Church Dedication by Graham Cooke
This word was originally given on September 1, 2002 as a dedication and commission for Impact. If you like, you may download the PDF.
I want to say something prophetic to the church here, just some things that I believe that God has set aside for you in this region. It’s no coincidence that you have had a real struggle, even just to survive. The journey has been one where God has humbled you intentionally. Taught you how to hold on, to learn how to fight and be faithful, to hang in there. I believe the enemy too has been obstructive in so many ways. But who cares, we have our building and we are in! So, we’ve learned how to persevere and that’s good, because we are going to learn to persevere at a deeper level. And that will be good.
I want to tell you this: it’s through your love for God and one another that you’re going to win the hearts of this community. You need to understand the favor of the Lord is upon you. That’s why you triumphed to this point, and why you are going to have more and stronger and bigger triumphs yet. What you are here, in this body, the community around you will become.
Think about that for a minute. There is a promise there. If you will put the first commandment and the second commandment together and be governed by them, governed by them, what you become as a house, this whole community will tumble into. That’s a big promise – eh – it’s a huge thing. You can’t put any walls on that thing. I’m not going to unpack it any more than that because to do so, would be to put limitations around it. But, the potential is endless. Can you get your head around this? The level of love and friendship amongst you, that is what will be prevalent out there. The Spirit that’s in here will actually invade the whole community. No stranger, no aliens out there, but people who know how to care for each other. We can impact the whole community.
There is an anointing upon you to bless the community and you need to be aware of that and conscious of that. You can bless the righteous acts that are in this community. It’s interesting that a religious church only has power to judge the community, they judge things, they stand against things, but a church that knows how to be kingdom, knows how to be family. You have power to bless the community into becoming righteous. So what you bless out there gets blessed. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think there’s real power there. It’s blessing that separates the righteous from the wicked, not judgment. It’s the blessing of God that leads us to repentance. Judgement never caused anyone to repent. Blessing makes a repenter of even the hardest heart.
Interesting – eh? Power to bless this community, use it consciously, use it wisely. Use it on your enemies especially – hey? Because you never know what’s going to happen but what does that mean? It means you can release blessing on the saved and the unsaved. It means you have power to bless businesses, the people to prosper, power to bless unemployment and see it decrease. Power to bless areas of the community and see new businesses move in. You should be treading, walking around this whole community saying – “What can we bless?” How about, what is it You want us to bless here?
And deliberately going out and blessing it means that you are going to be overcomers in warfare. You need to understand that when the enemy comes attacking the community, the power of restoration will pour out of you. And you’ll have opportunity in these days to release blessing and restoration. Did you ever think that you would have the power to see marriages restored just because you prayed? Power to see hearts of parents turned to their children because you prayed, and children to their parents because you prayed? We can have power to heal the depressed and the oppressed. One thing the Lord wants you to stand for, and you will stand for, is unity in this whole community. And the Lord says to you, I believe, be diligent to promote unity and to pursue it. There is a profound spirit of unity upon you guys for the sake of the Kingdom.
So you need to write it into your hearts – other churches matter, other churches matter. What they think of you is irrelevant, what you think of them matters. They are your brothers, your sisters. How can we bless them? How can we give to them? How can we dig out a well and make sure that every church, the water level rises in every church? How can we help other churches to prosper? What can we do to support them? Bless them?
See, the next part of your journey is learning how to be a resource church. You may think, well, there’s not that many of us. It’s irrelevant how many there are. It’s your hold on the bigness of God that is the truly significant thing. It’s never been about numbers. Gideon teaches us that – eh? God got rid of 99% of his army. Then when he’s outnumbered 400 to one, God said, now you can go out and surround their army. Gideon’s thinking – math is not your strong point – eh? It’s never been about numbers, it’s about quality. You guys have got quality. You’ve got it, you proved it, you’re going to prove it again, and again and again.
