from JO’s sermon tonight:
one touch of God’s favor can put you 50 years down the road. you can be at a lower position at the office, you’re going along, being your best, honoring God, and suddenly things change; one good break, idea, person that likes you, you look up and find yourself at the top. you didn’t see it coming, things just fell into place; that’s God shifting things in your favor. God can cause opportunity to find you. He has unexpected blessings; suddenly you meet the right person, your health improves, you’re able to pay your house off. what happened, you came into a shift; God breathed in your direction. what used to be a struggle is not anymore, what should have taken years happened in a fraction of the time. you may feel like you’re stuck today, you could never accomplish a dream, overcome a problem, it’s been too long, you’ve missed too many opportunities; God is sayin’, “no, get ready, I’m about to shift things, doors are going to open for you that have not opened in the past, the people that were against you are going to suddenly change their mind and be for you, that problem that’s dogged you for years, looked like it’d never change, it’s going to suddenly turn around.” this is the year of the shift; because you’ve honored God, He’s gonna put you in a position that you could have never attained on your own. it’s not just your education, talent, or the family you came from, it’s the hand of God, shifting you to a new level of your destiny.
I’m not just trying to make you feel good today, I’m prophesying a shift is coming; a shift in your health, finances, a relationship. it may not look like it in the natural, but we serve a supernatural God. He’s about to breathe in your direction in a new way, the enemies you’ve seen in the past you will see no more: the addictions, bad habits that are holding you back, are being broken, and God’s favor is being released in a new way. it’s going to propel you forward; what should have taken you 40 years to accomplish, God’s going to do in a split second. the shift is acceleration, going beyond where you could go on your own, overcoming what a medical report says is impossible, seeing that wayward child change his mind and get back on the right course, having your best year when the circumstances say you should have a down year, seeing Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord our provider, not only provide, but do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond. our attitude should be, “God I’m ready. I’m taking the limits off of you, enlarging my vision. I may not see a way but I know You have a way. I declare I’m coming into a shift.” those doors that were closed in the past, you need to go check again, things have shifted. the dream you had, to start a new business, go back to college, it may not have happened the first time, but that’s ok, it’s prepared you for this time. don’t give up on it, it’s a new day; things have shifted, pursue it again. when God breathes in your direction, people change their mind, closed doors suddenly open, the noes turn into yeses, the “not nows” into “it’s your time.” you need to get ready, these shifts are in your future.
the Israelites had been in slavery for many years, mistreated by their captors, forced to work long hours, not given the proper rest or food; one day through a series of events, God supernaturally brought them out. as they were leaving, God caused them to have favor with their enemies:
Exodus 3:21-22 (NIV)
21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”
Exodus 12:35-36 (NIV)
35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.
notice, God caused them to have favor. the same people that had oppressed them for years, pushed them down and mistreated them, suddenly changed their mind; they said in effect, “we’ve decided that we like you now, we want to be good to you.” (NB: what it actually says in the Bible is that God “struck down all the firstborn in Egypt,” and that’s why Pharaoh told them to go, for fear of their lives, not because of a change of heart… but it was still a shift caused by God, so the principle is the same.) on their way out, they gave the Israelites their gold, silver and jewels; what happened? the Israelites came into a shift; God changed their enemies’ mind.
Proverbs 21:1 (ESV)
21 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.
we may not be able to change people’s mind, but God can; He controls the whole universe. you may have people in your life like this, people that don’t like you; a boss that’s hard to get along with, a family member that’s disrespectful. it’s easy to get discouraged, and think, “this is always gonna be this way, they’re always gonna be against me.” no, stay in faith, God has a shift coming, God knows how to cause them to like you, God can cause them to see you in a new light. they may have been against you year after year, but when God shifts things, they’ll go out of their way to be good to you. instead of hindering you, they’ll help you. God will not allow any person to keep you from your destiny; they may be bigger, stronger, more powerful, but God knows how to shift things around and get you to where you’re supposed to be. quit worrying about the people that are trying to hold you back; God knows how to move the wrong people out of your life and bring the right people in. and even if God doesn’t move them:
Psalm 18:29 (AMP)
