The Other Hours

 The Other Hours (Intro to the Series)

David Stockton
March 10, 2019
Series: The Other Hours

And so it begins—a new sermon series. Some of you are, like, “Not if it’s like the other sermon series we’ve been doing. Those were brutal.”

This one is not supposed to be heart surgery for you and me. This one is basically a sermon series where we’re going to really to bring in some practical, biblical wisdom for everyday life. That’s where we’re going. We’re not even going to touch your heart. All of our hearts are, like, “Forget it, man. This church is no good on the heart.” I’ve felt it. Our staff has felt it. Some of you have felt it. But that’s not why we’re doing this. We really do feel like this is where we’re supposed to go now.

Proverbs 24:3 and 4 says that wisdom builds the house, understanding establishes it, and knowledge fills its rooms with rare and precious things. Wisdom builds the house. Understanding establishes it, and knowledge fills its rooms with rare and precious things. 

So this our verse, our theme, our call, our charge, our banner that we’re trying to put over us; especially for this next sermon series. We want your households to be built in wisdom—God’s wisdom, established with God’s understanding, and filled with rare and precious things that only God can bring—those memorial stones. 

I heard a sermon one time by a guy who talked about how, in King David’s house there were bear rugs and lion skins. For those of you who don’t know the story, King David went and fought a giant at one point. And when he was asked, “How do you think you’re going to take on this giant?” He said, “Well, I’ve already taken on the lion and the Lord was with me. I’ve already taken on the bear and He was with me. And God’s going to be with me if I take on this uncircumcised Philistine.” 

We want so badly for your homes to be filled with things that your kids go, “What’s that, Daddy?” “What’s that, Mommy?” And you say, “Oh, I was just waiting for you to ask this question about that rare and precious thing that only came about because of God in our lives.”

Yeah? You with me? What kind of household do you have? Is it filled with those rare and precious things that only God can bring? I hope so. If not, this is what we’re doing. We’re going to really work on that this entire year but particularly in this series. Wisdom builds the house. Understanding establishes it. Knowledge fills it with rare and precious things. 

So, along with our Sunday morning series, we are also launching an on-line curriculum, so there are no excuses! Ok? They aren’t necessarily going to track exactly with our sermons on Sunday mornings. We’ve broken up the other hours of life into five different categories. Now there’s obviously more than that. But, basically, we have relationships, work, rest—and rest is funny because in the Bible, you know, you’re supposed to work for six days and rest for one day. And some people in the room are, like, “Yeah, I really need to work on the ‘rest’ part because I work too much.” And some people in the room need to work on the work part—you’re just resting too much. And rest is an interesting thing, because you’re sleeping eight hours a night, hopefully—or four—or whatever is true. Rest is a huge part of our lives outside of this place.

And then we have finances and sexuality. And these are all things we’re dealing with. And the whole premise for “The Other Hours” is that God doesn’t want to make you good at “church.” He wants to make you good at the other hours. And the other hours are, basically, your life. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want you to be good at church. I mean, church is an important thing. But it’s a little easier to be good at church. 

Like I was telling the worship team downstairs, they have been planning all week, fighting battles in prayer, and they come out here and they just clear the air for us. And then, we’re all, like, “Man, it’s so peaceful in this place.” Well, somebody’s putting in the work. Somebody’s fighting for you and me, so that the space between heaven and earth, for some reason, becomes very, very thin in this place. 

That’s why a bunch of you keep coming to me and saying, “We’re coming to the church, and we just feel something. We really get what’s going on.” And it’s the work that’s being done in the Spirit that makes all of this more possible. 

So that’s the idea for The Other Hours. We’re going to launch into this and we’re probably going to take about three sermons on each one. But our on-line curriculum is there for you to navigate at your own leisure. We have about four different modules and we really want you to go through each one of them by the end of the year. That might be a lot to ask. I get it. But you’ve got a whole year. And you can go with it on your own. You can get a little group and do a small group on it. We’re going to offer some classes to kick start the thing. We’ll tell you about those next week.

We’re wanting to see these homes filled with rare and precious things. It takes knowledge, understanding and wisdom. So we’ve searched the entire world for the best books. We’ve tried to narrow it down and build study guides for you so it’s as easy as possible for you to navigate stuff and get it into your system. It’s like legal, healthy steroids for your spiritual life. We need all the help we can get. 

We’ll bring out the information, but we’re launching a separate website. If you go to livingstreams.org you can link to living streams.online and it’s part of our whole reach to the online community that’s forming around Living Streams in the “cyber world”—which I don’t know anything about. But some people do, and they’re working on it. 

