By John Crist
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
Our God has a method to the madness of the times in which we live. We pray for the end result of the promises, we ask him for oak trees, but He answers with acorns! God is a God that would seed and He knows that in the acorn is the oak tree! You must be persistent enough to understand when He has answered you. Words are powerful! Peter said, “The words that you speak unto us, they are spirit and they are life.” If Word goes out, it will produce something. Everyone in here is a result of the Word. Whether you are moving toward positive things, or whether you are still pressed with old issues. If you are wounded today, you are wounded with words. Things that have been said, stated and spoken, attitudes and dispositions of people we respect, have left us scarred and fragmented emotionally. People who are wrestling with issues in their lives are wrestling with the children that are born from these spoken words. A harsh word, spoken to a child, planted in the womb of their mind, produces an adult with no self esteem!
And so, in our character, we are dealing with the children and the embryos that have been birthed through words that have been spoken in the past. So when God gets ready to break the pattern, and recycle us, He has chosen the foolishness of preaching, the utter foolishness of a message: Here you are, your life is in shambles, your finances are wrecked, your confidence is destroyed, you are confused, you are going through all types of things, and then finally when nothing else helps, God uses some man or woman, standing up with a microphone in their hand. They don’t have to touch you, they don’t have to push you, they don’t have to inject you with any kind of medicine, but by the foolishness of preaching, just somebody telling you that you can be more that you are, can give you the tenacity to get up from where you have been! Just somebody speaking to you and saying, “There is life beyond the break,” can give you the force and the fortitude to overcome secret issues in your life. The foolishness of preaching can deliver the drug-addict from his drug addiction, clean their blood up, take crack and cocaine out of their system, and relieve their mind without any other therapy, just an act of God. His Words are absolutely awesome. God’s Word is seed and whenever He gets ready to reproduce, He does it by the power of His Word! He is not impotent, He is omnipotent! If He speaks a Word, whatever He speaks to will be changed forever! Whether He said, “Let there be light…,” or “Lazarus come forth..,” if He speaks the word, there will be divine change, He is a powerful God! If His Word ever gets in you, you’re going to come up printing it. It might come around you and you might get away; it can get on you and you might get loose; but if His word ever gets in you, you might deviate, you might fall, you might falter, you might get into something that you should not have, but if His word ever gets in you, you can’t get away from it! It’ll follow you to the ends of the earth! Just His Word! You can’t get drunk enough to abort what He puts in you! He is absolutely awesome!
They didn’t mind Jesus coming into cities, they just didn’t want Him to preach in the city. If He got in the city and started preaching, He would turn the place upside down. Nobody else but Jesus could stand on the seashore and preach in a desert place, until five thousand men, not counting women and children, would rather faint than miss His message. Nobody else but Jesus could preach to possibly fifteen thousand people without a microphone and they would rather pass out than to miss something that He said. He was awesome! If He got up in a house, everybody would be packed up in the house, in the closets, sitting in the windows, so much so that one sick man, in desperation was carried up to the rooftop and let down through a hole in the roof, dropped down into the presence of Jesus! If He preached they couldn’t do anything with man. And whatever He said was going to happen, it would surely come to pass!
Martin Luther King made a statement some years ago. He said, “Truth, smashed down to the ground, will rise again undaunted!” When God has spoken something in your spirit, it may be smashed all the way to the ground, but just wait on it, It will rise back up again undaunted! It will surely come to pass! It is going to happen! Look at someone and tell them, “It is going to happen!” I don’t what your IT is, but whatever IT is, IT’S going to happen! That thing that He spoke that gave you the power to get up out of the mess you were in, it is still going to happen! That thing, that train of thought, that idea that kept you alive when the devil was trying to kill you, God has not changed His mind! It is still going to happen!
God told Abram, that man of faith, “Get up from your tent, let’s go for a walk…” You are going for a walk with God. Every now and then I go for a drive with the Lord. We just cruise a little bit. Abram didn’t have a car, so God said, “Let’s go for a walk!” So He and Abram went for a stroll, and while they were strolling, God told him, “Look down. What do you see?” He said, “I see the sands of the earth.” God said, “So shall thy seed be. Look up and what do you see there?” Abram said, “I see the stars of heaven.” God said, “So shall thy seed be!” “I am going to give you as much seed as you have sand or stars!” The sand is symbolic of Israel, the natural covenant, the earthly people who stood in covenant relationship, born out of the loins of Abram; and the stars are the church, the exalted ones who are of the seed of Abram by the faith of Jesus Christ who has made us to sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus!
God was talking to Abram about a multiplicity of blessing before he had his first child. God calls those things that be not as though they were! God is serious about seed and He talks kind of crazy. Because you always want to talk about what is, but God talks about what shall be! Sometimes you have a communication problem because you spent all evening complaining about what it is, and God was spending all morning telling you about what shall be! God knows that nothing that is will be able to stop what shall be! So He will talk to you about sands of seed and stars of seed before you have your first baby because He knows the potency and the power of His word!
