March , 2019

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By Chinta Strausberg
In preparation for challenge for 2012, Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday told Saint Sabina they are ” mountain movers” and that by having the faith of a mustard seed, which he likened to having oxygen, they can overcome any obstacle that crosses their path. The power, he said, depends on how strong your faith is.
He then asked the church to turn to:
Matthew 17:14-20
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy
 14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
   17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
“The most important thing any person can profess is faith,” said Pfleger. “Faith is absolutely essential to the Christian journey, and if we’re going to walk into while God is standing out there saying ‘come into’ in 2012, if you’re going to experience the greatness that God is calling you to individually and collectively as this faith community, how many believe something great is getting ready to happen in your life…in this faith community…,” then you must have faith.
How many of you believe we haven’t even scratched the surface yet?
“Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Faith is what allows us to survive insurmountable situations in our lives,” Pfleger said. “Faith is what carries you when you could not walk. Faith is what brought you through stuff when you believed you could not get there.”
Quoting Hebrews 11:1, Pfleger said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
“Faith is what I stand on. It’s a substance. Sometimes that’s all I got to stand on,” he said. “Our faith must be, has to be and is rooted in the word of God. It is the word, which is the seed that produces. Your faith in the seed is what causes production, what causes success, what causes manifestations. The word can produce the breakthrough you’re looking for,” said Pfleger.
“The word can produce the deliverance you’re looking for. The word can bring into reality the miracle you’re looking for.” Pfleger said, “Faith must have a corresponding action. Faith must produce something. If I believe, there is something about me that acts, talks, walks differently because of my faith. Faith is what makes me something that I wasn’t before. Faith is what causes me to speak differently….
“Faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted,” he said. Referring to the disciples who were told by a father that his son was possessed with demons. They tried to drive the demons out but were unsuccessful. When they asked Jesus why couldn’t they drive out the demons as he has done, Jesus simply said they were not believers.
“If you had the faith the size of a mustard seed, forget the demons, you can speak to a mountain and move it from here to there. Jesus said because of your unbelief, you were unsuccessful. Jesus is talking about the power of God’s word in relationship to mountains that we experience in our lives all the time,” said Pfleger.
“Mountains are nothing more than challenges,” he explained. “When challenges come at you, they can care less about what church you go to. They can care less about how long you’ve been in church. They can care less about your title, your position, your status, your class, your race. Challenges don’t care anything about your background because it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do what they’re trying to stop you from becoming.
“A mountain is a problem that comes with one specific purpose to try and hinder you, detour you, block you in your progress towards kingdom manifestations,” said Pfleger.
“We are called to declare and to manifest the Kingdom of God…. Our job is not to sit up in church and look cute,” he said. “Our job is to walk out of church and bring the kingdom of God in the manifestation, in my workplace, in my home, on my block…. My job is to make it real, real talk.
“Mountains come to block you, hinder you, stop you from doing that for which you were called to do,” said Pfleger. ‘I ain’t afraid of you devil. Go back to hell where you came from,” he said.
“We have challenges that come to hinder us and those challenges come in various ways,” he warned.  “The challenges can come in our relationships…our finances…in our health…in depression. Challenges can come from unresolved issues that still lie inside of us and every now and then raise their heads up and let you know I’m still here.
“No matter how we shout, act or look churchy, everybody here has challenges,” he told the church challenging anyone who doesn’t have challenges to “come up and take my chair.”
Mountains, he said, often look impossible, but Pfleger reminded them “what’s impossible to man is possible to God. “The trouble is when challenges and mountains rise up in our lives, too often we tend to go to God and want to talk to him about the mountain. We want to give Him the description of the mountain.
“We want to tell Him about the size, its dimension, how ugly it is, what it feels like and we want to tell God why we can’t do what we want to do and have been called to do because we say ‘we got some mountains.’”
Pastor Pfleger said too many people use mountains as excuses. “Some of us use an excuse why you are so mean.” Mocking some of those who do this and say ‘well, you don’t know what I’ve been through’” “Why you gotta be so mean”? ‘Well, you just don’t know what’s happened in my life.” Pastor responded to his rhetorical question by bellowing: “Shut up”!
