Archive for February, 2016

Your set time for favor

from JO’s sermon tonight:

in the Old Testament, the Israelites had several different feasts that they had to observe each year. these feasts, like Passover, Pentecost, were at set times, based on the cycle of the moon and certain other criteria. the times had been ordained by God, and couldn’t be changed. these were special times that God had set aside to bless His people; He’d already established when to show them favor. just like with them, there are set times that God has already ordained to show out in your life. we can all look back and see these times: we got a break that we didn’t deserve, things fell into place, maybe your career took off. after years of being routine, average, you came into a season of growth, increase, blessing. what was that? a set time of favor. in Psalms, it talks about how:

Psalm 5:12 (MEV)

12 For You, Lord, will bless the righteous;

    You surround him with favor like a shield.

it doesn’t come and go, favor is always with us, but there are set times where God’s favor will show out, where God will thrust you from the background to the foreground, accelerate your dreams, make things happen faster than you thought, when you’ll get well even though the medical report says it’s not going to happen, when a problem will unexpectedly turn around, even though it looked impossible. you need to get ready; I believe you’ve come into one of your set times of favor.

maybe you’ve been struggling, everything’s been uphill, but you’re going to see an anointing of ease. God is going before you; He’s going to cause things to fall into place. at work, you’ve been doing your best, working hard, but not getting the credit you deserve, people playing politics; don’t worry, in this set time, God is going to promote you, push you up, set you on high. or perhaps you’ve been through some relationships that didn’t work out, and now you think you’ll always be lonely; no, in this set time, God is bringing a divine connection, somebody better than you ever imagined. they’re already ordained to come across your path. you may not see how this is going to happen. your mind will tell you, “you’ll never get well, meet the right person, accomplish that dream”; don’t believe those lies, the Creator of the universe has already established your set times.

His power is greater than any force that’s trying to come against you. do your part; get in agreement with God. “Lord, I believe this is my set time for favor. the medical report may not look good, but I believe this is my set my time to get well. my dream looks like it’s going to take years, but Lord, I want to thank you that it’s my set time for acceleration.” you may have tried things in the past, but it didn’t work out: the business wasn’t successful, the loan didn’t go through, the diet didn’t work. you need to try it again; this is a new season.  don’t give up on what God promised you; don’t let that dream die stillborn. it may not have happened in the past, but you’ve come into a set time: God has favor, ideas, the right people waiting for you. try it again. the scripture says:

Proverbs 24:16 (CEV)

16 Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up

the loan didn’t go through, you didn’t qualify for that new house; try again. you’re in a set time of favor. you tried to lose the weight, get back in shape, it didn’t work out; try it again. God is breathing in your life in a new way, giving you ability, determination, strength, to do what you couldn’t do before. all through the day, especially in the tough times, “Lord, I want to thank You that it’s my set time for favor, that you’re helping me do what I could not do on my own.”

in Psalm 102, this man that was having an incredibly difficult time began to pray; he went into great detail to list all of his troubles. he said:

Psalm 102:5-9 (NIV)

5 In my distress I groan aloud

    and am reduced to skin and bones.

6 I am like a desert owl,

    like an owl among the ruins.

7 I lie awake; I have become

    like a bird alone on a roof.

8 All day long my enemies taunt me;

    those who rail against me use my name as a curse.

9 For I eat ashes as my food

    and mingle my drink with tears

for 11 verses he goes on and on, telling how miserable his life is, how he feels overwhelmed by his trouble; just reading it can make you feel depressed. just when you think he’s about to give up, just ready to throw in the towel, he said:

Psalm 102:12-13 (AMPC)

12 But You, O Lord, are enthroned forever; and the fame of Your name endures to all generations.

13 You will arise and have mercy and loving-kindness for Zion, for it is time to have pity and compassion for her; yes, the set time has come [the moment designated].

Zion is the church; you can put your name in place of Zion: “for You will arise and have mercy on Linda, for the time to favor her, yes the set time, has come.”  in the midst of listing all of his difficulties, deep down he knew there was a set time of favor in his future. at that point, the Israelites had been through 70 years of hardships, all kind of struggling; God said, “don’t worry, things are about to change; you’ve come into your set of favor.” in this set time, God will step in against your enemies. you won’t have to fight those battles; the most High will arise, and when He arises, enemies will be scattered, sicknesses will be defeated, addictions will be broken, lack, struggle, poverty, will come to an end. He is going before you, clearing the path, pushing back the forces of darkness, making a way where you could not go before.

in this set time, the enemies you’ve seen in the past, you will see no more. the addictions, bad habits, things you haven’t been able to overcome, this is a new day. God is arising; it’s your set time for freedom, wholeness. those obstacles in your career, can’t seem to get the break you need, get over the hump; things are about to change. God is fighting your battles, causing you to stand out, bringing you from obscurity to notoriety. this is a set time for God to thrust you where you could not go on your own.

I’m challenging you: don’t talk yourself out of it. you may feel like you’re in verse 1 through 11 right now. like that man, you can come up with good reasons why you won’t get well, be successful: “I’ve got a lot of powerful people coming against me, I have this medical condition that looks permanent, I don’t have the experience, resources, connections to really be successful.” that may all be true, but don’t stop in verse 11; come on down to 12 and 13. dare to say, “but You, O Lord, are still on the throne. You have set this time to favor me.” what God lifts up, no person can push down. what God  breathes life into, sickness cannot take away. what God blesses, all the forces of darkness cannot curse. our attitude should be, “yes, this obstacle, sickness, legal situation looks big, but I know a secret; God is still on the throne, and He has set this time for me to overcome, break through, live in victory.”

it says, “God will arise”; when God gets up, the enemy trembles. in your set time, God is not going to sit idly by. and yes, we all have seasons of testing, trials, where we have to stand strong, prove to God that we’ll be faithful, but in this set time of favor, that’s when God gets up and says, “ok, that’s enough; let Me go to work.” He’ll put a stop to what’s trying to stop you. He said, “the trap the enemy set for you, they will fall in themselves, no weapon formed against you will ever prosper.” don’t be intimidated; you’re not weak, lacking, the most high God has risen on your behalf. He’s got your back. He’s got you covered. He’s saying, “it’s your set time for favor, healing, acceleration.”

