Enjoy today’s devotional!!
EXCEL : LOVE : EXPLORE
Ask God to give you a dream
Are you thinking, “If I don’t get a breakthrough, I’m not going to make it?” Try to understand these two things: (1) Your problem is just an opportunity for God to work on your behalf. You are positioned to experience the truth of these words: “[The] One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the Lord at their head.” By God’s grace you can prevail over your circumstances. You can rise above discouragement and the self-defeating mentality that says, “Nothing’s going to change for the better.” You say, “But I tried and failed!” Okay, mark that off your list and say, “Now I know what doesn’t work.” Rejoice, God knows the way, and He’s going before you! (2) Before you experience a breakthrough there’s usually a shake-up. Chuck Jaeger, the World War II hero who broke the sound barrier, fractured his ribs in a horse riding accident the day before he hopped into the cockpit and attempted to do what had never been done with a plane before. His friends said, “You’re in too much pain. Don’t do it.” His fears told him, “Nobody’s ever done it before. You won’t either.” At 700 miles an hour the plane began to shake violently. Then suddenly he broke through into what he described as “a great calm.” That’s how it is when you’re about to experience a breakthrough. When everything around you starts to shake and your fear level skyrockets, you’re not about to crash and burn, you’re on the threshold of a breakthrough!
“Each part…helps the other parts grow.” Eph 4:16 NLT
A good mentor will: (1) Affirm in public, correct in private. Your goal should be to help, not hurt. When you rebuke someone in public you humiliate them, destroying their self-esteem. But when you affirm them in public you build their self-esteem, confidence and incentive. Of course, your praise should be genuine, not just empty words. By affirming sincerely and publicly, you plant the seeds of growth and greatness in the learner. (2) Build an allegiance to relationships, not issues. We tend to build an allegiance either to relationships, or to issues. We become primarily concerned about other people, their feelings, and the relationship, or we become focused on rules, agendas, quotas, tasks and results. A good mentor always puts relationships ahead of issues. In his book Mentoring: The Strategy of the Master, Ron Lee Davis writes: “My father was that kind of mentor, both in his own family and in the church he pastored for twenty-five years. Many times I heard him say, ‘The individual is always more important than the issue.’ He lived this principle daily and he built it into my life. Today, I try to pass on this principle to others.” God has called each of us to run our race and finish it successfully. He has also called us to keep the torch lit and hand it off to the next runner. Don’t merely be satisfied with doing the job, make sure the job keeps getting done by teaching and training someone else. Jesus, the Master-mentor, said: “The works that I do shall [you] do also; and greater works than these shall [you] do” (Jn 14:12).
“Each part…helps the other parts grow.” Eph 4:16 NLT
When you confront somebody: (1) Be specific, don’t generalize. For example, don’t say, “You’re always abrupt and unfriendly.” Be specific. Instead say, “You were rather abrupt with Mrs. Jones yesterday.” Generalizations sound and feel like an attack on who the person is, instead of constructive reproof on what the person does. Plus, the vagueness of such generalizations doesn’t give the learner a clue what he or she should do to grow and change. (2) Show empathy. An effective mentor always tries to put themselves in the learner’s place. Novelist John Erskine observed, “We have not really budged a step, until we’ve taken up residence in someone else’s point of view.” Assure them that you’re their advocate, not their adversary, and that your only desire is to see them succeed. Why do people have such a hard time accepting and processing criticism? Because they get caught up in a shame spiral, going all the way back to their childhood. They never felt valued, they felt like they were always being criticized and told how useless and stupid they were, and now they instinctively give too much power to criticism. Only when you understand that will you be able to approach them the right way. Build on their strengths, gifts and character through encouragement. Earn the right to confront. Make sure you affirm 97 percent of the time, so that when it’s time to be tough in the remaining 3 percent, your love and encouragement will be credible. How will a person know you’re on his or her side if the only evaluation you ever pass on is a negative one?
