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Archive for December, 2015

Farewell to 2015

2015 was the best year of my entire life, by such a gargantuan margin that I couldn’t fully explain it to you without sounding like I was being melodramatic or ridiculous.  The basics are:  After a 4-year nightmare consisting of the systematic loss of every person that I considered to be the bedrock of my life, with the ever-increasing suffering that one would expect to accompany it, God narrowed my life down to one point, one moment… and in that moment, I was brought together with my church, and just like in the descriptions of the Big Bang, a whole new universe exploded outwards from that point.  The people I’ve met and become friends with, the experiences I’ve had, the new dimensions of my relationship to God and my worship of Him, that have occurred as a result have been simply extraordinary, doubly so when you consider that it didn’t take any effort from me; God just dropped it all into my lap.  After 4 long, LONG, years in which my faith never wavered no matter what fresh horror I was enduring, God repaid radical faith with radical blessings… and I’m telling you this so that if YOU or someone you know is going through the desert right now like I was, you can feel certain that the promised land is just around the corner.

During my first-ever Sunday church service in the beginning of January, restoration × 7 was prophesied over me; that seemed overly-extravagant at the time, but if anything, it was actually an understatement.  Restoration was the theme for 2015, by which I mean restoration the way God does it; not taking something in bad shape and bringing it back to almost what it originally was, but taking something even in the worst possible shape and making it better than could ever have been imagined.

There’s a word that no one would ever have applied to me before 2015, that got applied to me many times this past year, a word that has become almost a motto for me; JOY.  There are DOZENS of verses in the Bible that talk about how we should feel joy; when God tells us something so many times, you know He means it!!

After such a world-class year, what can I hope for for 2016? There’s a saying that goes something like,”if you want to make God laugh, tell Him what you’re going to do.”  It’s tempting to make a grand proclamation about 2016 based on what I want or hope to accomplish; instead, I’ll simply say that I intend to continue my focus on God, prayer, church, worship, Bible study, and spiritual enhancement in any form.  

I paused here and checked on my end-of-year post for 2014, to make sure I was being at least vaguely consistent in the sorts of things I included in this post. Hair-raisingly, it included the following:

“2015 is the year that my radical faith will be rewarded with radical blessings.  God tore down my old life, and a new and better life starts…  NOW!!”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe it’s a coincidence… or maybe it was God meeting me at the level of my expectation. In case it was the latter, here is what I’m standing in faith that God will do for me in 2016:

2016 will be the year that my absent loved ones will all return, that my innermost circle will be fully rebuilt, far better and stronger than ever before.  After FIVE years of pivotal areas of my life dangling in endless limbo, everything will be rectified and settled to my best advantage, and earlier in 2016 than anyone could imagine, I’m going to have the other of the most precious things that God promises us: REST.

If you’d like to pray for me, please pray that these things will be included in God’s blessings for me for the year.  🙂

This post won’t be complete unless I toss out the year-end stats, so here they are:

Hits:
2010:  76

2011:  525

2012:  7083

2013:  61,189

2014:  108,274

2015:  171,187

It blows my mind that my # of hits for the entire YEAR of 2011 is now what I would consider a mediocre # of hits for ONE DAY; God is AMAZING!!

At the end of 2012, I had a single-digit # of followers. At the end of 2013, I had 75, and asked God for something extravagant, *100* new followers for 2014…  and He came through, because I ended up with 177 followers. For 2015, I ended up with 318 followers, a gain of 141;  thanks to all of you for joining me!!  

I still haven’t done anything to promote the blog, so only God could have caused these increases.  For 2016, I’m asking for 300 new followers and 300,000 hits.

And what about YOU? What are you hoping that God will do for you in 2016? Ask BIG; God owns it all, controls it all, and He can give you the desires of your heart. Thank Him and praise Him all day long. Tell Him about your love, trust, and faith. His love for you is the size of the entire universe; keep on waiting with expectancy, because explosive blessings, unprecedented favor, a life-changing, jet-propelled upwards surge, are just around the corner!!  Happy New Year!!

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(No new sermons for the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s.)

