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Truth Is Jesus

Truth Is Jesus

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV) The enemy’s great lie is that we must remain separate from the Father. Satan may use a false form of guilt to trick us into thinking we’re unworthy to be God’s child, or he may convince us that we have to act independent of God. His use of smoke and mirrors splits us off from the reality of our connectedness to Jesus, leading us to think and choose as though we actually are disconnected from Christ — and from each other. Jesus is able to set us free from the lies of the enemy, but this means we must believe God’s Word, Jesus, the Truth himself. We must remember always that the Truth is a person, and so our relationship to the truth is just that—a relationship with God’s own Truth, the only begotten Son, the author and perfector of our faith. Pray — “Jesus, I accept that the truth is not based on my ability to understand your plans or all of who you are; the truth is not dependent on my thoughts and opinions. What you say is the truth; what you think is the truth; what you do is the truth. You are the Truth and you are calling me to live connected to the truth and to think and act according to that relationship. Help me to trust you, the Truth, and to abandon any lies that keep me independent of you, so I can follow you into this Decade of Destiny. All glory and praise to you, forever and ever,...

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Jesus Teaches Us: Get Alone and Pray

Jesus Teaches Us: Get Alone and Pray

“I will climb up into my watchtower…” Habakkuk 2:1 (NLT) If we want to fulfill God’s vision for our lives, we must continually hear from God. We must believe that hearing from God daily is a requirement for us as we move forward toward our destiny. It is not just a nice add-on to our lives; it is a necessity for fulfilling our destiny. The Prophet Habakkuk says, “I will climb into my watchtower ….” This is his way of saying; ‘I’m going to get alone with God.’ It doesn’t matter where you get alone with God. You just need to find a place. I happen to like outside. When my kids were growing up, I actually built a little Prayer Garden down on the slope behind my house where I could get away and pray and focus on God. You need to have a place that’s quiet, a place where you habitually go every time you meet with God. Make it special and specific. The Bible says, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16 NIV) This was a habit with Jesus and it needs to become a habit in your life. What I’m teaching you is not something you are going to do one time. It’s something you need to do every day the rest of your life. If you want to get God’s vision for your life and hear God’s voice, you need to meet with him daily. This means you take the phone off the hook and you remove as many distractions as possible. Jesus says, “Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” (Matthew 6:6 Msg) Here’s the thing – You are not waiting on God, he’s waiting on you. God wants to meet with you.  He wants you to know him as well as he knows you.  If you don’t understand this, you are rarely going to go to God for guidance. There is nothing in your life that God is not interested in: “Don’t worry about what you will eat … or drink … or wear. Your heavenly Father knows that you need (these things).” (Matthew...

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Wait Expectantly for God to Answer

Wait Expectantly for God to Answer

“…I will station myself…” Habakkuk 2:1 (NIV)   If you want to get God’s vision for you life, you must want to hear it, you must withdraw to hear it, and then you must wait to hear it. To get God’s dream for my life, for my career, for my family, for my relationships, I’ve got to withdraw and then wait to hear from God. The New International Version says, “…I will station myself…” (NIV) What does it mean to station yourself before God? It means stay put. It means, ‘I’m not moving.’ It means, ‘I’m going to be still.’ ‘I’m going to sit here and I am not going to move until I hear from you, God.’ Hurry is the death of prayer. The reason you never hear God speak to you may be because you don’t wait long enough, and God won’t speak to you as you run out the door. He wants you to care enough to listen. Most of the time we’re running so revved up, we can’t get slowed down enough to tune into God.  So, how do you slow down? You calm your mind by relaxing your body. You take deep breaths and you relax your muscles and let the tension drain out. The Bible says David sat before the Lord. Some people think you have to kneel in prayer and that is one of many appropriate ways to pray, but it’s not the most common way of praying in the Bible. The most common form of praying in the Bible is standing with your eyes wide open looking up to heaven and talking out loud to God. You don’t have to have a speech. You don’t have to be poetic. You don’t even have to speak in complete sentences. Just talk to God like you’d would normally talk, but then, like any conversation, stop talking and listen – wait to hear from God. David says there are three things to do as you wait – Wait quietly — “I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” (Psalm 62:5 NLT) Wait patiently — “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7 NLT) Wait expectantly — “I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised.” (Psalm 105:5 LB) And this is so important: you must expect to hear from God. Expect for him to give you a dream, an insight; this is the faith factor where you wait expectantly. Waiting on God is never a waste of time. In fact, it’s some of the best time you are ever going to invest in your...

