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Archive for June, 2018

Grace under pressure

This is something we would all like to have, but it’s so easy to wallow in misery, to be discouraged, to focus inward on our own pain and loss rather than reaching upwards towards God and outward towards our fellow human beings. One person who could easily have fallen into that pit was Annie Johnson Flint; she had arthritis that was so severe that she was crippled and wheelchair-bound, in constant pain, and she suffered the devastating losses of all the people that she loved the most. Because she was a powerful woman of faith, she was able to keep reaching up to the Lord, and to focus, not on her suffering, but on Him, and on creating beautiful hymns and Christian poetry. Here is a wonderful example, that shows the possible benefits of living under pressure:

Pressed

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length.
Pressed so intensely it seems beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll;
Pressed by foes, and pressured by friends;
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod,
Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings,
Pressed into faith for impossible things;
Pressed into living a life for the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.

2 Corinthians 4:8
We are troubled on every side, yet not
distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not
destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the
dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus
might be made manifest in our body.

You can read more about the life of Annie Johnson Flint here:

http://womenofchristianity.com/annies-story-biography/

Many of her beautiful writings are available here:

http://www.homemakerscorner.com/annie.htm

Next time you’re in a pressure-cooker of pain, stress, and troubles, will you let it crush you, or will you hold tight to God, and turn it into something wonderful like Annie did?

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How bad do you want it

from JO’s sermon this week:

the dreams God has placed in your heart, promises He’s spoken to you, are not going to come to pass without opposition, delays, people trying to talk you out of it. there will be plenty of opportunities to get discouraged, lose your passion, think that it’s not meant to be.

but if you’re going to reach your destiny, you have to have a made-up mind. if you give up after the 1st, 5th or 30th time, what that really means is, you didn’t want it bad enough. there should be something you’re believing for that you are relentless about, not moved by how impossible it looks, discouraged by how long it’s taking, you don’t give up because people told you no. your attitude is, “if I have to believe my whole life, I’m not going to stop believing, take no for an answer, settle for mediocrity. I’m going to keep pursuing what God put in my heart.”

you can’t be passive and indifferent; you have to have a holy determination. it’s more than just your will, it’s a fire on the inside, a knowing that it’s supposed to be yours. when everything says it’s not going to happen, instead of getting discouraged, you kick into a new gear. normal people would give up, settle, but you’re not normal; you want it on another level.

when David was 17, the prophet Samuel anointed him as the next king of Israel. but David didn’t go to the palace; he went back to the shepherd’s fields, where it was lonely. he was overlooked, mistreated by his family. when he finally did go to the palace to serve King Saul, Saul became jealous of David, and tried to kill him. David had done no wrong, yet he had to live on the run, hiding in caves, spending months out in the desert.

he could have been discouraged, “God, this isn’t fair, You anointed me to be king, nothing is working out.” but David didn’t have a give-up spirit, feel sorry for himself, let circumstances talk him out of it; he had a warrior mentality. his attitude was, “I am not quitting, settling for mediocrity. I know there is greatness in me. I’m going to become who God says I am.”

one reason he took the throne is, he wanted it bad enough. how bad do you want what God has put in your heart? bad enough to outlast the opposition, overlook some insults, do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening, keep pursuing even when circumstances say it’s not going to happen? many of the difficulties we face, delays, times it’s not fair, that’s simply a test; God is seeing how bad do you want it. this is what weeds people out; if you’re overcome by problems, let circumstances push you down, people talk it out of it, you’re not going to have the strength or the courage to sustain where God is taking you.

you have to be like David; don’t have a weak mentality, have a warrior mentality. you have to be more determined than the opposition. if you give up every time things don’t go your way, you didn’t want it bad enough; you have to dig your heels in, and say, “I am in this for the long haul. I know what God has spoken to me: I will get well, accomplish my dream, meet the right person.” you’re not moved by what’s not working out, how long it’s taking, who’s not for you; you know Who is for you, the most high God.

in Mark 10:

Mark 10:46-48 (NIV)
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

they saw Bartimaeus as insignificant; “you’re just a beggar; Jesus is not going to be interested in you.”

