When You Don’t Do What You Should Do

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What do you do when you’re in the midst of trials and temptations and you don’t do what you know to do? You’ve heard all the sermons, you read the books and you brought the CDs and you may have preached the sermons. But now here you are in the middle of it all and the pressure is pressing in on you but instead of doing what you’ve been taught to do you freak out. Yes, you freak out!

Each of us at some point in our walk as believers can relate to what I’m saying. We don’t always do what we know to do. We don’t always apply the truths we’ve learned to the situations we’re facing. Sometimes we just lose it. Like Peter, sometimes we look at our storms instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus. Or like Moses we allow our emotions to get the best of us and we don’t follow instructions. Yes, sometimes we take our eyes off of Jesus and we don’t obey His instructions. But here’s the good news, its okay.   God knows we’re human and He knew that we would face these times in our life so He made provision for us through Christ. Even when we’re not faithful to God He is still faithful.   There is great joy and relief in knowing that God’s faithfulness is not contingent upon our faithfulness to him. He continues to be God in our lives even when we are too weak to fight the good fight of faith. He is Christ in us and He will never fail us. I know because I’ve been there many times. His grace is sufficient His strength is perfected in us when we’re weak (I Cor. 12:9).

The devil wants you to look at your inabilities and failures. And if he can’t get you to do that he’ll try to get you to look at your natural abilities and strengths. His goal is to get you to look at yourself instead of looking at Jesus.   Scripture says he is the accuser of the brethren and that he stands before us night and day replaying in our ear our inabilities and failures. Or he stands before us to try and get us to rely on our own strengths and abilities.  We should never look at what we do but at what Christ has done. I Corinthians 10:12 says, “Wherefore, let him that thinkest he standeth take heed lest he fall.” It’s not we do but what He’s done.

When we rely on Jesus during those times of temptation He makes a way to escape. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape; that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved flee from idolatry” (I Cor. 10:13-14). Anything you place before God is idolatry and that includes yourself. It’s not about how well we do or how strong we are, it’s about Jesus. It’s about us allowing Him to live out His life through us.

I Corinthians 12:9 says, “…My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” When I fall or when I don’t do what I know to do I don’t have to throw in the towel and quit because it’s in those times that I know my strength is weak and that I’m not standing in my own strength but I stand by the power of God.

God loves it when we cry out to Him for help. He wants us to throw up our hands in surrender to His will and to His power. James 4:6 says, “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

Remember, God’s faithfulness is not contingent upon your faithfulness to Him He is faithful that’s who He is. So even though you might not do what you know to do Jesus is perfect and He does all things well. He is with you leading and guiding you lifting you back up. He will never allow the devil to triumph over you. Micah 7:8 says, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” Even when we don’t do what we know to do we are still victorious in Christ.

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Walk It Out!

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dreamstime_s_34546567If you want an easy way to get in shape walk.  Walking is an easy workout because it’s something we do every day.  Most of us have been doing it since we were two.

Walking is an excellent exercise for fat burning. While any exercise can burn calories, brisk walking for 45 minutes mobilizes the body to dip into fat reserves and burn stored fat. Another benefit to walking is that it requires very little for the mind.  So while you’re walking your mind is free to concentrate on other things.  So why not use the time while you’re getting physically fit to get spiritually fit.  Why not use the time to mediate on the word of God.  Memorization and meditation brings revelation.

The enemy is always on his job of trying to fill our minds with negative thoughts.  We therefore, must always be on our jobs of filling our minds with the word of God.  Positive thinking doesn’t come automatically after we’re saved.  No, we must work to have our minds renewed by mediating on the word of God.  Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

When you change the way you think you change the way you live.  So it’s time to start living the good life by renewing your mind.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, in the middle or advanced.  When you add the word to your walking routine it becomes a Power Walk.  Here is a quick and easy way to turn your normal walk into a power walk.

Take a verse of scripture and speak it out as it is written.  Now stop and mediate on the words of the scripture you just spoke, going over each word in your mind.  Then return to speaking the scripture out but this time make the verse personal to you.  For example, if you’re using John 3:16 you want to say that, God so loved me that He gave me His only begotten Son that as I believe on Him I shall not perish but I shall have everlasting life.  Lastly, stop and listen for the revelation that the Holy Spirit will give you concerning that scripture.

Well, there you have it!  While you building you’re physical body you’re building yourself up spiritually by renewing your mind in the word.

Testimony Time

MIC NIGHT

To the unveiling of His glory
This is your time to tell your story
Come on up to the mic
For this is your night
Hold the mic real tight because there will be a fight
God has been so awesome and even the devil knows that’s right
Believe what you hear
And don’t let it drop from your ear
Stand up and cheer
For our God is listening here
He loves to give us stories so we can make His praise glorious
Don’t let this night pass you by
For this is drawing nigh
So come on up to the mic
And be in God’s spotlight.

