It is finished

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all have things that are trying to hold us back: guilt from past mistakes, temptations we can’t seem to overcome, dysfunction that’s been passed down. it’s easy to learn to accept it, and think that that’s who we are. but God didn’t create you to go through life weighed down by addictions, dysfunction, guilt, the past; He created you to be free. when Jesus hung on the cross:

John 19:30 (NIV)
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

he wasn’t just talking about his life, and how he’d finished his purpose; he was putting an end to all the negative things that could keep us from our destiny. he was saying, in effect, “the guilt, depression, low self-esteem, mediocrity, is finished. instead of accepting the addiction, thinking, “it’s the way it’s always going to be, everybody in my family has it,” you need to announce to that addiction, “it is finished. you don’t control me; you can’t keep me from my destiny. the price has been paid. I am free, clean, whole.”

as long as you accept it, you are allowing it to stay, but when you tell the addiction, the past, the poverty, “it is finished. this is not who I am. I am blessed, prosperous, victorious,” in the unseen realm, strongholds are broken, chains are loosed, favor is released. are there things you’re living with that you need to say, “it is finished”? are you going around guilty, down on yourself, because of past mistakes, not expecting anything good? you need to announce to that guilt, “it is finished. I’m done beating myself up, living condemned; God’s mercy is bigger than my mistakes. I am redeemed, restored, forgiven, and I’m excited about my future.”

are you living with a sense of shame, feeling inferior because of how somebody treated you? they did you wrong, walked away, now the accuser whispers, “it’s because you’re not good enough, not attractive enough, you don’t deserve to be loved.” announce to that shame, “it is finished. I’m not living inferior, unworthy. I know who I am; I am a Child of the Most High God. I’m wearing a crown of favor. I have royal blood flowing through my veins.”

no matter what someone did or didn’t do to you, it does not change who you are. you may have had bad breaks, gone through unfair situations; don’t have a victim mentality, have a victor mentality. God said:

Isaiah 61:7 (NIV)
7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.

that person that did you wrong, they thought that they were hurting you; the truth is, they were helping you, they qualified you for double. they thought they were setting you back; in reality, they were setting you up. now do your part; say to the self-pity, “it is finished. I’m not living discouraged, dwelling on my disappointments, reliving my hurts. I’m letting go of the old, and I’m getting ready for the new things God has in store. Father, thank you that double is coming my way.”

we can all find a reason to live negative, thinking that we’re at a disadvantage: “my boss overlooked me, somebody walked out of a relationship.” I’m asking us to get rid of the excuses. it’s time to say, “it is finished. I’m done thinking about what I didn’t get, what didn’t work out.” you have to tell the past, the self-pity, the discouragement, “it is finished.” as long as you justify your condition, you’re giving it permission to stay.

in John 5:

John 5:2-6 (NKJV)
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

it seemed like there was an obvious answer, everyone was at the pool to get well, but there was nothing in this man’s actions that said he wanted to get well, was expecting things to change. in 38 years, he had gotten comfortable in dysfunction. he was surrounded by other people that were sick like him; everybody was needy, complaining, discouraged.

you need to be careful who you surround yourself with, especially in difficult times. you may have an illness, but don’t go find a bunch of other sick people to hang around; misery loves company. if you struggle with an addiction, don’t hang out with people that are addicted; that’s going to cause you to get stuck. if you’re depressed, don’t go find 5 depressed friends so you can all be depressed together.

find people that have what you want. if you’re struggling in your finances, get around blessed, generous people that are well off. if you tend to be negative and critical, don’t stay around people like that; find people that are happy, positive, grateful. there should be something about you that says, “I want to get well, be blessed, go to the next level.

when Jesus asked this man if he wanted to get well, instead of saying, “yes, that’s what I’m believing for,” he said:

John 5:7 (NIV)
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

he was justifying his condition; “I’m this way because I’m at a disadvantage; nobody will help me.” as long as you’re making excuses for where you are, you’re going to get stuck. “I’m this way because I had a bad childhood, a business partner cheated me, I have this illness”; I’m asking us to get rid of the excuses. nothing that’s happened to you has to keep you from your destiny. if it was going to stop your purpose, God wouldn’t have allowed it. you may not understand it, it may not be fair, but if you will take the hand you’ve been dealt and make the most of it, God will get you to where you’re supposed to be. no person, bad break, addiction, sickness, can stop Him; God has the final say. tell the self-pity, excuses, “it is finished. this is a new day; God’s about to do a new thing.”

Jesus said to the crippled man:

John 5:8-9 (NIV)
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

what you think is permanent, looks like it’s never going to change: that addiction you’ve had for years, the illness, the situation in your finances, you don’t see a way, but God has a way. right now, He’s fighting your battles; things are changing in your favor, breakthroughs are headed your way, new beginnings, healing, freedom. it may look permanent; God is saying, “it’s only temporary. I’m about to turn it around.”

what’s interesting is, this crippled man didn’t have a lot of faith; he didn’t say, “yes, I believe I can get well,” he made excuses, yet God in His mercy healed him. imagine how God feels when He sees you shaking off the self-pity, the excuses, saying, “Lord, I believe you can turn my child around, take me to the next level, free me from this addiction.” when you believe, God will make things happen that you couldn’t make happen. tell the excuses, doubt, negative thoughts, “it is finished,” it’s time to put a stop to some things.

sometimes, well-meaning people try to talk you out of your destiny. you have to get away from people that only see you for who you used to be, and not for who you are about to be. some people that knew you back then will try to keep you in the same box that you grew up in, put limitations on you; “you can’t accomplish that dream, you’re not that talented, you’d better play it safe.”

this is what happened in the scripture with David. his family didn’t see him as a giant-killer, a king; they discounted him. David’s father didn’t bring him in from the shepherds’ fields when the prophet Samuel was choosing one of his sons as the next king. he thought, “David is so small, so young, he doesn’t have the experience.” but people don’t determine your destiny. what they say about you, how they try to make you feel, cannot stop what God has ordained for your life. you need to distance yourself from people that are always trying to put limitations on you, and talk you out of what God put in your heart.

sometimes, it’s the people that have known you the longest, because they can only see you one way. Jesus’ brothers never accepted him; he was performing all these miracles, but they didn’t see him as the Messiah, they only saw him one way, as their brother Jesus, “nothing special about him, we grew up with him.” even when Jesus began to gain popularity:

John 7:5 (NIV)
5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Mark 3:21 (NIV)
21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

they tried to discount him, talk him out of his destiny. Jesus let it go in one ear and out the other.

you can put an end to negative things that have been passed down. what you’re dealing with may not have started with you, but it can stop with you. you need to say the poverty, lack, “it is finished. I will lend and not borrow.” say to the addiction, depression, dysfunction, “it is finished.” God wants you to set a new standard. you have seeds of greatness. you are full of talent, ideas, potential. you’re not limited by where you came from. just because negative things have been passed down, doesn’t mean they’re supposed to continue; you’re the one to break the curse, poverty, depression, dysfunction. you can take your family to a new level.

don’t talk yourself out of it. don’t let circumstances discourage you. the odds may be against you, but the most high God is for you. He is breathing in your direction right now. He’s going to open doors that no man can shut, bring talent out of you that you didn’t know you had, cause the right people to be good to you. opportunity, good breaks, freedom, increase is going to track you down. you’re stepping into a new level. bondages that have held you and your family back are being broken. now do your part; have a new mindset, an abundant, free, healthy, victorious mentality. we can all come up with an excuse to settle where we are; I’m asking us to get rid of the excuses. anything that’s holding you back, it’s time to announce to it, “it is finished. this is a new day. I’m drawing the line in the sand. as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. we will live free from addictions, lend and not borrow, be generous and help others, accomplish our dreams, and become everything we were created to be.”

you may have been raised in a limited environment; they were good people, but they didn’t have any vision, settled for mediocrity. you can set a new standard. where you start is not important; where you finish is what matters. God is going to use you to not just break a generational curse, but to start a generational blessing. where you come from is not who you are: you are blessed, free, talented, a child of the most high God.