Mark 10:49-52 (NIV)
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

there were other blind men on the road that day, other sick people in the crowd, yet Bartimaeus was the only one that was healed. why? he wanted it more than they did. he wanted it so bad, he didn’t let people talk him out of it. when they tried to push him down, discourage him, he shouted even louder; if he would have listened to them, he would have missed his miracle.

are you letting people talk you out of what God put in your heart? “you can’t get well, you saw the report. you’ll never get out of debt, you’ve reached your limits. you can’t start that business, accomplish your dreams, you have too much opposition.” let that go in one ear and out the other. ignore what they’re saying; they don’t determine your destiny, God does. but if Bartimaeus would have been passive and indifferent, “I’m blind, it’s just a bad break,” he wouldn’t have received his sight. he had this passion, fire on the inside, that said, “this is your time.” he rose up and took that step of faith.

if you’re going to see what you’re believing for, you have to be willing to do what other people won’t do. other people may not believe when it looks impossible, settle where they are, get discouraged, tell you, “don’t bother praying, believing, no use getting your hopes up, you’re wasting your time.” you have to say, “God, this looks impossible, but I know You can do the impossible. the odds are against me, but God, I know You are for me.” “I put in three applications, all three companies turned me down. I don’t think I’ll ever find a job”; you don’t want it bad enough. “I dated two girls; both of them told me I wasn’t their type. I don’t think I’ll ever get married”; you don’t want it bad enough. there are several million other girls out there. “I want to get well, but the medical report says I’m not going to make it”; when the odds are against you, you have to want it on a new level.

how bad do you want to get out of debt? bad enough to not buy things you can’t afford, not try to keep up with your friends, honor God by tithing your income? how bad do you want that promotion? bad enough to get to work early, do more than what’s required, take that online course to sharpen your skills? “I don’t want to take another course, or more work, I just want the promotion”; you don’t want it bad enough. you have to stand out in the crowd.

the scripture says, “Daniel distinguished himself.” he was so excellent in his work, so sharp, had such a great attitude, that he stood out among all the other young men; the king put him in a position of great leadership. but it doesn’t say God distinguished him, made him excel, stand out; it says he distinguished himself; he was willing to do what the other young men wouldn’t do. it wasn’t so much that he had more talent, skill, it was the fact that he wanted it more than they did.

how bad do you want your children to stay on the right course? bad enough to bring them to church each week, get them up and dressed on your day off, and have them in children’s classes? we don’t think twice about having to get our children up for school, dressed, fed, ready sometimes by 7 in the morning; schooling is incredibly important. but I could argue that their spiritual life is even more important; when they grow up learning to honor God as a person of excellence and integrity, knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, surrounded by favor, those seeds planted in them will affect them for the rest of their lives. every time you bring them, you’re showing them by example to put God first place.

how bad do you want your marriage, relationships to work out? bad enough to bite your tongue when you feel like telling them off, clean up a mess that you didn’t make? there are new levels in front of us, but much of it depends on how bad we want it. God is not going to do everything for us; we have to do our part.

when Lazarus died:

John 11:23-39 (NIV)
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”… 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

Jesus could have moved the stone, he’s God; he wanted to see how bad they wanted it.

you can pray, “God, help me to feel better, I don’t have any energy, I’m always so tired”; are you eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, or living stressed and worried? if you’ll roll away the stone, God will do what you’re asking. but you can’t override natural laws and expect to live a blessed, healthy life. do you want to get well bad enough to not drink 43 colas a day, and sleep 3 hours a night? do you want to break that addiction bad enough to not hang around those people that are pulling you down, causing you to compromise? “I know these friends aren’t good for me, but I like being around them”; you don’t want it bad enough. God is not going to free you until you roll away the stone. when He sees you doing all you can, then He’ll make things happen that you can’t.

but if you’re not willing to do the natural, He’s not going to do the supernatural. your destiny is too important to spend it with people that are not making you better. who are you allowing to influence you? are they challenging, inspiring you, pushing you forward? you don’t have time to waste with people that bring out the worst in you. life is flying. by we don’t get a do-over; this is it. “what if I hurt their feelings?”; what if you miss your destiny? what if they keep you from becoming who you were created to be?

they may not want it bad enough. they may be ok with mediocrity, compromise, barely getting by in life; that’s their choice, but that’s not who you are. you have seeds of greatness; you’re destined to leave your mark. you weren’t created to fit in, be average, live with addictions, dysfunction, lack, struggle; you were created to stand out in the crowd, be a cut above. do your part, and distinguish yourself; be willing to do what others won’t do. yes, it takes discipline, you have to say no to carnal desires, but the pain of discipline is less than the pain of regret.

