The Egyptians recognized that the Israelites were more and mightier than they were. According to The Living Bible version, they saw them as becoming dangerous. So, they came up with a plan to put them in bondage and to make them slaves when God actually called them His son (Exodus 4:22). Come on, let us deal wisely with them. For the next 400 plus years, the Israelites were servants to the Egyptians. They built their cities. They made them rich while they remained poor.
But before the enemy had a plan, God had a plan to send a deliverer named Moses to bring them out of that land into a good land. They saw themselves as slaves, but they were heirs to what was promised to their fathers. They were wealthy. They were landowners. Cities belonged to them and God was going to restore everything that they lost.
To keep you from becoming what God made you to be – to keep you from knowing who you really are, the enemy came up with a plan to put you in bondage because he is afraid of you. He is afraid of who you will become. He is afraid of what you can do to his kingdom. He doesn’t want you to discover just how mighty you are in God.
I remember being a quiet (I still am at times), but confident little girl. I remember sitting on my porch calling something mine that I hadn’t even possessed yet. But the enemy had a plan – the loss of my mother as a toddler, molestation, unholy covenants, depression, divorce, just to name a few. Even at a young age, he was after that confidence, which produces a great reward.
Although our words are powerful, our thoughts are powerful, too. One of the reasons why the enemy attacks your mind is because he knows that God will do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or THINK according to the power that is at work in you.
God told Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho. God had already given them the city. Yes, someone else was occupying it, but it didn’t belong to them. To enter into the Promised Land, the Israelites had to go through Jericho. They couldn’t go over it or around it. They had to go through it and some of us don’t like to go through anything. But between where they were and where God wanted to take them was a wall. Before the wall fell down, they had to ‘see’ themselves possessing the city.
The enemy fights you the most in your mind. He doesn’t want you to see yourself blessed, prosperous, happy, intelligent, powerful or mighty. The enemy has used bad situations in your life to build a wall. The wall of Jericho was at least 15 feet high. The enemy wants to use a wall to keep you from entering into what God promised you. He also wants to keep you from seeing who you really are and what you can do.
The moment you accepted Christ as your Savior, you were delivered from a bad land and brought into a good land. In exchange for your past, He gave you hope and a future. You are mighty and the weapons God gave you are mighty through God. It pulls down strongholds (thoughts that are contrary to God’s word).
Our responsibility is to believe God’s word and to do what it says. Strongholds are built on lies, but they can be torn down by the truth. So, read the word of God and listen to it daily so that it can transform the way you think and the way you live. Find scriptures in the bible that tell you who you are in Christ and speak those words until every wall the enemy built through lies, deceit and imagination fall flat down like the wall of Jericho.
You are more and mightier than you think.
There are some things in your life that you thought were lost, forgotten or dead like Lazarus, but they are only sleeping.
It doesn’t matter how many days or years it’s been sleeping.
It is not too late.
Whether it’s your hopes, dreams, ministry, your business or your womb – it will rise again.
It will live again.
It will come forth.
Whatever has kept them bound, whatever has kept you bound, will loose you and let you go.
I speak to everything in your life that should be alive, but is sleeping – arise and live!
Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believe in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).
My daughter recently tried out for varsity cheerleader and she made it. I am so proud of her, but I couldn’t help but think that that was once my desire. I, too, wanted to be a cheerleader. In fact, one of my classmates was willing to help me and prepare me for tryouts, but I just talked about it. I never prepared for it.
Two things my daughter taught me:
1. What you refuse to do, someone else will do.
2. If you want it, you must go after it.
And Joshua said to the children of Israel, How long are you slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers has given you? (Joshua 18:3)
God had given land to twelve tribes, but only five tribes had possessed what was promised to them. Why didn’t the remaining seven tribes go after it? I don’t know if they had gotten weary along the way, but they just stopped and settled for where they were and for what they had. Joshua, however, described them as being slack. The word, slack, means to move slow, to not hold fast, and to waste time.
Some of us are slack. We talk about all the things we want to do and what we want to be, but we procrastinate. We put off for tomorrow what we should do today. We make excuses. We find time to do everything else except the thing that we should be doing. We start doing what God told us to do and then we stop.
The word ‘stay’ appears 62 times in the bible and the word ‘wait’ appears in the bible 106 times, but the word ‘go’ appears in the bible 1,542 times (King James Version).
Sometimes we think that God is moving too slow. The problem isn’t that God hasn’t sent His word. The problem is we won’t go. God has already given us what He promised. It is yours, but you must go and possess it.
God is not slack concerning His promises and neither should we.
All things work together for good…
Even your mistakes.
Just as a person walking into your life can be a blessing, so can a person walking out of your life be a blessing also.
Give me the portion of goods that fall to me (Luke 15:12). The prodigal son knew what belonged to his father and if his father had it, that meant he had it. His father gave him what he asked for, but his problems began when he stopped obeying what he was taught by his father. He started doing things that sons shouldn’t do. The moment he disobeyed, he became a slave – to sin, debt, poverty.
