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Archive for November 9th, 2015

Keep your crown

from JO’s sermon last night:

when God breathed His life into you, He put a crown on your head; the Psalmist called it:

Psalm 8:5 (TLB)

5 … a crown of glory and honor

this crown represents your authority, God’s blessing and favor on your life. it’s a reminder that you’re not average, mediocre;  you are royalty. when you’re wearing your crown, you’ll feel a sense of entitlement, thinking, “I have a right to be blessed, live in victory, overcome these challenges, not because I’m so great, strong, talented, but because I’m wearing a crown of honor, put there by my Creator.”  your perception of yourself will determine what kind of life you live; if you see yourself as being average, you feel less-than because of what somebody said, you live guilty because of past mistakes, that’s going to limit your potential. what’s happening? you’re not wearing your crown.  Jesus said:

Revelation 3:11 (NASB)

11 … hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown

throughout life, there will always be someone or something trying to take your crown; people talking about you, trying to make you look bad, push you down.  what they’re really doing is trying to get your crown. do yourself a favor; don’t let them have it. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “no one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” nobody can take your crown; you have to let go of it. somebody may say to you, “you’re not that talented, you’ll never be successful, you can’t start your own business”; too often, we think, “you’re right, I don’t have what it takes. look how long it’s been. I’m not as smart as my cousin.” what’s happening? you’re letting go of your crown. when those thoughts tell you, “you’re not attractive enough,” just say, “no thanks; you’re not taking my crown. I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, one-of-a-kind.” “you’ll never get out of debt, never send your children to college”; “no thanks, I will lend and not borrow. whatever I touch will prosper and succeed.” you’re not just being positive, you’re holding onto your crown.

thoughts say, “look at where you are in life. you should be ashamed of yourself: the mistakes you’ve made, the times you failed”;  “no, you’re not having my crown. I may have fallen, but look at me now; I didn’t stay down, I got back up again. I made mistakes; that didn’t change my name, I’m still a child of the most high God.” if you’re going to keep your crown, you have to dig your heels in, and say, “I’m not going to let what somebody said, or who walked away, or what didn’t work, steal my sense of value. I know I have been crowned with honor.” when somebody tries to make you feel small, they say something derogatory, instead of being upset and believing it, just reach up and straighten your crown. they can’t change who you are unless you allow them to. they don’t control your destiny. they don’t determine your value. they didn’t breathe life into you, God did, and He calls you a masterpiece, a king/queen. you’re supposed to reign in life; that’s why He put the crown of honor on your head, to remind you who you are.

but the mistake we make too many times is, we believe the lies. somebody says, “you’re not that talented”; instead of saying, “no thanks,” we say, “you’re right. let me take off my crown.”  “you’re not royalty. you come from the wrong family. you’ll never do anything great”; instead of ignoring it, not giving it the time of day, we think, “what was I thinking? let me take off my crown.”

the enemy’s main tool is deception; there’s nothing he would love any more than for you to go through life not wearing your crown, letting people and circumstances convince you that you don’t deserve to be blessed, you don’t have what it takes, you’ve been through too much, you can’t feel good about yourself. don’t you dare give away your crown; it belongs to you. it was put there by your Creator. it has nothing to do with how you feel, how you look, what other people said; it’s based solely on the fact that you are a child of Almighty God.  He has crowned you with glory and honor.  just because somebody doesn’t believe in you, that doesn’t mean that has to stop your dream. the reason people don’t always encourage you and cheer you on is because they can’t feel what you feel; God didn’t put the dream in them, He put the dream in you.

don’t let their discouragement steal your enthusiasm. they may be experts, but the experts can be wrong. keep your crown on. keep believing, hoping, pursuing. you don’t need everyone to be for you; you and God are a majority. when you’re wearing your crown, God will open doors that no man can shut. He’ll help you accomplish what you could not accomplish on your own. He wouldn’t have put the dream in you if He didn’t already have a way to bring it to pass. people don’t determine your destiny.  they don’t know what’s in you.  don’t take off your crown because somebody judged you by the outside, told you you’re not talented, attractive, tall, or smart enough. you don’t have to have them cheering you on. keep you crown on, keep being your best, honoring God, and He will get you to where you’re supposed to be. Jesus said:

John 5:41 (TLB)