you have to let this seed take root on the inside. it’s easy to think, “that was a good message today, I enjoyed that,” and two hours later, you don’t really remember it; it’s not going to be effective like that. all through the week, you need to have this expectancy; “Lord, thank You that it’s my set time for favor, that You’re giving me power to do what I could not do before.  Lord, thank You that You’re causing me to stand out, drawing the right people to me, that Your blessings, favor, is overtaking me.” “I believe maybe one day that’ll happen for me”;  no, I’m asking you to come over into the now. today is your set time for favor, not in three months, six years. God said, “the time to favor you has come.”

the amplified version says, “the moment designated is here.” there are moments God has already designated to show out in your life; I believe this is one of your moments. you’re living in a favor, growing, acceleration season. you’re going to have a new confidence to do things that you couldn’t do before. you’re going to see your gifts and talents come out in a greater way. God is going to give you more influence, notoriety, a bigger platform. His face is going to shine down on you, and cause you to stand out. family members that have been off course, seems like they’ll always make poor choices, no, those forces are being broken, things are about to change; they’re going to start making good choices that honor God. people are going to think, “how in the world did they turn around so quickly?” here’s how; you came into a set time of favor, a moment already designated by the Creator of the universe.

think about a set time: sometimes at night, you’ll set your alarm for 6:30; that’s the set time. or maybe you’re cooking something that takes an hour and a half;  you set the timer on the oven for 90 minutes. you’re waiting and waiting, but when the alarm goes off, you don’t keep waiting; the set time has come. you take the food out; it’s done. you wake up; the morning has arrived. I believe God is saying to us, “the alarm is going off. the set time has come.” change your attitude from, “I don’t think it’s ever going to happen,” to, “Lord, thank You that it’s here, that my set time for favor has arrived.” start expecting God’s goodness.

life can get so routine, that we’re not really releasing our faith. we’ve been lulled into thinking, “it’s never going to happen for me, it’s been so long, I’ll never get well, meet the right person.” no, every morning when you wake up, just imagine the alarm is going off; God is saying, “it’s the set time.” our attitude should be, “this is my day for favor, increase, divine connections.” not, “maybe one day it’s going to happen,” no, “I know today is my day. by faith, I can hear the alarm going off. it’s favor, healing, acceleration, blessing, breakthrough, victory, abundance time.” God has already designated these moments of favor for you. He’s already set the times; you’re living in one of those right now, a set time of acceleration, greater influence, where God wants to show out in your life. if this is going to happen, down in your spirit you have to hear the alarm going off. through your eyes of faith, you have to see God arising, fighting your battles, moving obstacles out your path, preparing the way for you to step into a new level of your destiny.

God works where there’s faith. you may not see how it can happen in the natural, that’s ok; He’s a supernatural God. you don’t have to figure it all out; all you have to do is believe. take the limits off of God; dare to say, “God, just like you promised in Psalm 102, that it was the set time to favor Zion, God, I know I am Zion, the church, so I believe it’s my set time for favor, acceleration, to go to a new level. release your faith. have an expectancy. instead of being negative, talking yourself out of it, act like the alarm is going off. change your attitude. dare to ask God for what seems impossible. when that alarm is sounding, when it’s your time, that’s a window of opportunity; it’s not going to last forever. don’t let the negative voices convince you that you’re never going to get well, get out of debt, no, in this set time, God knows how to take you from the back to the front. He can open doors that no man can shut, take you where you could not go on your own.

in this set time, God won’t sit idly by; He’ll rise up against your enemies.  when it’s your set time, all the forces of darkness cannot hold you back. our God is more powerful than any sickness, addiction, depression, person, hater. every chain will be broken, every stronghold will come down, every limitation will be loosed. the Creator of the universe will make you come alive, push you into your destiny. God is rising up against your enemies, sickness, legal problem, that spirit of lack and struggle; those forces are being broken. your destiny is being released. He’s going to show out in your life in such a way that you will be an example of His goodness: so blessed, healthy, strong, generous, talented, that people all around you will see that the hand of God is upon your life.

but sometimes, when we’ve been waiting a long time for the miracle, healing, for a dream come to pass, it’s easy to get into a wait mode, where we’re not expecting anything. God is saying, “the wait is over; the alarm is going off. victory, healing, favor, is here; the moment designated has come.” you may not see it yet, but here’s the whole key; you have to walk by faith and not by sight. all through the week; “Lord, I thank you that it’s my set time for favor, that you’re pushing back the forces of darkness, accelerating my dreams coming to pass.” “I tried this, but my business didn’t work out, I didn’t break the addiction, the loan didn’t go through”; I’m asking you to try it again. this is a new day; in this set time of favor, God is not going to sit idly by. this time, He’s going to arise and fight your battles. this time, He said He’ll get off the throne and do what you could not do. He’s breathing in your direction in a new way right now. it’s your time to possess the land. if you’ll do this, God is going to show out in your life in a new way. you’re going to see new levels of influence, notoriety, a bigger platform. healing from what looks permanent. you’re going to accomplish more in a fraction of the time. you’re going to see acceleration where God thrusts you into a new level of your destiny.

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Ask big

from JO’s sermon tonight:

when God laid out the plan for your life, He didn’t just put what you need to get by, survive, endure; He put more than enough. He is a God of abundance. we see this all through the scripture. when Jesus multiplied the little boy’s lunch:

John 6:9-13 (NIV)

9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. 

what’s interesting is, Jesus knew how many were in the crowd that day; if he wanted to be exact, he could’ve made it where there would be no leftovers; 

(like God did here:

Exodus 16:17-18 (NIV)

17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. )

on purpose, he made more than enough. that’s the God we serve. David said:

Psalm 23:5 (NKJV)

5 … My cup runs over 

he had an abundance, more than he needed. yes, we should thank God that our needs are supplied, be grateful that we have enough, but don’t settle there; that’s not your destiny. He is a more than enough God; He wants you to have an abundance, so you can be a blessing to those around you.

this is where the Israelites missed it; they had been in slavery for so many years that they became conditioned to not having enough, to barely getting by. when Pharaoh got upset with Moses:

Exodus 5:6-8 (NIV)

6 That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: 7 “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. 8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota.

