Month: September 2014

Get Up Again!

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Proverbs 24:16 – A righteous man may fall seven times, but he gets up again.

When Peter began to sink in the water because he saw the wind, Jesus told him his faith was little.

When Jesus told Peter what things He would have to suffer, Peter rebuked Him and told him that would never happen to Him.

Peter told Jesus he left everything to follow Him and wanted to know what he will get out of it.

Peter told Jesus, “I am ready to go with you, both into prison, and to death” and “Even if I have to die with you, I won’t deny you. I won’t say that I don’t know you”, but when the opportunity came to stand with Jesus, he denied Him and followed Him from afar. He went from being in the upper room with Jesus to being beneath in the palace trying to blend in when he was called to stand out.

Despite Peter’s shortcomings, he was still the person Jesus allowed to follow him closely. When Jesus went up on a high mountain, Peter was one of the men He took with him. When Jesus went to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter, Peter was one of the men allowed to go in with Him. Jesus prayed for Peter because there was a fight for his soul. Satan desired to have him and separate him from Christ, but Jesus told Peter that his faith would not fail. Jesus knew who He had chosen. He knew that there would be mess-ups, but he also knew that Peter would become what He called him.

One day, Peter was baptized with the Holy Ghost and when he preached, 3,000 souls were saved. He was now walking in holy boldness. The sick were brought on the streets so that the shadow of Peter may fall on them as he walked by. Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, but now Peter was healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead and casting out devils.

When Judas saw that Jesus had been sentenced to death, he repented, tried to return the thirty pieces of silver that he sold Jesus for, but he eventually hung himself. When Peter denied Jesus, Luke 22:61 tells us that after Jesus turned and looked upon him, Peter went outside and wept bitterly.

Judas betrayed Jesus and Peter denied Jesus. Both of these men ‘messed up’. The difference between Judas and Peter was that Peter never gave up. Judas repented, but he couldn’t forgive himself. The same devil that influenced Judas to betray Jesus was the same devil that condemned and beat him over the head for what he did. I know personally the guilt Judas must have felt and guilt led to depression and depression led to suicide. I’m sure the devil did the same thing to Peter also. In fact, there was one time where Peter told Jesus to depart from him because he was a sinful man (Luke 5:8). They both made a choice. Judas chose to give up, but Peter chose to get up.

Peter didn’t become the man of God that we read about in the book of Acts overnight. He had to learn, he had to practice, he had to grow, and he had to give up all for Someone who was going to give up all for him. What I love most about Peter is that when he fell, he got right back up again. Peter could have given up and walk away from ministry, but he continued to walk and fellowship with the disciples.

No matter how many times you’ve failed at something, you are not a failure. When God spoke you into existence, He didn’t call you the mistakes of your past, but He called you what you would become in the future. Before you were born and before you even had a past, God gave you hope and a future.

God hasn’t given up on you so don’t you give up on Him. When you fall, you may feel defeated, but your victory is in getting up.

Speak to the Wind

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I was driving to work, wondering when God was going to do what He promised and worrying about whether things would ever work out for me and God said, ‘Remember what I said’.

Sometimes we are so focused on what we see that we forget what God said. One of the ways you increase your faith is by hearing the word of God over and over again. If you no longer hear it, there is a possibility that you will forget it. You remember things better when you think on it. In Philippians 4:8, the writer said, “Whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report…think on these things.” The word of God is true, honest, just, pure, lovely and a good report. Think on the word. Find a promise God made you through His word and think on that.

In the beginning was the Word and no matter what trials, hardships or challenges come after the Word, the Word will remain the same. Whatever it was on yesterday is what it will be today and forever. The word of God hasn’t changed. The problem is we changed our mind about what God said. Sometimes we really don’t believe He’s going to do it because it doesn’t look like anything is going to happen. We heard the word, but all we see is wind – our circumstances.

Jesus spoke one word: Come. Peter obeyed and came out of the ship, but when he saw the strong wind, he became afraid and started to sink. When God sends a word, the wind will always come to distract you and to keep you from receiving the word God gave you. Peter became afraid because he forgot what Jesus said. When the wind started moving, he stopped moving. The bible says Peter saw the wind, but he saw and heard the Word also.

The wind may come, but the Word will never leave.

The wind is a force that can bring destruction. You don’t see the wind, but you can see the effects of the wind. It is able to knock down power lines, damage the roof, and uproot trees. The devil uses demonic forces to bring destruction in your life, too. You can’t see them, but you can see the effects.

