"People don’t care how much you know… until they know how much you care!" I believe that these words of wisdom are so true.
We often hear people’s frustration because the important people in their life don’t listen or receive instruction from them. It can be parents with their children, teachers and their students, or sometimes it’s the boss and his employees. Whatever the situation; the bottom line is thatpeople won’t take our advice if they don’t feel genuinely loved or cared for by us.
If we think about it, how do WE ourselves often react when others correct or teach us? We walk away feeling like they were trying to show us how much smarter they are. Or we sense that they’re looking down on us, judging or controlling us and trying to make us feel that they're the better person. If that is our perception, we won’t believe they truly care and we won’t listen to them.
Now, in all fairness, many times that's just not the case. The other person may really care and want to help us, but because of the disconnection between us, it seems like they don’t really care about us or our circumstances. We end up shutting out their words from the very beginning of their conversation.
Since people are only interested in what we know if they believe we genuinely care about them, here are some things to show them that you care:
1. Start your conversation with a question about their life and circumstance instead of immediately giving them all your wisdom and advice.Find out what’s on their heart and what they are going through. Be a good listener before unloading the wealth of your opinion! We must earn the right to speak into a person’s life before we can be effective.
2. Don’t just listen; be a good listener. Make eye contact, responding with caring facial expressions and concerned looks, because your body language reflects your care and concern for their well-being. In fact, many times your body language speaks louder than your words and if they contradict each other, the other person will immediately pick up on that.
3. Avoid distractions and interruptions such as texting, phone calls, doodling, etc. during your communication time. These things send a wrong message and will literally cause the person to shut down to whatever you have to say before you even say it.
Prepare to avoid these distractions ahead of time by turning your phone off and putting it out of sight. Let everyone know you’re unavailable during your time with that person. Avoid sitting next to a window that looks on a busy area, so you and the other person can stay focused on your discussion.
4. Put aside enough time so they won’t feel rushed, or they’ll immediately shut down to what you have to say. It takes time to be a good listener and also be able to express your thoughts. However, there should be a time limit, so be truthful and up front about how much time you have available. You can always agree to another meeting with them to show that you really care and are willing to see their issue through to its conclusion.
It takes time, energy and commitment to genuinely care for someone else, whether it’s a child, a spouse or a friend. Remember, what matters most is that we really care about one another. And ….. this matters most to God! Ephesians 4:32a, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,….”
Isn’t it amazing how a 20 dollar bill looks so big when you take it to church….but so small when you bring it to the mall to go shopping? Or, think about how long an hour serving God seems to us and yet how minimal 60 minutes seems if it’s spent watching TV, playing sports, sleeping, or taking a lunch break...
And, consider how laborious it is to read a chapter in the bible, but we find it so easy to sit down and read 100-300 pages of that bestselling novel. When we’re on that big Saturday night date, we have no problem staying up late, but we’ll sure complain about losing sleep if we have to get up for a Sunday morning service. Isn’t it strange that we’re so quick to trust directions from a total stranger if we are lost, believe the advice from the latest pop-psychologist, but we’re so hesitant to seek God’s direction in the Bible for the issues of our life?
It comes down to recognizing what our priorities actually are. Many of us live our life convinced that loving and serving God is our priority, but in reality we are self-deceived! When examined more closely, our actions will betray us and reveal our true priorities. What should we do about it? Here are a few suggestions.
1. First, repent that you have been living a hypocritical Christian life! Recognize your condition. Admit that, like the Church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation, your heart for the things of God is lukewarm at best and isn’t pleasing to God. According to scripture, the life of a lukewarm Christian is worse than a life without Jesus Christ. At least an unsaved person, when faced with the truth of their ungodly lifestyle recognizes they need Jesus. But, a Christian living an ungodly, lukewarm life style is deceived into thinking that everything is good. The truth though, is that it’s not!
2. Next, study His Word to find out what He expects of us who have His Spirit living in us. John 15:1-7 tells us that if we’re connected with Him there must be evidence (fruitfulness) of His life in us. We should be obedient to His Word, have a giving nature, show unconditional love for one another, desire to worship and praise Him continually, develop a prayer life and last but not least have a desire to come together as His body on a regular basis to worship Him.
