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Archive for December 2012

3

Initiating Conversations With God

Initiating Conversations With God

Welcome to Part 25 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you're afraid to find out, this blog series is for you. For Part 24, "Learning God's Voice Through His Written Word" click here. Today, we will focus on Point 2 of 7 listed in "Developing The Art Of Hearing From God"

Talk to God first then wait for His response.

Habakkuk 2:1-2(KJV) - I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Do you know that you could initiate conversations with God? Since you need to hear from Him more than He needs to hear from you it's your responsibility to be proactive. This is why it is important for you to have a secret place where you meet with God (Psalm 91). Long before you develop proficiency in hearing His Voice consistently throughout the day you need to learn how He sounds in the silence of your secret place. Why? If your days are anything like mine they are full of distractions so it's much more challenging to hear God in the midst of the noise.

Today, my goal is to demystify the concept of conversing with God. Any Christian who believes The Bible should know that we're supposed to do so. If you don't know how to communicate with God you probably won't know when He's communicating with you. If you set aside a time and place to meet God He will show up all the time on time to meet you. If you don't show up He'll be right there waiting. Even after Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3:8-9 God showed up for a walk through The Garden during the cool of the day and questioned their absence.

James 1:5-8(NKJV) - 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. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

As our Heavenly Father, God appreciates the legitimate questions of His children. If you really need to know something and ask God you should expect an honest response. Sometimes, due to human nature people underestimate how much God is interested in every aspect of our lives. Some are taught that God is only interested in "important" issues while He's indifferent to minor issues. Also, others are taught that God is only interested in "spiritual" things. Well that's simply not true. If you need wisdom on anything The Bible says you can ask God.

It's crucial to approach God with the little things first because that's how you strengthen your ability to hear His Voice. It's part of the tuning process for your spiritual ears. You can afford to make a few mistakes with the little things as you get better at it over time. So don't wait until you need a "life or death" answer to approach God for the first time. Approach Him now with whatever is on your mind. He's more interested in quality time with you than anything else.

Initiating Conversations With God

Philippians 4:6-7(NLT) - Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Prayer is really a conversation with God. You say what you need to say and God says what He needs to say. If you make time to talk to God you should also make time to hear His response. Nonetheless, it's not always so simple. Even though it's easy to pray when you know what to pray what do you do when you don't know?

When things get rough in your life, prayer opens the door for The Prince of Peace to enter your situation. However, unless prayer is your lifestyle it won't be easy to pray in an emergency. In situations of heightened stress you will have to quiet the internal noise in your heart and mind so that you can hear God's Voice clearly. Develop a pattern of prayer during peaceful conditions so when your life is in turmoil you will still be able to pray.

Romans 8:26-27(NLT) - And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

Have you ever been in a situation in which you know you need to pray but you don't know where to start? Maybe you're in an extremely emotional state and you just can't seem to put the words together. Even if you try to pray you won't make any sense because you can hardly even think.

One of the top reasons why many Christians don't pray effectively is simple. We don't know what to say. Thankfully, we have The Holy Spirit who prays on our behalf. Now that doesn't mean we don't have to pray anymore. It just means we have to change the way we pray. Since we don't know what to say we have to let The Holy Spirit do the talking.

Initiating Conversations With God

1 Corinthians 14:2,13,14(NLT) - For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious.....So anyone who speaks in tongues should pray also for the ability to interpret what has been said. For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don’t understand what I am saying.

I don't know what you've been taught about speaking in tongues but if you've chosen not to do so you are missing out. When you speak in tongues you speak directly to God. Also, when you speak in tongues you do so by the power of The Holy Spirit which means speaking in tongues is an example of The Holy Spirit praying through you. Therefore, if you need an answer from God you can actually speak the answer through your own mouth by speaking in tongues.

Let me show you one tried and true way to make this work by using an example from my own life. I speak in tongues on a regular basis. Early in the morning I like to put aside time to speak mysteries into the atmosphere around me by the direction and inspiration of The Holy Spirit. Once I'm done, I ask The Lord to give me an interpretation according to 1 Corinthians 14:13. I then go about my day knowing that He will release understanding of the mysteries I have spoken.

For the rest of the day, The Lord speaks to me. At random times I will hear solutions to problems I have been facing even when I'm not consciously thinking about them. While I sit at work I suddenly hear God's Voice explode in my heart with all kinds of revelations from the scriptures. It's a simple case of sowing and reaping. When I pray in tongues I sow seeds of wisdom in the morning and when I hear God's Voice I reap the harvest throughout the day.

If you initiate a conversation with God, He will respond. Try it for yourself! It works. We'll be back tomorrow for Point 3.

