It’s Now Season, Change Your Perspective – Let Your Perspective Match Heaven’s Perspective – Grow Season Is Now

Grow Season is now, so be bold in-spite of the valleys and mountains, they will rapidly fade away.  As you pound them down into dust with God’s word you will rise and walk right over them.  Don’t Be Moved By The Outward Look of Things – The Season Has Changed.  Grow And Bloom Season Has Come and Old Things Have Passed Away And Now All Things Are New.  A New Perspective Has Emerged.

Take Hold Of Your Promise (Like A Rabid Dog That Has Locked Onto It’s Target).  It’s Move Season ——–> Go AND Grow/Expand In This Time.  The Soil is ready to till.  Your struggle wasn’t in vain and even if you are struggling now, it’s not in vain; something wonderful and miraculous is coming!  Grab hold of the keys you have been given.

Hebrews 13:8 KJV “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Zechariah 4:6 KJV Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

James 4:7-8 KJV ”

 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

As we go along in life we are faced with challenges that seem unsurmountable.  We may get to the point where we get so wrapped up in our emotions that we don’t know what side is up or down.  In those times we have to know that God is the key to every situation.  He never changes His mind either, even when situations change in the natural.  His word still stands.  He provides scriptures in His word that unlock each and every promise that He has had in store for us from the very beginning.  Nothing is ever a surprise, remember Christ overcame everything that we could ever deal with on the cross and brought us back into right standing with our Heavenly Father.

At this time God is wanting us to fix our eyes on Him.  Always look upward, don’t look at your circumstances because the longer you look at them the larger they become and you diminish, in your own mind, the work that God has done on the cross.  Christ’s sacrifice was enough and know that through Him you have all that you need to conquer anything thrown at you.

Romans 8:31-39 MSG

“31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” 

When circumstances come and you have a word from God that is opposite of what the natural is portraying remember what God said first and dwell on that.  Speak to the mountain and tell it to MOVE!!!  It has to move because of the word of God in your mouth.

Mark 11:12-25 MSG     “The Cursed Fig Tree

12-14 As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn’t yet the season for figs.) He addressed the tree: “No one is going to eat fruit from you again—ever!” And his disciples overheard him.

15-17 They arrived at Jerusalem. Immediately on entering the Temple Jesus started throwing out everyone who had set up shop there, buying and selling. He kicked over the tables of the bankers and the stalls of the pigeon merchants. He didn’t let anyone even carry a basket through the Temple. And then he taught them, quoting this text:

My house was designated a house of prayer for the nations;
You’ve turned it into a hangout for thieves.

18 The high priests and religion scholars heard what was going on and plotted how they might get rid of him. They panicked, for the entire crowd was carried away by his teaching.

19 At evening, Jesus and his disciples left the city.

20-21 In the morning, walking along the road, they saw the fig tree, shriveled to a dry stick. Peter, remembering what had happened the previous day, said to him, “Rabbi, look—the fig tree you cursed is shriveled up!”

22-25 Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.”

The same Spirit that Christ worked through, works in us.  Get into your quiet place and recharge with the word of God.  He wants to tell you deep things that you know not of (Jeremiah 33:3).  He wants you to be fully engaged and ready for battle.  We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but principalities in high places, you won’t win the fight without a word from God.  Take your sword with you and put on the full armor (Ephesians 6).  God wants His people to be fully equipped and ready for battle.

Stay prayed up and ready to conquer, God has more for you and there is more beyond your struggle.

Praise God

Isaiah 51:15-16 KJV

“15 But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name.

16 And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.”

 

 

Open Doors

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33 ESV

Entering The Open Door

Entering the open door that God has set before you with a mind of faith is important.  Think back on what God has already done.  Think back and then look where you are now and the lessons that you have learned in the refining period.

At times we may become discouraged because we think we are still in the same place as before; in actuality that is not true.  I keep a journal that reminds me of dreams, thoughts, promises, and scriptures that I have been given during my journey.  Many times going to new levels it is great to hold on to reminders of what your process has matured in you.  Everyone's preparation pattern is different, but each of us should learn from it.