Poem by Willow

Change

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Change is necessary for growth. We don’t always like change but if we want to grow we must embrace it.

I love the fall and winter seasons. I love the beautiful colors of the leaves, the pumpkin spice coffee and creamers that for some reason are only offered during the fall season and I love the fall fashions. Yes, most of all I love the fashions. I love sweaters, blazers, coats, hats and boots. You get so much more to dress up with in the fall and winter months. So I always look forward to change from summer to fall because I’m able to wear the fashions I love. It makes the change in seasons easy because it gives me something to look forward to.

Change is easy when you embrace it. When you’re going through a season of change and you find it difficult to cope more than likely it’s because you’re struggling with the change. Change is necessary for growth. Change is happening everyday in everything around us. Nothing stays the same. Regardless of how much we want things to remain the same they must change in order to grow.

I’ve been living in the same house for a very long time. To me this is home and home is not supposed to change. It’s been very difficult for me to adjust my mind to the fact that it’s time to move mainly because I don’t like moving. There is nothing about moving from one house to another that appeals to me.  I don’t like the packing or the unpacking.  But it’s something that must be done if I am to move.

It reminds me of Israel when they were in Babylonian captivity.  God told them that they would be there for seventy years.  They were to marry and have families because the captivity would be long.  But there would come a time when they would have to leave.  Leaving their land was heartbreaking but God gave them His promise that after 70 years they would return to their land (Jeremiah 29:10). God gave them something to look forward to during their time of change. And that’s the beauty of change it always gives way to something new. Even Jesus when faced with change looked forward to what was ahead of him. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

So I want to encourage you, if you’re in the middle of change, take heart and don’t struggle, even if you’re the one who needs to make the change to get to where you want to be in life. Don’t struggle. Instead look ahead to what’s on the other side because change is a necessary part of growth and promotion.

HOPE

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???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Hope is a confident expectation of good happening. But in order to have hope you must first have a vision. You must be able to see something different than where you are or what you are facing.

Proverbs 29:18 tells us that “Where there is no vision the people perish.” The reason being is that without vision you have no hope, without hope you have no joy, without joy you have no strength and how can you live without strength, without strength you have no life.

David said in Psalms 42:5 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” David asked himself the question “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” And he answers himself by telling himself to hope in God for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Right here there was a shift in David’s vision. He began to see something different than where he was. He began to envision the favor of God and that vision of favor caused him to hope. It caused him to have a confident expectation of good happening.

The Amplified version of Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish.” In other words, where there is no revelation or vision of what Jesus did for us at Calvary we perish because without the cross we have no life.

Paul prayed for the church in Ephesians 1:15-18, “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” We cannot know the hope or the confident expectation of good to which He has called us without us first seeing Him in all His beauty, loveliness, majesty and power.

The enemy doesn’t want you to have hope. He wants you to give up having a confident expectation of good happening in your life. So he comes to distract you by causing you to look at the things happening in your surroundings and take our eyes off of Jesus the hope of glory. He knows that the moment you take your eyes off of Jesus you will lose hope and throw in the towel. You will deem your situation as hopeless.   And there is no place to go but down when you give up.   And by down I mean physically, mentally and emotionally. You will have no joy and you need joy to have strength and you need strength to have life.  Nehemiah 8: 10 says, “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”   If the joy of the Lord is our strength we need to know what the joy of the Lord is. The scripture doesn’t say our joy in the Lord (while that may be true) it says “the joy of the Lord.” His joy is our strength. So what is His joy?  Christ’s joy was in fulfilling the will of the Father and the Father’s will is that we have life. So the joy of the Lord is providing for us, protecting us, keeping us, healing us and giving us everything we need to live and enjoy this life. Now as we mediate upon this that it’s His joy to give to us, regardless of how dark or hopeless our situation or circumstance may be we will have hope. And if we have hope, even in the midst of all the stuff that may be going on around us we will have joy and if we have joy we have strength to continue living and enjoying life.

Look at Abraham. Scripture says he hoped against hope. Rom. 4:18, “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be.” Abraham hoped when there was no natural or human means for him to hope. His situation was completely hopeless as it related to him having an heir. He was old and his wife Sarah was old and barren. So how could he have hope? Abraham had to move his eyes off of the things he saw in the natural and he had to get a new vision. Remember, without vision you can have no hope and without seeing Jesus you will have no vision. Psalms 119:130 says “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” The word of God causes us to see. Jesus is the Word our living hope.   Abraham was able to have a confident expectation of good happening to him because he had a word from God and that word gave him a vision. He was able to see in his mind what God was telling him. As Abraham mediated on the words of God it gave him hope and that hope became an anchor for his soul or for his mind and emotions.