it’s hard to bite your tongue, not say what you feel, but that pain is less than the pain of having someone you love walk away. it’s hard to lay off the junk food, things that are not good for you; that pain is less than the pain of not being healthy. it’s hard to break away from a friend that’s pulling you down, but that pain is less than not reaching your dreams. one of the saddest things is to come to the end of life, and wonder what I could have become: what if I wouldn’t have let those people talk me out of my miracle, if I would have broken away from those friends that were causing me to compromise, treated my spouse with respect, taken that step of faith in my career, not played it safe all the time, where would I be? you don’t have to wonder; you can start right now. it is not too late to become who God’s created you to be.

the question is; do you want it bad enough? stir your passion up. make this decision; “I am not going to live complacent, accepting mediocrity, passive; I’m going to pursue what God put in my heart, take steps to grow, come up higher in my relationships.”

the difference between a dream and a wish is, a wish is something you just hope happens, but a dream you put actions behind. the scripture says, “faith without works is dead.” wishing isn’t going to get you anywhere. the people that succeed don’t always have the most talent, education, opportunity; many times, they simply wanted it more than others. you have to pursue what God put in you; being passive and indifferent will keep you from your destiny.

Jesus said, “those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled.” here’s the principle; if you’re not hungering after anything, you’re not going to be filled. are you hungry to get well, accomplish the dream, meet the right person? you can teach people to have faith, encourage them to believe, but you can’t make people be hungry; it has to come from the inside. you have to know you are a person of destiny, that there is something bigger in front of you. do you want it bad enough, or are you coasting? have you let people talk you out of it, bad breaks, disappointments, steal your passion, cause you to settle? “my business didn’t make it, that’s why I’m down”; how do you know your next business is not going to make it? “the medical report says I’m not going to get well”; there’s another report, it says God is restoring health back unto you.

are you hungry for it? you may have had some setbacks, but you have to be relentless when it comes to what God put in your heart. if you let people, delays, disappointments, talk you out of it, then you didn’t want it bad enough. sometimes we talk ourselves out of it, it’s too hard. it’s amazing what we’ll do when we want something bad enough; we’ll do things that we wouldn’t normally do. quit telling yourself it’s too hard, you’ve had too many setbacks; you can do what you want to do. don’t miss your destiny because you didn’t want it bad enough; what God put in you is worth fighting for, being uncomfortable for a season, having to stretch, try again, doing what others aren’t willing to do.

the question is; how big is your want-to? you can break that addiction if you really want to, forgive that person that hurt you, make your marriage work, write that book, accomplish your dream, if you want to bad enough. your will is one of the most powerful things you have. when you make up your mind to do something, God will breathe on your efforts, and give you strength that goes beyond your natural ability. it’s not just willpower, it’s the blessing of God helping you, but it kicks in when God sees you doing all you can do, taking steps to come up higher, forgiving the person that did you wrong, trying again after a disappointment. that’s when you’ll see God make things happen that you couldn’t make happen.

I wonder if you’ve convinced yourself you can’t do something that you really can do; “I don’t have the discipline, talent.” God is saying, “you can do it, it’s in you, but you’re going to have to dig down deep and put forth the effort.” it may not be easy, but your destiny is calling. you have greatness in you; don’t let people talk you out of it, circumstances convince you that you can’t. there are new levels in front of you, great relationships, healing, promotion, abundance. my question is; how bad do you want it? are you hungry, with a made-up mind, relentless? because your want-to is big enough, like Bartimaeus, you’re going to see God suddenly turn things around, like David you’re going to outlast the opposition and take your throne,  break barriers that have held you back, and step into a new level of your destiny.

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(No new sermon this week.)

Of course, we can actually SAY, “All glory to God,” and similar phrases, but I’m not talking about that; what I’m considering here is what are the things that we can do DO to bring glory to the Lord.

As with any question of this nature, first and foremost we need to check the Word, so here’s what the Bible says:

Joshua 7:19
My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him

(Even when we sin, we can still give glory to the Lord by openly and honestly confessing our sin.)

Matthew 5:16
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

John 15:8
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Philippians 1:11 NLT
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation–the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ–for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

1 Peter 2:12 ESV
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

1 Peter 4:11 (NKJV)
11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ

And MAYBE (the meaning of the original Hebrew is uncertain):

Psalm 50:23 (NKJV)
23 Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;
And to him who orders his conduct aright
I will show the salvation of God.”