Various lessons are learned in life.  During each lesson God will give new material objects or new healthier mindsets that will benefit you in the next level.  God is very strategic and He equips you to thrive.  When you totally rely on God and ask Him to give you His eyes on your circumstance you can stand the purifying preparation better.  Having His heart and not depending on your own understanding will help you pass each test.  When you do not understand what's going on and you feel like your drowning ask God to give you His eyes and heart for your circumstance.  Keep asking and don't let up, but at the same time keep moving.  Don't stall.

When you are functioning within the will of God and allowing His will to be yours you will find that you have more peace in your daily dealings.  Nothing will ever be perfect but you can rest assured God turns all situations for your good; you have already won, Satan has already been defeated!

These are two scriptures that I declare over myself; remember as you declare them that you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37 KJV).

"The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand..." Isaiah 14:24 ESV

"For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?" Isaiah 14:27 ESV

"17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.

18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.

19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time." (Isaiah 60:17-22 KJV) 

In this new season God is doing away with the old provision and He is bringing in a new provision that will outdo the old.  Old patterns will cease and new ones will take root.  He is giving solutions to old problems and ending deep seated issues.

Believe for your family again!  Revive the old waste places through faith and holding firmly to the Word of God.  Allow His divine breath to breath life over the stagnant areas that you thought were lost or those things you have been diligently believing God for (Ezekiel 37).  Allow your faith to go even higher and ask God to let your faith and expectancy flow at the level of manifestation.  Miracles are afoot and God is doing His part, greater things are coming.  Keys to anointing and greater levels have come, take hold and believe; DOORS ARE OPENING!

"13-15 “Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree.

“Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel:

“They’ll rebuild their ruined cities.
They’ll plant vineyards and drink good wine.
They’ll work their gardens and eat fresh vegetables.
And I’ll plant them, plant them on their own land.
They’ll never again be uprooted from the land I’ve given them.”
God, your God, says so." (Amos 9:13-15)

 

Cast Your Net

“4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” ”

(Luke 5:4 MSG)

“3-4 The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night. When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him.
5 Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?”
They answered, “No.”
6 He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.”
They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in.”

(John 21:6 MSG)

Mark 1:16-20  has a similar version of the same account.

Matthew 4:18-22 is another version of the same account from a different perspective.


Have you ever been in a place where you feel like you have tried everything and nothing seems to be coming to fruition?  You feel like you may be in a grey area.  It’s not necessarily a bad place but not the best place either, just somewhere in the middle.  This is the transition place.  This is the make or break point of the process.  How will you behave in the transition moment.  To God it is a moment because He does not function in our time or calendar, but to us it can seem like an eternity.  The transition can be a very frustrating place because you feel prepared to move forward but the timing is just not right to go into the “deep” yet.  When in the transition it is very important to remember the words God has spoken to you and adhere closely to them.  Those words will help you to prepare and mature to the appropriate level in order to be ready for casting your net and getting a great catch.

Jesus’ Test

The version in Matthew 4 is a scripture that gets highlighted to me often times when I am being tried.  Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness during his 40 day and 40 night fast after being baptized by John the Baptist (his cousin).  He was hungry and I’m sure his energy level was very low.  At this time Satan pounces and begins to Test him.  Jesus, being fully God and fully human was tempted by the Devil.  He was our ultimate example.  He showed us that we, just like he did, need to fast to be fully ready live out our destiny and for Satan’s onslaught.

“4 1-3 Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”
4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
5-6 For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, “Since you are God’s Son, jump.” The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: “He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.”
7 Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: “Don’t you dare test the Lord your God.”
8-9 For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.”
10 Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”  11 The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.”  (Matthew 4:1-11)

 

Just as we get tempted by Satan during vulnerable times we are able to get through those times just as Christ did through fasting and speaking the God’s word to fight off Satan’s attacks.

Christ fasted before he began his destiny.  He didn’t have any disciples or perform any miracles, he had to be prepared in the wilderness.  We are prepared in the wilderness when no one sees.  We get prepared in the darkest of times and in order to function at our best that prep time cannot be cut short.  Try not to get overwhelmed with what God has called you to do, easier said than done, right?  Understand that God did not give you the calling to fulfill on your own, it is his gift that he has given to you and only he is the key to fulfill it.  Don’t get caught up in the task.  Remain humble, flexible and teachable so that you can continue to move forward and not delay.

