All I have needed, Thy Hand hath provided...
I had to admit it, I was embarrassed. I'd overpacked for vacation with my mom once. I'd brought a tiny sewing kit and a tiny first-aid kit. Then there was all the snorkeling gear and jewelry. You'd think we were going on a global trek! However, a strange thing happened. My mom started asking for everything I'd packed but I never told her I had these things ready for our trip. Her eyes were dry. Boom! Here's some Visine. Button popped off. Yup! I can mend that. And, that's how God wants us to see Him: Having ALL we need. God wants us so confident in Him that it's a seamless exchange like Lucy and Ethel on the assembly line making chocolates! But, how can God's prophets increase their confidence when many are flat out exhausted?
To Increase Your Confidence, Rise Above the Mockers and "Do It Anyway"
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper," Psalm 1:1-3
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts," 2 Peter 3:3
For New Year's day, I only wanted one simple thing. Aside from all the yummy leftovers from the night before, first and foremost, I wanted to praise God and hear from Him. I fasted and prayed. I got on my knees and got prostrate. I read my Bible and I listened to every message about the New Year. And, I listened for God. But all I could hear was my downstairs neighbor laughing loudly.
I'd written about him several times. He's from Jamaica and practices some kind of witchcraft or occult practice. I know because he loudly tries to speak curses over us into the phone. But that devil is defeated. Anyway, he can't stand that I live above him and I say this humbly because we're to love our neighbors and I've never said a single word against him except to ask him to please turn down the bass on his stereo. So, here I am on New Year's day trying to hear from Father God and all I hear is laughing. In the back of my mind I'm thinking, "Surely, he doesn't think he's won, right?" But maybe he did. As a Child of God I can't come against him in the flesh so it LOOKS LIKE I'm not retaliating, right? This is a mistake the enemy makes as they see God's people on their knees. They think "weakness" when we know our posturing is from a position of strength. But what got to me about my neighbor was this digging feeling that this wasn't how I wanted to start my new year. And, this is something that's especially hard for preachers and prophets. You've got people that throw stones but you can't throw them back. Why? If you put your hands on it, God won't touch it. You end up blocking your blessings because of unforgiveness, (Mark 11:22-26) and the spirit of offense. However, Dr. Caroline Leaf and a few psychologists teach that to replace an old pain point, you need a new behavior.
As an example, every time you see a particular professor you remember the failing grade he gave you. Instead of bitterness, think about how you dug deeper and committed yourself to studying more. In another illustration, let's say you had a falling out with a friend who says they can't remember what they said wrong. Instead of feelings of bitterness and bringing it up again, resolve to forgive them and only see love, healing and forgiveness.
Put Aside All Malice
"Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ," 1 Peter 2:1-5
For me though, starting the New Year knowing my neighbor was laughing at me reminded me of why I wanted to get into ministry in the first place. I wanted to educate people that the devil doesn't win. We've already won and we won over 2,000 years ago. I looked at 2020 and realized that in all the tears I cried and all the testing, God grew my character. I wasn't retaliating at my enemy and laughing back, I was praying for him. I was asking God's mercy for him and rebuking his personality. But then I needed to take it a step further.
I stood in my living room quietly as I heard him laughing at me from downstairs and I said the following:
As I stood in my living room after my prayer, I had a new awareness and confidence to start the New Year. That prayer and those declarations were important. They reminded me that: I'm God's prophet AND God's voice wins. Those 7 words are so important and they're vital for you, too. Whether you're in church ministry, the prophetic or another calling, you have to practice speaking and standing on God's Word.
My neighbor represents a mocker or naysayer. Let them say what they want. It doesn't matter. Our role and what God is doing is increasing our character. We can't and shouldn't fight every battle. It's incorrect because we become weaker if we're constantly on the offense. I see it like this. Are you a chicken or an eagle? Chickens cluck all the time because they can't fly so that clucking or complaining and griping is all they can do. Eagles, on the other hand, soar. Be like the eagle and fly away. Don't waste your time mirroring or imitating chickens. The attacks they start are intentional. If you fly down or stoop to their level, then you fall prey to an attack. Think with that eagle mindset and rise above. What God speaks and what I speak through God and Jesus IS what comes to pass.
Why God Doesn't Always Remove Your Haters
"For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me," 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
In all the time my neighbor was coming against me with verbal attacks, I never questioned Father God. Why? The Lord said He was building my character. And, here's why this matters.
Many who are called into ministry have asked God for a lot. Maybe you want to preside over a large church. Or, you want to have healing ministries like Kathryn Kulman. You might also want to marry someone who is an ordained minister to ensure you're equally yoked. The problem is, it's wheat AND chaff until Jesus returns. That means God has to equip you how to handle adversity as you grow into your calling. Don't think for a second that when you open a new church it will be all saints flocking in to hear the Word. That's a false expectation and it's one of the reasons so many pastors are closing their doors. The devil is IN the church and there's all kinds of witchcraft coming against ministries. Hence, the training God gives prepares us for future attacks. And, it helps to keep us humble before God.
"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure," 2 Corinthians 12:7
When Paul asked God about removing the thorn from his side, God said no. God wants us humble before Him. If we're not humble, it's easier for false pride, haughtiness and ego to get in. What's more, if there's no adversity, then we can become full of self like the devil before he was cast out of heaven. This doesn't mean that God won't remove our enemies. However, it does mean that we must learn how to move through God despite the enemy.
Confidence in God with Your Bills
God requires more faith this year Lana's message or Bill Winston
Recently, over the New Year, we came across Pastor Keion Henderson's sermon entitled, God Makes Your Enemies Your Footsteps in the Year 2021. Be Strong. However, that's not what the Bible states. We wrote to them to make this correction unless it was something prophetic as a warning.
The Bible states that God makes our enemies our footstool and the devil is under our feet. To say that God makes our enemies our footsteps would suggest that everywhere we step the enemy will be there. What's concerning is that of the 14,000 views, there wasn't a correction on this. People kept responding in agreement to this. Hence, we must help other ministries with guarding God's Word especially when the devil so desperately wants a foothold. As God gives us wisdom and insight, we can gain a new understanding in how to serve Father God more.
Here's another one.
There's a mistake people make with the scripture about the foolish virgins.
The foolish virgins didn't have oil ready in their lamps, right? That's something we know from our Bible reading. However, the oil represents fasting, praying and reading your Bible. To go a step further, it's indicative of obedience to God, "Occupy until I come." We don't always put this piece of the puzzle together but Deuteronomy 28 and what Jesus said in the New Testament address this. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 teaches us the blessings God provides if we're obedient to Him, i.e. hearers and doers. Jesus mentions this when He says, "Don't just be hearers of the Word only."
We pray, Lord, forgive us for areas where we may not keep our lamps burning brightly for You. Help us to do better with fasting, praying and our Bible reading. We want to be obedient to You and prepare for Jesus's return, Amen.
Talk about more unselfish acts and praying to reduce violence
HS: Make one subtitle: Have Confidence in Me