3. Be baptized and filled daily with the Holy Spirit. He is the presence of God and He will keep you passionately in love with Jesus. When the fire goes out, we’re all subject to living a compromised Christian life, but the Holy Spirit is available every moment of our life. Get into the daily habit of being filled with His presence. It’s as simple as just asking Him to fill you!
4. Finally, I believe it is absolutely necessary to share your faith with someone daily. Too many of us are closet Christians… afraid of rocking the boat. Or we’re deceived into believing that we should keep our faith to ourselves. The river of God’s love must flow out of us by sharing our faith with others. This allows God to pour more of Himself in us and keeps us in His fresh anointing. Let’s rip the veils of deception off our eyes and start living the true Christian life.
Let’s not buy the lie many Christians are being told today. They believe they’re going to heaven but they also don’t think there is a hell!
Get out of the Stark reality and into the God reality. Don't blow your time and money like it's nothing. Let’s get our priorities straight and start living a truly true Christ-like life. It’s worth the effort.
With the end of this age drawing near and the second coming of Jesus at hand, we are all experiencing an increase in spiritual warfare. The battleground of this war is played out in our mind, so our archenemy Satan’s weapon of choice is to try to give us evil thoughts and wicked imaginations. He uses circumstances to stir up thoughts and feelings such as fear, despair, anger, jealousy and depression, to just name a few.
The devil’s goal is to tempt you to react impulsively to the thoughts and imaginations he places in your mind. That's the crux of spiritual warfare, but most are clueless to his tactics and strategies, believing they themselves have originated those thoughts and feelings. And if they continue to dwell on these damaging thoughts instead of rejecting them and casting them out of their mind, they’ll fall victim to their suggestions and influence.
Know who the real enemy is in your life so you can fulfill the great destiny God created you for. Here are some of the strategies Satan uses against us:
1. He makes us believe God is against us. He deceives us into thinking that God is holding us back and is against us. If you buy Satan’s lie, it takes the focus off him and he can operate covertly in your life. God created you for success and He would never undermine His own plan for you. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
2. Satan tempts us to think poorly of ourselves. Inferiority and low self-esteem keep more people away from a successful life than anything else. Satan knows we can't live any greater than how we think about ourselves. So, if he convinces us we’re not worth as much as everyone else around us, we stop believing for things to get any better. Every dream or vision of success we had will be killed. So many of us have quit expecting anything better for our marriage, finances, physical condition or even our walk with God. In fact, we often expect worse things because we don’t recognize the effects of our negative thoughts, believing they are true. The reality is; the devil is a liar and a thief. He planted those negative thoughts in our minds so we’ll sabotage our own success.
Not knowing who our enemy is and how he works puts us at a disadvantage. Here are some ways that disadvantage works against us is:
1. We see each other as our enemy, not Satan. Yes, he uses people to hurt us, come against us and be stumbling blocks, but it is all part of his covert operations. He is the one who is our real opponent. 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
2. We have a wrong perception of our circumstance. Satan is the master of creating circumstances that substantiate the thoughts he placed in our mind. But, all circumstances are temporary and changeable. Temporary, because their assignment is limited and will change…once we change our mind about them. Don't let your circumstances change you. Instead, change your circumstances by bringing your thoughts into agreement with God’s plan for your life, not in agreement with the negative circumstance. Speak God’s words instead of the words those circumstances want you to speak.
Knowing your real enemy will dramatically improve your life. Hope and joy will be restored almost immediately and a righteous anger will rise up, giving you a desire to set others free from Satan’s deceptions. Let’s join together and fight the real enemy…. not each other.
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Do the problems you face seem bigger than life....even bigger than God Himself? Well, I am here to tell you that they aren’t! God is infinitely bigger than any problem you have, or ever will have. The question you need to ask is, which is bigger, your God or your mountain?
Unfortunately, too many of us would answer that our mountain is bigger. Our mountains reveal how small and incapable we are to move them out of the way, but they offer an incredible opportunity to discover how great and awesome God really is. Recognize today that your mountain can actually be a blessing in disguise!
