it, nobody else understands that God has given me the greatest revelation ever was. When we began to do that, we're headed for a fall. We're going to have problems because the devil is twisting what even maybe God gave it to us, but the devil's twisting it. It's not this house and and we need to gather together, but it's not this house where we find strength. It's in the house of God, and when I say that, I'm talking about the presence of the most high God. We're invited into the throne room. You can boldly come unto the throne of grace. We are allowed into the presence of God. This is just a semblance of that, but we're allowed to go deep into the presence of God and if we're not careful, we will begin to allow things to get twisted. We'll think that we have the power of God. You remember Samson? He thought that he had the power of God and he didn't realize he had lost it. He was defeated, but he repented and he turned back to God and said, Lord, once again, he said, one more time, allow your Holy Spirit to come upon me, and God did more with him at the very end that he had done at the beginning. I'm telling you, turn loose of all the things that you think you've got figured out and trust what God is saying. Now, when I say that, I'm not saying throw out everything you know, I'm saying don't get prideful in it because there's more to understand the you've ever understood. I believe with all my heart that God wants us to be healed. Sometimes some people walk in healing, some people are called on to be with God. I don't have it all figured out, but I'm still going to keep believing that God will heal because the word of God says, whatsoever you shall ask in my name, believe you shall have it, and I will do it. The Word says that by his stripes you were healed. I believe the Word says that if we annoyed, if someone calls the elders of the church anointing him with oil, the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up. It's the truth, but if I don't see it today, I can't allow my experience to twist what God's word says, God's Word is true. Let God be true and every man a liar! And when I get to the place that the devil has come in like a flood, the Lord will raise up a standard. We know that! But when I get to the place where, where he's coming in and he's close to the hedge and he's, he's coming into my praise and he's, he's trying to make me fear, or he's bringing, he bringing doubts. How many here when you're praying, the devil will bring doubts? Amen? When I do that, I need to go to the border of the bloodline. That's Jesus! Looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. I've got a hedge here. I'm safe. Oh, the devil has moved in beside me. I'm going to praise a little bit. He can't get in here. He's moved up beside me again. I'm going to go over here with Jesus when I get over here, when I get behind the border of blood... what are you saying, pastor? I'm saying if I need to repent, I need to repent. I need the blood of Jesus to be applied to my life. I need... If I need healing, I need the blood of Jesus applied to my life. I believe that he paid for everything in the atonement. The chastisement of my peace was upon him with his stripes. I'm healed and yes, certainly salvation. We have forgotten that he paid for everything and when I need it, it's not just praise. It's not just digging up the word. Those things are good and I have to do those things. It's not just the angels encamped around about me, but I have to run to Jesus. I have to run to him because he is the author. He's the finisher of my faith. He is the border of blood!


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