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Watch For What God Says

Watch For What God Says

“I will look to see what he will say to me ….” Habakkuk 2:1c (NIV)   God’s voice is often visual. If we want to hear from God, we must learn to listen with our eyes. God will often answer your prayers by giving you a mental picture. This is what it means to have a vision. In fact, the Bible has hundreds and hundreds of examples of God putting a picture or an image in the mind of a person. Sometimes it’s called a vision; sometimes it’s called a dream. Isaiah has it. Jeremiah has it. Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum — they all get God’s vision. Psalm 73 says, “When I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture.” (Psalm 73:16-17 Msg) If you want short-term change, focus on behavior. But, if you want long-term change, then you must focus on a whole new mental paradigm, a whole new picture, a whole new way of seeing yourself, seeing life, seeing God, seeing your future, seeing your problem. That’s what Decade of Destiny is all about, seeing your money differently, seeing food differently, seeing your family differently, seeing your career differently, and when that happens, change will take place. So how do get the vision from God? Ask God a question. “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him.… But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you…” (James 1:5-6 LB) And be specific about what you ask God.   Look into God’s Word. After you ask God a question, read the Bible again. And pray this prayer: “Open my eyes, so that I may see the wonderful truths in your Word.” (Psalm 119:18...

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Start the Spiritual Habit of Journaling

Start the Spiritual Habit of Journaling

“The Lord gave me this answer, ‘Write down clearly…what I reveal to you…’” Habakkuk 2:2 (TEV) Let’s review.  If I want to hear God speak to me, the first thing I do is I want it. I say, ‘God, I want you to speak to me. Hearing from you is not just nice, it is a necessity!’ And then I withdraw and get alone and get quiet: “Be still and know that I am God.” And then I wait quietly, patiently, and expectantly on God. I ask a specific question, I look into his Word and then when I see God’s answer, I write it down. Habakkuk said, “The Lord gave me this answer, ‘Write down clearly…what I reveal to you…’” (Habakkuk 2:2 TEV) Writing down what God reveals to us is the spiritual habit of journaling. This is not the same as keeping a diary. A diary is, ‘Dear diary, this is what I did today.’ A journal is, ‘This is what I learned today.’ So it’s not about what you did, it’s about what you are learning, what you are praying, and what God is saying to you. David took the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and he meditated on them day and night. He wrote his prayers down and that is how we got the Psalms. And, as you read the Psalms, you’ll see that David includes just about every emotion known to the human race: envy, jealousy, lust, greed. Why? Because he’s honest.  He’s not writing what he thinks he should write; he’s writing what he honestly feels. We should be honest, too, when we talk to God about our problems. Here are some suggestions for journaling — Requests and Answers — On each page, make two columns. In one column write down what you say to God: ‘God, I need this. I’m worried about that,’ and so forth. In the second column, write down the answers that God gives you.   ‘What I learned today’ — Another way to do it is to take a page and write, ‘Here is what I learned yesterday about life or about God.’ This will help you focus your thoughts and help you remember what God...

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Thank God When He Answers Your Prayers

Thank God When He Answers Your Prayers

“O Lord, now I have heard your report, and I worship you in awe…” Habakkuk 3:2 (LB) For the past few days, we’ve been looking at how to hear from God when we pray. One final point that is critically important is this: If you want to hear God speak, then worship God. In other words, thank him for being a part of your life and for being interested in the details of your life. Thank him for answering your prayers: “O Lord, now I have heard your report, and I worship you in awe…” (Habakkuk 3:2 LB) God gives you a vision. God gives you a dream. You know what God wants you to do, so now you thank God for answering your prayer. That’s part of worshiping God. What I want you to do is to stop seeing your prayers as a monologue and start seeing them for what they truly are: a dialogue. Prayer is a conversation with God. God hears you when you pray and he answers you when you ask questions. He wants to talk to you every day. If you will faithfully talk to God every day throughout the day, it will revolutionize your life. Now you can’t hear God until you know God and there are three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship. You may be at the recognition level; you know God is there, but you don’t really know him. Or, you may be at the acquaintance level: you know God a little bit, but you don’t know him very well. God wants you to live at the friendship level. He wants to be your friend and he wants you to be his friend. God wants for you to talk together all the time. Pray this: “Dear God, I’m amazed that you would want me for a friend. I really want to learn to have conversations with you. Help me to spend time with you everyday. Thank you that you care about every detail of my life. Jesus, I want to know you more and more every day and I want to depend on you for guidance in my job, my family, my future and in every other area of my life. I invite you to be the manager of my life, my Lord and Savior as I follow you and trust you. In your name I pray,...