I’m sure the Israelites prayed, “God, please help us to make our quotas, find the supplies that we need”;  they prayed from a slave mentality, from a limited mindset. instead of asking to be free from their oppressors, they were asking to become better slaves. instead of praying for what God promised them, the land flowing with milk and honey, they prayed that God would help them function better in their dysfunction. are you asking today to become a better slave, or are you asking for the abundant, overflowing, more than enough life that God has for you? 

Romans 5:17 (NIV)

17 … those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

God says,” you are blessed and you cannot be cursed. whatever you touch will prosper and succeed.” don’t pray to get by, endure; dare to ask big, ask for what God promised you. the medical report may not look good, that’s ok, there’s another report; “God, You said, You would restore health back unto me, the number of my days You will fulfill.” maybe you’ve gone through a disappointment, a bad break; don’t pray, “God, help me to deal with this loneliness, put up with this depression,” that’s a slave mentality. turn it around. “God, You said, You would give me:

Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

3 … beauty for ashes,

The oil of joy for mourning

Zechariah 9:12 (ESV)

12 … today I declare that I will restore to you double.

Isaiah 61:7 (NIV)

7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion

Job 42:10 (CEB)

10 … the Lord doubled all Job’s earlier possessions.

or your dream may look impossible, you don’t see how it could work out; “God, You said:

Deuteronomy 28:2 (VOICE)

2 All of the following blessings will be yours—in fact, they’ll chase after you—if you’ll listen to what He tells you.

that I’m surrounded by favor, that goodness and mercy are following me, that:

Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

4 Take delight in the Lord,

    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

take the limits off of God, and ask big; not from a slave mentality, a limited mindset. don’t ask God to help you function better in your dysfunction; ask for your dreams, new levels, explosive blessings, to propel you into your purpose. God can make things happen that you could never make happen  He’s already placed abundance in your future; He’s already lined up the right people, the breaks you need, doors to open that you could never open. my question is; are you asking big, or are you letting your circumstances, how you were raised, what somebody said, talk you out it? if you go through life only praying barely get by prayers, you’ll miss the fullness of your destiny. but when you get this in your spirit, that the God who breathed life into you, called you, set you apart, crowned you with favor, is a more than enough God, an abundant, overflowing God, then you’ll have this boldness to ask for big things: not to just manage the addiction, but to be free from it. not to just pay your bills, but to be totally out of debt so you can be a blessing to others. not to just see your child get back on the right course, but that God would use him to make his mark on this generation.

Matthew 20:29-32 (NIV)

29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

it seemed like a strange question; it’s obvious what they needed, they were blind. why did Jesus ask them? he wanted to see what they were believing. they could’ve said, “Jesus, we just need some help out here, we’re blind, we just need a little better place to live.” if they would’ve asked from a limited mentality, it would’ve kept them in defeat. instead, they asked big: 

Matthew 20:33 (NIV)

33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”

they were saying, “we know you can do the impossible.” when Jesus heard their request:

Matthew 20:34 (NIV)

34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight

God is asking us the same thing He asked those two blind men; “what is it that you want Me to do for you?” how you answer is going to have a great impact on what God does. don’t say, “God, I just want to make it through this year. have you seen the price of oil? God, my family is so dysfunctional; just help us to survive. I don’t like my job; just help me to endure it”; that is going to limit your destiny. do like these blind men; dare to ask big. “God I want to be free from this addiction, meet the right person, see my whole family serve you, start my own business.” ask for your dreams. ask for things that even seem impossible.

James 4:3 (NKJV)

3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss

that word “amiss” in the original Greek means, “sick, weak, miserable.” when we ask to become better slaves, that’s a sick prayer. when we ask to get by, endure, barely make it, that’s a weak prayer, that’s asking amiss.  God is saying, “I created the whole universe, I own it all; don’t come to Me with a sick, weak prayer, asking Me to help you live better in mediocrity, endure the trouble, survive another month. no, when you come to Me, ask big, knowing that I’m a God of more than enough. ask Me to show out in your life, heal you from that disease, accelerate your goals.” when you ask big, God calls that a healthy prayer; that’s when He says to the angels, “go to work, release My favor, loose those chains, open up some new doors.”

“I’m just praying that I’ll make it through these tough times; business is really slow”; that’s a sick prayer. “I’m just praying that I’ll learn how to manage this addiction; grandmother had it, mother had it, now I do too”; that’s a weak prayer. your attitude should be, “God, this addiction keeps getting passed down in my family line, but I believe this is a new day, that You’ve raised me up to put a stop to it, that I will be the one to break the generational curse, and start the generational blessing.” don’t ask to become a better slave, ask to be the difference-maker, set the new standard. when you say, “God, help me to get that scholarship so I can go to college,” that’s not just being hopeful, positive, that’s your faith being released; that’s what allows God to do great things. “God, I don’t have the funds for the building project just yet, but I want to thank You that opportunity is headed my way, blessings are chasing me down.” no more sick prayers; take the limits off of God. ask big. this is the year for God to show out in your life, accelerate His goodness, propel you into your destiny.

this is what a man did in the scripture by the name of Jabez. his name literally means “pain, sorrow, suffering.” every time someone said, “hello Jabez,” they were saying, “hello trouble, sorrow, pain”; they were prophesying defeat and failure. you can imagine how he could’ve let that keep him in mediocrity, make him feel inferior, insecure.  but there was something different about Jabez; despite his rough upbringing, what people labeled him, he looked up to the heavens and said:

1 Chronicles 4:10 (NKJV)

10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed

he could’ve just said, “God, bless me,” that would’ve been ok, but he had this boldness to ask big. here’s a man that was supposed to have trouble, heartache, live depressed, defeated, but he shook off the slave mentality. his attitude was, “it doesn’t matter what people said about me, what my circumstances look like, I know who I am; a child of the most high God.” he went on to say:

1 Chronicles 4:10 (NKJV)

10 … enlarge my territory

he was saying, “God, help me to go beyond the norm. let me see abundance, more of Your favor.” I’m sure thoughts told him, “God’s not going to bless you, you come for the wrong family, your own parents labeled you sorrow, pain, trouble.” but people don’t determine your destiny, God does. the scripture says:

1 Chronicles 4:10 (NKJV)

10 … God granted him what he requested.

like Jabez, you may have plenty of reasons to settle where you are: what you didn’t get, what people said, how impossible it looks. the odds may be against you, but the good news is, God is for you; He is more powerful than any force that’s trying to stop you, He knows how to make up for what you didn’t get.  He can thrust you further than you ever imagined. but you have to do like Jabez, and pray bold prayers. ask in spite of what the circumstances look like, what people are telling you, what the enemy keeps whispering in your ear. Jabez could’ve prayed a weak, sick prayer; “God, I’ve had some bad breaks, a rough upbringing, I’m just asking You to help me survive.” if he would’ve done that, we wouldn’t be talking about him today. if you’re going to beat the odds, stand out in the crowd, reach your highest potential, you have to learn this principle to ask big.

Psalm 2:7-9 (MSG)

7-9 Let me tell you what God said next.

He said, “You’re my son,

And today is your birthday.

What do you want? Name it:

Nations as a present? continents as a prize?

You can command them all to dance for you

notice how big God thinks; “what do you want, nations as a present?” sometimes, we’re praying for a $3 an hour raise, and God’s talking about giving you nations. we’re praying for a promotion; God’s got a business for you to own. we’re praying to pay our bills; God’s planning on blessing you so you can pay other people’s bills. we’re looking at the 5 loaves, 2 fish; God’s thinking about the 12 baskets full of leftovers.

what does that mean, today is your birthday? on your birthday, more than any other time, you feel entitled to ask for something out of the ordinary. normally, you don’t want anybody to go out of their way for you, but on your birthday, you think, “ok, I’m going to ask for that favor, new outfit, set of golf clubs.” over time, as we get older, our enthusiasm may go down a little, but think back to when you were a child; you knew that was your special day, you had a boldness to ask for what you really wanted. God is saying, “when you pray, act like it’s your birthday; come to Me with a boldness, ask me for what you really want.  don’t be shy, don’t hold back, tell Me your dreams, what you’re believing for, ask for the secret things I’ve placed in your heart.” as parents, you’ll do anything for your children, especially on their birthday. how much more will your heavenly Father make things happen for you? ask Him for your dreams, to turn that child around, for your healing.

you’re not inconveniencing God.  “God’s got bigger things to deal with than me”; no, you are God’s biggest deal. you’re the apple of His eye, His most prized possession. God will move heaven and Earth to bring about His destiny in your life. dare to ask big. too often, instead of approaching God like it’s our birthday, believing that He’ll do something special, we do just the opposite; “I can’t ask for what I really want, that wouldn’t be right that would be greedy, selfish.” the scripture says:

Luke 12:32 (NKJV)

32 … it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

nothing makes God any happier than for Him to see you step up to who you were created to be. it says, “today is your birthday, what do you want?” notice, today is always in the present. when you get up tomorrow morning, God is saying, “today is your birthday.” 2 weeks from now, “today is your birthday.” 7 years from now, “today is your birthday.” every morning when you get up, just imagine God saying, “happy birthday son/daughter.” why does He do this? so you’ll have the boldness to ask for things that you wouldn’t normally ask for. all of the big things I’ve ever asked for, I’ve never once felt like God has said, “you’ve got a lot of nerve, what are you doing asking for that?” just the opposite; down here, I can feel God whispering, “I love the fact that you dare to ask big, to believe that I can do the impossible.” if you’ll go to God with childlike faith, believing that it’s your birthday, asking for things that you wouldn’t normally ask for, there will be times that you see God show out in your life in ways greater than you ever imagined.

this is what Solomon did.  in Psalm 72 he prayed what seemed to be a very self-centered prayer (this is actually David praying ABOUT Solomon, but the point is still valid):

Psalm 72:8-17 (ESV)

8 May he have dominion from sea to sea,

    and from the River to the ends of the earth!

9 May desert tribes bow down before him,

    and his enemies lick the dust!

10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands

    render him tribute;

may the kings of Sheba and Seba

    bring gifts!

11 May all kings fall down before him,

    all nations serve him!…

17 May his name endure forever,

    his fame continue as long as the sun!

you would think God would say, “Solomon, what’s wrong with you? I’m not going to make you famous, give you this honor, wealth, influence. you need to learn some humility.“ but God didn’t rebuke him, tell him he was selfish and greedy, God did exactly what he asked for; Solomon became one of the most famous people his day. the Queen of Sheba came, bowed down before him, brought him gold and silver. the reason God answered that bold prayer was because Solomon went on to say:

Psalm 72:12-14 (NIV)

12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out,

    the afflicted who have no one to help.

13 He will take pity on the weak and the needy

    and save the needy from death.

14 He will rescue them from oppression and violence,

    for precious is their blood in his sight.

he asked big, not just so he would look impressive, drive the fanciest chariot, live in the biggest palace, it was so he could lift the fallen, restore the broken, help the hurting, to advance God’s kingdom. God has no problem giving you influence, honor, wealth, even fame, as long as your dream in some way is connected to helping others, to making this world a better place. God is raising up a new generation of Solomons, people that have the boldness to say, “God, make me famous in my field, let my gifts and talents stand out, my work be so excellent, so inspiring, that people all around me know who I am, not for my glory, but so I can use my influence to advance Your kingdom.”

whatever field you’re in, medicine, sales, construction, accounting, teaching, I dare you to pray, “God, make me famous in my field, let me shine, give me influence.” if you’re an architect; “God, give me ideas, creativity, designs that stand out,” then use your influence to design the boys home, orphanage. if you’re a mechanic; “God, make me famous, let me be so skilled, have so much expertise, that people come to me to see how it’s done,” then use your influence to fix the single mom’s car, to mentor other young men, teach them how to do it.  if you’re in the medical profession; “God, make me famous, let me develop procedures that benefit mankind,” then use that influence to help those that can’t afford it. there’s no limit to what God would do for you if you’ll use what He’s given you to help others.