Abraham was in a limited environment. God told him:

Genesis 12:1 (NIV)
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

God was saying, “Abraham, you have to leave what’s familiar, what you grew up with.” I’m not suggesting to abandon your family, but I am saying to leave negative mindsets you were were raised with, a scarcity mentality, limitations that people have put on you. you have to make room for God to increase you.

sometimes, our environment is too small. if you take an oak tree seed, and plant it in a five gallon pot, that oak tree will never become what it was created to be; not because there’s something wrong with the tree, but because of the environment that it’s in. in the same way, there’s nothing wrong with you; you have seeds of greatness. the most high God breathed His life into you. now make sure your pot is not too small, your environment is not holding you back. you need to be around people that inspire you, that have gone further, making a difference, not just people that are settling for the status quo.

Isaiah said:

Isaiah 54:2 (NKJV)
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords,
And strengthen your stakes.

make room for God to do a new thing. tell that limited mindset, “it is finished. I’m dreaming big dreams, praying bold prayers, expecting to go further than how I was raised.” God is a progressive God; He wants every generation to increase. have a big vision. don’t settle for what your parents had, what your relatives accomplished; you were made for more. you can go further, be the one to set the new standard.

but it’s easy to talk ourselves out of our dreams, live discouraged, because of disappointments, things we don’t understand. we worked hard, but didn’t get the promotion. we prayed, but our loved one didn’t make it. we did our best, but the relationship didn’t work out. life is not always fair, but God said He would take what was meant for your harm, and use it to your advantage, give you beauty for ashes. but I’ve learned, you have to let go of the ashes before you receive the beauty. you can’t hold on to the old and expect to receive the new. the past is over and done; quit dwelling on it, reliving it. you’re not going to understand everything that happens, but God has a purpose . He knows how to bring good out of it; keep moving forward.

this is what David did. he had a newborn baby that became very sick:

2 Samuel 12:16-23 (NIV)
16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground…18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him…19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” 20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house… and he ate. 21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” 22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

David did everything he could; prayed, fasted, believed, but it didn’t work out his way. he could’ve lived bitter, with a chip on his shoulder, but David understood this principle; he said to the past, “it is finished. I don’t understand it, but I’m moving forward.”

we all have things in life that we don’t understand. it’s easy to live negative, but if we’re going to see the double, the beauty for ashes, we have to do like David, and say to the past, the things you don’t understand, “it is finished. I’m not going to dwell on what didn’t work out, try to figure out why; I’m going to let it go, and keep moving forward.”

the past doesn’t have to stop you; a bad break, loss, disappointment. God is in control of your life. you wouldn’t be alive unless He had something amazing up in front of you. you haven’t had too many bad breaks, made too many mistakes; you’re on the verge of seeing double, beauty for ashes. now do your part; put on a new attitude, and get ready for the new things God is about to do. the past, the hurts, the regrets; it is finished. the poverty, lack, limited mindsets; it is finished. the addictions, depression, dysfunction, guilt, shame, self-pity; it is finished. this is a new day. things that have held you back are being broken right now. you’re going to step into a new level of freedom, break generational curses, and start generational blessings. you’re about to see the beauty for ashes; healing, promotion, breakthroughs, are headed your way.


The supernatural is breaking out

(No new sermon this week.)

I have seen the Holy Spirit manifest several more times, which of course is by far the best thing that I have experienced, or ever COULD experience.… The actual VISIBLE presence of the Spirit of God!! All those endless hours of prayer and Bible study, all those years of unwavering faith, no matter what agonies, disasters, or betrayals befell me, have really paid off!!

I have also seen more angels than I can keep track of; it has literally grown beyond my ability to make a detailed record of every angelic appearance, within the confines of a 24 hour day. I have seen them in all sizes, from tiny to gigantic: and in a variety of colors: white, gold, blue, and red… I think that the latter are seraphim, which means “burning ones,” although I’m not yet sure if they are really a separate category of angels, or just cherubim that happen to be red… and no, I don’t know what the different colors mean. Different people have different claims about that, but the Bible doesn’t say, so unless or until I receive divine revelation in this area, I simply didn’t know. Sometimes, angels appear in a simplified human form, with no details like facial features so far, and a couple recently have appeared to have robes… and WINGS. (In case you were wondering, there will NEVER be halos; those are not in the Bible anywhere, they are the creation of medieval artists.)

Most of the angels I see appear while I’m praying, perhaps not surprisingly; I rarely see fewer than half a dozen during a prayer session, and it can easily be twice that many. I have an angel who appears to have a guard post at my front door, and angels that are on guard by my bed while I sleep. Some of the biggest and best ones appear in my prayer closet area. An angel surrounded me with a fragrance that was so intense that it woke me up when I was deeply asleep, despite the fact that I had a fan blowing on me, and so it shouldn’t have been POSSIBLE for

An angel surrounded me with a fragrance that was so intense that it woke me up when I was deeply asleep, despite the fact that I had a fan blowing on me, and so it shouldn’t have been POSSIBLE for fragrance to overwhelm me like that. I have seen wind appear where there was no physical way for there to be wind. An angel got my attention one time by ringing a bell. Even more incredibly, during a recent intense prayer session, when my prayer had tapered off into silence because my mind drifted off on a tangent, an angel tapped me on the temple!! Even more incredibly, this happened FOUR more times during that same prayer session, although the later times felt more like brushing against my temple than actually tapping. Although I’m positive that that first time was to get my attention and get me back to praying, the other times seemed… playful, which might sound as crazy to you as it would have to ME a few years ago, but is right in line with other accounts I have read from people who have numerous encounters with angels. Angels, like all intelligent creatures, appear to have a sense of play.

I have seen angels in other people’s homes that were clearly associated with them; I have seen a specific one near my Pastor 3 times, and one in a specific area of my friend’s home at least that many times, for example.

I saw an anointing come down onto a member of my prayer group, a bright gold light that came from above and behind her head, and when it had settled into her, the power that came out of her hands where they were grasping mine was so intense that it gave me wild pins and needles, until my hands finally went NUMB. I’ve also seen light come from my Pastor’s hand, and he actually FELT that this was going on, even though he’s famous for NEVER feeling anything, even when everyone else around him is.

Of course, when the supernatural breaks out, the enemy doesn’t like it, and he tries to get his own players into the game. There have been several sightings of demons as well, but they are very weak right now. I don’t fool myself into thinking that it will always be that way, but what I DO know is, the Bible tells us that we have authority over them, and the Holy Spirit is always with me, so if they try to take me on again, they will be defeated, as they were before.

Why is this happening? My church has been praying for the supernatural to break out for a long time, so this is an answer to our prayers. Why is it primarily focusing on ME? I can make guesses, but that’s all they would be… all I can say is that God is on the move, and bigger miracles are going to be showing up any time now.

Have you been experiencing the supernatural, either yourself or within your church? Leave a comment and let me know!!

God’s Got This

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all have things that come against us. it’s easy to live uptight, wondering how it’s going to work out. what if the medical report isn’t good, finances don’t get better, my child doesn’t get accepted into that school? we tried to figure it out, we’ve done our best, but we don’t see anything changing; if we’re not careful, we’ll live worried, discouraged, not expecting it to get better. but there’s a simple phrase you have to keep down in your spirit; God’s got this. He’s on the throne, sees what’s happening, already has the solution. you don’t have to figure it out. there may not be a logical answer. in the natural, you don’t see a way; that’s ok, we serve a supernatural God. He has ways to do it that we’ve never thought of. instead of trying to force it to happen, living uptight, you have to let go and let God. when you turn it over to Him. and say, “God, I know that You’ve got this, You’re in control,” not only will you feel the heaviness lift off of you, but God will make things happen that you couldn’t make happen. some of the things that are frustrating you now, causing you to lose sleep, that would all change if you would have this new perspective, that God’s got this.

sometimes, we’re trying to play God, make our boss promote us, make ourselves get well, make the contract go through, but as long as we’re trying to force it, living frustrated, worried, then God steps back. but when you take your hands off, and say, “God, I know You’ve got this. I’m not going to worry about my finances, live uptight because of the medical report, frustrated because I haven’t met the right person. God, I trust Your timing, and I trust Your ways; my life is in Your hands.”