I know we all feel this way sometimes! Take a look at part one of this awesome devotional.
“Each part…helps the other parts grow.” Eph 4:16 NLT
None of us enjoy confronting others, but sometimes it must be done. So: be honest and direct. Tenderness is not a matter of being diplomatic or tactful, or using euphemistic language, or “beating around the bush” and softening the blow. Don’t do that. Weigh what needs to be said in clear and unmistakable terms, then lay it squarely on the line. If you love them, level with them! But a word of caution here: don’t use words like “love” and “transparency” to disguise a judgmental attitude. People get screamed at, chewed out and verbally abused in the name of love. Don’t vent your anger at someone in the name of honesty. Not one of us is qualified to confront the other until we have carefully examined our motivations for doing so—including, as much as humanly possible, those motives that evade our conscious minds. You should always confront with reluctance, never with eagerness. You should confront directly, yet gently, and always with a desire to bring about God’s best in the other person’s life. It is far more Christ-like to confront another person through tears than with a voice raised in anger. At all points, the listener should never be in doubt as to your love and acceptance. Genuine love says: “I’ve got something to tell you. I know this won’t be easy for either of us, but I respect you enough to give it to you straight. I care about you, I’m committed to our relationship, and I want you to be the best you can be.”
“Grace wherein we stand, and…tribulation [that] worketh patience.” Ro 5:2-35
There are two things you can count on as you walk with God: tribulation that works for you, and grace that enables you to stand while you’re going through it. Have you been praying for patience? Get ready for tribulation; there’s no other way to get it! Patience only grows in the soil of adversity. The truth is, some of the people you can’t stand right now are the very ones who’ll mature you spiritually and get you to your destiny. God said: “Moab is my washbasin” (Ps 60:8 NIV). Moab was a troublesome next-door neighbor who drove Israel crazy. But such people can also drive us closer to God! So, who’s your washbasin? Who brings out the worst in you? Who drives you to your knees? Who stretches your faith? Who develops your character? The problem is, we pray for certain things but God has a process; only as we get to know Him better do we begin to recognize it. Here’s how it works: you ask God for strength and He allows you to go through struggles that develop you. You ask Him for wisdom and you get to deal with messy situations that have no easy solutions. You ask Him for success and He gives you ability to work and wisdom to produce. You ask Him for favor and you get responsibility. (Then you want to run from it.) There’s a work going on in you right now! You may not be fully aware of it, but without it you’ll never be qualified to handle what God has in mind.
LOVE THIS DEVOTIONAL!!
EXCEL : LOVE : EXPLORE
Word of the Day
The time has come for you, My beloved one, to make some choices and let go of things that are lawful but not profitable (1 Corn. 6:12). There is a time and season for everything. A new season is here and you cannot hold on to those things any longer. They are not sin in and of their selves. It is the effect they have on your life I am concerned about. I know the plans I have for you and I also know the plans the enemy has.
The enemy uses every opportunity he can. He roars like a lion to intimidate you and will turn everything into an open door if allowed. Make no room for him. Close every door. Confess every sin and break agreement with every impure and unprofitable word spoken by you or over you.
I am never taken unawares. Everything is visible and exposed before Me—the past, the present and the future. In the days to come I will be showing you many things that you need to let go of. Don’t be afraid or unwilling. All negatives are manifest in order to remove their power over your life. Just know that Holy Spirit will teach you and guide you into all truth with love (John 16:13).
Others may see the things I show you to let go of as insignificant and petty to rid one’s self of, but for you they are keys to the future. This process will not be hard or worrisome, but liberating in every way. Each and every thing you discard will be replaced with heavenly gifts and perspectives. You will be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).
