Saturday, December 31, 2016

Don't Whine! Rejoice!

Acts 5:39-42

39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

It has been an interesting year for me. So much has taken place in my life and in my ministry, too much to list. There have been many up’s and downs, but I can see the hand of God in it all. I think that one of the most profound things that I have gleaned is learning to accept life on God’s terms. I know that may seem like an odd statement, but allow me to explain.

Every day I start off by asking God to show me His will and to give me the strength to walk in it. I have prayed that same prayer every day for several years, but it’s just been recently that I have learned to pray it with sincerity. Most of the time I was fine with walking in God’s will, if “God’s will” was comfortable and everything went the way I thought that it should. If everything was “roses and daffodils” I was good, but allow a little suffering to come my way and it was “woe is me” time.

The minute that the slightest little hiccup in “my” plans occurred, I was on my knees singing, “I went to the enemy’s camp and I took back what he stole from me.” Great song, don’t get me wrong – I love that song and I love the inspiration that it brings when we are under attack from the enemy. It’s just that I have discovered that sometimes we make it too easy for the devil to steal from us. Sometimes we forget to lock the door, sometimes we leave the gate unguarded, and he just walks right in and rips the joy right out of our hands.

A few years back my home was broken into while I was at work, my neighbor called me and told me that my front door was wide open. I left work immediately and when I arrived at the house I discovered that the door had been kicked in, the door jamb was splintered and my home was wide open. The weird thing is that nothing was stolen. The police speculated that the thieves had been interrupted and scared off by something.

The Word of God says that the devil is a thief and that he comes only to steal kill and to destroy. It also says that he prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. I wonder this morning how often the devil is interrupted and scared off in the process of trying to steal from us? How often is he put to flight when he tries to devour us? How often are his plans thwarted in our lives by prayer? How often does the presence of the Holy Ghost in us send him packing with his tail between his legs? The answer, if we’re honest, is most likely – not often enough. Too many times he has his way, he comes in and takes what he wants because we haven’t taken the time to secure God’s presence, we haven’t surrendered to His will so that His power may rest on us.

As I read the above passage recently one verse struck me “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”

They rejoiced because they had been found worthy to suffer for Jesus. Tears filled my eyes when God convicted me over this verse, because I whine at the slightest little inconvenience in my daily routine.  They had been thrown in jail for preaching and so they rejoiced, and we go on the internet and rant for 10 minutes because Starbucks didn’t put a Christmas theme on their coffee cups. They were beaten and they rejoiced that they were worthy to be beaten, and we get vile because the greeter at Wal-Mart said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” They suffered real persecution and they rejoiced, and we lose our witness because someone cuts us off in traffic on the way to church. Shame on us!

The thief has come to steal, and we’re letting him. Why? Because even though we lie and tell ourselves that we want His will, we don’t, most of the time if we’re honest with ourselves we just want our way. We don’t pray enough, we don’t go to church enough, we don’t spend enough time in the altar sacrificing our will and asking for His. We don’t spend enough time dying, so that He can live!

I have discovered that the only way I can ever find the strength to walk in His will is when I admit that I am weak so that the “power of Christ may rest upon me.” The only thing that can interrupt the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy is presence of an Almighty God.

Jesus also said that he came that we might have life, and that it would be a life that was abundant. He didn’t say perfect, He didn’t say it would be on my terms, but He said that it would be abundant. Abundant doesn’t mean that I have everything I want, it means that he will supply all my needs. Abundant doesn’t mean that I will never face the storm, it means I face it with the One who calms the storm. Abundant means that if I seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, that I can dance in the fire, sleep like a baby in a den of lions, that I can face the giant unafraid, and that I can rejoice if He finds me worthy to suffer for His Name!

This Christmas someone got a hold of my checking account information and they took most of my money, but I didn’t freak out. A few years ago, I would have. What’s the difference in my life now? Why could I have joy and peace at Christmas this year amid being robbed. Because I have taken the time to shore up my spiritual house. My prayer life is good, my relationship with God is good, and even though the thief tried to steal my joy, he was stopped at the door by the presence of the Holy Ghost.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

What Good Are Bones Without Breath?