God never promised that we wouldn’t have difficulties, but He did promise He would give us strength for every battle, take what was meant for harm and use it to our advantage. you may have a good reason to worry about your health, finances, a dream, you’ve done everything you can, it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out. stay in faith; God is saying, “I’ve got this. I’m working behind the scenes. I’m in the process of turning it around; it’s just a matter of time before you see things change in your favor.” live out of a place of peace, trust. it may not happen the way you thought, but God’s ways are better than our ways. God knows what’s best for you; He’s got this.

in the scripture, a young man named Daniel worked for King Darius:

Daniel 6:3-4 (NIV)
3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so.

when you excel, when your gifts come out in great ways, don’t be surprised if people get jealous; everyone is not going to celebrate you. some people will try to find fault, hold you back; the good news is, people don’t determine your destiny, God does. keep being your best, and let God fight your battles. don’t get distracted trying to prove to them who you are; God will be your vindicator, take care of your enemies.

these people that were against Daniel tried to manipulate the king:

Daniel 6:5-16 (NIV)
5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”… 7 … advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den… 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing. 10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published… three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed… 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying… 13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel… still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed… 16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

when you’re in difficult situations, God has people praying for you that you don’t know anything about. this king was supposed to be his enemy, but he was actually believing for Daniel’s safety.

the apostle Paul said:

Philippians 1:21 (NKJV)
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

he was saying, in effect, “if I live, or if I don’t live, I’m going to give God praise. either way, God’s got this.” what you’re facing may be bigger, stronger, more powerful, but when you refuse to worry, live stressed out, instead you stay in peace, thanking God that He’s fighting your battles, knowing that He’s in control, you’re showing God by your actions that you’re trusting Him.

Daniel 6:20-22 (NIV)
20 … “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.

God made Daniel unappetizing to those lions; God knows how to make you unappetizing to the enemy. what should normally defeat you, for some reason it can’t harm you, stop your business, take your health. there is a bloodline that God has put around you and your family. God controls the universe, the enemies; you’re not at the mercy of random events, people wanting to do you wrong, bad breaks. God has a hedge of protection around you, nothing can happen without His permission. that’s why we don’t have to live worried, uptight; we’re in a controlled environment.

when the Hebrew teenagers were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace because they wouldn’t bow down to the King’s golden idol:

Daniel 3:17-18 (NIV)
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

they weren’t panicked, upset, bitter; they knew they were in a controlled environment. they were saying, like Paul, “if we live, we’re going to give God praise; if we don’t live, we’re going to go to heaven and still give God praise.” they stayed in faith, knowing that God had the final say. and yes, at some point we’re all going to die; I’m going to die in faith, believing, expecting, trusting, praising, smiling, with a good attitude, knowing that God is in complete control. nothing can snatch you out of His hands; the number of your days He will fulfill.

when you face enemies in life: sickness, addiction, debt, they can sense when you’re afraid of them, they’ll take more ground. that’s why the scripture says:

Ephesians 4:27 (MEV)
27 Do not give place to the devil.

but when they see you standing strong, thanking God when you could be complaining, being good to people when you could be bitter, at peace when you could be panicked, you are sending a message to those enemies that says loud and clear, “you have no power over me. you cannot stop me. my God is in control, and if He be for me, who dare be against me?”

the scripture says:

Daniel 6:19-20 (NIV)
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

notice how he addressed Daniel. Daniel was in there because he was worshipping a different God, yet the king called him “Daniel, servant of the living God.” even the king knew something was different about Daniel.

Daniel 6:23 (NIV)
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

amazing things happen when you stay in faith and trust God.

Daniel 6:24-27 (NIV)
24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. 25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations… 26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God… 27 He rescues and he saves

but here’s the key; God doesn’t deliver us from every difficulty, most of the time He takes us through the difficulty. Daniel’s faith didn’t keep him out of the lions’ den, but his faith did bring him out of the lions’ den. but if Daniel, or those teenagers, had been worried, panicked, negative, maybe there would’ve been a different outcome; maybe we wouldn’t be talking about them today.

I’m asking you to quit worrying about what you’re facing, losing sleep over that child that’s not doing right, being upset because somebody did you wrong, your dream hasn’t come to pass yet. God’s got this. He’s going to make a way where you don’t see a way. God’s going to protect you, favor you, get you to where you’re supposed to be.

David said:

Psalm 23:4 (ESV)
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil

God is not just with you on the mountain tops; He’s with you in the valleys, when you’re going through things. He knows what you’re up against.

Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

how much more is God concerned about what’s happening in your life? trust Him. live from a place of peace. this is a decision we have to make on a daily basis, because every day there’s something to worry about, some reason to get upset. all through the day, keep this phrase close to your heart; “God’s got this. He’s concerned about me, working in my life, He’s bigger than my enemies, lining up the right people, arranging things in my favor.” that attitude of faith is what allows God to do amazing things.

are you worried about your children, stressed out over your job, discouraged because of a disappointment, thinking it’s not going to work out? come back to that place of peace; God’s got this. He’s directing your steps, bringing the right people across your path, and your children’s path. He has beauty for the ashes. right now, He’s working behind the scenes in your lives. dare to trust Him, to believe. when we worry, we tie the hands of Almighty God.

we all face situations that are bigger than us: a bad medical report, you lost a major client, trouble in a relationship. it’s easy to think of all the reasons why it’s not going to work out. that’s when you have to dig your heels in, and switch over into faith; “God, I know You’ve got this. thank You for protecting my children, fighting my battles, healing my body,” when you’re tempted to worry, turn it around and thank God that He’s working. sometimes, God will allow difficult situations, just to prove to you that He’s God. He could have kept Daniel out of the lions’ den, stopped the Hebrew teenagers from going into the fiery furnace, but God allows these things, to not only show you, but to show others, that He is God. when David defeated Goliath, a giant twice his size, it wasn’t just so David could be promoted, honored; that victory was a sign to the Philistines, all of their enemies, and the Israelites, that God was in control, His hand of favor and blessing was on them.

some of the battles God allows in your lives are not just about you; it’s to make a statement to the people around you. nothing speaks louder than when people see the favor on your life, your overcoming obstacles that should have held you back, defeating giants that were bigger, accomplishing dreams where you didn’t have the expertise. they will know that you serve the true and the living God. not only that; those victories are like fuel to feed your faith when you face other challenges. you’ll know, “if God did it for me back then, He’ll do it for me again.” don’t get discouraged when you face things you don’t understand, obstacles that are bigger than you; that’s simply an opportunity for God to show you Who He is. it’s one thing to believe that God has power, can do the impossible, that’s good, but God wants you to do more than just believe; He wants you to experience His power. He’s going to show His greatness, favor.

David had all kinds of things come against him, but he said:

Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV)
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.

David lived with this attitude; “God’s got this. I’m not going to be worried, live upset; I know that He’s bigger than any obstacle that I’m facing.” he said a little later:

Psalm 27:5 (NIV)
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.

you may have enemies coming against you, but you have an advantage; God has placed you out of reach. they can’t defeat you, keep you from your destiny. remain confident. keep your peace. it may feel like you’re surrounded by an army; the truth is, you are surrounded by God’s favor. the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. David said:

Psalm 27:3 (NIRV)
3 Even if an army attacks me,
my heart will not be afraid.

sickness, addictions, debt may have attacked you; that’s a test. are you going to get worried, live in fear, “what if it doesn’t work out?” stay in peace. remain confident. God’s done it for you in the past; He’s going to do it for you again in the future.

David said:

Psalm 27:13 (NIV)
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord

after all he’d been through, you’d think he’d be negative, worried, “God, where were you?” he was just the opposite; “I know God’s got this.”

is something weighing you down today? are you worried about a situation, frustrated by what didn’t work out, down on yourself because you’re not where you thought you would be? God is saying, “I’ve got this. it’s not a surprise to Me. I have new beginnings, healing, breakthroughs.” I’m asking you to change your perspective; switch over into faith. that situation at work that you’re worried about, that medical report that’s keeping you up at night, living stressed is not making it any better; be still and know that He’s God, He has you in the palm of His hand, He’s got this. and yes, you may have enemies coming against you, but God has placed you out of reach. now all through the day, when you’re tempted to worry, keep this phrase playing in your mind; “God’s got this.” if you’ll do this, you’re going to see God’s goodness in new ways, rise higher, accomplish dreams, and become everything God’s created you to be.

