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Archive for June, 2012

(1:30 AM)

From JO’s sermon last night:

it’s easy to think that at least I’m employed, or C’s are good enough;  too many people are living with things that are less than God’s best.  they’ve lost their passion.  at one time, they had a big dream, they were excited about their future, but they hit some bumps along the way, it didn’t happen on their timetable, they got discouraged, thinking that it’s never going to happen, they accepted [it?] as their lot in life. just because you haven’t seen what God promised you come to pass, doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen.  don’t make the mistake of settling for good enough.  good enough is not your destiny, you are a child of the most high God, you were created to excel, live an abundant life;  you may be struggling, it’s been that way a long time, now you’re just coasting, thinking what’s the use, it’s always going to be this way, no, you’ve gotta get your fire back, it’s not over until God says it’s over. you’ve gotta start believing, dreaming again, pursuing what God put on your heart.

on the inside of each one of us, there are 2 people, one says “I’m going to become everything God’s created me to be, I’m surrounded by God’s favor”;  the other says “you’ll never do this or that”;  one wants to stretch, the other wants to settle.  you get to choose which person you’re going to be, too many people make the choice to settle;  they believe the lies that you’ve reached your limits, you never get any good breaks, where you are is where you’re always going to be;  if you’re going to see the fullness of what God has in store, you have to have the attitude that “I’m not going to let good enough be good enough.”  I know I was created for greatness.  I was created to overcome obstacles, fulfill my destiny, I am not going to settle, I’m going to stretch, I’m going to let go of what didn’t work out and reach forward to the new things God has in store.  some of you have lost your fire, at one time you knew you’d accomplish things, but you’ve gone through disappointments, it didn’t happen the way you thought, now you’ve accepted the fact that it’s probably not going to happen, you’ve gotten comfortable with good enough. God is saying you have dwelt long enough on this mountain

Deuteronomy 1:6 (KJV)

The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount

it’s time to move forward,  God has new levels in front of you, new opportunities, you’ve got to stir up what God put on the inside, the dreams, promises, that you pushed down, thought it’s not going to happen, God has it all figured out, if you’ll start believing, dreaming again, pursuing what God put in your heart, God will make a way where you don’t see a way, He’ll open doors that no man can shut, what God promised you He will bring to pass. just because you gave up on a dream doesn’t mean God gave up.  you might have changed your mind, but God didn’t change His mind, He still has a victorious plan in front of you.  get in agreement with God

have you settled somewhere way beneath what you know God has put in you?  have you given up on a dream, let go of a promise, because it didn’t happen the first time, you had a setback, somebody told you no?  what are you doing there?  when God breathed his life into you he put a part of Himself in you.  you were created as the head and not the tail. you are equipped, empowered, fully loaded, lacking nothing.  don’t you dare settle for second best.  don’t get stuck in a rut, thinking that you’ve reached your limits.  draw the line in the sand and say I’ve let good enough be good enough long enough, today is a new day, I’m not going to settle, I’m going to start stretching my faith, looking for opportunities, taking steps to improve, I’m going to become everything God’s created me to be; when you do the  natural God will show up and do the supernatural.  when you do what you can, God will come and do what you cannot;  don’t take the easy way out, stand strong and fight the good fight of faith.

Genesis 11:31 (CEB)

… They left Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan, and arriving at Haran, they settled there.

They didn’t make it to the promised land because they settled.  why did Abraham’s father stop at Haran?  there were too many difficulties.  how many times do we start off right, but along the way we face opposition, adversity arises, too many times we say what’s the use, I’m going to settle here, it’s good enough. you are not weak, defeated, lacking, you have been armed with strength for every battle.  that obstacle is no match for you.  you have the most powerful force in the universe breathing in your direction.  don’t be a weakling, be a warrior.  your dreams are worth fighting for. you’ve gotta dig your heels in and say, “I am in it to win it.”  I know God didn’t bring me this far to leave me here.  I’m not gonna settle halfway, I’m gonna make it all the way in to my promised land.