1. The first step to overcome your mountain is to get a fresh revelation of God. Isaiah needed this fresh revelation when he faced his mountain. He faced a leadership crisis in his life and in the nation at the death of King Uzziah. Isaiah 6:1 “ In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.” His discouragement and hopelessness evaporated when God gave him a vision of His greatness, literally changing the prophet’s life forever. He now had revelation that, what was impossible for him to overcome, the God he served could overcome.
2. Understand that God is great and your problem is no match for Him. Get alone with God, with the intention of seeking Him to download a strategy to overcome the mountain you face. Remember the advice that the Lord’s brother gives us in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Keep a pen and paper with you to write down the best four or five possible solutions. Believe that the word God gives you is His strategy to remove your mountain. His promises are true and when applied; they release His power against your mountain.
3. With humility, prayer and openness to the Holy Spirit; step out in faith to act on one of those solutions. Trust God to close some doors and to open others, unveiling even more possibilities.
4. Connect with people who are solution-oriented, not with people who just sympathize with you and your problems.There aren’t too many visionaries in the world today who see the end from the beginning! Be careful to guard your heart from adopting a victim mentality.
In conclusion, no matter what problems you face, relational, marital, financial, emotional, vocational; you’ll find a solution if you have a revelation of how big God truly is. God loves to work with people who know they need His strength. The Lord told the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9a, “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed and defeated in life; move your mountain.....you can you know!
I know so many people who are very easily offended. The slightest controversy throws them into a tail spin, ruins their day and separates them from those who have offended them. Sadly, many times the person that offended them wasn’t aware they did, so eventually the offense spreads to them as well.Constantly offended people are not very happy because life is difficult for them. They become contagious to others...... in other words, the offense goes viral! Haven’t you noticed that a spirit of offense is prevailing in our society today?
Here are a few steps to follow if you find yourself being offended easily:
1. Offenses will surely come because we’re created to have relationships, but we need to see where they originate. The bible clearly says our enemies are never people....demon spirits influence them to offend us.
If we don’t remember that truth daily, we’ll always fall victim to the spirit of offense. People who walk around offended all the time are hard to please, are very critical and judgmental and they’re difficult to be around. Their hearts have become hardened because the river of God’s love, meant to flow through them, has dried up.
2. Walk in forgiveness. I mean pre-determine to forgive, since offenses will come. Don’t wait until after the offense, to decide whether to forgive them or not. No, you have to already pre-determine to forgive those who offended you before they actually do. Therefore, praise God.....you’re becoming an un-offendable person!
3. Be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit. Zechariah 4:6b, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.” Only through Him do we have the power to be un-offendable and He’ll remind us daily who the real enemy is. He will also remind us that we are Christ’s ambassador here on earth.... re-presenting Him through His love flowing through us.
The Holy Spirit also reminds us how valuable the person who offended us is to God and therefore valuable to us as well. Without the Holy Spirit living in us, we will be offended all of the time! Yes, it’s not only possible to live this un-offendable life; it is God’s will that we do. Ephesians.4:26,27 says, “Be angry, and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”
4. Don’t give any room for the devil in your heart and mind. He will take advantage of you, making you over-sensitive to everyone’s remarks. Guard against being feeling-led and not spirit-led. Satan wants you to live your Christian life from your soul and not your born-again spirit and renewed mind. Staying in God’s word and checking to make sure your love tank isn’t running low, will help you see things God’s way (not how the devil wants you to see them).
Remember, offenses will come, but you don’t have to get offended. Join me and let’s choose to live an un-offendedable life, putting the spirit of offense under our feet. Let’s never forget that the One who lives in us is greater than he that is in this world!
So many of us are at a crossroad in our life; not knowing what decisions to make. We’re struggling with choices like; should I marry him or not; where should I invest my life savings or should I invest at all; should I move or stay where I am; do I retire now and risk not having enough or do I continue working; will a divorce end this pain or do I stick it out and hope for change; etc. Making the right decision is crucial, but the wrong decisions on critical issues can set our life back many years and even cause us to miss our God-given destiny.
The gift of discernment is one of the greatest (and most-often overlooked and under-used) gifts from God. Every human has natural discernment, based on their accumulation of experience and knowledge, to help make right decisions. Unfortunately, natural discernment is “hit and miss and” and often fails.
