Today I'm continuing to talk about effortless change and I'm nearing the end of this series and I would really like to encourage you to please get these materials that we're offering. I think that this is one of the most foundational truths that I could ever share with anybody. These are things that God taught me 40 years ago, and I mean, I still live by these truths. They have never become old to me. This is the root of what God has done in my life and I'm just telling you, that this how God desires to change your life, is not through praying and fasting and begging and beseeching God, but it's just taking the Word of God and meditating in it day and night and it will make your way prosperous and you will have good success. It's really that simple.
So, I've been teaching from Mark, chapter 4, and let me just once again read verses 16 and 17. I've spent a number of days on this. I've got to move on and finish the rest of this parable, but these two verses, I mean, revolutionized my life in a big way. So, let me go back and make a few more comments on them and we'll move on. In verse 16... Mark 4:16, "And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground: who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness: and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended".
Now, on the previous days of this week, I talked about how that I was in a church with a group of friends who loved me but they just thought I was getting a little extreme with this word stuff. I was getting away from the traditions and the doctrines of the church, and Jamie and i... The Lord spoke to us and showed us that we had to commit ourselves to the Word of God even more than our friends, even more than the church that we grew up in, and we did it and it cost us some relationships, and during this exact period of time... The same period of time, there was a man named, joe nay. This man was kind of like a... A mentor for me. He's the one that jump started my spiritual life. I was already born again, but he had a miraculous encounter with the Lord and everything was just so fresh and new to him that, I mean, he made a huge impact on my life and he got kicked out of the church long before I did.
He was more radical than I was and I was still trying to, you know, straddle the fence and walk and please everybody... Please the Lord, be radical in what I believed about the word, and yet stay with the people who didn't believe those things and it was violating their religious traditions, and anyway, a long story, but this man was a real influence in my life. I went to one of his meetings that he was holding in a hotel room because the churches that we knew wouldn't let him in to preach. So, he rented a place, he was holding a meeting in a hotel auditorium and when I was at his meeting, he called me out of the crowd and he said, Andy, he said, I see you like a runner on a track, on one of these oval tracks, and he says, you're running a race and you're doing a good job, you're leading the race, you're winning the race, but the people in the grandstands are yelling at you and telling you that you're doing it all wrong, and he says, I see you getting off of the track and going up into the grandstands and arguing with the spectators, and he said this... It changed my life.
He says, even if you win the argument, you're going to lose the race. Quit worrying about the spectators, stay on the track, stay focused, finish the race, and I tell you, that's pretty obvious, I think, to everybody, but to me, this was just so profound. God spoke to me that because of my teaching of the word and the things that God showed me through the word I was being criticized and my natural tendency was to get up into the grandstands and argue with people and try and convince them, no, you're wrong. I'm right. You know, I don't know why it is that we all seem to just have to be right so much and we can't let people think that we're wrong, especially if they've got a wrong impression. We feel like it's our God given responsibility to correct them and straighten them out.
God spoke to me and showed me that I am running a race and I have to ignore the spectators. I have to ignore the people who are criticizing me and I have to stay focused on Jesus, the author and the finisher of my faith, and if I start trying to spend my time to justify myself and explain myself, even if I win that argument and if I win an individual over, Satan has won because I'm no longer preaching the Gospel, but I would be defending myself and promoting myself. I don't know if you get the application of this, but it is so obvious in my life. I've used this before, but you know, we've had many people write blogs against me and my staff brought me some of these blogs and they...One of them... This guy said, Andrew wommack is the most dangerous person in America, and his rational for that was that I'm not as weird as some people.
I'm not as flashy. I give things away, and so that causes people to lower their guard, but then he came against me because I still believed in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, miracles, righteousness, grace, and he came against this, but he said, because I'm not as extreme and I'm not as religious and I don't shout and scream that it's more subtle, and he said I'm the most dangerous man in America, so anyway, they brought me all of these blogs and showed me these things and said, what do you want us to do about it? And I told them exactly what I've been sharing with you, that these afflictions and persecutions have come trying to get me off the track and justifying myself instead of preaching the Gospel and I said, I don't want to do anything about it. It's not my place to sit here and defend myself. Who cares? Let them say what they want to.
Well, a couple of months later, they came to me again and they showed me many more blogs and they began to say, some of these are really damaging and they're saying these terrible things about you, and...And they showed me that, I don't remember what it was because I didn't really buy into this at all, but they showed me there was something they could do that would stop these people or stop people from being drawn to their web sites or something and they started showing me this stuff and i...I just stopped them and I got real strong with them right then and I said, look, I do not want another minute of any of my staff spent on these blogs and what people are saying about me. I said, you're getting off the track, you're going up into the grandstands. I don't want any of my money, none of my resources spent on defending myself and trying to justify myself. Jesus didn't do that.