Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Pit Stop

In motor sports, a pit stop is where a racing vehicle stops in the pits during a race for refueling, new tires, repairs, mechanical adjustments, a driver change, or any combination of the above.

By making pit stops cars can carry less fuel, and therefore are lighter and faster. They have to use softer tires that wear faster but provide more grip. Teams usually plan for each of their cars to pit following a planned schedule. The number of stops is determined by the fuel capacity of the car, tire lifespan, and trade off of time lost in the pits versus how much time may be gained on the race track through the benefits of the pit stop.

Choosing the optimum pit strategy of how many stops to make and when to make them is crucial in having a successful race. Pit strategy becomes one of the most important features of the race; this is because a race car traveling at 100 miles per hour will travel approximately 150 feet per second. During a ten-second pit stop, all of a car's competitors will gain approximately one-quarter mile over the stopped car.

However, the car that made the additional pit stop will run faster on the race track than cars that did not make the stop, both because it can carry a smaller amount (and thus lower weight) of fuel, and will also have less wear on its tires, providing more traction and allowing higher speeds in the corners.

The pit strategy is calculated carefully so that the amount of time "waiting" in pit stops is balanced out by the time gained while on the track, resulting, theoretically, in the shortest possible time to cover the scheduled distance.

Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
There are those that will always walk with the foot soldiers. There are those that will run with the horses. Then there's us; We are called to fly with the eagles. If you expect to soar at the highest altitudes with the highest speeds, then you must allow the pit strategy of the Lord.
Jer 12:5a If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?...
As in motor sports, race cars must use softer tires that wear quicker and have smaller fuel tanks that run out quicker so that they can drive lighter and faster, we too must make ourselves more vulnerable if we are to go farther. This means that we too must stop to refuel and repair more frequently. At times we may even have to make a driver change so that the race will be won. That's right even race car drivers have to get out of the race once in a while so that they may win it.

Take a look at your life right now and discern what he is doing. God is molding your character so you can learn how to handle the pressures of smaller stewardship. As you are strengthened and gain endurance, you will soon be able to handle greater responsibilities but with that comes greater risk, pressures and dangers?
Jer 12:5b ...and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
What are you doing while you are in the pit stop? Are you allowing the Lord to refuel you and make repairs and adjustments in your life so that you can walk more consistently, run faster and fly higher?

It's up to you how on you will view this time of wait. You'll either feel like your in the pits or you'll realize that you are simply in The Pit Stop patiently waiting and resting until you get back in the race so that you can get to the finish line.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Delights, Desires and Dreams

Can dreams really come true? Is there really a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Can you expect for your prince charming in shining armor to come on a white horse and sweep you off your feet to take you as his bride? According to my daughter Kristina and the holy scripture, the answer is yes and amen. If you can imagine it then it is more than possible.
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
If you can believe it then you can receive it.
Mar 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
My daughters Karla and Kristina always tell the single girls that the only way to get the man of their dreams is by learning to wait. They tell them to never settle for second best and to never awaken love before it's time. In order for that to happen they say, "wait."
Lam 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
God is not only good to those who wait on him and seek him but his plan for your life is even better than and beyond your wildest imagination and dreams.
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The only problem is that Satan also has a plan. His plan is to get you to hate and blame God because he knows that God's plan is conditioned upon you having a love affair with him.
1Co 2:9 ...the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The other reason Satan wants to veer you from God's plan is because he can hurt God at his weakest point and that is that God desires nothing more than your happiness.
Psa 35:27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
You can desire many things but that which you love the most becomes your delight. According to the dictionary there is a difference between delight and desire.
Desire is all that you wish or long for
Delight is limited to the one and only thing out of your desires that brings you the highest degree of pleasure, enjoyment and joy
A brand new Bentley may be something that you desire but it will never have what it takes to become your delight. A charming prince may be your desire but he will fall short of becoming your delight.