I wonder what would happen if you would dare pray, “God, make me famous, stand out, so I can make a big difference in this world.” God can make things happen that you could never make happen. He’ll make you famous, so you can use your influence, not only to reach your goals, but so you can help others along the way. now do your part; no more sick, weak, prayers, get rid of that slave mentality. go to God like it’s your birthday; ask Him for your dreams. like Jabez, dare to say, “God, bless me indeed.” if you’ll do this, like with Solomon, God is going to give you more influence, resources, notoriety. you’re going to accomplish your dreams, rise higher than you ever thought possible, and become everything God created you to be.

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Distinctive favor

from JO’s sermon last night:

there’s something God has put on you that causes you to be different; it’s a favor that makes a distinction between you and those that don’t God honor. the scripture talks about:

 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people 

a better word; a different people. you’re not ordinary, not like everyone else; you’ve been marked with a distinction. it says in Numbers:

Numbers 6:25-26 (NIV)

25 the Lord make his face shine on you

    and be gracious to you;

26 the Lord turn his face toward you

    and give you peace.”’

this distinctive favor causes you to prosper when others are struggling. you’ll recover from a difficulty when others get stuck. you have protection when others face calamity. there’s a marked difference; you have an advantage. you’re not doing life just by yourself, just your strength, talent, connections; there is a force breathing behind you, guiding you, protecting you, favoring you. the most high God has set you apart. He could’ve chosen anyone, but He hand-picked you, called you out, said, “that’s one of Mine.” right now, His face is shining down on you. don’t go through life thinking that you’re average, you could never accomplish your dreams. put your shoulders back, hold your head up high; you’re a part of the called-out group. God has set you up for a distinctively favored life. that means, for blessings that you didn’t work for, promotion that you didn’t deserve. the scripture says:

Deuteronomy 6:10-11 (NIV)

10 … large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant

Joshua 24:13 (NIV)

13 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

it’s not because of who you are, it’s because of Whose you are. you’ve been marked with favor. when you realize this, you’ll pray bold prayers, dream big dreams, expect things to happen for you that may not happen for others. when others are afraid, upset, and worried, you’ll be at peace, knowing that you’ve been set apart, that there’s a hedge around you that the enemy cannot cross; distinctive favor. 

when the Israelites were in slavery, God told Moses to go tell Pharaoh to let the people go; Pharaoh wouldn’t listen, he kept refusing. God sent plague after plague on Pharaoh and his people. their water supply was turned into blood. millions of flies, swarms of locusts, ate up their crops, destroyed their land, made their lives miserable. what’s interesting is, the Israelites, 2 million people, lived right next-door, but these plagues never affected them. at one point, there were hordes of frogs; everywhere Pharaoh’s people looked, frogs in their homes, in the food, in their beds.  they were so frustrated, but on the Israeli side, there were no frogs, life went on as usual. Pharaoh still wouldn’t change his mind. God was about to send swarms of flies into their houses, but:

Exodus 8:22-23 (NIV)

22 “‘But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land. 23 I will make a distinction between my people and your people.This sign will occur tomorrow.’”

24 And the Lord did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials; throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.

millions and millions of flies came into Pharaoh’s palace, in all the houses, flies so dense you couldn’t see, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, their land was ruined by flies. but right next door, the Israelites had no flies. it didn’t make sense in the natural; it was the hand of God putting a distinction on his people.  God has put that same distinction on you. when He breathed life into you, He marked you for favor, blessing, marked you to stand out. what will defeat others won’t be able to defeat you. this is why you don’t have to live worried about your safety, future, children. there are so many negative things in the world, so much crime and violence. it may be happening all around you, but you have an advantage; God has put a distinction on you. the Psalmist said:

Psalm 91:7 (NIV)

7 A thousand may fall at your side,

    ten thousand at your right hand,

    but it will not come near you.

God has a hedge of protection around you and your family. for the enemy to get to you, he has to ask God for permission. I’m not saying negative things will never happen, that’s not reality, I’m saying you are protected by the One who controls it all. if God does allow it to happen, He’s promised that somehow, He will turn it and use it for your good. Pharaoh still wouldn’t let the people go. Moses told him:

Exodus 9:3-5 (NIV)

3 the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys and camels and on your cattle, sheep and goats. 4 But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.’”

5 The Lord set a time and said, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.”

notice, a distinction even on your property: your house, car, belongings. the next day, just like God said:

Exodus 9:6 (NIV)

6 And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. 

it wasn’t where the Israelites were that kept them from the plagues, it was what was on them;  a distinction, the favor, the blessing that comes from being a child of the most high God.  you and I have that same blessing. we may have things around us that could harm us, keep us from our dreams, bring us down; stay in faith.  there is a distinction on your life, property, children, career, health, put there by the Creator of the universe. don’t talk yourself out of it; “business is kind of slow, a couple of my coworkers got laid off; I don’t see how I could get out of debt.” your job is not your source; God is your source. the economy doesn’t determine whether or not you’re blessed; God does. He has already marked you for favor. He’s already put this distinction on your life. dare to pray bold prayers, believe for unusual favor, take the limits off of God; you’ve been set apart. Psalm 37 says:

Psalm 37:18-19 (NLT)

18 Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent,

    and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.

