Acts 13:12 “Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”In Acts 13, Barnabas and Saul are on Cyprus ministering but Elymas the magician, demonically inspired, is opposing their ministry and leading the proconsul away from hearing the gospel. Paul, filled with righteous indignation curses Elymas with blindness for a season and immediately darkness falls upon him. The proconsul witnessed first hand the miraculous power of the spirit and the demonstration of authority through the apostle Paul. Not only was he astonished in his teaching but he believed that Jesus was the Christ. No one wants resistance in life but opposition is often the catalyst for supernatural intervention. Many of us pray for miracles but miracles are needed because of the contradictions and paradoxes we encounter in life. Growth in the supernatural is often birthed out of an encounter with opposition that drives us closer to God in faith and prayer. See resistance from Gods perspective and watch God move mightily on your behalf as you boldly step out in faith. Explosive Insights!
2 Kings 2:9-10 “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me. And Elijah said, What you have asked is a hard thing.”
It doesn’t matter what arena of life you want success in, there is a price to be paid. The price comes back to are you willing to do the hours, develop the knowledge, acquire the skills and practice delayed gratification. If your goal is to grow closer to God, then put in the hours of prayer, bible reading and worship. If your goal is to build wealth, get control of your spending, save diligently and invest wisely. If your goal is to be fit and healthy, develop more consistent sleep patterns, exercise daily and improve your nutrition. Anything worth achieving in life requires an investment on your part. If you’re dissatisfied with your current results, change your approach and make the commitment to become the best you can be with whatever resources and opportunities are currently in front of you. Success in anything is a hard thing but the reward is worth it. Pay the price now, so you can play later!
Habakkuk 2:2 And the Lord answered me, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Some people don’t think of themselves as goal oriented but every person I’ve ever met and chatted to about their life has some sort of goal or desire for their lives lurking somewhere in their minds and hearts. One of the things I do daily is to look at and pray into my goals for my life. I’ve researched books and asked successful people what the best approach to goal setting is and basically, it all boils down to, KEEP IT SIMPLE. Too many goals become overwhelming to your mind and your schedule. Narrow your goals to no more than 10 and try to write and articulate those goals into the most concise and precise way possible. There should be no extra fluff in your wording. Make your goals concrete, defined and measurable. Then everyday I encourage you to read over your goals, declare them out loud and pray into them. If they are important to you, you should be thinking about them and asking God for help to fulfill them. As you repeat this process daily, your mind will be filled with strategies to help you accomplish your goals and you will find unusual favor come your way to help you fulfill those goals that are truly ordered by the Lord. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals, as you feel led to. You’re not a slave to your goals, they are meant to serve you and help you get to where God has called you to go. So, what are your goals?
Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Many of us want to increase ‘much by much’ but for the majority of us, this isn’t the reality of how we grow. Most of us experience increase in life one increment at a time. It’s the day in and day out of pursuing the basics that brings ultimate increase and fruitfulness to our lives. Little by little may not be sexy but it works. As the old adage says, “you eat an elephant one bite at a time.” Break your big goals down into small steps and tackle them little by little. Whether it be a financial goal, like purchasing your first house or a fitness goal, like running a marathon, you have to begin with the end in mind and then work backwards, tackling your goal, little by little. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish by doing little by little, day in and day out. You will build momentum and what may seem slow at the start will eventually become an avalanche. Don’t be hasty and don’t be impatient. Focus your energy on building your life little by little!
Ephesians 4:1 Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you’ve been called. Everyone of us have been called to something unique and specific. Everyone of us are accountable to God and ourselves for how we fulfill that calling. There are specific things God asks of one person to do within their calling, that he doesn’t ask of another person. I can’t compare myself or what God is asking me to do with someone else’s calling and their personal approach to it. I’ve got to get on with being obedient in the things that help me fulfill my calling and you do too. Whatever God has called you to, walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you have received, otherwise you’ll undermine what God wants to do through you. Consider what it looks like for you to walk it out in this season of your life.
Daniel 1:8-9 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself.. And God gave Daniel favor in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs.
It’s the things that people never see that sets you apart. Everyone of us have the opportunity to make choices about what we will do in our personal lives. We can choose to go with the flow of the majority or choose to be set apart, whether anybody sees us or not. You can be sure that when God gives one of his kids favor publicly, there has been a history of personal victories in that persons life. We can choose to compromise or choose to conquer but the fruit of our lives will speak for itself. What do you need to have fresh resolve about in your personal life? Be encouraged that what you overcome in the secret place will be rewarded in the public arena by Gods grace and favor. He sees every sacrifice you’ve made and not even the littlest thing goes unnoticed.
John 15:2 “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes.”
This is a challenging statement from Jesus. His words are a call to be proactive about our personal growth. A dead branch doesn’t produce anything worthwhile to anyone and will be removed. A fruitful branch will be cut back and pruned in its season in order for more fruitfulness to come. Either way, we’re going to get cut. We may as well get cut for bring fruitful and not for being fruitless.
I refuse to be fruitless. Refusing fruitlessness means I intentionally position myself to grow. Someone once said, you only grow according to the books you read, the places you visit and the people you meet. I think there are other ways for growth to occur but these three are a great starting place. What books are you reading? Which new places are you visiting and studying? And who are the people you are posturing yourself in front of to receive from? God is committed to your fruitfulness and the extension of his kingdom. Be intentional, be prepared for pruning and be ready for greater fruitfulness in your life.
Everything in God’s creation, He created by the words of his mouth with the only exception being us. He created us by reaching down into the dirt of the earth and forming us in his image. Thus, every one of us have God’s fingerprints all over us. Dirt doesn’t seem very appealing but when you plant a seed in it, that seed will eventually produce life. God has planted seeds of blessing in every one of us. You may not be able to see the blessings God has planted on the inside of you but the seed within you has potential within it to produce life. It’s just buried at the moment. You need to water it, nurture it and have the courage to let God bring the seed forth out of the dirt of your life.
God hasn’t made you responsible for the outcome. That’s his responsibility. But He has made you responsible for the process. Often we work harder at trying to control the outcome rather than just putting the right ingredients into the process. Paul was the initiator of the process by planting and Apollos continued the process by watering what God had initiated through Paul. Planting and watering in all it’s forms made up the process but God was the agent who gave the growth. When you stop trying to control the outcome, you are freed up to give your best to the process and maintain peace along the way. Having to control the outcome is stressful and not in our job description. God says, “Trust me with the outcome by not leaning on your own understanding and focus on the process of what I’ve asked you to do and watch what I do with the outcome.”