God wants to become the source of your fulfillment. God so badly wants to take you into your dreamland but he must first be convinced that the desires of your heart will never become the delight of your heart.
Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Some people make the mistake of assuming that the thing they desire will become their delight but once they reach the top they find out that there is nothing there.
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
I always tell the story of NASA. Did you know that their mission is to find the answer to life's problems on earth somewhere out in space? I believe they will one day find a way to travel through space beyond the speed of light but they will run out of gas and fall about a mile short of heavens gates.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
God is likened unto a responsible parent who does not allow her child to spoil her appetite by snacking before the meal is served. It teaches you to appreciate feasting on that which is good for you so that you don't indulge in the things that are bad for you. Children that are taught to eat their vegetables, fruits, high fiber foods, natural foods and low to no sugar cereals develop a taste for it.

I would always strive to keep candy, ice cream and soda out of my home. As a result, my 21 year old son, to this day has no appetite for those things at all. My eldest daughter mostly eats vegetables and my middle daughter eats small portions of healthy food at appropriate times.

Since I changed my eating habits 15 years ago, I can now appreciate the natural sugars in most foods without having to add processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Waiting requires for you to change your counterfiet sources of happiness and entertainment for the the true source. The reason you are even in the waiting room in the first place is because you have admitted to yourself that the world has nothing to offer. You have been there and done that. You are not interested in the things you are leaving behind and are looking for something even greater.

Being in a desert or a wilderness experience is the best way to describe the idea of waiting. The place you are in is a place of famine and drought. Being there keeps you thirsty and hungry. It keeps you from spoiling your appetite so that you can realize that the best thing in life is to be completely immersed in God and all his ways.
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Waiting allows you to appreciate the wondrous presence of God. It allows you to feast on his Word as though your life depended on it. He becomes your delight. It is during times of waiting that you discover how vital, precious and delightful it is to walk with the Lord.
Psa 42:1 As the deer panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
Dessert is always delicious after a meal. Let your delight in God be your main course meal and let the desires of your heart be your dessert. Then sit back and watch your dreams come true.

The Meaning of Wait

Waiting has been given a bad rap. No one likes to wait and it appears to be an annoyance. This is why very few people understand it. In the Bible the word most often translated “wait” in the sense of waiting on the Lord is the Hebrew qavah. Qavah means (1) “to bind together like a twisted rope” (2) “look patiently,” and (3) “hope, expect, look eagerly.”

As you will soon see, the concept of waiting is simple to grasp yet it does not appear to be obvious at first glance to most of us. According to the Hebrew definition, waiting is like wound up strands of rope. Those strands are patience and hope. Waiting must have the elements of patience and hope otherwise the integrity of it's meaning is compromised and the experience is invalidated.

Patience is the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. It is the willingness to suppress restlessness when confronted with delay.

Galatians 5:22 says that one of the nine fruit of the Spirit is "long suffering" and the Greek translation defines it as patience. Ever wonder why God takes so long to come through for you? It is because patience can only be developed during long and excruciating periods of delay.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work...
I realize that this is easier said than done and for most of us it is outright impossible. But don't worry, patience cries out for resting in him so that he may help carry the load.
Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him

Mat 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Hope is looking forward to a favorable end result with expectation and confidence. The Hebrew word qavah (wait) is sometimes translated “hope” or “look expectantly,”

A lending institution has the hope that they will get their money and make a profit because they extended trust to the debtor. The longer the debtor shows creditworthiness by paying the recurring bill on time, the better will be his credit FICO score. In essence the bank puts their hope in the debtor more importantly than in the money. We can believe for our promised land because of the faithful track record from the One who promised. Therefore to get our expected end, our hope and trust has to be in him and not the person, thing or event we are hoping for.
Lam 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Psa 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
If you stop hoping you will stop waiting. If you stop being patient you will stop waiting. If you stop waiting because of impatience and hopelessness, you then forfeit your future.
Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
In summary, patience must be coupled with hope for the waiting experience to be valid and qualified. Waiting brings us full circle into the arms of God because it means that we must rest in him to obtain patience to wait and we must trust in him to obtain the hope to wait.

Be patient and don't quit. Have hope and don't doubt. The wait will eventually get you out.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Contentment or Resentment

Philiphians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Would you like a deeper understanding of the word, wait? Most of us don't pay much attention to something that does not interest us. Waiting is not the favorite thing to do. That is why most people say things like, "Ooh! I hate waiting" or "I'm tired of waiting and I won't wait any longer." Do you feel like you have been waiting too long?

