Archive for June 6th, 2016

from JO’s sermon tonight:

it’s great when people believe in us, cheer us on, make us feel valuable. we love when our spouse compliments us, a friend is there to give encouragement, a coworker stays late to help us on a project. God uses people to help move us toward our destiny. but here’s the key; you can’t become so dependent on people that you’re getting your worth and value out of how they treat you. it’s easy to become addicted to compliments, encouragement, them cheering you on; now, you rely on them to keep you feeling good about yourself, to always be there to validate you, to make you feel approved. like a drug, if they don’t keep you fixed, meet all your expectations, you get discouraged, feel inferior, work overtime to try to win their approval. the problem is, you’re trying to get from people what only God can give; your worth, value, doesn’t come from another person, it comes from your Creator. if you rely on people, you’ll be disappointed; people will let you down, get busy, not be there when you need them. sometimes, people will even turn on you. 

in the scripture, Peter was Jesus’ close friend; they were with each other day and night. but when Jesus needed Peter the most, when he was about to be crucified, Peter denied that he even knew Christ. Jesus could’ve been upset, “God, I don’t understand it; why wasn’t my friend there for me?” he would’ve missed his destiny. 

quit relying on people; what they do or don’t do doesn’t determine your worth. what they give you or don’t give you cannot stop your purpose; God breathed His life into you, crowned you with His favor. quit waiting for people to approve you, and start approving yourself. people may not encourage you; you can encourage yourself. people may not make you feel special; you can make yourself feel special. “I’m a child of the most high God. I know I’m crowned with favor, one-of-a-kind, a masterpiece.” you’ll have better relationships if you’ll start validating yourself. if you’re always depending on somebody else, you’ll become needy, a burden, waiting for other people to keep you fixed.

your friends, family members, they have enough problems of their own, issues that they’re dealing with, to not come home and have to work on you for 3 hours. that’s not only hurting you, it’s unfair to the people God put in your life; they’re not responsible for your happiness, to keep you cheered up. don’t put that extra pressure on them; learn to receive your value, self-worth, from your heavenly Father. if you’re basing that off of what people give you, then, if they change their mind, stop doing it, you’ll feel devalued. but when you go to God for it, nobody can take it away. it’s not dependent on how somebody treats you, how they make you feel, how many compliments they give you; it’s dependent on the fact that you’re a child of Almighty God, and you know He has already approved you. that’s where you’re getting your value. 

“my parents didn’t raise me right, I didn’t have a good childhood, my spouse never compliments me, my boss didn’t give me the credit that I deserve.” I say this respectfully; if you didn’t get it, you didn’t need it. they can’t stop your destiny. what they say or do cannot override God’s plan for your life. shake off the negativity. that person that walked away, did you wrong, made hurtful comments;  shake off the disrespect, don’t believe the lies that you’re not talented enough, attractive enough, good enough. they don’t determine your value, lessen your self-worth; the only power people have over you is the power that you give them.

Jesus had all kinds of people come against him: politicians, religious leaders, haters, critics, trying to discredit him, make him feel inferior, cause him to give up. he could’ve taken the bait, thought, “I must not be too special; listen to what they’re saying, look at how they are treating me.” but Jesus understood this principle; he knew his value didn’t come from people, it came from his heavenly Father. he said to them:

John 5:41-42 (TLB)

41-42 “Your approval or disapproval means nothing to me

he was saying, “I don’t need your approval to feel good about myself. I don’t have to have your encouragement, support, to keep me moving forward.” Paul said:

Philippians 4:13 (AMP)

13 … I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency

not in our own strength, but when we know the Creator of the universe lives in us, equipped, empowered, anointed us, we can put our shoulders back, hold our head up high, knowing that if God approves us, we don’t have to have people’s approval. 

it’s good when people encourage us, cheer us on; what I’m saying is, don’t become dependent on that. if somebody’s not giving you what you expect, not validating you, that’s ok, you can validate yourself, approve yourself; you are self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. you can feel good about who you are, knowing that God hand-picked you, created you in His image, put seeds of greatness on the inside. what am I saying? you don’t need somebody else’s praise. you don’t have to have people’s applause; you have the applause from the One who matters most, the God Who spoke worlds into existence. I’d rather have his applause than people’s applause.

“if I could convince this person to like me, they know a lot of people; maybe some new doors would open.” the scripture says:

 Psalm 75:6 (TLB)

6 For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God 

God knows where all the opportunities are. He can make things happen for you without you having to convince somebody to like you. you don’t have to play up to people, try to win their favor; if they don’t want to be your friend, it’s their loss, not yours. do yourself a favor, and keep moving forward; they’re not a part of your destiny. God has divine connections, people He’s already lined up; they’re already in your future. 

sometimes, the reason people don’t give us what we need is because they don’t have it. nobody gave it to them; they didn’t see it modeled growing up. if they weren’t raised showing affection, with people expressing feelings, being good to each other, the problem is, they don’t have it to give. if you’re trying to get it from them, you’re going to be frustrated. why don’t you let them off the hook, and go to God for what they can’t give you. here’s the key; God has it all. if you’ll learn this principle, to not rely on people, but to go to Him for your encouragement, approval, self-worth, then you won’t live stressed out because somebody is not giving you what you expect. if nobody’s complimenting you, you can compliment yourself; get up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror, “good morning you good-looking thing.” God calls you a masterpiece. say what God says about you; ”I’m strong, healthy, one-of-a-kind, highly favored.” you have to build yourself up, encourage yourself, compliment yourself.

