Archive for February, 2017

The God Who Goes Before You

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all face situations where we don’t see a way out; the obstacles look too big, we’ve had the problem for so long, our dream seems impossible. this is the way the Israelites felt. they were headed towards the promised land, and encountered many obstacles; in the natural, they didn’t have a chance, but God said:

Isaiah 45:2-3 (NIV)
2 I will go before you
and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron…
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

you may have big obstacles in your path, situations in your health, finances, relationships, you don’t see how it could work out, the odds are against you, but God is saying to you what He said to them, “I’m going to go before you and level those mountains.” whatever’s trying to stop you, sickness, addictions, depression, it may look insurmountable to you, but it is no match for our God; one touch of His favor will turn that mountain into level ground. it’s going to be easier than you think; you’re not going to have to struggle, work, worry, fight.

in the scripture, a word used in the original Greek for God’s power is “dunamis”; that’s where we get our word “dynamite.” dynamite can clear away large obstacles; whatever the obstacles are in your life right now, I can see God putting the dynamite in. He’s about to light that fuse. you’ve been faithful, given, served, get ready for an explosion: good breaks, healing, freedom. those obstacles that have held you back are about to be blown away. God says that He will level your mountains; not make a tunnel through them or a path around them, or even give you the strength to go over them. God is going to do something unprecedented, out of the ordinary:

Isaiah 45:3 (NIV)
3 so that you may know that I am the Lord

God wants you to know that He is all-powerful. He’s going to do some things in your life where you have no doubt that that was the hand of God; not only will you know, but the people around you will also know.

when God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites went through on dry ground, Pharaoh and his men knew that that was the Lord their God. when Lazarus was raised from the dead, everywhere he went, people stood in awe of the Lord his God. God wants to give you some evidence, something that can’t be disputed; you couldn’t have made it happen, but God went ahead of you and leveled those mountains. now, everyone can look at you and see the blessing of God on your life. God wants to make you an example of His goodness. you may have seen His favor in the past, but you haven’t seen anything yet. God has some explosive blessings that are going to catapult you to the next level. it’s good to think about what God has done in the past, but God doesn’t want you to live on past victories; He’s about to give you some fresh victories.

Isaiah 45:2 (NIV)
2 … I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron

that means, things that have held you back for years, addictions, lack, depression, insecurity, God is saying, “I’m about to break some generational curses, put an end to what’s been holding you back”; defeat, mediocrity, depression. it’s not going to be the way that it used to be; you’re stepping into a new season, you’re going to have a strength that you didn’t have, things are going to fall into place, you’re not going to have to fight. God is going to make things happen that you couldn’t make happen; you didn’t have the talent, connections, the odds were against you, but it’s suddenly going to turn around.

there may be things that have held you back for a long time; every voice tells you that it’s never going to change, you’ll never meet the right person, get well, get out of debt. that may be true on your own; the good news is, you’re not on your own, the most high God is going before you. it may not have happened yet; don’t worry, your time is coming. this is your year of yes; yes to healing, breaking the addiction, meeting the right people, seeing new doors open.

in Joshua 24, the Israelites were up against 7 nations that were bigger, stronger; on their own, they didn’t have a chance, but:

Joshua 24:12 (JUB)
12 And I sent hornets before you, which drove them out from before you

Joshua 24:12-13 (NIV)
12 … You did not do it with your own sword and bow. 13 So 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.’

you may not see how your situation could ever work out, but don’t worry; God has plenty of insects, ways to do it that you never thought of. He may not do it in a traditional manner; quit trying to figure everything out and trust Him. He’s in control of your life. He knows how to get you to where you’re supposed to be.