 

I tied the temptation of Christ in with when Christ met the first four disciples at lake of Gennesaret.

Luke 5 The Message (MSG)
“Push Out into Deep Water
5 1-3 Once when he was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God. He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.
4 When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.”
5-7 Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.
8-10 Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon.
10-11 Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him.”

Simon Peter was told to go deeper into the water to catch fish after they had been fishing all day and caught nothing.  These very experienced fishermen had given up.  They were done for the day.  They had already began cleaning their nets and packing up their gear, but Jesus said try again, now with my help.  All they had was Christ’s word.  Being that Christ was the Word manifest that was all they needed; all they needed was his presence on the scene.  With Christ telling them to try again they caught a great catch; a catch large enough that they needed more help hauling it onto the boat; a catch large enough that their nets almost broke.

With preparation through prayer, fasting, and speaking the word of God you have authority to see great harvests.  Just as Christ was tempted then equipped through that trying time you will also be equipped.  Are you tired of trying and ready to give up?  Don’t!  Cast your net to the other side.  Every word that God has given you during the hard time of preparation was given for this moment.  Use your weapons and go deep.

 

“16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”

(2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG)

“7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  (James 4:7 KJV)

“6 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”” (Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG)

 

I wanted to share this with you today.  These words were given to me through prayer and fasting and I wanted to share to encourage you.

 

 

Friends and Allies

Proverbs 17:17 KJV
[17] A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 27:17 MSG
[17] You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 MSG
[9-10] It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough! [11] Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. [12] By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”

I wanted to present a few examples of healthy relationships that were instrumental in propelling a person or group of people into their purpose.  These relationships show that it is difficult to move through life to fulfill your God given design without the help of others helping you forward.  When we function in symbiotic relationships with others we mutually benefit and we are able to grow.  We are interdependent of one another.  Your growth also helps the growth of another.

Job and his friends:  Job went through major disasters which cost him his fortune, family, and health.  Unbeknownst to him, God was allowing him to go through a series of test and in the end he would gain back everything he had lost plus more.  His friends came to support him in his time of distress and they gave him advice.  At times the advice wasn’t the best but God was using them also to position Job for greater.

Job 2:11-13 MSG
[11-13] Three of Job’s friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country-Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath-and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him. When they first caught sight of him, they couldn’t believe what they saw-they hardly recognized him! They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief. Then they sat with him on the ground. Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering.

Ruth and Naomi, her mother-in-law:  Ruth chose to follow her mother in law, Naomi, to a her native land and live among her people after Naomi’s husband and two sons, one of whom was married to Ruth, died. Ruth gathered food and took care of Naomi.  Naomi coached Ruth on how to get Boaz’s attention, he was a close relative of Naomi’s deceased husband.  After a time Ruth married Boaz and gave birth to a son named Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, who had David.  The lineage of Jesus.

Ruth 1:16-17 MSG
[16-17] But Ruth said, “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me GOD-not even death itself is going to come between us!”

Ruth 2:11-12 MSG
[11-12] Boaz answered her, “I’ve heard all about you-heard about the way you treated your mother-in-law after the death of her husband, and how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth and have come to live among a bunch of total strangers. GOD reward you well for what you’ve done-and with a generous bonus besides from GOD, to whom you’ve come seeking protection under his wings.”

Ruth 3:1-2 MSG
[1-2] One day her mother-in-law Naomi said to Ruth, “My dear daughter, isn’t it about time I arranged a good home for you so you can have a happy life? And isn’t Boaz our close relative, the one with whose young women you’ve been working? Maybe it’s time to make our move. Tonight is the night of Boaz’s barley harvest at the threshing floor.

