Many years ago I was in the nation of Côte d’Ivoire. As I was standing on a great field with nearly a quarter of a million people, there was a woman on the very edge of the crowd, listening. Actually she was in the throes of death, lying in what we would call a wheelbarrow. I didn’t know she was there. Her family had carried her a great distance just to get her in the presence of that meeting. And as she heard some words of life something very special happened to her.
The meeting went long and miracles were happening all over the field. We couldn’t even control the platform; there were so many people rushing it from both sides to give their testimonies. I would run back and forth from the left side of the platform to the right to let people give their testimony in the microphone. I remember one young girl dressed in white, and her mama looked at me and said, “My daughter is healed. She could not hear, she could not speak.” I said, “Mama, how do you know?” And right at that moment the little girl just looked up at her and said “Mama, Mama,” and her mother broke into tears right there on the platform.
At that moment on the other side of the platform, someone else rushed up and the whole crowd began shouting “Jesus! Jesus!” I ran over there to take the testimony, and discovered a man who had been chained to a tree because he was dangerous to himself and others. He had just been set free! They had taken the chains off him and now he was walking about totally healed, in his right mind! And yet, in the midst of all these miracles, there was that woman on the outside of the crowd that I didn’t even see, nor did she testify, but I heard much later that on the outside of the crowd it was also her day to receive her healing from God!
I can’t see you face-to-face, nor can you see me, but I know this—I have been sent by God to declare to you that the foundation for your miracle is solid when you understand that God is willing, God is able, and right now God is ready to heal you!
There is nothing better than a good piece of toast with coffee in the morning, but our daily bread is much more than that. What is our daily bread? In the story of the Exodus as the children of God were deciding whether or not to cross the Jordan River and fight, Joshua shouted out to those who were backing out of the idea. He said the call of God to possess the land made every giant in the land as BREAD for them.
“Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” Numbers 14:9
There was no protection for their enemies as they pursued the will of God!
With this truth on our side, we in the 21st century can look at the giants that stand before us and say they are bread for us. We are not to be worried over as problems, mountains, or impossibilities. We eat them as bread!
Our victory nurtures us for future conquest. Your giants are nothing before your God! Your God lives in you, so there is defeat in the heart of your enemies who stand before what God wants to accomplish in your life. Rahab said to the spies that they had dreaded the day when the children of God would cross over. Defeat was already in their enemy’s heart.
We are seeing Europe and the republics and regions of the former Soviet Union experience a great revival through bold evangelistic tent meetings, and we continue to expect the grace and favor of God on all who make those giants as bread for these dynamic evangelists!
Is there a difference between Saturday and Sunday? There doesn’t have to be. What makes Sunday feel different is the act of sitting under a Word of God that fills you up. For 22 years I sat under a Word that made no difference between Saturday and Sunday, but once I saw that the Word was alive, Sunday became much more heightened experience.
Why isn’t every day a refreshing, exciting, stimulating, creative experience? The problem is that we are all CRACK POTS. In Bible words, we are vessels of clay that are leaking; so Scripture tells us that faith comes by hearing and not by what we have heard in the past. Maybe that’s why you need church. The Holy Spirit infilling is not just a moment, but a daily fill up.
Is life designed to be a struggle followed by the ultimate loss thru death, only to get your victory in the next life to come? No, that’s NOT God’s plan for you! When He called the children of God out of Egypt it was not to experience the desert. They were not just called out of bondage, but they were called into a promised land! The desert was not the plan, but mankind has a way of making their own choices.
The only way to change your desert experience is allowing the water of God’s Word to turn it into a garden of hope and dreams. Take time today to refill that old cracked pot of yours. Speak to yourself in hymns and songs and find the melody in your heart. There is a promised land with your name on it!
A Presbyterian evangelist named Charles G. Finney, who lived from 1792-1875, successfully popularized the altar call. Finney referred to the altar call as coming to the “anxious seat” or to the “inquiry room,” and began using it in his evangelistic services in about 1820. Evangelist D.L. Moody took Finney’s altar call and refined it, and in turn it was passed on to its modern champion, Billy Graham.
In Finney’s time, most denominations were not preaching a gospel that allowed you to publicly call on the name of the Lord for your conversion to Christ. They were preaching a gospel of predestination, which said you were predestined to be born again so you would eventually find Christ on your own.
Finney was willing to challenge the status quo, and he preached his emotional messages with altar calls in all the churches. Of course, he was highly criticized for challenging the accepted Christian theology of the day. He faced many difficulties because the religious hierarchy didn’t believe you could stand up on the platform and call the people down front and have them call on the name of the Lord to be saved. Yet, undeniably his preaching ushered in one of the greatest revivals ever experienced on the North American continent.
To comprehend our position on miracles, like Charles Finney, we must challenge the broad understanding that it is ok to ask Jesus into your heart, but not ok to ask Him into your heart and expect healing at the same time!