The children of Israel waited 40 years in the wilderness before they figured out where the route to the promised land was. If they had the right mindset and walked in a straight line, they would have made it in a few months. Instead they went around in circles and it took them 40 years of spinning their wheels.

So how long is too long? Well I would have loved to have reached my promised land back when I turned 40. I guarantee you that my mom and dad would be clicking their heels right now in their 70's, if you gave them the news that they would be inheriting houses that they did not build, furnished with furniture that they did not fill, with all the utilities of wells they did not dig and vineyards they did not plant.
Deu 6:10-11 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
Don't sacrifice a bright future for instant gratification. Better to build a good solid foundation now for a secure future tomorrow. But it is in our human nature to sacrifice the future and eternity because we are discontent.
Mar 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
A wrong perspective and a bad attitude will always keep you from entering through the door of promise because you will see it as something negative. I know a girl that so desperately wants to be happy, be in love and make a family but because of her wrong perspective, she looks at men of God as judgmental but she sees jerks as attractive. Time and time again she ends up with her heart shattered. The truth is that she has never allowed loneliness to draw her to a romance with Jesus. It is only in the place of loneliness that you'll discover that you are never alone. You will only discover it if you welcome it.
Heb 13:5 without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
The children of Israel did not arrive at their promised land except for Joshua, Caleb and the children who were too young to know any better. They failed the test and never learned to be content and grateful for what the Lord had given them. He gave them sweet bread every morning and quail for dinner which tastes better than chicken anyway. He made water come out of a rock in the midst of drought. He protected them in the dangerous wilderness from snakes and scorpions. He led them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They always had just enough on a daily basis to eat to their hearts desire and not any more or less. He also provided them means of transportation to get them to their next destination on a daily basis. Read the whole book of Exodus, chapter 16.
Exo 16:3-4 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Waiting does not involve impatience, doubt and frustration. Waiting does not despise the moment. Today is the day that the Lord has made and we ought to rejoice and be glad in it. They did not have to worry or work. So they missed out and not only did they miss out on their future but they missed out on living life to the fullest while they were alive.
Ecc 3:13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
Waiting is not some pointless event that is in your way and out to rob you of what you want to obtain nor deter you from where you want to go.
Heb 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Waiting is not living in the tomorrow either as some people find themselves doing. They are never content with where they are at in life. They always want to be somewhere else or with someone else and doing something else. They feel unfulfilled and bored so they blame the things, circumstance and people that are in their lives today. Yet when there tomorrows arrive and become today's, the cycle starts all over again and they despise their tomorrow because it has now become today again.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
God provided bread from heaven and they called it manna. The Hebrew definition for manna is "what is this?" They did not know what it was. So they gave it a negative name. It was sweet bread straight from heaven stupid! Do you thank God daily for the miracle provision of shelter and food? Do you feast on it to the fullest? Or do you fail to recognize what a blessing it is and call it lack or not enough simply because it is not enough for tomorrow but it is plenty for today. Your perspective looks at it as half empty instead of half full.
Exo 16:31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
The truth is that when you learn to depend on the Lord for your provision on a daily basis, you learn to delight in him and to trust in him. So in essence, he becomes your bread from heaven (John 6:51).
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Luk 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
This way when you pass the test and learn in whom you are to really feed on and delight in, you will be able to handle abundance. It will be more than enough for several generations. You will have come to know God so intimately that you will never forget, on a daily basis, who it was that got you there. You, your children and your grandchildren will never have to pray for daily provision ever again. You prayers will be, "Who can I bless today with all of this abundance."
Deu 6:10-12 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers...

Deu 8:12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;

Deu 8:13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;

Deu 8:14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

Deu 8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;

Deu 8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;

Deu 8:17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.

Take the time to smell the roses. Separate time for God and his Word every morning. Spend time with your family and friends. Avoid the road that will ultimately lead to resentment and regret. Choose rather to always thank God for today's blessings and in whatsoever state you find yourself in, be content.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Waiting Room

The scripture says that there is only one door to the Great Shepherd. Anyone trying to get to him any other way is a thief and a robber. In John 10:7, Jesus said, "I am the door."
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
By the same token, there is only one door to success. It is the door that leads to the front room or the foyer or the reception area. This is the door before the door you are trying to get to. It is the stop point before your destination.