Flashback to October 20, the week that I was transcribing the sermon “Continual Joy,” and the point at which I had started to be concerned about how my Christmas season was going to go this year, with so many things in my life still disarranged, so many people still missing, and this being my first holiday season with my church. Here is what God did:

I was setting up my prayer closet for early-morning prayer, and as I was rolling the final closet door closed, something happened that had NEVER happened in my 2 decades of living here; something shot out, and I mean it went from completely inside the closet to completely out on the carpet in a split second, from under BOTH doors (they overlap in the middle). It was a strip of 2 Christmas stickers that I had never seen before, and had no idea how they had gotten on the floor of my closet; all my Christmas stuff has always been kept in sealed boxes in other rooms of the house, and everything in my closet is packed up as well. I don’t EVER throw anything down on the floor of my closet, and I don’t have any loose bits and pieces on my closet shelves either.  Nevertheless, somehow the stickers had come into the house, gotten on the floor of my closet in the ONE tiny spot of clear carpet where they could have laid flat and thus gotten sucked out, and stayed there unnoticed until that moment…  when they had suddenly, inexplicably, gone at high speed between 2 metal doors and a metal door frame, surrounded by rollers, without sustaining any damage whatsoever… and these are STICKERS, on thin paper backing and with no protective plastic, not titanium sheets.  I sat there looking at them in utter disbelief, not sure whether to be more astounded by their appearance or by their miraculously perfect condition.  I finally looked at the design on them:

The stickers both said, “Christmas Joy.”  

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew immediately that they were sign.  I thanked God over and over. I knew at that moment that this was going to be by far my best Christmas season EVER.

And it WAS!!  Never in any decade of my life, never in any TWO decades of my life, did I ever have as many parties, gifts, and goodies as I did this year!!  I didn’t do anything different, I didn’t make any effort at all, these things just came to me from the people and situations that God has created in my life.  Best of all, though, is that this was the first year I was able to experience Christmas in fellowship with others, rather than alone and having to hide my beliefs from my belligerently atheist roommate.  If that was all there was to the story, it would still be mind-blowing, but there’s MORE:

Fast forward to an ornament exchange party at a friend’s home. This works like a gift exchange, were people can steal any unwrapped one or pick a wrapped one on their turns, and if someone is stolen from, they get to pick again.  I had gone second, and I had THREE ornaments in the bag I got, while everyone else only got ONE. This made it EXTREMELY likely that someone would steal them from me; I had barely glanced at them when I opened them up, because I assumed they would be stolen. God had other plans, though, and once the game was over and they were safe, I took a better look. One of the ornaments was perfect for the church ornament exchange next year, which is all I had been hoping to come out of this party with. The second one turned out to be battery-powered, which I had not noticed previously, and would very likely have guaranteed them being stolen if anyone had realized it; it’s a cute, sparkly snowman… with color-changing LED lights in the base!!  Anyone who knows me knows that I love anything with color-changing LED lights.  The third ornament, in stark and surprising contrast to the ultra-modern snowman, was a very traditional Christmas bell, with a ton of fake pine needles, pinecones, berries, etc, decorating the handle. You’d never expect the same person who was attracted to pick out an LED ornament to also pick out a traditional one… unless God was engineering the purchase. I finally took a good look at the bell:

I got goosebumps from head to toe when I realized that there was a single word painted on it: Joy.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes, God is not subtle.

Of all the words that anyone who ever knew me would’ve used to describe me, throughout my entire life, JOY would never have been one of them… until this year, when the word had been applied to me over and over, and I had adopted it as my…  motto, maybe?  I suppose that a stubborn enough atheist would call all of this a coincidence; you and I know better, though, don’t we?  God continues to repay my radical faith with radical blessings.

If you’re a new reader, let me point out that I went through FOUR YEARS of nonstop loss and suffering, during which my faith never wavered; that is why I’m receiving unprecedented favor.  No matter what you’re going through, no matter how long it has lasted, tell God every day, and tell every person you talk to about your life, that you know that you know that you KNOW that God is going to make good on it, and bring you beauty for your ashes. If you’ll do that, He’ll come through for you.  Count on it!!