Ruth 4:13,18-22 MSG
[13] Boaz married Ruth. She became his wife. Boaz slept with her. By GOD’s gracious gift she conceived and had a son. [18-22] This is the family tree of Perez: Perez had Hezron, Hezron had Ram, Ram had Amminadab, Amminadab had Nahshon, Nahshon had Salmon, Salmon had Boaz, Boaz had Obed, Obed had Jesse, and Jesse had David.

Esther and Mordecai:  Mordecai protected and encouraged Esther to use wisdom and to keep her trust in God during very trying times for her people.  She could have been killed if people new she was a Jew, but Mordecai helped her to stay the course and save them.

Esther 4:12-14 MSG
[12-14] When Hathach told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai sent her this message: “Don’t think that just because you live in the king’s house you’re the one Jew who will get out of this alive. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.”

Joshua and Caleb:  Both Joshua and Caleb were able to take the Promised Land because they whole heartedly followed God and had the same vision going forward.

Numbers 14:6-9,24 MSG
[6-9] Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, members of the scouting party, ripped their clothes and addressed the assembled People of Israel: “The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land-very good indeed. If GOD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he’ll give it to us. Just don’t rebel against GOD! And don’t be afraid of those people. Why, we’ll have them for lunch! They have no protection and GOD is on our side. Don’t be afraid of them!”

Fast forward:  [24] “But my servant Caleb-this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately. I’ll bring him into the land that he scouted and his children will inherit it.

Solomon and those who helped him in completing the temple:  God tasked Solomon, King David’s son to build the temple.  In order to carry out the construction Solomon needed friends and allies.  One of the allies God sent was named King Hiram (1Kings 5).  King Hiram loved Solomon’s father and wanted to support Solomon’s endeavors.  Hiram supplied lumber and workers.  Another man named Hiram was an artist and did all the bronze work in the temple.

 

I’m sharing this to express how important it is to not do life alone. We need friends and allies to get us to the next step in our journey.  As children of God we become allies with those we do life with and to those we pray with.  We are helping them to build the temple of their lives and applying kingdom building principles.

 

Galatians 6:9-10 KJV
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. [10] As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men , especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

God has given each of us a task and He will provide everyone and everything needed to build us uniquely individually and the body of Christ.

The Story of Samson: Vision/Promise/Purpose

Recently I was watching the movie “Samson” and even though there were some biblical inaccuracies (I’m sure to make it more dramatic) there were some things that the Lord began to show me.  He wanted me to go deeper into study on Samson’s story and I wanted to share that message with you.

 

Story of Samson Judges 13-16

And then the People of Israel were back at it again, doing what was evil in God’s sight. God put them under the domination of the Philistines for forty years.  At that time there was a man named Manoah from Zorah from the tribe of Dan. His wife was barren and childless. The angel of God appeared to her and told her, “I know that you are barren and childless, but you’re going to become pregnant and bear a son. But take much care: Drink no wine or beer; eat nothing ritually unclean. You are, in fact, pregnant right now, carrying a son. No razor will touch his head—the boy will be God’s Nazirite from the moment of his birth. He will launch the deliverance from Philistine oppression.”  (Judges 13:1-5)

****Manoah means “place of rest”.  God was bringing a place of rest for the people through Manoah’s seed, Samson.****

Samson was a Nazirite from the womb.  He could drink no wine, touch no unclean thing or cut his hair; consecrated (set apart for God’s use) for God’s service.  Manoah’s wife was told by the angel that she would prepare and bear the promise for her people’s deliverance.  When she received news that she was pregnant the angel also gave her and her husband instruction on how to allow their son to be born properly.  The mother had to prepare before the promise could come out of her.

Side Note:

Some of us have been given a promise and the Word of God (Bible) gives us instruction on how to live in order to prepare and see the promise come to manifest.  Just think if Samson’s mother had not obeyed the messenger from God (angel) the promise would have been deformed and inactive.  God would have chosen someone else or chosen another route of some kind to carry out His mission.

We should use this story as an example for ourselves.  We cannot allow other voices, temptations, or circumstances to rob us of our destinies.  It is very important that we stay the course and finish strong.  Stay sensitive to the voice of God by reading the Bible, having a healthy prayer life and applying the scripture to your everyday activities.

