Bloom Where You Are Planted
Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image…” From the very beginning, it was determined in the mind and heart of God that we were to be like Him.
This simply means that He is Creator and we are creation, but He made us to be like Him. James 3:9 states, “…men, which are made after the similitude of God.” Similitude means likeness in nature and in qualities.
He wanted us to have dominion and authority just like Him. he wanted us to have creative ability just like Him. He wanted us to think big just like Him.
Someone once said, “Man’s true capacities have never been accurately measured.” We often fail to recognize our true capacities because we have been trained to hold on to limiting concepts about ourselves. We should never underestimate what we are capable of accomplishing.
1. Our Greatest Waste is Unrealized Potential
Mediocrity means “ordinary”. God has not called us to live ordinary lives. He wants us to live extraordinary lives. This means “out of or beyond the common order”. (Supernatural lives)
Daniel 11:32 – “…but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”
2. We’re Not to Live Like Everyone Else
We’re to be different. When people look at us, it should be with envy(Genesis 26:24). We should be living such remarkable lives that others want to be like us. This begins when we start seeing ourselves the way God sees us. Nothing extraordinary will ever happen in our lives until we dare to believe that we are what God says we are and we can do what God says we can do. Become what you believe!
3. If we are ever to become what God wants us to be and if we are ever to live the way God wants us to live, and bloom where we are planted, then it will require these four things:
- Vision (or longevity)
- Desire (or attitude)
- Focus (or teamwork)
- Commitment (or decisiveness)
4. The Spirit of God said to me recently, “When you think small about yourself, you put restraints on Me”.
I can hear the Holy Spirit saying right now, “Set me free to do what I’ve always wanted to do in your life.”
Guarding Your Personal Life
“Character refers to the conspicuous traits and attributes of Jesus reflected in us that brings God’s approval.”
God is giving us strategy and strength to guard our personal lives. As we seek to guard and ground the people in our ministries, we are also needing to watch our own lives and keep them beyond reproach.
I sat in Governor Huckabee’s office (former governor of Arkansas) years ago and he told me how he had just finished writing a book on character. The book was called Character is the Issue. What God gives us through talent and anointing, we must keep through character.
A person ministers out of anointing, but lives out of his or her spirit. If we are not careful, we can all take on behavior that does not represent Christ or His kingdom.
Phase one of guarding your personal life is examining your life. You must take inventory of where you are and what you are allowing to come into your life. If you have an unexamined life, you will have moral weakness and unresolved issues! It does matter what we do…remember, the Devil rarely tries to take us down with the first indiscretion. The Devil is always setting you up for a bigger fall.
Phase two of guarding your personal life is don’t violate what you know to be the truth. If you think you can violate purity and still be invincible from the Enemy, you are sadly mistaken. A loss of favor in your life is ultimately the loss of character and restraint. “Without a revelation, we will be unrestrained.”
The Devil is relentless and we must face that with resolve. Satan’s most productive tactic against you is persistence. A productive life is not an accident and neither is a pure life. In Matthew 12, Jesus tells us where an evil spirit comes out of a man. It goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself and they go in and live there.
Not only do our lives have to be examined, but our hearts must be purified. God visits a pure heart.
Phase three is a three-fold precess by which we fall. Understand that a fall doesn’t just happen. The process starts with tiredness or spiritual boredom. You actually become bored or static in your relationship with God. Spiritual boredom leads to weariness which is an attitude of the mind and that leads to a lack of focus. Whatever we focus on, we move toward.
The Enemy wants to get your focus on lesser things or things that are limiting. He wants to limit and lessen you and cause you to devalue yourself and those around you. God has placed a tremendous value on you as a person. Don’t forget to accept that value and guard your life accordingly.
Faith Up Close
When You Want to Achieve Your Goals
1. Picture your desired future.
Abraham had a picture of many generations of children he wanted (Genesis 17).
Joseph had a dream of himself as a leader and he remembered it (Genesis 37).