A son mentality

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we’ve all been through disappointments, had unfair situations. because of negative things in the past, or mistakes that we’ve made, it can be easy to forget who we really are. too often, we’ve developed a slave mentality; we think that we’re at a disadvantage, so we don’t pursue dreams, believe for good breaks, pray bold prayers. we live like we’re a slave to the addiction, depression, mediocrity. but as long as we have a slave mentality, it will limit our life.

1 John 3:2 (NKJV)
2 Beloved, now we are children of God

you may have a lot coming against you, but you are not a slave, you are a son. sons think differently than slaves. you may struggle with an addiction, but a son says, “I have a right to be free.” there may be obstacles in your path, but a son knows, “the forces that are for me a greater than the forces that are against me.”

the Israelites had been in slavery for 400 years; they were mistreated, taken advantage of. God saw the injustice, and sent plagues on the Pharaoh and his people. Pharaoh finally decided to let them go; the Israelites headed out toward the promised land. I’m sure they were excited, this was a dream come true, until:

Exodus 14:5-9 (AMPC)
5 … the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, What is this we have done? We have let Israel go from serving us!… 7 And took 600 chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them… 9 The Egyptians pursued them… and overtook them encamped at the [Red] Sea

Pharaoh was saying, in effect, “you’re my slaves; I’m taking you back.” God was saying, “you’re My sons, I have redeemed you; I’m taking you forward.” I can imagine this debate was going back and forth; the Israelites were trying to choose who they were going to believe.

that same debate is taking place about you; one voice is saying, “you’re a slave, you’ll never get well, you’ll always struggle in your finances, be addicted.” God says, “you’re a son. I have equipped, empowered, anointed you.” you get to choose which way you go. if you believe the lie that you’re a slave, that you’ve reached your limits, then it will keep you from your purpose. but when you rise up and say, “I’m no longer a slave, I’m a son. I’m not a slave to my past, who hurt me, addictions, poverty, lack, depression, I’m a child of the Most High God,” when you know you’re a son, you not only think differently, but you talk differently. instead of, “I’ll never break this addiction”; “I am free, whole.” instead of, “I never get good breaks”; “blessings are chasing me down, favor surrounds me, goodness and mercy are following me.” stop thinking like a slave, and start thinking like a son. not thinking about what you were, what you’ve been through, the mistakes you’ve made, but start thinking about who you are you are: free, blessed, a masterpiece, victorious.

Pharaoh came chasing after the Israelites, in other words the past came chasing them; what they’d been through, what didn’t work out. the past will always come chasing you; the mistakes you’ve made, disappointments, failures, hurts. the enemy would love for you to become a slave to your past, live guilty, discouraged, with a chip on your shoulder. don’t fall into that trap; the past doesn’t have to hold you back.

we’ve all had negative things happen that we don’t understand, but God has beauty for those ashes, mercy for mistakes, new beginnings. nothing that’s happened in your past, nothing that you’ve done, has to keep you from the good things God has in store. don’t become a slave to your past. quit thinking about it, reliving the hurts, dwelling on the failures; this is a new day. if you’ll let go of the old, you’ll see the new things God has in store. you need to tell the enemy, the past, the addiction, “you don’t own me. I was bought with a precious price. I belong to the God who spoke worlds into existence. I’m not your slave, I’m His son.” you have to know who you are, and who you belong to. fear doesn’t have any right to you; it doesn’t own you. poverty doesn’t own you. you might have an addiction, but it doesn’t own you. don’t see it as your master, as bigger, more powerful, you’ll never be free; it’s temporary, it cannot stay.

your body is a temple of the most high God. you’re not a sick person trying to get well; you’re a well person fighting off sickness. you are not an addict trying to get free; you’re a free person fighting an addiction. you’re not a poor person trying to get ahead; you’re a prosperous person fighting off poverty. you are not a slave to any negative thing; God created you to be free, healthy, whole, victorious. sure, we all have things come against us, but they’re not permanent; it’s just a matter of time before it changes in your favor.

the Israelites, even if they escaped and got away from the Pharaoh, in one sense they would always be runaway slaves; as long as Pharaoh was chasing them, even though they were free, thoughts would tell them, “you’re still a slave.” they would have to live with that threat that Pharaoh might catch back up with them. but:

Exodus 14:21-28 (NIV)
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea… The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground… 23 The Egyptians pursued them… 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea… 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

God not only freed them from slavery, He eliminated their oppressor, so they wouldn’t have to live with the threat that they might be recaptured and taken back to slavery. God didn’t want them to see themselves as just runaway slaves. by taking care of the Pharaoh, He removed that label; they were no longer runaway slaves, now they were simply sons/daughters of the most high God.

in the same way, God not only freed us from sin, guilt, depression, sickness, but He took care of our enemy. you don’t have to live with the threat that you might be recaptured; your oppressor has been defeated, the enemy has no power over you, you’re a son. but here’s the whole key; after all God has done for us, freed us from slavery, defeated our enemy, if you don’t see yourself the right way, it will keep you from your destiny.

this is what happened to the Israelites. after seeing God free them from slavery, deliver them from the Pharaoh, bring water out of a rock, when they came to the promised land, you’d think they’d be full of faith, ready to take the land, but:

Numbers 13:32-33 (NIV)
32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 … We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Numbers 14:4 (NIV)
4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

they had been in slavery so long, seen so much injustice, their problem was, they never quit seeing themselves as slaves. they didn’t think they could live at a higher level. their attitude was, “we’re just slaves, we never get any good breaks.” God brought them out of slavery, but slavery never got out of them.

you may have struggled in an area for a long time, but don’t have a limited mindset; you have to give God permission to increase you. it starts in your thinking; you can’t see yourself as a slave and enjoy the blessings of a son. if you grew up in lack, not having enough, mediocrity, don’t let that poverty spirit get in you; that is not who you are. you’re the one to break the curse, set a new standard. God is about to loose resources, promotion, ideas, opportunities. have a vision for increase; see yourself as a son, rising higher. you have seeds of greatness. you are not limited by how you were raised, your family, what you didn’t get. you not a slave to lack, depression, fear. the oppressor has been taken care of. your days of struggle, sickness, loneliness, are coming to an end; God is about to do a new thing, break bondages that have held you back. things that have been in your family line for generations are about to turn in your favor.

like the Israelites after 400 years of slavery, oppression, injustice, that was ten generations; nothing changed, they were born into it, year after year, didn’t expect anything different. but one day, God said, “enough is enough”; He supernaturally brought them out. but that first group that God freed from slavery, that was good, but that wasn’t God’s best; they never made it into the promised land, because they saw themselves as slaves. but God didn’t give up on them; God took their children in. it was because they had a different mindset.

in your family, you’re going to be the generation that goes into the promised land. what your relatives did or didn’t do does not have to stop you. you’re going to see opportunities chasing you down, promotion that you didn’t deserve, blessings you can’t explain, favor that thrusts you further than you can imagine. don’t talk yourself out of it; “I’ve reached my limits, my family always struggles.” get rid of that slave mentality, and start having an abundance mentality.

even though the oppressor has been taken care of, the enemy is defeated, he’ll still whisper lies; “you’re not supposed to be blessed, you’ll always be addicted.” what he’s really saying is, “you’re a slave, just accept it.” tell him, “no thanks, I’m not a slave, I’m a son; blessed, prosperous, a difference maker. I’m going to set a new standard for my family. we’re going into our promised land.”

the scripture tells us:

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace

not as a servant, not saying, “God, I know I don’t deserve it,” no, if you want to make God happy, go to Him with boldness, like He’s proud of you, you deserve to be there, He wants to be good to you. ask Him for your dreams. pray bold prayers. you’re not inconveniencing Him, you don’t have to earn God’s love, work for His approval, pay God back for your mistakes.

are you trying to earn God’s goodness, be good enough, work hard enough, then maybe you’ll deserve God’s blessings? that’s a slave mentality. why don’t you start believing that you’re a son? Jesus said:

Luke 12:32 (KJV)
32 … it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom

God is longing to be good to you. are you living like a son, knowing that you have rights, that God’s pleased with you, or are you living like a slave, feeling unworthy, like you don’t deserve God’s goodness?

in the story of the prodigal son:

Luke 15:12-19 (NIV)
12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ … 13 … got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living… 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’

because of his mistakes, he stopped seeing himself as a son, and started seeing himself as a servant. he thought he didn’t deserve his father’s goodness, have a right to be in the family anymore. how many of us have disqualified ourselves from God’s goodness? we knew at one time we were a son, at one time God was going to help us, favor us, bless us, but we made poor choices, got off course, now we believe that lie, that somehow we’ve gone from a son to a slave, that God wouldn’t have anything to do with us.