3

Learning God's Voice Through His Written Word

Learning God's Voice Through His Written Word

Welcome to Part 24 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you're not sure how to get that kind of information from God, this blog series is for you. For Part 23, "Ask Donnell - How Do I Hear God In A Storm? " click here. Today, we will focus on Point 1 of 7 listed in "Developing The Art Of Hearing From God"

Meditate In God's Written Word!

Romans 10:17(NKJV) - So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The Bible is the written Word of God. By meditating in it you can tune your ears to hear God's spoken Word. Romans 10:17 says that hearing comes from The Word of God. Therefore, it's safe to say that the best way to start hearing from God is to get accustomed to how His Voice sounds in The Bible. We have a distinct advantage over some of the early children of God especially those who lived before the law was ever written by Moses. They had to walk by faith through oral traditions or hear God's Voice directly through personal contact or prophets. Now we can thank God that they wrote what they heard and we can easily read it.

2 Peter 1:19-21(NLT) - Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

The most accurate prophecies you will ever hear are those that come directly out of The Bible. I can't tell you how many times God has given me a Word simply by directing me to a scripture. When I read the scripture I can literally hear His Voice speaking to me, verse by verse. People who prophesy but don't properly understand the scriptures are at a major risk for error. The scriptures can always be used to judge the accuracy or legitimacy of any Word from The Lord.

When you read something in scripture you can rest assured that it's not just the words of a man. As men were directed by The Holy Spirit they dictated God's Word. Many of those writings were combined into the 66 book compilation called The Bible. Therefore, before we go into anything deeper we must develop a healthy appreciation for The Bible. Is it possible to hear God's Voice without reading The Bible? Of course. However, The Bible helps you to get it right. Understanding the scriptures enables you to recognize God's Voice when you hear it as well as understand what you hear.

2 Timothy 3:14-17(MSG) - But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

I consider Bible meditation to be the easiest way to learn God's Voice. Long before you will ever hear and understand God's audible voice you can hear and understand His written voice. This helps to eliminate confusion. God does not change so exactly the way He expressed Himself in scripture is the way He will speak to you. He breathed or spoke the scriptures into being through people who allowed themselves to be used for such a noble cause. Now, every time you read The Bible it's like hearing God's Voice all over again. There's nothing like God's written Word.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10(NKJV) - That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.

Anything that needs to be said by God has already been said before and is in some way written down in The Bible. Therefore, the foundation of any Word from God is The Word of God. A sure Word from God is a revelation of God's Word. Revelation from God's Word is not a discovery of brand new information but it's the brand new discovery of existing information. Hence, what might be revelation to you may not be revelation to me.

In moments of revelation, the perfect combination of scriptures come to mind and God illuminates them in exactly the way you need them at the right time. The scriptures themselves might be thousands of years old but when combined a certain way and enlightened by The Holy Spirit they are cutting edge. That's why God's Word must be the starting point for your development in hearing God's Voice. If He's already said certain things He doesn't need to repeat Himself. He just needs to show you where to find what He's said.

John 6:63(NKJV) - It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

Romans 15:4(NKJV) - For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

The words spoken by God are spirit and life. In the spirit there are no limitations of time and space. Hence, God's words are as spiritual and life-giving today through the written Word as they were thousands of years ago when released as the spoken Word. So if you are ever in a situation and need a Word from God you already have one. Yup! You already have your Word. It's in The Bible. You may have to search for it but your answer is in there.

I'll make this very practical. The Bible has no real power if it remains as words on a page. Also, if you have to go looking for scriptures to read when you're in a tough spot you are at a great disadvantage. The best way to use the scriptures as a source of God's Word is to first store the scriptures in your heart. Then, when you need to hear a Word, The Holy Spirit will bring the scriptures you need out of your heart to your remembrance.

That's how Jesus taught His disciples in John 14:26 and that's how He was able to defeat the enemy in the wilderness. Scripture after scripture came out of His heart into His mind and out of His mouth right when He needed them (Matthew 4:1-11). To get similar results, The Word of God must be taken off the pages of The Bible and written on your heart and mind (Proverbs 7:2-3, Hebrews 8:10, 10:16). Store them for the future because you never know when you'll need them in an instant.

If you believe you heard from God but you're not sure, you can judge it using scriptures. If God could say something to you now it would agree with what He has already said in The Bible. He doesn't change and He doesn't contradict Himself (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8). Learn God's Voice through His Written Word and you won't be susceptible to error when you hear His spoken Word. You'll know what His Voice sounds like because it will be the same voice in your heart. If what you hear is the direct opposite, a manipulation or a misrepresentation of what you've read in The Bible it's not God! That's a great place to start.