19 They will not be disgraced in hard times;

    even in famine they will have more than enough.

as long as you stay close to God, keep Him first place, you are connected to a supply line that will never run dry. even in a slow economy, God will cause clients to find you. even when the medical report says “no way,” you are connected to a supply line filled with health, wholeness, restoration. when you don’t see how you could accomplish your dreams, don’t get discouraged; you have a supply line connected with good breaks, the right people, ideas, creativity. what would happen if you would get up every morning, and say, “Father, thank You that Your face is shining down on me, that You put a distinction on my life.” all the circumstances may say otherwise; “you’ll never get well, never meet the right person, your house is never going to sell.” don’t believe those lies. you have to have a boldness to believe that there’s something different about you, that you have a right to be blessed, see favor; not arrogantly, but in humility, knowing that because of who you are, a child of the most High, He has set you apart, He’s put favor on you that causes you to stand out. like the Israelites, God has put a distinction on your life, property, career; you have an advantage. if you’ll get this down in your spirit, you’ll start praying these bold prayers, believing for things that seem impossible. God likes to do unusual things in your life so that He will get the credit.

in the scripture, Joseph went through a lot of bad breaks: he was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, put in prison for something that he didn’t do. for 13 years, you could say he was in a famine. he could’ve been bitter, negative, “God, why did you let this happen to me?” but Joseph understood this principle; despite the opposition, he kept being his best. no matter how much people tried to push him down, he kept rising to the top. he worked for a man by the name of Potiphar. Joseph was so excellent in what he did, he had such a good attitude, Potiphar put him in charge of his household. the scripture says:

Genesis 39:3 (NLT)

3 Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did.

Potiphar saw the distinction. God wants to bless you in such a way where people notice. He wants to show out in your life where people say, “you mean you sold your house in six weeks when it should’ve taken a year and a half? you mean your mother had terminal cancer in 1981 and she’s still alive today?” that’s what distinctive favor does; causes you to stand out. you may have seen some of this in the past, but you need to get ready; you haven’t seen anything yet. God is about to do some things in your life that are going to make you notice. people are going to see; it wasn’t just your talent, ability, connections, it was the hand of God opening doors that no man can open, taking you where you could not go on your own. the scripture says:

Genesis 39:5 (NLT)

5 … the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake.

because of the distinction on Joseph’s life, people around him began to get blessed. your company should be glad to have you at work; when you get there, the blessing gets there. when you show up, favor shows up. some of your friends, relatives, coworkers, they don’t even know it, they’re being blessed because of you. what’s interesting is, Joseph was a slave; he didn’t have a prestigious position, he was taking care of the house. on the other hand, Potiphar was one of the highest ranking military officials of that day. you would think that Joseph would be blessed because of Potiphar’s sake;  it’s just the opposite. the distinction God put on you is more powerful than positions, titles, education; when God’s face is shining down on you, you’ll not only rise higher, but it’s so powerful, that even people around you will begin to get blessed.

one time, Abraham moved to a new country with his family, all his flocks and herds.  he found this beautiful piece of land, but in a few months, he realized the land couldn’t sustain all the flocks and herds:

Genesis 13:9-12 (NIV)

9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”

10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.

in the natural, Abraham should’ve struggled, seen his crops dry up, his business go down, but it was just the opposite; it wasn’t any time before his flocks and herds multiplied so much that that land was turned into a beautiful oasis. he was one of the wealthiest men of that time.

like Abraham, because of the distinction God put on you, you’re going to flourish. your location doesn’t determine the blessing; what God put on you determines the blessing. when He called you out, He marked you for favor. wherever you go, the blessing goes. you may not have the perfect job, people aren’t treating you right, you’re not getting the credit you deserve; that’s ok, you’re not working unto people, you’re working unto God. people don’t determine your destiny, God does. keep being your best, honoring God, and like Joseph, God will cause you to be noticed, stand out. at the right time, God will either turn that around by promoting you, or He’ll move you somewhere else. the key is; don’t wait until you’re out of the desert, then you’re going to have a good attitude, start being your best. there’s something on you right now that will cause you to prosper in the middle of the desert.

Lot wasn’t making good decisions; he wasn’t honoring God. he was blessed as long as Abraham was there, but when Abraham left, the blessing left. Abraham had to go and rescue him:

Genesis 14:11-16 (NIV)

11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. 12 They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom… 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

there are people that God put in your life right now that are being blessed because of you. they may never realize it, they may never tell you thank you; don’t worry, God is keeping the records. those are seeds that you’re sowing. He’ll make sure you are blessed in a greater way.

back then, they would even pray to the God of Abraham; when they saw how blessed Abraham was, how he flourished even in the desert, they thought, “if we can get to his God, maybe we’ll be blessed.” God wants to put such a distinction on you, He wants you to stand out in such a way, that people want what you have.  they say, “I’m going to pray to the God of those people. look at her, she’s so blessed, faithful, generous, talented. if I can get to her God, I believe I can be blessed.”

God strategically orchestrates our steps; He doesn’t always take us in sequence, from A to B to C. sometimes, He’ll take you 2 steps ahead, 1 step back, and then 5 steps forward.  you have to trust Him in those times where it feels like you’re going the wrong direction.

part of this distinction is, God wants to accelerate your dreams coming to pass. He’s going to speed things up, make it happen faster than you thought. God knows how to get you noticed;  His face is shining down on you right now. He’s put a distinction on your life, property, career, children; it’s going to cause you stand out. it’s going to open doors that you could never open, bring opportunity, the right people, good breaks. you’re not doing life alone; you have the most powerful force in the universe breathing in your direction right now. you’ve been called out, set apart, chosen to live a distinctively favored life. now do your part; pray bold prayers, take the limits off of God, believe for your dreams.  if you’ll do this, God is going to show out in your life in amazing ways. like Abraham, you will prosper in a desert. like Joseph, He’s going to cause you to be noticed, and it’s going to happen faster than you think.

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Free will

(No new sermon this week.)

I realized from a recent comment that not everyone is clear on what free will means, so I figured that would be a good topic for this week. 

Having free will means exactly one thing in reference to God; that He is not exerting control over us.  In other words, whatever we do, say, think, or feel, it’s 100% from our own mind and spirit.  

It might surprise you to know that nowhere in the Bible does it actually say that God promises us free will; we infer its existence because it’s clear that people are able to do things that are contrary to His wishes, starting right at the beginning with Adam and Eve eating the apple.

