These are notes on the sermon, Ask Big, Ask Bold, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 16 May 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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In these last days, we cannot take God’s protection for granted. As believers, let’s believe and pray for the promises of protection that are found Psalm 91.
“With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation (‘Yeshua’)”
— Psalm 91:16 KJV
“long life” — This a promise for those who are living under God’s grace, the new covenant.
“salvation” — The word for “salvation” in Hebrew is “Yeshua,” which is also Jesus’ name. God will give you a long life where you will see more and more of Jesus!
Under the old covenant (the law), there was a measurement to people’s years of life (Ps. 90:10). Under the new covenant (grace), God promises us long life (with no measurement) because of Jesus’ finished work at the cross.
There are so many promises that are waiting for us to possess.
God has prepared riches of His grace and glory for us to enjoy (Eph. 2:7, Phil. 4:19), but we need to seek out His Word to access this abundance of wisdom.
People of the world can gain knowledge, experience, and expertise in various fields. However, wisdom is not knowledge; wisdom is an impartation that only comes from the Lord (Prov. 2:6).
Every time we search God’s Word, we are seeking wisdom. The way God speaks a word in season for us is through His written Word. When we seek Him in the written Word, He will make it a living word—a “now” word for us that is timely, relevant, and practical in our situation.
When you read God’s Word, know that every single word and detail in it was written for your benefit. There is no insignificant detail in the Bible—every story, every name, every event that took place—they are all types that symbolize the times we live in.
“Now all these things happened to them [as] types, and have been written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.”
— 1 Corinthians 10:11 DARBY
“[as] types” — All the things that happened in the Old Testament are “types” written as details that hold significant meaning for us today. These admonitions (advice, lessons, counsel, teaching, reproach) concern areas of our lives that we may have neglected or been unable to understand. God wants to bring them to our attention to help us.
An example of how the meanings of names are significant and bring out the relevance of Old Testament stories in our lives today: the story of Caleb and his daughter, Achsah.
“And Caleb said, ‘He who attacked Kirjath Sepher (city of the Book) and takes it, to him I will give Achsah (anklet) my daughter as wife.’ So Othniel (lion of God) the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it; and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife.”
— Joshua 15:16–17 NKJV
“Kirjath Sepher” — This translates to “city of the Book,” which refers to the Word of God.
“Achsah” — Achsah’s name means “anklet,” and it refers to possessing one’s inheritance (because the anklet refers to the foot, and God said, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you” (Josh. 1:3)).
“Othniel” — The name of Achsah’s husband is Othniel, which means “lion of God,” a reference to Jesus, the lion of Judah.
When you put the names together, it is a picture of Jesus (lion of God) who has conquered (possessed the land) the city of the Book (God’s Word) (Rev. 5:2, 5).
“ . . . formerly the name of Debir was Kirjath Sepher.”
— Joshua 15:15 NKJV
“Debir” — The name “Debir” means “spoken word,” which also refers to “oracles of God.” We see that Kirjath Sepher is the former name of Debir. From this we can see the connection between “Debir (spoken word)” and “Kirjath Sepher (written Word).” In other words, he who conquers God’s written Word will have God’s spoken word—the timely and relevant word in season. Only then can you speak as the oracles of God.
Caleb was a strong man of faith, and Achsah married Othniel who was also a man of faith. Pastor Prince paints a picture of how he can imagine Caleb imparting God’s promises to Achsah as a young girl as they traveled in the wilderness, sitting around a campfire at night and telling her about the promised land that the Lord had prepared for them to possess. This is how Caleb developed Achsah’s love for her inheritance.
As parents, we can share the Bible with our children in simple ways that stir up interest and love for God’s Word. Because Caleb shared these stories of God’s promises with Achsah, she grew up with a desire to possess the land her father described. In the same way, our children will grow up with a desire for the things of God and know that their inheritance is found in His Word.
“Now it was so, when she came to him, that she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. So she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, ‘What do you wish?’ She answered, ‘Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.’ So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.”