if you’re going to be victorious you have to have a made up mind, be determined.  you’re not going to give up when it gets difficult, you’re not gonna complain because it’s taking a long time, not going to get discouraged because you went through a setback, you know everything God promised you is worth fighting for, so you are in it for the long haul. some of you have gotten comfortable, and decided that your dreams are never going to come to pass.  start moving forward.  you may have taken a temporary delay, but that didn’t stop your destiny, today can be your new beginning, God is breathing new life into your spirit, He has greater victories in front of you;  get a vision for it.  every time you dwell on those negative discouraging thoughts you’re digging another stake halfway towards your promised land.  first place we lose the battle is in our own thinking.  if you don’t think you can accomplish your dreams, you’ll get stuck right where you are.  you’ve gotta change your thinking.  the Creator of the universe is arranging things in your favor.  He said no good thing would He withhold because you walk uprightly:

Psalm 84:11 (ESV)

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

He not gonna withhold the right person, the wisdom, the breaks, the turnaround;  get rid of a negative, defeated mentality.  make room in your thinking for the new thing God wants to do.  He wants to take you all the way in to your promised land.

many times we settle for a C not realizing God has an A in our future.  you’ve gotta change your thinking.  God has an A but you’ll never see it if you keep taking the C’s.  the C’s are easier, you don’t have to stretch, you don’t have to get out of your comfort zone, but you’ll never be truly fulfilled if you keep settling for C’s.  don’t take the easy way out, the A’s are worth fighting for.  I can’t think of much that would be sadder than to come to the end of life and have to wonder “what could I have become if I didn’t settle for good enough?” what could I have been if I didn’t take so many C’s  but instead I pressed forward striving to be my very best?”  you may have taken C’s in the past, but make a decision from now on you’re only going for the A’s.  if you’re married to a C, stick with him and make him into an A. if you’re not seeing in your life what God promised in your spirit, keep moving forward, it’s only temporary.  don’t slack off, keep being your best, but see that as only temporary;  that’s just a season that you’re passing through.  be grateful, keep a good attitude, but see it as only temporary, don’t settle there.  even if it’s something good, maybe God has blessed you, you’ve seen his favor, but you know there are greater levels in front of you, it’s easy to think “I’m happy, I have no complaints, God’s been good to me,” but good is the enemy of great;  you may be doing good, but deep down you know you have more in you. don’t let good be an excuse to keep you from God’s best.  stir up your greatness.  stretch into a new level.

you’ve seen God be good to you, God’s blessed you, He’s opened doors that should not have opened, He’s shown you favor, protected you;  that was only temporary provision;  you have not made it into your promised land;  God is taking you somewhere greater than you’ve ever imagined

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him

don’t let your temporary provision become permanent;  what God has in your future will supersede what you’ve seen in the past, thank God for His goodness, be grateful for the Red Seas that part, thank Him for the protection, provision, favor, but if it’s not more than you can ask or think, be bold enough to pick up your stakes, and say God, this is all great, you’ve been awesome in my life and I thank you for it, but God I believe this is only temporary provision, where you’re taking me is to a land of abundance, a place like I’ve never experienced before.  that’s not being selfish, that’s releasing your faith for the fullness of your destiny.

Joshua 24:13 (NIV)

So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant

Deuteronomy 1:11 (NASB)

May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you!

God has 1000 times more joy, peace, influence, wisdom, ideas, creativity, good breaks, let’s take the limits off of God.  God’s plan for our life is much bigger than our own;  God doesn’t want us to get stuck at one level, He’s a God of increase.  God has houses that you didn’t have to build, vineyards that you didn’t have to plant.  you may be blessed today, God’s been good to you, but what’s in your future is exceedingly abundantly above and beyond.  don’t you dare settle where you are, God’s promised land for your life is greater than anything that you’ve imagined.  don’t be surprised if the 2 voices, the 2 people start talking to you, one wants you to settle, it’ll tell you you’ve reached your limits, the other will tell you this is for you today, make room for God to do something new, something big, something out of the ordinary, why don’t you let that voice take root?