Luke 15:20-24 (NIV)
20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

there’s nothing you can do to change the fact that you’re a son. when you gave your life to Christ, you were born into the family of God; you can’t get unborn, make a mistake too big, get too far of course. you may disqualify yourself, but God never disqualifies you.

are you living like a slave, when in fact you’re a son? you’re trying to convince God to hire you back as a servant, when God is saying, “go kill the fatted calf, my son is home”? God has already received you back into His family. how many of us are not receiving God’s goodness? we’re beating ourselves up for our failures, letting the accuser convince us that we’ve somehow gone from a son to a slave. I love the fact that when this son returned home, the father never brought up his past; God is not interested in your past. the enemy will work overtime trying to remind you of all your mistakes, make you feel guilty, unworthy. don’t believe those lies. you’re not going to be a son when you perform good enough; you’re a son/daughter right now. start believing, dreaming again.

I wonder how many of us are missing out on God’s best because we don’t realize that everything has been paid for. God is saying, “you’re a son. step up to the table; I’ve paid the price.” you may have made mistakes; forgiveness, mercy have been paid for. you had bad breaks, people did you wrong; new beginnings, beauty for ashes, belong to you. why don’t you come on up to the table? you’re struggling in your finances, nobody in your family has gotten ahead; don’t get satisfied with less. abundance, new levels are in your future.

sometimes, what’s holding us back is we don’t really know who we are. we think we’re average, ordinary, when in fact we are sons/daughters of the most high God. when God breathed His life into you, He crowned you with this favor, put a robe of righteousness on you, said, “you’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made.” don’t go through life with a mediocrity mentality; have a son mentality, an abundant mentality.

in the scripture:

Judges 6:14-15 (NIV)
14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” 15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

he had a slave mentality, “I’m at a disadvantage”; he didn’t realize he was royalty. a few chapters later:

Judges 8:18 (NLT)
18 Then Gideon asked Zebah and Zalmunna, “The men you killed at Tabor—what were they like?” “Like you,” they replied. “They all had the look of a king’s son.”

Gideon felt inadequate, like he didn’t measure up, but even his enemies could see he was a king’s son. you may feel like you’re at a disadvantage, it’s causing you to shrink back, not pursue dreams. you may not be able to see it, but even the enemy knows that you’re royalty, destined to do great things. why don’t you step up to who you were created to be? you’re no longer a slave; you’re a son. you used to be maybe a slave to fear, addictions, poverty, depression, but you’ve been born into a new family. do your part; shake off the slave mentality, start having a son mentality. if you’ll do this, every chain that’s holding you back is being broken. God is going to release healing, favor, breakthroughs, abundance. you’re going to rise higher, and become everything He created you to be.

The Twenty-First Day

from JO’s sermon this week:

we all have things we’re believing for: a dream to come to pass, our health to turn around, to meet the right person. we’ve been praying for a long time, standing on the promises, but we don’t see anything happening. what you can’t see is that behind the scenes, God is at work. He not only heard you when you prayed, He put the miracle into motion.

Psalm 56:9 (TLB)
9 The very day I call for help, the tide of battle turns

just because you don’t see anything happening, that doesn’t mean that the answer is not on the way. the people who see promises fulfilled, breakthroughs, are the people that keep praying, believing, standing in faith.

1 John 5:14 (NIV)
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

thoughts will tell you, “it’s not making a difference to pray. you’re wasting your time getting your hopes up, believing that you’ll get well, break the addiction”; don’t believe those thoughts. the moment you pray, the Creator of the universe goes to work. it may not happen on your timetable, or the way you thought, but He is a faithful God; what He promised you, He will bring to pass. you may have been waiting for a long time, but down in your spirit, there has to be a resolve, a confidence, that says, “I know that the answer is on the way, the miracle is in motion. I’ve asked according to His will, and I know that it’s just a matter of time before it shows up.” don’t talk yourself out of it, don’t let delays, detours, disappointments, cause you to give up on what God’s put in your heart. healing, promotion, breakthrough, the right person, is on the way.

Daniel 10:2-3 (NIV)
2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

it didn’t seem like it was doing any good, nothing was changing, until one day:

Daniel 10:4-13 (NLT)
4 … I was standing on the bank of the great Tigris River, 5 I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. 6 His body looked like a precious gem. His face flashed like lightning, and his eyes flamed like torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people. 7 Only I, Daniel, saw this vision…. 12 Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. 13 But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me

the first time Daniel prayed, God heard him, and sent the angel with the answer. the first time you prayed, God began to change things in your favor, move out the wrong people, move in the right people, arrange healing, good breaks, favor. it’s right up in front of you. what’s the delay, why’s it taking so long? there are forces that are trying to keep you from your healing, abundance, freedom. the good news is, the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you.

it took the angel 21 days get to Daniel, and what you’re praying about may be taking a long time, you don’t see anything improving, you think it’s never going to happen, no, get ready, your 21st day is coming. the angel has already been dispatched. God has already sent the healing, vindication, promotion; right now, the angel is fighting through the forces of darkness. every time you thank God that it’s on the way, “I believe that my healing, the right person, a new level, are coming,” when you stay in faith, the angel is getting closer; it’s just a matter of time before he shows up. from the time you pray to when your answer comes, that’s called the trial of your faith; that’s when it’s easy to get discouraged and give up, talk yourself out of it. no, keep praying, believing; it might not have happened yet, but what God promised you, He’s still going to bring to pass. that 21st day is on the way. you may have struggled with an addiction for a long time, but it has

from the time you pray to when your answer comes, that’s called the trial of your faith; that’s when it’s easy to get discouraged and give up, talk yourself out of it. no, keep praying, believing; it might not have happened yet, but what God promised you, He’s still going to bring to pass. that 21st day is on the way. you may have struggled with an addiction for a long time, but it has a 21st day; your healing, abundance, has a 21st day. God has already set the time to turn it around. when you come into your 21st day, every force that’s held you back will be broken.

but when we’ve struggled in an area for a long time, it’s easy to accept it, to think, “maybe I’m not supposed to accomplish this dream, I tried but it didn’t work out”; no, that may have been your past, but that is not your future. God is about to break stubborn things, strongholds that look permanent, that you’ve dealt with for years, those forces that have held you back. God is going to send reinforcements to loose what belongs to you. suddenly, it’s going to turn around; the depression is going to break, your business is going to take off. it’s closer than you think; you’re close to your healing, meeting the right person, a new level. don’t give up on what you’re believing for; it may be taking a long time, but what you can’t see is, the angel is on the way. if you knew when your 21st day was coming, you would stop worrying and start worshiping.

David said:

Psalm 5:3 (NLT)
3 … Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

he didn’t just pray, and say, “ok, I did my part,” he prayed, and then waited with expectation; he went through the day looking for God’s goodness, believing for God’s favor, talking like it was going to happen. David had a report of victory:

1 Samuel 17:46 (NIV)
46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals

he expected God’s favor:

Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life

it’s not enough to just pray; you have to follow it up with expectancy, knowing that God not only heard you, because you prayed according to His will, but that He dispatched an angel with the answer.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen in 3 weeks, God has His own timetable; the 21 days is symbolic, it means that there is a set time for God to break through with the answer to your prayer. no person, addiction, sickness, all the forces of darkness, cannot stop what God has ordained for your life. God is going to make things happen that you couldn’t make happen.

