Archive for August, 2017

God’s Got This

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all have things that come against us. it’s easy to live uptight, wondering how it’s going to work out. what if the medical report isn’t good, finances don’t get better, my child doesn’t get accepted into that school? we tried to figure it out, we’ve done our best, but we don’t see anything changing; if we’re not careful, we’ll live worried, discouraged, not expecting it to get better. but there’s a simple phrase you have to keep down in your spirit; God’s got this. He’s on the throne, sees what’s happening, already has the solution. you don’t have to figure it out. there may not be a logical answer. in the natural, you don’t see a way; that’s ok, we serve a supernatural God. He has ways to do it that we’ve never thought of. instead of trying to force it to happen, living uptight, you have to let go and let God. when you turn it over to Him. and say, “God, I know that You’ve got this, You’re in control,” not only will you feel the heaviness lift off of you, but God will make things happen that you couldn’t make happen. some of the things that are frustrating you now, causing you to lose sleep, that would all change if you would have this new perspective, that God’s got this.

sometimes, we’re trying to play God, make our boss promote us, make ourselves get well, make the contract go through, but as long as we’re trying to force it, living frustrated, worried, then God steps back. but when you take your hands off, and say, “God, I know You’ve got this. I’m not going to worry about my finances, live uptight because of the medical report, frustrated because I haven’t met the right person. God, I trust Your timing, and I trust Your ways; my life is in Your hands.”

God never promised that we wouldn’t have difficulties, but He did promise He would give us strength for every battle, take what was meant for harm and use it to our advantage. you may have a good reason to worry about your health, finances, a dream, you’ve done everything you can, it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out. stay in faith; God is saying, “I’ve got this. I’m working behind the scenes. I’m in the process of turning it around; it’s just a matter of time before you see things change in your favor.” live out of a place of peace, trust. it may not happen the way you thought, but God’s ways are better than our ways. God knows what’s best for you; He’s got this.

in the scripture, a young man named Daniel worked for King Darius:

Daniel 6:3-4 (NIV)
3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so.

when you excel, when your gifts come out in great ways, don’t be surprised if people get jealous; everyone is not going to celebrate you. some people will try to find fault, hold you back; the good news is, people don’t determine your destiny, God does. keep being your best, and let God fight your battles. don’t get distracted trying to prove to them who you are; God will be your vindicator, take care of your enemies.

these people that were against Daniel tried to manipulate the king:

Daniel 6:5-16 (NIV)
5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”… 7 … advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den… 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing. 10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published… three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed… 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying… 13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel… still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed… 16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

when you’re in difficult situations, God has people praying for you that you don’t know anything about. this king was supposed to be his enemy, but he was actually believing for Daniel’s safety.

the apostle Paul said:

Philippians 1:21 (NKJV)
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

he was saying, in effect, “if I live, or if I don’t live, I’m going to give God praise. either way, God’s got this.” what you’re facing may be bigger, stronger, more powerful, but when you refuse to worry, live stressed out, instead you stay in peace, thanking God that He’s fighting your battles, knowing that He’s in control, you’re showing God by your actions that you’re trusting Him.

Daniel 6:20-22 (NIV)
20 … “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.

God made Daniel unappetizing to those lions; God knows how to make you unappetizing to the enemy. what should normally defeat you, for some reason it can’t harm you, stop your business, take your health. there is a bloodline that God has put around you and your family. God controls the universe, the enemies; you’re not at the mercy of random events, people wanting to do you wrong, bad breaks. God has a hedge of protection around you, nothing can happen without His permission. that’s why we don’t have to live worried, uptight; we’re in a controlled environment.

when the Hebrew teenagers were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace because they wouldn’t bow down to the King’s golden idol:

Daniel 3:17-18 (NIV)
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

they weren’t panicked, upset, bitter; they knew they were in a controlled environment. they were saying, like Paul, “if we live, we’re going to give God praise; if we don’t live, we’re going to go to heaven and still give God praise.” they stayed in faith, knowing that God had the final say. and yes, at some point we’re all going to die; I’m going to die in faith, believing, expecting, trusting, praising, smiling, with a good attitude, knowing that God is in complete control. nothing can snatch you out of His hands; the number of your days He will fulfill.

when you face enemies in life: sickness, addiction, debt, they can sense when you’re afraid of them, they’ll take more ground. that’s why the scripture says:

Ephesians 4:27 (MEV)
27 Do not give place to the devil.

but when they see you standing strong, thanking God when you could be complaining, being good to people when you could be bitter, at peace when you could be panicked, you are sending a message to those enemies that says loud and clear, “you have no power over me. you cannot stop me. my God is in control, and if He be for me, who dare be against me?”

the scripture says:

Daniel 6:19-20 (NIV)
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

notice how he addressed Daniel. Daniel was in there because he was worshipping a different God, yet the king called him “Daniel, servant of the living God.” even the king knew something was different about Daniel.

Daniel 6:23 (NIV)
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

amazing things happen when you stay in faith and trust God.