Joshua 3:4 (ESV)

… you have not passed this way before

God is saying the same thing to us, something out of the ordinary is coming your way;  new levels of favor, unprecedented opportunities, divine connections, God has A’s in your future, people already lined up to be good to you, what makes them an A is you don’t have to find them, they’ll come find you, when you honor God His blessings will chase you down.  you won’t be able to outrun the good things of God. don’t settle where you are in your health, career, relationships, or your walk with the Lord, keep stretching, growing believing, dreaming. don’t let good enough be good enough. be determined to become everything God created you to be;  start moving forward;  enlarge your vision;  make room in your thinking for the new thing God wants to do.  don’t  let your temporary provision become permanent.  if you’ll learn this principle of stretching and not settling, then you will see the fullness of what God has in store, you’ll overcome obstacles, accomplish dreams, you’re going to make it all the way into your promised land.

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Fear not

JP provided this wonderful quote tonight:

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

And he specified that God does NOT want us to fear Him, because fear leads to hate;  He wants to be respected but NOT feared.  I had always been 100% certain that this whole “fear God/Jesus” concept was way off the mark, and I choked up heavily when JP said the preceding line, so…  he’s right.  I’ll have to start watching him more often, clearly.

After the sermon, they showed some clips from a best-of DVD that JP has put out.  One of them was his explanation as to why we’re supposed to tell God what we want, to ask Him for things, when He’s all-knowing and so already knows.  The reason he gives is because God wants us to communicate with Him, and that when we do so it is “His joy, His delight, His pleasure.”  I hope this one is true… I think it is, because JO says that God wants us to talk to Him all day long.  I do hope that my doing just that DOES bring Him joy!!

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From JO’s sermon tonight:

in life, we’re always waiting for something, for a dream to come to pass, to meet the right person, for a problem to turn around; much of life is spent waiting;  there’s a right way to wait and a wrong way to wait

Isaiah 40:31 (KJB)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

we hear that word “wait” and most of the time we think that means do nothing, be passive, but the Amplified version explains what the word “wait” really means

Isaiah 40:31 (AMP)

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

those who expect, hope, look for God’s goodness;  waiting is not supposed to be passive, true waiting is actively expecting;  I prayed, I believed, now I’m looking for God’s goodness, I’m expecting my health to improve, I’m expecting new doors to open, I’m expecting to have a blessed year.”  that’s what it really means to wait.

Psalm 5:3 (NLT)

Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

when you’re waiting expectantly, you know this could be the day you get the break you need;  this could be the day the problem turns around, there’s an anticipation in your spirit, you talk and act like it’s going to happen, you’re on the lookout;  that expectancy is your faith being released.

Psalm 23:6 (ESV)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever

people were lying about David and falsely accusing him, but he said:

Psalm 27:13 (NLT)

Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

David not only prayed, he not only believed, he took it one step further, he went out looking for God’s favor.  like David, you may be facing difficulties, in the natural it doesn’t look good, but when you’re waiting with expectancy you’re not moved by what you see, you’re moved by what you know.

Psalm 112:4 (NLT)

When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in.

notice, God used the word “bursting”;  He didn’t say it’s going to trickle in;  God said, suddenly things will turn around.  You may have been dealing with the situation for many years, but suddenly the right person will show up, etc;  the right way to wait is not “Oh God, this is never gonna change,”;  get up every morning and say “God, I’m expecting your light to come bursting in, a sudden breakthrough, a flood of your favor, healing, restoration, promotion”;  you wait with expectancy like that, and you’ll see God show up and do amazing things.  some of you have had tough times, maybe you had a bad break, now you’ve settled where you are, thinking you’ve reached your limits, this is as good as it’s ever going to get;  you’ve gotta kick it into a new gear, get your expectations up.

Proverbs 13:21 (NLT)

Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous.

you are the righteous;  what should you be expecting?  trouble, bad breaks, heartache?  no, get in agreement with God, and start expecting His blessings to chase you down. start expecting God’s favor.  when you go through a disappointment, instead of being discouraged, complaining, dig your heels in and say, “I’m not worried, discouraged, I know good breaks are chasing me down.  that’s not just being positive, that’s doing what David did, waiting with expectancy,  you’re saying, “God I know you’re still on the throne, you’re bigger than this difficulty, what you promised in my life will come to pass.  people don’t have the joy they should because they’re not expecting anything good.

Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life

if you’re not expecting to see God’s favor in a new way, you’re not expecting the problem to turn around, it will not only limit what God can do, but it’ll cause your heart to be sick, it’ll cause you to be discouraged.  too many people today are not heathy emotionally because they’re not waiting with expectancy;  get your fire back, God is still on the throne;  it may not have happened on your timetable, but God’s a faithful God, He can still bring it to pass;  do your part and start expecting the light to come bursting in;  start expecting God’s blessings to chase you down;   don’t let people talk you out of it. don’t believe the never lies, “you’ll never get well,” etc, let that go in one ear and out the other;  our attitude should be, “I know my answer is already on the way – I could see it before I go to bed tonight.  it may be impossible in the natural, but I know I serve a supernatural God.” when you wait with expectancy, the most powerful force in the universe goes to work.

James 5:7 (NLT)

Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.

the farmer waits with a confidence;  he knows his crops are going to come up.  that’s the way we’re supposed to wait on what God promised us.  like the farmer, you prayed, planted, you’ve watered your seed, you thanked God, now you’ve gotta come over into this confidence, a knowing that says not IF it happens but WHEN it happens.  my God is Jehova Jireh, the Lord my provider, He is not affected by the economy, He controls is all.  I don’t think so, I know so;  as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.  God said He would give me the desires of my heart.  you’ve got to have this unshakeable confidence. just like you know the sun is going to come up in the morning, you know what God promised you is going to come to pass.  it may happen today, it may happen next week, or next year, but like that farmer you know that you know your harvest is on its way.

Job was restored 9 months later with twice what he had before;  God chose Job as an example of how to wait.  God is saying, when you go through a loss, a disappointment, a bad break, don’t expect to come out the same, expect to come out better off than you were before; a relationship didn’t work out, etc, you could easily be negative and discouraged, settle where you are;  God wants to take what was meant for your harm and use it to your advantage, to increase you;  dare to believe you’re going to come out with twice what you had before. some of you are just hoping to halfway recover, you might be happy just to get back to where you were before, but that’s not the way our God works.  God is going to make the enemy pay for bringing that trouble into your life.  God is saying, get ready for double;  you have not seen your best days. weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning.  God is going to give you beauty for those ashes;  He’s going to make the rest of your life better than it would have been if that would have never happened.  but you’ve gotta do your part, and start waiting with expectancy.  if you’re sitting around discouraged, in self-pity, thinking you’ve seen your best days, it will limit what God can do.  shake it off and start waiting like Job.  “Father, I want to thank you that double is coming my way.  this person may have walked out on a relationship and done me wrong, but Lord, I just thank you for bringing me somebody twice as fun, friendly, good-looking, well-off.”  we serve a far-out God; He wants to do more than you can ask or think. He wants to bring you out like Job, with double.

when a farmer is waiting for his harvest, he doesn’t sit around passively and not do anything for months and months;  while he’s waiting he gets things ready to go.  he hasn’t seen one plant come up out of the ground, yet he’s making all kinds of preparations for the harvest that he knows is coming;  he has such a confidence that he’s putting actions behind his faith;  that’s what it means to wait like a farmer.  you’re not just hoping, praying, you’re getting prepared, taking steps of faith.

when is the problem going to turn around?  SOON.  your answer should always be SOON, say it by faith. when you put actions behind your faith it gets God’s attention.  can your faith be seen? are you doing anything to show God you’re not just hoping, praying; like the farmer you’re getting prepared?  when your faith can be seen God goes to work.  don’t make plans to go downhill, expect to get better.  do something so your faith can be seen. the enemy wants you to plan for defeat, mediocrity;  shake that off, make plans for victory.  can your faith be seen?  are you waiting like the farmer making preparations for your harvest?  that’s what it means to wait with expectancy;  when God can see your faith, He can do the impossible.