Back to Samson:

During the course of Samson’s adult life there were vows that he broke which put him in dangerous positions. It seemed like he enjoyed the company of women and it also seemed like he wasn’t totally committed to God’s vision for his life, he wanted to do his own thing at times.

He decided that he would marry a Philistine woman, which put him at odds with his parents but the Word of God says:

Judges 14:4 KJV
“But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the Lord , that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.”

So God was positioning Samson to provoke the Philistines (the enemy) with every encounter with them.  Instead he became destracted with the company of women at times, which lead to the cutting of his hair.

As time went on and as we fast forward through Samson’s story we see his vision and purpose becomes diluted of delivering the Israelites out from under Philistine rule. At the end Judges 16:21-30 he totally loses his eyes and is put into a position where he has to solely rely on God’s vision and power to have a great victory, the greatest he was ever able to achieve.

Judges 16:30 KJV
“And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”

My point: When his parents first received promise that Samson would be set apart and he would help the Israelites become free of philistine rule I don’t think that they thought that their son would end up losing his eyes and dying along with many other Philistines at the end but God knows the end of his own promises and He’ll make sure that his promises stand. It is our job to hold onto our promise and our vision whole-heartedly so that way we can see it through and live victoriously.

As we live out our lives let’s carry the vision God has set before us and speak with clarity and authority knowing that God will see His own promises through. God called Samson to provoke the enemy and destroy him in his own backyard. Sometimes the journey to the promise isn’t pretty but we need to hold onto it with strong conviction and take our authority over the enemy in his backyard.

 

****Proverbs 29:18 KJV
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

You could look at it either way. Samson was punished because of his discretions and that’s why he lost his sight. Big, strong, able body but no vision to carry him to the next level. He could go no further than where he was.

God brought him to the point where he was forced to solely rely on God’s power to destroy the enemy. We shouldn’t get to that point. Stay committed to the vision and promise all the way through, so you can be used in the next chapter.

 

 

 

Explanation about the Nazarite:

“The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.

‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.

“‘Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body. Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head. Throughout the period of their dedication, they are consecrated to the Lord.” (Numbers 6:2-7)

Pressure And The Faith To Get Through It

James chapter 1:2-8 in the message and the the King James Version.

The Message Bible titles this scripture

Faith Under Pressure

James 1:2-8 MSG
[2-4] Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. [5-8] If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

So no plan b c d e f g, trust God!

James 1:2-8 KJV
[2] 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.

This entire passage is showing us that we should be diligent and devoted to having faith and that we should not be moved when pressures come. We should allow those pressures to develop our spiritual muscles. The pressures tend to draw out the things that need to be corrected in our own mindsets. We learn God’s character and statutes during times of crisis. We also learn ourselves pretty well too.

I’m going to give some clear definitions of words that are highlighted in this passage of scripture.

Diligent-   constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything:

Devotion- Profound dedication; consecration.  Earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.

Disciple-  a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower:

Hebrews 11:6 KJV
[6] 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.

We must seek his will and not our own, he knows what’s best. I’ve learned in my own life that if I pray for God’s best, many things in my own mind that I thought were correct began to fall away and room was made for God to work his work. This prayer calls for you to surrender to his will; relinquish the control you think you may have. It’s difficult to do, it’s an everyday decision because we are always faced with distractions. You start to see your spiritual growth when those distractions the enemy throws at you don’t effect you the same way and don’t shake the very foundations of your faith. Don’t be so quick to throw up your hands at the first sign of resistance, press through, your faith will grow and you will stop circling the same mountains, so to speak. The goal is to have unwavering faith.

Psalm 119:71 KJV
[71] It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Another scripture comes to mind: You can’t put new wine in old wine skins. You need to be prepared for the new. Have a new heart and way of operating at all times. Mark 2:22

Application: When you want to have good results you are diligent at working on them. You keep working at things you desire and that capture your attention, like things that you see need improvement.  When it comes to working out even, for example, building yourself up in some way or learning a new skill (whatever is important to you) we tend to focus on those things until we get the desired result. We should be like that with the word of God working in our lives and seeing His desires for our lives and His kingdom.  We should be diligently seeking Him to be equipped to further His purposes.  We should drop anything that would burden us and keep us from doing His will.  Don’t let you get in the way of fulfilling God’s plan.