Our bodies were designed for activity. I can’t sleep in bed more than eight hours. After that period of time my back begins to ache and my mind cries out for activity.
Nature is in constant activity. Bees are an excellent example. A professional beekeeper came back from work one day full of bee stings, with eyes swollen and puffed. The beehive he was in charge of had not been emptied in a long time. The bees could put no more honey into it and became very idle and restless. With nothing to do they were agitated and attacked him. Why would a calm colony of bees become vicious? As long as they were busy they never bothered him, but too much free time turned them on their master.
Loafers in the church can become vicious toward either leadership or other members. Loafers on a job site will look for faults in others, as well as bring down the productivity of a whole organization. Idleness is a subtle but deadly poison, and its affects are seen in every area of society. Diligence in work keeps your dream in focus and brings joy to the process of fulfilling the desires of your soul.
If you think you’re working for a person, then you’re allowing a person to hold back your potential. You could easily slip into destructive attitudes of doing only what is necessary instead of what is right. You could end up being a men-pleaser or a clock-watcher. This creates mediocrity, and mediocrity is not rewarded with promotion, increase or new opportunity.
There is no average person in the Kingdom of God. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead now dwells in you with His resurrection life force inspiring and directing (Romans 8:11 paraphrased).
In God’s eyes you were destined for success the moment you became born again!
In order to lead in the prosperous way we need to pick up God’s signals. Our lives are not our own. True prosperity is discovering God’s specific direction and acting on it. His ways avert us from catastrophe. Refusing to listen or act on his leading can prove to be costly.
A Spirit-filled friend of mine, who keeps large sums of money in the stock market, kept receiving an unction in his heart to pull his money out, but he delayed for two weeks. He woke up on “Black Monday” to discover one of the greatest stock falls in history and lost $80,000 that day. After the event he said that he had recognized God’s warnings, but he had not trusted himself to act on them.
Years ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma I was driving my friend’s car in the parking lot of a big mall when I heard my inner man tell me to hit the brakes. I acted spontaneously, and within a second a car flashed by right in front of me. Ten minutes later I heard the same unction and I braked in the midst of major traffic. Seconds later a major pile-up of vehicles occurred directly in front of me. Happily, I missed it by a few inches because I had already slowed down. My response to His nudging saved me and all those behind me.
I’m convinced that Christians could avoid most accidents by being more sensitive to the One whose job it is to show us things to come.
Have you ever watched wicked people enjoying success? As a believer it can be challenging to your faith, but you don’t need to compromise your faith to prosper. The devil will always tell you that faith in God is for losers, and that you might as well just give up being “good” and play things the world’s way instead.
But we don’t want temporary prosperity. We don’t want prosperity today that we’re required to pay dearly for tomorrow. Wrong actions and attitudes have no future. Sin brings pleasure, but only for a short time. God is not mocked, we all reap what we have sown. No one sins and gets away with it.
We should never envy ill-gotten riches, because we don’t want the price tag that comes with the lifestyle. God has called us to a long-lasting prosperity and reveals that following Him is the key to our inheritance. We belong to the Lord and the whole world belongs to us.
Take comfort in the words of David if you see others taking shortcuts and moving ahead through deception or manipulation:
“Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give
you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:1-5).
Industrious work is essential to self-esteem and dignity. Several years ago we were ministering in Brazzaville, Congo, preparing for a national leadership conference and crusade. At that time the unemployment rate was 95 percent. The Congo had just experienced ten years of civil war and no building was untouched by mortar fire. No family was untouched by bullet or tragedy. They were in total need.
We laid out our strategy for the upcoming meetings and told them that they would partner in this event. They would pay for it. At first they resisted such an idea. No evangelist had ever said that before! No one in the country had ever paid for a foreigner’s event, especially a preacher from rich America. With gentle persuasion we challenged them to take this responsibility, encouraging them that they were able.
At the end of the crusade, after experiencing crowds reaching over fifty thousand, the leaders came to us saying, “Thank you so much for pushing us to sponsor this event! You have given us back our dignity. Now we know we can do it! We don’t have to wait for foreigners to finance our work!”
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
Diligence in life means that we are working with all our heart, with total commitment. How do you put your whole heart into your work, school or your home? Recognize that what you are doing is unto the Lord and not unto man.
A halfhearted effort receives halfhearted results. That’s not prosperity! To prosper we need to work with a diligent attitude! There are some deceptive attitudes in Christian circles that are often disguised by religious terminology:
- “Whatever happens is God’s will so my input doesn’t matter.”
- “I don’t like my job.”
- “My ungodly boss doesn’t deserve my best.”
- “My job is only temporary so I’m not going to give it my all.”
- “I’m not one of the lucky ones who are gifted so I’ll just slide by.”
- “I tried the Bible way and it didn’t work for me.”
The Blessing comes as you work. You will never escape poverty’s hold without good, old fashioned hard work. The river-life of continuous blessing comes through your hands, your mind, and your effort.
Blessing is God’s business. Finding what He can bless is your business!