Daniel 6:24-27 (NIV)
24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. 25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations… 26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God… 27 He rescues and he saves

but here’s the key; God doesn’t deliver us from every difficulty, most of the time He takes us through the difficulty. Daniel’s faith didn’t keep him out of the lions’ den, but his faith did bring him out of the lions’ den. but if Daniel, or those teenagers, had been worried, panicked, negative, maybe there would’ve been a different outcome; maybe we wouldn’t be talking about them today.

I’m asking you to quit worrying about what you’re facing, losing sleep over that child that’s not doing right, being upset because somebody did you wrong, your dream hasn’t come to pass yet. God’s got this. He’s going to make a way where you don’t see a way. God’s going to protect you, favor you, get you to where you’re supposed to be.

David said:

Psalm 23:4 (ESV)
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil

God is not just with you on the mountain tops; He’s with you in the valleys, when you’re going through things. He knows what you’re up against.

Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

how much more is God concerned about what’s happening in your life? trust Him. live from a place of peace. this is a decision we have to make on a daily basis, because every day there’s something to worry about, some reason to get upset. all through the day, keep this phrase close to your heart; “God’s got this. He’s concerned about me, working in my life, He’s bigger than my enemies, lining up the right people, arranging things in my favor.” that attitude of faith is what allows God to do amazing things.

are you worried about your children, stressed out over your job, discouraged because of a disappointment, thinking it’s not going to work out? come back to that place of peace; God’s got this. He’s directing your steps, bringing the right people across your path, and your children’s path. He has beauty for the ashes. right now, He’s working behind the scenes in your lives. dare to trust Him, to believe. when we worry, we tie the hands of Almighty God.

we all face situations that are bigger than us: a bad medical report, you lost a major client, trouble in a relationship. it’s easy to think of all the reasons why it’s not going to work out. that’s when you have to dig your heels in, and switch over into faith; “God, I know You’ve got this. thank You for protecting my children, fighting my battles, healing my body,” when you’re tempted to worry, turn it around and thank God that He’s working. sometimes, God will allow difficult situations, just to prove to you that He’s God. He could have kept Daniel out of the lions’ den, stopped the Hebrew teenagers from going into the fiery furnace, but God allows these things, to not only show you, but to show others, that He is God. when David defeated Goliath, a giant twice his size, it wasn’t just so David could be promoted, honored; that victory was a sign to the Philistines, all of their enemies, and the Israelites, that God was in control, His hand of favor and blessing was on them.

some of the battles God allows in your lives are not just about you; it’s to make a statement to the people around you. nothing speaks louder than when people see the favor on your life, your overcoming obstacles that should have held you back, defeating giants that were bigger, accomplishing dreams where you didn’t have the expertise. they will know that you serve the true and the living God. not only that; those victories are like fuel to feed your faith when you face other challenges. you’ll know, “if God did it for me back then, He’ll do it for me again.” don’t get discouraged when you face things you don’t understand, obstacles that are bigger than you; that’s simply an opportunity for God to show you Who He is. it’s one thing to believe that God has power, can do the impossible, that’s good, but God wants you to do more than just believe; He wants you to experience His power. He’s going to show His greatness, favor.

David had all kinds of things come against him, but he said:

Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV)
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.

David lived with this attitude; “God’s got this. I’m not going to be worried, live upset; I know that He’s bigger than any obstacle that I’m facing.” he said a little later:

Psalm 27:5 (NIV)
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.

you may have enemies coming against you, but you have an advantage; God has placed you out of reach. they can’t defeat you, keep you from your destiny. remain confident. keep your peace. it may feel like you’re surrounded by an army; the truth is, you are surrounded by God’s favor. the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. David said:

Psalm 27:3 (NIRV)
3 Even if an army attacks me,
my heart will not be afraid.

sickness, addictions, debt may have attacked you; that’s a test. are you going to get worried, live in fear, “what if it doesn’t work out?” stay in peace. remain confident. God’s done it for you in the past; He’s going to do it for you again in the future.

David said:

Psalm 27:13 (NIV)
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord

after all he’d been through, you’d think he’d be negative, worried, “God, where were you?” he was just the opposite; “I know God’s got this.”

is something weighing you down today? are you worried about a situation, frustrated by what didn’t work out, down on yourself because you’re not where you thought you would be? God is saying, “I’ve got this. it’s not a surprise to Me. I have new beginnings, healing, breakthroughs.” I’m asking you to change your perspective; switch over into faith. that situation at work that you’re worried about, that medical report that’s keeping you up at night, living stressed is not making it any better; be still and know that He’s God, He has you in the palm of His hand, He’s got this. and yes, you may have enemies coming against you, but God has placed you out of reach. now all through the day, when you’re tempted to worry, keep this phrase playing in your mind; “God’s got this.” if you’ll do this, you’re going to see God’s goodness in new ways, rise higher, accomplish dreams, and become everything God’s created you to be.