“I don’t believe that this is going to happen for me,” then this is not for you; this is for believers, people who know that God is in control.

when God puts a promise in your heart, you don’t know how it’s going to happen, or the exact time, but what you do know is, you have confirmation; when you let the promise take root, you don’t need to worry how it’s going to be delivered, God knows how to get it to you. God’s delivery service is 100% accurate, and it will be 100% on time.

it’s not too late. you haven’t made too many mistakes, missed too many opportunities. God doesn’t change his mind. He’s not moved by negative circumstances, how long it’s been, who doesn’t like you.

Psalm 31:19 (TLB)
19 Oh, how great is your goodness to those who publicly declare that you will rescue them. For you have stored up great blessings for those who trust and reverence you.

we didn’t have to pay for it; God sent His son to pay the price, so that we could live an abundant, faith-filled, victorious life. why don’t you start believing for what already belongs to you? when you’re tempted to get discouraged, give up on what you’re believing for; “God, you said I can do all things through Christ, so thank You that strength, breakthroughs are in transit.” God is not obligated to bring to pass what we say, but He is obligated to bring to pass what He says. when you can say, “God, you said: as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, You will make me the happy mother of children,” you’re going to see some 21st days. God is faithful to His word.

God kept a promise to David hundreds of years after David had died. one of his relatives was on the throne, not making good decisions; God said, in effect, “I would’ve taken away the throne, but for David’s sake, I will not do it.” that’s how committed God is to what He promised. imagine what happens when God hears you praying, declaring, thanking Him for, the promises. you don’t have to figure out how God’s going to do it:

Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding

if you try to figure it out, you’re going to get confused. what God brings you may not be exactly what you thought, the way you thought; it will be bigger, better, more rewarding, than you ever imagined. don’t put God in a box. you may not see how it can happen; God has ways to do it that you’ve never thought of. David used a slingshot to defeat Goliath; He didn’t have the training, experience, equipment, but a slingshot with the favor of God is more powerful than a whole army without it. if you knew all the things that are in transit for you right now, you wouldn’t live worried, wondering if it’s going to happen, frustrated because you didn’t get the promotion; when it’s your time, the things you need will come to you. quit worrying; while you’re waiting for the promises, keep praying, believing, expecting.

Luke 18:1 (NIV)
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

it may be taking a long time; keep praying. if you’re going to see everything that God has in store for you, you have to pray, believe, expect, until it happens. not begging God; turn your prayer into praise, “Lord, thank You for making a way where I don’t see a way, bringing the right person, increasing me, so I can be a bigger blessing.” praise in the scripture brought down the walls of Jericho, opened prison doors of their own accord. prayer is not a one-time payment; if you’re serious about what you’re believing for, you have to show God that you’re not going to give up because it’s not happening on your timetable, get discouraged because you don’t see anything changing. every time you thank God, you’re getting closer.

this is what Abraham did; he waited 20 years to have the child that God promised him.

Romans 4:20 (AMPC)
20 … he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God

how did he wait 20 years, complaining? no, he kept thanking God.

if you’ll do this, you’ll come into your healing, promotion, breakthrough, victory. God is going to open doors that no man can shut, and take you to the fullness of your destiny.

Stay committed

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all have opportunities to give up on what we’re believing for, walk away from an uncomfortable situation, slack off, not be our best. but if you’re going to reach your highest potential, you have to stay committed; you can’t be moved by what’s not working out, give up on a child because he’s not doing what he should, slack off at work because you’re not being treated right; you have to have a made-up mind that you are in it for the long haul. it may be difficult, you have a good reason to walk away; don’t take the easy way out. stay committed to your marriage, raising those children, your friends. they may make mistakes; give them some grace. don’t be a fair-weather friend; be committed in the good times and the tough times. stay committed to your dreams; don’t give up on the promises God put in your heart.

it may be taking longer than you thought, but God is still on the throne. He’s a faithful God; He’s already set the time to bring it to pass. stay committed to your church, your job; be a loyal person, somebody they can count on day in and day out. you’re not always going to feel like it; there will be good days and tough days, times when it’s exciting, times when you feel like giving up. that’s when you have to dig your heels in, and say, “I’m going to do the right thing when it’s hard. I’m committed to this marriage; I’m going to love you even though you don’t deserve it. I’m committed to this job; I’m going to be my best even though my supervisor isn’t treating me right. I’m committed to my dreams; I’m not going to give up because I don’t see anything happening. I’m going to keep believing, expecting, thanking God. I know it’s on the way.”

God rewards consistent, faithful, committed people. too many people are wishy-washy. they’ll love you as long as you perform perfectly; if not, they’re out of there. they’ll be their best if you keep them encouraged, propped up. they’ll pursue a dream as long as they’re getting good breaks. their commitment is based on things going their way. but when it’s difficult, taking longer than they thought, they get discouraged, start to slack off. “I don’t like my job, they don’t treat me right, that’s why I show up late, play on the computer half the day.” you’re not working unto people, you’re working unto God; He’s keeping the records. the scripture says:

Psalm 75:6-7 (AMPC)
6 For not from the east nor from the west nor from the south come promotion and lifting up. 7 But God is the Judge! He puts down one and lifts up another.

“if they would pay me more, I would do more”; but if you don’t pass the test of being your best where you are, showing up on time with a good attitude, doing more than you have to, then you’ll get stuck. they may not be paying you what you’re worth, but your job is not your source, God is. God uses people, supervisors, companies, but don’t get them mixed up with your source. if you see your company as your provider, your boss as your source, then in a sense you’re making them your god, letting them control your destiny; they determine how high you’re going to go, and if for some reason they don’t like you, they’re not for you, too bad, you’re limited.

no, stop looking to people, and start looking to God. He not only controls your destiny, He controls the whole universe. He determines how high you’re going to go. no person, no supervisor, no company, can stand against God. He knows what’s happening, sees what’s unfair. when you stay committed to your job, keep being your best day in and day out despite who doesn’t like you, God will make it up to you. God is your source; He has the final say.

“it’s difficult to stay committed to my job, my marriage, this dream; nothing’s going my way.” if it was easy, everyone would do it. God chose you because He knew you can handle it; you have the courage, strength, talent, anointing. you’re not weak, lacking, you are full of can-do power. you didn’t come this far to stop. the people that see dreams come to pass are the people that stay committed. committed people outlast the difficulty, stick with the relationship even though they have a right to walk away, go the extra mile and do more than they have to. is there an area you’ve been tempted to give up in, or just slack off, not be your best? God is saying, “stay committed, faithful, loyal.” committed people reach the fullness of their destinies.

the dreams God’s placed in your heart, the promises you’re standing on, may be taking longer than you thought; you don’t see any sign of it happening. that’s a test. are you going to get discouraged, and give up on what you’re believing for? stay committed. keep doing the right thing. God is in control; He sees your faithfulness. you’re going to come into your season of favor. your dream is right up in front of you.

the prophet Elijah had an assistant named Elisha, who was like a son to him; he took care of Elijah, went with him everywhere, made sure that he had what he wanted:

2 Kings 2:1-2 (NIV)
1 When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.”

Elisha knew that the Prophet was going to be taken away; he could have thought, “all right, I’ll stay; after all, his life’s almost over.” instead:

2 Kings 2:2-6 (NIV)
2 … But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel… 4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho… 6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.

three times, Elijah tried to get rid of him, said in effect, “you’ve done enough, served me well all these years, been faithful, loyal”; Elisha wouldn’t hear of it. his attitude was, “I’m committed to you; I’m going to stick with you through thick and thin. I was with you in the good times when you were performing miracles; I’m going to be with you in the tough times as you come to an end.”

nobody would have faulted Elisha if he had walked away; his boss told him to, he had a good reason, but he wouldn’t slack off, take the easy way out. he was committed, loyal, someone you can count on.