29 For by You I can run through a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.
God can cause you to go over, around or through them, but God is going to get you to where you’re supposed to be. some of you feel like you’re too far back, the obstacles are too big, you can never really get ahead, no, all God has to do is breathe in your direction; one simple shift can take you from the back to the front: one good break, idea, divine connection. all God has to do is shift the direction, and you’ll go from the back up to the front; you are one shift from seeing a dream come to pass, seeing your health improve, meeting the right person. you can’t have faith if you don’t first have hope. when you go out with the attitude, “God, I believe things are shifting in my favor this year,” that’s not just being positive, that’s your faith being released. God says to the angels, “they believe I’m all-powerful, I can do the impossible; let Me move this person out of the way, open up this new door, line up this new relationship, turn that negative situation around.”
Luke 4:17-19 (MSG)
he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written… “This is God’s year to act!”
not next year, not in 5 years, not in the sweet by-and-by, this is the year God’s gonna shift things in your favor. He’s getting it all lined up. what you could not make happen on your own, God is going to cause you accomplish it’s going to be bigger than you thought, it’s going to happen quicker than you imagined, and it’s going to be more rewarding than you ever dreamed of.
(NB: in Genesis 32:28 Jacob is renamed Israel; JO keeps saying Jacob in the following story, but by this point in the Bible he is Israel, as shown in the scripture included below)
Jacob was an old man, very close to death; his son Joseph came to visit him, and say his goodbyes. he and his father were very close; Joseph was Jacob’s favorite child, he was the youngest son, the one Jacob gave the coat of many colors to. Joseph was standing before him with his 2 sons:
Genesis 48:13-20 (NIV)
13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn…
17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” … 20So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
the right hand in those days always gave the greatest blessing; it belonged to the first-born son, that was the tradition. Jacob was saying in effect, “Ephraim may have come 2nd, he may have been in the back, he doesn’t deserve it, didn’t qualify for it, he’s not next in line, but I’m shifting him to a new position, I’m taking him from the back up to the front, I’m gonna give him what he doesn’t deserve.” (NB: the general opinion seems to be that Israel foresaw that Ephraim would be greater and thus gave him the greater blessing, but the Bible is mum on that and JO’s guess could be as valid as anyone else’s.) that’s the way our God is; He has shifts in your future that will put you at a position that you didn’t earn, qualify for, you weren’t next in line, you didn’t have seniority, but God is gonna cross his hands and say, “I’m gonna move them up from the back to the front, from not being qualified to suddenly being qualified, from being looked down on, disrespected, to being honored, seen with influence and credibility.” some people will be bothered by it, they think, “that’s not fair, I worked harder, I have more seniority,” but it’s just the goodness of God. God said because you honor Him, He’ll give you:
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
that’s God crossing His hands, giving us what should have taken years to earn. God is saying to you, “I’m gonna bless you on purpose, move you up, accelerate your dreams, give you what you didn’t deserve, shift you into a position that you could have never gotten to on your own.” we can all make excuses, “I’m not qualified, I’ve made too many mistakes, I don’t have the talent, size, personality, confidence”; God says, “I know all that, I created you, but I’m about to cross my hands and bless you in such a way that everyone will know it’s Me and not you.” don’t talk yourself out of it. Moses said, “God, not me, I stutter, I can’t go speak to Pharaoh”
Exodus 6:12 (MSG)
12 Moses answered God, “Look – the Israelites won’t even listen to me. How do you expect Pharaoh to? And besides, I stutter.”
God said, “Moses, don’t worry about it, I’m crossing my hands, I’m giving you what you need.” Gideon said, “God, I come from the poorest family, I’m the least one around here, I can’t lead this army”; God said, “Gideon, don’t worry, I’m crossing my hands, you’re coming into a shift, I’m gonna move you from the back to the front.”