Ezekiel 37:1-14 
"The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LordThus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LordSo I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord."
Ezekiel was a very unpopular prophet when he first started his ministry.  He had been prophesying to the children of Israel for years that the sins of Israel were going to cause the fall of Jerusalem.  It was a message that didn’t tickle their ears, so they chose not to heed the warnings that He gave them.  Even though many of his contemporaries, who were proven to be false prophets, proclaimed positive, feel good messages Ezekiel continued to proclaim the truth of God and eventually it came to pass. 
At the time of Ezekiel's prophecy here we find Israel captive, Jerusalem in rubble, we see God giving Ezekiel a new message, a message of hope in a valley of dry bones.  The man of God is surrounded by death, hopelessness, and despair. As far as his eye can see there is only brokenness emptiness, despair, and death. The valley that he is standing in, is the "valley of the shadow of death."
In this valley ministries have died, faith has died, marriages have died, dreams have died, and hope has died.  The smell of the corpses is in the air, there is not one drop of blood or moisture anywhere because the altar has been torn down.  There is nothing, not even a hint that their situation could change, just a pile of dry bones. Recovery appears to be impossible.
The God we serve loves impossible situations?  Why?  Because when the impossible becomes a reality, He gets all the glory! I want to tell somebody today who is facing an impossible situation:  God can turn it around!  It doesn't matter how impossible it looks, you just need to look at that mountain or look at the valley of dry bones and start speaking, “thus saith the Lord.”
The key to everything is in v. 9, it is the wind.  The wind represents the Spirit of God being placed back into their hopeless situation and v. 14 God says He will put his spirit back into their dead bodies and they will live again.  Without the operation and activity of the Holy Spirit’s power instead of a mighty army, all that would have been there was a valley full of dead bodies with no power and no life.
The bones were connected and muscles, ligaments, sinews and skin were restored to them, but there was still no life in them.  There was no power in them until the wind began to blow.  When the wind began to blow everything changed.  When the wind began to blow power and life came.  As the breath of God filled them the valley of dead corpses became a mighty army of God.
The breath of God, the wind in Ezekiel’s vision, is the same wind that flooded the place where Jesus’ followers were gathered on the day of Pentecost, the same breath that filled the bodies of 120 men and women with the supernatural life of God.
One of the most important lessons we learn from Ezekiel 37 is that as far as God is concerned, if you leave the Holy Spirit out of the equation you have nothing.  Without the activity and operation of the Holy Spirits power instead of a mighty army of warriors ready for battle all we would have seen was a valley full of dead bodies.
We can put it together, we can dress the way that God expects, we can put on great Sunday School lessons, we can sing the right worship songs, we can preach all the feel good sermons you can imagine, but if we don't have the life giving anointing that comes from the presence and the power of the Holy Ghost we have nothing. 
Without the Holy Spirit's power, it doesn’t matter how many people are sitting in the pews of our church, it doesn’t matter how big our offerings are, or how big of a following we have, our church is dead, it's worthless, it's powerless, and it's impotent.  Without the Holy Spirit's power and presence and operation all of our activity is dead and all death can birth is more death.  Dead preaching kills, dead teaching kills, and dead singing kills.  Only the Anointing of the Holy Spirit can produce life.
Just as the body without blood is dead, the church is dead without the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Dead means void of the person, presence, and power of the Holy Spirit. Death is incapable of producing life.  It is powerless to lift, powerless to heal, and powerless to deliver anyone from the chains of sin.
We see here in Ezekiel’s vision that one of the first things that has to happen is a divine connection.  We must find our divine connections, God’s children don't fit everywhere with everybody.  One of the biggest hindrances to gaining the power and anointing that God wants for us is wrong connections.  Flesh connections, connections and relationships that are birthed by fleshly lusts, wants, and desires.  You will never have the full potential of God’s power in your life until you have broken your flesh connections.
Flesh connections war against the will and the Spirit of God.  Abraham had a great promise and destiny, but it could not come to pass until he cut off his flesh connection with lot.  Flesh connections will always war for first place in your life, they will always war against the Spirit.
Divine connections will always feed into your anointing and your destiny.  They will always strengthen your faith in God.
Now in the valley the bones are connected to their right bones and then muscles and flesh and skin come upon them, but they are still dead.  Why?  Because the word alone is not enough.  Yes the word will put meat on your bones, yes the word of God will fatten you up.  But without the anointing the bones are still dead.  The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.  It doesn't matter how much Hebrew and Greek you have studied or how many verses of the Bible you have memorized, what matters most is that you have the Holy Spirit. 
The bones were placed in order, all the components were there, on the surface everything appeared good, but they were still dead.  The Holy Spirit is the life source and the life force of the church.  The Holy Ghost is not an optional accessory like power seats or power windows, or heated mirrors.
The Holy Spirit is a necessity, in fact the Holy Spirit is a command.
Acts 1:4-5
“4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with[b] water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
We need to understand that we have a very real adversary who is bent on destroying us.  The one who gives you power over the devil is the Holy Spirit.  The name of Jesus gives us authority to exercise that power.  Every believer has the right to the use of the name of Jesus to exercise the power of the Holy Spirit, but if you do not have the Holy Ghost you don't have power.  You're like a security guard with a badge but no gun.
The church that rejects the Holy Spirit and all His manifestations and operations will experience death.  Their building may be beautiful, their message may sound good, they may have a large congregation, and the services may be impressive, but without the Holy Spirit it is dead.
The Church can survive without a lot of things: we can live without stained glass windows, we can live without padded pews, we can live without great talent, and we can even survive without central heating and air conditioning, but we cannot live without the breath of life.  We cannot live without the power of the Holy Ghost!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Jesus Has Deleted My Past