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from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all have things in our life that are incomplete: a dream hasn’t come to pass, a problem hasn’t turned around. we’ve made some progress, seen a sign of God’s favor, but it’s still unfinished. the mistake we make too often is, we wait for the total victory to celebrate; “as soon as I get over this illness, this legal situation clears up, I break free from this addiction, then I’ll celebrate.”  no, the key to seeing it come to fulfillment is, you have to celebrate partial victories along the way: you’re not totally out of debt, but you paid off one credit card; celebrate what God has done. you haven’t lost all the weight, but you lost 5 pounds; celebrate that victory. you haven’t received your college degree, but you did finish your first year. when you celebrate your partial victories, it gives you the strength to keep moving forward. when you thank God for the partial victory, He’ll release more healing, strength, favor. 

but sometimes, we’re so focused on the completion, we miss, and take for granted, the small victories. your child may not be on course yet, but he was respectful this morning; that’s a partial victory, thank God for it. you’re struggling with those anxiety attacks, but  you haven’t had one in three weeks; a partial victory, “Lord, thank you that I’m getting better.” or maybe you didn’t make that big sale that you worked so hard for, things fell through, but you did sell something; don’t go around complaining, “I’ll never get ahead,” be grateful for your partial victories. your time is coming.  God is still on the throne. if you’ll pass this test of being grateful for the small, God will release big things in your life. 

when Jesus needed food to 5000 people, his disciples said:

Matthew 14:17-18 (NIV)

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said.

Jesus could’ve looked up to the heavens, and said, “Father, are you kidding? I need to feed 5000, and this is what You’ve given me?” but he saw it from a different perspective; his attitude was, “I could have nothing, but Father, thank You that You’ve blessed me with this small amount. thank You for the 5 loaves and 2 fish.” because he was grateful for the partial, God multiplied and gave him more. are you complaining about the partial, or you celebrating the partial? are you so focused on how far you have to go that you’re missing the small miracles along the way? don’t let the completion of what you’re believing for keep your thanksgiving back; celebrating partial victories is what will lead you to total victory.

in the book of Ezra, the Israelites had a dream to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.  it was a huge task; people came from all over. after much work, they finally finished the foundation. the scripture says:

Ezra 3:10-11 (NLT)

10 When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets. And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord, just as King David had prescribed. 11 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord:

“He is so good!

    His faithful love for Israel endures forever!”

Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.

all they had completed was the foundation, yet they had this huge celebration, this big party. they didn’t have any walls up, no roof, no chairs, just a big piece of property.  they could’ve thought, “we’re never going to get the rest of the materials, we’ll never be able to finish”; instead, they were celebrating that partial victory. “I don’t think I’ll ever break this addiction, I’ve had it for six years”; have you made any progress in the last six years? have you resisted the temptation one time, attended one celebrate recovery class? start thanking God for your small victories. you may not be totally free yet, but at least  you’re in church, listening; that’s a partial victory. you’re not out partying with your friends, out in the clubs, where you used to be;  “Lord, thank You for where You brought me to today.” maybe you’ve been believing to get out of debt, but it’s been a long time, you don’t see how it can happen; have you had any good breaks, seen favor, increase, promotion? even if it’s small, if you’ll be grateful, thank God for the little, that’s a seed you’re sowing for God to bless you with more. if you’ll celebrate your partial victories, that’s what gives you the strength, the encouragement, the determination, to keep going.

in the scripture, a man by the name of Jonah made a mistake; he tried to run away from God, wouldn’t do what he knew he was supposed to do. he ended up in the belly of this whale:

Jonah 1:17 (NIV)

17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

it looked hopeless, like he was done. it was dark, smelly, no way out in the natural. but sitting in the belly of this fish, Jonah said:

Jonah 2:9 (NIV)

9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,

    will sacrifice to you 

Jonah 2:9 (NRSV)

9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving

    will sacrifice to you

he could’ve been depressed, negative; instead, he was thanking God that he was still alive. there were plenty of things to complain about, but he found the one thing that was right, and he thanked God for that partial victory. he wasn’t out, he wasn’t delivered, but at least his life was spared. as he thanked God for the partial, God went to work:

Jonah 2:10 (NIV)

10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

it’s easy to complain about what’s not right; “God get me out of this fish, it stinks in here.” modern-day; “God I don’t like my work, these people don’t treat me right.” complaining doesn’t get God’s attention; when we complain, God tunes it out. if you want God to show up and turn it around, you have to do like Jonah; even in the tough times, find something to thank Him for.

in the book of Genesis, when God created the heavens and the earth, on the first day:

Genesis 1:3 (NIV)