I hope you fully understand point 1 in "Developing The Art Of Hearing From God". See you tomorrow for point 2.

9

Ask Donnell - How Do I Hear God In A Storm?

Ask Donnell - How Do I Hear God In A Storm?

Welcome to Part 23 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you don't know what's going on around you, this blog series is for you. For Part 22, "The Art Of Hearing From God" click here.

We received the following question from Martin;

"My question is ”How do we hear God through the storms?” and ”Can we tell life’s situations and challenges “Be Still!!!” ?” I know we can because we have the authority in him but how do we actually do it?"

Martin, this question is awesome. I'm not going to beat around the bush with you today so I'll get straight to the point. The first thing you have to do is define the cause of the storm. There are two general causes of storms; obedience and disobedience. If you don't know what type of storm you are in, you need to find out. Why? A different response is required for each particular storm. If you don't know that, you might suffer much more than you need to.

1) Storms of Disobedience

Isaiah 48:17-19(NLT) - This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. 18 Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea. 19 Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore— too many to count! There would have been no need for your destruction, or for cutting off your family name.”

In this type of storm God spoke to you already and you chose to disobey. If you're in the middle of this type of storm and you expect to hear from God you'll have to keep waiting. God's already spoken so there is nothing else for Him to say. If He says anything it will either be a reminder of what He has already said or something like; "Repent!" This is not the type of storm you want to go through. You want to get out as soon as possible.

John 16:8 says that The Holy Spirit will bring conviction of sin to the world. If you're a Christian, Romans 8:9 says The Holy Spirit lives in you. Therefore, He'll also bring conviction to your heart if you're in disobedience. Nonetheless, don't expect to hear anything profound in this storm. You already know what God has to say. Here's an example.

Case Study #1 - Jonah

Ask Donnell - How Do I Hear God In A Storm?

Jonah 1:1-12(NKJV) - 1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. 4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.” 7 And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “Why have you done this?” For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?”—for the sea was growing more tempestuous. 12 And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.” 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows. 17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah heard from God and disobeyed so God spoke to Him through the storm of disobedience. What did God say? OBEY OR PAY! So Jonah heard Him loud and clear! There's only one way out of this type of storm. Confession and repentance. According to 1 John 1:9, if you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive you. There's nothing noble about a storm of disobedience and there's nothing to shout about. You don't praise through this storm until it stops. It won't stop until you stop disobeying God.

However, pay close attention to Jonah 1:17. God had prepared a great fish ahead of time to swallow Jonah. Why is this important? God had a plan.

1 Corinthians 10:13(KJV) - There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

In a storm of disobedience, God creates a way of escape which you can access when you're ready to repent. He did it for Jonah, He'll do it for you.

Even though Jonah was out of The Will of God, the mercy of God was still extended to him. God always creates a way of escape out of storms of disobedience. You don't go through these storms expecting to learn valuable lessons. You look for a way of escape and get out as soon as you can. There's nothing to learn in this storm except, "Don't disobey God!" These storms can be avoided so avoid them. There's no need to go through hell on earth because you reject God's directions.

Ask Donnell - How Do I Hear God In A Storm?

2) Storms Of Obedience

John 16:33(KJV) - These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

This type of storm is inevitable. We live in a fallen world so we can expect to constantly run into storms. It's in these storms that your faith is tested. I heard someone wise once say; "A faith that has not been tested cannot be trusted." You can actually draw closer to God in the midst of trials and hear from God clearly if you choose to tune in. Now, let me show you something fascinating in a very familiar scripture.

James 1:2-8(KJV) - My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Do you know that the verses in James 1:2-8 were meant to be read together? Most times, we pull out verses 2-4 and teach entire sermons on tribulation and temptations. We tell people that life is supposed to be hard, God never said it would be easy. We scream; "Hallelujah! Praise God!" However, there's a reason why verses 5-8 followed directly after.

In the middle of tribulation you need to ask God for wisdom. When you can't see your way and your patience is being tested you have to say; "Lord, I'm confused. I don't know what to do here. I need wisdom." The Bible says that He will speak to you and give you the wisdom. However, only on one condition. You have to ask in faith.

Matthew 8:26(KJV) - And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Fear and faith can't exist together so you're either going to be in a state of fear in the middle of a storm or faith. If you're in a state of fear you will receive nothing from The Lord because it will cancel out your faith. You won't get wisdom. You won't know what to do. You won't hear God. If you're fearful, expect to remain in the storm for a while. So to make it simple, in the middle of a storm of obedience, ask God for wisdom to navigate the storm. You won't always get a quick exit like you would from a storm of disobedience but you will get peace on the inside to ride it out if you have to.