— Joshua 15:18–19 NKJV
“you have given me land in the South” — Caleb had given Achsah land in the South that was rich, full of precious fruits that were brought forth by the sun (Deut. 33:14). However, there was also a need for plenty of water.
“give me also springs of water” — Achsah never felt like she was asking her father for too much or felt like she was imposing on him. As believers, we can ask our Father for big things because we have received the spirit of Sonship through Jesus’ finished work. In fact, we honor God with our faith when we ask Him for more!
“So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs” — Caleb ended up exceeding Achsah’s requests by giving her both the upper and lower springs.
These springs are a picture of the Holy Spirit. The upper springs are a picture of the Holy Spirit coming upon us (like He did for the heroes in the Old Testament and gave them supernatural ability and power to equip them for the task at hand).
Pastor Prince shares how he always asks for the Holy Spirit to come upon him as he preaches so that he can give a word in season for the church. Samson, a man who was mighty in strength, also had the Holy Spirit come upon him when a lion was attacking him.
“And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily (‘tsalach’) upon him (Samson), and he tore the lion apart.”
— Judges 14:6 NKJV
“came mightily” — The phrase “came mightily” is the Hebrew word “tsalach,” which means to “prosper.”
“ . . . And whatever he does shall prosper (‘tsalach’).”
— Psalm 1:3 NKJV
“prosper” — The same Hebrew word “tsalach” is used here for “prosper.”
If you are a preacher: when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be able to share the Word and find words you never knew, use illustrations you never thought of (Matt. 10:19). This happens not because you are operating in your own natural strength, but in the Holy Spirit’s anointing (Acts 6:10).
For areas of ministry, you need to ask God for His anointing to come upon you and empower you with His strength and wisdom.
On the other hand, the lower springs are a picture of the Holy Spirit within us, guiding us in our daily decisions. While the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon us for the task at hand can come and go, His anointing within us remains permanently.
Don’t be satisfied with just the South land (land without springs of water). When you are feeling dry, ask the Lord for springs of water! He will give to you the Spirit that will lead you every single day. Keep asking Him for more—for there is yet very much land to be possessed (Josh. 13:1)! You don’t want to find out in heaven that there was much more land for you to have possessed on earth. It’s one thing to know your blessings but another thing to actually possess them. This is what God desires for us.
The “now” word for today is this: Don't just be satisfied with the status quo. There is much more land to be possessed (Josh. 13:1)! Don’t just be satisfied with knowing the gospel of grace. There is much more inheritance and blessings for you to possess.
Ephesians 1:3 tells us that we are “blessed in the heavenly places.” This same phrase is used again in the last chapter of Ephesians.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
— Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
“in the heavenly places” — This same phrase that appeared in Ephesians 1:3 is mentioned here where powers of darkness are involved. This shows us that the very same place God blesses us is the place the enemy attacks us. He doesn’t want you to enjoy God’s blessings with ease. However, there is no need to fear, because this is where God’s grace comes in.
In every difficult place in your life, God has prepared nourishment for you. He turns your difficulty into something that is good for you. When difficulties come, remember that you can put on the armor of God: the shield of faith, to quench all the fiery darts that the enemy shoots at you, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:16–17).
“I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.”
— Hosea 2:15 NKJV
“Valley of Achor . . . door of hope” — The name “Achor” means “trouble.” In your valley of trouble, look for the door of hope and you shall find it. In the midst of your trouble, the Lord has prepared for you a way of escape and an expectation of good to come!
When you find that door of hope, you will discover renewal of youth, a youthful vibrancy to sing again, to find your springtime again. No matter what troubles come, the Lord is faithful to ensure that those times of testing will not overcome you. Rather, He will make a way of escape—your door of hope (1 Cor. 10:13)!
Every name in the Bible has significance. Let’s look at the names of the enemies of Israel that were squatting in the promised land. These enemies represent the challenges and difficulties we face today that stop us from possessing our inheritance:
“This is the land that yet remains: all the territory of the Philistines (wallowing in dust) . . .”