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

there were no skies, no animals, everything was chaotic; it was an unfinished product. but at the end of that day:

Genesis 1:4 (NIV)

4 God saw that the light was good

(Note: God does not say that it was good at the end of the second day. We don’t know why.)

on the 3rd day, God created dry land and vegetation. He still hadn’t made any fish, any animals, there were no mountains, no sunsets, but at the end of that day:

Genesis 1:12 (NIV)

12 … God saw that it was good.

same thing at the end of day four and day five; it was incomplete, the miracle was unfinished, but 4 times God said it is good. on the sixth day, when God completed creation:

Genesis 1:31 (NIV)

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good

if you don’t learn to see the good in the unfinished, you’ll never get to very good. if you’re complaining about where you are, “why am I still struggling in these areas? when is my dream ever going to come to pass?” you’ll get stuck. don’t wait until it’s totally complete, until you see very good, before you give God thanks; find the good along the way, and thank Him for the partial. if you’ll be grateful for the good, God will take you to very good. 

sometimes we think, “when I meet the right person, I’ll have a good attitude. when I break the addiction, get the funding for my dream, then I’ll give God praise”;  no, you have to praise Him for the partial.  when it’s incomplete, when it looks dysfunctional, when the medical report says you’re not going to get well, when your dream seems impossible, find something and thank God for it. if nobody else will celebrate you, you need to learn to celebrate yourself; have your own party, you don’t have to tell anyone, it’s just between you and God. thank Him for His favor in your life, for where He’s brought you to, for fighting your battles. if you’ll keep thanking Him for the good, God will take you to very good.

sometimes, we can be so hard on ourselves; we focus on the areas where we don’t measure up, how we should be further along.  but being down on yourself, negative, critical, that only makes you do worse. we all have flaws, weaknesses, shortcomings. if you keep dwelling on those things, then it’s going to hold you back; you need to focus on what you’re doing right, and not on what you’re doing wrong. find the good. a lot of people have had negative things passed down:  bad habits they have to overcome, generational curses that they had nothing to do with.  it’s easy to stay focused on weaknesses, every time you blew it;  that’s just going to keep you condemned. look away from your flaws, and start seeing yourself as a good parent, a good wo/man.

the enemy doesn’t want you to celebrate yourself; he’ll remind you of everything that you’re not; “you’re not a good parent, how could you say that? you have these flaws, you’re struggling in these areas, you don’t perform perfectly.” let that go in one ear and out the other. you can say, “I may not be a perfect parent, but I can celebrate the fact that at least I’m here, I’m trying, I’m responsible, I’m committed, I’m being my best.”

very few people today can look in the mirror and say, “you are good.” “not me, I don’t perform perfectly, I’ve got struggles, areas of weakness.” no, when you say, “I am good,” it’s not because of who you are, it’s because of Whose you are; you are a child of the most high God. He hand-picked you, breathed life into you, crowned you with His favor, put seeds of greatness on the inside. don’t you dare go around feeling like you don’t measure up, you’re not good enough, intimidated, insecure. who you are is not determined by how you perform; who you are is determined by who your heavenly Father is. you have the DNA of Almighty God. when you make mistakes, and we all do, when you fall down, the enemy will whisper, those condemning voices;  “look at you, you’re a hypocrite. God’s never going to bless you.” just answer back; “I may have fallen down, but I didn’t stay down, I got back up again. I’m on the right course.”  the scripture says:

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)

16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again

don’t live with that heaviness. you could be on the sidelines, depressed, bitter, but look at you, you’re still in the game, you’re redeemed, restored, moving forward, headed towards your destiny. you can feel good about who you are.

on the first day of creation, when God said, “let there be light,” there were no planets, animals, oceans;  He knew it wasn’t finished, but He still took time to celebrate. He still said, “it is good.” we all have things in our life that are not finished; maybe you’re struggling with an addiction, some kind of bad habit, not being patient, losing your temper. we have these weaknesses, but you shouldn’t go around down on yourself, “what’s wrong with me? when am I ever going to do better?” you have to stop along the way and celebrate the small victory, even though the whole thing is not finished. if someone would’ve been watching creation, they would’ve said, “God, what are You talking about, ‘it is good’? it’s not good, it’s chaotic, it’s a big mess. nothing is in order.”