You’ve done real well to get here, and your future is going to be way better than your past. You’re going to surprise yourself, you are going to out do yourselves, you’re going to be amazed at what you are capable of doing when you lay hold of the great God. God will give you resources to come to the aid of Kingdom in this region. Sometimes you will give out of your need. Actually, both of them are irrelevant. You need to learn how to be abased and abound.
What does that mean? Being abased means you know how to get all your needs met. Abounding means you know how to get your needs met, but you can also meet the needs of loads of other people. But the very least is you know how to get all your needs met. Being abased is not about being made destitute. It is about learning how to walk by faith yourself. Abundance means you know how to walk by faith for other people. But you never drop below getting all your needs met. I love being abased. I love being abounding, more.
There is a very strong missionary aspect in this church that God is going to anoint in these days. He’s going to anoint it in a particular way, I feel like some of this is on you now. God’s going to give you power over creation. Power over natural disasters. What does that mean? If a place is going through drought, you can pray for rain and God will give it. In a place where the water level is low, you can pray for the water to come. Where the water is bitter, you can pray for it to become drinkable. It means you can pray for livestock, you can pray for crops, no blight, no plague, no infestation. No sickness will prevail against that anointing. It’s a gift the Holy Spirit is going to give you. Power over creation. The whole creation longs for the evidence of the real Sons of God.
And as that anointing grows on you, you are going to have the power to go into places and see things happen. We’re talking about miracles and we’re talking about signs and wonders. Wouldn’t it be interesting if this whole place were in drought, and you went out and prayed and it rained?
Understand that your place in this area affects everything. Salvations are going to come to you in significant numbers over time. Salvation always goes in seasons. There is a flow and there is ebb. That is so that all those we got saved, we can do something with. But I want to tell you that as you rise up and take your place, this whole community will start to call on the name of the Lord. And you will find incredible stories of what God is doing out there. You will find amazing people in this area who will find their way into the heart of God through your own faithfulness. But you are going to be a catalyst for the blessing of God to come on this region spiritually. You’re going to be a house of prayer. You’re going to be a place of worship. You’re going to be a training center; it’s going to be a place where leaders in the area get developed. It’s going to be a place where people get trained and equipped for the prophetic and for healing. There’s going to be a healing room here in this place.
I tell you that many churches are going to grow because of your grasp of Kingdom. Because of your practice of Kingdom. And that’s going to make you a focus for enemy attack. That’s the good news – eh? You’re either a victim or you’re a target. I want to be a target for the enemy, because if I am a target for the enemy, I’m a bigger target for the blessing of God, the grace of God, the power of God. We need to become a target for the Holy Spirit to display His power.
You need to learn to sit, to walk, to stand in the majesty of God. And you know that doesn’t mean that everything has to be a struggle, has to be difficult. There are times when you can dance your way through battles. You can laugh your way through adversity. How? Because of what you know about God on the inside. You’re going to wage war over social issues, over injustice for the poor, over prejudice. Not in any nasty or judgmental way, but there’s going to come a mercy that flows out of this place that will capture the heart of this community.
Just one warning, slight warning – never allow your friendship, your unity, or your love for one another to be comprised. Don’t allow it ever. When you are under attack, strengthen the foundation of your friendship first. Let it be the first thing that happens. As you strengthen the foundation of your friendship and your love for each other, the enemy will seek to come in, devour and rule. He will always attempt to penetrate, demoralize and divide people. The only antidote of that is to learn how to be in communion with God, how to be in covenant with one another and how to declare your commitment, especially on your worst day. Never allow your friendship, unity of your love to be compromised. And everything God has for you will come to you.
This building is the first fruit of who you are. The first fruits of your faith, it’s your tangible expression. We know we can do this because we’ve done it. This is your first fruit. What else is going to come? You’re going to grow outrageously. It won’t be long until we’re knocking that wall down there – eh. It may not be even longer yet until we are building a different building on the property, – eh? Who knows? Beloved, you’ve demonstrated that you have something in the spirit. There’s real quality in this room. We have to find a way of bringing out the best in each other. That’s going to be our joy. That’s going to be our pleasure.