scripture tells us to have the faith of a little child (NB:  as best as I can determine it actually doesn’t, although many people refer to this always unspecified scriptural concept).  how many of us are waiting for God to part the sea like He did last time?  God showed you favor, opened the door, and you walked through it;  but this time God has a Jordan River in front of you, it’s not going to open up until your faith can be seen (as in the Old Testament when the waters only parted as the people waded in).  what can you do to show God that you’re trusting Him?  waiting with expectancy is saying by your actions “God I’m expecting your light to come bursting in.”  when your faith can be seen, God goes to work.  when you wait with expectancy, amazing things can happen.  let your faith be seen.  make preparations for the harvest that you know is coming. get up every morning, bring your request to God, and then go out looking for God’s goodness, looking for good breaks, expecting God’s favor.

when you face disappointments, don’t get discouraged, God promised the light is going to come bursting in;  suddenly the answer will come, suddenly you’ll get the breaks you need.  God has some suddenlies in your future, He’s not only going to bring you out, He’s going to bring you out like Job with double, better off than you were before.  get your expectations up today.  it may not have happened in the past, but God is still on the throne, it can happen in your future.   if you’ll learn to wait with this expectancy, not get discouraged if it doesn’t happen on your timetable, you’ll see what you were expecting come to pass, God’s blessings will chase you down, the light’s going to come bursting in, you will overcome every obstacle, defeat every enemy, and become everything God’s created you to be.

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(1:45 AM)

From JO’s sermon tonight:

we all know that God opens doors;  favor, good breaks, promotion, that’s the hand of God opening the door.  but the same God that opens doors will close doors.  you prayed, but you didn’t get the promotion, the relationship didn’t work out.  often we get discouraged, we feel like God has let us down, but God can see the big picture for your life;  God knows where every road is leading, He can see around the corner, to us it looks great, what we can’t see is there’s danger,  heartache, trouble up ahead;  a big part of faith is trusting God when you don’t understand it, on the surface it looks perfect, you can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work out, but God can see a thousand things that we that cannot see, God may close the door because you’re believing too small, if He opened it it would limit what He wants to do in your life;  or it’s not the right time, there are other people involved and they’re not ready yet, if God opened it now, it wouldn’t work out.  God has your best interests at heart;  when a door closes, you don’t know what God’s saving you from;  if your prayers don’t get answered the way you want, instead of being discouraged, have a bigger perspective; the reason the door closed is because God has something better in store.

if God wanted you to have that promotion you’d have gotten it, if God had wanted that person to stay, they would have stayed, shake it off, the right people are in your future;   the closed doors are not an accident.  you may not understand it now, to you it looks like the opportunity of a lifetime just passed you by, but one day you’ll look back and thank God for the closed doors; because if God hadn’t closed the door you’d have been stuck at one level and not seen the amazing favor that God has in store for your future.  come to this place where you have such a trust in God, you’re so confident that He’s directing your steps, you say “God, my life is in your hands,” if a door closes, you don’t get your way, you don’t get upset;  your attitude is, I know this door didn’t close by accident, God closed it on purpose, and what God closes I don’t want open, I don’t want my way, I want His way, He knows what’s best, He can see what I can’t see, God not my will but let Yours be done;  that’s a very freeing way to live, when you really believe God’s in complete control, it takes all the pressure off.

the same God that opens doors will close doors;  you have to trust Him;  you might not understand it now, but one day you will. God knows what He’s doing, don’t be discouraged by your closed doors. if God wants a door to open you can be sure it will open, all the forces of darkness cannot stop it.  when you pray, believe, stand in faith and the door doesn’t open, take is as a sign from God, it’s not his best; God loves you too much to open that door. God is not letting you down, He’s doing you a favor, He’s keeping you from all kinds of heartache and pain.  if we’re really going to trust God, we have to be content with the answer God gives us;  often, we say we’re trusting, but we’re only going to be happy if God does it our way on our timetable.  you have to say “God, if this is what you want for me, if this is Your best for my life, I know You’re in complete control, there’s no power greater than Yours, I trust You, if it happens I’m going to be happy and thank You for it;  if it doesn’t work out I’m not going to get discouraged, or quit believing, I know You have something better in store.”  this takes all the pressure off, you’re not frustrated if it doesn’t work out, you don’t live in self-pity if it doesn’t happen your way.  you know the steps and the stops of a good person are ordered by the Lord.