people may look at you and try to judge you; “what do you mean, you feel good about yourself? you still have these weaknesses, you still struggle in these areas.” just tell them, “don’t worry, I’m not a finished product. you’re seeing day 1, day 2, but day 6 is coming; what God started in my life, He’s going to finish.” in the meantime, hold your head up high; you may not be where you want to be, but you can thank God you’re not where you used to be. you’re growing, making progress, coming up higher. don’t get so focused on how far you have to go; celebrate where you are.  thank God for where He brought you to. if you’re waiting for the completion, for the finished product, you’re going to be waiting your whole lifetime; if you don’t learn to celebrate the good in day 1, in the season that you’re in, you’ll never get to day 2.

if you’re down on yourself because of weaknesses, you don’t think you’re a good enough parent, you’ve frustrated because you’re not far enough along, you’re going to get stuck. no, I’m not saying to ignore issues, not deal with weaknesses, I’m saying you have to find the good in right now, in the improvement you’re making, and then thank God for that good. it may be small; that’s OK, God loves for you to thank Him for small things. you haven’t totally broken the addiction, but instead of smoking 10 cigarettes yesterday, you smoked 9.5, you put #10 out halfway through; that was good, celebrate that half. when you walked through the kitchen last night, instead of eating the whole bag of Oreos, you only ate a dozen; that was good, pat yourself on the back. at the office last week, that person that was rude to you, normally you would’ve given them a piece of your mind, told them what you thought; this time, you just smiled, turned around, and walked away.

it’s good to celebrate where you are while God is in the process of changing you. you don’t have to be finished to feel good about yourself. too many people go around feeling wrong on the inside. they get up every morning and take inventory of their faults, how they blew it the day before, how they don’t measure up; that’s going to hold you back. being against yourself will keep you from your destiny. what if on day 1 of creation, God would’ve said, “yes, the light is good, but everything else is so messed up, I’ve got so much work to do, I’m just depressed”? no, He was showing us this principle; He knew it wasn’t finished, there were 1000 things out of order, but He found the one thing that was right, and said that was good. He could’ve kept on going, creating, finished it all at once, but instead, He stopped at the end of each day to celebrate what He had done. nobody was there to praise Him, so He praised Himself.

have you praised yourself lately? have you taken time to pat yourself on the back, and say, “that was good”? you came to church today; that was good. you didn’t complain in the traffic; that was good. you overlooked an insult last week; that was good. you spent time with your children; that was good. you turned the TV off, didn’t watch it all night, went to bed; that was good. there’s a lot of good things you’ve been doing; take time to compliment yourself. there’s nothing the enemy would love any more then for you to go through life being against yourself, focused on your failures and how you don’t measure up. don’t fall into that trap. when he whispers those lies, “you blew your diet, you were late to work, you lost your temper, you gave in to that temptation,” just remind yourself; you are not a finished product. you may have some things wrong with you, but you have a lot more right with you. learn to celebrate who you are, and not beat yourself up because of who you’re not.  God is changing you from glory to glory; you haven’t made it to day 6 yet, there are still some unfinished things. keep honoring Him, keep being your best, and God will get you to where you’re supposed to be.

this principle is true as well in relationships. if you will focus on the good in your spouse, children and friends, see their strengths, praise them for what you like, that’ll draw out more good. people improve when you compliment them for what’s right, more than when you nag them for what’s wrong. your spouse may have 100 good qualities, but if you focus on the three things you don’t like, that can drive you apart. maybe your husband is not a big communicator, he doesn’t like to talk a lot; you could choose to focus on that, and it will become a source of frustration, or you could focus on one of his good qualities, like the fact that he’s a hard worker, he’s committed, he makes a good living, you never have to wonder about him being home. if you’ll praise him for the good, then God will take you to very good;  the relationship will get better. or perhaps your children, they’re making C’s in school, and you’re kind of disappointed. instead of harping on them, “you’ve got to do better, I’m disappointed in you,” why don’t you praise them for what they’re doing right; “you’re striving, you’re a hard worker, I’m proud that you’re my child.” when you praise them for the good, they’ll do better. “my husband, he gets on my nerves, he’s got flaws, weaknesses”; so do you.