Know God’s dream for your life. Get the Picture. Big. BIGGER. Fill up your mind, heart and life with it. Now make that vision consume your life…every conversation…every thought…everything around you.
2. Respect the Law of Agreement.
Satan fears relationship. He made no attempt to destroy Adam until Eve entered his life. Two are better than one.
God Celebrates Unity. He honors agreement regarding your miracle.
Be quick to recognize a God-sent prayer partner.
3. Discern God’s daily agenda.
Your agenda (schedule for today) should be decided in the presence of God. Your daily agenda will create miracles or tragedies depending on whether or not you are led by the spirit of God. HOURLY.
Obedience is an hourly event.
Your inner peace is a signal. Don’t make a phone call, an appointment or a decision unless you are at peace in your heart about it.
4. Look for a problem to solve.
Everything God has made is a solution to a problem.
Your worth and significance are determined by the kinds of problems you are solving for someone. If you want to earn $100.00 and hour, you must find a $100.00 an hour problem to solve.
Your significance is not in your similarity to others. It is your difference. Find your point of difference…and solve a problem with it. Prosperity is inevitable.
5. Target your Seed with expectation.
Seed-Faith is sowing what you have been given to create something you have been promised.
Elijah taught the Seed-Faith principle to the widow of Zarephath. She expected her “Seed” to be multiplied back to her. It happened.
Plant a Seed today into the work of God. Wrap your Faith around it and remember that the Seed that leaves your hand really never leaves your life. It goes into your future where it multiplies.
6. Never Give Up
Your dreams and goals are worth any fight, any waiting, any price. Don’t give up.
Your perseverance demoralizes your enemy. Don’t give up.
Patience is a weapon. Don’t give up.
God responds to a fighter. Satan fears a fighter. Every harvest in your life will require a battle.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18
“Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:18,19
“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” Proverbs 3:27
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10
“Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.” Psalm 144:1
Seizing the Moment Creates “Momentum”
Right now you are standing at the crossroads to your future. People (friends, family, and many others) are waiting for you to take your place. “Creation waits for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God”.
It’s time that we leave “good enough” and step into the “greater life”!
Are you ready?
Remember, there are going to be plenty of moments that are filled with opposition and resistance. Resurrection trumps resistance!
A caution to us all now: be careful how you handle God’s church. It’s his body so realize the love he has for His people.
1) Law of Momentum
II Kings 6:15-16, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha prays, “Oh, Lord, open his eyes so he may see” (verse 17 – referring to his servant).
He prays that he will already see what God has in place; heaven’s army surrounds the enemy that surrounds them.
2) The Word never returns void.
The Word of God is hurdling over obstacles, distractions, and opposition to get to you.
The prophetic perspective here is:
· Those who are with us are never those who are with them.
· Open our eyes so that we may see God and his destiny for us.
· God’s word does not return void; speak it!
3) Keep the fire burning
When your heart is ablaze for God, the flames of the world cannot touch you.
A burning heart torches the devil!
A life positioned in purity and consecration will be the place of foundation from where God releases a new moral revolution!
We set the standard: Isaiah 59:19-20
Our standard is righteousness.
Our behavior is holiness.
God’s Appointed Times
These are the set times of the Lord, the sacred occasions which you shall celebrate each at its appointed time” Leviticus 23:4.
I want to take this time to give you a simple overview of the Feasts of the Lord. Leviticus 23 and Exodus 23 are the chapters in the Tanakh that sum up everything. The Bible says that God blessed Abraham in all things. The seven annual feasts of the Lord are really God’s set times for His people.
The entire human race now exists between two of these feasts. Remember now, that sacrifice is the major feature of the feasts. Believers in Christ are not responsible to keep these feasts, but knowledge of them enhances and grows our faith. Our Lord kept every one of them without fail even celebrating Passover on His last earthly night.