That’s the whole idea. You with me on that? I was like “Yeah, let’s do this thing!” But I felt like the Lord said, “Stop! There’s something that you need to remind everyone as we’re about to do  this spiritual, practical wisdom in everyday life. It’s that everything in life is spiritual.”

I’m going to teach us a song right now. I’m going to sing it. It’s short. I learned it from kids, so it’s not complicated. You guys are going to have to sing it. Otherwise, it’s going to be embarrassing.

Let’s stand up one more time. And I want this song to haunt your dreams in a good way. We’re talking about steroids, We’re talking about haunting. We’re just using it in a good way. This is a song I learned in South Africa in a little village called Willowdale, at a Christian school. And they would sing this song and it would sound awesome. It has haunted my dreams and it has given me strength in times when I needed some strength.

In the name of Jesus,
In the name of Jesus 
We have the victory. 
In the name of Jesus
In the name of Jesus 
Demons will have to flee.
When we stand in the name of Jesus
Tell me, who can stand before us?
When we stand in the name of Jesus
We have the victory.

Before we jump into Other Hours, the practical aspects of our everyday life, we have to remember that everything really is spiritual. We are in a spiritual battle. Some of you might be like “Oh, man. This is a bummer. Now I’m going to have to worry about more things.”

Let me tell you. That is not the intention of this. It’s not to add things to your life. Instead, think of it like when you’re running your chainsaw, okay? I have a chainsaw and I love it. I have so many trees. I don’t love that. But I love that I have a chainsaw. And when it works, it’s awesome. 

What you need with a chainsaw is gas and you need bar oil. I just thought it needed gas. I remember going over to someone’s house with my chainsaw and gas, thinking, “This is going to be so cool. They’re going to see me with my chainsaw and I’m going to be ripping through everything they need help with. And they’re going to be like, ‘Wow. You’re so cool!’” 

And I got there and I didn’t have any bar oil. And I was ripping through nothing. It was brutal. My chainsaw was burning hot. And it was taking me forever to get through one log. It was brutal. And then I added a little bar oil, finally, and it was like butter, just cutting it through.

So what we’re doing is not adding to your life, to your work. You have your work. You have your rest. You have your family. You have your relationships (your easy ones, your bad ones) you have your finances. You have your sexuality issues. Whatever it might be. You have your society that might be somewhat crazy.

So what we’re doing is not adding one more category. We’re basically going to be inserting the bar oil into all the other categories of your life. You see, you are more than just a body. The Bible is shouting it, but people never hear this. You are more than just a body. The body is easy. Yes, I have a body, obviously. But you know you’re more than that. You also have a mind and you have emotions, which is your soul. 

You have thoughts. You can’t see them, but you know they’re there. You have feelings. You can’t see them, but they’re real. And, actually, the thoughts and emotions are even more real, or more powerful than your body. Those of you who have been to the doctor because you’re stressed out, you know what I’m talking about. There is more to us than just this body. We have the soul. And the Bible makes it clear that there is even a more true you than your body and your soul, and that is your spirit. It’s the part of you that God breathed into, making us human—different from all of the other aspects of creation. 

You have a spirit. The best way I can describe it is just, there are those times in your life where everything physically, mentally, emotionally, everything seems to be going great, yet something inside of you is just off—something you can’t shake. Something is heavy, That’s your spirit. You’re becoming aware of something—the true you. Or, on the other hand, maybe you’ve been to someone’s bedside, or someone whose body is wracked with illness and they have every reason to be freaking out in their mental and emotional situation, and yet they have such a joy and a peace about them. That’s the spirit part of them. That is more real, more powerful than the other aspects of who they are.

God, who is spirit, is calling out to us who are spiritual, to connect with him in the spirit so that he can strengthen our spirit, so that he can give us the bar oil that we need for life—which is spiritual. 

Another picture you can think of is rocks in a river. They’re surrounded by this water. They have no awareness of the water, and yet the river moves them sometimes. The river is hotter or colder. And we’re like that. We are physical beings in a spiritual existence. And the temperature rises and falls, and sometimes we’re completely oblivious to it or why it’s happening. Sometimes we’re being moved spiritual things and we’re completely oblivious to it. 

All of that would be good if we had other religions and we didn’t have the Bible, and basically everything spiritual is good and everything spiritual is not dangerous. But the Bible says that, in that spiritual realm, there is good—angels and God—and in that spiritual realm there is also demonic, deceivers, adversaries, which is what the name “devil” means. 