The wind is able to move a lot of things (and people), but one thing it will never be able to move is the word of God. The wind is powerful, but the word carries more power. The word of God is not going to change because of the wind, but it will change the direction of the wind. It is not afraid of the wind and neither should we. Yes, the wind may move you for a moment and cause you to doubt the word, but it won’t move or stop the word God spoke concerning you. The word of the Lord shall come to pass in your life.

Stop telling God about the wind when He has given you His word to speak to the wind. Jesus has given you power to rebuke every wind in your life and the winds will obey the Christ that is in you and there shall be a great calm.

Remember and believe what God said, not what you see. Things that can be seen are only temporary. The wind can blow all around you, but don’t let it get in you. Get in the word and let the word get in you. Your circumstances are like the wind and the wind that is blowing in your life right now will eventually pass away, but the word of God will not. It will outlast everything you’re going through.

What the Lord told Ezekiel then is what the Lord is telling you now. Prophesy to the wind. Speak to the wind for Me. Tell it what I said  (Ezekiel 37:9, paraphrase).

Your Beginning Was Small, But Your Future Will Be Great!

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There was a famine.

In Genesis 26:2, God told Isaac not to go to Egypt, but to stay where he was. For God to make such a statement, meant that Isaac must have been thinking about leaving.

When ministry isn’t going the way you think it should, when it looks like you’ll never be promoted on that job, when it feels like nothing will ever change in your city, the first thing most people want to do is leave the situation, move to a new location or find employment elsewhere.

Isaac could have easily picked up and left, but what God was trying to get out of him and give to him and his descendants could only take place in the city that HE chose, not the city that Isaac chose. Our thoughts are not His thoughts and a lot of times we don’t see what God sees. Remember the land that Lot chose to dwell in? It looked good, but inside of that city was sin and wickedness.

The place that didn’t look like anything good could come out of it was the same place where God said He was going to bless Isaac. This reminds me of an oyster shell. It lacks outward beauty, but inside of it is hidden something beautiful. Our problems sometimes look just that shell, but you will never know the beauty hidden inside of them if you don’t confront it. Yes, you can move to a new city, join another church or find a new relationship, but that’s not always the answer. Just because you physically left a problem doesn’t mean that the problem has left you. You will face it again.

Don’t despise where you are. We all have to start somewhere. This is only the beginning. Zechariah 4:10 tells us your beginning is small, but it never said your end would be small. We love to quote the first part of Ecclesiastes 7:8, which says “better is the end of a thing than the beginning”, but what our spirit really needs to hear is the latter part of that verse: “a patient spirit is better”.

When a woman is pregnant, the longer she waits, the more her stomach grows. While we are waiting for the seed (word) God planted in us to manifest, we are growing. The changes we are going through is preparing us for what we are about to behold. A woman has pain when her time to give birth comes, but after she gives birth, she no longer remembers what she went through.

Your time has come. The pain you are experiencing now cannot be compared to the joy that is coming.  Your joy is about to make you forget all the pain you went through. You can’t see the growth right now because it is an inward work, but in a little while everyone will know what you were pregnant with. You will see what God said.

I know sometimes we feel like if we had wings like a dove, we would fly away and find rest (Psalm 55:6), but learn instead to mount up with wings like an eagle (Isaiah 40:31) and rise above your situation.

Don’t run away from your struggle because out of your greatest struggle will come your greatest blessing.

“But I Know”

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Have you ever felt like God was taking too long to answer your prayer? Have you ever been mad or disappointed with God because He didn’t move when you thought He should move? 

When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus letting Him know that the one He loved was sick, He didn’t move immediately. He stayed in the same place two days longer and by the time He arrived to Judea, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. When Martha saw Jesus, she said, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died”. This is the same Martha that Jesus said was anxious and troubled about many things (Luke 10:41).

Mary and Martha said that Jesus loved his brother, but when Jesus didn’t come when they thought He should, Martha was disappointed. Despite Lazarus being in the tomb for four days and being sad that he was gone, Martha chose to think on what she knew about Jesus. She said, “But I know that even now, whatsoever you will ask of God, God will give it to you”.

The reason why you worry is because you don’t know or understand how much God loves you. You don’t know how much He cares for you because you care too much about the things of the world. You’ve heard about what He has done for others, but you’re not sure if He will come through for you. If you really knew how much Jesus loves you, then you would know that He loves you enough not to let you remain in your condition. Sometimes people feel that God doesn’t love them because He won’t give them what they want, but the reason why God won’t give you what you want is because He loves you.