Here is the order and the names of the feasts:
The Spring Feast
1. Passover (Pesach) – Leviticus 23:5
Passover is the Feast of Salvation. In both Testaments the blood of the lamb delivers from slavery – the Jew from Egypt and the Christian from sin.
2. Unleavened Bread – Leviticus 23:6
Leaven or yeast in the Bible symbolized sin or evil. Unleavened bread eaten over a period of time symbolized a holy walk as with the Lord.
Jesus is described as the Bread of Life. Look at the matzah and see that it is striped (by His stripes we are healed).
3. First Fruits – Leviticus 23:11
Following unleavened bread First Fruits represents bringing the early crops of the spring planting to the Lord. The modern church has come to call this feast Easter or Resurrection Sunday. I Corinthians 15:20-23 sheds some New Testament light on First Fruits.
4. Pentecost (Shavu’ot) – Leviticus 23:16
Most of you are familiar with the season of Pentecost and as it is represented in the New Testament as in the book of Acts. Pentecost is in late May or early June and it marked the summer harvest. It required an offering of two loaves of bread baked with leaven. These loaves symbolized the church being comprised of both Jew and Gentile.
The Hebrew word Sheva means “7” and shavu’ah means week so Shavu’ot means weeks. Exactly seven weeks after the first harvest is the celebration of Shavu’ot. Pentecost comes on the 50th day after Passover or in our case the crucifixion.
The first four spring feasts reveal that Yeshua was crucified on Passover, buried on unleavened Bread, raised on the First Fruits, and sent the Holy Spirit on Shavu’ot.
5. Trumpets – Leviticus 25:8-10
God seems to enjoy the trumpet. It obviously is His favorite instrument! He used it when Joshua conquered Jericho. God used the trumpets to proclaim liberty throughout all the land and for all its inhabitants. That quotation appears on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia assuring us that America was founded on the Word of God.
The Feasts of Trumpets occurs in September. The jump from the Feasts of Pentecost to the Feasts of Trumpets seems to represent the Church Age since the trumpet absolutely represents the rapture of the church.
The Trumpet was the signal for the field workers to come into the temple. The high priest blew the trumpet so that the faithful would stop harvesting to worship.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. The head of the year marks the beginning of a 10 day period of prayer and repentance which finishes on the fast day of Yom Kippur. These 10 days are called the 10 Days of Awe.
The blast of the shofar is meant to jolt us from our sleep remembering that the Lord is our King.
6. Atonement (Yom Kippur) – Leviticus 23:27
Provides a day of confession and is the highest of Holy Days. The Day of Atonement was the only time when the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies and call upon the name of God to offer blood sacrifices for the sins of the people.
One of the rolls of our Mashiach Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is that He offers true atonement for our sins by offering his own blood on the cross (Hebrews 3:1-2).
The importance of blood sacrifice cannot be overstated in the scriptures since it constitutes the fundamental means of atonement. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.
This one feast is not fulfilled by the church. The Atonement is accomplished only in the blood of Christ.
7. Tabernacles (Sukkot) – Leviticus 23:34
God wanted to celebrate the fact that He provided shelter for the Israelites in the wilderness. Each year on Tabernacles Jews would build “booths” (sukkot) outside their houses and worshiped in them.
Sukkot is observed in the fall. This is symbolic of Israel’s 40 year sojourn in the desert. After they got to the Promised Land, it became known as the Festival of Ingathering of the harvest at the end of the year.
Certain customs were incorporated into the Sukkot such as special “wave” ceremonies circling the synagogue in a processional while singing hymns and reciting blessings. Sukkot marks the end of the agricultural year.
Since it follows the Days of Awe and Repentance, sukkot represents the time of restored fellowship with the Lord. During this time we remember His sheltering provision and His constant care for us, and even the sustenance that He provides for us. Deuteronomy 16:13-15 tells us how to keep the Feast of Sukkot.
The next time someone mentions the Seven Feasts of Israel recognize that they are talking about the seven feasts of all time.
