Things We Learned in 2020

by Rick

Today I feel led to share some of the things we learned this year.  It’s amazing to see what God had me teaching in January and February that was preparing us for COVID.  Let’s get into it.  

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  WE WILL NOT QUIT!

In January, I shared a message entitled, “We will not quit!”  I did not know we were going to need that message during COVID.  But here is a portion of it:

Getting a true revelation of the New Covenant will empower you to live with a “NO QUIT” mentality.  The Bible says, “Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness.” (2 Corinthians 4:1 TPT)

— When we think about all God did for us in Jesus and what He provided in the New Covenant — God’s goodness, His power, His Spirit, His grace, His favor, the forgiveness of sin, and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, etc.  — Paul said, “…we will not quit or faint with weariness.”  There is no way I can quit, or faint, or grow weary when I realize that I am forgiven of sin and have the privilege of walking around housing the glory of the Lord inside of my body!  This is certainly a New Covenant.  The Old Covenant was not like this.  They had to visit glory!  We get to carry glory!  

— Paul taught us that the more time we spend looking at this glory, the more we are CHANGED into God’s very same image.  This happens from glory to glory, to glory!  We are continually being CHANGED to look and act like God.  As we are being CHANGED into God’s image, there is no way we should quit, or faint or grow weary!

— I am telling you that this year you are going to learn to LIVE FREE!  You are FREE from everything that has ever had you bound.  This is your season!  This is your time!  The wait is over!  Freedom is here!  Nothing can stop you!  Nothing is holding you back!  You are FREE to be the man/woman God has called you to be!  You are walking around with the GLORY of God on the inside of you.  Say, “AMEN” to that!

2.  SPEAK THE WORD ONLY!

In February, I taught a series entitled, “Speak the Word Only!”  I drove home the importance of our words.  I did not know, in February, how important this series would be this year.  Here is an excerpt from that series:

(2 Corinthians 4:13 NIV)

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak.

In this verse, the Apostle Paul was quoting Psalm 116:10, where the psalmist said, “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”  Paul goes on to say, “Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak.”  In context, Paul was teaching about the challenging times believers were facing for the Gospel’s sake.  He urged them to remain strong in faith, not wavering, fully trusting in God to see them through the opposition and challenges.  How were the first-century believers to remain strong?  They were to remain strong in their faith by keeping an active prayer life, by standing on the Word, and by speaking faith-filled words from a believing heart.  

In Mark chapter 4, Jesus taught “the mother of all parables,” the parable of the sower.  In this parable, Jesus taught that the sower sows the Word, that we as believers are the ground that receives the word within the soil of our hearts, and that our hearts cause the seed (whatever we sow into it) to bring forth a harvest.  This is why you must carefully consider what you allow through your eye and ear gates.  Whatever you do will get down in your heart.

So you may ask, “Well, Rick, how do I know what is growing in my heart?”  We have already looked at this answer.  Jesus said, “Your words show what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45).  Your words expose to everyone (externally) what is going on in your heart (internally).  

Think of it this way: soil does not discriminate.  The soil will reproduce marijuana and opium just as much as it will reproduce apples and oranges.  The soil does not say, “Wait a minute, this is bad stuff.”  No, all the soil knows how to do is crack open the seed and cause it to grow; especially if it is watered and it receives adequate sunlight.  This is why the heart of a Christian can grow fear just as easy as it can grow faith.  

If you feed on fear-filled words and you get words of fear down in your heart, your heart will cause it to grow, your words will expose the condition of your heart, you will speak fear-filled words, and you will have what you say!  Why?  Because you will actually be speaking what you believe, even though what you believe and speak will be contrary to the Word of God.  You will still have what you say, but it won’t be God’s best.  Let’s break this down:

— Your heart can grow fear just as easily as it can grow faith.

— Your input (whatever comes through your eye and ear gates) will determine what gets down in your heart.

— Whatever you sow in the soil of your heart will grow, and your words will tell everyone what you are growing in your heart.  You may want to believe you are growing faith, but if you are speaking fear-filled words all day long, then you are a fear-grower and not a faith-grower.  

— To change what you are growing in your heart, you will need to change what you are sowing in your heart.

— If you can change the content of your heart (and you can), to be things that line up with God and His will, you will change what you are growing there, you will change the words your heart produces, you will wind up changing the actions you take, and you will change your life!  

— The reason I keep driving home, the importance of words is not just because of the words themselves.  The bigger issue is that your words are exposing what is going on in your heart.  The only way to change your words is to change your heart!  If you can do that (and you can), you can change your life!