God will never fail! That’s why I’m talking about supernatural discernment, His wisdom, given through the Holy Spirit, to make the right decision in any situation. The right decision fulfills His destiny of joy, peace and prosperity for us (not failure, depression or hopelessness).
How do I get God’s discernment…how does it work?
1. Simply ask for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). He is the source of every spiritual (supernatural) gift. Remember, it’s a gift. It’s not earned as a reward because we’ve been a good Christian for years. It’s for anyone who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and who is Spirit-filled. If this doesn’t describe you; take the time to make that decision. It has nothing to do with your successes or failures; God desires to bless you just as you are. But, you have to make the choice to receive this great gift that will literally save your life!
Here is how it works:
2. The Holy Spirit gives insight into the choices confronting you. For instance, in choosing to divorce or not, the Holy Spirit supernaturally reveals God’s mind concerning that potentially devastating decision. He also reveals who is influencing you to make that decision.
If a friend or family member is speaking into your heart, the Holy Spirit reveals what is influencing them. Three sources influence decisions… a human source; a demonic source or a God source. If we can’t detect what is influencing us, we can easily make the wrong decision, end up devastating our life and hindering our God-given destiny.
Too often we’ve forged ahead with bad decisions, regret them today and are suffering their consequences. Don’t live with just natural discernment when you can have God’s gift of discernment! Matthew 7:7, “ Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
The Holy Spirit is available to you so……Don’t dare make another decision without God's help!
We often confuse the business of “doing” things in life with “making progress” in life. The children of Israel come to mind as a good example of this, wandering about in the desert for forty years, but never reaching their destination. According to experts, their trip from Egypt to the Promised Land could have been accomplished in 11 days. They certainly had a lot of movement… but very little progress!
Here are some examples of how we confuse movement with true change and personal growth:
• Christian Maturity: People are convinced that because they do things for the Lord, they are spiritually mature. They say things like, “I go to church three times a week, I’m part of the choir and in my spare time I even pray for the sick.” Those are all good things to do, but spiritual growth is best measured by whether or not we act like the Lord: if we are Christ-like. The fruit of the Spirit we exhibit is the tool to measure true godliness. In describing this deception, 2 Timothy 3:5&7 says, “ Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Paul tells Timothy that “religion” doesn’t assure someone has godliness, or they understand the power of God or that they are mature Christians.
• We talk it but don’t walk it: We are deceived if we believe we have changed by the movement of our mouths, not our feet, because talking change doesn’t mean that we are changed! I previously wrote a blog titled, “Change Is Not Change Until It Has Changed”. Some people are convinced they have turned the corner because they talk as though they have changed. In reality they are like the children of Israel; just going around in circles. You see this in marriages; a promise to change is made, but you never see any progress in their relationship with each other. We also see this pattern (movement without progress) in dead beat employees, or substance abusers promising to change. In the parable in Matthew 21:28-31, Jesus compares two sons. One did not fulfill the promise he made to the father. The other one was not willing at first, but changed his mind and actually did the work his father asked him. Jesus said that assuredly, the one who did the work was the one who did his father’s will.
What are we to do? It is frustrating when we realize we haven’t made any progress. But, here are a few things to help us come out of the deception that motion alone means progress:
1. Clarify your goals. Too often we have double vision concerning the destination of our life’s journey. We will never hit a target if we have double vision. James 1: 7&8 tells us a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and won’t receive anything from God.
2. Don’t take short cuts. We all like the path of least resistance, but the easy way and the shortest way is often the wrong way. People offer us ways to get rich quick, a simple way to make our marriage work, lose weight without changing our eating habits, etc. But they never work!
3. Don’t try to save your life. It’s impossible to avoid making the personal sacrifices necessary for true progress to take place in our lives. We must carry our cross daily and deny our fleshly desires to walk the road of progress. The faster we accept the truth that progress requires sacrifice, the faster we will make true progress. There is no progress without a cross.
Conclusion. Let’s stop wandering around our mountains, substituting movement for progress. It is Satan’s great deception, so let’s wake up and stop comparing ourselves to the world’s measure of progress. But instead, let’s measure our progress according to God’s word.
It seems like almost every day we face an unexpected event. Of course some events are more serious than others, but these unexpected happenings either make or break our day. But, if we think about it, many unexpected things could have been avoided if we took God’s spiritual law of sowing and reaping seriously. Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” What you sow today determines what you reap tomorrow.