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Nurturing Quiet as You Pray

Nurturing Quiet as You Pray

My heart is not proud . . . I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother. . . . O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore. Psalm 131:1–3 (NIV) Psalm 131 teaches us to — Keep our hearts humble. A humble heart means we know our position in Christ, and so we stop being responsible for the things of which we were never responsible. This frees us to live like God intended and allows us to make uncluttered choices that will move us closer to God.   Show the maturity of a weaned child. We quietly center ourselves on God, peacefully, without agitation and anxiety, and trust God is actively supporting us. We trust God even when the answer to our prayers seems a long way off. It’s the nursing child who demands attention now, but the weaned child trusts and is content to wait. Hope in the Lord with confident expectation. God’s Word says God will answer our prayers; he will respond to our needs; he will pave the path before us now and forever (Psalm...

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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. – Proverbs 9:10 What if wisdom were not a body of facts but a relationship? As children of the Enlightenment, we tend to want enough data in order to make a logical decision, but according to Scripture, wisdom has a foundation in the fear of the Lord. This kind of fear is different than what we often think of. This fear is a reverence and awe for God that fills us so much that it dictates every decision that we make. When we base our understanding of the world around us upon God’s nature and character in Scripture, we enter into true...

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Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:8-11 When God finished creating the world, He rested. And He set aside a way of resting for all of His creation to observe from that day forward. God did not rest because He was tired; He rested to show that everything was complete and perfect in Him. Nothing else was needed. It was finished. When we keep God first in our life we stop living like we are gods, as if everything depends upon us. We show that God is in control of all that He created-including us! If we live in the reality that God is the only true God, we do not have to live frantic, frenzied lives. Because God is great and powerful, we can rest. And now, the amazing truth is, we can live a life of Sabbath rest because of Jesus’ completed work on the cross. There is nothing left to do…it is...

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Your Weakness: God’s Power Made Perfect

Your Weakness: God’s Power Made Perfect

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)   Hi! I got your note saying you don’t think you can do what God is telling you to do during this next decade. You may be surprised to hear me say this, but I agree! If God called you to do it, then you shouldn’t be able to do it without him. In fact, if you could do it without him, then it’s really not a God-thing. I know you feel that God is asking you to do something that works against your strengths. But God has called you and that means his strength is working through you and that will make you sufficient for the task. God’s Word says your weaknesses, doubts, and insecurities are no surprise to God. You may try to hide them from others, but you can’t hide them from the one who created you. The truth is, God created you with weaknesses. And, since he’s God, he couldn’t have made a mistake. Is it possible he created you with weaknesses in order to keep you on your knees before him? With you dependent upon him, you’re able to do all things through him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13–14). This also means God won’t let you use weaknesses as an excuse for not doing what he’s asking you to do. If God is calling you to a monumental task, then he’ll give you everything you need to complete the task, starting with the Holy Spirit working within you. My friend, God didn’t call other people to this task! He called you and in his strength you can do it. The God-who-loves-you is with you for every step you take as you follow Jesus toward your...