3.  FEAR HAS NO POWER OVER US!

In March, when COVID happened, I taught a long series on “Reasons why NOT to fear!”  This is another series that was critical for this year.  Here is an excerpt from this series:

What is fear?

1.  Fear is an emotion.

— Emotions are meant to be a blessing and not a curse.  

— God gave us emotions to enable us, not to cripple us.  

— Emotions become a problem when they are uncontrolled.  

— Uncontrolled emotions can ruin people’s lives.  

— We are to rule over our emotions and not allow our emotions to rule over us.

2.  Fear is aroused by a threat that is either real or imagined.

— In the cases where the threat is real, fear must be channeled and controlled.

— In the cases where a threat is simply imagined, we must learn to “cast down” ungodly imaginations… images in our minds that did NOT come from God.

— The enemy (satan) thrives on fear.  Daily satan stops people from performing God’s will in their lives by simply posing imagined threats before them.

— While the Coronavirus disease is a real threat in and of itself, most of the fear people have towards it is imagined.  The enemy can put thoughts in your mind, and if you allow these thoughts to run uncontrolled, you can become a prisoner in your own mind, trapped by fear.

3.  Fear boils down to confidence.

— Fear is an expression of your confidence in satan and NOT God. 

— Fear is what happens when satan convinces you that his will is going to be done in your life.  

— Fear and faith work the same way.  Faith is what happens when God convinces you of His will, and fear is what happens when satan convinces you.  

— Fear and faith are fueled by images.  God puts images in your mind that helps you to see yourself the way He sees you.  Satan does the same thing.  God wants you to believe what He believes about you.  Satan wants the same thing.  If you choose to believe (have confidence in) God, it is called faith.  If you choose to believe (have confidence in) satan, it is called fear.  What will you choose?  Which one will you believe?  

4.  Fear is an incapacitating force.

— If you allow fear to run free in your heart and in your mind, it can consume and suffocate your life.

— Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life (John 10:10), but you can’t do so if you are afraid of everything the enemy brings your way. 

— There are 588 types of fears.  This is the stuff that fuels satan and his kingdom.  Don’t open your heart to it.  Fear pleases satan, faith pleases God.  You don’t have to accept fear.  Fear is NOT of God!

Lastly, God told you NOT to fear.

— The Bible says, hundreds of times in many different ways, NOT TO FEAR!  God is so against fear because if you allow fear to rule your heart, it will strip you of all confidence towards God.  Once you are in-fear, it nullifies faith.

— God has called and commanded you to walk and live by faith.  You cannot be in-fear and in-faith at the same time.  I have made this point countless times over the years.  But it is worth repeating today.  Faith cancels out fear.  Fear cancels out faith.  You cannot be IN BOTH at the same time.  Fear or faith, which will you choose today?

— If you read your Bible, you will God say, over and over, “Fear not,” “Fret not,” “Do not allow your heart to be troubled,” “Do not be afraid.”  Phrases like this are all over the Bible.  Why?  Because God does not want you to fear.  Don’t disappoint God today.  Choose to operate in faith and not fear.  Why?  Because God said so!

— Please listen to God.  DO NOT FEAR!  DO NOT BE AFRAID!  The Lord, your God, is with you everywhere you go!  He will never leave you, never forsake you, and never turn His back on you.  God is with you, and He is more than the entire world against you!  You have NOTHING to FEAR!

*** Before I close, I feel led to share a quick side note.  When you think about the WORD you received this year through this ministry, I pray you can see how it prepared you for 2020 and beyond.  For me, as the person who is releasing the Word, I benefit too.  And this month is the 23rd Anniversary of Today’s Word.  Without a doubt, I can tell you that I have benefited from 23 years of doing this 5-days a week.  The WORD works, but you must WORK THE WORD!

Declaration of Faith:

Father, I thank You for the deposit You made in my heart this year.  I look back, and I now realize how much WORD got through my eye gates and ear gates.  I am thankful for the WORD that got down in my heart.  This WORD, Your WORD, is an incorruptible seed.  It has been sown into the soil of my heart.  My heart now cracks open the seed and causes it to grow.  The seed of Your WORD is producing a HARVEST in my life.  My heart is SO FULL of YOUR WORD that what is in me ABUNDANTLY comes out of me CONTINUALLY.  I SPEAK THE WORD ONLY!  When people listen to me, I actually SOUND LIKE YOU!  Because I have filled my heart with YOUR WORD.  This is why fear has no power over me.  This is why quitting is not an option.  I have too much WORD in my heart to succumb to the pressures of this world.  I SPEAK THE WORD ONLY, and I HAVE WHAT I SAY!  And what I say is… GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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