— Joshua 13:2 NKJV
“Philistines” — The name “Philistines” means “wallowing in dust.” In Bible times, when someone was grieving over their sins, they would take dust or ashes and place it on their heads. It was a physical action of condemning themselves.
The Philistines are a picture of self-condemnation.
Whenever you’re feeling condemned, remember that there is no more condemnation for you who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1). If you’re being attacked, remember the battle that happened between David and Goliath (a Philistine). Goliath’s name means “stripped, exiled,” while David’s name means “beloved.” Remember that you are God’s beloved, and you have received the gift of no more condemnation––this will cause you to triumph over every attack of the enemy.
“. . . having spoiled (disarmed, stripped) principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
— Colossians 2:15 KJV
“having spoiled” — The word “spoiled” here means “disarmed, stripped.” When Jesus went to the cross on our behalf, His death stripped the devil of all the weapons he can use against us. Today when you look at the devil, see him stripped and deprived of every weapon he ever had against you.
All the enemy has left is deception. He is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Don’t be someone he can devour.
He knows all his weapons against you are useless, so he attempts to use the power you have against yourself. For example, he has insidiously programmed death into our language because he knows that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). Don’t allow him to use your tongue to speak against yourself! For example, instead of saying, “I’m dying for that piece of cake,” say instead, “I’m living for that piece of cake.” For we can only enjoy it if we’re living!
The other thing the enemy does now that his weapons are stripped is that he makes you self-conscious. That is where self-condemnation comes from. The enemy makes you conscious of what you’ve done wrong and what good you’ve not done enough of.
God doesn’t want you to look within and see what you’ve done wrong or what you’ve not done enough of, He wants you to take the eyes off yourself and look to Jesus.
Our good works are important but that can only happen by beholding Jesus. It is when we behold Jesus that we are transformed into His glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18).
When you wallow in self-condemnation (dust), you become devourable because the devil’s food is dust (Gen. 3:14). Instead, start hearing the word of grace which will turn your eyes upon Jesus and His finished work. When you see what Christ has done, you will shake off the dust of condemnation and become undevourable (Isa. 52:2, 1 Pet. 5:8).
Another enemy of the Israelites is the Geshurites:
“. . . and all that of the Geshurites (proud beholder).”
— Joshua 13:2 NKJV
“Geshurites” — The name “Geshurites” means “proud beholder.” The Geshurites are a picture of pride. Proud people look at others and think they are greater than them.
Pride is also a result of self-occupation.
On one hand, there are those who look at themselves and feel condemned because they only see their bad points. Then there are those who look at themselves and only look at their good points, then compare themselves to other people’s bad points, and become proud.
When you take your eyes off Jesus and look to yourself, these are the results.
For Joshua, there were many cities he conquered but did not possess (live in and enjoy). The promised land for you to possess today is a place of rest, peace, health, wholeness, and place where the Spirit flows. Don’t allow the Philistines (condemnation) and Geshurites (pride) to sit on it.
Sihor and Egypt
“. . . from Sihor (darkness), which is east of Egypt (‘Mitsrayim’ — double stress).”
— Joshua 13:3 NKJV
“Sihor” — The name “Sihor” means “darkness.”
“Egypt” — The name “Egypt” is the Hebrew word “Mitsrayim,” which means “double straits” or “double stress.”
When you put the names “Sihor” and “Egypt” together, you get “darkness of double stress.” Many of us are being attacked by stress and anxiety today.
Studies have shown that stress is a key factor behind many diseases.
Let’s not allow the enemy’s deception of self-condemnation, pride, or stress to stop us from possessing the land that God has promised us.
To possess your land, you can call upon the anointing of the Lord to come upon you. Like oil, it will make everything in your life smooth. There will come a supernatural ease to every area of life when you operate with the wisdom of God.
We go back to the story of Caleb, where he tells Joshua his plan of possessing the land:
“And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.”