But one day, his eyes were opened. He realized that he didn’t have to live the way he was living. He remembered that his father, who he had left, had hired servants who had enough bread. The prodigal son wasn’t just in a distant country, but he was in a distant relationship with his father. The moment he returned to his father, everything he lost was restored. The servants placed on him a robe, sandals and a ring. The ring signified that when he decreed a thing, it would be established and no one could change or alter what he had spoken.
The elder son was angry because he saw his brother living the way he should have been living. Although he had read the commandments and had not sinned against them, he still didn’t understand what belonged to him. All that I have is yours (Luke 15:31). Even though he took his anger out on his brother and father, he was really angry at himself because he didn’t know how to access what his father had already given him.
While the household was celebrating the return of the prodigal son, the elder son was outside when he should have been inside. He couldn’t believe his ears. Why were they celebrating? How could his brother who left his house and his country to become a citizen of another country, lose everything, return to his house and get back everything he lost? To him, that wasn’t fair, but it was fair. When the prodigal son asked for his portion, the father divided it between the elder and the younger. The elder had the same thing as his brother, but he didn’t do anything with what was given to him. (This reminds me of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30).
It took the prodigal son becoming a slave to discover that he was a son. He discovered that the things he was under were the things that he was created to rule over. He wasn’t created to toil or to beg.
The elder and the prodigal son lived in the same house. They had the same father. Isn’t it interesting how you can go to the same church with someone and hear the same sermon and the same instructions yet you’re still at the Jordan while others have already crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land? What did they do that you refused to do? Perhaps the problem has been that we like to hear a good word, but we don’t do anything with the information we hear in church because sometimes it’s not easy.
Do you think that leaving a country that was afar off to return to his home was easy for the prodigal son? It was a fight, but he walked until he walked himself out of his situation.
There is an enemy who is angry because he lost. He is angry that he got kicked out of heaven and he is doing everything he can to get you kicked out of the garden like Adam. He doesn’t want you to know who you are and what you have. He doesn’t want you to get everything that belongs to you.
Don’t do what the elder son did. He told the father what he didn’t have and what his father never gave him (Luke 15:29). Some of us do the same thing.
I don’t have the money to purchase a home.
I don’t have anyone to help me.
I don’t have a college degree.
This is why God asked Moses, What is that in your hand? Elisha asked the widow, What do you have in the house? I think sometimes we are so focused on what we don’t have that we can’t see what we do have.
May God not only reveal what He has given to us, but I pray that we use it for Him.
Refuse to be a church that is a hearer, but not a doer of the word.
miracle: an act impossible with man, but possible with God
There were people in the bible who were in some type of bondage for 400 years (children of Israel), 38 years (impotent man at the pool) and 12 years (woman with the issue of blood, but God freed them all. He transformed their lives. He changed their story.
One of the reasons why some of us haven’t seen the same transformation in our lives is because of unbelief. When the woman with the issue of blood heard about Jesus (Mark 5:27), she believed what she heard and she acted on what she believed. For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
Another reason is because we don’t want to give up anything or let go of what we have to get what Christ has. It was November 2008. I had been having problems with my car and I was searching for a new car, but I couldn’t find what I wanted at a reasonable price so I became discouraged and stopped looking. Then one day, my pastor said something that made me ‘look again’. A few days later, I saw the car I liked, but it wasn’t the color I wanted. I didn’t want another black car, but I saw in red letters the word, ‘reduced’.
That Friday after work, I called the dealership and the gentleman told me that the car was still on the lot and he would be waiting for my arrival. When I got there, he got a copy of my license, but he didn’t offer to ride with me. He just told me to test drive the car. When I returned, he got all of my personal information and helped me empty the contents that were in my car. He then told me to take the car home and return the following day. But before I left, I remember that he and another gentleman asked me where I had been as this car had been on the lot for weeks and no one would purchase it. When I think about it now, this car wasn’t meant for anyone else. It was for me. God wanted me to have this car, but He was waiting on me to let go and trade my old car for this new car. He was waiting on me to accept the change.
Before a miracle was performed at the wedding, Jesus asked the servants to give Him what they already had. There were six (the number six is symbolic of man) waterpots there filled with 20 to 30 gallons of water, but they weren’t filled to the brim. They were used for the washing of hands, but now Jesus wanted to use them for another purpose. He wanted to do something inwardly that would be displayed outwardly for everyone to see.
If we want Jesus to change us from water to wine, we must first become like the waterpots and allow God to completely fill us (with His Spirit) so that He can use us as His vessels to pour into the lives of others and to meet their needs.
Have you ever met a person who told you about their past and you found it so hard to believe their story? They didn’t look like what they went through. They didn’t look like they were once a drug addict or mean or promiscuous or sick. To me, that’s a miracle.
Now, let us become a miracle for those who need a miracle.
Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, Draw some out and take it to the governor of the feast (John 2:7-8).