if you will overlook the things you don’t like, and focus on the things you do like, you can change the atmosphere in your home. but as long as you’re complaining, “she’s not enough of this, he’s not enough of that, he should be better at that,” here’s a newsflash; they’re not a finished product. God is still working on them. God brought the two of you together on purpose, so like iron sharpens iron, you can sharpen each other.  don’t use your iron to try to hammer out flaws and weaknesses. don’t use your iron and speak hurtful words that cut like a knife. the way you sharpen each other is by bringing out their good qualities. you know how to push the wrong buttons that bring out the worst, make them argue, upset, get them off course; why don’t you try pushing the right buttons that bring out their best? praise them for what you like, encourage them in what they’re good at, be a voice of faith and strength that propels them toward their destiny.

the truth is, we’re all going to have some weaknesses until the day we die. we should be growing, making progress, but there will still be something that we’re working on. if you don’t learn to see the good in people, overlook the things that you don’t like, you’re going to live frustrated. celebrating partial victories means, you celebrate the people in your life that are not finished;  they’re still growing, dealing with some weaknesses. it’s easy to write them off, get upset, not give them the time of day, be unfriendly.  why don’t you try a new approach, and make allowances for their weakness, overlook those petty things that are getting on your nerves? focus on the good qualities, the things that you fell in love with in the first place in your spouse, they’re still there, you’ve just discovered these other qualities that you didn’t see while you were dating; they hadn’t come to light yet. but before you pack up and find somebody else, try celebrating the good in that wo/man.  they’re on the potter’s wheel; God’s in the process of changing them.

if you’ll be grateful for the good, God will take you to very good. I’m asking you to celebrate your partial victories. cheer your spouse on, even though they’re not perfect.  feel good about who you are, even though you’re still struggling in some areas. thank God for the foundation, even though you don’t have the whole building up. take time to celebrate in phases; the more you thank God, the more He’ll release strength, healing, favor and breakthroughs.  if you will celebrate partial victories, what God started in your life, He’s going to finish. you’re going to break bad habits, accomplish dreams, and become everything He’s created you to be.

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It’s coming together

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all face situations that look like they’re never going to work out; our dream is too big, a medical report is too negative, our family is so dysfunctional, we don’t see how we can ever be restored. as the months go by, sometimes even years, if we don’t see anything happening, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up on what we’re believing for. but just because you don’t see anything happening doesn’t mean that God is not working; behind the scenes, He’s arranging things in your favor, lining up the right people, healing, promotion, favor. if you will stay in faith, at the right time you will see it come together; what you couldn’t make happen on your own, God will make happen for you. your dream is coming together. your relationship is coming together. the healing, promotion, vindication, will all come together.  it may not happen on your timetable, but I can assure you, God is a faithful God. He said:

Hebrews 13:5 (AMPC)

5 … He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down

(“You that are familiar with the Greek text know that there are five negatives here. We cannot manage five negatives in English, but the Greeks find them not too large a handful. Here the negatives have a fivefold force. It is as though it said, ‘I will not, not leave thee; I will never, no never, forsake thee.’ ” – Spurgeon

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/5813.htm )

God said it 3 times because He knew how easy it would be to give up on our dreams, let our circumstances and how long it’s taking talk us out of His best.  you may have a situation that looks impossible today, the odds are against you, you’ve had some setbacks; let me encourage you, it’s coming together. God is not going to fail you; the breakthrough is already in your future. that person you’ve been dreaming about, you’re not going to have to find them, they’re going to find you; your relationship is coming together. don’t believe the lie that you’ll have to live your life lonely; the right person has already been ordained to come across your path.

you may you may think you could never get out of debt, never live in a nice house, never really be successful in your career, you’ve gone as far as your education allows; no, don’t talk yourself out of it, it’s coming together. promotion, abundance, new levels, are headed your way. when you go through the day with this expectancy, knowing that God’s working behind the scenes, bringing it together, that’s what allows God to do great things. you could be complaining; instead, you’re saying, “Lord, thank you that my healing is coming together. You can do what medicine cannot do. that dream, business, orphanage, that You put in my heart; Lord, thank You that the connections, funding, permits, are all coming together.”

in the scripture, the prophet Ezekiel saw:

Ezekiel 37:1-5 (NIV)

1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry… 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.

he could’ve thought, “that’s impossible, they’re just bones, disjointed, dried up, they can’t live, it’s too late,” but in this vision he started prophesying to these dead bones. the scripture says:

Ezekiel 37:7-10 (NIV)

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

the Israelites had been discouraged. they were saying:

Ezekiel 37:11 (NIV)

11 … the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’

in other words, “we’re just slaves, and we’re never going to reach our destiny; we just have dead dry bones.” God said:

Ezekiel 37:12-13 (NIV)

12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord

He was saying, “Ezekiel, go tell them what you saw in this vision, that there’s about to be a great coming together. what they couldn’t make happen on their own, I’m going to supernaturally make happen for them.” your situation on your own may be impossible; the good news is, you’re not on your own, you have the most powerful force in the universe on your side. one touch of God’s favor can catapult you to a new level.  but like with the Israelites, what you have may seem dead; the medical report says you’ll never get well, you lost a loved one, you don’t see how you could ever be happy again, you’ve been through some bad breaks, now all you have are these dead bones, disjointed, broken pieces, no way in the natural.

but the sovereign Lord is saying to you what he said to the Israelites; “get ready, there’s about to be a great coming together.” God is going to bring things to life that you thought were dead: dreams you’ve given up on, suddenly the right people show up, you get the break you need, the funding all of a sudden comes through. that sickness you’ve been struggling with for years, you don’t think you could ever get well, no, get ready; health is about to spring forth. God knows how to bring the pieces back together. by faith, I can hear a sound, a noise, a rattling; it’s the sound of a great coming together. I can hear the sound of abundance, healing, promotion, victory.  God asked Ezekiel, at the first part of this vision:

Ezekiel 37:3 (NIV)

3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

Ezekiel could’ve looked at it in the natural, and thought, “no way, that’s impossible”; instead, he looked away from his circumstances, and he looked toward his God. he said:

Ezekiel 37:3 (NIV)

3 … “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

he was saying, “God, You control the universe. You have the final say. You’re the giver of life. You parted the Red Sea. You open blind eyes. You stopped the sun for Joshua. I may not see a way, but oh sovereign Lord, I know you have a way.” God told Ezekiel to prophesy to those dead bones; whatever looks dead in your life, you need to prophesy victory, wholeness, abundance. you may be struggling in your finances; don’t go around talking about how you’ll never get ahead, how high prices are, what you can’t afford. if you have a poor mouth, you’re going to have a poor life. dare to prophesy; “I am the head and not the tail. whatever I touch will prosper and succeed.”  maybe you’re up against a big obstacle; don’t talk about how big your problem is, talk about how big your God is. dare to prophesy to that sickness, that cancer;  “you can’t defeat me; I’m a child of the most high God.”

that son that’s off course, don’t go call your friends, talk about how bad he is, how he’s going to give you a nervous breakdown, how he keeps running with the wrong crowd; no, prophesy, “my son will fulfill his destiny, I am calling out his seeds of greatness. no weapon formed against my family will ever prosper.”  when you get in agreement with God, and speak life, faith, favor and health, you’re going to see a great coming together. suddenly, you get the break you need, your business turns around, your health improves. God will do what you couldn’t do. God knows how to bring it all together. what you think was dead, over, too far gone, you better get ready; it’s coming together. people that you think will never change, God has already planted seeds in their hearts. God’s been working behind the scenes in your life since the day you were born, arranging the breaks you need, moving the wrong people out of the way, lining up the favor, advantages;  He’s got it all figured out.

you don’t have to worry; God has you in the palm of His hand.  He’s not going to fail you. He is faithful to His promises.  your family is coming together. the dream may look too big; keep believing, it’s coming together. God has a way. that addiction you’ve been trying to break for years, don’t give up, keep prophesying freedom; it’s coming together. see, when you realize that God’s in control, directing your steps, that He’s already lined up everything you need, you can relax; you don’t have to go through life trying to make it all happen on your own, worried about your children, frustrated because it’s taking too long, discouraged because a dream looks dead. no, keep reminding yourself; the sovereign Lord, the God Who breathed life into you, the God Who knew you before you were born, the God Who has planned out your days for good, the God Who has protected you, promoted you, healed you, the same God that brought you to where you are, He’s going to get you to where you’re supposed to be.