the Israelites could’ve reasoned it out, and thought, “God, we’re former slaves, we don’t have a chance”; God said, “don’t worry, you’re not going to have to fight; I’m going ahead of you to level your mountains.” God is saying the same thing to you; you’re not going to have to worry, struggle, try to force it to happen. whatever’s keeping you from your health, joy, abundance, victory, He’s beginning to drive them out. you’re going to come into your land of health and wholeness, increase and promotion; God is driving out sickness and disease, struggle and lack. if God were to show you all He had in store, you would say, “that’s not for me, You’ve got the wrong person; I don’t have the experience, training, talent”; you may not, but God has blessings for you that you haven’t earned. God has the final say; what He has destined for you, no person, organization, group can stop. He knows when the right time is; if it hasn’t happened yet, you didn’t miss your opportunity, God is holding what belongs to you; at the right time, God will make things happen that you could never make happen.

Isaiah 65:24 (NIV)
24 Before they call I will answer

things you haven’t even prayed about yet, God already has the answer lined up. He’s going ahead of you right now, lining up the right people and opportunities. He has solutions to problems you haven’t had yet. He’s a strategic God; nothing happens by accident. why don’t you trust Him?

Matthew 10:29 (NABRE)
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.

how much more does God care about you and your family? He doesn’t say that He’ll go before you if you perform perfectly; in His great mercy, He’ll be right there to help you get back on course.

this is what happened to Jonah:

Jonah 1:1-4 (NIV)
1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.

yes, there are consequences for going the wrong way, but that doesn’t mean God is not going to help you; He’s going to give you another chance, and another, and another.

Jonah 1:12-15 (NIV)
12 … I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”… 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.

God doesn’t abandon us when we make mistakes; He had gone before Jonah and had that big fish ready:

Jonah 1:17-2:10 (NIV)
17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights… 10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

like Jonah, many of us would not be here if God had not gone before us in the wrong direction. we brought the trouble on ourselves, it was nobody’s fault but our own, but God in His mercy was there to help us out. you may think that you blew it too many times, you’ve gotten too far off course, but you wouldn’t be hearing this if God was finished with you. you can still become all that God created you to be.

God is going before you to lift you when you fall, restore you when you make mistakes. God has already forgiven you; His mercy is bigger than any mistake. He already has a new beginning waiting for you. quit living guilty and condemned; you wouldn’t be alive if God didn’t have something amazing out in front of you. are you living worried, stressed out, wondering how it’s going to work out? God is saying, “trust Me. I have you covered. I know where you are, and where you’re going.” those obstacles that look like they’re never going to change, you better get ready: this is a new day. God is breaking chains that have held you back. you’re going to see increase, restoration, healing, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny.

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The Open Windows of Heaven

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all come to places in life where we reach our limits; we’ve gone as far as our education allows, the medical report says we’re not going to get well, we haven’t been able to break the addiction. it’s easy to settle where we are and think that it’s never going to change, but:

Malachi 3:10 (NLT)
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse… “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!

when you honor God with your giving, He will open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings that you cannot contain. you may have reached your limits on your own, there are obstacles that you can’t seem to overcome; the good news is, you’re not on your own. because you’re a giver, honoring God, you are under the open windows of heaven. if you’ll get your passion back, start believing, expecting again, God is going to rain down favor, good breaks, abundance. under the open windows of heaven, healing is raining down; God can do what medicine cannot do. He has the final say. you may have gone as far as you can in your career, but under the open windows of heaven, increase, divine connections, opportunities are raining down. don’t accept that things are the way they’re always going to be; you have an advantage, you’re under the open windows of heaven, it’s just a matter of time before freedom reigns down.

sometimes, we think that we’re at a disadvantage, we don’t have the talent, connections, experience that we need; if you think you’re at a disadvantage, you will live at a disadvantage. turn it around; “I’m under the open windows of heaven. I have an abundance of everything I need; talent, ideas, strength, health.” get rid of a lack mentality; have an abundance mentality. you may not have seen it yet, but don’t worry, your time is coming. God is about to do something unusual, extraordinary, that you haven’t seen before; if you have room for it, you haven’t seen the fullness of what God’s going to do. He’s going to give you so many opportunities that you can’t take them all, so many material things, so much joy, peace, strength, stability, that you have to share them. instead of needing to be encouraged, you’ll be the encourager.