Side note:  Sometimes we wonder why things go awry in our lives and we get discouraged, but at that point (before you open your mouth to speak negatively, remember life and death is in the power of the tongue Proverbs 18:21, don’t give the enemy a foothold) do a quick evaluation of your position, ask God to search you and bring things to your mind that may need to be addressed so that way you stay on track or get back on track for that matter, it’s never too late.You may be praying for something in your life, don’t give up or be double minded as the scripture says. Stay the course even if hard times come, even if what you have prayed for doesn’t happen on your timetable. God didn’t promise that it would be easy but he has given us guidelines and promises to apply and base our lives upon. Have unmovable faith and watch God move, he is always available. He is concerned with the impossible and also with what we may believe to be the unremarkable hustle and bustle of life. Allow him into all areas of your being so you can be a fully equipped warrior in his kingdom. Never lose sight.

Galatians 6:9 KJV says, “[9] And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.Be a devoted and diligent disciple of Christ. You are God’s child and coheirs with Christ, stay in position and stay in faith.”

The Favored Life

Ephesians 2:8-10 The Message (MSG)

“7-10 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”

We receive God’s grace when we accept Christ into our hearts.  The grace of God is beautiful! When we accept Him as our personal savior, His grace comes and covers our sins and brings us back into right relationship with God, but that is not all God has for us.   His grace is boundless, but He wants to give you an abundant life, a life of full favor and blessing.  When you live outside of the will of God and do not follow Him wholeheartedly you diminish the favor and blessing that He is able to extend to you personally.

Psalm 5:12 English Standard Version (ESV)

“12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”

Definition of Righteous- living a life pleasing to God.

A scripture that is one of my favorites is Deuteronomy 28:1-15 ESV.  It outlines the many blessings that God will command to come on your life if you follow His statutes (commands/rules).

28 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. 10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, 14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”

On the other side of that starting at verse 15 there are consequences to not obeying or following His commands.  Those verses show what not living in God’s favor looks like.  I haven’t heard of too many people quoting the second half of this chapter because it touches a nerve.  No one is perfect, I certainly am not and there are many things I had to fight through and overcome to grow but it is always good and part of our job as Christians to read, learn (study) and accept the full Bible.

Hebrews 4:12-13 The Message (MSG)

“12-13 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.”

These are just a few examples of scripture that tell us of the wonderful blessings that are in-store for us if we really love the Lord and serve Him with our whole hearts, not for show, and not just because we want His hand of blessing but because we are thankful for who He is and the sacrifice He has made for us!

He wants the very best for us and He knows us better than we knows ourselves.

John 10:10 The Message (MSG)

6-10 Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

Take full advantage of every gift God has for you.  Live the FAVORED life.

God’s Favor

Psalm 30:5 English Standard Version (ESV)

For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.[aWeeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Ephesians 2:8-10 The Message (MSG)

7-10 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

 

What does the favor of God look like?  First of all God’s favor lasts for a lifetime.  Once you made that decision to accept Christ the gifts of God’s grace and favor were yours.  As the scripture says Christ did all the work through His sacrifice on the cross.  There is nothing more for us to do, other than live for Him, believe that those gifts belong to us and function in them.

Everything that we will ever need is ours for the asking.  God wants the very best for all of us and His intention is never to harm us.  God’s favor will put you in front when you should have been in the back.  It will cover you when you should have certainly been harmed and it allows your gifts to be magnified when circumstances should dim them.  God makes underdogs end up being rulers.  When people talk about you and slander your name, He’ll prepare your victory in front of them.”You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.  You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing” (Psalm 23:5 MSG). 

The story of Esther is a great example of favor.  She was favored even though people in high places would want her and her people murdered, but God favored her!  Also when Joshua was in battle God held the sun and the moon in place so he would complete the victory over his enemies (Joshua 10:10-13).  God will stop time for you, that’s how much He loves you.