Psalm 37:23 (KJV)

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord

our thinking is limited, God’s plan for your life is so much bigger than your own plan, that if God didn’t close certain doors it would keep you from your destiny.

God’s plan cannot be stopped by a bad break, disappointment or person, God has the final say;  God’s dream for your life is so much bigger than your own dream; there will be times that a door will close that you don’t understand.  it doesn’t make sense, they were the perfect man, woman, they broke off the relationship, the loan didn’t go through.  one day it will make sense, you’ll look back and say God, thank you.  will you stay in faith while you wait to see what God is up to?  will you not get discouraged and start complaining?  trust God with your life, He knows what He’s doing. the closed doors are just as important as the open doors.  don’t be discouraged by your closed doors, that’s God protecting you from heartache, the wrong people, living a limited life.  God has more for you than you could ask or think, an exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond future.  God loves you so much that He hasn’t answered certain prayers, He hasn’t allowed certain people into your life that you really wanted because they would have limited your growth;  learn to trust Him, thank Him for your open doors, celebrate His goodness, but thank Him just as much for your closed doors knowing that He’s still directing your steps. if you’re discouraged because your plan didn’t work out, shake it off, move forward, God has something better in front of you.  God isn’t hindering you, He’s helping you, He’s getting you in position for the amazing future He has in store.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God’s way is better than your way, His plan is bigger than your plan, his dream for your life is more rewarding, more fulfilling, better than you’ve ever dreamed of.  stay open and let God do it His way.  put the request on the altar;  say “God, You know what it means to me, if it’s not Your best I don’t want it.  I trust You.”  when you want something so badly you don’t think you can live without it, you try to force it to happen, God is so merciful, if it’s not His best He’s not going to answer that prayer, He loves you too much to open that door;  trust Him, He wants you to fulfill your destiny more than you do, He’s in complete control.  when you come to a closed door, that is a test of your faith; are you going to get bitter, live in self-pity, give up on your dreams, or move forward knowing that God is still in control? If you will pass the test, God will release what He has in your future.  many times it will be exactly what you’re praying for.  God will bring that person back, or He’ll bring an opportunity or that dream to pass,  God just wants to see do you trust Him enough to be happy even if it doesn’t happen your way.  When you face a disappointment, a closed door, your plans don’t work out, and you keep a good attitude, you stay in faith, you are passing the test; that’s what allows God to give you back what you really want the most. 

Proverbs 20:24 (NLT)

The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?

if you’re trying to figure everything out, all that’s going to do is make you confused.  let it go and move forward, God can see things that you can’t see.  it may not make sense right now, but one day when God’s whole plan unfolds you’ll see what God is up to.  part of trusting is saying “God I don’t understand it, it doesn’t seem fair, but God I believe that my steps and my stops are ordered by you. I know that just as You can open doors You will close doors.  I’m going to keep a good attitude and move forward in faith knowing that You have my best interests at heart.”

a woman said, “God, nothing went right today.”  God replies, “Your alarm didn’t go off because there was a drunk driver on the freeway;  I delayed you on purpose so you wouldn’t be harmed.  the sandwich, you had to send that back because the first person that made it wasn’t feeling well, and I didn’t want you to catch what they had, so I had somebody else remake it.  the phone call driving home, I caused it to drop on purpose because that person was going to spread rumors and fill you with all kinds of trash, and I didn’t want you to be contaminated.  the foot massager had a short in it, if it would have turned on it would have blown out power to the whole house, and I didn’t think you’d want to sit around in the dark all evening, so I caused it to not turn on.”

