equip I was away on a trip two weeks later when my wife urged me to return home as there was an ad put out on the city’s paper — Liverpool Echo — saying that John Partington invites them to Liverpool Christian Centre. Considering that my church was called Liverpool Christian Life Centre, the coincidence was too much to be dismissed.
Understandably, I was filled with negativity about what was happening when two things dropped into my mind. The first was it’s amazing what praising can do, and the second was to count it all joy when you fall into diverse trials and temptations. These thoughts came to me as I was lying on the floor.
What’s more, this new church was housed in a hotel that was next to the one that our church had started from, so I went home and decided to go to its meeting. There, I met the other John Partington — I’ve checked it out, it was his name. He was of the same height as me, with the same blond hair and blue eyes. He was even the same age as me! The only difference was he had a beard and led a cult.
So I got up. I began walking up and down the room, and said, “Oh thank you Lord, thank you.” I was praising Him, but through gritted teeth. I was doing it, but not doing it. Going on in this same manner, the other thought came to mind. Count it all joy.
My world, and the world of the church, began to shake and we began to entertain negative thoughts. To compound matters, a pedophile came to the church and, when asked by my associate what he was doing, he said he wanted to see my daughters. In his hand was a carrier bag full of images of little boys and girls that had been cut out from magazines. Another practicing homosexual, too, came into church at this time and invited my son out. Nothing happened, but I believed he was “grooming” him and, when I found out about this, I went to confront this homosexual man. Now, I’m not a person that loses my temper easily but even though the man was a big guy, I lifted him up and said, “Have you done anything with my boy?” “No, no, no, no. Definitely not,” he said. I returned home, shaking. My eyes were filled with tears. I rang my church associate and sought prayer. Anger washed over me, and I didn’t even realize that this emotion was still there. All these things happened within six weeks.
As I kept praising God, I started to move into the reality of “count it all joy”. I said, “Oh, thank you Lord! Bring me more trials and tribulations because the devil is a defeated foe, and my God is an all-conquering Savior who will not let me down and let me go. Hallelujah!” Suddenly! Suddenly something happened in the spirit realm and God broke in. My praise became real as I began to worship Him in spirit and in truth. This did not mean my circumstances changed for the better. It did not. But something altered in my heart, and I realized that the devil can do nothing with a person who might be beaten down by tribulation but chooses to get up and praise the Lord, no matter what’s happening! So how do we defeat the spirit of negativity? We do so by seeing with eyes of faith, obeying God’s word and speaking prophetically. If you’re toying with negative thoughts today, you can arrest them by saying: “God, help me to think the thoughts that You would have us to think”. Let’s start with that, as we walk a life made victorious by Jesus Christ! T This sermon can be heard online at www.trinity. net/sermons.htm
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12/1/11 7:00 PM
Trinitarian Magazine Issue 4/2011