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A son mentality

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we’ve all been through disappointments, had unfair situations. because of negative things in the past, or mistakes that we’ve made, it can be easy to forget who we really are. too often, we’ve developed a slave mentality; we think that we’re at a disadvantage, so we don’t pursue dreams, believe for good breaks, pray bold prayers. we live like we’re a slave to the addiction, depression, mediocrity. but as long as we have a slave mentality, it will limit our life.

1 John 3:2 (NKJV)
2 Beloved, now we are children of God

you may have a lot coming against you, but you are not a slave, you are a son. sons think differently than slaves. you may struggle with an addiction, but a son says, “I have a right to be free.” there may be obstacles in your path, but a son knows, “the forces that are for me a greater than the forces that are against me.”

the Israelites had been in slavery for 400 years; they were mistreated, taken advantage of. God saw the injustice, and sent plagues on the Pharaoh and his people. Pharaoh finally decided to let them go; the Israelites headed out toward the promised land. I’m sure they were excited, this was a dream come true, until:

Exodus 14:5-9 (AMPC)
5 … the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, What is this we have done? We have let Israel go from serving us!… 7 And took 600 chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them… 9 The Egyptians pursued them… and overtook them encamped at the [Red] Sea

Pharaoh was saying, in effect, “you’re my slaves; I’m taking you back.” God was saying, “you’re My sons, I have redeemed you; I’m taking you forward.” I can imagine this debate was going back and forth; the Israelites were trying to choose who they were going to believe.

that same debate is taking place about you; one voice is saying, “you’re a slave, you’ll never get well, you’ll always struggle in your finances, be addicted.” God says, “you’re a son. I have equipped, empowered, anointed you.” you get to choose which way you go. if you believe the lie that you’re a slave, that you’ve reached your limits, then it will keep you from your purpose. but when you rise up and say, “I’m no longer a slave, I’m a son. I’m not a slave to my past, who hurt me, addictions, poverty, lack, depression, I’m a child of the Most High God,” when you know you’re a son, you not only think differently, but you talk differently. instead of, “I’ll never break this addiction”; “I am free, whole.” instead of, “I never get good breaks”; “blessings are chasing me down, favor surrounds me, goodness and mercy are following me.” stop thinking like a slave, and start thinking like a son. not thinking about what you were, what you’ve been through, the mistakes you’ve made, but start thinking about who you are you are: free, blessed, a masterpiece, victorious.

Pharaoh came chasing after the Israelites, in other words the past came chasing them; what they’d been through, what didn’t work out. the past will always come chasing you; the mistakes you’ve made, disappointments, failures, hurts. the enemy would love for you to become a slave to your past, live guilty, discouraged, with a chip on your shoulder. don’t fall into that trap; the past doesn’t have to hold you back.

we’ve all had negative things happen that we don’t understand, but God has beauty for those ashes, mercy for mistakes, new beginnings. nothing that’s happened in your past, nothing that you’ve done, has to keep you from the good things God has in store. don’t become a slave to your past. quit thinking about it, reliving the hurts, dwelling on the failures; this is a new day. if you’ll let go of the old, you’ll see the new things God has in store. you need to tell the enemy, the past, the addiction, “you don’t own me. I was bought with a precious price. I belong to the God who spoke worlds into existence. I’m not your slave, I’m His son.” you have to know who you are, and who you belong to. fear doesn’t have any right to you; it doesn’t own you. poverty doesn’t own you. you might have an addiction, but it doesn’t own you. don’t see it as your master, as bigger, more powerful, you’ll never be free; it’s temporary, it cannot stay.

your body is a temple of the most high God. you’re not a sick person trying to get well; you’re a well person fighting off sickness. you are not an addict trying to get free; you’re a free person fighting an addiction. you’re not a poor person trying to get ahead; you’re a prosperous person fighting off poverty. you are not a slave to any negative thing; God created you to be free, healthy, whole, victorious. sure, we all have things come against us, but they’re not permanent; it’s just a matter of time before it changes in your favor.

the Israelites, even if they escaped and got away from the Pharaoh, in one sense they would always be runaway slaves; as long as Pharaoh was chasing them, even though they were free, thoughts would tell them, “you’re still a slave.” they would have to live with that threat that Pharaoh might catch back up with them. but:

Exodus 14:21-28 (NIV)
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea… The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground… 23 The Egyptians pursued them… 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea… 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

God not only freed them from slavery, He eliminated their oppressor, so they wouldn’t have to live with the threat that they might be recaptured and taken back to slavery. God didn’t want them to see themselves as just runaway slaves. by taking care of the Pharaoh, He removed that label; they were no longer runaway slaves, now they were simply sons/daughters of the most high God.

in the same way, God not only freed us from sin, guilt, depression, sickness, but He took care of our enemy. you don’t have to live with the threat that you might be recaptured; your oppressor has been defeated, the enemy has no power over you, you’re a son. but here’s the whole key; after all God has done for us, freed us from slavery, defeated our enemy, if you don’t see yourself the right way, it will keep you from your destiny.