2 Kings 2:9-14 (NIV)
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” 11 … a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind… 13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it… it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

Elisha ended up performing twice as many miracles as Elijah; he would have never seen the double portion if he had not stayed committed. if he had left when Elijah told him to go, he wouldn’t have seen the fullness of his destiny.

there will be plenty of times where you’re tempted to walk away: walk away from a dream, it’s been too long, it’s never going to happen, walk away from a marriage, church, job, they don’t appreciate you, they never tell you thank you. you could slack off, take the easy way out, but what you can’t see is, there’s a double portion up in front of you. stay committed when it’s hard, do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening, keep loving that man/woman even though they don’t deserve it. when you stay loyal, consistent, faithful, a double portion is coming: double favor, honor, resources. God will pay you back for staying committed.

but this double portion isn’t for everyone; it’s for people that do more than they have to, go the extra mile, don’t give up when it’s not exciting, people like you that stayed committed. to see God’s best, there has to be a stubbornness; “I’m committed to this marriage; leaving is not an option. I’m committed to my children; no matter what they do or don’t do, I’m going to be there for them. I’m committed to being my best at this job.” you don’t let people talk you out of it, slack off because it’s not fair, you’re lonely, not making progress; you have a made-up mind. when you stay committed, God will make things happen that you couldn’t make happen; suddenly, things will turn around, your marriage will improve, your business will take off. many of you have passed this test. you’ve been committed, doing the right thing; be encouraged, you are close to your double portion, breakthrough, meeting the right person, your new level.

when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, he was so distressed that he sweated great drops of blood. on the way to Calvary, he was so beaten and bruised that he fell down under the weight of the cross. he could have said, “God, it’s too much. I did the right thing, but these people treated me badly: mocked me, ridiculed me, sent me to the cross, I’m done, I’ve had enough.” no, Jesus stayed committed when it wasn’t fair, he had every right to give up. nobody would have faulted him if he had walked away, but he was in it for the long haul. he was stubborn when it came to fulfilling his purpose.

where are the people that would do like Jesus, and stay committed, that don’t give up because it’s not fair, don’t slack off because it’s taking longer they thought, that have a made up mind?

when you stay committed, God will open doors that you could never open, bring you into your double portion. you may have plenty of reasons to give up on your dream, disappointments, setbacks; that’s all a part of the process. when you get knocked down, you have to get back up again. God didn’t bring you this far to leave you. don’t settle for mediocrity; God created you for greatness. there is something in you that will cause you to stand out, that nobody else nobody has or can do. God put a seed in you so you can leave your mark. don’t let people talk you out of it, failures convince you to give up, delays and detours cause you to get discouraged. when God puts a dream in your heart, it won’t go away, you can try to push it down, dismiss it, but that seed is still alive. people may have told you no, but when God says yes, His yes cancels out their no, overrules what people are telling you.

stay committed to your dreams. do the right thing when it’s hard. when you have permission to give up on it, to walk out of a relationship, stay committed, loyal, faithful.

in the scripture, Joseph and Mary were planning their wedding. it was an exciting time, life was good, until God interrupted their plans:

Luke 1:27-35 (NIV)
27 …The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”… 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus… 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

while she was excited, she wasn’t looking forward to having this conversation with her fiancé. Joseph was an honorable, well-respected man. back in those days, having a baby out of wedlock was a big disgrace. this was going to make him look bad, so:

Matthew 1:19-20 (NIV)
19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[a] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Joseph could have said, “that’s all fine and good, but I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t want all this controversy, people tarnishing my reputation.” he had plenty of reasons to back out, but Joseph did the right thing when it was hard; he was committed, loyal.

in relationships, with your spouse, children, friends, there may be times you have a good reason to get out: they did things to hurt you, didn’t perform perfectly, let you down. you could justify walking away, nobody would fault you, but when you’re committed, you show mercy, give second chances, make allowances for mistakes. they may not deserve it, they were guilty, but only the guilty need mercy. stay committed to your family, friends, be someone they can count on.

a true friend walks in when everybody else walks out, will be there for you, not just when you succeed, but when you fail. there are times that a relationship comes to an end, you have to move on, but don’t let that be a pattern, where you bail out if they’re not meeting all of your demands, living up to your expectations. people make mistakes. good people can blow it. people that love you can let you down. God rewards people who are consistent when life is complicated, stick with someone when they don’t deserve it, be their best when someone else is at their worst.

you can tell who your true friends are, not when everything’s going great, not when you succeed, but when you fail, get off course. I’m asking you to be a loyal person. stay committed to the people God’s put in your life. they’re going to make mistakes, do things you don’t understand; they don’t need another judge condemning them, more guilt and shame, they’ve got enough of that. you can help love them back into wholeness, be the friend that walks in when everybody else walks out. when you’re committed, loyal, it doesn’t mean you’re approving their actions; you’re simply showing them the mercy that you would want God to show you. you’re being a healer, restorer. they have enough things pushing them down; let’s be people that lift them up.

too many people are fair-weather friends; they’ll love you in the good times, walk away in the tough times. our attitude should be, “you can count on me; I’m committed to loving you, being good to you, defending you. there are relationships that would go to a new level if you would quit basing your commitment on somebody’s performance, and let them know you’re in it for the long haul, through good times and tough times. that takes the pressure off; there’s a freedom, security, when they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are for them. I want our friends, family, to say about us, “I knew you’d come back. you are committed, loyal, somebody I could count on.”

is there some area you’re tempted to give up in, slack off, not be your best? God is saying, “stay committed. keep doing the right thing.” you can’t see it, but up in front of you is a double portion, something more rewarding than you could imagine. yes, it may be difficult, but you are well able. make up your mind that you are in it for the long haul. be stubborn when it comes to not giving up. if you’ll do this, you’re going to see double favor, honor, resources. God’s going to open doors no man can shut, and take you to the fullness of your destiny.

The Good Father

from JO’s sermon tonight:

many of us were raised by fathers that were loving and kind. they guided us, did their best to make sure that we had everything that we needed. but no matter how good our father was, people are not perfect; they make mistakes, there are times they can let us down, maybe not give us what we needed. some fathers, they meant well, but they weren’t affectionate. they never told you that they loved you, or were proud of you. they corrected you, made sure you stayed on the right path, but they didn’t express their love. the problem was, their father most likely did the same thing to them; they never heard “I love you,” never saw it modeled. you can’t give away what you don’t have. most fathers never planned on messing up their children, passing down dysfunction, but like throwing a pebble on a calm lake, their decisions affect those around them. you can’t help it; you’ve been impacted by the people that raised you. the good news is, the good Father, your Heavenly Father, has taken all this into account. He knew who your parents would be, what you wouldn’t get, what wouldn’t be fair. He’s already designed a plan with this in mind to get you to your destiny.

you may have been raised around dysfunction, addictions, abuse, poverty, but that does not have to stop you; that’s where you come from, not who you are. you are a child of the most high God. your earthly father may have fallen short, disappointed you, didn’t give you what you needed, but your heavenly Father, the good Father, will never let you down. He’s the friend that sticks closer than a brother. maybe your earthly father never gave you his approval, but the good Father is saying, “I’m proud of you. I love you. you are My son, daughter.” people may have tried to push you down, made you feel less than, but the good Father is saying, “you’re a masterpiece, prize possession, you’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made.” now don’t stay focused on what your earthly father did or didn’t give you. don’t live bitter because people put you at a disadvantage, weren’t there for you; start going to the good Father.

it’s painful to be rejected by anyone, but especially by your own father. when you’ve been raised in a dysfunctional environment, it’s easy to become negative, and think, “God, why was I born into this family? why wasn’t my father around? why was there so much arguing, addictions, abuse? why didn’t these people give me what I needed?” it may not have been fair, but the good Father has taken that all into account: what you wouldn’t get, who would hurt you, what wouldn’t work out. it may seem like it’s put you at a disadvantage, but that has not stopped God’s plan; when He laid out the path for your life, He took into consideration the pain, bad breaks, rejection. no matter how wrong it was, who wasn’t there for you, don’t use it as an excuse to live bitter, to give up on dreams, to settle for mediocrity. “my dad wasn’t around, he was harsh and abusive, he didn’t treat me right”; if you’ll start going to the good Father, get your approval, affirmation, love from Him, then despite what your earthly father did or didn’t do, the good Father will make it up to you, pay you back for the injustice, will help you not only overcome, but He’ll show you favor that will thrust you years ahead.

