Owasso Spirit-Filled Church

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The book of Daniel in the Old Testament is surprisingly relatable to where we are today. The entire book centers around Daniel and his three friends living in a secular culture without being defiled by it.

At every turn, the Babylonian culture tried to pull Daniel and his three friends in, but over and over again, they remained true to their faith and honored God.

How well do you think the American church is doing in comparison to Daniel? Are they doing a good job being in the world but not of the world? We all know the answer the answer is a hard no.

But here at NoLimits, we don’t fit into the mainstream church mold. We are known as that wild church down the street that refuses to conform to the expectations of man.

In Owasso, specifically, church culture is controlled by religious spirits. And that is not a good thing. Religious spirits help people to look good on the outside, but inwardly, they are full of junk.

They put on a good show at church. But if you heard their thoughts or what they say or do behind closed doors, you’d be appalled by their hypocrisy. This is the state of Owasso.

The city looks really good on the outside. It is clean. People are generally nice in public. There are several large churches. There is a significant amount of wealth. Yet the city is bound by religion.

The religious spirit is a tough one. It often goes unnoticed because it is so good at performance. On the surface, it seems godly. They act right. They look successful. 

It’s like the Pharisees. Here’s what Jesus said about them:

Matthew 23:27-28 NKJV – Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Jesus said they looked good on the outside, but on the inside, they were as good as dead. He said they were full of uncleanness, which means they were engaging in lustful, luxurious, and wasteful living.

He also said they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. In other words, even though they were teaching the law by day, they were violating it by night. They were leading the church and living in sin.

This is what we have going on in Owasso. On the outside, it appears righteous. But it is really full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

NoLimits Church exists to drive out the religious spirits in this city. Our church is ordained by God to deliver the city of Owasso.

That’s why we are few. That’s why we are the most misunderstood church in Owasso. We are like Daniel and his three friends called to establish the kingdom of God in a city that doesn’t understand.

It’s not that the people in our city are bad. They are being deceived by religious spirits and traditions of men. We are called to break that off the city so people can see clearly.

This is exciting to talk about. But we need more than excitement to pull this off. We also need to be prepared for what’s ahead.

Getting Prepared

Daniel and his friends faced death many times, but God miraculously delivered them each time. The city hated them, yet God promoted them to positions of influence.

They did not live an easy life where everyone was pleased with what they were doing. No. They were despised and ridiculed, but it didn’t stop them.

As we press forward, we will be misunderstood. Get used to it. If you crave to be someone that everyone loves, you might as well get over it now.

People will write nasty articles about us. They will gossip and spread lies about us. They will rake us over the coals on social media. But God will use all of it to accomplish His purpose.

God will protect us every step of the way. He will promote us to places of influence even when people don’t like us. We will become the leading force in Owasso, even while unpopular, just like Daniel.

Even though our church is fifteen years old, we are at the starting line. Everything leading up to this point was preparation.

Since we are just getting started, we must study what Daniel did at the beginning of his journey. For us to fulfill our call as he did, we must be mentored by Daniel.

You can save a lot of time by learning from someone who has already gone before you. Not everything has to be learned the hard way. Let’s redeem the time by following Daniel’s example.

Daniel 1:8-21 NLTBut Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. But he responded, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.” Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said. “At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see.” The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others. God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams. When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom. Daniel remained in the royal service until the first year of the reign of King Cyrus.

How was Daniel capable of all this?

Let’s dig into a few verses at the end of chapter one.

Daniel 1:17 NLT – God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.

Who gave them these unusual abilities? God. God fully equipped them for their assignment and will do the same for us. When God equips you, here’s what happens:

Daniel 1:20 NLT – Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

Because of what God gave them, Daniel and his friends were ten times more capable than even the king’s most spiritual staff.

Are you interested in becoming ten times more capable? You are going to have to be willing to do what Daniel did.

Daniel so separated himself from secular culture that he refused to eat what they ate. Are you willing to do that?

Daniel was so dedicated to God that when forced to choose between prayer and death, he chose prayer. Are you willing to do that?

Let’s make it more practical. How are you doing choosing prayer over TV or scrolling Instagram? How about choosing prayer oversleeping a bit longer in the morning?

If we aren’t willing to choose prayer over these menial things, we most certainly won’t choose prayer over death if it comes to it.

I’m getting in the weeds now. I’m messing with your personal space, and that is never comfortable. But again, do you desire to become ten times more capable? This is how we do it.

The only people who become mighty in God are those who surrender every aspect of their lives to Him. You have to be willing to give up everything and follow Jesus.

Where are we at as a church?

As I observe our church, I see us struggling to do this. You want to. The inner desire is there, but the commitment is not. You’ve surrendered some things, but not everything.

Out of a church of over one hundred people, we have about ten showing up to prayer school on Tuesday nights. I’m not trying to guilt you into coming. It’s simply an indicator of where we are.

We think more highly of ourselves than we ought. Yes, we are on the right track. Our church truly is making a difference. But we need a reality check.