And as we go through the scriptures, we keep running into it time and time again, where all of a sudden the curtain is open for a moment and we go, “What?” And we close the curtain as fast as we can. That doesn’t make sense. And in churches we don’t know exactly what to talk about or what to deal with, so we just kind of like, “Hey, let’s just go to chapter six now, because chapter five is crazy!”

Daniel praying for the people of Israel. And he’s fasting for twenty-one days, and there’s just this heaviness, this burden, this struggle, this challenge and then, all of a sudden, an angel shows up on day twenty-one and he says, “Hey, I came the first day you started praying; but I was on my way, and the Prince of Persia, this demon—he and I got into a fight, and I was actually losing the fight, but then another angel came and he actually was stronger, so then I won and I was able to finish and come here. So thanks for keeping praying. Glad you didn’t stop on day twenty, because who knows what would have happened.” — Oh! Let’s go to the next chapter. Quickl!

 It’s crazy stuff. It says that Jesus, for forty days, was in the wilderness and he didn’t eat or drink and the devil came to test him. I don’t know if the devil came on day one or if the devil waited until day forty, but he comes and he tests Jesus. And after forty days, finally, it says the devil left him until a more opportune time. It’s like my least favorite verse in the Bible. But in another gospel, it says, “and then the devil left him and the angels came to minister to him.” I like that verse. 

So you and I, we are following Jesus. And in this following of Jesus, we can expect the same things that happened to Jesus will happen to us. Jesus taught us that. In this world you will have testing or tribulation. We know that there are physical challenges in this world, no doubt about it. We know there are emotional and mental challenges. We have doctors, counselors, teachers to help us with all of those things. 

But what I have to make you guys understand, what I have to teach today, what I have to bring to light is there are also spiritual battles that you will be in and many of you are right now. Some of you are aware of it, some of you have never heard this before and you think I’m crazy. I’m okay with that. And my guess is the reason that everyone I’m talking to around me right now is going through some sort of spiritual battle that’s expressing itself in emotional, mental or physical aspects of their life; and within our own staff, we’ve just noticed, man! It just feels like, “What is happening here?” And so we’ve kind of deduced it down to this: I think there’s a spiritual battle going on. 

And me, in my own home, it’s funny because I don’t go to this place quick. Some people are like, “I stubbed my toe. Oh, there’s a demon behind that.” I don’t know. It takes me a while to get there. I’m a little dense, maybe. But even in my own household, and especially because we brought some foster kids into our household, and we were ready for it in all the other areas of life, but I never realized that, basically, we were taking on a whole battle that maybe is in their family history. But we were like, “Hey, yeah, let’s take that battle on, too! Because we’re doing so great on our own.” No! I don’t know! It took me a while to catch that and be like, “Oh. Okay, I need to be walking around in the middle of the night praying for my family in this house. Because somebody else is doing something. I may as well do my thing.”

I feel that some of you are in it right now and some of you are not aware of it. And those of you who don’t know Jesus, maybe someone brought you here and you’re just like, “Whoa, this is crazy.”

Well, I can tell you in the name of Jesus we have the victory. And if you can’t honestly say you have the name of Jesus as a part of your life, I can’t promise you anything. There are stories in the Bible where a guy who claimed to have the name of Jesus, he says, “In the name of Jesus and in the name of Paul, who I’ve seen use the name of Jesus…” and he didn’t really know Jesus, and they tried to do that to some demons and the demons came and ripped all their clothes off and beat them up and sent them out of the house. Now I’m really crazy, right? Yeah.

Well, get this: One time my wife thought it would be cool if we went and lived in a little village in Belize where they don’t have running water, and there’s only like 400 people and there’s, like, a billion mosquitos for every square inch of air; so we lived there. We lived there for about a year. And one morning I was sleeping in my very uncomfortable, very small bed, and I heard this, “Mr. David, Mr. David!” Should from the one little dirt road by our house. And there was a guy with two bikes. He was on one and he another bike. So I went outside and said, “What’s going on.” They said, “We need you at the other end.” So I went down there and got on the other bike. We rode down there.

The next two hours were very intense, as there was a guy there who was reading Bible verses that talk about demons to this one mom and her daughter, and there was another guy underneath this house on stilts, with two friend sitting next to him and he was (writhing and groaning). I mean, I just woke up. I already don’t belong. I still had not figured out why I was there. I was just there because my wife was there and I like her.

The guy prays for the girl and then we walk down the stairs and he goes, “Do you have any experience with this type of thing?” 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I didn’t say that. But I said, “I don’t know.” 