Jesus said:

Luke 12:32 (NKJV)
32 … it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

the good Father takes good pleasure in making your wrongs right, giving you what people could not give you. people may have put you at a disadvantage; God is saying, “get ready, I’m about to make it up to you. I’m going to give you more opportunity, influence, resources, fulfillment, than if it had never happened.”

Psalm 68:5 (NET Bible)
5 He is a father to the fatherless

God sees when you don’t have someone watching after, protecting you, you’ve been put in unfair situations where you didn’t have a choice, you were born into it. if you’ll keep moving forward, the good Father will open doors no man can shut, bring the right people, cause you to go where you could not go on your own.

in Joshua 5, the Israelites had just crossed the Jordan River. they were camped outside the city of Jericho; this was the last obstacle between them and their promised land. their parents had wandered in the desert for 40 years; they never did make it in, but God was about to fulfill His promise and take their children in. but there was one last thing the men had to do:

Joshua 5:2-3 (NIV)
2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.” 3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites

these men, this new generation, were in their twenties and thirties. they were supposed to be circumcised when they were 8 days old by their fathers, but because their fathers didn’t do what they were supposed to when they were supposed to, now these grown men were having to be circumcised. not by their fathers, their fathers had passed; God told Joshua to do it.

when you don’t get what you should have as a child, it can be much more painful to get as an adult. at 8 days old, you don’t remember it; you cry for a little while, and then you’re done. but these grown men were having to endure pain that could’ve been avoided if their fathers would have carried out their responsibilities.

you may be dealing with things today that your father could’ve taken care of: if your father would’ve told you that he’s proud of you, you wouldn’t be working 3 jobs trying to prove to him that you’re talented, earn his love. or if your father would’ve paid attention to you, made you feel special, you wouldn’t go from man to man, trying to get the approval that your father should have given you.

these men were all circumcised; they had to go through pain because of what their fathers didn’t do. but when they came to Jericho, the last obstacle, God didn’t tell them to go break through the walls, attack the city; God knew they were hurting, dealing with things they shouldn’t have had to deal with, that weren’t their fault. He didn’t say, “too bad, your parents should’ve obeyed Me, blame them”; God took their pain into consideration. He told them:

Joshua 6:3 (NIV)
3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.

this is the only place in the scripture where God had them take a city by simply walking around the walls.

Joshua 6:15-20 (NIV)
15 On the seventh day… 20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.

they made it to the promised land.

God knows what you didn’t get, who wasn’t there when you needed them, who should’ve been more responsible. the good news is, God is going to make it easier on you because of the people that did you wrong. there are battles you won’t have to fight, walls you won’t have to break down, because the good Father is watching after you. He’s designed a plan for a wounded man/woman to still take the city, for someone that’s been through hurts, abuse, dysfunction, to still accomplish dreams, have great relationships, live a blessed, fulfilled life.

if we’re honest, we’ve all been wounded in some way: people do us wrong, sometimes even good people may not give us what we needed. don’t get discouraged; God has a plan. he had Joshua do what their fathers should have done; the people that should have done it for you may not be here, but God has a Joshua for you. the good Father knows what you didn’t get. He’s going to send the right people to bless you, encourage you, open up a door. it may not have been fair, they didn’t do what they should have; don’t get bitter, help, ease is coming. the good Father is watching after you. before you were formed in your mother’s womb, God not only knew you, but He knew who your parents would be, what family you would be born into. He’s already come up with a plan for you to overcome every obstacle, designed a strategy for you to break out of the mold and set a new standard, lined up your Joshuas, the right people to help give you what you didn’t get.

maybe you faced abandonment, disappointments, bad breaks, abuse; it doesn’t have to stop you. you may be wounded, the people that should’ve been empowering you, speaking life to you, did just the opposite, but God has a plan for the wounded to still do great things. people may have rejected you, but God has accepted you. they may call you a mistake; God calls you a masterpiece. they may have left you out; God has not forgotten about you. He has you in the palm of His hand. He’s going to make up for what you didn’t get. people can’t stop your destiny. how you were raised, what family you come from, who did you wrong; God has taken that all into account. don’t live with a victim mentality; people may not have given you what they should have, but the good Father, the God who knew you before you were born, He’s not only going to make it up to you, He’s going to make the enemy pay, and bring you out better than if it had never happened.

in the scripture, Ishmael was the child that Abraham had out of wedlock with his maid Hagar. God promised Abraham and Sarah a baby, but they got in a hurry, tried to help God out, and Ishmael was born, but he wasn’t the promised child. this caused all kinds of strife and division; Sarah was mad Abraham, she started treating Hagar badly, Abraham was trying to keep both women happy. Sarah finally had her baby; Isaac, the promised child. when she had this child, she realized she didn’t need Hagar anymore, and she didn’t want Ishmael around; every time she saw Ishmael, he reminded her of Abraham’s mistake. Ishmael had to pay the price for something he had nothing to do with.

sometimes, it’s not that people don’t like you; they don’t like who you remind them of. they’re disrespectful with you because of who your father is, because of a relative, they had a falling out, a breakup, now you’re caught between the two.

Sarah was so upset:

Genesis 21:9-12 (NIV)
9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son… 11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you… 14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy.

Abraham was a wealthy man; he could have sent them out with animals, with a large food supply, with help so they could make it at least to the next city. put yourself in Ishmael’s shoes; he didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t choose to be born into this dysfunctional family, he couldn’t help it that he wasn’t the promised child, he couldn’t change the fact that he reminded Sarah of Abraham’s mistake. all these things that he had no control over; it looked like he had been dealt an unfair hand.

like Ishmael, you may have come into situations that put you at a disadvantage, where there was dysfunction, abuse, poverty. you couldn’t help it, you were born into it. now, you’re having to deal with consequences from other people’s poor choices. stay encouraged; the good Father sees what’s happening. God is a God of justice. it’s not how you start that matters, it’s how you finish. the odds may be against you, but the most high God is for you.

Ishmael went out into the desert, abandoned, confused, rejected. the man he had known as his father, that had taken care of him, provided for him, suddenly turned on him.

Genesis 21:15-16 (NIV)
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.”

if this was the end of the story, we could try to justify it by saying, “he was Abraham’s mistake, he wasn’t the promised child”; that would make sense if God wasn’t the good Father.

Genesis 21:17 (NIV)
17 God heard the boy crying

God heard the cries of this young man born into dysfunction, with all kinds of things that he had no control over.

Genesis 21:18 (NIV)
18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

even though he wasn’t the promised child, his parents made a mess of his life, God said, in effect, “Ishmael, I’ve seen all the injustice, I know you’ve had bad breaks, people put you at a disadvantage, but don’t worry; I’m going to make it up to you, do something great with your life, bring a nation out of you.”

God was showing us that even if you have parents that blew it, people that put you at a disadvantage, addictions, abuse, poverty, you had no control, don’t get discouraged; God knows how to bring greatness out of a great mess. if you’ll not complain, not give up on a dream, “this is not fair,” instead go to God, the good Father, He’ll not only hear your call, but He’ll make more out of your life than you ever imagined. don’t live with a victim mentality; don’t let what’s happened in the past limit your future. Abraham was the father of faith, but he didn’t treat his son right. a good person may have done you wrong; people are human, they make mistakes. why don’t you let them off the hook? quit trying to make people pay you back, and go to God; He’ll pay you back. God knows how to bring greatness out of dysfunction: that means great relationships, great talent, great opportunities, great success.

you may have had a rough start, the odds are against you; the good Father sees what’s happening. He knows what you didn’t get, who wasn’t there for you. He’s taken into consideration the hurt, loneliness, bad breaks. He has a plan, not to just bring you out, but to bring you out better. don’t live with a victim mentality, don’t give up on your dreams; there may be some dysfunction in your past, we all have some, but the good Father has amazing things in your future. God is going to bring greatness out of a great mess, bring down walls easier than you thought, be a Father to the fatherless, and take you to the fullness of your destiny.