this is what happened to the Israelites. after seeing God free them from slavery, deliver them from the Pharaoh, bring water out of a rock, when they came to the promised land, you’d think they’d be full of faith, ready to take the land, but:

Numbers 13:32-33 (NIV)
32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 … We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Numbers 14:4 (NIV)
4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

they had been in slavery so long, seen so much injustice, their problem was, they never quit seeing themselves as slaves. they didn’t think they could live at a higher level. their attitude was, “we’re just slaves, we never get any good breaks.” God brought them out of slavery, but slavery never got out of them.

you may have struggled in an area for a long time, but don’t have a limited mindset; you have to give God permission to increase you. it starts in your thinking; you can’t see yourself as a slave and enjoy the blessings of a son. if you grew up in lack, not having enough, mediocrity, don’t let that poverty spirit get in you; that is not who you are. you’re the one to break the curse, set a new standard. God is about to loose resources, promotion, ideas, opportunities. have a vision for increase; see yourself as a son, rising higher. you have seeds of greatness. you are not limited by how you were raised, your family, what you didn’t get. you not a slave to lack, depression, fear. the oppressor has been taken care of. your days of struggle, sickness, loneliness, are coming to an end; God is about to do a new thing, break bondages that have held you back. things that have been in your family line for generations are about to turn in your favor.

like the Israelites after 400 years of slavery, oppression, injustice, that was ten generations; nothing changed, they were born into it, year after year, didn’t expect anything different. but one day, God said, “enough is enough”; He supernaturally brought them out. but that first group that God freed from slavery, that was good, but that wasn’t God’s best; they never made it into the promised land, because they saw themselves as slaves. but God didn’t give up on them; God took their children in. it was because they had a different mindset.

in your family, you’re going to be the generation that goes into the promised land. what your relatives did or didn’t do does not have to stop you. you’re going to see opportunities chasing you down, promotion that you didn’t deserve, blessings you can’t explain, favor that thrusts you further than you can imagine. don’t talk yourself out of it; “I’ve reached my limits, my family always struggles.” get rid of that slave mentality, and start having an abundance mentality.

even though the oppressor has been taken care of, the enemy is defeated, he’ll still whisper lies; “you’re not supposed to be blessed, you’ll always be addicted.” what he’s really saying is, “you’re a slave, just accept it.” tell him, “no thanks, I’m not a slave, I’m a son; blessed, prosperous, a difference maker. I’m going to set a new standard for my family. we’re going into our promised land.”

the scripture tells us:

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace

not as a servant, not saying, “God, I know I don’t deserve it,” no, if you want to make God happy, go to Him with boldness, like He’s proud of you, you deserve to be there, He wants to be good to you. ask Him for your dreams. pray bold prayers. you’re not inconveniencing Him, you don’t have to earn God’s love, work for His approval, pay God back for your mistakes.

are you trying to earn God’s goodness, be good enough, work hard enough, then maybe you’ll deserve God’s blessings? that’s a slave mentality. why don’t you start believing that you’re a son? Jesus said:

Luke 12:32 (KJV)
32 … it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom

God is longing to be good to you. are you living like a son, knowing that you have rights, that God’s pleased with you, or are you living like a slave, feeling unworthy, like you don’t deserve God’s goodness?

in the story of the prodigal son:

Luke 15:12-19 (NIV)
12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ … 13 … got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living… 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’

because of his mistakes, he stopped seeing himself as a son, and started seeing himself as a servant. he thought he didn’t deserve his father’s goodness, have a right to be in the family anymore. how many of us have disqualified ourselves from God’s goodness? we knew at one time we were a son, at one time God was going to help us, favor us, bless us, but we made poor choices, got off course, now we believe that lie, that somehow we’ve gone from a son to a slave, that God wouldn’t have anything to do with us.

Luke 15:20-24 (NIV)
20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

there’s nothing you can do to change the fact that you’re a son. when you gave your life to Christ, you were born into the family of God; you can’t get unborn, make a mistake too big, get too far of course. you may disqualify yourself, but God never disqualifies you.

are you living like a slave, when in fact you’re a son? you’re trying to convince God to hire you back as a servant, when God is saying, “go kill the fatted calf, my son is home”? God has already received you back into His family. how many of us are not receiving God’s goodness? we’re beating ourselves up for our failures, letting the accuser convince us that we’ve somehow gone from a son to a slave. I love the fact that when this son returned home, the father never brought up his past; God is not interested in your past. the enemy will work overtime trying to remind you of all your mistakes, make you feel guilty, unworthy. don’t believe those lies. you’re not going to be a son when you perform good enough; you’re a son/daughter right now. start believing, dreaming again.