Judges 6:15-16 (NIV)
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.”
16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
a shift is coming. whatever level you’re at, God is about to cross His hands and put you at a position you could have never gotten to on your own (as I typed this, a car ad (Lincoln) talked about “shifting”); He’s gonna give you what you weren’t in line to receive. start expecting unprecedented favor, believing for God to do something new in your life. many of you can say that God’s been good to you; you’re blessed, healthy, got a good family, great job, and that’s all perfect, but you haven’t seen anything yet. God has shifts in your future that if He showed you now you wouldn’t believe it; it’s exceedingly abundantly above and beyond. you think you’re hitting on all cylinders, but if you only knew what God has in store, it’s like you’re in 2nd gear; you’re making progress, healthy, moving forward, but God is about to shift you out of 2nd, past 3rd, 4th, into overdrive. you’re going to see the surpassing greatness of God’s favor. because you’ve honored God, living a life of excellence and integrity, God’s going to take you beyond your training, education, income, beyond where anyone in your family has gone; this shift is gonna put you in a place where you’ll look back and say, “wow, God, you have amazed me with your goodness.”
when the Israelites were in the desert headed toward the promised land, they had manna to eat each day, it’s something like bread. after a while they got tired of it; they complained to Moses that they didn’t have any meat to eat, and:
Numbers 11:13-23 (NLT)
13 Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep complaining and saying, ‘Give us meat!’… 18 “And tell the people to purify themselves, for tomorrow they will have meat to eat. Tell them, ‘The LORD has heard your whining and complaints: “If only we had meat to eat! Surely we were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will have to eat it. 19 And it won’t be for just a day or two, or for five or ten or even twenty. 20 You will eat it for a whole month… 21 But Moses said, “There are 600,000 foot soldiers here with me, and yet you promise them meat for a whole month! 22 Even if we butchered all our flocks and herds, would that satisfy them? Even if we caught all the fish in the sea, would that be enough?” 23 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Is there any limit to my power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!”
God was saying, “just because you don’t see a way, Moses, doesn’t mean that I don’t have a way; all I have to do is shift a few things around and I can bring it to pass.”
Numbers 11:31 (KJV)
31 And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
notice how good God is; they didn’t even have to go out and hunt, the quail came to them, they just went out of their tent, picked up as many as they wanted. God knows how to shift things so that blessings come to you, the right people search you out, good breaks find you. when you honor God, when you’re good to people, kind, compassionate, merciful, the blessings will come looking for you. you don’t have to go after them, God will shift things to cause the right people to come across your path. God will put you at the right place at the right time, so provision, opportunity, it comes to you.
Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)
6 …‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
that word “spirit” in the Hebrew means “breath.” it’s saying, it’s not gonna happen just by our talent, connections, who we know; it’s going to happen because God breathes in our direction, God shifts the winds and blows healing, promotion, restoration our way. how are you going to get well, the medical report says it’s impossible, no, God is breathing healing your way; health, wholeness, restoration, it’s headed toward you. how are you gonna accomplish your dreams, you may not know the right people or have the $ or feel like you have the talent, no, God is breathing ideas, resources, the right people. if you will stay faithful and just keep honoring God, suddenly things will change. suddenly you come into abundance, your child straightens up, you get well. some of you have struggled in an area, health, finances, relationship, for a long time, and you keep wondering, is it ever gonna change? God is saying, “yes, a shift is coming, I’m gonna shift you outta sickness into health, out of lack into abundance, out of struggle into ease. I’m about to cross My hands and give you what you did not deserve.” get ready, this is the year of the shift. because you have been faithful and honored God, God is going to put you at a position you could’ve never gotten to on your own. doors are gonna open for you that have not opened before. what should have taken you 40 years to accomplish, God’s gonna do in a split second. you’re coming into acceleration. suddenly a dream comes to pass, a promise is fulfilled, the negative turns around. get ready for the surpassing greatness of God’s favor, 2013 is gonna be an exceptional year for you and your family; you’re going to come into these shifts.