Philippians 3:13-15New King James Version (NKJV)

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

As human beings it is physically impossible, barring a miracle or a traumatic head injury, to “forget” the past.  So what is the Apostle Paul talking about?  How do we “forget” what is behind us.  How do we get beyond our past?
What is the past?  I looked it up.  In this case it is a noun.  One of the definitions I found said, "the past is an earlier period of a person’s life that is thought to be of a shameful nature."

This definition seems to fit what Paul is referring to here to here.  Not every part of our pasts are shameful, but it’s only the shameful parts that hinder us and need to be forgotten.  It’s the events in our lives where we’ve failed God that seem to be the hardest to get over.  They keep us from worshiping the Lord freely, they hinder our relationships with others.  The past can be a crippling force if we allow it to.
Another definition I found said, “The past is the period of time prior to speaking.”  

The past is the period of time prior to the words that are coming out of your mouth right now.  That is powerful!  Your past can only hinder you from God's purpose, keep you from receiving His anointing, or diminish the power of the Holy Spirit working through you, if the words that are currently coming out of your mouth allow it to. 
If you keep focusing on what "you" have done(your past), instead of focusing on what God can do(your future), you’ll continue to be a prisoner of your failures. Instead of living in a land of milk and honey, you’ll be stuck wandering, circling the same old mountain year after year, until you wither up and perish in the desert.  If you want to possess the promises of God, you need to speak the only thing that has the power to erase your past – The Name of Jesus!
Stop receiving the lies of your enemy!  Stop dwelling on your failure! 
In Colossians The Apostle Paul writes, “13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
God has taken everything that was against you and nailed it to the cross and then made a public spectacle of you enemy the devil.  I can picture the Lord coming up behind Satan with a bloody nail pierced hand grabbing him by the back of the neck, and taking the keys of hell from him, and then dragging him back and forth in front of his subjects so they could see their ruler had been conquered.

God has made us alive in Christ.  We are no longer defeated, we are no longer slaves of sin, we no longer live under a death sentence, our past can longer hold us down, we no longer have to accept the lies of the enemy. In the name of Jesus is the power to do what is physically impossible to do.  It is the name of Jesus that brings about the miracle that allows us to "forget" what is behind us.

In my past I was a drunk, today I am born again! In my past I was a drug addict, today I have been baptized in the Name of Jesus! In the past I was a fornicator, today I am filled with the Holy Ghost! In the past I was lost, today I am found! My life was once rudderless, it had no meaning, no purpose, and no hope, and I was a slave to my flesh; today I am a child of God, I am heaven bound, my eyes are fixed on Jesus, I am anointed by the power of the Holy Ghost, I have purpose and a destiny, Jesus has deleted my past and given me hope. In the past I feared the devil, today in the Name of Jesus, the devil fears me!
Since your past is the period up to the point of speaking – Speak the name of Jesus, forget what is behind you and live, abundantly!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

One Step Away

Joshua 3:13

And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall step in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.

The children of Israel are standing on the edge of promise.  It had been 40 years since their parents had stood at this same place, with the same promise, and with the same choice: believe and receive, or doubt and die empty handed. Their elders had come to the brink of a breakthrough, but experienced a breakdown because they refused to believe in the power of God. Because of doubt that led to disobedience, they forfeited their destiny.

One of the greatest tragedies in life is discovering your destiny, your God ordained purpose, and then forfeit it because you refuse to believe the promise of God, allow doubt to destroy your faith, and miss out God’s purpose for your life because you refuse to obey His voice.

I’m not writing this morning to those who are still seeking to find God’s purpose, but to those who know they have a destiny over their lives. God told me to speak to some people this morning who know there is a reason and a purpose for their existence, some people who want everything God has planned for their lives, people who refuse to let go, and who haven’t given in, or given up. He told me to holler at those who have their mind made up, and whatever it costs, you’re going to get what God has promised you! He told me to tell you: It’s Time to Step In!