I wonder how many of us are missing out on God’s best because we don’t realize that everything has been paid for. God is saying, “you’re a son. step up to the table; I’ve paid the price.” you may have made mistakes; forgiveness, mercy have been paid for. you had bad breaks, people did you wrong; new beginnings, beauty for ashes, belong to you. why don’t you come on up to the table? you’re struggling in your finances, nobody in your family has gotten ahead; don’t get satisfied with less. abundance, new levels are in your future.

sometimes, what’s holding us back is we don’t really know who we are. we think we’re average, ordinary, when in fact we are sons/daughters of the most high God. when God breathed His life into you, He crowned you with this favor, put a robe of righteousness on you, said, “you’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made.” don’t go through life with a mediocrity mentality; have a son mentality, an abundant mentality.

in the scripture:

Judges 6:14-15 (NIV)
14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” 15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

he had a slave mentality, “I’m at a disadvantage”; he didn’t realize he was royalty. a few chapters later:

Judges 8:18 (NLT)
18 Then Gideon asked Zebah and Zalmunna, “The men you killed at Tabor—what were they like?” “Like you,” they replied. “They all had the look of a king’s son.”

Gideon felt inadequate, like he didn’t measure up, but even his enemies could see he was a king’s son. you may feel like you’re at a disadvantage, it’s causing you to shrink back, not pursue dreams. you may not be able to see it, but even the enemy knows that you’re royalty, destined to do great things. why don’t you step up to who you were created to be? you’re no longer a slave; you’re a son. you used to be maybe a slave to fear, addictions, poverty, depression, but you’ve been born into a new family. do your part; shake off the slave mentality, start having a son mentality. if you’ll do this, every chain that’s holding you back is being broken. God is going to release healing, favor, breakthroughs, abundance. you’re going to rise higher, and become everything He created you to be.

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The Twenty-First Day

from JO’s sermon this week:

we all have things we’re believing for: a dream to come to pass, our health to turn around, to meet the right person. we’ve been praying for a long time, standing on the promises, but we don’t see anything happening. what you can’t see is that behind the scenes, God is at work. He not only heard you when you prayed, He put the miracle into motion.

Psalm 56:9 (TLB)
9 The very day I call for help, the tide of battle turns

just because you don’t see anything happening, that doesn’t mean that the answer is not on the way. the people who see promises fulfilled, breakthroughs, are the people that keep praying, believing, standing in faith.

1 John 5:14 (NIV)
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

thoughts will tell you, “it’s not making a difference to pray. you’re wasting your time getting your hopes up, believing that you’ll get well, break the addiction”; don’t believe those thoughts. the moment you pray, the Creator of the universe goes to work. it may not happen on your timetable, or the way you thought, but He is a faithful God; what He promised you, He will bring to pass. you may have been waiting for a long time, but down in your spirit, there has to be a resolve, a confidence, that says, “I know that the answer is on the way, the miracle is in motion. I’ve asked according to His will, and I know that it’s just a matter of time before it shows up.” don’t talk yourself out of it, don’t let delays, detours, disappointments, cause you to give up on what God’s put in your heart. healing, promotion, breakthrough, the right person, is on the way.

Daniel 10:2-3 (NIV)
2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.

it didn’t seem like it was doing any good, nothing was changing, until one day:

Daniel 10:4-13 (NLT)
4 … I was standing on the bank of the great Tigris River, 5 I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. 6 His body looked like a precious gem. His face flashed like lightning, and his eyes flamed like torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people. 7 Only I, Daniel, saw this vision…. 12 Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. 13 But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me

the first time Daniel prayed, God heard him, and sent the angel with the answer. the first time you prayed, God began to change things in your favor, move out the wrong people, move in the right people, arrange healing, good breaks, favor. it’s right up in front of you. what’s the delay, why’s it taking so long? there are forces that are trying to keep you from your healing, abundance, freedom. the good news is, the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you.

it took the angel 21 days get to Daniel, and what you’re praying about may be taking a long time, you don’t see anything improving, you think it’s never going to happen, no, get ready, your 21st day is coming. the angel has already been dispatched. God has already sent the healing, vindication, promotion; right now, the angel is fighting through the forces of darkness. every time you thank God that it’s on the way, “I believe that my healing, the right person, a new level, are coming,” when you stay in faith, the angel is getting closer; it’s just a matter of time before he shows up. from the time you pray to when your answer comes, that’s called the trial of your faith; that’s when it’s easy to get discouraged and give up, talk yourself out of it. no, keep praying, believing; it might not have happened yet, but what God promised you, He’s still going to bring to pass. that 21st day is on the way. you may have struggled with an addiction for a long time, but it has

from the time you pray to when your answer comes, that’s called the trial of your faith; that’s when it’s easy to get discouraged and give up, talk yourself out of it. no, keep praying, believing; it might not have happened yet, but what God promised you, He’s still going to bring to pass. that 21st day is on the way. you may have struggled with an addiction for a long time, but it has a 21st day; your healing, abundance, has a 21st day. God has already set the time to turn it around. when you come into your 21st day, every force that’s held you back will be broken.

but when we’ve struggled in an area for a long time, it’s easy to accept it, to think, “maybe I’m not supposed to accomplish this dream, I tried but it didn’t work out”; no, that may have been your past, but that is not your future. God is about to break stubborn things, strongholds that look permanent, that you’ve dealt with for years, those forces that have held you back. God is going to send reinforcements to loose what belongs to you. suddenly, it’s going to turn around; the depression is going to break, your business is going to take off. it’s closer than you think; you’re close to your healing, meeting the right person, a new level. don’t give up on what you’re believing for; it may be taking a long time, but what you can’t see is, the angel is on the way. if you knew when your 21st day was coming, you would stop worrying and start worshiping.