Your burdens will be light and there will be more room in your life for My purposes. Letting go makes room for more of Me. Be filled with anticipation and excitement at any prospect to lighten your load and embrace Me…Read Complete Love Letter
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:2 Message Bible)
Lord, help me to recognize the times and seasons of my life and how they relate to Your purpose for me. I am willing to let go and if there are any places I might have a tendency to cling to, I embrace Your supernatural strength and will be obedient. I will not listen to the roars of the enemy who only sounds like a lion. You are the Lion of Judah, having all power and authority over the devil and all his schemes and wiles.
Nothing the devil ever does surprises You and You are ever-present to lead me in the way I should go. You direct my steps and make a way where there is no way. I am safe in You and choose to trust Your leading and guiding. Help me not to look at others and choose what is profitable or unprofitable for me based on what they have liberty to do. I let go and make more room for You in My life and heart. I anticipate great things in the days to come. Amen
Reflect and Journal
- Take some time and reflect on this being a new time and season in your life.
- Are there things the Lord has been speaking to you about letting go of? They might not necessarily be the so called “biggies.” They could be simple things you give too much time to and interfere with your time with Him. Reflect and respond.
- Have you ever justified something you do or think by what someone else does? Jesus is the standard and plumb line. Take a serious look and ask Holy Spirit to reveal as He wishes, not as you wish. Take appropriate steps to put down and pick up only what He tells you to.
- What are some unprofitable areas in your life? Take some time to list these as Holy Spirit reveals them to you.
“My help comes from the Lord.” Ps 121:2 NKJV
Did you hear about the guy who prayed: “Lord, so far today I’ve done okay. I haven’t gossiped, lost my temper, been nasty, greedy or grumpy. But in a few minutes I’m gonna have to get out of bed, then I’m gonna need all the help I can get.” We smile, but the truth is, it’s hard to acknowledge our need of help, especially in a world that prizes self-sufficiency. The most dangerous time in your life is when you think you don’t need God! Complacency will set in. Smugness will grow. You’ll say, “I need you, Lord,” then act like it all depends on you. As a result your faith will be unused, and when you’re not using your faith you can’t please God (See Heb 11:6). If your vision doesn’t require God, it’s not of God! When He gets involved in your vision, He becomes the only means of achieving it. Without His help, what can any of us say or do that truly makes a difference? We can’t even begin to make progress until we humbly acknowledge that we are powerless over most things in life. We are, but God’s not! Whatever you’re facing today, read these words and rest in them: “He will never let me stumble, slip or fall. For he is always watching, never sleeping. Jehovah himself is caring for you! He is your defender. He protects you day and night. He keeps you from all evil, and preserves your life. He keeps his eye upon you as you come and go, and always guards you” (Ps 121:3-8 TLB).
EXCEL : LOVE : EXPLORE
Beloved, I know you have heard the word timing so many times before and it can seem cliché or just another way to say, “It just isn’t happening and it may not.” Timing is a place prone to doubt and unbelief or a place of rest and expectant hope. It all depends on how it is viewed.
Timing is like a field which rests in-between the promise and the victory. It can be one of two things, a mine field or a green pasture laced with still waters.
Timing as a a mine field it is littered with and full of explosives aimed at maiming or killing the one daring to run through it without respecting the need navigate with skill, care and patience. When one runs, the ability to see ahead or in the peripheral is greatly diminished; thereby creating an environment not conducive to victory but instead prone to deception, self-fulfillment and fear. All these lies and more are used to abort the purpose and the person if at all possible.
Timing as a green pasture laced with still waters, is a place of protection within the Good Shepherd’s fold where one is able to rest in the sovereign goodness and mercy of My heart while I do as I have promised. It is a place to rest and eat at My banqueting table…to hear the instructions of My heart as you abide in Me. In doing this, any explosives are dismantled or obverted through careful instruction as I go before you to destroy your enemies. This is how you feast at My table in the presence of your enemies. It is all in the timing…the taking time to eat in My presence and receive. It is here in this field of timing where I direct you…anoint you…protect you and surround you with goodness and mercy.