God will talk those kind of things that will absolutely blow your mind! Let me tell you how serious God is about seed. The Bible says that God is so serious about seed that He gave Levi credit, book-keeping, accounting credit for paying tithes to Melchizedek while he was still in the loins of Abraham! Levi hadn’t even been born yet, but God was already keeping books on his tithing record while he was still in the loins of Abraham! God is looking at where you are going before you ever get there! He is already keeping record on your unborn promises! “So shall thy seed be!”
When God got ready to fulfill His word, He waited until everything in Abraham had shut down. Completely, factory demolished! No water in the radiator, no gas in the engine! When Abraham could not produce a seed, God gave him a seed! I know it was God’s seed because when it hit Sarah’s dead womb, it quickened it and brought it back to life again.
Our culture limits us in understanding the text, because the text is written to women who want to be pregnant, and we live in a society of women who don’t want to be pregnant! Your culture limits you from understanding how fervently every Israelite woman wanted to have a baby. You see, women who were pregnant in the Bible, were proud because every time a woman had a baby, she felt like she was helping the miracle come to pass! “This is one of the sands of the earth in my womb!” “This is one of the stars of heaven in my womb!” “I’m helping to bring it to pass!” They wanted to be pregnant. They were not trying to pass legislation so that they could kill babies. They wanted to be pregnant! So much so, that if a woman wasn’t pregnant, she would lay on the altar like Rachel, who said, “Lord, give me a child else I die!” We need in the church today, people who are so thirsty to produce the promise of God that we say, “Lord, give me the promise lest I die!” I will not be satisfied just to go to church and sit around and clap my hands and sing and go back home. I want something to pass through my womb that is greater than me, is everlasting and eternal, I want to do something with my life! Give me a child lest I die! There’s a promise in me, a dream in me, a hope in me, a calling, a gift, a ministry, a work, a job in me, and whatever I got to go through, I’m willing to go through it for God to produce life!
People don’t understand you when you get like that. Now if you want to fit in with people, You ought to tiptoe out now! You got just enough time to get out of here before you get messed up! If you are worried about who likes you and doesn’t like you, understands you and doesn’t understand you, you better leave while you can, because God is raising up a group of people who don’t care what anybody else says, we want the promise! We want it now! He is raising up a group of people who will not shut up! Look at somebody and say, “I’m not about to shut up!”
I know there is something in me and I’ve got to get it out! I know I’m called and I’ve got to produce! I know there’s power in me, I will not shut up! I’ve been cut, hit, rebuked, scorned, but it is still in me! There is a seed that can be so strongly implanted in your spirit, that nothing that you go through will make it fall away! Have you still got it? Is it still in you? In spite of everything that you been through, do you still have hope? An expectation? A dream? A vision? The devil is mad at you right now! He did everything he could to make you have an abortion, but he is a liar! It has been written, “When Zion travails, sons and daughters shall be born…!” It is going to happen! Nothing that you have been through will deter what God has spoken in you. It will shortly come to past! I am preaching to somebody, it may be just one person, but whoever you are, nothing that you have been through has been able to kill out what God has put in you, and it is still going to come to past!
Every woman that produced a child, felt like she was joining hands with the creator in the process of creation, carrying a miracle in her body, giving her strength to her dream! Eating for two, expecting the promise! I’ve got to stay strong because there is too much in me to die! One preacher while in a fight with the devil one night, told him, “I’m not important, and you could kill me, but what I’m carrying, is to important for you to take me out!” “I’m too anointed to die!” “I’m too appointed to die!” “the promise in me is to predestined to die!” “The seed in me is too much God to die!”
Hannah ran to the altar, fell before God, and began to wail like a drunk woman. She said, “Lord, I want to have a baby!” Let me tell you something: If you get something from God, you can’t be cute. You can’t be to cute! Hannah’s womb was closed up, and if you are going to get something closed to open, if you are going to get God to open up a door, there comes a time in your life that you can’t worry about the way you look, your dress, your suit, your tie, or your hat, you just got to let it happen! Hannah cried out! She staggered like a drunk woman! She fell on the altar like she had been drinking! It shocked the church because the church is not used to people who are drunk with a hope a dream and a calling! Touch somebody and tell them, “I’m drunk!” That’s why I don’t walk like you, talk like you, act like you, because I’m drunk! There’s too much in me to act right! She staggered on the altar, fell before God!
Eli hadn’t seen anybody who wanted something in so long, that he didn’t know what to think about somebody who knew how to pray! Hannah was willing to be different, to get what God had for her! How bad do you want it? Do you want it bad enough to be criticized? Bad enough to be talked about? Bad enough to have somebody make fun of you? How bad do you want your healing? How bad do you want your miracle? How bad do you want your prophecy? Hannah was saying, “Whatever it takes..!”
You don’t see that in the church anymore! I remember when folks used to pray until they would stagger under the power of God! Somebody would have to drive them home because they were so anointed that they couldn’t tell the yellow line from the white line! How bad do you want it?
She lay on the altar until she made a deal with God, and He gave her the baby. It’s going to happen! She had to go through some changes, but it happened! She had to break some rules, but it happened! She had to stagger on the altar, but it happened! She had to endure some criticism, even amongst some saints, but it happened! She had to suffer rejection even among people that were supposed to understand her, but it still happened! It happened anyway!