the other place in the Bible that God said He would open the windows of heaven was for the great flood; when God says that He’s going to open the windows of heaven in your life, He’s going to send a flood of His goodness. there will be blessings that you cannot contain or explain. when God rains down healing, cancer can’t stay. when He rains down joy, depression has to go. when He rains down favor, good breaks, it will thrust you to the next level. you’re not going to be able to explain it; you weren’t the most qualified, the next in line, you shouldn’t have been chosen, but you look up, and you’re further than you ever dreamed. you’ve been faithful, given, served; in this year of yes, the heavens are about to open up.

God is going to do something that you’ve never seen; it’s going to be a bountiful, abundant, prosperous year. problems that looked permanent are suddenly going to turn around, doors that have been closed for years are suddenly going to open. you’re not going to have to go after opportunity; it’s going to come after you.

now do your part; all through the day, “Father, thank You that I’m under the open windows of heaven, You’re pouring out blessings that I can’t contain.” your mind may tell you, “this is not going to happen for you, nothing’s going to change”; don’t believe those lies. keep thanking God for what He’s about to do. praise causes the heavens to open; living worried, discouraged, complaining, keeps the rain from coming down. you may not see how it can happen, but this is what faith is all about; “God, I can’t see a way, but I know that You have a way. my circumstances say that I’m stuck, but I’m not moved by what I see, I’m moved by what I know, and I know that I’m under the open windows of heaven.”

when you get this down in your spirit, you won’t be intimidated by the size of your dreams, discouraged by problems, live thinking that you’re a disadvantage; you’ll have confidence, expectancy, knowing that at any moment the heavens are going to open up.

when you do your part, God will do His part. He’ll cause people to be good to you, open doors that you can’t open. the same God that sends provision can send healing, breakthroughs, the person of your dreams. contracts, scholarships, opportunities are going to come looking for you; you’re not going to have to try to force it to happen, persuade people, God is going to cause it to fall into place. quit worrying and losing sleep; the battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s. He’s your vindicator, protecting your reputation. stand still and you will see the deliverance of the Lord; it’s going to happen sooner than you think, and turn out better than you thought. don’t let your mind talk you out of it.

Malachi 3:11 (KJV)
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes

that means that what would have devoured opportunity, finances, because you’re a giver, God is going to rebuke that for your sake. you don’t have to live worried, in fear, on edge; you have a protector, defender, the most high God is standing guard over your life. there are many times that God has rebuked the devourer that you know nothing about: He kept you from a sickness, an accident, a supervisor from holding you back. it’s good to thank God for the blessing, promotion, favor, but sometimes you need to thank God for what didn’t happen: you didn’t get laid off, your child didn’t get in trouble, that was God behind the scenes rebuking the devourer for your sake.

how did God create light on the first day of creation when He didn’t create the sun until the fourth day? God was showing us that He can bless you without a source. He can promote you without people being for you, heal you without the treatment. when you look at your situation, you may see all the reasons why you can’t get well, accomplish a dream, break the addiction. you don’t have what you need, but God is not limited by what you don’t have. He doesn’t have to have a traditional source. He’s God; He controls the universe. what God has destined for you He can do without a bank, treatment, experience, support; He may not do it in a traditional way. what God has planned for you, He doesn’t check with your bank account, friends, talent; He speaks, and it becomes. you’re going to see things happen, and think, “how did I get here? how did I know how to do this?”

this is what happened to Ruth in the scripture:

Ruth 2:2-16 (NIV)
2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”… Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

now, she had more than enough; she could finish in half the time. she came into abundance, but she didn’t see a source. God is going to make things happen where you don’t see a source. quit worrying because you don’t see how your situation could work out; God’s ways are not our ways, they are higher and better.

in Acts 8:

Acts 8:26 (NIV)
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”

I’m sure this didn’t make much sense to Philip; things were going great in Samaria, and now he’s supposed to go to the desert?