Ask Donnell - How Do I Hear God In A Storm?

Case Study #2 - Jesus and His Disciples

Matthew 8:23-27(KJV) - Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Mark 4:35-41(KJV) - And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

The most important thing you can have in a storm is faith. What is faith? Complete trust in the invisible evidence provided by The Word of God confirmed by commensurate action (Hebrews 11:1, Romans 10:17 and James 2:17, 18). The same power which was available to Jesus was available to His disciples but He had enough faith to calm the storms and they did not.

That's why when you go through storms of obedience you have to look for ways to build your faith. It's your faith that allows you to execute your authority. Every Christian has the same authority but we all don't operate in the same level of faith. Go back to yesterday's blog on hearing from God and you'll realize that the first step is the written Word of God. Your faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word of God.

In the middle of a storm, God will speak to you. He will speak through scriptures. He will speak through your pastor. He will speak through other people. He will speak through signs. Whatever it takes, if you ask God for wisdom in a storm, He will speak. When you hear from God, if you have faith in what you hear then and only then can you execute your authority in the face of the storm. The name of Jesus gives you authority but faith is what you need to execute it.

Ask Donnell - How Do I Hear God In A Storm?

3) Storms of Disobedience and Obedience Combined

Sometimes you may be caught in a special type of storm that may be a result both of disobedience and obedience. How is that possible? You may be in obedience while someone else may be in disobedience and because you are together you both go through the storm. For example, Jonah was in disobedience and all the other guys in the ship had to go through the storm because of him. Now, here's an example that clearly shows this type of storm.

Case Study #3 - Paul

Acts 27:9-26(NLT) - We had lost a lot of time. The weather was becoming dangerous for sea travel because it was so late in the fall, and Paul spoke to the ship’s officers about it. 10 “Men,” he said, “I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on—shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well.” 11 But the officer in charge of the prisoners listened more to the ship’s captain and the owner than to Paul. 12 And since Fair Havens was an exposed harbor—a poor place to spend the winter—most of the crew wanted to go on to Phoenix, farther up the coast of Crete, and spend the winter there. Phoenix was a good harbor with only a southwest and northwest exposure. 13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale. 16 We sailed along the sheltered side of a small island named Cauda, where with great difficulty we hoisted aboard the lifeboat being towed behind us. 17 Then the sailors bound ropes around the hull of the ship to strengthen it. They were afraid of being driven across to the sandbars of Syrtis off the African coast, so they lowered the sea anchor to slow the ship and were driven before the wind. 18 The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard. 19 The following day they even took some of the ship’s gear and threw it overboard. 20 The terrible storm raged for many days, blotting out the sun and the stars, until at last all hope was gone. 21 No one had eaten for a long time. Finally, Paul called the crew together and said, “Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete. You would have avoided all this damage and loss. 22 But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. 23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, 24 and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ 25 So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. 26 But we will be shipwrecked on an island.”

The sailors didn't listen to Paul so they ended up in a storm of disobedience that could have been avoided. It was not Paul's fault that they were in that situation but Paul was in the same ship. However, even in the midst of the storm, God sent an angel to speak to Paul. It was this Word which saved them. Had Paul not been there they would have probably died. Paul was confident in the storm because He received a Word from The Lord because he was positioned to hear from God. He was doing God's Will, living in obedience and most importantly, he was in faith because he believed God. As a result, they all made it through the storm and nobody died. Therefore, you must do the same.

Since faith comes from God's Word. Meditate in God's Word and practice living by it daily so your faith will be ready for the storm. If you're already in the storm, ask for wisdom. God will answer. He gave you His Word on that in James 1. If you can't hear from Him yourself, spend time around people who hear from God, go to church, read books, just position yourself where you can hear from God. He'll speak through someone. If you're in faith you will hear God. Also, if God gave you a Word before the stom that means He gave you The Word to take you through the storm. Let it anchor your soul. There's so much more I can say but I'll stop here. The Lord has spoken!

8

The Art Of Hearing From God

The Art Of Hearing From God

What would you do if you know that every decision you make is the right one? How would you live if you were assured that you would never fail? Life would be different, wouldn't it? It sure would be.

Welcome to Part 22 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you don't know where to start, this blog series is for you. For Part 21, "Hearing God's Voice" click here.

Isaiah 30:21(NKJV) - Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.

Today's blog is a direct continuation from the end of yesterday's. This time, I will add a few more points to the list that I started and let you meditate on it before I say anything specific. There are more but we'll start with these seven for right now.

Developing The Art Of Hearing From God

1) Meditate In God's Written Word!