In Matthew 13:24-30, there is a parable about tares and wheat. While the farmer slept, an enemy sowed tares in the midst of the wheat, so at harvest time he was shocked to see tares, but the parable is meant to show that because he fell asleep and didn’t pay attention, the tares were able to be sown.
Although this parable is in the context of an agricultural society, it is also true for us. We are “sleeping” when we don’t watch the seeds (words) we sow. Proverbs 18:20 says words produce fruit: “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.” So the bad harvest (words that are like tares) is expected, not unexpected.
Your life right now is the sum total of all your words about yourself and your destiny. Take inventory of the words you release into the atmosphere. Words from your heart and out of your mouth release life or death over your destiny, as it says in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Unexpected events can be avoided in the future by disciplining your tongue. Release today what you want to see happening in the future, because what you sow today, you will reap tomorrow.
Now.... what about the truly unexpected events in your life that you are not responsible for? Here are a few points to consider when dealing with them:
1. God Is Sovereign. Not every problem will be removed, but can be used for your good. God’s desire is not to kill you or let Satan kill you. He is in the character-building business: building the character of Christ in you. Trust His sovereignty because He loves you and ultimately controls your destiny. Romans 8:28,” And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. “
2. Know When To Resist. If what you are going through is outside of the will (word) of God, if it is contrary to His purposes for your life and has Satan’s fingerprints all over it..... you MUST resist! If you are not sure and fear you will miss God, trust the Holy Spirit to show you for sure in the Word. James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. “
3. Trust In God. In the parable of the wheat and tares, the tares were allowed to grow until harvest season, when they would be separated from the wheat. Some unexpected things cannot be changed, like a lost loved-one or if something important is taken away from you. In those cases we can only trust in God and let Him use it for our good. Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;”
4. Thank God In All Things. 1 Thessalonians 5:18b, “in everything give thanks”. Notice it says to thank God IN everything, not FOR everything. God is there with you even in the unexpected, and if God is with you.... no weapon formed against you will prosper!
Conclusion. Unexpected things will always occur; they are part of life itself. But, they do not have to stop God’s destiny from being fulfilled, if we handle the unexpected correctly.
Most Americans today live a life governed by cycles of personal crises; a phenomena I call "living in crisis mode." The definition of the word "crisis" is: a problem, situation, or condition, that's beyond your control or your ability to change.
A crisis comes in all shapes and forms such as receiving a discouraging doctor's report or a spouse telling you they don't love you anymore because they found someone else. It could be losing your life's investment or a foreclosing on your house or a loved one passing away. These challenges and many more bring us into crisis mode, but the problem is that we can get used to living that way: conditioned to accept boundaries created by these on-going crises. When we are in crisis mode, survival becomes our only goal.... not complete deliverance, freedom, and victory. Or if some of us have a victim mentality, we can even enjoy living like this, because it gives us much-needed attention and affirmation.
How can our crisis become a turning point? Let's formulate some principles and look at how the woman with the issue of blood (found in Mark 5:25-34) turned her crisis around.
1. Become sick and tired of being sick and tired. After spending all her money on doctors for twelve years, she finally got to that point. For some of us it took longer and many still aren't there yet; they're still trying to manage their crisis. It's like going to "pain management" clinics for the rest of your life instead of finally getting rid of all the pain. You have to get to the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Are you there yet?
2. Believe the good news. Remember what it says in Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." This woman heard about all that Jesus had done. You can't let God turn your crisis around without having faith in His Word. Study the Word and take notes on the sermons you hear at church. Bury God's Word in your heart, so you'll believe and will also have faith, (two different things). Faith involves: action- acting out God's word and communication- declaring what you heard over your circumstance. As she crawled behind Him to touch His garment, she said in verse 28, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well."
3. Make the right choice. She chose to no longer manage her crisis. She abandoned her own efforts completely and cried out to God! Your life today is the sum total of all your choices. Today you can make the right choice.