Acts 8:27-38 (NIV)
27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.

his whole life was changed from that one encounter. he wasn’t looking for Philip, Philip chased him down; an unexpected blessing.

because you’re a giver, honoring God, God is going to have the right people search you out, cause good breaks to find you; there are blessings that God has ordained to track you down, people who’ll use their influence, experience, to push you forward, help you go where you could not go on your own. this man was leaving the temple when Philip found him; when you take time to go to the house of the Lord, don’t be surprised at unexpected blessings, because you’re under the windows of heaven. when you keep God first place, when you’re a giver, blessings will take you by surprise. you need to get ready; good breaks that you didn’t see coming, opportunities that will thrust you to next level, are on the way. you couldn’t have made it happen, you didn’t have the connections, it was the hand of God.

maybe you’re single, believing to meet the right person; you don’t have to try to convince people to like you, compromise your values, just stay on the high road, keep honoring God, and he’ll have the right people find you, somebody better than you can imagine. you don’t have to seek after people; seek after God.

in 1 Kings 18, there had been a drought in Samaria for 3.5 years. the prophet Elijah could’ve said, “God, it’s not fair; I’m serving you, but I’m not under the open windows of heaven, I’m in a drought.” instead:

1 Kings 18:42-43 (NIV)
42 … Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.

43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.

“There is nothing there,” he said.

this is when many people give up and get discouraged, but not Elijah:

1 Kings 18:41-44 (NKJV)
41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”… And seven times he said, “Go again.”
44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’”

Elijah heard rain in his spirit before he saw the rain on the outside. God always puts things in your spirit before they come to pass; that’s why you have to latch onto promises. in the midst of struggle and lack, you have to hear abundance. in loneliness, you have to hear friendships. in sickness, you have to hear health. in trouble and opposition, you have to hear victory.

1 Kings 18:45-46 (NIV)
45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. 46 The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

when you’re under the open windows of heaven, God will help you accomplish things that you could not accomplish on your own.

what Elijah heard in his spirit came to pass. the things you’ve been hearing in your spirit: abundance, dreams, healing, child coming back home, meeting the right person, it’s about to suddenly happen. you’ve been praying, thanking God, doing the right thing; get ready, the heavens are about to open up. you’re going to see an abundance of favor, joy, healing. you’re going to go further than you ever imagined, discover ability that you didn’t know was in you. God is going to bless you without a source. quit focusing on what you don’t have; all Elijah had was a little cloud, no chance of rain in the natural, but we serve a supernatural God. He can give light without the sun, healing without the treatment, promotion without people being for you. now all through the day, “Father, thank You that I’m under the open windows of heaven.” have an abundant mentality. if you’ll do this, God is about to pour out blessings that you cannot contain; unexpected favor, divine connections, healing, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny.

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Better Together

from JO’s sermon tonight:

it’s easy to do life on our own, and think that we don’t need any help, but you won’t reach your highest potential by yourself; God has ordained people to come into your life to strengthen, encourage you, push you towards your purpose. over 30 times in scripture, it says love, encourage, comfort, serve, “one another”; you need one another’s around you. don’t isolate yourself, and think, “I’m strong, talented enough”; you may be for what you have in mind, but not for what God has in mind. He has something bigger, more rewarding, that you can’t do by yourself. do you have a community of faith watching over, encouraging, inspiring you? you can be good by yourself, but you can’t be great by yourself; you won’t become all you were created to be without the right people around you. when you have a family of faith encouraging and praying for you, you’ll go further.