While you are there, you must take a number, browse the magazines, sit there and wait to be seen. Anxious people find ways to climb in through the side window. Distrustful people find subtle ways to sneak in through the back door. Their only accomplishment is that they were witty enough to get around the waiting process but in the end they end up in the room of regret.

Still others take the attitude, "Well I have no choice so I have to wait. What else can I do?" By the time their number comes up, they are irate or frustrated and instead of rejoicing that they arrived at their desired destination, they start complaining and expressing their frustration and their discontent because now they are in debt or they are not happy with the person they got involved with.
Jam 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
So many times we complain that we have been waiting and waiting but nothing is happening. We cave into fear of loss so we sign our lives away or we react in some other irrational way. Maybe God was closing a door so that you could see the way to the door of opportunity awaiting you. Or maybe God was just testing you to see if you would trust him like Abraham did when God told him to sacrifice his son and then saved him at the last minute.

We give up and quit the waiting game because it is not coming within the time frame that we want it to or we just take what we want our way. So we can't really say, "I waited and waited." What we ought to say is, "I started to wait and I just could not trust anymore." We don't really wait as we claim at least not in the true sense of the word. What happens is we get frustrated and impatient during the waiting period and then either give up or go ahead with an alternative plan.

I have a question for you. "Have you ever been to the other side of waiting? Have you ever allowed "waiting" to perform it's purpose?
Jam 1: But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Listen to those words. "Wanting nothing." By the time you end up in the place of promised abundance, you will not be controlled and destroyed by material things because you would have already found the true riches in the waiting room. You too, will be able to say, "All I need is Jesus plus nothing."
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering;
Enter into the waiting room and study to be quiet and learn to be still. Everything will seem to be falling apart all around you as you wait but God will make himself known to you.
Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God:
But if you decide to circumvent the waiting room, you'll end up climbing up or sneaking in through a different entrance. Those that do this are robbers. They rob themselves out of the promised blessing God has intended for them.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Missing Link Called Wait

Many of us have read books, heard messages and attended seminars on the "how to" of becoming successful. It may have been to succeed in the faith, wealth creation or building better relationships. Yet oftentimes it seems as if there is a missing link. Like a huge gap from where I am at to the place of accomplishment. We learn the theories and principles. We get inspired and motivated. Yet after the workbooks are shelved next to last year's seminar material, we find ourselves unable to bridge the gap from here to there.
Ecc 6:12 For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?
And for those that arrived at the place of "success", you have to ask yourself the question, "Has my success robbed me of my time, freedom and peace?" If it has, then what some call success, I call a counterfeit.
Pro 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Some people run their own business and generate lots of income but after they have paid the bills, made payroll, hassled with the legal expenses, taxes, licenses, etc., they end up with the same amount of money as someone who worked a good job without the headaches. They go home late because they own a glorified job. They have very little time or money to enjoy life and their families.
Isa 49:4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.

Psalms 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
So the question remains, what is the missing link? How do I get there? or how do I get back to wherever it was that I got lost? There is a simple universal law in place that works for anyone that will trust it and respect it's process. It's called seed, time and harvest. Everyone wants the harvest which is the end result. Some understand the seed which is the investment of time and resources. But few understand the little guy in the middle: Time.
Gen 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Time involves waiting. If you pull the seed or the budding plant prematurely, you will not get the harvest God intended for you. Sarah was impatient and resorted to her own devices and arranged for Hagar to sleep with Abraham which led to the birth of Ishmael, the father of the Arabs. To this day Ishmael's descendants ruthlessly war against the descendants of Isaac, the father of the Jews and second son of Abraham (Genesis 16,17,21).

You must master the art of waiting if you are going to obtain the promises of God. Many of us have birthed our own "Ishmaels" because we could not wait and now we have to live with consequences instead of the promises. But it is never too late. Abraham did eventually get his "Isaac" and so can you.
Lam 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
There are special things that happen when you learn to wait. We have never been taught that true riches are obtained in the waiting room of life. It prepares us with invaluable disciplines and unspeakable joy that had we not mastered it's timeless lessons, success would end up destroying us and some of us have been there and done that.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Hear The Sound of Abundant Rain Coming

1Ki 18:41-45 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain
Samaria was suffering from a great famine and drought during the reign of King Ahab. God sends him the prophet, Elijah who tells him to "eat and drink." It would be like me telling you to enjoy your last few dollars at your favorite restaurant and then a movie with your family afterwards. You are not sure where your next provision is going to come from and the creditors are roaring like the lion in the den with Daniel.

