Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

By My God I Can!
Wall Leapers and Troop Crashers

Summary:  "You can't do it! Who do you think you are? You'll surely fail!" If you've ever felt like that, then this message is for you, because God's Word says, "By my God I can" do many things that would not be possible through my own limited human abilities.

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2 Samuel 22:30, KJV  For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

• Can you alone run through a troop? No. But by God’s power you can.
 
• How about leaping over a wall? One time long ago I climbed over a wall and on the other side stepped down onto a timber rattler! Adrenalin pumping, I made a very impressive leap back over that wall! So I know a bit about leaping over important walls … (But now back to the Bible) In normal circumstances, no, I cannot leap over a tall wall. But “by my God I can” do that and more. “By my God” I can overcome situations, obstacles, and circumstances that are beyond my natural abilities and resources.
 
• I recall Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I myself cannot run through a troop or leap over a high wall. But with God my human limitations are overcome. “By my God I can” do any and everything that God wills for me to do.
 
• By the Lord’s command, Peter walked on water. Later he raised a dead woman. By the Lord’s empowering, Peter and John healed the crippled man near the temple. By God’s power Paul declared blindness on the sorcerer who was resisting Paul’s preaching of the Gospel. Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, Philip preached Christ in Samaria, cast out demons, healed the sick, and brought revival to the city. With God’s help, Paul was unharmed by the poisonous snake that bit him. This made the astonished onlookers receptive to Paul’s ministry, and he ministered divine healing to many on that island.
 
• I could give many more examples. The point is this: by God’s power in you, you can do astounding things in obedience to the Lord’s leading. Remember Jesus’ promise to believers (John 14:12): “Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.” If you are a dedicated believer in Jesus Christ, that promise from Jesus is for you.

1 Corinthians 12:28  And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.

• While on earth Jesus did amazing miracles, healings, deliverances, and more. Now Jesus has returned to heaven, and “God has placed [these same supernatural ministries] in the church.” For example, miracles, healings, and speaking in tongues.
 
• 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 (KJV) lists some of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit to believers — the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. More God-given ministries and gifts are listed in verse 28 (above), in Romans 12:6-8, and in Ephesians 4:11.
 
• God has placed these anointed ministries and spiritual gifts “in the church.” And we know that the church is not a building, but the people of God. When the church assembles, by God’s power we should seek and expect prophecies, healings, words of knowledge, and more. And when we go forth into our towns and workplaces, we should expect that supernatural power to go with us. As has been often said, not only do we “go to church,” but we also are “the church going!” That is, going into all the world to declare the Gospel powerfully.

1 Thessalonians 2:4  On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.

• “By God” you have a sacred trust. He has entrusted you with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not just some concept that exists “out there” somewhere. No, it’s a living, powerful truth about Jesus’ saving power that He has placed in your heart. God has “entrusted” you with a message that will change people’s lives for all eternity.
 
• You can share it. You can touch people’s lives with the Gospel. Take the approach: “I’m going to try to please God, whether or not in each instance I please people.” Some will respond; some will not. In all cases, present the Gospel as a messenger of Him who trusts you with this sacred truth. As you face an opportunity to share the Gospel, remind yourself: “By my God I can do this!”

Acts 1:5,8  John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit … [8] you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

• They received power through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God gave the people of God power to do what? To be Christ’s witnesses in this world. When the Lord fills us with His Holy Spirit, He gives us boldness to share the Gospel. And He confirms it with signs following (Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:3-4).
 
Before Jesus’ crucifixion, in fear Peter denied Him three times (Matthew 26:34). After receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5; 2:1-4), Peter preached the Gospel boldly in Jerusalem, and in one day led 3,000 souls to salvation and water baptism (Acts 2:36-41).

Hebrews 2:14-15  Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

By Jesus’ death the power of the devil over you is broken! One major thing Jesus has freed you from is the fear of death. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you can go forward in life with confidence that, when you draw your last breath on earth, “to be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8, KJV). I had a heart attack in 2011. I remember clearly that, because of my trust in the Lord’s gracious salvation, I had no fear about the possibility that I might not survive it. I knew then, and I know today, that whenever my time comes, I am heaven-bound.
 
• Broadly, across many situations, Jesus’ death and resurrection have freed us from Satan’s dominion — “For he [God the Father] has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption through his blood” (Colossians 1:13-14, NKJV). We are now under Christ’s kingship. As we walk with the Lord, the devil has no power over us — “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18, NASB). Remember: “By God’s power and presence in my life, I can walk free from the devil’s bondages.”

1 Thessalonians 1:4  For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you…

• This may be the greatest “…by God…” we will look at. As men and women saved by faith in Jesus Christ, we are “brothers and sisters loved by God.”
 
• I’m the father of four now-adult children. I’ve always let them know that I love them and have always tried to live that out in my relationship with them. I felt that same love from my own Dad.
 
• But imagine how much more blessed we are to know that God the Father loves us! Maybe you didn’t have a loving Dad in your life while you were growing up. As a Christian believer, now you do — God the Father! The apostle John marveled at this: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
 
• Remind yourself daily: “No matter what this day brings, I have a Father in heaven who loves me. He loves me so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to die for me and my salvation.”

1 Peter 1:4-5  …This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

• Jesus warned us (John 16:33) that “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
 
• Walk closely with the Lord and expect to experience His protecting, overcoming power. Does that mean no trouble? No, Jesus said there is trouble in the world. But He promised that through His power we will be able to overcome.

1 Peter 2:24  …by His wounds you have been healed.

• I want to close with this great truth. By Jesus’ wounds at Calvary we have been healed!
 
• He bore our sins, thankfully yes! But He also bore our sicknesses. He fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases” (Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4).
 
• It has always been God’s desire to provide us with both forgiveness of sins and healing of our sick bodies. Way back in the Psalms (103:2-3) we see this truth about healing: “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.”
 
• Today, if you are sick, claim this Scripture in faith: “By His wounds I have been healed!”
 
• My late wife Mickey, who is now in heaven, was without children because of a diagnosed infertility condition for the first six years of our marriage. But we did not accept this, and we prayed diligently for her healing. One night, after about six years like this, a lady in our church heard from the Lord to tell my wife that her “barren days are over.” And God was faithful to this word and to His biblical promise of healing. A year later our first son was born. Three more children followed, and I now have four adult children serving the Lord. And because of the Lord's great healing power that enabled them to be born, they have in turn provided me with eight beloved grandchildren, pictured below [2016 edit: 10 now!]:

Eight grandchildren

In closing, remember the message of our opening verse — By our God you can run through a troop and leap over a wall. By His power in us, believers can:

• heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons (Matthew 10:8)
 
• prophesy, receive words of knowledge, and manifest other spiritual gifts
 
• be entrusted with the sacred message of the Gospel
 
• receive Holy Spirit power to be effective witnesses for Jesus Christ
 
• walk free from the devil’s traps and bondages
 
• experience the protection of God
 
• walk in confidence that you are deeply loved by God
 
• experience physical healing through the wounds Jesus took to bear our diseases
 
• and any and everything more that God wills for your life!

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Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.