The Gift of Prophecy: 11

Prophecy also gives direction, purpose, and vision to individuals and groups. Prophecy can provide a focus on which we can hang our goals and plans.

Prov. 29:18 – Where there is no vision, the people perish

Prov. 29:18 (GLT) – Without prophetic vision people run wild

Many times in scripture, people were given warnings through prophecy to turn from their wicked ways and repent. This type of prophecy needs the prior approval of our church leadership. Meeting with leaders and responsible people prior to public utterance can act as a filter to stain off our own frustrations, hurts and personal negativity. This will enable us to give a pure and clean word. If a ‘prophecy’ is shared that the leadership does not agree with, the leadership needs to address it immediately.

Leaders should also keep order in their church. If a person stands up, interrupting a service to share a prophecy or to speak in tongues, the leadership should ask them to sit down. If that person continues they should be removed from the service. Leaders need to teach about proper use of the gifts and allow a certain time for the gifts to be used. The Holy Spirit operates from unity and will not be rude, disrespectful, or create division. Those who are operaring in the gifts need to realize that they should use discernment and respect as to when and how they choose to share the gift. The Spirit does not take control of us; as always, we have freewill and the ability to exhibit self-control, which the Lord desires of us.

1 Cor. 14:29-33 – Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

We need to realize that the Spirit can speak through anyone, and make sure we are not interrupting something He is trying to do through someone else.

1 Cor. 14:36 – did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?

1 Cor. 14:40 – everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

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Natural Father vs Father God

notesWhile visiting friends at the beach, I went to a Sunday service that blew me away. Coast Community, in Gulf Breeze, FL, preached it much better, but since I used this for staff devo at my new job, I figured I’d share it with y’all too 🙂

Click here to download FREE, print ready, fill in the blank sermon notes. Preview:

 



1. God is
Our Father

What person on the planet got here without having a father?

– Mal. 2:10 – Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?

– Gen. 1:27 – God created mankind in his own image

God made the natural to explain the supernatural. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have a natural father, as we wouldn’t be here without God, our Father. Now, everyones fathers may have a different level of involvement; many people have a close relationship with their father, while others have an absent sperm donor, or worse–one that’s abusive. Our earthly fathers, whether for good or bad, shape our views of the heavenly father. Because of this, we must seek to see God, in truth, for who He really is; separating who He is from what sinful man has taught us about him. He’s not just father of Christians. He’s father of all mankind. We all have the ‘genetic’ nature; however, we don’t all have the nurtured character, which only comes from relationship with the father. Since there are so many broken homes in America, most of our views of relationships are skewed. One myth, we tend to believe, is that:

Myth: God is unreasonable

– Gen. 3:1 – Satan said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from ANY tree in the garden’?”

Satan wants us to believe that God doesn’t want us to have ANYthing, but that’s not true. Most of our earthly fathers gave us gifts, but one Christmas, did you have something you desired that you didn’t find under the tree? Are we grateful for the things our Father has given us, or do we let that one thing drive us away from him? Is it unreasonable to give us an ENTIRE garden, and yet ask us not to eat from a single tree? Is it unreasonable to create sex for our enjoyment, and ask us to not have sex outside of marriage? No. His laws are for OUR benefit, not His. He knows that sex can damage us, cause deep grief, that many people would commit suicide over the loss of relationship, and many would not be able to connect whole heartedly to their spouse after having sex before marriage. Remember that:

2. God is A Compassionate Father

– 2 Cor. 1:3-4 – Blessed be… the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction

Is God only good to Christians? No, He’s good to EVERYONE.

– Ps. 145:9 – The Lord is good to ALL: and his tender mercies are over ALL His works.

We just saw that God created everyone, so you understand that you’re a work of God, right? This verse tells us that his tender mercies are over ALL of His works. Now, sometimes we don’t feel like we’ve had much of that tender mercy. When you’re seperated from the Father, it’s easy to misconstrue who He is. When we decide we’re tired of being seperated from our Father, and we seek His face, we find out that:

– Lam. 3:22 – His compassions never fail

– 1 Tim. 6:17 – God… richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment

But the child who is away from the Father believes the myth that:

Myth: God is unreliable

– Jam. 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or change.

How can God be unreliable if he never changes?

– Ps. 59:10 (TLB) – My God is CHANGELESS in his love for me

Changeless in His love for me? I thought if I messed up it meant I’d be abused, beaten, and called ‘worthless’? I thought if I asked a question it’d be seen as challenging his authority, worthy of the cat of 9 tails? You mean even if my earthly father was a gracious one, those few times he didn’t tend to my wounds doesn’t even portray God? My God is changeless in His love and His compassion never fails? Do my beliefs line up with that?

– Gen. 3:4 (TLB) – “That’s a lie!” the serpent hissed.

– Ps. 33:4 – the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

– Rom. 11:29 – God NEVER changes His mind about the people He calls and the things He gives them.

His decisions aren’t based on our ability to do right or wrong. And God doesn’t do things without reason; if he gave you life, it’s because you have a purpose. This verse promises us that we can’t mess it up. He will always fulfill and redeem the purpose on our lives.

– Rom. 12:2 – Don’t conform to the world’s way or beliefs. Instead, renew your mind, so you know what God’s will is and what His character is like.

His will is always good, pleasing and perfect; giving us a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11).

Instability in children’s lives causes insecurity. We should all be secure children, since our heavenly Father is changeless. He won’t turn on the winds of emotion. The only way to renew your mind is to hear, study, believe, and apply the word of God. We must renew our mind, to believe that:

God is an Attentive Father

– Luke 12:7 – even all the hairs on your head have been counted!