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Something Out of Nothing

Something Out of Nothing

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE “The earth was formless and empty…and God said, Let there be light” (Genesis 1:2–3, NIV) TODAY’S WORD Do you need a miracle in your life for something that seems impossible? With man it may be, but we serve the all-powerful God, and He can create something out of nothing! He can make a way when there seems to be no way and open doors that seemed closed forever! Genesis tells us that in the beginning, God created the heavens and earth, but before He spoke the world into existence, it was formless and void. If God can make the world out of nothing, He can take the empty places in your life and create something beautiful, too! He can speak light into your darkest hour. He can take your formless dreams and give them shape. He can resurrect your dormant gifts and talents! He can make your crooked places straight! Remember, you are created in the image of almighty God. There’s power in your words, and there’s power when you’re in agreement with Him. Start saying what God says about your situation. Speak life to your broken dreams today. Speak hope into the hopeless places. Keep an attitude of faith and expectancy because He will turn things around for you and create something out of nothing! A PRAYER FOR TODAY Father in heaven, I trust that You are willing and able to make a way for me where there seems to be no way in my life. Fill me with Your peace and faith. Give me a vision for all You have for me and help me to always speak Your words of truth and life. In Jesus’ Name....

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Be An Answer To Jesus’ Prayer

Be An Answer To Jesus’ Prayer

Many times I have said to friends and viewers of LIFE Today, “If you want your prayers answered, seek to be an answer to someone else’s prayer!” As Betty and I have supported other missions and ministry endeavors all over the world, we have seen the things we were able to do or provide come as a direct answer to someone’s prayer, not just a need met. When we give attention to the concerns of our Father and hear the heart’s cry of others, there is no question that God grants us light in our darkest moments and we become a fruitful garden, truly an ever-flowing stream. Recently I have found myself overwhelmed by a deep yearning to be an answer to Jesus’ prayer. For centuries, dedicated believers and the general public have repeated the words of the model prayer Jesus gave the disciples in Matthew 6. Every phrase has become increasingly precious to me, especially, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” which is preceded by the necessary manifest power of His kingdom coming – not a future reward, but the present prevailing reality of His majestic power. Living with an awareness of God’s kingdom now increases our sensitivity to everything in the spiritual realm. God is ever-present in transforming power which can and should be revealed through our yielded lives. Meditate on this truth! My personal focus now and for the rest of my life is to see Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17 fulfilled in our day. Our Lord expressed excitement to His Father about the glory that had been revealed through Him to His followers now being revealed to the world through them. Very specifically, He addresses something we have everything to do with if the prayer is to be answered. He desires that we each become one with the Father as He (Jesus) is. We are to capture the heart of the Father because we have been totally captivated by His heart. His will becomes our will, His concerns our concerns, and His focus our focus. As we submit to Him “presenting ourselves as living sacrifices, we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds to know what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”1 Jesus prayed for us to be protected from the evil one and to become holy, consecrated by the truth of His word. Paul referred to this process as being “washed with the water of the word.”  Jesus taught that abiding in Him enables us to know the truth that sets us free. It is critically important – absolutely necessary – for us to come into this oneness...

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The Sufferings of His Broken Heart

The Sufferings of His Broken Heart

Go with me for a moment to witness what was perhaps the foggiest night in history. The scene is very simple; you’ll recognize it quickly. A grove of twisted olive trees. Ground cluttered with large rocks. A low stone fence. A dark, dark night. Now, look into the picture. Look closely through the shadowy foliage. See that person? See that solitary figure? What’s he doing? Flat on the ground. Face stained with dirt and tears. Fists pounding the hard earth. Eyes wide with a stupor of fear. Hair matted with salty sweat. Is that blood on his forehead? That’s Jesus. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Maybe you’ve seen the classic portrait of Christ in the garden. Kneeling beside a big rock. Snow-white robe. Hands peacefully folded in prayer. A look of serenity on his face. Halo over his head. A spotlight from heaven illuminating his golden-brown hair. Now, I’m no artist, but I can tell you one thing. The man who painted that picture didn’t use the gospel of Mark as a pattern. Look what Mark wrote about that painful night, he used phrases like these: “Horror and dismay came over him.” “My heart is ready to breakwith grief.” “He went a little forward and threw himself on the ground.” Does this look like the picture of a saintly Jesus resting in the palm of God? Hardly. Mark used black paint to describe this scene. We see an agonizing, straining, and struggling Jesus. We see a “man of sorrows.” (Isaiah 53:3 NASB) We see a man struggling with fear, wrestling with commitments, and yearning for relief. We see Jesus in the fog of a broken heart. The writer of Hebrews would later pen, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.” (Hebrews 5:7 NIV) My, what a portrait! Jesus is in pain. Jesus is on the stage of fear. Jesus is cloaked, not in sainthood, but in humanity. The next time the fog finds you, you might do well to remember Jesus in the garden. The next time you think that no one understands, reread the fourteenth chapter of Mark. The next time your self-pity convinces you that no one cares, pay a visit to Gethsemane. And the next time you wonder if God really perceives the pain that prevails on this dusty planet, listen to him pleading among the twisted trees. The next time you are called to suffer, pay attention. It may be the closest you’ll ever get to God. Watch closely. It could very well be that the hand that extends itself to lead...