He told of one parishioners who said he was listening to the Saint Sabina worship services on the Internet for four-weeks and was disappointed that Pfleger he never called him. “What was wrong? Did you call me”? asked Pfleger. “Did you ask for prayer or to be on the prayer list? What was wrong”? The man responded, “I’ve just been going through something.”
Pfleger wasn’t too happy with his response saying: “Well, you’ve been going through something and decided to cut yourself off from the place where you get the strength to go through it.  You ain’t got a problem. You’re stupid,” Pfleger said. “We use excuses…, but I am here to tell you…God will not do for you what he has enabled you to do for yourself.
“Don’t waste time praying to God about what Jesus has already given you the authority to take care of and what’s already available. You don’t need to ask Him for the power you already got. If it’s the lights are on, you don’t need to ask him for light. You got to understand, God is not going to give you what He’s already given you again. Use it”
Pfleger said they have to understand they have within them the ability to “talk and speak to our mountains. God wants us to understand do you know who you are. We have to realize we have the power to speak to things that get in our way and move it.”
Speaking to victims he says don’t like to hear this, Pfleger said, “You have no right to go through life defeated; so get out of the little pity party victim mentality because you ain’t got no right to go through life defeated just because you have some mountains and some challenges.
“You must learn when mountains rise up in our lives, we turn and walk away in defeat, but that is the time to stand up in the boardroom in our life and say do you understand I ain’t no pushover. Do you understand I ain’t no punk…no wimp. Do you understand that I ain’t about to bow down to you? I am a mountain,” bellowed Pfleger.
“I am not about to whine or be depressed over this mountain,” he said telling the church he is trying to raise up some spiritual Navy Seals because he no longer wants a boot camp church who understand that they “will not whine or get depressed about this because I am a mountain mover.”
He asks church members to turn to each other and say, “You need to send an e-mail, a text or a Twitter to my mountain and tell him by the end of this service, it’s going to have to relocate. Before this service is over, that mountain has got to relocate, and the reason I can say that is that I believe that God has given me the power to move mountains, not mole hills…, mountains.” He church responded: “I have the power to move mountains.”
Pfleger reminded them “The word of God is where the power is.” He added, “Let me tell you something, you Teflon, shallow church folk. You cannot live with out the word of God. You cannot make it without the word of God, and you certainly cannot reach your destiny without the word of God. You cannot reach your plan, your purpose, and your greatness without the word of God.
“It boggles my mind for some people who think they can make it through life without God’s word,” said Pfleger. “Can you imagine having dealt with the stuff you’ve come through without God’s word and God’s power and God’s anointing? Can you imagine? God’s word gave you light when it was dark. It gave you truth when lies were rising up. It gave you hope when you felt hopeless…. It was His word that gave you direction when you didn’t know where to go or where to turn. It was the Word…. Thank you for the word.”
“Because Jesus is the word, Jesus is truth…. That’s why it is easier to go and talk to people than God because people will tell you what you want to hear,” he said.
“The word will tell you the truth…. You ever come to church and the word of God slaps you upside your head. Everybody crying in church isn’t because they are so happy because conviction is taking place. The word will slap you because the word wants to break you and remake you.
“The word wants to transform you in the likeness of God and some of us sitting up here right now are in denial about some of the stuff in our lives, but I dare you just ask the word. I dare you to ask the word why you were up all night crying. Ask the word why you keep getting in jacked up relationships. Ask the word why you keep going left. Ask the word why you keep going into stuff you thought you got of…. I dare you to ask the word.”
Referring to Hebrews 17:14-20, Pfleger told of the disciples who were confused as to why they couldn’t drive out the demons that had possessed a man’s son. “Jesus said, because of your unbelief. You look like you got it all together, but you got a belief issue…. You be surprised how many sit up in churches all over the world every Sunday and go through all the rituals and all the religion; in fact, they know how to say ‘and with your Spirit and not just an also with you.’