I think we need to be VERY careful about veering away from Scripture for determining spiritual truths, but I feel confident that in this case, we can do so a little bit. I think we bring glory to God anytime we do anything with excellence, or at least give our best shot at excellence: every time we sing a song, paint a painting, do a good job, or at least work hard, at pretty much anything, even cleaning our homes, or behave as true Christians the way God wants us to, by doing good deeds, helping people, and behaving with Christian virtue no matter what is going on around us. If you have any other ideas, or if your church teaches some additional things, feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

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from JO’s sermon this week:

just as we have physical ears, we have spiritual ears. God doesn’t speak to us out loud, normally, like we see in the movies, He speaks to us in our spirit. many times, He will speak things that contradict what we see with our eyes: maybe you’re facing an illness, it doesn’t seem like you’ll ever get well; you’ll hear a voice saying, “you’re healthy, whole, strong.” or you’re struggling in your finances, can’t seem to get ahead; you’ll hear that voice saying, “you’re blessed, prosperous, have more than enough.”

it’s just the opposite of what it looks like, but God calls you what you are before it happens: when you’re sick, God calls you well. when you’re addicted, God calls you free. when you’re barren, can’t conceive, God calls you a mother.

in the scripture, Abraham didn’t have any children, yet God called him the father of many nations. Gideon was insecure, afraid; he said, “God I can’t lead the Israelites, I come from the poorest family.” he saw himself as weak, unqualified:

Judges 6:12 (NIV)
12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

you’ll hear things in your spirit that don’t make sense to your mind. you’ll think, “I’m not free, I still have this addiction. I’m not blessed, I have all these problems.”

Judges 6:15 (NIV)
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.”

Abraham said in effect,” I’m not a father of many nations, I don’t even have one child.” but if you’re going to see it come to pass, you have to believe what you hear in your spirit and not what you see with your eyes, walk by faith and not by sight. your circumstances may look like you’ll never get well, get out of debt, meet the right person, but if you’ll listen down in your spirit, you’l hear a voice saying, “healing is coming, you will lend and not borrow, new doors are about to open, favor is in your future.”

don’t let what you see with your eyes talk you out of what you’ve heard in your spirit. God is saying to you what He said to Gideon; “you are a mighty hero, you’re going to accomplish big things, go further than you’ve imagined.” He’s saying to you what He said to Abraham; “you’re going to have those children, conceive, your baby is on the way.” He’s saying to you what He said to David; “you’re going to defeat that giant. yes, that obstacle is big, but you have greatness in you. you are anointed, equipped, empowered.” He’s saying to you, “that sickness is not your final story; restoration is coming, things are about to turn in your favor.”

now quit being discouraged about what you see, and start being encouraged by what you hear. the scripture says, “the things we see are only temporary, but what we hear, what God speaks to us, that’s permanent.” one translation says, “the things we see are subject to change.” that sickness may look permanent; the truth is, it’s subject to change. one touch of God’s favor, suddenly you’ll be well. that addiction you’ve struggled with for years, looks like that’s your destiny; don’t believe that lie, it’s subject to change. you may feel like you’re stuck, not getting good breaks, seeing any growth; stay in faith, it’s subject to change, God has the final say; He said, “the path of the righteous, your path, gets brighter and brighter.” if you’ll listen, you’ll hear that voice saying, “new levels, opportunities, relationships are coming.”

in 1 Kings 18, there was a great drought; it hadn’t rained in over three and a half years. the crops had dried up, the food supply was limited, people were worried, they didn’t know what they were going to do. the prophet Elijah came along and told the king, “I hear the sound of an abundance of rain.” there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, everywhere he looked it was dry, barren, no vegetation, it had been that way for years.

that’s the way God is; in a drought, God will talk to you about rain. in lack, He’ll talk to you about abundance. when you feel insignificant, like you could never make much out of your life, He’ll talk to you about greatness, put things in your spirit that seem impossible to accomplish. when you’re lonely, don’t think you’ll ever meet the right person, He’ll talk to you about a divine connection.

He speaks to your spirit about what’s coming, but very often, it’s just the opposite of what our circumstances look like. you heard abundance, but all you can see is lack. you heard healing, all you can see is sickness. you heard new levels, all you can see is more of the same. the question is, whose report are you going to believe; what you saw with your eyes, or the report of the Lord, what you heard in your spirit? like Elijah, I hear the sound of breakthroughs, freedom, healing, new levels, abundance.