— Joshua 14:10–11 NKJV
“eighty-five years old . . . I am as strong this day . . . so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in” — Because Caleb wholly followed the Lord (Josh. 14:8), he had faith to believe that he and his family would enter the promised land. At an advanced age of 85, there was no decline of energy or diminishing of Caleb’s physical strength.
In the Bible, you don’t find God telling Caleb that he was old (although God told Joshua that he was old and advanced in age (Josh. 13:1)). God put Caleb and Joshua side by side for us to see the contrast between the two of them. They were the two out of ten spies sent into the promised land who returned with a good report that the land was an “exceedingly good land” (Num. 14:7).
The “very very good land” (Num. 14:7 YLT) is a picture of God’s Word. In God’s Word, you will find the answers to every single thing you’re going through. All the books in the world cannot compare with the wisdom that His Word holds. His wisdom for all our affairs of life—marriage, parenting, business, relationships with people, even our walk with God—is found in the written Word. It is a very very good Book that contains our inheritance, and God is found on every page. This is why God wants us to possess it!
Caleb goes on to ask Joshua:
“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said. And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron (‘habar’ — association) to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance.”
— Joshua 14:12 NKJV
“give me this mountain . . . Hebron” — Hebron is a part of the promised land that the Anakims (the giants) resided in, the same place the spies were sent to scout out many years ago. While the rest of the spies said that the Anakims would eat them up, Caleb was the one who said the Anakim were bread for them (Num. 14:9).
Caleb saw his difficulties as bread for him, and that is the secret to his perpetual and perennial youthfulness.
If you are faced with a stressful or difficult situation, be like Caleb and see every difficulty as an opportunity to be strengthened, and you won’t be consumed by it. As a child of God, the Lord will turn your difficulty into bread that will nourish and strengthen you!
“Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb . . . And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim). Then the land had rest from war.”
— Joshua 14:14–15 NKJV
“And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim)” — Hebron was filled with Anakim, and it was also where Arba, the greatest man of all the Anakim lived. “Arba” represents the number “four,” and also refers to the other great giants with him (there were four of them—three sons, plus Arba himself). Caleb had asked for the most difficult mountain to possess! However, at 85, Caleb went in and routed them out.
“Hebron” — The name “Hebron” comes from the Hebrew word “habar,” which means “association” (Josh. 14:13). “Hebron” is the noun, “habar” is the verb. From “habar,” you have the feminine word, “habura,” which means “alliance,” which also refers to “stripes.”
“. . . with his stripes (‘habura’ — association) we are healed.”
— Isaiah 53:5 NKJV
“stripes” — The word “stripes” here is the Hebrew word “habura.” So while it is true that by the physical stripes Jesus bore on His body for us, we are healed, this verse also tells us that by our association with Jesus at the cross, we are healed!
When we associate ourselves with Jesus, when we identify with Him, we receive our healing.
We see this principle of association in the story of King Jehoshaphat of Judah when he associated himself with the evil king of Israel, Ahab. When Jehoshaphat allied himself with Ahab and said to him, “I am as you are” (2 Chron. 18:3), he ended up partaking of the fate that was meant for Ahab. We will go into this story more later.
Whoever you identify yourself with, their fate you will partake of. So when you say, “As Jesus is, so am I in this world” (1 John 4:17), you are identifying yourself with Jesus’ portion and His fate. Today, we are not just one with Him in Spirit, but we are members of His flesh and bones (Eph. 5:30). This is why we can speak His health into our bodies—as He is healthy in heaven right now, so are we in this world right now!
Pastor Prince reads out a powerful testimony from a lady in the church who was healed from lumps in her breast as she kept proclaiming “as Jesus is, so am I in this world.” This testimony has become a catalyst for many other healing testimonies we’ve received.
You’re not transforming yourself by your own words or effort. As you behold Jesus and speak forth the truth of your association with Him, you will be effortlessly transformed into the same image by the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).
When you shift your focus from yourself to the Lord, the Spirit can then start working everything in your life for good.
