Note: Before I get started, I want you to know that both trips were successful. Isabella had a great time celebrating our vacation in Mexico, and the trip to the Dominican Republic went very well. We had a groundbreaking ceremony for Grace Destiny Church and the Thelma Steward Grace Destiny Academy. Construction has started, the people are excited, and I am too. Thank you for your prayers. I will provide updates via social media.
Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.” I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress. With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
We have covered the first three thus far. Today we are looking at the fourth: Leveling up internally. In this section, I will cover the following:
1. Being anxious for nothing
2. Receiving unshakable peace
3. Joy and peace in believing
4. Relaxing your mind and getting physical/psychological rest
5. The highest form of faith is rest
Today’s message deals with the 4th and 5th bullets. You must learn how to rest, in faith, in order to give the Word of God time and space to work. Let’s talk about it.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things:
1. Some Christians don’t give the Word enough TIME to work.
— I have taught you a great deal about waiting on God’s timing. Along those lines, you must give the Word of God the TIME it requires to work; to produce a harvest in your life.
— Last year, we studied the life of Joseph. We saw how God gave Joseph a dream, and he believed the dream. However, the dream did not come to pass for 20+ years. Joseph never gave up on God’s dream. He gave the Word he received from God the TIME it needed to produce God’s harvest. We may think it took too long if we look at Joseph’s life from a human point of view, but the harvest came at just the right time, from heaven’s perspective.
— Last year we also studied the life of David. We saw how God sent a Prophet to anoint him as the King of Israel. David received the anointing THAT DAY. The Spirit of God came upon him THAT DAY. However, he did not become the King of Israel until 20+ years later. David faced many challenges in the space between God’s promise and the performance of it, but he never gave up on his faith. He knew that in the fullness of time, it would come to pass. This is how we are supposed to live.
— Joshua and Caleb were the only 2 of 12 spies who believed God when they did a recon mission into Canaan. Joshua and Caleb did nothing wrong, but they had to wait 40 years to receive God’s promise because of the unbelief of other people. Caleb then waited five more years to receive a promise God gave him during the recon mission. Caleb waited 45 years for his mountain. He was 40 years old when he received the promise and 85 when it finally came to pass.
— Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for the promise God gave them. Many people today can’t seem to wait 25 days. I teach on faith and patience so much because we are called/commanded to walk and live by faith. But if we do not ADD patience to our faith, our faith will fail!
— Jesus spoke to a fig tree and cursed it. He then walked away like it was already done. He did not stay there, looking at the tree, waiting for it to die. Jesus gave the Word TIME to work. In the fullness of time, the tree died. This is how we are supposed to live. God gives us promises. We are to believe and receive what God said. We may be led to openly DECLARE what God has DECREED! But we must learn to give the Word TIME to work. We can’t just say it and then expect it to happen immediately. If it happens right away, praise God. But I can tell you from experience that MOST OF THE TIME, the seed of Word requires TIME to produce a HARVEST in this world.
— Part of learning how NOT to be stressed out is to learn that God’s promises will only manifest in His timing.
— You fill your heart with the Word of God, but you must learn to give the Word TIME to work! Every promise will happen in the fullness of God’s timing.
*** This year, you must LEVEL UP your commitment giving the Word of God the TIME it needs to work.
2. Some Christians don’t give the Word enough SPACE (in their hearts) to work.
I won’t be able to close out this point today. But I will start it.
(Mark 4:18,19 ERV)
Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want. This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.
Jesus taught that the seed of the Word of God would not produce a harvest in the lives of people who are like the thorny ground (or thorny weeds). There is nothing wrong with the seed. The same seed was sown into all four types of soil. There is nothing wrong with the sower. The same sower was used in every case. The problem is with the soil. The Word of God (the seed) has the potential to produce, but after the Word is sown into the hearts of the people who Jesus likened to the thorny ground, Jesus explained that these people allow their lives to get “full of others things.” They have competing priorities. The Word of God is not first-place in their lives. Their lives are so FULL of other things that there is no room for God or His Word to work. Please don’t make this mistake.
Take a moment to consider your priorities. If you have several things listed higher than God and His Word, you have positioned yourself for a life of stress, struggle and strain. Even if you occasionally receive an amazing Word from God, the Word is not going to produce results in your life because your life is, as Jesus said, “full of other things.” It’s time to check your priorities and give God, and His Word, the precedence they deserve.
When your life is full of the cares of this world, the love of money, and your own selfish pursuits, you can go to church and hear the Word, but you never truly give the Word of God a chance to work.
Jesus likened the Word of God to seed. He also likens the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires to weeds. He then explained how the weeds you allow to grow in your life can actually choke-out the seed of the Word and keep it from producing life-changing results.
If you don’t give the Word of God your focus, you don’t give it a chance to produce the harvest it was intended to produce in your life. You can literally choke-out the potential of the Word by allowing yourself to get consumed with other things.
What is your life full of? If it is full of God’s Word and His love, then you will become the man/woman God called you to be. Not because you are perfect. Not because you will do everything right. Not because of your self-effort. If you love God and you give His Word first -place in your life, the Word will produce because the power of God is already in the Word.
— No Word from God is without the power to perform it.
— The Word of God comes with the grace to do what God commands.
— The Word will work if you simply allow it to.
— However, if your life is “full of” the cares of this world, the love of money and your own selfish desires, you will arrive at the end of your life some day and realize you have nothing but regret. You will look in the mirror and realize that you lived your life on your own terms, you did it your way, and all you have to show for it is what you could make happen.
— God’s plans for your life are much greater than anything you can make happen on your own. Don’t make your life about you and your selfish desires. Make your life about God and the plans He made for you before the world began. When your life is full of God, you will live a full life.
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for teaching me how to rest. Not only do I get physical rest to keep my body from being burned out, and not only do I get psychological rest, so my soul can be at peace, but I also learn to REST IN YOUR WORD. I give Your Word the TIME and SPACE it needs to produce a harvest in my life. I stand on Your Word, I believe what You said, I openly declare it out of my mouth, I fill my heart with the seed of Your Word, and I then give the Word SPACE in my heart. I clear my heart from the cares of this word and ever selfish desire. Living this way, I level up in 2021! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith, in Jesus’s name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!