Romans 10:17(NKJV) - So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

2 Peter 1:19-21(NLT) - Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17(NKJV) - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2) Talk to God first then wait for His response.

Habakkuk 2:1-2(KJV) - I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

James 1:5-8(NKJV) - 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. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

3) Pay attention to certain dreams and visions especially if they are intense or repeated.

Numbers 12:6(KJV) - And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

Jeremiah 23:28(KJV) - The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

The Art Of Hearing From God

4) It's much easier to hear God's Voice when you're in a posture of worship. Your focus is on Him so you're ready to hear what He has to say.

Exodus 33:10-11(KJV) - And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Revelation 1:10(NKJV) - I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,

5) Whether you feel like it or not, when God wants to talk to you, He'll call on you. Always respond! If you despise those times, don't expect to hear Him on your schedule.

Psalm 27:8(NLT) - My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

Isaiah 50:4(KJV) - The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

6) Get your heart right! We all have access to God through The Blood of Jesus but people with pure hearts get VIP access.

Psalm 66:18(KJV) - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Psalm 24:3-4(NKJV) - Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.

James 4:8(NLT) - Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

Matthew 5:8(KJV) - Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

7) Always judge what you hear from other people but be willing to hear God's Voice through the people He chooses to speak through. It's still God's Voice. It really helps when you're in need of confirmation.

1 Thessalonians 2:13(KJV) - For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

1 Peter 4:11(NLT) - Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

1 Thessalonians 5:20-21(NLT) - Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.

You can meditate on these scriptures today and prepare your heart as we take this study to the next level in the coming weeks. There's so much more to be said but we'll take it slow. You have enough to "chew on" for the day.

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Hearing God's Voice

Hearing God's Voice

One day while sitting on the bed in my dorm room during my freshman year of college God spoke to me. He showed me how to finish my five year Dual Degree Engineering program in four years. It was never done before and I don't think it's ever been done again. I executed the plan and four years later I was done. The summer after my freshman year I sat on my bed without a job and The Lord spoke to me again. He sent me to a random train station I had never been to before and never visited again. While there I met a complete stranger who worked for an engineering firm where a worker had quit that day. By the end of the week I had a job. Now it's your turn!

Welcome to Part 21 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you didn't even know one existed, this blog series is for you. For Part 20, "The High Price of Hope" click here.

God is speaking right now. Can you hear Him?

John 10:27(KJV) - My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Do you know and follow The Voice of God? In light of what Jesus said in John 10:27 that's really a loaded question. Why? It is essentially the same as asking; "Are you The Lord's sheep?" Jesus unequivocally stated that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him so if you don't, you're not His sheep. Therefore, only people who hear God's Voice and follow it qualify to declare along with the psalmist David; "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.." (Psalm 23).

Romans 8:14(KJV) - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Are you led by The Spirit of God? If your answer is yes then it's great to meet you brother. That's one easy way to recognize a son of God. Unfortunately, many "church people" are not taught the simple truth that hearing God's Voice and following the direction of The Holy Spirit are essential to successful Christianity. There's nothing spooky about it and it's not reserved for "prophets" or "super-spiritual" people. This is also not a "charismatic" thing. The Bible is clear that it's for everyone.

Isaiah 30:21(NKJV) - Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.

If you heard a voice telling you exactly what to do as you go through your day would you trust it? What about if you knew deep in your heart that the Voice belonged to God? That would transform your life, wouldn't it? Gone would be the confusion and horrible decisions of your past. Do you know that every person of note in The Bible heard from God? Yes, everyone! Name a Bible hero and I'll show you where he/ she heard from God. Thankfully, God didn't leave us here on the earth to figure our way through life, but according to John 16:13 He sent us The Holy Spirit to guide us.

Hearing God's Voice

Psalm 27:8(NLT) - My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

Shhhhh! Did you hear that? Yup, I heard it too. God wants to talk to you. If I were you I would respond ASAP. He must have something good to say. 🙂

Since this entire series is about discovering and executing God's Will for your life I think it's important at this point to master the discovery and execution of God's Will for your day. It's wise to start small and build from there. As a result, let's now turn our attention solely to the art of hearing The Voice of God and getting it right. I'll just list the first few points for your consideration today.

Developing The Art Of Hearing From God

1) Meditate In God's Written Word!

Romans 10:17(NKJV) - So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

2 Peter 1:19-21(NLT) - Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17(NKJV) - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2) Talk to God first then wait for His response.

Habakkuk 2:1-2(KJV) - I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

James 1:5-8(NKJV) - 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. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

3) Pay attention to certain dreams and visions especially if they are intense or repeated.