Where are you today? Are you feeling hopeless, down and depressed? You don’t have to stay there you can have a change of mind and heart if you take a hold of the word of God. Simply ask the Holy Spirit to give you a revelation of Jesus and it will give you hope. It will take you from being hopeless to being full of hope.

“Now we have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it, a hope) that reaches farther and enters into the very certainty of the Presence) within the veil. Where Jesus has entered in for us in advance a forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order with the rank of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:19-20

Uncomfortable Places

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You ever wonder why God allows us to be in uncomfortable places. I know I do. As a matter of fact I’ve been thinking about this because I find myself in some uncomfortable places in my life right now.   In asking God why (yes we can do that) this is what I’ve learned.

  1. God has given us more than we can ever imagine. I believe God allows us to be in uncomfortable places so that we will move out and pursue the greater things He has for us.
  2. Being in an uncomfortable place causes you to dream. When you’re in an uncomfortable place it causes you to imagine life differently.  David said in Psalms 119:49, “Remember [fervently] the word and promise to Your servant, in which You have caused me to hope.” Uncomfortable places cause us to hope in seeing the Word being manifested our lives.
  3. Uncomfortable places cause us to stretch.   Just think of what happens when something is too small for you, you immediately began to stretch to break lose. Isaiah 54:2-3 says, “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shall break forth on the right and on the left…” Stretching means we’re making room for increase.
  4. Uncomfortable places cause us to reach. Joshua 17:14-15 say, “And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto?” When you see all that God has given you through Christ you will be uncomfortable settling for just a little you will reach to lay hold on more.

I believe when we get to comfortable God allows our current situation to become uncomfortable so that we will always be reaching for all that He has died for us to have.

Leaps Of Faith

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Jumping men 1The gap between where you are and where you want to be is filled with impossibility but don’t worry, because what’s impossible with man is possible with God.

When Paul was preaching at Lystra the scripture says there was a man there who had been impotent in his feet and crippled from his mother’s womb and who had never walked.  But after hearing Paul speak, Paul perceived that he had faith to be healed and said to him with a loud voice, stand upright on your feet and the man leaped and walked (Acts 14:6-10).  Now here was a man who went from never having walked to leaping and walking all in a matter of minutes because he had the faith to take a leap.

Abraham took a leap of faith when he left out of his father’s country and went into a land that God would later show him.  Abraham stepped out with the knowledge that there was a gap between where he was and where he wanted to be.  This is why he needed faith.  Faith connects you from where you are to where you want to be.

Faith allows you to see the impossible as possible.  I believe the impotent man saw on the inside what Paul asked him to do.  He saw himself leaping and walking before he took one step.  Faith connected him from where he was to where he wanted to be.  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now Faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].  Notice it says that faith is the title deed.  When you have the title to something it is confirmation that you own it.   It means that those dreams and visions you see inside are yours.   Why, because Faith is Christ in us and Christ is the living Word of God?  All things are and where created by and for the Word of God.  Dreams are bought into reality, and destinies are fulfilled by the Word of God.

The question is do you see yourself as having the faith of God in you or are you still trying to obtain it?  Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The moment you hear the gospel and receive what you hear faith enters into you and gives you the ability to not only see the impossible but to do the impossible.  This impotent man moved from never had walked to walking because he heard the word of God.  Abraham left out of his father’s country to go to a land that God would later show him because he heard the word of God. Galatians 3:8 says, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Abraham heard the word before he took that leap of faith and left out of his father’s country.

Every believer has the faith of God living in their hearts but at the same time you have a choice whether to use that faith or not.  You can stand where you are and look over at all the good things that God wants you to have in life or you can use your God given faith and take a leap.  It’s not hard, if God has given you a dream or desire you simply move in the direction of that dream by faith and leave the outcome to Christ to perform.  Maybe you have a dream of starting you own business but the thought of you doing it is impossible.  You might tell yourself “I don’t have the credentials; or no one in my family has ever own their own business before.” Looking at what you can or cannot do will keep you right where you are looking out at your dreams instead of living them.  Take your eyes off of yourself and rest them on Jesus.  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  All things are accomplished in us through Christ it’s His ability that we must rest upon not our own.