God knows exactly what He’s doing, everything about your life is calculated;  you may not understand it, but it’s because you’re not God. God has a reason.  every door that’s closed God had a purpose for it closing. since the Lord is directing our steps, let’s don’t try to figure out everything that happens along the way, let’s just trust Him. there may be things that you cannot figure out why it happened right now, seems like a big disappointment, one day you’ll thank God that the door closed.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NASB)

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

right now you can’t see it all clearly, but one day it will come into focus, and you’ll look back and say “Wow, God you are amazing. you had it all figured out, all lined up, You closed the door on purpose so Your perfect will would be done.”   don’t fight your closed doors.  God knows what He’s doing; He can see the big picture for your life. those closed doors were not an accident, that was God directing your steps; the reason God closed them is because He has something better in store.  one day it will make sense. you’re not really trusting if you’re only going to be happy if it happens your way;  not my will, let Your will be done;  if you’ll have this perspective, and not only thank God for your open doors but thank Him just as much for your closed doors, you’ll pass the test;  you’ll see the exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond future that God has in store.

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Running your race

(1 AM)

From JO’s sermon tonight:

in life, there will always be people who try to pressure you into being who they want you to be;  they didn’t breathe life into you, empower you, God did, and to become who God created to be, you have to have a boldness, you can’t be insecure and worry about what everybody thinks, if you change with every criticism, play up to people to try to win their favor, you’ll go through life being manipulated;  you can’t keep every person happy, make everyone like you, even if you changed and did exactly what they asked they’d still find fault, you’re not really free until you’re free from trying to please everybody;  you’re kind, respectful, but you’re not living to please people, you’re living to please God;  if you’re doing  to the best of your ability what you know God wants you to do, stay focused on your goals;  if people get don’t understand you, that’s ok, if you lose some friends because you wouldn’t let them control you, they weren’t true friends anyways, you’re better off without them, if people start talking critical, jealous, trying to make you look bad,  don’t let that change you, you don’t need their approval, you have God’s approval;  some of you would go to a new level if you’d get free from what everybody thinks and start being true to who God made you to be, we spend too much time trying to impress people, gain their approval, we make decisions based on these superficial things

the #1 regret of people at the end of their lives is:  I wish I’d been true to who I was, and not just lived to meet the expectations of others;  how many people today are not being true to who they are because they’re afraid they’re going to disappoint somebody, fall out of their good grace, not be accepted;  you can’t live trying to be who others want you to be, you’ve got to stay true to who God has called you to be

God doesn’t want us to be an imitation of somebody else, be the original God created you to be;  there is an anointing on your life not to be someone else, you are anointed to be you;   if you let people squeeze you into their mold, if you change with every criticism, that’s not only going to take away your uniqueness, it’s going to lessen God’s favor and anointing on your life;  if you change with every criticism you won’t have a chance

Like the apostle Paul:

1 Corinthians 9:26 (NLT)

26 So I run with purpose in every step.

in order to please God, you may have to disappoint a few people;  scripture talks about how some love the praise of people more than the praise of God

John 12:43 (NIV)

43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

one of the tests that we all have to face is someone in our life that we love, look up to, they want us to go a certain direction, but we know in our heart God wants us to go another direction;  we don’t want to lose their friendship, disappoint them, we want their approval, but if you’re going to fulfill your destiny you’ve got to be strong, you have to have this attitude, I want the praise of God more than I want the praise of people;  I have an assignment, purpose, destiny, I’m going to become who God’s created me to be;  if you will please God, be true to who He’s made you to be, eventually you will have the praise of people;  you may lose a few friends early on, people don’t understand you, think you’re making a big mistake, but later on they’ll see you walking in the fullness of your destiny;  some of you would see God’s favor increase, new opportunities and relationships, if you’d just get free from what people think, and start doing what God’s put in your own heart;  if you try to please everybody you’ll be confused, frustrated, life will be miserable;  everyone has a right to their opinion, and I have every right to not listen to it;  if it doesn’t match what God put in your heart, let in go in one ear and out the other

if you try to please every person the one person that will not be happy is you, sometimes the people that are trying to run your life, they can’t even run their own lives much less yours; it’s good to get advice and listen to opinions, but you’ve got to be confident enough in who God made you to be, that when something doesn’t bear witness with your spirit you have a boldness to say thanks but no thanks, I love you, I appreciate your advice, but this time it’s not for me

the reason some people are not enjoying their life is they’ve stepped out of their anointing; everything’s a struggle, it’s because they’ve let people talk them into it;  no matter how good of an idea it is, if it doesn’t bear witness to what you’re feeling in your own spirit, be strong and run your own race.