God is about to do a new thing, exceed your expectations. you may not see any sign of it, everything looks the same; get ready, what you heard is on the way. “I heard in my spirit to start my own business; all I see is this job I’m working at, I must have heard wrong.” stay encouraged; it’s coming. your circumstances may say you’ve reached your limits, gone as far as you can, just settle there. that’s one report; if you believe that, you’ll get stuck, but if you’ll tune that out and believe the report of the Lord, what you hear down in your spirit, that will override what you hear in the natural.

when you get in agreement with God, you’ll become what He says about you. maybe you’re facing an illness; God says, “by his stripes you are healed.” believe the report of the Lord, and healing is coming. you’re struggling with an addiction; God says, “whom the son sets free is free indeed.” believe His report, and freedom is coming. what you hear will override what you see. when Elijah heard the sound of an abundance of rain, that drought had been going on over 3 years, no sign of rain. he could have thought, “I’m not going to tell anyone, they’ll think I’m crazy,” but Elijah had the boldness to announce what he heard to the king.

here’s the principle; it’s not enough to just believe what you’ve heard, you need to announce it. if you’re sick, tell someone, “I’m healthy, whole, I will live and not die.” they may look at you and think, “what do you mean, you saw the medical report, there’s no sign of you getting better?” when you announce it, it sets the miracle into motion. your words have creative power; you give life to your faith by speaking it out.

the scripture says, “let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” if you want to get well, say so. do you want to break that addiction; say so. if you want to accomplish your dreams, say so. there may not be any sign of it, but you need to announce to people, “I’m blessed, free, we’re going to have this baby, move into that new house, our son is going to do great things.” “are you sure? I thought your son was off course, running with the wrong crowd, getting into trouble?” “yes, but that’s temporary, subject to change. that’s what you see with your eyes, but what I heard in my spirit is, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

if you’ll start announcing what you heard, not arrogantly, like a know-it-all, but in humility, with a quiet confidence, that’s your faith being released, allows God to do great things. just because people don’t believe, or even your pastor doesn’t believe, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. experts may say there’s no way, banks say you’re not qualified, friends say you’ll never move into that house; like with Elijah, there may not be a cloud in the sky, and yet you have the boldness to tell people that it’s not only going to rain, but it’s going to be an abundance of rain.

don’t be surprised if you have some naysayers. but you’re not announcing it to get people to agree with you, so they’ll encourage you, “let me believe with you”; that’s great when it happens, but that’s not the primary reason. you’re announcing it to show God that you believe what you’ve heard, and to show the enemy that all the forces of darkness are not going to talk you out of what God put in your heart.

the enemy doesn’t know your thoughts; he’s not like God. God knows our thoughts before we think them, our words before we speak them. God is all-knowing; the enemy only knows what he hears you saying. be careful what you let come out of your mouth: “I’ll never get well, I’ve had this sickness forever. I can’t accomplish my dreams. I’ll never break this addiction.” you’re giving him way too much information, showing him your doubts, fears, weaknesses. but when he hears you saying, “I am blessed, healthy, strong, I hear the sound of abundance, favor, promotion,” all he knows is, you’re on your way up. he cannot keep you from what God has in store.

when you hear yourself saying, “I’m going to conceive my children. I am free from this addiction. my family is being restored,” those words go right back down into your own spirit, and help you to stay encouraged. but if all you hear is how bad the drought is, it’s never going to rain, that negative report is going to keep you from the abundance that belongs to you.

you need to start, not only announcing what God put in your spirit, but thanking God for what you’ve heard; “Father, thank You that my baby is on the way, I’m coming out of debt, I’m free from this addiction, new doors are opening in my career.”

Elijah was on top of Mount Carmel. he told his assistant to go look on the other side of the mountain to see if there was any sign of rain. the young man came back and said, “there’s not a cloud in the sky; it’s not going to rain.” Elijah didn’t get discouraged, think, “God, I must have heard You wrong”; his attitude was, “I’m not moved by what you see; I know what I’ve heard.” when you know what you’ve heard, you won’t be upset when circumstances don’t line up, get discouraged over a negative medical report, give up on a dream because you’ve had some setbacks. like Elijah, you’re not moved by what you see; you know what God has spoken to you. you’ve heard: God is restoring health back unto you, whatever you touch will prosper and succeed, the spouse, favor, rain is coming.

maybe today you’re in a drought; it’s barren, things haven’t worked out. yes, you can hear rain in your spirit, but it’s been a long time, there’s no sign of it happening. that’s the real battle; are you going to let what you see talk you out of what you’ve heard, let circumstances, what people say, what hasn’t worked out, convince you to settle where you are, give up on what you’re believing for? no, get your passion back; stir your faith up. God did not create you to live in a drought, constantly struggling, stuck in one level; that is not your destiny. promotion, health, the right people are coming; what you heard is on the way.

