Building People. Spreading Hope.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Power of Our Belief

We all have a set of belief. Our belief system is either empowering or limiting our ability. Most of the time what seems impossible is only a barrier in our belief system.

What we believe can make us or break us. We can excel in life when we think, talk and believe like God. On the contrary, when we dwell in self-limiting, self-defeating, destructive thoughts, we are crippling our own future.

When my second daughter Sabrina was eight-years-old she began to complain how hard it was to finish one page of math. Normally she was very focused in school. I put her on my lap and asked her to repeat after me, “Math is easy and it is fun.” Immediately she protested, “But it is not!” After a little persuasion, she repeated, “I love math. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Long story short, she was able to finish math (90 problems) in record 13 minutes! Why am I telling you this story? My daughter’s belief changed as I helped her replace her negative belief with a positive one.

Often, we are victims of our own belief system. We are born with neutral belief. But experience, adults and our circumstances teach us to develop a set of belief that is sometimes harmful to us. We learn to believe, “We’re not attractive; we have no talent.” We believe, “I will not amount to anything. I will never be rich.” I heard that 80% of the people in our prison system were told that they will “end up in prison!” When we believe that we will be sick for the rest of our lives, it will affect our healing. When we believe that we cannot break free from addictions, we will not be overcomers. When we believe that we will remain single the rest of our lives, it will produce its result. The Bible says that our belief determines not only our mortal life but also eternal!

My kids love cats. When the kittens were very small I had installed screens on the kitchen door that leads to our backyard. We did not want the kittens to get out into the yard. They love sitting by the screen door and watch for birds and wasps. My kids say that door is their TV. Interestingly, even though the kittens are almost full grown now and only the flimsy screen door stand in their way, they have never tried to tear it down with their sharp nails and go out into the backyard. You can say that their self-limiting belief has kept them indoors. How often we too are restricted by our invisible walls or constraining belief system! We think, “I cannot close the big sale.” We believe, “I will not rise higher than the position I’m in now.” We think, “Working and retiring is all there is to life.” Friend, I’m telling you, there is much, much more!

For years people believed that it is impossible for a human being to run a mile in less than four minutes. Then in 1954, Roger Banister proved it wrong. Within one year, thirty seven athletes broke the belief barrier. The next year after that, three hundred runners broke the self-imposing belief. What happened? One man dared to break the barrier and hundreds followed.

Friend, what are your self-imposing beliefs? You may be the first in your family, but if you dare to break the self-limiting barriers, generations after you will follow. Replace “I can’t” thoughts with “I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.” If you are feeling sick in your body, say, “By the stripes of Jesus, I am healed.” If you are facing a legal battle, pray, “Thank you Lord for delivering me. Your favor surrounds me like a shield for a lifetime.” Jesus said to the blind men, “Because of your faith, it will happen” (Matthew 9:29). Then their eyes were opened! Today I am praying that your eyes will be opened to see and do all the things God has in store for you. You will live and not die and proclaim the works of the Lord. You will find love, happiness and fulfillment again. You will conceive and bare children. You will own your dream home. You will write that book. You will go on the missions trip and help the cause of world missions. Your church and business will flourish and you will become a powerful influence in your community. I believe and declare that you will go on to live every dream God has placed in your heart. Friend, I am not just saying feel-good words, I am prophesying over you. If you believe, it will come to pass. Reconsider your belief system. You will become what you believe!

“For as he thinks within himself, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7 NAS).

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Strength for the Day of Adversity

There are times when we all go through hell on earth. It is human to be confused, cynical and doubtful. We feel unloved and distant from God. Our confidence runs low and our expectations shattered.

Unlike popular belief and religious inclination, God is not mad at you. Instead, He is madly in love with you. He knows our deepest, darkest thoughts. He has witnessed our every failure and heartache. Today, if you are in a spot of bother, I want to give you four A’s to help you out of your pit.

#1. You are accepted. That means God’s love reaches you no matter where you are. There is no VIP sinner that God cannot rescue. He accepts you just the way you are but He loves you too much to leave you the way you are. Nothing we do can earn God’s favor. We just have to embrace God’s grace. You are accepted – just the way you are!

#2. You are approved. Sometimes we try too hard to impress God. It is in our nature to try to “earn” our salvation. But like the credit card companies, Jesus has already pre-qualified us. It should be our utmost concern wanting to please God with our lives. However, some people have what I call “approval addiction.” Today, I’m telling you that you don’t need to strive anymore. As a child of God, you belong to the family. There’s nothing wrong with you. You are approved by the Almighty God. You don’t have to impress people nor compare yourself with anyone else. Just like Jesus, God is saying to you, “This is my son/daughter, whom I love; with him/her I am well pleased!” You are approved by the Creator of the universe.

