from JO’s sermon tonight:
when we’ve struggled in an area for a long time, it’s easy to think, “this is the way it’s always going to be; I’ll always struggle in my finances, I never get any good breaks”; too often, we see it as permanent. ”I’ve always been negative, that’s just who I am”; they’ve convinced themselves that it’s never going to change. the first place we lose the battle is in our own thinking: if you think it’s permanent, it is. if you think you’ve reached your limits, you have. if you think you’ll never get well, then you won’t. you have to change your thinking; you need to see everything that’s holding you back, every limitation, addiction, sickness, as only temporary. it didn’t come to stay, it came to pass. the moment you accept it as the norm, decide, “this is my lot in life,” that’s when it can take root and become a reality. a stronghold in your mind can keep you from your destiny, some of you today, if you would just break out in your thinking, you would see things begin to improve.
you may have struggled in an area for 20 years; the medical report says, “just learn to live with it,” but there’s another report; it says, “God is restoring health back unto you, the # of your days He will fulfill.” your attitude should be, “this sickness cannot stay in my body; it’s on foreign territory, I am a temple of the most high God.” in your career, you may feel stuck. you haven’t had a good break in a long time. you’ve gone as far as your education allows. it’s easy to think, “I’ve reached my limits, this is as good as it gets,” no, all through the day, “I’m not settling here, my greatest victories are still out in front of me.” you have to stir up your faith. God is not limited by our education, nationality, background; He is limited by our thinking. I’m asking you to stand against these lies of permanency that say, “you’ll never lose that weight, break that addiction, own your own house.” when those thoughts come, dismiss them; God is saying, “it’s not permanent, it’s temporary. it didn’t come to stay, it came to pass.
Deuteronomy 15:12-14 (NIV)
12 If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. 13 And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. 14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you.
if you were Hebrew, and you owed a person $, and you couldn’t pay them, then they could take you in as a slave and make you work full-time until you paid them back. but every 7th year, if you were a part of God’s chosen people, you had a special advantage; you got released. no matter how much you still owed, in the 7th year you were set free. all the pain, struggling and suffering, in one day was gone. this tells me that God never intended His people to be a permanent slave to anything. you may be in debt today, but God did not intend that to last forever. you may be facing an illness, but it is only temporary. you may be struggling with an addiction, but it’s not going to keep you in bondage. you’re about to come into one of your 7th years. the 7th year is when you break free from any limitation that’s holding you back: sickness, addictions, debt, constantly struggling. it looked like it would never change, looked permanent, but then one touch of God’s favor and it suddenly turns around. suddenly you get a good break, your health improves, you meet the right person, a dream comes to pass. what happened? you came into a 7th year.
now quit telling yourself, “this sickness is permanent, I’ll always struggle financially, never break this addiction”; no, you are a child of the most high God. you have an advantage; God promised you’re not going to be a permanent slave to anything. now, you’ve gotta get in agreement with God, and say, “yes, I’m coming into my 7th year. it is my time to break free, every chain has been loosed, every stronghold has come down. I know I have been released into increase.” God can do what medicine cannot do; He’s not limited to the natural, He’s a supernatural God. it doesn’t matter how long it’s been that way or how impossible it looks; when you come into your 7th year, all the forces of darkness cannot stop what God wants to do. is there something in your life you think is permanent? you’ll never get well, start that business, get out of that legal problem; as far as you can see, it’s permanent. no, God is saying, “you need to get ready, you’re coming into your 7th year.”
the 7th year is a year of release from sickness, disease, chronic pain, depression, worry, anxiety, bad habits, addictions. it’s not only a release from limitations, it’s a release into increase; God is about to release you into new opportunities, good breaks, new levels. He’s going to release ideas, creativity, sales, contracts, businesses. the 7th year is when you get released into overflow, more than enough; it’s when dreams come to pass. now you have to receive this into your spirit today; it’s easy to think, “this is never gonna happen to me, I don’t believe anything’s gonna change just because you’re saying this, or that I’m coming into my 7th year.” then this is not for you; this is for believers, people who know that things have shifted in their favor, that every limitation is only temporary, that they’re entering into their 7th year. there are some 7th years in your future, what you think could never happen: ”I could never afford that property, get well, meet the right person.” no, you need to get ready, when you come into your 7th year, God is going to do more than you could ask or think. He is going to exceed your expectations. it’s going to be bigger, better, more rewarding than you thought possible.