4. Express your desperation. Desperate people won't let public opinion keep them away from their miracle. In the Bible we read that blind Bartimaeus cried out to the Lord with a loud voice, Jairus the ruler of the synagogue forced himself to get to Jesus in the midst of a large crowd, and of course we just looked at the bold actions of the woman with the issue of blood. These desperate people did everything to get Jesus' attention, and He responded to them in a positive way. Although Jesus was in the midst of the multitude, only blind Bartimaeus, the woman with issue of blood, and Jairus received a turn around, so God's presence alone isn't enough. How you express your desperation is individual and personal. There is no formula to it.....but it must be done!
CONCLUSION: Are you tired yet of living in crisis? If you are, you too can turn your crisis into a turn around. God's waiting for you, so don't just wait for Him. The good news is that your crisis can be your turning point; you can make a major change for the better. The devil is more afraid of the dream (seed) you're carrying than he is of you. He wants you to live in crisis mode, so make up your mind today. Say, "This is my day for a turning point!
You’re here to become the best version of you…. not somebody else! Who wants to be a cheap copy of a great original? When God created you, He threw away the mold and nobody in this world is exactly like you. As it says in Genesis.1:26, you were made "in the likeness and image of God.” Likeness refers to your spirit and image refers to your body. All human beings are God's highest order of creation, yet God individually hand crafted each one of us (as Psalm 139 tells us). No one on this earth has your fingerprints, your personality or your abilities.
The following are some keys to become “the best you”:
1. Identify with Jesus. Too often we identify with the wrong people, comparing ourselves with what our current culture tells us is the most popular and accepted type of person. The fashion world and Hollywood set the standard of what’s in and what’s out, what we should look like and shouldn't look like. But our identity must be in Jesus, our Creator and role model of what He created us to be. Ephesians 2:10 &5:2 tells us to imitate Jesus and know we have a pre-planned destiny. He set the plumb line for us and we can identify with Him by renewing our mind through His word.
2. Refuse to compare yourself with others. Everyone has a call; with different gifts and talents. Stop making idols of people by copying them and living outside of your call because you can do what others can’t. Don’t fall into Satan’s trap, becoming a copycat and missing out on your God-given destiny.
3. Celebrate who God made you to be. Thank God for how uniquely He made you. You’ll embrace yourself as God’s special creation and will value your gifts instead of complaining that you don’t have the same gifts as other people have. Celebrate yourself as God's “one of a kind” creation, made to His exact specifications, and you will have greater self-confidence and boldness. You'll fulfill His plans and purposes for your life.
4. Refuse to allow people to compare you with somebody else. People suffer from a poor self-image and low self-esteembecause they were compared to others. Growing up I was always compared to other children. My report card and other achievements were always compared to the other children’s. I was asked, “Why don't you do things or get grades like so and so?” For many years I had low self-esteem because I compared myself with others and came up short. Parents do it, mates do it, employers do it and even friends do it, but we can refuse to listen! Politely say, “If God wanted me to be like them; He would have made me to be them. But God wanted me to be me; so He made me.” Be bold about your personhood. That doesn't mean you can't improve, but improvement is about being a better you, not a better somebody else.
CONCLUSION. Practice these few keys every day, value your life and you'll find that people will start valuing you as well. To change the way people see you…. change the way you see yourself.
On July 15 we will be celebrating the 29th Year Graduation Celebration of the New Life Dream Center…. 29 years of amazing signs and wonders and miracles that have touched thousands of men and women's lives.
What a journey it's been with New Life Dream Centers! So many lives have been set free from Satan's bondages and the lifestyle of death and destruction. But also there has been restoration of families; children returning to their mothers and fathers, and marriage relationships being made whole. The miracles go on and on and on during the 29 years of walking in the grace and mercy of God’s unconditional love.
The Centers reveal the amazing truth and revelation of God’s love that is unconditional and forever. That is a hard concept to understand because we don't deal with each other that way. We give our love and our acceptance to the people we feel deserve it, people that treat us the same way we treat them. But God doesn't look at us as mere human beings. He looks at us as His children… He looks at us through His understanding and revelation of what love really is.
He values us as His creation and no matter what we have done God values us as being very special. You know, understanding that brings peace in our heart and helps us receive His love. Many of us are running away from His love because we feel that we have missed God. We believe we have disappointed Him and disappointed ourselves so we judge God as we would judge ourselves. We think He will treat us as we would treat others. But the good news is that God’s love is unconditional.