#3. You are anointed. This means God has given you special favor and power to go through a hard thing in an easy way. When you are anointed you can do amazing feat! This is what happened to Samson. God had anointed Him to deliver the Israelites. Once, he was in a precarious position with his enemies. A thousand Philistines had ambushed to kill him. But the Spirit of Lord came upon Samson. He found a jawbone of a donkey lying on the ground and with it, he killed a thousand Philistines! Friend, the Spirit of the Lord is with you. You too are anointed to handle a tough situation.

Today, you may be a single mom and the odds are against you. Let me remind you - you're anointed to raise that angel God has given you. If the job hasn't come through yet; it will. God has anointed you to endure this period of dry season. If your business is struggling, God has anointed you to persevere. Your business will thrive again. If your loved one is acting up, you must know - God is drawing him closer even now. If you are struggling in your marriage, the anointing will rekindle your love again. If you are buried in a mountain of debt, do what you can and God's anointing will decimate the rest! If you are battling an addiction, do not let people label you - a drug-addict or an alcoholic. No. You are a child of the Most High! See and declare yourself as one. The anointing will break every yoke (bondage).

#4. You are appointed. We are appointed to worship God. In the midnight hour, Paul and Silas were in prison. But they began to pray and sing praises to God. It was so powerful that it created an earthquake and it led Paul and Silas to be free again. I tell you, when you praise God in your midnight hour, miracles will take place. As long as we stay focused on our own misery, we will never rise to the level of victory God intended for us to have. Another great way to get out of our troubles is to help someone else. We’re appointed to help others (Acts 1:8). When we reach out to push people up we elevate our own position. Let us do what we can to help others win. Friend, God is not only with you, He is FOR YOU! Remember, you are accepted. You are approved. You are anointed and you are appointed.

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!” (2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP).

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

God Will Make it Up to You

I have just returned from a missions trip to the Killing fields of Cambodia, Communist Laos and the Land of Smiles – Thailand. This was one of the most heart-wrenching trips I have ever made. Thank you for your prayers. I cannot wait to share more with you.
In spite of the great work God is doing to change people’s lives over there, I was very touched by the suffering and injustice people have endured for decades. I told them how nothing goes unnoticed by our just God. He will turn around their fortunes and they will see better days again.

While our problems in the West are different compared to the people I just met, God is very aware and extremely concerned about the problems you are facing. God is always attentive to the cry of His people. Big or small, like a good father, God cannot see you suffer pain, loss, betrayal, lack, injustice, sickness, and sorrow. Nothing may have worked out quite the way you expected. Most things usually don’t. But sometimes what happens in the process is the good stuff!
This is what happened to the children of Israel. Due to their own folly and stubbornness of heart God allowed them to be carried away captives into Egypt. There they were in hard bondage, under their hard taskmasters. Today, whether it is your own mistake or the injustice of others, your life may be in disarray. The Good News is God cannot stand to see you suffer. He will bend over backwards to lift you out of your miry pit if you just cry out to God. That is what the Israelites did. “The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey(Exodus 3:7-8). We all know the rest of the story. God brought them out of misery and blessed them profusely. Today Egypt and all its glory are forgotten but Israel is one of the most powerful nations in the world. God will pay you back!
Alec Baldwin gained early recognition for his role in the Hunt of Red October and other movies that made him famous. However, his reputation was tarnished when a voicemail for his estranged daughter went public. In it, he called her a “rude, thoughtless little pig.” Later he regretted his words and apologized. If you are a parent, you know we all have said and done things that we are not proud of. But there are times in life when s**t happens. But here’s the key. If we stay humble, do our best and keep our hearts clean before God, He will make it up to us. Baldwin went on win Emmy Awards after his career took a remarkable turnaround. Corrie ten Boom, who suffered immensely in the hand of the Nazis, said this after her ordeal was over. “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”

Friend, no matter what situation you’re facing, always remember - God never ends in a negative. He will make it up to you. God will wipe away your tears. Your business will bounce back. He will heal your sick body and bring your wayward child home. He will bring love back into your life. The debt will be eliminated and you’ll move from barely-get-by-ville to the land of more than enough. He will make up for every injustice. He will make your name great. Today I want to encourage you. Don’t blame others. Don’t even blame yourself. Don’t seek to pay people back. Watch your attitude for they become your actions. Watch your actions, for they become your habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And most of all, watch your character, for they become your destiny. Life may not be fair but God is. He will make it up to you. I love you and I’m praying for you!
"In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry” (Jonah 2:2 NIV).

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