When she had her baby, she got happy and began to sing! Let me tell you something: When you come through a whole lot, and God blesses you, it is impossible for you not to praise Him! That’s why I don’t let nobody make me feel bad about praising God! Maybe you can sit there and act proud, maybe you didn’t go through what I went through to get where I am, but I get joy when I think about what the Lord has done for me! He’s been good to me! He blessed me when they said it wouldn’t and couldn’t be done!
She began to praise her God! Lean over and touch your neighbor and say, “I’m happy and I don’t care who knows it!” She went into a “thank you” and a “glory” and a “Hallelujah,” she said, “My horn is exalted…” I am lifted up, I am excited, I am going to create a song! Every now and then, you just make up a song! Make up a praise! Every now and then you just create a song, when you look back and remember where He brought you from!
Hannah, when she saw how God had blessed her, went into praise! One of the first things that I can ever remember being taught in early childhood, was when somebody gave you something, you said: “Thank you!” Some church folk don’t have any manners at all! When God gives you something, and you know it wasn’t by might, nor by power, but by His spirit, not by your education, your degree, but when God gives you something, the least you could do was to say, “Thank you!” I know you got a fine car, I know you live in a fine home, I know you are important, but the least you could do is to say, “Thank you!” I know you got on a name brand suit, a name brand dress, but the least you could do would be to say, “Thank you!” “God, I thank you!” I don’t know about you, but I got so much to thank the Lord for!
Hannah is holding this baby, tears running down her face, a “Thank you Lord” in her mouth, a “Hallelujah” in her heart, “Glory to God” in her mind, saying, “Look what the Lord has done…..,” and I can see why she should sing a song unto the Lord, because He had blessed her. But that doesn’t go with my text, cause anybody can say, “Thank you” after you get the blessing, but my text is not saying, “once your arms are full, to give Him the praise,” my text is asking empty arms, broken dreams, financial disasters, destroyed homes, deserted children and parents; it is asking the barren to sing! The person who is overworked and underpaid, the person whose marriage is not ready for any exhibition to say the least, the person who hasn’t received what they have believed; He is asking the barren church, He says, “I want you to sing!” Wait a minute Lord, my arms are empty! “Sing anyway!” Lord, I don’t have any sign of pregnancy! “Sing anyway!” Lord, I’m not even sure that you are listening to me! “Sing anyway!” Lord, things are getting worse instead of better! But He said, “Sing anyway!” I don’t want to hear the married wife, I don’t want the full arms to praise Me, I want empty arms to praise Me! “Sing, thou barren…!” “Sing when all hell is breaking loose!” “Sing when trouble is everywhere!” You have been crying, complaining, murmuring, but let me tell you something baby, it’s not going to work! You are going to have to have to sing right in the middle of trouble!
Thou that didst, not travail, I want you to sing anyway! I don’t want you to be like Hannah, I want you to be like Mary! You do remember Mary, don’t you? When the angel appeared unto Mary, and said, “You shall bring forth a son and his name shall be called Jesus, and he shall save his people from their sins,” the first thing she did was to deal with her relationship with people! She said, “How can these things be, seeing I know not a man?” Some of you think you are not going to get it because your natural situation doesn’t line up! How can this be, with the job I got? With all of these children? As old as I am now? When didn’t I finish my degree? But Mary said, “Nevertheless! In spite of the evidence, the circumstance, the situation, be it unto me according to thy word!” She was saying, “In spite of all the evidence, if You said it, I believe it?” So what Mary did, she didn’t wait until her baby was born to start her singing, She started her song before the baby ever came. And when she started singing, with no sign but a word, with nothing but the testimony of heaven, with nothing but a declaration from God, The Holy Ghost came upon her, and she was with child! She sang her way into swollen ankles! Into stretch marks! Into pregnancy! So God says to us tonight, “You are going to have to make the first move, I want you to act like you got it before you get it, so I can give it to you!” “If you act like it is before it is, it shall be!” “I want you to get everything ready for it before you got it, so I can give it to you!” “If you don’t have any food, and you are believing me for a meal, get all the pots out, set the table, get out the silver, the fine china and the crystal, prepare everything that you have got, you can’t help what you don’t have, but prepare everything that you do have, I am going to bless people who act like I am going to bless them!” “When you praise me like you believe me, then I am going to bring it to pass!”
For lack of a better subject, I just say tonight, “Get in the birth position!” Tell someone that, will you!
Praise is the birth position! Some of you didn’t even understand yourself, what’s been going on with you lately! You have been happy and you didn’t even know what you been happy about! Anybody going through what you were going through, would have lost their mind and gone crazy, but some kind of way you were happy anyway! You were getting in the birth position! Touch somebody and tell them, “Excuse me tonight, I’ve got to get in the birth position!” You need to go to praising God like you lost your mind! Praise Him like it is already done! Like you already got your blessing! Your miracle! Anyway! Anyhow! In spite of! Praise Him! It’s going to happen! Get in the birth position!