Hebrews 10:25 (MEV)

25 Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together

when we come together as a body of believers, united in faith, there’s something that happens that you cannot get on your own. we draw strength from each other; power, healing, joy is released. every time we come together, you’re being refreshed, restored, reenergized, it’s like your batteries are being recharged. what the week took out of you, God is putting back in you.

it’s good to worship and pray by yourself, but something happens corporately that doesn’t happen individually; that’s why David said:

Psalm 34:3 (NKJV)

3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,

And let us exalt His name together.

when we come together to magnify God, the intensity is turned up; there is power in connectivity. your faith, mixed with everybody else’s, creates something powerful: it breaks bondages, lifts depression, brings healing, restores joy. watching and reading are good, but they don’t take the place of church; you need to be around a community of faith. I know it takes effort, but you will never give God something without Him giving you more back in return; He can give you one idea, one good break, that will put you 6 months down the road. God sees the sacrifice; every time you obey, there’s a blessing that follows. when we come together, it’s not only refueling you, it’s helping others.

sometimes, we think, “everything’s great in my life, I don’t need to come”; why don’t you come and let your praise be for somebody else, your worship create an atmosphere for God to bless others? your faithfulness is what is causing some people to keep moving forward. “I’m just one person”; yes, but your presence makes the atmosphere better.

Matthew 18:20 (NIV)

20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

together we’re better, stronger, more powerful. the blessing is in the obedience of assembling together. the problem with not having a community of faith is that you get out from under protection. when you’re with a body of believers, you not only have people watching over you, but God covers you, puts a hedge of protection that will make it more difficult for you to get off course: there will be battles that you won’t have to fight, temptations that you won’t have to deal with, struggles that you won’t have to go through, because you’re connected, plugged in, honoring God.

I can’t think of a better gift that you could give to your children than to raise them in the house of the Lord. Some people won’t understand; “why are you getting up early on a Sunday morning, not only going to church, but going early to serve, staying late to help others, what’s wrong with you?”; they don’t realize that that’s not only refueling you, but:

Psalm 92:13 (NKJV)

13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord

Shall flourish in the courts of our God.

when you’e plugged in, faithful, you make being at God’s house a priority, there is a blessing on your life that will cause you to bloom, blossom, flourish; you will reach levels that you could not reach on your own.

David said:

Psalm 26:8 (CEV)

8 I love the temple where you live,

    and where your glory shines.

Psalm 26:8 (NLT)

8 I love your sanctuary, Lord,

    the place where your glorious presence dwells.

when you’re in church, God’s glory, favor, strength, healing, encouragement, is shining down on you; your week will go better because you’re covered with the glory of God. the good breaks that you got recently weren’t lucky breaks, they were blessings that came because of being planted in the house of the Lord, God’s glory shining down, covering you, favoring you, protecting you, keeping you safe. good things that are keeping you busy can keep you from God’s best; when you realize the benefits of coming together, you will rearrange your schedule to be in the house of the Lord. it’s all about what you make important in your life.

Hebrews 10:25 (AMP)

25 … and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching

this is saying, be sure you come together, but as times start getting darker, there’s more trouble, calamity, make especially sure that you come together. if there was ever a time that we should get together to draw strength and encouragement from each other, it’s these days. amongst all the distractions and opportunities, you have to make it a priority; me and my house will not only serve the Lord, we will go to the house of the Lord. it will prepare you for what you’re going to face during the week; you’ll make better decisions, have more creativity, see more of God’s favor. you can’t make it by yourself; you need the warmth, strength, encouragement of other believers.

