Archive for February 1st, 2016

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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