Numbers 12:6(KJV) - And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

Jeremiah 23:28(KJV) - The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

We'll get into more details starting tomorrow. Don't miss it!

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The High Price of Hope

The Price Of Hope

Welcome to Part 20 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you're questioning its value, this blog series is for you. For Part 19, "Stop Fishing In The Shallow" click here.

Proverbs 13:12(NLT) - Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

Have you ever bought a lottery ticket? Did you win anything? Maybe you came "close" but I doubt it. Why? The probability of winning a lottery is so extremely small that by some standards it may be determined to be statistically impossible. Since you essentially get nothing in exchange for your money why do people still spend so much money buying lottery tickets? Especially people who can't afford to waste the little money they do have?

It's really simple. Lottery officials sell one product. It's called hope. People who buy lottery tickets only do so because even though they know it probably won't happen they hope they will win. Hope is priceless so people are willing to risk all they have for it. Until the lottery results are released, every ticket holder is able to experience the same excitement and thrill that hope offers. Since hope continues to be valuable to human existence the lottery will live on.

Unfortunately, once the results are announced life goes back to normal for everyone except the winner. Well, not exactly normal. Life goes on with a little less money. With one announcement, the hope of winning is gone and reality strikes once again. Back to work! At least, until the next lottery drawing when the cycle of "hope" begins again. 🙂 When you hope in something consistently and it never seems to deliver, do you know what that's called? False Hope! It sickens your heart.

The High Price Of Hope

Psalm 130:5(KJV) - I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Psalm 146:5(KJV) - Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

There is only one hope that never fails. That's why my hope is in The Lord and my hope is in God's Word. If you put your hope in anything or anyone else you are destined for disappointment.

Hebrews 6:13-18(MSG) - When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.

When God makes a promise to you, it is guaranteed. When God reveals a principle in His Word to you He puts His integrity on the line. If He says He will do something, even if it takes a while to happen you can consider it done.

Guaranteed Results

Galatians 6:7-9(NLT) - Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

I don't know what you've been waiting for God to do in your life but God's Word can be trusted. If you sow the right types of seeds in the right types of soil you are guaranteed a harvest. However, you have to allow your seeds to germinate and develop over time before you can expect to reap your harvest. Success in God's Kingdom only works for those who persevere. You have to be diligent. You have to endure. You cannot give up before you see the results.

Hebrews 11:1, 6(KJV) - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen....But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

When God gives you His word He gives you something greater than false hope. He gives you the opportunity to have faith in His Word. It's your faith that positions you to receive all of His promises. If you can just believe what God says about your future, you will be able to obey His instructions and reap the rewards. When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead He gave us all hope and that hope is priceless. Hope in God!

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Stop Fishing In The Shallow

Stop Fishing In The Shallow

Welcome to Part 19 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you're tired of being afraid to live it, this blog series is for you. For Part 18, "Beware Of Dream-Stealers" click here.

Luke 5:4-6(NKJV) - When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.

A life without risk is like fishing in shallow water. It doesn't take much but you probably won't get much out of it. Many of us are taught to be conservative. Go to school. Get a job. Retire. Die. Stay on the beaten path. Don't take too many chances. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Here's a box, it's safe in there, so crawl inside and never come out.

However, like Jesus told Simon in Luke 5:4-6, when it's time for supernatural results or a record breaking harvest you have to launch out into the deep. In other words, if you're ready for something big to happen in your life it's time to take a a big step out of the shallow and into the deep.

Matthew 25:14-30(MSG) - “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money. 19-21 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ 22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’ 24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ 26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. 28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’

Stop Fishing In The Shallow

If God shows up right now to evaluate what you have done with all that He has given you over your lifetime what would be the result? Would you be rewarded or punished? Did you take a risk and make something remarkable of God's investments in your life or were you too scared to step out? Calculated risks are part of executing God's Will for your life. Every decision won't be easy or straightforward but you have to trust God's voice and do whatever He tells you to do. Taking calculated risks are equivalent to what The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:7; "For we walk by faith, not by sight." You have to trust what God sees more than your own eyes because unlike you, He can see the future.

Noah took a calculated risk when he built a boat on dry land based on a Word from The Lord expecting a flood when they had never seen rain before in Genesis 6 and 7. Abram took a calculated risk when he left home based on a Word from The Lord in Genesis 12. Moses took a calculated risk when he approached Pharaoh with instructions from The Lord to let His people go in Exodus 5. Now when we hear the names Noah, Abram (Abraham), Moses and many other Biblical heroes we think of their faith but they all had one thing in common. They heard from God and took calculated risks. Hence, if you don't hear from God, don't move until you do.