Psalm 133:1 (NKJV)

1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity!

keep coming together, and God will break every force that’s holding you back; you’re going to step into a new level of your destiny.

in Psalm 73, David’s life was full of trouble:

Psalm 73:14-17 (NIV)

14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments… 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God

when he got around people of faith, who knew that God was in control, that spirit of defeat, depression, couldn’t stay:

Psalm 73:23-24 (NLT)

23 Yet I still belong to you;

    you hold my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,

    leading me to a glorious destiny.

there are some breakthroughs that are only going to happen when you get to the sanctuary. your faith alone may not be enough; that is why God has ordained you to be in a community of faith. what held you back individually cannot hold you back corporately. what would happen if you would get to the sanctuary more often?

after Jesus had risen from the dead:

Acts 1:4-5 (NLT)

4 … he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised… in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

scholars say that they were about 500 people there, but when the Holy Spirit came, only 120 were there:

Acts 2:1-2 (NKJV)

2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

when you’re in unity, connected with other believers, planted in the house of the Lord, in this year of yes, you’re going to see unexpected favor, sudden turnarounds; things that you couldn’t make happen, God is going to suddenly make happen.

things may be going badly for you today in your health, finances, relationships, it seems like it could never work out, you have too many obstacles, but the enemy doesn’t have to just deal with you, he has to deal with all of us; if you get weak, we’ll hold you up, you may feel like giving up, but we’re going to keep pushing you forward. that’s the benefit of being connected; it’s not just your prayers, it’s all of our prayers.

you don’t have to do life all by yourself; you were designed to be connected, because together we’re better. doing life on your own is going to keep you from your highest potential. when we’re together in unity, God will command a blessing on your life; you’re going to bloom, blossom, flourish, and see the glorious future that He has in store.

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Yes Is Coming

from JO’s sermon tonight:

sometimes, we’ve gone through so many noes that we get discouraged, and give up on our dreams. God is saying, this is going to be a year of YES; what hasn’t worked out in the past is suddenly going to fall into place, doors that you thought were closed are suddenly going to open. dreams and promises that you’d given up on, God is about to make a way. in this year of yes, God is about to reverse the noes; the times you’ve been denied, turned it down, told no thanks, that’s not the end, it just wasn’t the right time. yes is coming.

people may tell you no; their no does not cancel out God’s yes. don’t let them talk you out of your dreams; God has the final say, and He’s saying, “get ready for yes.” God is going to put you at the right place at the right time, send divine connections, people who will go out of their way to be good to you. you couldn’t make it happen; it was the favor of God bringing you into your yes. you may not think you have the right connections; don’t worry, you have friends in high places. God is not only guiding and directing your steps, He’s lining up the people you need, arranging things in your favor.

Paul said:

2 Corinthians 1:20 (MSG)
20 Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus

that means that the dreams and promises that He has spoken over you are already stamped with yes. God has already set the date to bring it to pass

2 Corinthians 1:21 (MSG)
21 God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ

God is saying yes, but He needs your yes to make it happen; God works where there is faith. when it comes to God, be a yes man/woman.

Psalm 65:11 (NLT)
11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest

you can go around not expecting good breaks, to not get ahead, or you can be a yes man/woman: “yes, God, I agree; thank You that it’s going to be a blessed, prosperous, abundant, bountiful year.” that’s not just being positive, it’s putting your yes with God’s yes. God said that what was meant for your harm, He’s going to turn and use to your advantage. you can dwell on all your hurts, what didn’t work out, the people that did you wrong, or you can be a yes man/woman. is God waiting for your yes? are you letting the noes, disappointments, delays, convince you that it’s not going to happen? you may not have seen it yet, but this is a new day; you’re coming into a year of yes. put your yes with God’s yes, and watch what happens.

there was a woman in the scripture named Hannah; she was married, but:

1 Samuel 1:6 (NIV)
6 … the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb

to make matters worse:

1 Samuel 1:2-7 (NIV)
2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none… her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.

but then:

1 Samuel 1:9-18 (NIV)
9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house…17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” 18 … she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

on the outside, nothing had changed, there was no sign of a baby, but on the inside, she put her yes with God’s yes.