“They know how to say, ‘up under my roof.’ I thought they were singing the old song in the 1960’s. ‘Up On the Roof,’ but it’s up under my roof. You would be surprised how many people go to church every week, and they know all the right things to say and do. They got all the church look…actions but they got a belief issue. They read it and sing it, but they have a belief issue.”
Pfleger said he has found in churches and Christian people is that “because society, life, experiences, racism and sexism have beaten us down so much that sometimes we can believe the word for the person next to us but we just don’t believe it for yourselves…. Well, you can’t love your neighbor unless you love yourself. You have to believe it for you before you can believe it for somebody else.”
Pfleger said every now and then God will put in a situation just so you can see your belief issue. “You’re in a really dark spot and God is saying, ‘Do you still believe me’? Or are you beginning to question God. Are you crying out, ‘Where are you, oh God, or are you crying out, ‘I believe in the Lord and I trust in the Lords with all of my strength.’ He will put you in stuff that will cause you to say what do you really believe, what do you stand by.
“It is the word of God that brings about truth…about manifestation…breakthrough, delivery and the miraculous. It’s the word. Everything started with the word…. You began with a word. Your daddy saw your mama saw how fine your mama looked, said a word, and oops there it is,” he mused. “That’s why we have to be so careful about the words that we use,” Pfleger cautioned. “Words are seeds and what you plant will grow. What you plant will produce a harvest….
“Be careful what you say, you can’t call our children dumb, can’t tell somebody they can’t make it, can’t tell somebody they are stupid…hopeless. You gotta watch what you say because what you speak will come true. You gotta be careful what comes out of your mouth.”
“You’ve said some terrible things in anger…. Some of us have scarred marks on the inside of our hearts because of words that were spoken to us,” said Pfleger.
Referring to some who question why he gets angry when people say the “N” word or the “B” words, Pfleger said because those words “have hurt and people have died and have been lynched for and somebody was on a tree being called that  couldn’t do nothing and…you have a right to say what is positive, not negative. You got to use your mouth to speak light” and not darkness.
Pfleger told the story of how his father never whipped him. He got used to that, but said his mother was “abusive.” “She picked up what ever she could, irons, pans, plates, glasses, vases brooms. That was my mother. She should be in jail now, but God took her home rather than to take her to prison but my father never hit me.”
Pfleger said when he was a teen and began to think he was “all that,” his mother was criticizing him for something and he blurted out, “I hate you.” His father over heard him. “He became Chucky right there in my house, and my father started coming to me. I saw the look on his face, and I ran to the front door and the screen door was locked,” he recalled.
“My father took my head and put it through the screen door, pulled it back then slapped me to the floor. Inside of myself I said this new part of you is not becoming. My father simply said, ‘Never disrespect your mother again.” And, my teenage smell of myself reduced a little bit of baby and I said,
Yes daddy.’
“Understand the power of words. Jesus said you remember me. You’ve not understood the power of who you are and the word is inside of you.” He said if you just had faith the size of a mustard seed, you can take the mountain and move it from here to there.”
“We are either going to look at the mountains in out lives and be afraid or we’re going to look at the authority which we have and speak to them…. A mountain mover is different than just a Christian,” he said.
“A mountain mover looks at the mountain and says, “You will not get the victory in my life. I don’t care if it’s cancer. I don’t care if it’s jobless…. A mountain mover looks at the situation and says ‘you will not get the victory in my life because I declare I’ve got faith.’”
The core issue, he said, is that people must learn how to focus beyond the facts of the mountain they see to the promise of the word, which he says has been spoken over them.  “Sometimes the stuff of what we see is scary. Sometimes our mountains look scary…like they are massive and overwhelming and that they are giants will take us all over.
“Sometimes mountains can be so powerful, so big and so scary that they can make us bend down on our knees, but you have to understand that when stuff look scary you have to declare ‘I don’t care how you look’ you still won’t get the victory…. I’m not a punk. I’m a giant myself. A giant has big footprints because they are standing on the word.”