Why does He give us free will? Don’t you want YOUR children to have free will? We are NOT puppets or robots;  creatures of that type would not be able to truly love or have faith in Him, because both love and faith require the ability to choose freely…  and our love and faith are ALL He wants.  He already has everything else, right?  Think about it;  your decision to have love and faith is the one thing that the Creator of the entire universe wants!!

HOWEVER, God is God, and He is perfectly capable of Divinely influencing, and even taking over, our will when He chooses to do so, and on occasion He does.  It may never happen to you, but it’s important to be aware that He has the ultimate power, always.  That’s what makes our relationship with Him so amazing;  He CAN control us, but with rare exceptions He DOESN’T.  Unlike humans, who if we have the opportunity to control anyone we seldom miss the chance to mess with them to some degree, God lets us live our own lives, make our own mistakes…  and then gives us undeserved blessings by helping us out of the messes we’ve created.

God is up close and personal with us, every moment of our lives.  The scripture shows in 2 dozen places that He can read our minds, including our deepest, darkest thoughts.  You couldn’t have so much as a single bad thought if He wanted to control you, but He DOESN’T; He gave you free will instead.

The final important point about free will is what it’s NOT: It’s not a guarantee that you will get your way. It doesn’t mean that you can do or have whatever you want. It doesn’t free you from the consequences of your actions. And it’s NOT the same thing as “your will”; someone might do something to you against your will, but they can’t do anything to you against your free will… if that makes sense. 

Free will gives you the ability to choose. You can choose right or wrong. You can choose to be a man or woman of God, or of the world.  You can choose to center your life around God, church, the Bible, prayer, worship… or other things.  You can choose to have faith… or not. God will never force you.  How will YOU use your free will?

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Sooner than expected

from JO’s sermon tonight:

God has some deliveries for you that are going to come sooner than you think. every circumstance may say, “it’s going to take years to get out of debt, meet the right person, accomplish a goal,” but get ready for some unexpected deliveries; God has favor, good breaks healing, divine connections, that are going to show up sooner than expected. yes, I know, there are times that God does things slowly, little by little, over a period of years, but there are also times God will do things suddenly, unexpectedly, quicker than you thought. you may have been told by the experts that it’s going to take a long time to get well; you’ve done everything you can, tried your best, but now you’ve accepted the fact that it’s going to be a long, drawn-out process. no, get ready for a knock on the door; God has your healing already en route. it’s going to be there sooner than expected. perhaps you’ve struggled with an addiction since high school;  you’ve tried to break it, gone through treatment, not able to do it. now, you think that’s the way it’s always going to be.  no, get ready, freedom is coming. a breakthrough is on the way. it should take years, but God is speeding things up.  that’s what it says in Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 1:12 (KJV)

12 … I will hasten my word to perform it.

that means God will do it quicker, faster, sooner than you think.

in Acts 12:

Acts 12:1-3 (NIV)

1 … King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church… he proceeded to seize Peter also. 

Herod didn’t like the church, he was against believers:

Acts 12:2 (NIV)

2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.

it didn’t look good for Peter.

Acts 12:4-6 (NIV)

4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each… Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 

Acts 12:4 (NIV)

4 …Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover

Acts 12:5-12 (NIV)

5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him… the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 

they knew this was a very serious situation; he was just a few hours away from possibly losing his life.

Acts 12:6-15 (ESV)

6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out… an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself… he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!”

they were praying for Peter’s release, but they almost couldn’t believe it because it happened sooner than expected; that was one of those deliveries that they didn’t see coming. all the circumstances said, if he did ever get out, if some way he was ever freed, it would take months, possibly even years.

God has some unexpected deliveries coming your way;  He knows how to do it faster than you think. some of the things you’ve been praying about, you think it’s going to take years and years; no, just like with these people, God is going to do it suddenly, unexpectedly, quicker than you thought.  you’re still praying about it, and the answer comes knocking at the door: while you’re praying for your healing, healing is already en route. you’re praying for the breakthrough, and the angel has already loosed the chains. you’re praying for the child who’s off-course; God has already set the miracle into motion. you’re going to hear a knock on your door sooner than expected. don’t talk yourself out of it; “that’s impossible, have you seen my circumstances, looked at my bank account, heard what the specialists say about my health situation?” no, the delivery is already en route. the scripture says:

Psalm 56:9 (CEV)

9 When I pray, Lord God,

    my enemies will retreat

Psalm 56:9 (TLB)

9 The very day I call for help, the tide of battle turns

God set the miracle into motion. every circumstance may say, “you’ll never get free, never get well, never accomplish a dream,” but know this; chains have already been loosed. the right people are already headed your way. favor, healing, vindication, is about to come knocking at your door. in this year of acceleration, you’re going to see doors open of their own accord. things that you couldn’t make happen, you didn’t have the talent, funding, connections, God will supernaturally make happen: breaks that you didn’t deserve, favor chasing you down, unexpected deliveries.

like Peter, you may have obstacles that look insurmountable, problems that look too big: sickness, family difficulties, depression. God is going to do for you what He did for him.  God is going to supernaturally open those iron gates, and bring you into freedom. suddenly, things are going to fall into place. you’re going to be so amazed, thinking, “I never thought it would happen this fast. I was just praying, and the answer showed up.  I was just dreaming about it, and the door supernaturally opened.  I was just honoring God, being my best, and the blessing chased me down.” 

it may look like you’ve come to a dead end in your dreams, health, a relationship; every voice says, “it’s never going to happen.” but there are some doors that God has already ordained for you; they’re going to open of their own accord. you couldn’t make it happen;  it’s simply the goodness of God. you’re going to see some of these doors open sooner than expected. everything in the natural says it’s going to be years and years; God is saying, “it’s already en route. it’s closer than you think.” it’s so important in those tough times to not dwell on all the negative thoughts: “it’s never going to happen, I’ll never get better.”  no, turn it around;  “Father, I want to thank You that the miracle is already in motion. thank You, Lord, that the delivery’s already en route. I may not see how it can happen, but God, I know You can cause doors to open on their own accord.” stay in faith; you’re going to see times when it happens sooner than expected.

this is what David did. he’d just gone through the worst defeat of his life; while he and his 600 men were out protecting the borders of Israel:

1 Samuel 30:1-4 (NLT)

30 Three days later, when David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. 2 They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone.