it may seem permanent now, but when you come into the 7th year, God is going to release you from leasing into owning, from debt into abundance, sickness into health, from constantly struggling into an anointing of ease. get up in the morning and dare to say, “God, I want to thank You that I’m coming into my 7th year, that You’re releasing me into the fullness of my destiny”; when you believe, all things are possible. some of you, you’ve lived with that sickness, chronic pain, depression, addiction, long enough; God is saying, “this is your time, get ready for release, breakthroughs, healing, increase, your 7th year.” how do you get ready? start talking, acting, thinking like it’s gonna happen. ”my arthritis, diabetes, financial difficulties are really weighing me down”; no, don’t take ownership of those things. that arthritis, diabetes doesn’t belong to you; that’s not a part of who you are. it may be there temporarily, but that’s not where it’s staying; don’t give it a permanent address. in your mind, don’t let it move in and take up residency; you need to have one of those signs out that says, “No Vacancy Here.” the apostle Paul said:
2 Corinthians 4:17 (NKJV)
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory
in your mind, it may be big, but by faith you need to see it as being light and temporary. this is what Moses did. the Israelites had been in slavery for many years. it looked permanent, like it would never change. Moses had a son:
Exodus 2:21-22 (NKJV)
21 Then Moses was content to live with the man, and he gave Zipporah his daughter to Moses.22 And she bore him a son. He called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.”
names back in those days had a lot more significance than they do today. When Moses named his son, he was making a declaration of faith, saying, “we’re in slavery, but slavery is not our norm. this is not our permanent address. we are foreigners in this land.” every time he said, “good morning, Gershom,” he was reminding himself, “this lack, trouble, slavery, is not our normal state.” when you’re in tough times, and it looks like you’re never gonna break out, you’ve got to do like Moses; remind yourself, “I won’t be staying here long, I’m a foreigner, I don’t have citizenship here. I am not a citizen of depression, lack, cancer, this disease is alien to me, it’s not my norm, it may be where I am, but it is not who I am. I am blessed, healthy, strong, victorious.” anything to the contrary you need to see as foreign, temporary. it is not your permanent address.
Isaiah 38:1 (NIV)
38 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
it looked permanent, like his days were over. the prophet who spoke for God had just announced that his life was coming to an end. Hezekiah could have accepted it, but he had a boldness, radical faith; he chose to believe even when it looked impossible.
Isaiah 38:2-5 (NIV)
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.
Hezekiah’s faith is what brought about his 7th year. your faith is what causes God to move. ”I’m 65, and I’ve never had one of those 7th years.” are you releasing your faith, thanking God that it’s turning around? are you declaring, “where I am is not where I’m staying? this sickness is temporary, I’m coming out of debt, there are new levels in my future”? when you have this attitude of faith, speaking victory over your life, that’s when the Creator of the universe can show up and do amazing things. your faith can bring about your 7th year. when Hezekiah got the news that his life would be extended, he didn’t feel any better, look any different; the only thing that had changed was that God said that his life would be extended. Hezekiah didn’t wait for his health to turn around before he gave God praise. he didn’t wait until he felt better before he started talking like he was going to live and thinking like he was well. faith says, “you’ve got to believe it and then you’ll see it.” you’re coming into your 7th year.