Don’t allow yourself to be moved by what you see.    I Corinthian 4:6 says, “We walk by faith not by sight.”  The devil wants to deceive you into believing that nothing is happening, that your situation is not changing, that you’re further away from you destiny than ever before.  But the truth is that the world and everything in it is changing everyday whether we can see it or not.  Things are changing and you are moving in some direction.  You can determine the direction of that change by what you say and do.  It’s up to you to speak what you want to see.  Don’t speak what you see, speak the word and watch it come to pass.  It’s what God did in the beginning, He spoke what He wanted to see and He believed that what He said would come to pass.  We call it faith filled words.  The thing about speaking the word of God is that you don’t have to try and fill it with faith the word of God is faith.  The word of God is the faith filled words that we speak to see our dreams and destinies come to pass.

Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.”  It will not make sense to the national mind so don’t expect it too.  But if you will trust God you can rest assure He will never let you fall.  He is holding your hand lifting you up over that gap of impossibility and bringing you to the fulfillment of your dreams.  So if God says it’s time to leap immerse yourself in the word of God and receive the faith you need to jump.

Three Reason Why We Give Up Pursuing Our Dreams

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God doesn’t want us to give up on our dreams and goals in life.  As a matter of fact, He needs our dreams to fulfill.  He is the one who gives us the dreams so that His purpose can be fulfilled in our lives. It’s our job to pursue those dreams and not give up.  There are many reasons why people give up on their dreams but if we can avoid the following three we will be well on our way to seeing our dreams come to pass.

Time

Time is of the essence.  There is an appointed time for every dream to be fulfilled.  If you understand this you will never let go and give up on your dream.   Look at Abraham, God gave him a promise that He would have an heir and that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3).  However, it took Abraham twenty-five years before he saw the manifestation of that promise. Why?  Because with every promise there is an appointed time.

God could have allowed Sarah to become pregnant anytime after He gave Abraham the promise, (after all He is God) it could have been an instance miracle.  So why wasn’t it?  Was it that Abraham didn’t believe? No, scripture tells us that Abraham believed and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  So why the wait?  I believe the wait was for the appointed time.  The angel of the Lord told Abraham, “At the appointed time I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son” (Gen. 18:14).   God is never too early and He is never too late. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, He hath made ever thing beautiful in His time; also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.  We may not know what the appointed time is but we can trust God to bring it to pass at the appointed time.

Not understanding that there is an appointed time can cause you to do things outside of God’s will to accomplish your dream just as Sarah did when she gave Hagar to Abraham.  What Sarah didn’t realize was that time was necessary for the physical things to line up with the spiritual.  Only God knows how long that process will take but rest assured He never gives up on what He has promised you.  If He has given you a dream or vision for your life He will bring it to pass at the appointed time.  Ours is to trust Him and walk in obedience to His will.

Environment

How many people give up on their dreams because of an adverse environment?  Our environments are not to control us we are to control our environments.  I think sometimes we look for things in our environment to determine whether or not our dream will come to pass.  Our dreams are not fulfilled by our environments our dreams are fulfilled by the power of God.  There is no telling how many dreams have died because of the current economic environment.    The enemy uses things in our environments to distract us from pursuing our God given destinies.   Take Hagar for example, God had given her a promise that her son Ishmael who become a great nation but when things got rough in her environment she put the promise out of her sight (Gen. 21:15-16).  Hagar had allowed her environment to dictate her destiny.  She didn’t realize that the God that gave her the promise would be the God that would fulfill it.  Even though she couldn’t see beyond what was in front of her God spoke to her and told her to pick up the child and hold him in her hands because even in the desert His promised would come to pass (Gen. 21:18).  Remember, your environment doesn’t dictate your destiny.

Resources

Many, many, many, dreams have drowned in the sea of lack.  How many times have you said “I would do it but I don’t have the resources.”?  Or, “if I had the money I would do this.”  The enemy will use money to stop you if you let him.  You must know that dreams and visions are not fulfilled by money they are fulfilled by the power of God.  Jesus had a vision to feed thousands of hungry people in a desert place where there was no food expect a little boys lunch of five loaves and two fish (John 6:1-14). His disciples look at it as a hopeless situation.   “Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.  One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto Him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes; but what are they among so many?” (John 6:7-9).  The disciples could only see what they didn’t have because that was the only way they could see the need being met, through their natural means.  They saw they didn’t have the resources to fill such a large order and that what they did have was not enough.  The supernatural wasn’t in their minds.  Yet Jesus was there in their midst.  If you’re depending on your job or what you can earn to fulfill your dream it may never get done.  For one thing God always gives us dreams beyond our natural abilities so that we will rely on Him to accomplish them.  Jesus took what was there blessed it, broke it and gave it to His disciples to give to the multitudes and five thousand people where feed.  He didn’t give up on His vision because of the environment or limited resources He knew He wasn’t limited to His environment or what was in it.  He had a vision and He had the power to bring it to pass.  We have more than what’s in the earthly realm to accomplish our dreams.  We have Christ the Son of the Living God who is more than enough.