Timing can be what you want it to be…a place of frustration or a place of rest. Cry to Me and I hear you. Ask for wisdom and I give it. Be still and listen. Be still and lean into Me regardless of the wicked man …regardless of the unwillingness or the inability of another to do as they have said or treat you as I would treat you. My yoke is easy. My burden is light. It creates a place of rest among the ticking of the clock.
Therefore, let your roots go deep into the streams I provide in the fields of timing in your life. Take advantage of every drop of water given along the way knowing another will be provided just as you need it in order to go on to the other side. Every time you stop to drink…every time you stop to abide, the roots of your tree go deeper and deeper until you produce the fruit born of waiting and not growing weary. Fruit produced this way does not rot on the vine nor does it fail to produce the intended results for it will be sheltered by leaves that do not fade or wither.
Beloved, all things are and will come to maturity in their own time when you rest in My timing. Remember, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. Don’t be worried or concerned about somehow not fulfilling things in a certain amount of time. I have the ability to transform years into minutes and once the fruit is in full display you will forget the labor even as a mother does when the baby is born. All is forgotten in the midst of new life as jubilant shouts and tears of joy rule the day.
Forsake seeing and running through My timing as a mine field and embrace a time of rest in green pasture laced with still waters and you will be like a tree with fruit for every season and leaves that do not wither or fade. Forsake unforgiveness of others who have left you with promises not kept…forsake doubt, unbelief, self-ridicule, fear and you will prosper in all you do. Come and rest in My timing and all will be well…Read Complete Love Letter
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. With my voice I cry to the Lord, and He hears and answers me out of His holy hill. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! I lay down and slept; I wakened again, for the Lord sustains me (Psalms 3:3-5 Amplified)
Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass (Psalms 37:7 Amplified)
For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne. (Matthew 11:30 Amplified)
And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity] (Psalms 1:3 Amplified)
Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day(2 Peter 3:8 Amplified)
Lord, I know Your timing is of supreme importance and if I do not walk according to it, I miss the best You have. Many things will be missed and many things will be born before their time when I don’t wait on You….when I try to fulfill promises according to the flesh. I ask for an increase in the gift of discernment to know when to wait and when to move. In the past I have sometimes equated delay as denial and not seen it as Your protection. There are always others connected to the fulfillment of Words You have given me and my delay may be there preparation time. (Good)
Therefore, I choose to see Your timing as a place of rest and preparation…a place to develop trust and grow in anointing for the task ahead. I choose to wait on You. I will not run ahead into a mine field full of the enemies plans to destroy, maim and abort the plan You have for me and others connected with me. As I wait on you, the explosive plans of the enemy are exposed and dismantled.
Lord, I cry out to You as You have asked me to. I cry out for wisdom, understanding and revelation. I cry out for an abiding heart that hears You and walks out Your instruction accordingly. I give You my heavy load in exchange for Your light burden. My roots are growing deep to produce abundant fruit and my leaves…my countenance…my faith do not wither for I have not and will not grow weary…nor shall I faint. I will reap in due season. All things are coming in to maturity in my life, including my character and my hope. I forsake all frustration and embrace the green pasture of rest provided by the Lord. I drink from the still waters of promises given and promises kept. I rest in the original Promise Keeper. Amen
- How have you seen the timing of the Lord, as a place of denial and frustration or as a place of rest, hope and protection?
- How has the illustration of mine fields and green pastures helped change you view of the Lord’s timing?
- Can you give any personal instances where you have experienced the benefit of green pastures while waiting on the timing of the Lord? What did you experience or receive?
- Can you give any personal instances where you have experienced the detonation of the enemy’s plans because you rushed head on into something without waiting on the timing of the Lord? Describe your experience. Has the Lord redeemed it and if so, how? If not…confess, repent and ask Him to redeem it.
- List some of the benefits to allowing the Lord to go before you through any mine fields?
- List some of the benefits to stopping to take a rest and drink the still waters.
EXCEL : LOVE : EXPLORE