Stop Fishing In The Shallow

Psalm 37:23-24(KJV) - The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

The Kingdom of God is built on faith. Faith is based on calculated risk taking. Why calculated risk taking? God only asks you to take a risk that He guarantees. It's like making a bet knowing that you cannot lose. If you obey God's Word to the best of your ability even if it looks like you lose, you never really lose. You can trust a Word from The Lord because even if you fall He will catch you. Therefore, if you know you heard from The Lord to do something, go for it! While He's gracious to His children who step out and fail He's not so gracious to those who are too scared to step out.

Luke 19:11-26(MSG) - While he had their attention, and because they were getting close to Jerusalem by this time and expectation was building that God’s kingdom would appear any minute, he told this story: 12-13 “There was once a man descended from a royal house who needed to make a long trip back to headquarters to get authorization for his rule and then return. But first he called ten servants together, gave them each a sum of money, and instructed them, ‘Operate with this until I return.’ 14 “But the citizens there hated him. So they sent a commission with a signed petition to oppose his rule: ‘We don’t want this man to rule us.’ 15 “When he came back bringing the authorization of his rule, he called those ten servants to whom he had given the money to find out how they had done. 16 “The first said, ‘Master, I doubled your money.’ 17 “He said, ‘Good servant! Great work! Because you’ve been trustworthy in this small job, I’m making you governor of ten towns.’ 18 “The second said, ‘Master, I made a fifty percent profit on your money.’ 19 “He said, ‘I’m putting you in charge of five towns.’ 20-21 “The next servant said, ‘Master, here’s your money safe and sound. I kept it hidden in the cellar. To tell you the truth, I was a little afraid. I know you have high standards and hate sloppiness, and don’t suffer fools gladly.’ 22-23 “He said, ‘You’re right that I don’t suffer fools gladly—and you’ve acted the fool! Why didn’t you at least invest the money in securities so I would have gotten a little interest on it?’ 24 “Then he said to those standing there, ‘Take the money from him and give it to the servant who doubled my stake.’ 25 “They said, ‘But Master, he already has double . . .’ 26 “He said, ‘That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.

I'm not sure what idea The Lord has given to you. Maybe it's a business or a ministry idea. Maybe it's an invention or an innovative system. What have you done with it? What are you waiting for? Do you know that God doesn't just give one person an idea? If He wants something done in the earth He'll put it out there and whoever grabs it will get it done. There are several people "uniquely" qualified just like you to do the same thing. So if you don't do it someone else will and one of these days you may hear of someone doing exactly what God initially told you to do.

Wouldn't that be sad? If you don't do God's Will because you are afraid of failure you will be a failure anyway. The only guaranteed failure is the qualified person who failed to enter the race. There's no room for the fearful and unbelieving in God's Kingdom according to Revelation 21:8. Stop fishing in the shallow! The deep is calling your name. Launch out today based on The Word of The Lord to you and trust God to catch you even if you fall.

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Beware Of Dream-Stealers

Beware Of Dream Stealers

Welcome to Part 18 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you're tired of living without direction, this blog series is for you. For Part 17, "No Man Can Stop God's Plan For Your Life" click here.

Genesis 37:3-6(KJV) – Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. He said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

When we consider the story of Joseph it's easy to assume that everything went exactly according to plan. However, let's take a different perspective today. Could it be that even though God did give Joseph the dream, God did not instruct him to tell his jealous brothers about it? Yes, Joseph eventually arrived at the intended destination but what if that was not the only pathway?

Psalm 105:17-19(KJV) – He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

Here is a good way to look at this situation. The Word of the Lord is already going to try you so expect trials to come. However, bad decisions will also try you. I’ve been tried by some bad decisions before and I’m sure than many of you reading this article right now have been there. As a result, let’s clear up the confusion between trials due to the Word of the Lord and trials due to bad decisions.

As mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:16, the account of Joseph was written for our reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Joseph did most things right so we can be instructed by those actions. Nonetheless, opening his mouth to his jealous brothers was not one of them.

Hence the title of this message. If God tells you that you’ll rule over the rest of your family don’t call them into a room and tell them! If God tells you that one day you will run your own company, don’t call a meeting with your boss to inform him! A friend of mine did something like that and within months she was fired. If God tells you that you’ll excel beyond all of your friends, don’t open your mouth and tell them! Unfortunately, some of those same "friends" may not fully support your dream.

Matthew 13:3&4(KJV) – And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Matthew 13:19-23(KJV) – Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which receiveth seed by the way side.20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

There is a period of time after a fresh Word of God is sown into your heart when the protection of that Word is crucial. You cannot hold on to the Word if you don’t understand it so the enemy will send someone to steal it. Also, you cannot hold on to The Word before it takes root in your heart. Therefore, just like you have to protect a seed during the initial stages of its development you have to protect your dream during its early stages. I know it's hard to keep a dream quiet but you have to use wisdom. Telling your dream to the wrong people can make things much harder than they need to be. Beware of "Dream-Stealers".