He walked me over to the guy and I walked up right next to the guy and I grabbed his hand and I squeezed; because I thought any minute he’s going to squeeze back and rip my hand off or something. He squeezed strong, but not anything that was hurting me. I got right up next to him and whispered into his ear, “You’ve got to call on the name of Jesus. You’ve got to call on the name of Jesus. You’ve got to call on the name of Jesus. There is no other name that can save but Jesus.”

I was kind of following him up and down and was saying this into his ear over and over again. After just a few minutes, he started to try and speak, and every time he would try and speak, he would gag. It was as if something was holding his throat. He just kept fighting. After a few minutes, he finally got out the name, “Jesus.” 

And I said, “Say Jesus help me.” And he started saying it over and over again as he was writhing up and down. After about ten minutes of saying, “You’ve got to mean it. You’ve got to cry out to Jesus. You’ve got to believe that he’s the only one that can save you. He will be here when you call on him with a pure heart.” 

And after about ten minutes, he went limp. And again, I don’t have a lot of experience in this thing. But for some reason I just this very strong impression to ask him what he sees. So I asked him, “What do you see?” Because his eyes were closed.

And he said, “One left.”

And I thought, “What? Oh man! Well, how many are there?”

And he said, “There’s another one.”

And I said, “Well, you know, you’ve got to call on the name of Jesus if you want to be free.”

So he called on the name of Jesus and started writhing again. We went through about another ten minutes of the same thing, until finally that broke. And I said, “What do you see?”

And he said, “He’s coming back for the baby.”

I didn’t know what that was about, and then they filled me in that the demon that he saw was actually the uncle of the girlfriend, who was the other girl, and she was pregnant, 

What? And then I said, “Do you see anything else?”

He said, “I see a man in white and he’s telling me to go to the church.”

I said, “Okay. We’re going with the man in white.”

So I took his hand and we walked him down to the church. We got to the church, and I’m not joking you, I didn’t see this coming—but my friend and I were walking with him, and we walked up the steps, there were about three steps into this little church, and as soon as we got to the top step, he threw himself back or something, and my friend and I—we don’t know if it’s Christian or not—but we lowered our shoulders and hit him so hard he flew into the church. I don’t know if you’re allowed to do that or not, but I just thought, “Man in white! We’re doing it!”

And we got into the church and he was just calm. And we started playing some worship music, because we know that is where a lot of the battle takes place, no doubt. He stayed there for a while and there’s more to the story. Actually, he stayed there and then, after a while he thought he was fine and he went back. And we went into town. We came back from town and then I found him again, they came and got me, and he had like garlic and crosses all over him. I went in there and kind of went through the same process again. And then he said, “The man in white said I need to stay at the church until midnight and then read this verse.”

And I said, “Do you know that verse?”

He said, “I don’t know anything about it.”

So we found the verse and he did read it at midnight and he was fine ever since then. Then every time I saw him after that, I’d be like, “Hey, man.”

And he’d be like, “Hey.”

Okay. Good enough for me.

Again, am I making this up? I mean, you guys have to decide, obviously. I had never experienced anything like that before. I had those times when I was asleep in my bed and I would wake up and feel a kind of heaviness in the room, or some sort of darkness. 

I did have one friend, a roommate of mine, and he was telling me that one night he was in his bed and he felt like he was being held to the bed. He didn’t know what it was. He tried to start crying out in the name of Jesus. He was a Christian. As he would try, he said it was like something was holding his throat. Finally he got the name of Jesus out and he felt released. He started walking around the house praying. And I was like, “You gotta move out of my house, man. You’re crazy!”

That wasn’t a demonic possession, that was more of an oppression. For whatever reason, the devil was using that tactic to try to get him to freak out and move away from what God was calling him to. 

The reason I’m telling you this is because I want you to be aware that there is a spiritual realm and there is a spiritual reality to your life. You’re either winning or losing the battle. For you that have loved ones that are in your home or in your care, God has called you to be a covering for them. If you have a household, there is a war for your household. Jesus is able. I believe it, because the Scriptures teach it, but then, I believe it because I got to see it happen. And even in a strange, crazy, cultural context that I didn’t know much about—that name of Jesus, oh, yeah! It did the trick.

I’m going to read some verses here to give us a little more insight into how we can operate when we become aware that there might be a battle around us. You guys know the story of Elijah, when the whole army was there to come and kill him. And his servant was saying, “We’re going to die!”

And Elijah said, “Lord, open his eyes.” And he goes out again and he says that, behind the army that was about to kill him, was an angel army, full of fire, that was all around them.