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He Sees

He Sees

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE “I will be glad and rejoice in Your unfailing love, for You have seen my troubles, and You care about the anguish of my soul” (Psalm 31:7, NLT) TODAY’S WORD God sees and cares about everything that happens in your life. He’s seen every wrong that’s been done to you. He’s seen every unfair situation. He told the people of Israel, “I have seen your affliction. I have seen how badly you were treated those 430 years that you were in slavery.” Then He went on to say, “I have come down to deliver you.” When God brought them out, they didn’t come out empty-handed. God made their enemies hand over their gold and silver. God vindicated His people, and He will vindicate you! Maybe someone has wronged you today. You could easily become bitter and angry and spend your life trying to pay them back. However, if you will give it to God and let Him do it His way, scripture says He’ll pay you double for your trouble! Today, know that He sees where you are, He sees where you’ve been and He sees the struggles of your heart. Release the struggle to Him and let Him reward you with His everlasting promises. A PRAYER FOR TODAY Father God, today I choose to release the struggles in my heart. I release the offenses and wrongs done to me. I choose forgiveness. I choose peace. I choose to let You be my vindicator knowing that You love me and care for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. Source: Joel & Victoria...

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Learn Trust by Obeying in Small Ways

Learn Trust by Obeying in Small Ways

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6 (NIV) You learn to trust God by obeying him in small ways. At this point in relationship with Jesus, you no doubt agree God is the supreme ruler of the universe, powerful enough to overcome any problem or defeat any enemy, that “everything comes from him; everything happens through him; everything ends up in him.” (Romans 11:36 MSG) And, if this is true, then your struggle to give it all to God is not over the issue of whether or not he’ll be able to fulfill his promises—he clearly can do that. Perhaps the resistance you and I exhibit when we’re faced with trust is because we wonder if God will do it the way we want it done—“Yes, I believe God can work this out, but I’m not sure he will do my way.” God patiently understands your hesitancy. He made the first move toward establishing a loving, trusting relationship with you. Think about this — He didn’t wait until you could be trusted to receive his love, and he doesn’t insist you become trustworthy before he trusts you with precious gifts (Romans 5:6–8). Even when we were still powerless, Jesus came to guide us home and to give us an exceedinlg, abaundant life on our journey there. “…When we were still powerless …” suggests we now have power to live that abundant life, to follow Jesus into our destiny – and we do! But it is the power of Jesus working in and through us, not a power we earned or developed on our own. When we obey God, even in small ways, “we find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” (Romans 5:2...

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Through the Fire

Through the Fire

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE “…We went through fire and flood, but You brought us to a place of abundance” (Psalm 66:12, NLT) TODAY’S WORD In scripture, three Hebrew teenagers, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were told to bow down to the king’s idol or they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. They said, “No, King. We’re not going to bow down. We know our God will deliver us.” Their attitude was, “We’re not worried about it. We know we have inside information. We know everything is going to be alright.” Notice they didn’t fight it. They weren’t upset. They weren’t complaining. They were at peace. They knew God Almighty had His hand upon them. The guards threw them into the fiery furnace, and when all was said and done, they came out without even the smell of smoke on them! Notice that God didn’t deliver them from the fire; He delivered them through the fire. Maybe you are going through the fire today. Know that God is with you. He’s doing a work in you, and He’s displaying His glory through you. Remember, on the other side of the fire is a place of abundance and blessing! Stand strong and see the fulfillment of the promises He has in store for you! A PRAYER FOR TODAY Father in heaven, thank You for delivering and saving me. I stand strong no matter what I may be facing, knowing that You are with me. Thank You for protecting me through the fire and for leading me to the place of abundance and blessing You have prepared for me. In Jesus’ Name....