29 years of experiencing the way that God's unconditional love changed so many lives and destinies is an amazing testimony. I hope you will join us on July 15 and come to this NLDC graduation. You will hear the testimony of many of the men and women who have been delivered over the last 29 years. You will join in celebrating the wonderful God we serve, knowing that He loves us all because He values us as His very own children.
Jesus is absolute Lord of our lives and He wants to be absolute Lord of your life. When you let down your guard you will recognize that no matter what you have done or didn't do, He still values you as the apple of His eye. This revelation places a sense of peace and joy into your heart to receive what He has. So instead of running away from God, putting on fig leaves, trying to earn your way back into his grace, just run to him and fall into his arms of love like the prodigal son ran back to his father. You will get exactly what you expect… God's unconditional love which brings healing and deliverance to your life.
You can live stream us at www.wolm.net and view the NLDC graduation or you can come and share this special day with us. I pray that you do; there is something powerful about gathering, worshiping God together and hearing these great testimonies.
This is going to be a very special graduation service as we also honor the memory of Pastor David Orr, who was a program director for many years. He was one of the great men of God and his memory lives on as a great inspiration to us all. Remember…..God's love is awesome!
It sounds like a paradox, but the Christian life is one of consistent and constant changing. The Bible shows us in the Old Testament that the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of cloud by night was always on the move. This meant that everyone who was following the presence of God was always going to be in the midst of change.
Well, that hasn’t changed today and it is still the same even in our “New Testament” relationship with God. We are always changing….changing from immaturity to maturity…. changing from bitterness and hatred to love and compassion…. changing from seeing things one way to now seeing them another way. Change is always consistent in our lives as a Christian.
We need to make sure that our heart doesn’t resist change. It is the enemy's strategy to convince us that we are too tired and discouraged so we will just want to campout where we are. But God created us to be on the move with Him from glory to glory, from faith to faith, with His ever-increasing presence in our lives.
So be careful that you're not resisting change in your life. Sometimes God has to encourage us by closing one door and then placing a desire in us to move out and seek a new door. Sometimes God will allow trouble to come into our lives so we will seek Him more diligently. When He has our attention the change He wants to bring into our lives can then be implemented.
Change is a way of life. We are called to be change agents. Our change not only affects us but we impact and influence other people as we grow closer and closer to Him. We are to be more like Him and let our light shine brighter every day but that only happens when we change.
Change is not something that's out of order; actually God has an order for the change. We start out as a baby and we grow to become children and then teenagers and young adults and so forth and so on. Change has an order.
Many times we feel like we are out of order when we are changing but God has His hand on our lives. He is a sovereign God and we need to embrace the new.
This should be your lifestyle, so if you haven’t changed recently to love God and God's people more, then you're stuck in a rut! If your pursuit of God hasn't increased with a greater passion and desire you’re in a cycle of defeat.
Ask God to help you to have a heart that's willing to change. Make a decision to live a lifestyle of change. That is the way of the Christian. God is ever-increasing and is ever-pouring out His presence in our lives. He wants us to more and more reflect who He is every day of our lives. Make change your lifestyle!
Every Christian is called to be a soul winner. What does that mean? Does it mean that maybe we agree to join with a corporate body to do an evangelism outreach once a week or once a month?
No, it means that every day of our lives we become (or desire to become) more Christ-like. It means that every day we will look for opportunities to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of the kingdom. It means we have a deep desire to let people know that they no longer have to be separated from God…. that they no longer have to live under the bondage of darkness, sickness and disease. They can be free from living a life that is so dysfunctional that it brings pain and anguish to them.
That's the good news of the Gospel and that's what we’re called to preach. You don't have to be a pastor to preach; you just have to be a child of God who's been set free by the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ.
Soul winning is a lifestyle. Every day that we live our lives we have opportunities to be a great influence. We are in the midst of a people that are lost in the web of sin and are hungry for answers and a way to be set free.
So, we need to let God's presence flow out of our hearts. To do that we have to die to our own feelings and emotions and not let our fear of rejection paralyze us. Just think about the lost souls that are on their way to hell… it’s not good enough to know that you're going to heaven, it's important to know who you are going to take with you!