David said:

Psalm 5:3 (NLT)
3 … Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

he didn’t just pray, and say, “ok, I did my part,” he prayed, and then waited with expectation; he went through the day looking for God’s goodness, believing for God’s favor, talking like it was going to happen. David had a report of victory:

1 Samuel 17:46 (NIV)
46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals

he expected God’s favor:

Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life

it’s not enough to just pray; you have to follow it up with expectancy, knowing that God not only heard you, because you prayed according to His will, but that He dispatched an angel with the answer.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen in 3 weeks, God has His own timetable; the 21 days is symbolic, it means that there is a set time for God to break through with the answer to your prayer. no person, addiction, sickness, all the forces of darkness, cannot stop what God has ordained for your life. God is going to make things happen that you couldn’t make happen.

“I don’t believe that this is going to happen for me,” then this is not for you; this is for believers, people who know that God is in control.

when God puts a promise in your heart, you don’t know how it’s going to happen, or the exact time, but what you do know is, you have confirmation; when you let the promise take root, you don’t need to worry how it’s going to be delivered, God knows how to get it to you. God’s delivery service is 100% accurate, and it will be 100% on time.

it’s not too late. you haven’t made too many mistakes, missed too many opportunities. God doesn’t change his mind. He’s not moved by negative circumstances, how long it’s been, who doesn’t like you.

Psalm 31:19 (TLB)
19 Oh, how great is your goodness to those who publicly declare that you will rescue them. For you have stored up great blessings for those who trust and reverence you.

we didn’t have to pay for it; God sent His son to pay the price, so that we could live an abundant, faith-filled, victorious life. why don’t you start believing for what already belongs to you? when you’re tempted to get discouraged, give up on what you’re believing for; “God, you said I can do all things through Christ, so thank You that strength, breakthroughs are in transit.” God is not obligated to bring to pass what we say, but He is obligated to bring to pass what He says. when you can say, “God, you said: as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, You will make me the happy mother of children,” you’re going to see some 21st days. God is faithful to His word.

God kept a promise to David hundreds of years after David had died. one of his relatives was on the throne, not making good decisions; God said, in effect, “I would’ve taken away the throne, but for David’s sake, I will not do it.” that’s how committed God is to what He promised. imagine what happens when God hears you praying, declaring, thanking Him for, the promises. you don’t have to figure out how God’s going to do it:

Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding

if you try to figure it out, you’re going to get confused. what God brings you may not be exactly what you thought, the way you thought; it will be bigger, better, more rewarding, than you ever imagined. don’t put God in a box. you may not see how it can happen; God has ways to do it that you’ve never thought of. David used a slingshot to defeat Goliath; He didn’t have the training, experience, equipment, but a slingshot with the favor of God is more powerful than a whole army without it. if you knew all the things that are in transit for you right now, you wouldn’t live worried, wondering if it’s going to happen, frustrated because you didn’t get the promotion; when it’s your time, the things you need will come to you. quit worrying; while you’re waiting for the promises, keep praying, believing, expecting.

Luke 18:1 (NIV)
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

it may be taking a long time; keep praying. if you’re going to see everything that God has in store for you, you have to pray, believe, expect, until it happens. not begging God; turn your prayer into praise, “Lord, thank You for making a way where I don’t see a way, bringing the right person, increasing me, so I can be a bigger blessing.” praise in the scripture brought down the walls of Jericho, opened prison doors of their own accord. prayer is not a one-time payment; if you’re serious about what you’re believing for, you have to show God that you’re not going to give up because it’s not happening on your timetable, get discouraged because you don’t see anything changing. every time you thank God, you’re getting closer.

this is what Abraham did; he waited 20 years to have the child that God promised him.

Romans 4:20 (AMPC)
20 … he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God

how did he wait 20 years, complaining? no, he kept thanking God.

if you’ll do this, you’ll come into your healing, promotion, breakthrough, victory. God is going to open doors that no man can shut, and take you to the fullness of your destiny.