Explaining, Pfleger said, “When you’re looking for a criminal, you go by their fingerprints, but when you’re looking for a giant, you go by their footprints…. Faith is the substance.
“How the enemy really gets us is when he brings something to us we haven’t dealt with before,” Pfleger said. “What do you do when something comes at you that you have not seen before”?
He quoted Jesus saying “You of so little faith. If you have faith a small as a mustard seed….”
Pfleger said all throughout the New Testament Jesus condemns people for having little faith.  “So why would Jesus teach us that a little faith would move mountains when in other places he has condemned people for having little faith”?
Pfleger explained: “The real issue is really not how small your faith is, but the issue is understanding a mustard seed…. If you plant a tomato next to a Jalapeno, when they grow their characteristics will intertwine. They will begin to take on the characteristics of each other.”
Quoting Minister Louis Farrakahan who told him “they only plant beans in this field because if you plant stuff near other stuff, it will begin to lose its identity and take on the characteristics of what’s around it, but a mustard seed is unaffected by its surroundings…. It retains its identity…. Stop letting your environment affect you.
“If you become a mustard seed, you can stand in a storm and not let the storm be in you. You can speak peace. You can have joy…,” said Pfleger. He urged them to understand the power they have. “Nothing will be impossible if you become a mountaineer mover. Nothing is impossible when I understand who I am in Christ who I am….
“We must stop trying to conference call with the mountain. Stop trying to negotiate that kind of a workshop and a conversation with the challenge in your life; rather when a mountain rises up in front of you, begin to rise up with the power of conviction and speak the word of God to the mountain,” bellowed Pfleger. “That is why the enemy wants to keep you still.”
Pfleger told of how when he grew up in church “where we were always quiet. We never spoke. We never talked…worship. We never got the bible to read. That’s why I’m not in that church. I’m in a born again, saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost-filled not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ church.
“You got to learn how to speak the word. It is time out for timid Christians,” he told the church. “It’s time out for scary little baby Christians. It’s time out for a spiritual code of silence where we’re afraid to get up to declare in our homes, on our streets, in our neighborhoods, to our brothers and sisters, in the church. I’m tired of folks who come to a church and say ‘well, I don’t like to praise.’  “Then this is not your church,” said Pfleger. “Go find you a quiet little siddity church. We better be able to rise up and confess with power.”
Pfleger said if a policeman comes to your house and somebody is a burglar in your house “they don’t go up to the door and say, ‘will you please put that stuff back….” “The police officer comes to your house and sees the burglar he says, “Halt. Put your hands up or I’ll shoot and the burglar puts their hands up. Why, because the burglar understands that the police officer has the backup behind him to make what happened when he confesses…. You have to understand that the Holy Ghost lives in me. I got the power in me to back up what I say…. I got the power.
“When you understand that you have the power to declare to the mountain to move, once you declare it, it is not if It will move. It’s when will it move. Either it will move voluntarily or involuntarily, but it will move. You gotta learn how to stand up on the word and speak the word to every mountain that tries to get up in your face. Don’t talk to it…move….”
He told of a son who was in another part of the country and his mother was having her 70th birthday but he couldn’t be there due to his business. He looked to find something special for his mother. He walks down the street and sees a store that sold exotic animals. He said an exotic parrot that costs $5,000.
The man asked why was it so expensive. The store clerk this bird speaks five languages. He told the clerk to wrap it up and send it to his mother. A couple days later he called his mother and asked if her if she received his gift.
“She said, ‘yes, son. That was the best tasting chicken I ever had. It was delicious. It was so tasty. It was so good.” “He said mama, that was an exotic bird. It spoke five languages.” Pfleger said the son’s mother replied, “Well, the damn bird should have spoke up and said something.”
“Before the devil cooks you, you better raise up and say something,” bellowed Pfleger. He told the church for those with mountains in their lives to rise to their feet and “to speak to your mountain and command it to be relocated in the name of Jesus. Move that mountain right now…. The finances of this church shall be fruitful…shall multiply. This church shall rise up and be a mighty church, a glorified church. Speak to it. Move it, move it,” Pfleger told the congregation.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.
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