Every promise comes with a price. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

Jesus told the disciples to go and wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Holy Ghost, and then they would receive the power to become His witnesses. First obedience, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were with one accord in one place.,” then the promise, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts 2:1-4

There is no power to fulfill God’s plan without obedience first! Without obedience, we cannot receive the power of the Holy Ghost. Without the power of the Holy Ghost there is no victory, and there can be no deliverance from your wilderness.

To fulfill God’s purpose, there will be a mountain you’ll have to go around. There’s no deliverance without a fire. There was no crown without the cross, and there was no resurrection without the crucifixion. There can be no victory without a fight and no testimony without a test. There is something you’ll have to go through.

Before Joseph went to the Palace he went to the Pit and then he went to the Prison. Before the three Hebrew boys were promoted they went through the fiery furnace. And between the children of Israel and their promise there was a river called Jordan. Jordan means, descender or the one that takes you down, that’s what Jordan intends to do, to take you down, kill your dreams, and drown your faith. There is a Jordan for every one of us; an obstacle that stands between us and our promise. And the only way we can get through it, is by faith in Jesus Christ.

You can’t float over on feelings, you can’t swim over on past experiences, and you can’t build a bridge with second hand knowledge. Religion won’t get you through it. Mama and Daddy can’t get you through it, the Preacher can’t get you through it. The only thing that can conquer Jordan is a living faith in a living God, and His name is Jesus!

As Israel stood at the edge of a raging river, at flood stage, Joshua gave the Priest a strange order. He said start walking, step into the water, start moving in the direction of your promise!

You can’t go by what you’re seeing, what you’re hearing, what you’re feeling, or what other people are saying. You can’t receive the promise if you’re listening to what your mind is telling you, or the economy is saying; you must move because God says move! You can’t wait until you can see a break in the waves, you can’t wait until it makes sense, you can’t wait till it feels right, or until you see the waters open in front of you. When God says move, It’s Time to Step In!

Maybe the first time, God did it the easy way for you, but now you’ve got some time in with God, and now he is requiring more faith. It’s Time to Step In! God says it time to take the training wheels off, it’s time to get rid of the pacifier, and it’s time to get rid of the crutches! It’s time to step from sight to faith, it’s time to step from I hope so to I know so, it’s time to step from the milk to the meat, and this time you must get your feet wet – It’s Time to Step In!

I know it sounds crazy, I know it don’t make sense, the Jordan is at flood stage, and I know people are saying it won’t work, but I’m stepping in. I know that the circumstances are against me and the odds are against me, but it really doesn’t matter if God is for me, who can be against me?

You see, I’ve Got a Word and a Word is all I need! God said, “Move!” So, I’m going to move! When you’ve got a Word from God you can kill a giant with a stone, you can sleep like a baby in a den of lions, you can walk through a fiery furnace, you can praise God from a prison cell, and you can have your meal barrel full and your cruse of oil full in the middle of famine. All it takes is a Word!

Peter Had a Word: Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught. They had worked hard all night long and hadn’t caught a thing. Not a crappy, not a red breast, not even a minnow. But now they had a Word from the master, change what you’re doing, and do what I’m telling you.
How long are you going to keep doing what doesn’t work? How long are “you” going to keep trying to make something happen where you are at, before you turn it over to God and move? It’s Time to Step In!

Peter Says: Nevertheless, at Thy Word we will let down the net. And when Peter obeyed the word of the Lord he went into overflow. One word from God changed Peter’s circumstances and his very life. Why? Because when Jesus said move, Peter moved. It’s Time to Step In!

Peter went from nothing, to too much in one step. He went from emptiness to overflow, from broke, busted and disgusted, to blessed, happy and full in one step. Though weeping may endure for the night, joy cometh in the morning! It’s Time to Step In!

Let me prophesy to somebody who has the faith to reach out and grab it: Somebody is One step away from your miracle, one step away from your breakthrough. One step away from blessing. You’ve put in your time of struggle, and crying and praying and confessing, and waiting and watching. The Lord told me to tell you this morning: You’re one step away from what you’ve been believing for – It’s Time to Step In.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Though He Slay Me

Job 13:15
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”

The Book of Job is one of the oldest manuscripts in the Bible. In fact, experts agree, its writing predates the book of Exodus. Job tells the story about a man, who’s name bares the title of this book. It is the story about how Job had all the blessings in life a man could want, then lost everything, and in the end recovered everything that he had lost and then some. It is a great example for us of how to turn our setbacks into comebacks.