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No Man Can Stop God's Plan For Your Life

No Man Can Stop God's Plan For Your Life

Welcome to Part 17 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you're tired of living without direction, this blog series is for you. For Part 16, "Take Care of God's Business First" click here.

Genesis 37:3-6(KJV) – Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. He said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

Joseph saw favor from the day he was born. His father showed him favor among his brothers and God showed him favor among all men. As a student of the Word I like to study Bible characters and critique their decisions. I use my analysis to form a pattern for my life that will place me on the path of constant success.

Joseph seemed to be a very naïve young man because somehow he had no idea that his brothers could not stand him. I’ve been there before, so I understand. I’ve been around people who disliked the very ground I walked on and I thought nothing was going on. In fact, had it not been for the combination of an informant in their midst and the prophetic anointing on the life of my father I would have a similar story to Joseph.

What was my problem? God showed me a secret to success and I opened my mouth to tell my peers! They smiled and congratulated me like they really cared and then opened their mouths to curse me after I left.

2 Timothy 3:16&17(KJV) – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

After reading 2 Timothy 3:16&17, you should understand why the story of Joseph is in the Bible. It teaches us two main lessons, the first one is very popular among Bible teachers but the second one needs to be taught also.

No Man Can Stop God's Plan For Your Life

TWO IMPORTANT LESSONS IN THE LIFE STORY OF JOSEPH

1. No human being can stop the plan of God for my life!

I agree that even the jealousy of his brothers could not stop the favor of God on the life of Joseph. I also agree that neither Potiphar nor his wife could quench the fire of God within his heart. My father taught me an interesting lesson during the final year of my undergraduate education. I was close to graduation and I had to make a decision concerning my future.

I was on fire for the Lord and the passion for ministry was overwhelming. Was it time for me to drop my structural engineering codes and pick up a big KJV Bible and hit the road for Jesus? I considered skipping graduate school and going into full time ministry. So I called my father in Trinidad and told him about my dilemma and I could tell that he was smiling through the phone.

He informed me that there are two main paths to my destiny. One is the perfect plan of God and the other is the unnecessarily difficult back up plan. He said that if I came out into ministry before my time I would be out of the perfect Will of God and it would be a struggle. I would face several unwarranted challenges and roam around in frustration until God finally opened the door according to His schedule.

After that point, the road would be smooth once again and I would continue on the path to my destiny. However, if I stuck with God’s original plan I would still face obstacles but they would be limited to those required for building character. By the way, I know what some of you are thinking right now.

Aren’t all tribulations designed to build character? Well, I’m sure they are but you cannot convince me that some things that happen to some people have to happen. It was not God’s original plan for Jonah to spend three nights in the belly of a whale. However, Jonah still accomplished the purpose for his life, didn’t he?

So don’t tell me that all tragedy is necessary because sometimes, God’s Will is not carried out due to human disobedience. Therefore, some tragic circumstances are direct results of bad decisions. Nonetheless, if you remain on a path of obedience you will fulfill God's plan because no man can stop God's plan for your life.

We'll return tomorrow with Lesson #2.

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Take Care of God's Business First

Take Care Of God's Business First

Welcome to Part 16 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you're tired of living without direction, this blog series is for you. For Part 15, "Help Someone Else Succeed" click here. One by one we will address each of the seven steps outlined in Part 9, "Executing God's Plan For Your Life" . Today, we will focus on Step 7. Put first things first! Take care of God’s business and He’ll take care of your own.

Matthew 6:25-33(NKJV) - “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?“ So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Today is my birthday so I'll get straight to the point and go enjoy the rest of the day. 🙂 Do you want to see The Hand of God break into your life? Have you been worried about things that you cannot change in your own strength? Are you ready for God to take control of your situation? If yes, today's blog is for you.

Life can get really tough sometimes and can quickly spin out of control when you can't see how certain needs will be met. It's so easy to get caught up in your own personal issues that you forget the big picture. Stressing out and worrying about things won't make a difference. In fact, they actually make things worst.

Psalm 37:4(KJV) - Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Not only will God take care of your needs when you first pursue His Kingdom, He also promises that if you delight in Him, He will take care of your heart's desires. That's a deal you cannot afford to refuse. Make a commitment today to stop worrying about things you cannot change and place your focus on God. He will take care of those things for you.

Isaiah 26:3(KJV) - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
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