Imagine that: Elijah tells Ahab to not worry, take time to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the day that the Lord has made. The funny thing is that earlier, Ahab was working a second job to try and make ends meet. Actually he was trying to save what appeared to be the end of the day for him.
1Ki 18:5 And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.

And what was his basis for giving this wild advice? Elijah said that he heard the sound of abundant rain coming. The only sound Ahab heard was the sound of despair and hopelessness. If you have been engulfing yourself in the blogs of these last five days, then you too should be saying:


Something changed in the atmosphere. People changed. All week long I kept encouraging one girl, who fell away and has been in and out of the hospital for attempted suicides and is suffering from depression, to read the blogs. She finally did yesterday and this was her response to me:
"Wow Bobby , you were right on with this. Thank you for telling me to read this. I needed it very much so. With everything in my life right now I have wanted to give up. I see now that one day it all will be ok and I just need to hang on."
That's right, in the 11th hour, God came through for her. What started out with a "little" paragraph of encouragement the size of a "man's hand" last Tuesday, turned out to be a flood "God's hand" of unstoppable energy. People rose to the occasion and began proclaiming life over their destiny. Read the comments for yourself. It is contagious and out of control. We began speaking life all at once. We all began to meditate on God's Word and dig into the reservoirs of our hearts where scriptures have been hid. People were honest, broken and repentant and out came forth words of wisdom, hope and life.

So Elijah with a cool attitude tells Ahab to go and take it easy since it will soon rain and everything is going to be okay. Then Elijah starts praying and sends his servant to see if it has started to even drizzle. Six times the servant comes back with nothing. On the seventh time, his servant brings back some news that for some would be disturbing:
1Ki 18:44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.
The word was "abundant rain" only to discover that there is a "little cloud" the size of a man's hand. Then Elijah with his consistent crazy faith tells his servant to get going before the abundant rain overtakes him. Did you get that? Elijah sounds like he is operating on fairy tale faith. So many times we don't want to speak things until they have happened for fear of embarrassment and ridicule. You have heard it before and I will say it again:
"You have got to be willing to do the ridiculous if you expect to get the miraculous"
Fear has gripped your heart because you are in the midst of a drought and a famine and there is no telling where your going to get the money to meet your needs.

You have worked your normal hours and now you are wanting to take on a second job. As a result, you won't take time to rest before the Lord, spend time in the Word, relax with your family or friends and sleep a full night. It may be because you are fretting and worrying about your financial deadlines or you are paralyzed beating your head against the wall accomplishing nothing.

The reason this is happening is because your actions, thoughts and words are governed by your beliefs. So if you choose to believe the report of the Lord, you will learn the power of waiting on the Lord and while you are waiting, spend your last few dollars on a great meal with the family. What else can you do with it? Save it for the tomorrow's bills even though it is not enough? You need a miracle and what you have in your hand will not meet the need so live it up. Act as if everything is going to work together for the good. After all, God is faithful and he is going to come through for you and your loved ones.

So you keep checking the account to see if your miracle has come through. You eagerly answer the phone time and again waiting for that miracle call. You just keep waiting and all you get after all of that is a little cloud the size of your hand. Will you walk away and speak negative or will you say, "hurry let's get our biggest buckets out because it is going to rain abundance?"
1Ki 18:45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a GREAT RAIN
Faith is acting on things that you can't see just yet. It is the thing that drives you to your destination.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Do you hear the sound of thunder? I do and it's coming down on you. God's thunderous power is about to bust apart the black cloud of poverty, lack, bondage, ignorance, fear, doubt, hurt and shame! Then the rain will come down in abundance and overflowing.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Feasting on Your Affliction

How do you view problems and negative circumstances? What is your response to the threatening calls of creditors? Do you cower under the thought that you might not make the rent or mortgage payment? Does fear overtake you because of accident or illness? What about broken relationships or loss of a job? I want to help you get a mind change about afflictions. First of all they are normal and a necessary part or your faith adventure.
1Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you