Yet, we have verses in the Bible, lots of them, and I’ve picked a few of them to help us know what we’re supposed to do when we become aware that this could be where we’re at. 

If worry or anxiety or temptation or any season like that is going on for you right now, listen to these verses:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

A lot of times the spiritual battle or turmoil will show up in the thought life. We have to stand firm against those things. We have to fight those things. We have to remember that the weapons of our warfare are not that we fight people. We fight whatever is showing up in our minds. We fight it in a spiritual way. We use Scriptures, like Jesus did, to fight off those things and take every thought and make it captive. Does this fall in line with Christ or does this not? If it does not, we get rid of it. We resist it. 

Ephesians 6:11-17

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, 

Your spouse is not the problem. They might a problem, but they’re not the problem. You’re a problem too, probably.

but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then…

And it goes on to talk about truth and righteousness, the gospel, faith and the word of God. I just think that’s so interesting. It says “stand firm when the day of opposition comes. And after you’ve done everything you can to stand firm—stand firm. Just keep on standing. Just keep on standing. Stand firm and you will see when the day comes, the devil will depart from you until a more opportune time. I can’t guarantee it’s only seventy-six hours. We don’t know how long. We have different examples in the Scriptures of how long you have to fight in the Spirit before there comes a breakthrough.

1 Peter 5:8-9

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…

You starting to catch the theme here?

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Now, there’s a catch there. Your position, what you’re supposed to do is submit yourself to God, stand firm in faith, righteousness, truth and the gospel, stand firm in the Word of God, and stand and stand; and when you start to feel your weakness rising and your strength depleting, continue to stand, continue to stand, continue to stand against whatever is coming—and resist the devil, and he will flee.

Now, how long do you have to resist? That’s what we don’t know. But if you can’t think back to a time where you did have to stand firm and resist the devil, you probably have been getting overtaken. Or you probably have been blaming other people or other situations for the struggle you’re having in your own heart. And you’re going to keep losing that battle until you figure out how to stand firm long enough to see the victory come. When you stand in the name of Jesus, you have the victory. So keep standing for you, your own heart and mind. Keep standing for the people you love and care for. Keep standing for your work environment, your school environment. Because, in the name of Jesus, demons have to flee. In the name of Jesus, you have the victory.

We need some strong people. We need people who are willing to fight this battle or we’ve completely lost. For me, in my life, I’ve been doing a lot of this. I’ve been going back to a lot of Scriptures that, I know those Scriptures, but I needed them. I started leading myself in worship again. I used to worship all the time in college. And then I came here, and they were like, “Eh, we’re good. Could you preach?” 

So I pulled out my guitar because I could just feel it. And I started just singing my songs. Because there’s power in the name of Jesus. I started praying a lot more, intentionally. I felt something change in the Spirit and I’ve been able to rest a lot better. The weariness has subsided. 

I went to our elders meeting a couple of Tuesdays ago, and they prayed for me. I just felt a whole new strength. Then, the very next night I came to Freedom Immersion and this team from Washington prayed for me and my wife. I felt some strength and I showed up that Sunday morning, whenever that was, and that’s the strongest I’ve ever felt on a Sunday morning. Because I battle too, you know? It’s not always easy coming here and speaking out and caring for the people that the Lord has given me to care for, that I really do love and want to see the best for.

We’re all weak. We’ve got to find strength in the Lord, Amen?

Let’s pray:

Jesus, I pray that people right now would not feel a heavier burden. I remember that you always had problems with the Pharisees and the religious teachers because they were adding to the weight for the people, instead of lightening their load and making it easier for them. And I pray that this message would be something that really is like that bar oil that helps with everything else in life become easier, that helps them with their weariness problem. That they would realize that there is a Spiritual drain happening on the side. That they would become aware of it and they would be able to take that on and, in your name, and by your strength, not by might or power, but by your Spirit, Lord, that they would find that drain removed so that they can be full strength for the other aspects of life. I thank you for these precious people that you love so much, that you died for, that you’re so close to. I pray you’d make them strong, Lord, that you’d make us strong together. That we would be a covering for this city in some ways. That we’d be able to beat back the schemes and the evil that the enemy wants to bring into our city. All the churches around here, we thank you so much for them, and we pray you’d bless them, Lord, and make them strong in the Spirit.


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7000 N Central Avenue ∙ Phoenix AZ 85020 ∙ 602-957-7500 ∙ https://www.livingstreams.org

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV®,
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. 
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Scripture marked NLT is taken from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.