During Job’s setback, he had three friends who were trying to convince him how he must have committed some sin, or God wouldn’t have punished him by taking away everything that he had. One of Job’s friends, Zophar, urges him to repent because he thinks Job is a hypocrite. In Job11:11, Zophar tells Job that God knows deceitful men and that He also sees wickedness. It is clear to anyone who reads the story of Job, that his friends were way off base, Job was innocent. The tragedy, test, trial, or whatever label you want to place on it, was just a storm that God had allowed to touch Job’s life.

There are a lot of people who want to compare themselves to Job, but truth be told, they aren’t going through anything close to what Job endured. In the normal course of our lives we will all experience setbacks, storms that will shake us up, but most of us will never be tested to the degree that Job was. Bad things happen to good people, that is simply a fact of life, but we must realize what Job knew and had determined: no matter what I go through, I’m gone trust God! Before the storm even approaches, we must have a “made-up mind.” Job placed an unwavering trust in God during the most difficult setback of his life. He said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” – Job 13:15 KJV

Despite what the learned liberals in our government think, we must learn to cling to God; even when it seems like He is far off and there is no comfort or hope to be found. In the times when it seems as if there is no sun on our horizon, His light shines in our darkness. “God, who first ordered ‘light to shine in darkness’, has flooded our hearts with his light.” – 2 Corinthians 4:6 J.B. Phillips

Without a doubt, stressful situations place demands on us; not just physically, but mentally as well. Psychologists refer to these situations as “stressors”. When you’re “stressed out” you tend to feel lousy, and extended exposure to “stressors” can have long-term negative consequences. But it’s important to understand that stress is in many ways an adaptive reaction.

When you’re in a threatening situation, or when someone is placing demands on you, it’s important that your body become “activated” so you can respond to the threat in the best appropriate way. Stress is supposed to initiate a fight or flight response in you, it’s supposed to bring out the best in you. What Job was going through was preparing him to be able to go on the defensive and bring him out of his setback.

Too many people become exhausted and do not put up an effective resistance to the enemy’s attack because they are not prepared to fight. When faced with the stress of temptation we are to flee, our reaction should be flight, but when we are faced with the stress of an attack – we are supposed to fight! You’re not supposed to run away from what God is allowing you to go through. You’re supposed to be like Job and say, “Though He slay me yet will I trust him”

I think that the most significant experience that we gain from our setbacks are the lessons that we learn from them. So that being said, what are some of lessons that we can gain from our setbacks? One of the most important things that I have gleaned from my setbacks: I possess the ability to recover. Even when I get knocked down, if I get back up, my setback cannot destroy me or rob me of God’s purpose for my life. The enemy may get in my face and temporarily impair my ability to see God’s plan, but if I fix my eyes on Jesus, the hindrance is quickly removed.

“Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith.” – Hebrews 12:1,2 J.B. Phillips

Second, my setbacks have taught me that I have persistence: the ability to hold firmly and steadfastly to a purpose, state, or undertaking despite obstacles that are place in my way. I have learned that regardless of the circumstances that I am in, nothing can hinder God’s purpose for my life. The devil has no say, the doubters have no say, “if God be for me, who can be against me.”

“I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” – Philippians 4:12,13 The MSG

Finally, my setbacks have taught me that something is about to break. I ‘m not talking about a breakdown, or a breakup, but I am talking about a breakthrough! My setbacks have showed me to get ready to move, because when I have faith, when I have unwavering trust regardless of the circumstances that surround me: God is about to make a way, when there seems to be no way!

Job proclaimed that regardless what God would allow to happen to him, he would never lose faith. Job had suffered tremendous loss at God’s permissive will for the enemy to take anything and everything, except his life. Job lost the three things which are considered signs of a man’s well-being: He lost his wealth, he lost his children, and he lost his good health.

I find is somewhat absurd that we believe it was the will of God for Jesus to suffer and die on a cross, for the Aposlte Paul to suffer all he did, to be imprisoned, beaten, and eventually beheaded, all of the other Apostles to become martyrs except John who was boiled in oil and exiled; we accept all of this as God's will, but expect our lives to be perfect. Sorry brothers and sisters, it don't work that way. The Word clearly tells us that all who seek to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer.

I have learned something from everything that I have gone through: regardless of my setback, I’ve got to keep trusting God! No matter what the enemy tries to take, Lord, I’m going to trust you! No matter what I suffer right now, it‘s only temporary, I’m keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus! No matter what the doctor’s diagnosis is, I believe that you’re my healer, though you slay me, I will trust in you!

Statements like that that strikes dread into the heart of the enemy. Isaiah 54:17 say’s “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.”

No matter what stuff the enemy tries to form or fashion against you; it won’t advance, it won’t succeed or make progress if you trust in the name of Jesus!