God accepts you for who you are and there is nothing bad enough that He cannot forgive you for.  You can return to Him and He loves you just the same.  God can use anything or anyone.  Even if you feel like you are too far behind or there is nothing more to life, God is able.  “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:20 NLT).  God uses bad situations to put you in position, just remember your place of favor as you go through; keep your head!  Don’t allow the enemy (Satan) to knock you out of position by the words that come out of your mouth.  Make sure you accept the gift of favor God has given by believing and speaking His Word over your life.

Psalm 84:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor.  No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

God will not hold anything back from you that is yours.  Declare His promises over your life and remember that you belong to Him.  Stand strong and firmly in your place of favor and watch the hand of God move strongly on your behalf.  Your life may be in turmoil right now but God’s hand is still covering you and He has not walked away from you, He will defend you and give you double for your trouble.  Isaiah 61:7 says, “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.”  Let that scripture saturate your mind, think about it, recite it.  Every time our adversary (Satan) comes at you with a negative thought, instead of speaking negatively, speak this scripture.  Make speaking the Word of God a habit in your daily life, so that you will experience God’s movement in your life to a greater degree.  Instead of running to your friends when something happens, run to the Rock, God first!

God wants you to experience His very best, so stick close to Him in good and bad times.  Stay in your position of favor!

 

Jeremiah 29:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 

Isaiah 14: 24-27 (MSG)

24-27 God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaks: “Exactly as I planned, it will happen.  Following my blueprints, it will take shape.  I will shatter the Assyrian who trespasses my land and stomp him into the dirt on my mountains.  I will ban his taking and making of slaves and lift the weight of oppression from all shoulders.”  This is the plan planned for the whole earth, And this is the hand that will do it, reaching into every nation.  God-of-the-Angel-Armies has planned it.  Who could ever cancel such plans?  His is the hand that’s reached out.  Who could brush it aside?

Passions- Where Do They Lie?

Psalm 27:4 MSG
[4] I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.

 

What is it to be passionate about something?  It means to have deep desire, fervency, fieriness, or vigor towards something or an activity.

Colossians 3:23-24 ESV
[23] Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, [24] knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

What are you passionate about?  We all have some sort of passion and I believe the gifts that God has given us help us to fulfill those passions.  Something that God showed me is that He will provide for me to be participate in my passions, also that my passions should be life giving and not draining.  My passion is that insatiable drive to function in my gifting.  Since I’m functioning within my own gift and not anyone else’s I’m not draining myself.  Both my healthy passion and my gift come from the Lord.

Proverbs 18:16 ASV
[16] A man’s gift maketh room for him, And bringeth him before great men.

Having a relationship with the Lord helps us to be successful in our passions.  When I write successful I do not mean necessarily fame or money, not saying that could not come from it, but being successful means, “Did you accomplish your goal and was it worth it?  What was your end result?”  It’s always great to do some introspection and think on your motives as you are pursuing anything you are passionate about.  A prayer that I pray over myself is that God not allow me to twist the things he’s given me into something grotesque and void of Him.  I also ask Him to keep me in the place (physically, mentally and spiritually) that He wants me so that I can be used to make the greatest impact.

Stay humble and teachable.  Stay at the feet of Jesus to keep your passions and desires in check.  God knows the end of a thing so we need to be positioned at His feet to know where to follow, don’t get ahead of Him.

This year we are expecting many things and have many declarations.  Stay close to God, closer than you’ve been.  Make His relationship the most important.  Keep your focus and allow God to fuel your passions.

 

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
[31] So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Gauging Relationships

Proverbs 18:24 MSG
[24] Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.

Ephesians 4:2-3 ESV
[2] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, [3] eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

What do you want your relationships to look like?  I have experienced unhealthy relationships and I do not care to revisit, so I am very choosy about the type of people I allow close access to my life.  Experiencing the bad really helps you to grow and helps you to know what to avoid (if you learn your lesson well enough).  If you find yourself still involving yourself with bad relationships and you vowed that you would never do it again, you should pray and really seek God about the condition of your heart.  Ask him for what is necessary for your healing, so that you can move forward and know what healthy looks like.  I know when I think of a good and healthy relationship I think of being like-minded (Proverbs 13:20-21 MSG
[20] Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. [21] Disaster entraps sinners, but God-loyal people get a good life.  1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
[33] Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”). I also think of the words  respect, communication, honoring or validating someone’s feelings, quality time, selfless boundaries, not being jealous, loving someone where they are (emotionally, spiritually, mentally, etc.) and having the patience to help them through with love to the next level in life.