there can be alot of things that look fine on the surface, but you’ve gotta search your heart, and say God, is this for me, is this a part of my destiny, is this a God idea, or is this just a distraction?  is this just people trying to squeeze me into their mold?  if people call you, people will have to take care fo you, but when God calls you, God will take care of you;  what God orders, He will pay for;  just because something is good, if it’s not God’s plan for your life there won’t be an anointing on it;  listen to what you’re feeling down in here, don’t go against that still small voice, you’re not anointed to be everywhere, you’re anointed to be where God’s called you to be;  don’t let people talk you into leaving your sweet spot; some people will use scripture, spiritual language, to try to convince you to do what they want you to do;  God will give you direction for your life more than anyone else;  if someone speaks into your life they should confirm what you already know.  in the Old Testament the prophets told people what to do, but in the New Testament the Holy Spirit lives on the inside of each one of us;  you don’t need anyone to tell you what to do or not to do

when we come to the end of life, we’re not going to stand before any person and give our account, we’re going to stand before God;  He’s not going to say “Why didn’t you do what they said, fit into their mold, take their opinion?” He’s going to ask, “Did you become who I created you to be, did you stay true to what I put in your heart?”  this is where Saul missed it:

1 Samuel 15:24  (NLT)

… I have disobeyed your instructions and the LORD’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded.

why?  he was a people-pleaser, so he forfeited his destiny in order to please people

be aware of high maintenance people who are almost impossible to keep happy;  you have to meet their demands, be available 24/7, if not, they get upset, and they’ll do their best to make you feel guilty about it;  they’re almost always controllers, they’re not interested in you, but in what you can do for them;  if you fall into that trap of trying to keep them happy, it’ll wear you out, and you’ll live your life frustrated;  your time is too valuable to go around trying to figure out how to keep everybody happy; if you’re going to do anything great in life, not everybody is going to cheer you on;  some people can’t handle your success;  as you succeed, as God pours out His favor, somebody will get jealous, start finding fault;  let that bounce off of you like water off of a duck’s back, if you don’t you’ll start changing, being defensive, trying to prove to them that you really are ok;  your destiny is too great to be distracted by people that are never going to like you;  don’t take it personally, it’s not about you, it’s about the favor God put on your life, that stirs up the jealousy in them;  until they deal with it, nothing’s going to change;  you might as well just shake it off, be happy, and run your race, because no matter how good you are to them, they’re still going to find fault.  no matter how much kindness you show, they will still find some reason to be critical.

no matter what you do, you’re not going to please everyone.  you might as well accept the fact that not ever person is going to understand you, and that’s ok; they have a right to their opinion, and you have every right to ignore it;   if you’re going to run your race, don’t share your dreams with everyone; don’t go around telling people what’s in your heart and all your goals;  some things you’re supposed to keep to yourself;  the scripture even talks about the hidden petitions of your heart

Psalm 37:4 (AMP)

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

that’s supposed to be between you and God;  what gets us off course sometimes is we share our dreams with people that can’t handle it;  certain dreams you should keep to yourself;  you may be excited, but other people are not going to be excited;  they’re not going to celebrate what God’s put in your heart, you’ll be much better off to just learn to keep it to yourself;  let your dreams take root in your own spirit, ponder it on the inside, between you and God, when it’s time to bring it to pass God will help you to give birth to every dream He’s placed in your heart;  always be kind, but be confident enough in who God made you to be that you don’t live to please people, you live to please God;  our attitude should be, I’m free to be me, and I’m going to be the best me that I possibly can.  you don’t have to try to play up to people to try to win their approval, you have Almighty God’s approval;  quit worrying about what everybody thinks, as long as you’re being true to what God’s put in your heart don’t look to the left nor to the right, stay focused on your goals;  if you’ll make this decision that you’re going to run your race, God will get you to where you’re supposed to be, you’ll overcome every obstacle and accomplish every God-given dream

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