41 “Your approval or disapproval means nothing to me 

that’s a powerful way to live. he was saying, “I know who I am, and nothing you do or don’t do is going to change it. you can celebrate me, or crucify me, but I’m keeping my crown.” people can be funny; one moment, they can be cheering for you, and another moment, they can be putting you down, trying to make you look bad. one moment, Jesus was riding a donkey into town; people were waving palm branches, celebrating his arrival like a king. in a few days, those same people were hollering, “crucify him, he doesn’t deserve to live.”  if you base wearing your crown on whether people like you or don’t, believe in you or don’t, you’re going to be taking your crown on and off your whole life. you don’t need other people’s approval; you have Almighty God’s approval. our attitude should be:  “you can be for or against me, celebrate me, criticize me, but one thing for certain; I’m not giving you my crown. I know who I am. I am royalty, accepted, approved, valuable.

in the scripture, Isaac said to his son Esau:

Genesis 27:35 (TLB)

35 Isaac: “Your brother was here and tricked me and has carried away your blessing.”

sometimes, we let other people carry away our blessing. we let what they say about us, their disapproval, discouraging words, keep us from who we were meant to be. you have to put your foot down, and say, “I am not going to let people talk me out of my dreams. I’m not going to let a coworker make me feel inferior, like I’m not good enough. I’m not going to let a coach, teacher or counselor talk me into living an average, mediocre, get-by life.” you have seeds of greatness. you are destined to leave your mark on this generation. don’t let anyone carry away your blessing.

when we look back, the enemy’s been trying to get our crown from the beginning of time. in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were living confident, secure; they were at peace with God and with themselves, wearing their crowns. they knew they had God’s blessing and favor. but one day, the enemy deceived them into eating the forbidden fruit, when they did, immediately they were afraid; they ran and hid.  in effect, they gave the enemy their crown.  that’s what happens when we’re not wearing our crown; it opens the door to fear, insecurity, shame. we focus on what we’re not, the mistakes we’ve made, what other people said about us. where there’s no crown, there’s no covering, no reminder of who we are. we believe those lies that can push us down.

Genesis 3:8-11 (NASB)

8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the [a]cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? 

God knew he had taken off his crown.  God is asking us today, “who told you there’s something wrong with you? who told you you’re just average, that you can’t accomplish your dreams, that you’re too small, you come from the wrong family, you’re not good enough?” I can assure you, that didn’t come from our God. you need to put your crown back on. you may have let some person or event take it; the good news is, you can get it back.  it’s not too late; you have control over your crown.

it starts in your thinking. no more, “I’m just a C student, I’m just average.”  no, “I’m an A student. I am full of wisdom. I will excel in school.” no more, “I’ve been through too much, I lost a loved one, I’ll never be happy again.” no, “God is giving me beauty for these ashes. what He started in my life, He will finish.” don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself; put your crown back on. no more, “I come from the wrong family, nothing special about me.” no, I’ve been made in the image of Almighty God. I’m a masterpiece, one-of-a-kind, a prized possession.” “I could never do anything great in life, all the odds are against me”; no, “I have the favor of God. I am equipped, empowered, and anointed.” if you’re going to reach your highest potential, you have to keep your crown on. it doesn’t happen automatically. that’s why the scripture says:

Revelation 3:11 (NASB)

11 … hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown

have you allowed something to get your crown? a disappointment, a bad break, a divorce; you’re not passionate about life anymore? your crown is waiting for you. have you let a mistake, failure, bankruptcy, convince you to settle for second best? you need to go get your crown. you wouldn’t be alive unless God had another victory in front of you. start dreaming, believing, hoping again.  when somebody leaves your life, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with you; it could be that the other person is the problem.  have you ever thought about maybe they have some issues? if they left you, they’ll leave the next person. but the accuser will work overtime trying to convince you how you don’t measure up, you’re not valuable, there’s nothing good in your future; he’s trying to take your crown. the scripture says:

 Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

6 …the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you

if they left you, and you needed them, that would mean God was forsaking you, so you can conclude, if they left, you didn’t need them. if they walked away, they weren’t a part of your destiny. Isaiah 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.

you may not realize it, but when they left, in a sense, they did you a favor; they set you up for what God really wants to do. He has somebody amazing in your future, a divine connection, somebody better than you imagined, somebody that will treat you like the king/queen you were meant to be. but you have to do your part, and put your crown back on. it’s not going to happen if you go around negative, discouraged, feeling unattractive; if you’re unattractive on the inside, you’ll be unattractive on the outside. you carry yourself the way you feel about yourself. I’ve seen ladies that were not necessarily that attractive, they didn’t have a lot of outer beauty, but on the inside, they have it going on.