I love what Elijah did; when the young man told him that it wasn’t going to happen, instead of accepting it, he told him to go back and look again. every time he came and said, “still nothing, no rain,” Elijah had him go back and look again. on the 7th time, the young man came and said, “this time, I saw a small cloud.” Elijah was so convinced it was going to happen, instead of changing his mind, being talked out of it, he sent the young man back until he saw it.

God will speak things to your spirit that contradict what you see with your eyes. don’t let people talk you out of it. instead of you changing your mind, tell them to go back and look again; at some point, they’re going to see what God has spoken to you.

but the people close to you, those you allow in your inner circle, they need to be for you; you can’t afford to have doubters, naysayers, telling you that you can’t get well, the problem’s too big, you can’t accomplish your dreams. your destiny is too important to try to convince people what you’ve heard. Elijah didn’t debate with the young man, try to persuade him, he kept sending him away until he finally saw. if you’re going to stay in faith, you may have to send some people away for a little while, distance yourself from that relative, co-worker, that’s always telling you what you can’t become.

God will put things in your spirit that seem too big to accomplish, impossible, you don’t have the resources, connections, influence. but when you know what you’ve heard, and don’t let people talk you out of it, God will open doors that no person can shut, make things happen that you could not make happen.

will you have the boldness to believe what you’ve heard, even though the circumstances say it’s not possible? you heard you’re going to have a baby, but the medical report says no way. you heard you’re going to get your master’s degree, but no one in your family has attended college. you heard your business was going to take off; right now, you can barely pay your bills. God puts things in our spirit as a seed. if we dismiss it, think, “no way, that’ll never happen,” it won’t take root. but if you say, “God, I don’t see a way, but I know You wouldn’t have put this in me if You didn’t have a way. I want to thank You that favor, healing is coming, that You’re bringing the right people, causing things to fall into place, taking me where I could not go on my own.” you don’t have to figure out how it’s going to happen; all you have to do is believe.

this assistant said, “I see a little cloud.” it turned into a big cloud; before long, there was an abundance of rain. Elijah saw what he heard in his spirit. you may not see how you can accomplish your dreams, get well, break that addiction; you know what you’ve heard, but there’s no sign of it. all it takes is a little favor, one good break, right person, healing, and suddenly you will see what you’ve heard.

when people are not for you, don’t get discouraged; they may not celebrate you until after the abundance of rain. that’s ok; the main thing is, don’t let their doubt keep you from what you’ve heard. some of the things God puts in your spirit are not going to make sense to other people; you have to be willing to be misunderstood, talked about, criticized.

God told Noah to build a huge boat because there was going to be a great flood. what’s interesting is, it had never rained up to that point; the Earth was watered from the dew on the ground. people had never seen rain coming down from the sky. Noah was building this boat, not by the ocean, close to the shores where he could easily push it in, he built it out on dry ground. it wasn’t a little fishing boat; God had him build it 450 ft long, a football field and a half. I can imagine people walking by and shaking their heads. it’s not that different today; “you’re telling me you’re going to have a baby, it’s been 20 years, and the medical report says no way? you’re going to touch the world, and you’re a teenager on a farm, with no money, education, support? your child’s going to do great things, and he spends half the school year in detention?”

people may not understand, they may think you’re not accepting reality. in one sense, it’s not their fault; they didn’t hear what you heard. don’t expect them to cheer you on; if you had to have them to fulfill your purpose, they would agree with you. if they don’t, then you don’t need their support, encouragement. don’t let them talk you out of what you’ve heard.

the enemy will use people, sometimes people you love and respect, to plant doubt and negativity. “are you sure you’re going to get that promotion? there are three more qualified people in front of you. I just don’t see it; maybe in 5 years.” “Noah, are you sure it’s going to rain? and by the way, what’s rain?” God is going to put things in your spirit that have never happened, your family has never seen; new levels, promotion, influence. you are coming into a time where you’re going to see unprecedented favor, things bigger than you’ve imagined.

but while you’re believing for it, don’t be surprised if you’re misunderstood. don’t be upset by the naysayers, people that are not for you; they can’t stop your destiny. just keep announcing what you’ve heard, thanking God that it’s on the way. if you’ll do this, what you’ve heard in your spirit is going to override what you see with your eyes. God’s about to do something that you’ve never seen. you’re coming into an abundance of favor, promotion, creativity, health, a new level of your destiny.

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