1 Samuel 1:20 (NIV)
20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel

she came into her yes. like Hannah, you may have had a lot of noes, people have tried to discourage you, make you think it’s never going to happen; you need to get ready, your yes is coming. the same God that shut Hannah’s womb opened Hannah’s womb; God may have said no in the past, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be no in the future. just as God turned Hannah’s no into a yes, God is going to turn some noes around for you. will you do like Hannah, and start acting like what God told you is going to happen? all Hannah had was a word from the prophet that she was going to have a baby; you have something much more powerful, a promise from the God who spoke worlds into existence. He’s saying, “if you’ll put your yes with My yes, I’ll turn the noes around.”

those situations that seem permanent: the addiction that you’ve dealt with for years, the health issue that won’t go away, a struggle in your finances. it seems like you’re stuck, thoughts tell you, “just accept the noes”; don’t believe those lies, God is about to open up your womb. what you’ve been dreaming about, you need to get ready, your time is coming; your yes is headed your way. are you thanking God even though you don’t see anything happening? will you be bold enough to believe that you’re still going to give birth, even though it feels like your womb has been shut? if you keep adding your no to God’s yes, you can cancel out what God has in store. other people’s no cannot stop you, what they say, what they do; they don’t control your destiny. the enemy’s no cannot stop you; what you believe is what matters.

God needs your yes. He has amazing things in your future, more influence, favor than you’ve ever imagined; keep adding your yes. thoughts may tell you no, circumstances may tell you that it’s never going to happen, but your yes and God’s yes makes it a sure thing, because God controls the universe; one touch of His favor can turn a no into a yes. you need to get ready; your yes is on the way.

in 2 Kings:

2 Kings 20:1 (NIV)
1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

what do you do when God says no?

2 Kings 20:2-3 (NIV)
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.”

his attitude was, “if I’m going to die, I’m going to die asking for the yes.”

2 Kings 20:4-6 (NIV)
4 Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: 5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you… I will add fifteen years to your life.

even when you feel like God has said no, if you’ll dare do like Hezekiah, and ask God for the yes, your faith can cause God to change His mind. in this year of yes, God is going to reverse some noes; God is going to correct your mistakes, bring back opportunities that you’ve missed, and give you another chance. the things that have been a struggle, constant pressure, are going to suddenly turn around.

Hezekiah and Hannah both faced situations where God said no. they both asked for yes in the face of no; “God, You control the universe; we’re asking You in Your great mercy to change Your mind.”

are you bold enough to ask for a yes even though all you keep getting are noes? Jesus told a parable:

Luke 18:2-5 (CEV)
2 In a town there was once a judge who didn’t fear God or care about people. 3 In that same town there was a widow who kept going to the judge and saying, “Make sure that I get fair treatment in court.”
4 For a while the judge refused to do anything. Finally, he said to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 I will help this widow because she keeps on bothering me. If I don’t help her, she will wear me out.”

she kept asking for yes in the face of no. if you’re going to see your yes, you have to be determined; if you accept the first to no, you weren’t serious about it. the noes are a test; God wants to see how bad you want it. if you get discouraged, give up, you didn’t want it badly enough; you have to do like this woman and keep asking, praying, believing, dreaming, hoping. if one door closes, try another door; you have to come to your closed doors before you can come to your open doors. don’t get discouraged by the noes, they are part of your destiny, leading you to the yes. you may have had a lot of noes in the past, things haven’t worked out; you need to get ready, your yes is coming. God is going to open doors that you could not open, cause people to change their minds, and go out of their way to be good to you. it’s going to be unprecedented favor; you will know that it’s the hand of God.

Nazareth was a poor, run-down city in Biblical days:

John 1:46 (CEV)
46 “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

yet, Jesus came from the city of Nazareth. can any good thing come out of your neighborhood? yes, you can; you are the exception, the history-maker, you have seeds of greatness. there are yeses in your future that are going to thrust you to the next level. God is going to bring divine connections that will use their influence to push you into your purpose. you may have had a lot of noes in the past, but you need to get ready; you are coming into your year of yes. yes to the scholarship, right person, healing, breakthrough. your yes is on the way.

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