you can look at the circumstances, study the financial report, see how you feel, and think, “it doesn’t look any different, I don’t see a sign of anything changing; as soon as it starts to improve, then I’ll give God praise”; no, your praise is what activates God’s favor. when you have this boldness like Hezekiah, and say, “God, I don’t see how I could get well, the medical report doesn’t look good, I don’t see how I could ever meet the right person, how I’ll ever own my own home, but God, I believe You’ve already made a way, I’m stepping into a new season of favor, my 7th year, that every limitation has been broken, so Lord, I just want to thank You for Your goodness in my life.” when you talk, act, praise like it’s going to happen, that’s when God says to the angels, “turn around, go back, and tell them they’re coming into their 7th year. I’m going to do what they’re asking, change what looked permanent.”
but a lot of times, instead of taking our praise to God, we’re taking our problems to God; ”God, I’ve had this addiction for 27 years, I don’t think I’ll ever break it, I’m working 2 jobs, I still don’t have enough, I don’t understand it.” it’s easy to turn prayer into a complaining session, but God already knows your needs; you don’t have to tell God everything that’s wrong, what you don’t like, and how long it’s been that way. it’s much better to take your praise to God, rather than your problems. your financial situation may not look good, but turn it around; ”Lord, I want to thank You that You are Jehova-Jireh, the Lord my provider, supplying all of my needs.” you may not feel well, but instead of complaining; ”Lord, thank you that I’m getting healthier, stronger, better every day.” praise gets God’s attention, not complaining.
Acts 9:1-13 (NIV)
9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples… 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him… 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing… 10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision,“Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.
notice this phrase, “I’ve heard”; if you’re always telling God what you’ve heard, then you’re going to miss out on God’s blessings. you’ll get discouraged, doubt will fill your mind; ”God, the financial report says I’m never gonna get ahead, my children are running with the wrong crowd.” no, don’t tell God what you’ve heard; God says you’re the head and not the tail, don’t tell Him all the reasons why you’re not. God says, “you will live and not die”; ”but, God, the medical report says otherwise,” no, quit telling God what you’ve heard. that’s not doing you nor Him any good. don’t take your problems to God, take your praise to God. ”Lord, I want to thank You that with long life You’ll satisfy me. and even though it looks permanent, Lord, I want to thank You that I’m coming into my 7th year, a year of release, healing, breakthroughs, abundance.”
Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)
61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
he was saying, in effect, “it may look permanent, but I’m announcing your freedom, you’re coming out of debt, that sickness is not going to defeat you. I’m announcing new levels are in your future.”
Isaiah 61:2 (NIV)
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
notice this principle: he announced it, then he declared it. what if we would do the same thing? ”I’m announcing today we’re coming out of debt, struggle, not getting ahead. I’m declaring we’re coming into increase, overflow, abundance, we will lend and not borrow, we will be able to give to every good work. I’m declaring that we’re blessed, prosperous, generous. I’m announcing that we will not live negative, depressed, worried, anxious, stressed out. I’m declaring that we are happy, content, confident, secure, full of joy, loving our lives.” you’ve gotta announce it and declare it by faith. nothing you’re saying may be true at the time; this is what faith is all about. God called Abraham the father of many nations before he had one child. it didn’t make sense, it looked like God was mixed up.
Romans 4:17 (ASV)
17 … calleth the things that are not, as though they were
too often, we’re announcing and declaring the wrong things; ”I’ve been single so long, I’ll never meet the right person. prices are so high, I don’t see how I’m ever gonna make it.” that’s announcing defeat and declaring mediocrity. you’ve gotta change what’s coming out of your mouth, start announcing freedom from anything that is holding you back. freedom from: loneliness, depression, addictions, constantly struggling. dare to start boldly declaring that God’s favor is coming: breakthroughs, healing, victory. you are prophesying your future, setting the tone for your life with your words. some of you have struggled in an area for a long time, but let me declare this over you; receive this into your spirit, “it is not permanent, you are coming into your 7th year. this is a new day, the tide of the battle has turned, every chain has been loosed, every stronghold has been shattered, every limitation has been broken. you are breaking free into a new level. God is releasing you into increase, opportunity, favor, healing, breakthroughs, and the fullness of your destiny.