you cannot rely on your spouse, parents, coach, teacher, Pastor; they may mean well, they couldn’t love you any more, but no person can meet all of your needs, only God can.  if you’re just looking to people, eventually you’re going to become resentful, bitter, start holding that against them; it will sour your relationships. the truth is, it’s not their fault; maybe they have issues, they could be doing better in areas. but if you’ll not rely on people, and go to God instead, you won’t be dependent on what somebody does. if they’re not giving you what you need, and that was the only way to get it, they would control your destiny. God didn’t design the plan for your life, and say, “ok, it’s all dependent on if these other people do what’s right, if they encourage you, cheer you on, never let you down”; no, God put everything you need within your power. and instead of us living needy, “why won’t they compliment me, be my friend?” the right attitude is, “nobody owes me anything. I don’t have to have people’s credit, applause, support, compliments; I am self-sufficient. I know where to go for everything that I need.”

why don’t you let the people in your life off the hook? maybe they did the best they could. they may have made decisions that you don’t understand, feels like they put you at a disadvantage, but you didn’t have to walk in their shoes; maybe nobody gave them what they needed to give to you. bottom line; nobody owes you anything. God is keeping all the records; He has seen everything that’s happened in your life. the injustice, bad breaks, person that did you wrong; those people cannot pay you back, make you whole, only God can. He said He would give you beauty for the ashes, pay you back double for the unfair things that have happened. quit looking to people to make it up to you, trying to get somebody to apologize, admit they were wrong, give you what they don’t have. if you’ll go to God, He’ll bring you out better; He’ll make the rest of your life more rewarding, fulfilling than it would’ve been if that hadn’t have happened in the first place.

when you let people off the hook, and quit trying to make them perform perfectly and keep you fixed, not only will their life be better, but your relationships will improve. no matter how good a person is, they can’t give you everything that you need. if you look to God, you’ll never be disappointed. no person has 100% of what you need. I’ve heard it said, in a relationship, the most the other person will have is 80% of what you need; there will always be 20% that they don’t have to give you. the mistake we make is, we leave the 80% to go find the 20% in somebody else. the problem is, that next person will be missing 20% as well. the key to a good relationship is to recognize the other person’s strengths and weaknesses, then give them room to be who they are; don’t try to squeeze them into your mold. if you’re relying on another person to meet all your needs, become everything in your life, you’re going to be disappointed; you have to let them off the hook. 

sometimes, God will let us go through seasons where we’re not getting what we expect from people; on purpose, He’ll have them withhold it, to teach us to not rely on another person, but to get our encouragement, value, worth from Him. God uses approval, validation, from other people to keep us going, keep us moving, but at some point, like a mother weans a baby off a bottle, so the child can grow up, God is going to wean you off having to have people’s compliments and applause. that doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen, it means you’re going to get to a place where you’re not dependent on someone else cheering you on so you can feel good about yourself; you’re not dependent on them complimenting you, keeping you encouraged. it’s nice to hear, but you’ve developed this self-sufficiency; you don’t rely on people for their approval, you go to God for your approval.

the higher God takes you, there will be more disapproval, more opposition, more critics. if you’re basing your worth and value on how people are treating you, how much they’re cheering you on, and you’re trying to keep all of them happy, you’ll never become everything God created you to be. you’re never going to keep everyone happy; quit trying to please people. when you come to the end of your life, you’re not going to stand before people and give an account, you’re going to stand before God. He’s not going to say, “did you keep everyone happy, please all your family, have the support from your coworkers?” He’s going to ask, “did you fulfill My purpose for your life, run your race, finish your assignment?”

maybe you’re not getting from people what you used to: the compliments, support, encouragement. instead of being frustrated, have a new perspective; God is growing you up, getting you prepared for the next level of your destiny. the less you depend on people, the stronger your spiritual muscles are going to become, and the higher you’re going to go.

in Judges 7, the Midianites joined forces with 2 other armies; they crossed the Jordan River, and were about to attack the Israelites. Gideon put out a call to all of his men; 32,000 Israeli warriors showed up ready to fight. Gideon was feeling good; he had a large army to protect the people of Israel. they marched out towards those enemies, but God said to him:

Judges 7:2-3 (NIV)

2 The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ 3 Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.

he lost two thirds of his army. I’m sure Gideon gulped, and said, “God, did you see what just happened?” 

Judges 7:4-7 (NIV)

4 But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”

5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” 6 Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.

7 The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.”

his army went from 32,000 to 300. I can imagine, Gideon thought, “God, I was confident with 32,000, a little worried with 10,000, but God, 300 men? this is impossible.” God was saying, “Gideon, you don’t need everyone that you think you need. you’re depending on too many people.” God is saying that to us; you don’t need all of your coworkers to support you, all your friends and family members cheering you on. the less you depend on people, the greater the anointing in your life. when you’re not depending on someone else, hoping that they’ll help you, thinking that they’re the savior, then God will release His favor in your life in a greater way. Gideon went out with those 300 men, 1% of what he started with; God supernaturally helped them to defeat those armies that were much bigger and much more equipped. 

in the same way, God is going to give you victories where the odds were totally against you. you know you could accomplish your goal if you had the support, the connections. you could overcome that obstacle if you had the strongest players, the best people on your legal team. God is saying, “don’t worry about it.” you don’t have to have all those people; you and God are a majority. the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. quit saying, “if they would just train me, if they’d just get behind me”; if you’ll quit depending on people, the anointing will increase in your own life. you’ll accomplish more with less help, with less people, because of God’s favor on your life.

are you frustrated because you don’t think you have enough support? have this new perspective; the greatest Force in the universe is breathing in your direction right now. are you discouraged because people are not giving you what they used to? it’s because God’s growing you up. quit trying to get from people what only God can give; go to Him for your value, self-worth, encouragement. if you’ll start passing these tests, not relying on people, you’ll not only live more confident and secure, but like Gideon, you’re going to overcome obstacles that look insurmountable, accomplish dreams that seemed impossible, and reach the fullness of your destiny.

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