Philippians 4:6 tells us not to be anxious about anything, but to pray about everything. Most of us don’t have a problem praying, but we have a problem waiting. We should be at a place in our lives where we know that God hears us when we pray and whatever we ask according to His will, He will give it to us.

There is a difference between a need and a want. A need is something that one must have. A want is a desire to have something, but it may not be necessary to have. A lot of things we call a need is actually a want. One morning, God was talking to me about my ‘need’. He first asked how long had I been without the thing I was praying for. Then, He told me that if I was doing okay without it, that it really wasn’t a need.

In John 2, Jesus and his disciples were invited to a wedding. They ran completely out of wine and they needed more. Mary told the servants, “Whatsoever he (Jesus) tells you to do, do it”. If you have a need in your life, it is not because God hasn’t done His part. It is because you refuse to do your part. You must do what God is telling you to do. The servants couldn’t make wine with just water, but when they used what they had (waterpots and water), Jesus changed the water into wine – not the servants. They just obeyed the One who was able to change their situation.

Whatever it is you’re facing at this present time, keep reminding yourself that the devil’s plan is to harm you, but God’s plan is to prosper you. God cares for you and He’s not going to withhold no good thing from those who are walking in Him.

Sometimes it looks and feels like nothing is happening in your life, but don’t focus on what you see and what you feel. Trust in what God told you. Trust in what you know. That’s what Martha did. Don’t let your situation tell you how it’s going to be. You tell your situation what it’s going to be. Tell it what God said because it has to obey the word of God.

We don’t walk by sight. What looks dead in your life is only sleeping. It is not unto death. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word is alive and full of power so even if your situation seems dead, speak the living word over it. The word of God has never met a condition that it could not change.

Learn about who Christ is by spending time with Him through prayer and reading scriptures so that when you face difficult times, you can say, “But I know”.

Hold on to what you know.

 

 

No More Empty Hands

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I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed (Exodus 3:21).

Psalm 24:1 tells us that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. So if the devil possesses anything, it is because he stole it. He is a thief (John 10:10). He is not an owner. He is only an occupant. He is occupying in the land that God has given you.

God has given the earth to man (Ps 115:16), but for too long we have acted like the lame man who begged daily at the gate of temple called Beautiful when we should have been walking in power and authority like Peter and commanding whatever was lame in our lives to rise up and walk.

When we face something that is discomforting or hard, we tend to blame the devil, but how do you know that God isn’t behind what you’re going through? Do you understand His mind? Do you know how He works? Do you know what God is doing?

In 2007, the United States experienced a period of recession. During that season, there were lay-offs, depression and worry increased, and family murders and suicides were on the rise, which was sad, but at the same time, things that were too expensive (such as homes) became affordable. Things were being given away, but a lot of God’s children missed this opportunity. What was a recession or crisis or tragedy to the world was God’s wonders for the people of God, but we were calling our condition what the world was calling it. What was happening was the wealth of the sinner was transferring to the just and what seemed like hardship to some was actually designed to benefit the children of God.

The same thing happened in the book of Exodus. God told Moses, “Israel is my son, even my firstborn”. They had spent many years in slavery and bondage to the Egyptians and God’s plan was to smite Egypt (the world system) with all His wonders. The Israelites were about to be recompensed for all their hard labor and years of oppression.

Ten plagues struck Egypt: blood in the river, frogs covered the land, dust of the land became lice, flies were inside houses and covered the land, disease on beasts, boils on man and beasts, hail, locusts, darkness and death of any firstborn in Egypt. All these things affected Egypt’s economy, health, employment, finances, and even their minds. Sickness, death and poverty were around the Israelites, but it didn’t come nigh them.

After the final plague (death), the Egyptians were now crying and urging the Israelites to leave their land, but they didn’t leave empty-handed. Before they left, they asked the Egyptians for clothing, silver and gold.

For years, the enemy has stolen from you, cheated you out of some things and he has treated you unfairly, but he has been caught, he has been exposed and he will repay sevenfold. God is going to perform signs and wonders in your life this month. Every debt shall be cancelled and all you will owe man is love.

Don’t worry about your life and don’t worry about tomorrow. The eyes of the Lord are everywhere. You are not forgotten and you will see the goodness of the Lord. God cares for you and He will take care of you.

No more empty hands.