John 15:13 ESV [13] Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Proverbs 17:17 MSG [17] Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

Matthew 7:12 MSG
[12] “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.

There are many types of relationships.  There are marriages, friendships, partnerships (i.e. business), etc.  These relationships need care and tending.  You cannot function in auto pilot, you have to engage with the people you are in relationship with and show them that you are available.  You know that a person is not truly engaged when you talk until you are blue in the face and they make no effort to change what you just spoke about.  Honoring each other’s feelings goes a long way.  It is natural to get upset but if you feel that you can’t control yourself, it’s best to leave the situation and come back to it, but before you do it communicate in a calm way that, that is what you are doing, don’t just walk away.  What I am writing is ideal and something many, many of us are not perfect at but we still should make every effort to go into everyday looking for God’s best in our own actions, what we say to others, how we view ourselves and respective relationships, etc.

In relationships, if you want the best possible there will sacrifice.  Examples of sacrifice are spending quality time and effective communication.  I say that these are examples of sacrifice because in order to do these things effectively you would need to sacrifice your time and efforts to perform them.  You may not naturally be a great communicator or you feel like love can be shown by just buying that person something, but that other person may not feel that way.  Since this other person that you are in relationship with needs those things and you deeply care, you will make the necessary sacrifices to meet them where they are and make them feel like you want to keep them in your life.  God is a great example for sacrifice and through communication with him we can further learn on an individual level how to get better.

When communicating with God He teaches us.  He is very good at communicating with us how we understand.  Me for example:  I am a quieter person (at times) and I process things differently than others because of course we are all unique.  The type of relationships we build with God mirror the relationships we have here on earth.  God speaks to me in a direct firm voice, but quiet and stern.  I get clear, step by step instructions because that is the way I think and pray.  Naturally I am a very black and white thinker, but I am also optimistic.  He helps me to be more flexible with those same step by step instructions.  I am genuine and I seek that, so small talk is not my thing.  God knows my ticks as well as He knows yours.  I think of James 4:8 because when we draw close to God, He will in turn draw close to us.  He desires a deep and intimate relationship with you; He’s not into the small talk.  He was willing to sacrifice His only son Jesus for us give us the opportunity to come back into relationship with him, would you make that sacrifice for someone?  Think about how much you love your children or family members.  God was willing to do that for us and that shows us how important our interpersonal relationships should be.  What is important to God should be important to us, since relationship is so important to Him, it should be important to us in our everyday lives.  Relationships are important to God and the way that he communicates with you and how you process it helps you to understand yourself and what you require on a deeper level.  When you pray and God talks back, really take it in.  Take in how He sounds, how He gives you instruction and in the manner He says it.  He knows you as an individual and what you will respond to, so take notice because He is showing you what is necessary in how to communicate effectively.  In God’s character I realize that He is slow to anger, there isn’t confusion, He is true love and He is structured.  Those are huge things that we should implement into our other relationships.

God’s relationship is the first relationship you should focus on.  Focusing on a relationship with Him first will order the rest.  If you want the very best to come out of your 2018 God should be your focus.  This year could set you up for even more greatness for the rest of your life, but make sure your relationships are in order and that God is the first priority.  God’s deepest desire is for a closer walk with you, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus if He didn’t care about you.  We have to make every effort to get closer to him through reading our Bibles and prayer.  Personally I can say that reading my Bible really helped me in learning more about His character and His voice, so if these are things you struggle with pray for understanding, then open your Bible and read, then pray for help in application of what you read.   Set a time in your day where you commit to sitting down, praying and reading your Bible, give God your sacrifice.

 

John 3:16-18 MSG
[16-18] “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.