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Stay committed

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all have opportunities to give up on what we’re believing for, walk away from an uncomfortable situation, slack off, not be our best. but if you’re going to reach your highest potential, you have to stay committed; you can’t be moved by what’s not working out, give up on a child because he’s not doing what he should, slack off at work because you’re not being treated right; you have to have a made-up mind that you are in it for the long haul. it may be difficult, you have a good reason to walk away; don’t take the easy way out. stay committed to your marriage, raising those children, your friends. they may make mistakes; give them some grace. don’t be a fair-weather friend; be committed in the good times and the tough times. stay committed to your dreams; don’t give up on the promises God put in your heart.

it may be taking longer than you thought, but God is still on the throne. He’s a faithful God; He’s already set the time to bring it to pass. stay committed to your church, your job; be a loyal person, somebody they can count on day in and day out. you’re not always going to feel like it; there will be good days and tough days, times when it’s exciting, times when you feel like giving up. that’s when you have to dig your heels in, and say, “I’m going to do the right thing when it’s hard. I’m committed to this marriage; I’m going to love you even though you don’t deserve it. I’m committed to this job; I’m going to be my best even though my supervisor isn’t treating me right. I’m committed to my dreams; I’m not going to give up because I don’t see anything happening. I’m going to keep believing, expecting, thanking God. I know it’s on the way.”

God rewards consistent, faithful, committed people. too many people are wishy-washy. they’ll love you as long as you perform perfectly; if not, they’re out of there. they’ll be their best if you keep them encouraged, propped up. they’ll pursue a dream as long as they’re getting good breaks. their commitment is based on things going their way. but when it’s difficult, taking longer than they thought, they get discouraged, start to slack off. “I don’t like my job, they don’t treat me right, that’s why I show up late, play on the computer half the day.” you’re not working unto people, you’re working unto God; He’s keeping the records. the scripture says:

Psalm 75:6-7 (AMPC)
6 For not from the east nor from the west nor from the south come promotion and lifting up. 7 But God is the Judge! He puts down one and lifts up another.

“if they would pay me more, I would do more”; but if you don’t pass the test of being your best where you are, showing up on time with a good attitude, doing more than you have to, then you’ll get stuck. they may not be paying you what you’re worth, but your job is not your source, God is. God uses people, supervisors, companies, but don’t get them mixed up with your source. if you see your company as your provider, your boss as your source, then in a sense you’re making them your god, letting them control your destiny; they determine how high you’re going to go, and if for some reason they don’t like you, they’re not for you, too bad, you’re limited.

no, stop looking to people, and start looking to God. He not only controls your destiny, He controls the whole universe. He determines how high you’re going to go. no person, no supervisor, no company, can stand against God. He knows what’s happening, sees what’s unfair. when you stay committed to your job, keep being your best day in and day out despite who doesn’t like you, God will make it up to you. God is your source; He has the final say.

“it’s difficult to stay committed to my job, my marriage, this dream; nothing’s going my way.” if it was easy, everyone would do it. God chose you because He knew you can handle it; you have the courage, strength, talent, anointing. you’re not weak, lacking, you are full of can-do power. you didn’t come this far to stop. the people that see dreams come to pass are the people that stay committed. committed people outlast the difficulty, stick with the relationship even though they have a right to walk away, go the extra mile and do more than they have to. is there an area you’ve been tempted to give up in, or just slack off, not be your best? God is saying, “stay committed, faithful, loyal.” committed people reach the fullness of their destinies.

the dreams God’s placed in your heart, the promises you’re standing on, may be taking longer than you thought; you don’t see any sign of it happening. that’s a test. are you going to get discouraged, and give up on what you’re believing for? stay committed. keep doing the right thing. God is in control; He sees your faithfulness. you’re going to come into your season of favor. your dream is right up in front of you.

the prophet Elijah had an assistant named Elisha, who was like a son to him; he took care of Elijah, went with him everywhere, made sure that he had what he wanted:

2 Kings 2:1-2 (NIV)
1 When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.”

Elisha knew that the Prophet was going to be taken away; he could have thought, “all right, I’ll stay; after all, his life’s almost over.” instead:

2 Kings 2:2-6 (NIV)
2 … But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel… 4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho… 6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.

three times, Elijah tried to get rid of him, said in effect, “you’ve done enough, served me well all these years, been faithful, loyal”; Elisha wouldn’t hear of it. his attitude was, “I’m committed to you; I’m going to stick with you through thick and thin. I was with you in the good times when you were performing miracles; I’m going to be with you in the tough times as you come to an end.”

nobody would have faulted Elisha if he had walked away; his boss told him to, he had a good reason, but he wouldn’t slack off, take the easy way out. he was committed, loyal, someone you can count on.

2 Kings 2:9-14 (NIV)
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” 11 … a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind… 13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it… it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

Elisha ended up performing twice as many miracles as Elijah; he would have never seen the double portion if he had not stayed committed. if he had left when Elijah told him to go, he wouldn’t have seen the fullness of his destiny.

there will be plenty of times where you’re tempted to walk away: walk away from a dream, it’s been too long, it’s never going to happen, walk away from a marriage, church, job, they don’t appreciate you, they never tell you thank you. you could slack off, take the easy way out, but what you can’t see is, there’s a double portion up in front of you. stay committed when it’s hard, do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening, keep loving that man/woman even though they don’t deserve it. when you stay loyal, consistent, faithful, a double portion is coming: double favor, honor, resources. God will pay you back for staying committed.