3 When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, 4 they wept until they could weep no more.

it looked like it was over, but instead of staying defeated:

1 Samuel 30:16-18e (HCSB)

16 … the Amalekites, spread out over the entire area, eating, drinking, and celebrating because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and the land of Judah. 17 David slaughtered them from twilight until the evening of the next day. None of them escaped, except 400 young men who got on camels and fled.

18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken

that in itself was a great victory.  but what’s even more significant is, that same day, King Saul was killed in a battle, and David took the throne. this all happened three days after David’s greatest defeat. 3 days from his darkest hour, he was put on the throne of Israel. I’m sure, if you would’ve asked David three days earlier, when he was sitting in the ruins of his city, depressed and discouraged, if he thought that in a few days he would be taking the throne, he would’ve said, “are you kidding? this is the worst time of my life!” every circumstance said that it was a long way off, that his best days were behind him. but what David couldn’t see was that it was all a part of God’s plan; that setback was really a setup to move him into his destiny. it looked like that defeat could be a big delay, maybe even keep him from the throne.  in reality, it was just the opposite; it was instrumental in putting him on the throne.

there was a key to all of this happening; if David would’ve sat there in self-pity, bitter, “God, why did you let this happen? I was out doing the right thing.” if he would’ve stayed negative, defeated, he could’ve missed his destiny. in those difficult times, things you don’t understand, it’s easy to get discouraged, bitter, but remember; like David, you could be just 72 hours from your greatest victory. you could be just a few days from seeing God shine out in your life in ways you’ve never seen. “it’s going to take me years to get out of this mess, recover from this bad break, get over this illness”; no, God is going to do for you what He did for David. it’s going to happen sooner then you expected. that setback is not a surprise to God. He’s already dispatched the angel with the answer; it’s already en route. it may be dark right now, but one day, you’re going say like David, “wow, God, I never dreamed that it would turn around this fast.”

some of the things that you could be discouraged by, bad break, disappointment, loss, looks like a dead end, like it’s going to hold you back; in reality, that setback is going to propel you into the next level of your destiny. if you will stay in faith, you will see some of these unexpected deliveries. God will cause doors to open on their own accord. He’ll make things happen that you could not make happen;  suddenly, unexpectedly, quicker than you thought. what you’ve been dreaming about, praying for, may look like it’s a long way off, but God has already put it en route. it’s already headed your way. you are close to your breakthrough, healing, promotion; it has your name on it. keep honoring God: it’s going to show up sooner than expected.

John 4:46-50 (NIV)

46 … there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death… 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

Jesus didn’t pray, didn’t take any time, he just declared that healing was coming. this man could’ve been a little offended, thinking, “I came all this way, and he didn’t even take time to pray.” no, his attitude was, “if he says my son is going to live, if he says healing is on the way, then I believe healing is on the way.”

John 4:50-53 (NIV)

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” 

just like with this man, there are promises that God has spoken to you, things that He’s put in your heart that you know are going to happen: dreams, goals, divine connections, turnarounds. the moment God spoke it, He released it.  it’s already in your future; it’s just a matter of time before you walk into it.  when Jesus told this man, “your little boy will live,” the scripture says:

John 4:50 (NIV)

50 …The man took Jesus at his word and departed

walking back home, he could’ve thought, “I don’t think it’s going to happen, he didn’t even pray, I think I’m wasting my time”; that would’ve stopped the miracle. you have to do like this man; take God at His word. make a decision; you’re not going to go around worried, doubting, discouraged, thinking it’s never going to happen. no, stay in faith, knowing that what God promised you has already been released; it’s already en route, headed your way.

we see this principle with Daniel. one time in the scripture, he prayed, and an angel came, and said:

Daniel 10:12-13 (NIV)

12 …“Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days.

just like with Daniel, the moment you prayed, God released the healing, promotion, it’s already en route. now do your part, all through the day;  “Lord, thank you that it’s on the way. I know You’re a faithful God. I know You’ll hasten Your word to perform it.  I believe that it will happen even sooner than expected.”

2 Kings 6:24-25 (NIV)

24 Some time later, Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria. 25 There was a great famine in the city

they were waiting for the Israelites to starve to death, and then they were going to go in and take their belongings.

2 Kings 7:1 (CEV)

1 Elisha answered, “I have a message for you. The Lord promises that tomorrow here in Samaria, you will be able to buy a large sack of flour or two large sacks of barley for almost nothing.”

God was saying, “things are about to turn around, and it’s going to happen faster than you think. overnight, in 24 hours, there’s going to be abundance.”

2 Kings 7:2 (NIV)

2 The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?”

instead of taking God at his word, like the first government official, he did just the opposite.

2 Kings 7:3-10 (NIV)

3 Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die?… let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives 8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank… 10 So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” 

just like God promised, there was so much food and supplies, you could buy them for almost nothing.  it happened suddenly. it happened overnight. 

it may look like your situation is going to take years to turn around; years to get well, years to get out of debt. no way in the natural. the good news; we serve a supernatural God. He’s saying, “it’s going to happen suddenly, unexpectedly, quicker than you thought.” God has ways to turn it around that you’ve never thought of. He specializes in unexpected deliveries. David never thought, sitting in his darkest hour, that he was only three days from the throne. these people never thought that in their greatest need, they were only one day from abundance. God did it for them; He can do it for you. you’re about to see some of those blessings that have already been en route.  like Daniel, the moment you prayed, God released it. you’re about to see the healing, promotion, breakthrough. do like this government official; take God at His word. keep thanking Him that the answer’s on the way. keep thanking Him for unexpected deliveries. if you’ll do this, God is going to hasten His word to perform it. like these people, you’re going to see some overnight turnarounds. like David, you’re going to see some 72 hour breakthroughs. get ready; it’s going to happen sooner than expected.

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