it may take a little longer than you thought, but that’s OK, God’s timing is the perfect time. it may not happen the way you had planned; God’s ways are not our ways, they are better than our ways. it’s coming together. are you worrying about your future, how you’re going to accomplish a dream, raise your children, meet the right person? God has already lined it up. He’s already arranged everything you need. you may not even realize how right now God is getting you prepared for something much greater, much bigger, than you’ve ever dreamed. keep honoring Him, being your best, prophesying life to those dead areas. you too are going to see it all come together, more than you imagined. God has the right people already lined up for you; at the right time, it’s all going to come together. you don’t have to worry, live stressed out; God is directing your steps. He controls the whole universe; you can stay in a place of peace. 

in the scripture, a lady named Ruth lost her husband. she was out in the fields picking up leftover grain, trying to survive, just barely making it.  Boaz, the owner of those fields, spoke to his workers about Ruth:

Ruth 2:15-16 (NIV)

15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

he didn’t speak to Ruth, he spoke about Ruth. she never heard what he said, but her life got a whole lot easier;  she had more wheat than she needed, all because somebody she didn’t even know put in a good word for her. in the same way, God has already spoken to the right people to be good to you, bless you, show you favor, open the right doors. like Ruth, suddenly you come into blessings that you didn’t work for, people go out of their way to help you succeed. you may never know why it happened; that’s God working behind the scenes, bringing it all together.

as a young man, God put a dream in Moses’ heart that he would deliver the people of Israel out of slavery. but Moses got in a hurry, and didn’t wait for God’s timing:

Exodus 2:11-12 (NIV)

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

Exodus 2:15 (NIV)

15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian

he spent 40 years in hiding on the back side of the desert.  it looked like he’d missed his destiny. I’m sure he felt like a failure, thoughts telling him, “too bad, Moses, you had your chance; that mistake really did you in.” Moses was raised in the palace, in the household of the Pharaoh; he was trained to be a prince, educated by the best scholars, prepared to do something great, but now, instead of wearing his royal robe, conducting his business in the palace where he’s esteemed and respected, now he spends his days taking care of sheep out in the middle of the desert. year after year went by. Moses thought, “I must’ve heard God wrong. maybe I was never supposed to deliver the people of Israel. maybe I’m not supposed to do something great.  what was I thinking?” just when he was about to give up:

Exodus 3:2-5 (NIV)

2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

God was saying, “Moses, I haven’t forgotten about you. you may have made some mistakes, taken some wrong turns, but get ready, I’m about to bring it together. what I promised you, I’m still going to bring to pass.” after 40 years of not seeing anything happening, suddenly God turned it around; Moses went out and delivered the people of Israel.  you may think, “it could never come together for me, it’s been too long.” you’ve made too many mistakes, missed too many opportunities. in your heart, you know what God has promised you, but in your mind, the enemy will whisper these thoughts of doubt; “maybe I’m not supposed to get married, break this addiction, start my own business.” 

deep down, you feel seeds of greatness stirring on the inside, but every circumstance says, “no way, it’s too late.” but just like with Moses, what God promised you, He’s still going to do. it may not have happened yet, but don’t worry, it’s coming together. God is still on the throne.  He sent me as your burning bush, to let you know it’s not too late; you haven’t missed your destiny, you haven’t seen your best days.  what God started in your life, He’s going to finish.  you’re about to see a divine coming together; that means it’s supernatural, you couldn’t make it happen, you didn’t have the strength, talent, funds. God set the bush on fire. God healed you, sent the right people, brought your dream to pass.

in the scripture, Jacob thought his son Joseph was dead:

Genesis 37:28-33 (NIV)

28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites…

31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”

33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”

Jacob was so heartbroken, so devastated; he thought that he couldn’t go on after losing his youngest son. year after year passed by; now Jacob is an old man. those same brothers brought him the news:

Genesis 45:26-28 (NIV)

26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Genesis 48:11 (NIV)

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

when God brings it all together, it’s not going to be what you thought; it’s going to be bigger, better, more rewarding than you ever expected.  like Jacob, you’re not going to die without seeing that promise fulfilled. don’t stop believing; God’s working behind the scenes. He’s already arranged exactly what you need. now do your part; get up every day, and prophesy life to those dead areas.  if you’ll do this, your dream, health, relationship is coming together. you’re about to hear a noise, a sound; God’s going to make happen what you couldn’t make happen. like Ezekiel, you’re going to see a great coming together.

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