Let’s answer our call to be a soul winner; fulfilling the mandate that Jesus gave to us in John 15:16. He chose us and appointed us to bear forth fruit and He wants our fruit to remain. That precious fruit is found in lives that have been redeemed. Let’s preach the gospel of the kingdom every day and not let the fear of rejection control our destiny and the destiny of others. Be a soul winner…. just like Jesus!
As I sit here and write this, the sky is very cloudy and dark and I can hear the sound of thunder in the distance. I even see some lightning. And yes, that's a sure sign that there's going to be rain, but it’s not necessarily a sure sign that the rain will come here. It could go someplace else and completely bypass the place where I am sitting.
But there's other evidence that can tell me that it's going to rain besides the clouds, the thunder and the lightning… and that is the smell of rain. We can often smell the rain in the atmosphere before it actually begins. I can't explain exactly how that works but many of us know what I am talking about. You can smell the rain.
We know Jesus is coming real soon and as the Prophet Joel stated, there will be a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days. If we have tasted and seen how sweet the Lord is in the past, we can discern something different in our spirits; we can sense something; we can sense change.
We might not be able to see the clouds or the darkness of the sky, or hear the sound of thunder, but we can “smell the rain!” We can discern that we are very close to the breakthrough; that the well is about to spring up and the presence of God is about to flow in our midst.
Our spiritual senses are on full alert. It’s like when we drive a car, but don't know where the exit is and end up missing it. By the time we realize it, it’s too late. We should have been prepared to know when to make that turn. If not, we will not only miss our exit and miss our destination but we might never get back to it.
But, God has a remnant of people who are hearing in their heart and sensing in their spirit that He is about to come. And it's causing us to get serious about our walk. It is causing us to be more disciplined, doing our devotions, praying unceasingly and committing ourselves to walk holy before our God.
If you're sensing the He's coming soon, if you can smell the rain, don’t wait till it’s too late. Get ready now! Can you smell the rain?
It doesn’t matter how “spiritual” or “together” we may think we are; every one of us will have at least one cave experiencein our lifetime. Even the mighty man of God, the Prophet Elijah had to go through his cave experience.
Elijah had just won the most amazing victory over the prophets of Baal and turned the children of Israel back to serving and worshiping Yahweh, the true God. God answered Elijah when he called fire down from heaven; making an open show of the false god Baal and those who served him.
Look at what happens next to Elijah in I Kings 19:3, “Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, "So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time." And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.”
As we can see, immediately after this amazing act of boldness and bravery, Elijah was overcome by a spirit of fear from the words of just one woman, Jezebel! He became so fearful from her threat to kill him that this man of many miracles ran away for his life and hid himself in a cave!
Sometimes we also find ourselves in “the cave” after a great success because for every mountain there are two valleys. After a victory sometimes we can feel let down, get really depressed and fearful and even sense that maybe God is not with us anymore. Or can we feel that somehow we blew it!
1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that we all face the same temptations (challenges); that they are common to all humans. This verse also tells us that God always makes a way out for us.
That is why the cave experience is not necessarily a bad thing. God can use it as an opportunity to give us a greater anointing and calling. That’s what happened to Elijah. The Lord spoke to him at the cave in a small still voice, assured him that he was not alone in his service to God and gave him his instructions for the rest of his ministry.
Like Elijah, our cave experience can be the turning point of our life. The cave can be a womb; a place of new birth. That place of loneliness, despair; the place where it seems like we are separate from God, can actually become the place where our destiny is birthed!
Or, if we choose to stay in that place of loneliness and despair; only listening to the voice of the devil instead of listening to the voice of God, we will never be set free. Instead of the cave being a womb, the place of new life, it becomes a tomb, a place of death and darkness. It becomes a place where we bury our dreams and hopes and we can even turn away from serving God.
God's about to show us the new anointing He wants to give us. He wants to birth a new vision for our life and tell us how to achieve it. But, He may be allowing circumstances in our life that make us run to the cave, the quiet place so He can meet with us there.
So don’t be afraid to run to the cave. That cave experience can be where you find your new beginning, your new life. But like Elijah, seek God in that place, hear Him and then, don’t stay there…. Come Out Of The Cave!