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God Can, Even Though I Can’t

God Can, Even Though I Can’t

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5 (NIV) The only way you will fulfill God’s destiny for you this decade is to rely on God’s strength. And that means you have to confess ‘I can’t’ before you can agree ‘God can.’ Otherwise, we’ll just keep thinking there’s still some ability (competency, sufficiency) in us that will allow us – independent of God – to do the things he expects of us during this Decade of Destiny. We’ll continue to believe, wrongly, that we can do some things, perhaps all things, apart from God. We’ll keep applying the pretzel logic that we can make decisions disconnected from God that somehow keep us connected to God’s plans for us. And when we make choices disconnected and independent from God, there is little difference between the way we live our lives and the way non-believers live their lives. “But people who aren’t Christians can’t understand these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 NLT) You have the Holy Spirit inside you. You have the ability to understand when God is telling you to take steps toward his goals for your life. Ask him to teach you to hear his still small voice and to help you take the steps he tells you to take. Then, look for the ways he guides you through the decisions and details of your life. For the next few weeks, keep a list of all the times you sense God giving you direction. This will help you to see that he is at work in your life and that he has a constant interest in the details of your...

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He Answers You

He Answers You

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE “I will answer them before they even call to Me…” (Isaiah 65:24, NLT) TODAY’S WORD Have you ever thought about something you wanted or needed, and suddenly that need was supplied even before you had time to stop and pray? God knows your needs before you even speak them. He wants to provide for you and answer the very desires of your heart. Don’t ever think God is too busy to answer you. Don’t ever think your needs are too small or that you don’t matter. The truth is that He cares about everything that concerns you, and He loves to hear you call upon His name! When you put Him first in everything you do, when you faithfully follow His commands, He’ll pour out an extra portion of His goodness and favor upon you! Remember, you are very special to God, and He hears you and answers you. It may not be in your timing or in the way you expected, but know that He always has your best interest at heart. He is working things out for your good, and He will always answer — sometimes before you even call! A PRAYER FOR TODAY Father in heaven, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. I trust that You hear me and that You will answer me. Show me Your ways and teach me to trust in You as I surrender to You every area of life. In Jesus’ Name....

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God Is Stronger Than We Think

God Is Stronger Than We Think

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NIV) We’re not as strong as we think we are, but God is stronger than we think. You become strong through God’s strength. His strength enters your life, delivered by the Holy Spirit—Jesus within—and the more dependent you are on God, the stronger in him you become. In our weakness, he is strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). “I can do everything . . .” doesn’t mean, ‘Now that I’m a believer, I’m strong enough to do everything and anything for God.” Your own testimony can attest to the fears and failures related to such thinking. The strength of “I can do everything . . .” comes through God, who gives you the strength you need for each day. Your ability to “do everything” is wholly dependent upon him because your strength is dependent upon him. It’s not a strength you work up to by pumping iron with emotional or mental barbells. Strength comes from submission. The thing you do that may require the greatest strength is to submit yourself completely to God! But God is “working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13 NLT). Strength is linked to faith. You believe in faith that God is giving you his strength; and so, in faith you can act in confidence, knowing the strength is there: “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength” (2 Timothy 4:17...

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Don’t Be Distracted From Your Purpose

Don’t Be Distracted From Your Purpose

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22 (NIV) Living this decade for the glory of God will require a change in your priorities, your schedule, your relationships, and everything else. It will sometimes mean choosing a difficult path instead of the easy one. Steve Adams, our pastor to children at Saddleback Church, says when we are moving forward in the direction God tells us, “Action requires traction, but the enemy brings distraction.” In other words, we can’t just say we believe in God’s plan, or say we need to take some steps. God requires that we take real steps to move us forward. But the enemy, as Steve notes, rushes in with distractions designed to pull us away from God’s plan. We become like the man described by James in the Bible, who looks into a mirror, but then forgets what he looks like as he walks away. Distractions such as bad attitudes, excuses, procrastination, and busyness make us mere ‘listeners’ of the word when God calls us to be ‘doers.’ We face a choice with every step we take into this decade of destiny: Will we fulfill God’s purpose, or will we shrink back and live a comfortable, self-centered life? Will we live for our own goals, comfort, and pleasure, or will we live the rest of our lives for God’s glory, knowing that he has promised eternal...

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