You need to realize that your faith is like owning gold. It is precious but it needs to be tested to see if it is real or not. Your faith also has to be tried in order to remove impurities that hinder it.
1Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Many unscrupulous merchants in the gold industry are marking their products at higher karats than they are in actuality. While there are several methods to determine the actual weight and thus worth of a gold product, the most accurate is "assaying" or testing gold by fire. Through a certain process of adding silver to the gold and extracting metals and impurities, it is melted in a laboratory oven at a temperature of 1100 degrees C. Then a certain mathematical formula is used to weigh the tested gold and it is determined if the gold is pure or not.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were tested to see if they would hold to their faith. These bold young men refused to bow down and worship the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar. They were threatened to be tossed into a fiery furnace of fire. They trusted God and were tossed into the furnace only it was turned up 7 times hotter than normal so that it consumed the soldiers that had bound them up. Lo and behold, Jesus was in the fire and they came out unscathed Not a hair singed nor smoke or the smell of it on their garments. The results of allowing their faith to be tested was that they had a face to face encounter with Jesus. What can beat that!
Dan 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
They made the evening news and became famous as all the government officials witnessed the hand of God on them. The king also promoted them as nobles in the province of Babylon and best of all, Nebuchadnezzar decreed biblical laws to govern all the nations and declared God as the God of gods.
Dan 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Dan 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Dan 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

Look what happens when a person welcomes afflication. Have a positive attitude about trials, tribulations and problems. Trust that God will deliver you and that you must go through the process in order to get to your blessings which are right around the corner. You can't have a testimony without the "test". And there can't be no "mony" unless you pass your "test." There is no shortcut and it is the only road to your fulfilled destiny. Remember things get worse right before they get better. Hang in there and don't give up!
Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
So instead of being negative and allowing your circumstance to dictate your life. Turn it around and kick your shoes off and instead of fleeing from your affliction, start feasting on your affliction.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sin of Unbelief

There is an exciting story in Mark 9:17 of a boy that was bound by a deaf and dumb spirit. This kid would be thrown to the ground, foam at the mouth, and grind his teeth. It sounds like an acute case of an extreme temper tantrum. It goes on to say that often times he would fall into the fire or into the water in a self destructive way. You ever feel like the hot fiery trials of life are more than you can handle? Or like you are drowning in the overwhelming waters of your problems? Jesus called this spirit a foul one. That which is foul stinks and is disgusting. Mark in chapter 17:15 called it a lunatic spirit. In other words the kid was acting crazy. Actually he was crazy.

The real issue at hand, however, was that the the boy's father lacked the parenting power necessary to confront the problem and bring positive change nor could the disciples offer any real ministry. That is probably why so many churches turn into social clubs or places of entertainment. They end up referring families in crisis to the pharmacists, psychiatrists and psychologists who have produced no results. Ministers today have become powerless over the challenges of life's problems.

Jesus then took authority over the crisis as every believer ought to do and said,
"If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." Mark 9:23
He laid down a truth before he acted on it. You must tear down the stronghold in your heart that says that your situation is hopeless and impossible and replace it with the strong tower that says, ALL things are possible to him that believes;
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Immediately, the boy's father said something that you must listen to carefully for it is the key to activating powerful and effective faith.
Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Wow! there it is the secret to your success. Admit and confess your sin. It is unbelief. This man got a rhema. He got a revelation. It was an "aha" moment. He cried out and with tears and repented!

You will never activate true faith until you have had a heart change with remorse and desperation. You must admit that you are the problem. You must take responsibility for your own problems. Quit blaming the economy or your boss. It's not because of any other reason than your doubt and sin of unbelief.

According to Matthew, Jesus rebuked the disciples. He called them faithless and perverse and basically expressed that he was sick and tired of putting up with their stubborn and continuously negative attitudes. It appears to me that he rebuked them publicly. It was the law of attraction in play. These negative disciples drew out a negative response from Jesus. Frustration sown, frustration reaped.
Mat 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
What do you think most people would do if we held them responsible for the negative outcomes in their marriages, children, jobs, health and problems? What if we told them that the problem is that they are perverting the gospel by their actions or lack of it and that they were really not people of faith but faithless? How would you feel or respond if it were you? I know people who left the call of God or the faith because they exasperated others and got rebuked for their anemic faith and fruitlessness.
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
You may be a believer or an elder in your church. Maybe you are a young leader or a deacon. Whoever you are, I want to challenge you to take responsibility for the lack of growth, abundance and miracles in your church, home and work. Are lives being changed? Are sinners running to your church? Are believers getting committed? Are people being healed and delivered? Can your community rely on you for answers? If not then you are pitiful and disgusting.