Pastor Prince shares a testimony from a man from Australia who was suffering from hepatitis C and cirrhosis as a result of smoking and drug use during his teenage years (before his life was changed by the gospel of grace). After hearing about how proclaiming, “As Jesus is, so am I in this world,” resulted in the lady with lumps in her breast receiving healing, he too started proclaiming the Lord’s health over his body. When he went for a biopsy, he discovered that he was clear of cirrhosis, hepatitis C, and there was no liver scarring at all!
We go back to the story of King Jehoshaphat of Judah and his alliance with King Ahab of Israel. Here, Jehoshaphat agreed to dress as Ahab when they went into battle with the king of Syria:
“Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots who were with him, saying, ‘Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel. So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, ‘It is the king of Israel!’ Therefore they surrounded him to attack; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him, and God diverted them from him.”
— 2 Chronicles 18:30–31 NKJV
“when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, ‘It is the king of Israel!’ Therefore they surrounded him to attack” — Whoever you associate yourself with, their fate, portion, and lot you will partake of. This is what happened to Jehoshaphat when he associated with Ahab. Jehoshaphat went into battle dressed as Ahab, whom the enemies were looking to kill, and he almost died except that the Lord in His mercy saved him from Ahab’s fate.
Even after this event, King Jehoshaphat went on to identify himself with yet another evil king of Israel, Ahaziah:
“After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied (‘habar’) himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly. And he allied (‘habar’) himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber. But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, ‘Because you have allied (‘habar’) yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.’ Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.”
— 2 Chronicles 20:35–37 NKJV
“allied” — The word “allied” in these verses is the Hebrew word “habar,” which means “association.” In the end, because of Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahaziah, Eliezer prophesied that the works he had set out to accomplish with this king would be destroyed.
Whoever you ally yourself with, their portion you will partake of. When you ally yourself with Christ, you will experience the same benefits and victory He has.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
— Hebrews 2:14–15 KJV
“of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same” — The way Jesus delivered us was to identify Himself with us by coming as a man. Identify yourself with Jesus, for He loves you so much that He came as a man so He could identify with you and deliver you from death.
If there is someone you love, the best way to communicate is to identify with their feelings, which results in more alliance, communion, and true sharing. Learn to listen not just objectively and also empathetically to your loved ones because it will help you identify with what they are going through.
Pastor Prince closes the service by reminding us that God has plenty of land (inheritance) that we still have yet to possess, and the importance of identifying ourselves with Jesus. Do you have trouble in your life? See those difficulties as bread for you to feed on. Are you seeing an area of lack where you’re not possessing God’s promises? Look to the Lord and declare: “As Jesus is, so am I in this world!”
“Lord Jesus, I thank You that You love me and died on the cross for all my sins. I confess You Lord Jesus as my Savior and my Lord. Father God, thank You, that when You declared me righteous, You raised Christ from the dead. Thank You Father God, that Jesus Christ is now my true identity. So help me discover all that He is, Lord, the glories of His person, so that I can be practically more like Him. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
“The Lord bless you and the Lord keep you. The blessings of God will manifest in your life throughout this week. You’ll see them pop, one by one. Acknowledge them, and thank the Lord for them. The Lord keep you, preserve, protect you and your loved ones throughout this week from the COVID-19 virus, and from every disease, and from every danger, harm, and from all the powers of darkness. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord make His face to shine on you. Behold Him as He is, so are you. His face is full of glory, shining on you, granting you His favor everywhere you go this week. Favor surrounds you like a shield. The Lord lift up His countenance on you and grant to you and your families His shalom peace, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. God bless all of you!”
“ . . . there remains very much land yet to be possessed.”
— Joshua 13:1 NKJV
Child of God, there is much more in this life that the Lord wants you to possess. He has purchased every promise and blessing in God’s Word for you at the cross, but how much are you actually experiencing and enjoying?
Don’t settle for anything less than God’s best for you and your family. If there is a blessing or breakthrough you want to see, ask big and bold. The Lord loves bold requests.
This week, practice these two things:
We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.
© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2021
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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