but this double portion isn’t for everyone; it’s for people that do more than they have to, go the extra mile, don’t give up when it’s not exciting, people like you that stayed committed. to see God’s best, there has to be a stubbornness; “I’m committed to this marriage; leaving is not an option. I’m committed to my children; no matter what they do or don’t do, I’m going to be there for them. I’m committed to being my best at this job.” you don’t let people talk you out of it, slack off because it’s not fair, you’re lonely, not making progress; you have a made-up mind. when you stay committed, God will make things happen that you couldn’t make happen; suddenly, things will turn around, your marriage will improve, your business will take off. many of you have passed this test. you’ve been committed, doing the right thing; be encouraged, you are close to your double portion, breakthrough, meeting the right person, your new level.

when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, he was so distressed that he sweated great drops of blood. on the way to Calvary, he was so beaten and bruised that he fell down under the weight of the cross. he could have said, “God, it’s too much. I did the right thing, but these people treated me badly: mocked me, ridiculed me, sent me to the cross, I’m done, I’ve had enough.” no, Jesus stayed committed when it wasn’t fair, he had every right to give up. nobody would have faulted him if he had walked away, but he was in it for the long haul. he was stubborn when it came to fulfilling his purpose.

where are the people that would do like Jesus, and stay committed, that don’t give up because it’s not fair, don’t slack off because it’s taking longer they thought, that have a made up mind?

when you stay committed, God will open doors that you could never open, bring you into your double portion. you may have plenty of reasons to give up on your dream, disappointments, setbacks; that’s all a part of the process. when you get knocked down, you have to get back up again. God didn’t bring you this far to leave you. don’t settle for mediocrity; God created you for greatness. there is something in you that will cause you to stand out, that nobody else nobody has or can do. God put a seed in you so you can leave your mark. don’t let people talk you out of it, failures convince you to give up, delays and detours cause you to get discouraged. when God puts a dream in your heart, it won’t go away, you can try to push it down, dismiss it, but that seed is still alive. people may have told you no, but when God says yes, His yes cancels out their no, overrules what people are telling you.

stay committed to your dreams. do the right thing when it’s hard. when you have permission to give up on it, to walk out of a relationship, stay committed, loyal, faithful.

in the scripture, Joseph and Mary were planning their wedding. it was an exciting time, life was good, until God interrupted their plans:

Luke 1:27-35 (NIV)
27 …The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”… 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus… 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

while she was excited, she wasn’t looking forward to having this conversation with her fiancé. Joseph was an honorable, well-respected man. back in those days, having a baby out of wedlock was a big disgrace. this was going to make him look bad, so:

Matthew 1:19-20 (NIV)
19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[a] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Joseph could have said, “that’s all fine and good, but I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t want all this controversy, people tarnishing my reputation.” he had plenty of reasons to back out, but Joseph did the right thing when it was hard; he was committed, loyal.

in relationships, with your spouse, children, friends, there may be times you have a good reason to get out: they did things to hurt you, didn’t perform perfectly, let you down. you could justify walking away, nobody would fault you, but when you’re committed, you show mercy, give second chances, make allowances for mistakes. they may not deserve it, they were guilty, but only the guilty need mercy. stay committed to your family, friends, be someone they can count on.

a true friend walks in when everybody else walks out, will be there for you, not just when you succeed, but when you fail. there are times that a relationship comes to an end, you have to move on, but don’t let that be a pattern, where you bail out if they’re not meeting all of your demands, living up to your expectations. people make mistakes. good people can blow it. people that love you can let you down. God rewards people who are consistent when life is complicated, stick with someone when they don’t deserve it, be their best when someone else is at their worst.

you can tell who your true friends are, not when everything’s going great, not when you succeed, but when you fail, get off course. I’m asking you to be a loyal person. stay committed to the people God’s put in your life. they’re going to make mistakes, do things you don’t understand; they don’t need another judge condemning them, more guilt and shame, they’ve got enough of that. you can help love them back into wholeness, be the friend that walks in when everybody else walks out. when you’re committed, loyal, it doesn’t mean you’re approving their actions; you’re simply showing them the mercy that you would want God to show you. you’re being a healer, restorer. they have enough things pushing them down; let’s be people that lift them up.

too many people are fair-weather friends; they’ll love you in the good times, walk away in the tough times. our attitude should be, “you can count on me; I’m committed to loving you, being good to you, defending you. there are relationships that would go to a new level if you would quit basing your commitment on somebody’s performance, and let them know you’re in it for the long haul, through good times and tough times. that takes the pressure off; there’s a freedom, security, when they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are for them. I want our friends, family, to say about us, “I knew you’d come back. you are committed, loyal, somebody I could count on.”

is there some area you’re tempted to give up in, slack off, not be your best? God is saying, “stay committed. keep doing the right thing.” you can’t see it, but up in front of you is a double portion, something more rewarding than you could imagine. yes, it may be difficult, but you are well able. make up your mind that you are in it for the long haul. be stubborn when it comes to not giving up. if you’ll do this, you’re going to see double favor, honor, resources. God’s going to open doors no man can shut, and take you to the fullness of your destiny.

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