If we don’t recognize our need for growth, we will stagnate and eventually end up stinking. God cannot accomplish much through people who are so prideful they don’t see a need to change.

You have two ways to respond to a message like this. You can either get mad or get humbled. I recommend humbling yourself before God. Here’s why:

James 4:10 NLT – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

There is no drawback to humbling yourself. The result of humility is being lifted up by the Lord Himself.

It was humility that opened the door for God to give Daniel and his friends unusual wisdom and understanding, combined with special ability from the Holy Spirit.

Without humility, we’re sunk. If we are not willing to admit we have adjustments to make, we might as well settle in because we’re not going anywhere.

This is where the rubber meets the road. God has been preparing and correcting us with prophecy. He has loved on us with His manifest presence and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Now He is testing us to see if we are really willing to do what He’s asked us to do.

As a reminder, here is what God is asking of us:

NoLimits Church will occupy the city of Owasso until Jesus comes. Our leadership and influence will make Owasso a safe haven until He comes. We will occupy by:

  • Owning businesses in Owasso
  • Serving on the City Council and School Board
  • Having three church locations in Owasso

NoLimits Church will be the talk of the city. People will say, “That’s where you go to meet Jesus! That’s where you go to be filled with the Holy Spirit! That’s where you go to get healed and delivered.”

We will become the leading force in Owasso. No other organization will have the influence we do. We will steward the influence well. It will be marked by righteousness.

This prophetic word is not guaranteed. We have the ability to mess the whole thing up. As the leader of this church, I carry the responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen.

That’s why I am bringing you such a confrontational message today. I’m not here to tickle ears. I’m here to call you higher, to draw you closer to God, to equip you for your role in the Kingdom of God.

Rebuilding the Church

For the last three years, the Lord has been undoing our view of the church. We’ve all been infected by the American way of doing church, and we’ve been on a serious round of antibiotics.

We are now at a place where everything we’ve known has been torn down, and we now face the task of rebuilding the church as it should have been all along; the church we read about in Acts.

When the twelve disciples faced this same task, it all started with appointing elders and leaders. As they did, there was something that helped with making these important decisions:

Acts 13:2-3 NLT – One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way. 

They were gathered together, worshiping and fasting, and the Holy Spirit gave them direction. Then, they prayed and fasted some more to verify before proceeding.

When we set aside the things of the world, aka fasting, and gather together with the sole purpose of worshiping God and praying, we receive much-needed direction from the Holy Spirit. We see something very similar in the next chapter:

Acts 14:23 NLT – Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

We have reason to believe that leaders were not appointed in the early church without prayer and fasting. It was a necessary ingredient to make these important decisions with clarity.

As our Lord Jesus rebuilds our church the way He designed, the first step is to appoint elders over this congregation. After that, we will appoint elders over the city.

We’ve been operating under a worldly leadership structure. Just like a corporation, we have a board of directors as oversight paired with a leadership team to carry out day-to-day operations. This is not a bad structure. It’s just not God’s structure for the church.

God’s Structure for the Church

God’s structure is for the church to be led by mature believers, elders, who are called by God and provide all five leadership gifts to the church: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher.

This is the task before us. We can not move forward until this foundation of leadership is in place. 

God expects me, as the apostle and forerunner of this church, to appoint these leaders. But I am not going to do it without prayer and fasting.

A call to fast

And this is so important that I am calling you to pray and fast with me for ten days. Just like we read in Daniel, this test will reveal that when we do things God’s way, we become ten times more capable.

Daniel chose food approved by God over the King’s extravagant, mouth-watering menu. The whole point was to honor God’s food laws in the Old Covenant.

When Jesus came, all those food laws were fulfilled. Everything considered unclean has now been made clean by the blood of Jesus and through prayer and thankfulness to God.

As we embark on this fast, our goal should be to separate ourselves from the things of the world. What are some things in culture that the church would be better without?

I believe technology, primarily the smartphone, is the greatest hindrance to the church. It’s not that we shouldn’t use it. We just shouldn’t use it the same way the world uses it.

What if we fasted our phones for ten days? I wonder if we would become ten times more capable of using our phones for good instead of being distracted by them.

A practical way to pull this off is to set a pre-determined time of the day when you respond to any calls and text messages. Other than that, keep it in the other room.

If Daniel lived in our day, I believe this is what his fast would look like. Is anyone willing to fast their phone for ten days?

Let’s be like Daniel 

I struggle to find the words to express how important this is to the future of our church. I believe the Lord is watching to see how willing we are to choose Him over everything else in our lives.

Can you imagine how hard it is for the Lord to find people who are like Daniel and his three friends? People will choose prayer even if it means death. People willing to be hated by culture. People who prioritize the things of God over everything else.

Let’s be those people. Let’s give God one hundred people like Daniel who will fulfill the prophecy He spoke over our church.

When Jesus comes back, let’s hand Him a city that has been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and has already stepped into the kingdom of God.

About the Author

Kade Young

Kade Young is the lead pastor of NoLimits Church.