when you’re wearing your crown, you’re confident, secure; you know you’re a masterpiece, one-of-a-kind, a prized possession. you’re not dwelling on all the negative chatter, what you’re not, what you don’t have, what other people are saying. you go through the day with a smile on your face, a spring in your step; you know you’re royalty, that you’ve been crowned with glory and honor. when you live this way, you’re going to come into some divine connections; you won’t have to go after them, God will cause the right people to track you down.

maybe you’ve been through a disappointment, a loss, something didn’t work out; it would be easy for you to feel not attractive, not valuable, not excited about life. get your crown back; that crown is what gives you the favor, causes you to stand out.  nothing that’s happened has lessened your value; you are still the prized possession, the apple of God’s eye. don’t let a disappointment, a loss, carry away your blessing; it’s not the end, it’s a new beginning.

this is what a lady in the scripture had to do, named Naomi. she lost her husband, and then later lost 2 sons in a battle. she was so discouraged, she didn’t think she could go on;  she took off her crown. she used to be happy, now she was bitter. she thought, “I’m done. I’ll never be happy again.” she even changed her name:

Ruth 1:20 (NIV)

20 “Don’t call me Naomi,[a]” she told them. “Call me Mara,[b] because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.

Footnotes:

a. Ruth 1:20 Naomi means pleasant.

b. Ruth 1:20 Mara means bitter.

she was saying, “call me bitter.” the problem is, when you take off your crown, you take off the favor, honor, glory; that’s what you need for God to pay you back. in those tough times, more than ever, you have to keep reminding yourself, “I am a child of the most high God. I’m extremely valuable. God has beauty for these ashes. double is coming my way.” you need people around you that will remind you who you are; not people that will get bitter with you, people who agree with the defeat, mediocrity, but people who will call you blessed, victorious, royalty.  people that will remind you that your best days are still yet to come, that what’s meant for harm, God’s going to use to your advantage. people that will help you keep your crown on.

that’s why every week I tell you: “you’re blessed, prosperous, redeemed, forgiven, talented, confident, strong, valuable, a masterpiece. what am I doing? making sure that you’re wearing your crown. life will try to take it off: my goal is to help you keep it on.

Naomi thought she was finished. when she went back to her hometown, her daughter-in-law Ruth came with her; Ruth had lost her husband. she met a man named Boaz, and they got married.  one day, they had this little baby boy. at this time, Naomi was way up there in years;  it didn’t look like she had any reason to live. but when she saw that little baby, something came alive on the inside. the scripture says:

Ruth 4:14-16 (NLT)

14 Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. 15 May he restore your youth… 16 Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own.

she didn’t think she’d ever be happy again, but now she’s more fulfilled than ever; that was God paying her back for the unfair things that had happened.

are you wearing your crown today, or have you let a disappointment, a loss, a bad break convince you to take it off?  nothing that’s happened to you has stopped God’s plan; He knows how to give beauty for ashes, and:

Psalm 30:11 (NRSV)

11 You have turned my mourning into dancing

Dancing meme

like Naomi, you may have taken your crown off, thinking that you’ve seen your best days, but you to need to get ready; the latter part of your life is going to be better than the former part. God still has a purpose for you to fulfill. He still has something amazing in your future. put your crown back on.

too many people today are suffering from amnesia; they were born into royalty, created to reign in life, God crowned them with honor and glory, but they’ve forgotten who they are. because of bad breaks, disappointments, mistakes they made, they’re living far below their privileges, thinking that they’re average, beaten down by life.  I’m here to remind you who you are; you are a child of the most high God.  you have royal blood flowing through your veins. there is a crown of honor that belongs to you. your mind may be in a fog, but I believe in your spirit, something is coming alive; strongholds that have held you back are being broken. defeated thinking, negative mentality, those chains are being loosed. you’re going to rediscover who you really are; not average, not mediocre, but royalty, a king/queen. now do your part, and put your crown back on.

when the enemy tries to reprogram your thinking, telling you that you’re average, ordinary, just say, “no thanks; I’m a king/queen, I will not think that way.” when he tries to convince you to live a mediocre, defeated life, say, “no thanks; I know I am royalty; I will not live beneath my privileges. I know who I am; a child of the most high God.” I’m asking you to keep your crown on. you may have been through disappointments, loss; life will always try to take it.  you have to hold fast to what God has given you. don’t let anyone or anything carry away your blessing. if you’ll make this decision with me that you’re going to keep your crown, you will reign in life. you will rise higher, accomplish your dreams, and reach the fullness of your destiny.

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