You should get together with other believers and fall on your face with tears and cry out, "Lord forgive me for my sin of unbelief." Tell him that your life, actions and words have been a perversion. Others look at you and think that is what the gospel is supposed to look like: Powerless and ineffective. You are perverting the truth with how you live your life and the things you complain about.

After Jesus laid down the key principle of believing, the father of the demon possessed boy repented and the disciples got rebuked, he spoke to the problem with authority and confidence and the boy was delivered. Then it seems like the deaf and dumb spirit jumped onto the disciples because they still could not figure out why they were so impotent. And of course he told them it was because of their sin of unbelief.
Mat 17:18-20 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
I challenge you to go before the Lord in prayer with a repentant heart and memorize scriptures of promise. Change your attitude and outlook on life. See God as a big God who can do all things. This will cause you to have a heart change. Do it every day for as long as it takes until you have changed. Then you too will rise up with faith and authority and you will convince demons and mountains to get out of the way of your dreams coming to pass.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Convinced or Conformed?

Prayer and speaking positive is not enough in and of itself. Your words have to match what is in your heart. Do you believe what you say and are CONVINCED or do you believe what you see in the natural and are CONFORMED?
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind
You must guard your heart for there is where your values and beliefs reside. Whatever you believe will govern your words, actions and decisions which in turn determines your outcome.
Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Speaking contrary to what you believe is lying to yourself. The problem with speaking things that you don't truly believe is that you will deceive yourself. Then you will wonder why you don't get the results that you desire.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Your words will not only become powerless but others won't believe you either. Your words will lack conviction and passion. They will sound like something you read out of a book or something you heard someone else say. You will not convince others, yourself or God.
Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Purpose in your heart right now to align your heart's beliefs and attitudes with your words. Then when the words that you speak from your heart are tested by more circumstances, stick to your guns and stand on what you said and what you believe not being moved by what you see. In the end you will see your faith become a reality.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Your Attitude Will Determine Your Outcome

Matthew 8:23-26 records an incident in which Jesus and his disciples got into a boat and a violent storm with strong winds and waves began to dangerously rock the boat. Jesus was obviously in a deep sleep when they woke him up saying, "save us WE ARE GOING TO DIE." Jesus rebuked them by calling them fearful cowards and faithless doubters. Then he rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue
Don't let the storms of this life cause your attitude to change so that you end up losing your faith and your trust in God. You'll end up speaking death over your destiny. Your words and actions are dictated by the attitude of your heart. That is why it is important that you are in tune with what you believe.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Rather you should take control of your circumstances with a positive attitude that everything is going to be alright and that every thing happens for a reason and that God is in control and he has a purpose for allowing things to happen. Then with a positive attitude already knowing the outcome, command your problems, mountains and storms to be still, uprooted, removed and cast into the sea. Then call forth your blessings and promises. Watch what happens when you change your attitude. At the end of the trial, you will gain understanding and in the future you will not be deceived by what appears to be negative circumstances. Instead you will see them as a stepping stone to your destiny and an opportunity for your faith to be used for the Lord.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Taking Control of Your Destiny

You cannot control the circumstances and events that happen in life. To try only creates anxiety and frustration only to end in failure. Trying to control unexpected and undesired life's circumstances is a form of trying to "play God." You will make mistakes, hurt relationships and lose your mental health in the process.

What you can control, however, is your attitude and your perspective on every situation. You must trust God that his thoughts and plans for you are good and that he guarantees you an expected end of abundant life.
Rom 8:28 "And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose"
By doing so, you can can control your destiny. Your only concern should be to get to your promised land not what road and what circumstances it takes to get there. Leave that up to God and you will end up not only fulfilling your dreams but exceeding them beyond your own imagination.

Living the Christian life is one of adventure. If for one minute you think that it is supposed to be a cake walk then you are not only mistaken but you signed up for the wrong religion.