Be Kind and They Will Come
There is something beautifully exciting about doing good. As all of you know the Friday before Easter is called Good Friday. There are many reasons why it is called Good Friday and the greatest good came to all of us because Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross.
As I think about being kind and being good to others, it releases this energy inside of me to be even better at ministering to others. The two fruit of the spirit that go together are kindness and goodness. Kindness means goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others and benevolent. The Word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those who are taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit removed abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control.
So you might say goodness and kindness are really good!
A few days ago I read an article on the Millennials and it said that they are demanding capitalism with a conscience, and some of America’s biggest brands are delivering. Nordstrom recently opened a test store where all profits go to charity. Some Panera restaurant locations allows down-and-out folks to pay only what they can afford. This isn’t capitalism gone wacko, it’s capitalism with a conscience.
One particular audience that is watching is the Millennials. This group is made up of 95 million Americans born from 1982 to 2004. They live and breathe social media. With nearly 1/3 of the population driving this trend, kindness is becoming the nations newest currency. In a very transparent world where information moves from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, everything is out in the open.
The greatest aspect of this for the church is that each one of us “Can do good all by ourselves.” We don’t need a committee to actually put this together and we certainly don’t need a vote bu the board to determine whether or not we are going to do good and be kind. I believe our riches and resources are in our relationships.
So if we can learn how to be kind and not curt, we can see many people influenced for the kingdom of God.
The world is full of selfish, stingy, greedy people, bu God wants us to be generous. II Corinthians 9:7 tells us that “God loves a cheerful giver.” Every one of us should think of giving and showing kindness not as a duty, but as a privilege. The Bible says that “we overcome evil with good.” If we could learn to make a hobit of being generous and good, we would see our lives filled with joy and peace.
Some of the things we can give are:
- Give help
- Give Encouragement
- Give compliments
- Give money
- Give yourself
- Give time
- Give forgiveness
Giving makes the devil mad. He wants us to be selfish, stingy and greedy. Robert Morris in The Blessed Life says that we are going to be motivated by either greed, need, or by seed.
I have given you the practical side of kindness and goodness, but on the theological side where revelation comes to us about how to live this out, we see in the Scripture that glory and goodness are bound together. Moses discovered the presence of God to be brilliant.While in His presence God said to Moses, “I will put you in the cleft of the rock so that my goodness will pass before you.” The Old Covenant was a visitational culture and the New Covenant is a habitation culture. And what we find about the gospel is that it is so incredible and so amazing and so brilliant that it literally blows our mind. Moses hid his face in public, but he opened it up in the presence of God.
From David’s encounters, he knew that goodness would follow him all the days of his life. The wonderful thing about the goodness of God is that it causes us to rise about all negativity. As a matter of fact, the goodness of God leads people to repentance (Romans 2:4). When we choose to do good, God’s goodness will empower us to do more. It will totally change our personality.
David said in Psalm 27:13, “I would have lost heart had I not believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
We goodness is following you, favor will find you.
Jesus went about doing good, healing all who were oppressed. As we begin to live out that kind of life, the fruit of the Spirit begins to flourish in our lives. So learn to be profuse in God’s generosity. The enemy wants to wear you out; he wants to distract you so you miss this teaching. He wants to keep you out of the fruit. I was talking to Dr. Phil Brassfield on day and we were talking about the Apple Store. Dr. Phil referred to my visit to the Apple Store to get a new iPhone as the “fruit of the connection.”
The fruit of the connection is really doing good to others. I really believe that the Bible teaches us that we cannot separate goodness from glory. We fall short of glory when we fail to practice goodness. The Scriptures tell us to, “Love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who spitefully use us.” We never suspend the power to do good and even now, you may be getting it wrong, but eventually, you will get it right because of His goodness.
So in our churches and in our ministries, if we will be kind and be good, the people will come. When Moses prayed for God to show him His glory, he was really praying that God would revel Himself and show Moses His goodness. The goodness and the kindness of God are displayed in brilliance in the lives of those who trust God with all their heart.