– Ps. 139:16 – Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be

He wrote down every second, of every day, of my life?! That sounds attentive!

– Ps. 56:8 – You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

So God wrote the book on my life, before I was ever born, and knew all the tears I would shed? God is love and love only exists in freedom. Our freewill causes us much sorrow, as we chose to go the wrong way–a rebellious life away from our Father and his rules. Maybe it wasn’t us that made the wrong choice? Maybe it was our family members who were choosing to do wrong. God doesn’t take away our freedom, in fear that we’ll make the wrong choice. He allows us to make wrong choices, but He’s grieved right along side us. But your tears are so important to Him that he saves every single one. We can’t believe the myth that:

Myth: God is unconcerned with me

– Jer. 17:9-10 – The heart is… desperately sick; Who can understand it? “Yet I, the Lord, search it out

– David said in Ps. 139:1 – you have examined my heart, God, and know everything about me

– Paul stated in Rom. 8:27 (MSG) – He knows us FAR BETTER than we even know ourselves

God calls us his beloved. While human infatuation statistically lasts 12-18 months, God has a sleepless and lasting infatuation lasting through eternity. While we sleep, He’s up all night thinking of us:

– Ps. 139:17-18 (MSG) – How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me CONSTANTLY! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

God isn’t using up all those thoughts condemning us or judging us… he is in love with us. Every thought is praising us, building us up, and watching our steps as His plan unfolds–insuring that the enemies plans are turned toward our favor

3. God is Gracious

– Eph. 1:4 – we are blameless in His sight

– Heb. 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Some of our fathers probably got mad at us during our time of need. They blamed us or left us to figure things out alone. Perhaps, in their eyes, we couldn’t do anything right. But it’s a myth that:

Myth: God is unpleasable

The truth is that God has accepted you (Rom. 15:7).

– Rom. 8:28-29 – GOD works all things together for the good of those who love Him

GOD works all things for our good, not you work all things out for your good… becuase if we try to work things out, Satan would be at the core of it, working all those things together for the bad. The Bible says, if you aren’t for God, you’re against Him (Luke 11:23). God has a plan for our lives, just as Satan does. Satan’s plan is to steal, kill, and destroy everything in our lives, while Jesus’ plan is to give us a future, hope, and work everything for our benefit. We can mess up a lot, but God never leaves us. It’s us that choose whether we are going to talk to the Father that’s right beside us, or if we are going to give Him the silent treatment. If we choose to return to the Father and get to know him for who he really is, He will work all our mess into something beautiful. But we have to surrender to His authority and allow Him to take control. His laws aren’t burdensome (1 John 5:3).

– Col. 1:22 – when you return to the Father, He reconciles you… without blemish and free from accusation

Luke 15:17-24 – When he came to his senses, he said… ‘I will set out and go back to my father’… But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.



Prayer:
God, thank you that your ways are higher than our ways; and that you don’t mimic or resemble the world. Instead you call us up to heavenly places, where peace and love reside. You know our pains, experienced our weaknesses, and always have us on your mind. Free us today of any lies or myths our parents and culture have burdened us with. Take us back to the places of pain, and let us see them with new eyes… asking you to show us where you were in that moment. Let your spirit show us, and set the captives free, loosing our hearts to love you and others in a greater measure. Continue to reveal your true nature to us and help us accept the fullness of your love, acceptance, and pleasure in us; knowing that every single thought, you have about us, is good.

Follow Desire or Prophecy?

Abraham tried to figure out a way to make God’s promise/prophecy work. Every time we try to help God out, we are in danger of producing our own Ishmael. It wasn’t what God had in mind! Abraham was deceived.
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Abraham believed God’s promise, however the prophecy was taking a long time. Abraham wondered if there was something he was doing wrong. He asked questions like: ‘Is there something that I need to do to make the prophecy come to pass? Is God waiting on me to do something? Shouldn’t I be co-laboring with God? What am I missing?’
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Deception means: to look for something where it’s not. Webster’s dictionary defines it as: fraud, double dealing, or trickery.
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I personally went through an experience where I gathered all the prophecies I had received through the years, looked over them, and tried to imagine what the fulfillment of those would look like. Suddenly, I found myself putting 30k toward a business I knew nothing about, plus going into debt for the first time in my life, all while unemployed, because I thought that was how the prophecies would all align. I found myself at the Red Sea waiting for God to part the waters, but I was too afraid to co-labor with the plan/prophecies anymore because I didn’t have money to survive. I later forfeited; I called the company, called it fraud and got a full refund (thank God). In my favor, they let me keep the books, allowed me to keep a few business start up mentoring sessions, and I found a local real estate mentor (for life instead of 6 months) for 1/30th of the price. Through all this, I learned that perhaps following our desires is the better option, than looking to our prophecies as a roadmap for our life. After all God isn’t controlling, so when He prophesied that I would have a business, knowing right well that I did not desire a business, I should have held the horses. Hmm, He did prophesy to ‘throttle back’; guess I missed that one! God tells us in Phillipians 2:14 that, ‘God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.’ So if you’ve ever received a prophecy that didn’t line up with your current desires, then sleep on it for a while; it may be for the future.
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As I started to look into the topic of ‘desire’, I found these gems too:
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Phil. 2:13 – it is I who gave you those desires

Prov. 16:26 – a worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on

If I didn’t have a desire for a business, that’s what I should have listened to–not try to force a prophecy to its fulfillment. God chooses to use our desires to lead us into the fulfillment of His plan for our lives. That’s what freedom looks like. God will shape and form your desires, and it’s at that point that you can co-labor with Him. And of course we aren’t talking about the desires of the flesh (Rom.13:13-14) here… we are talking about the desires to do His good, pleasing, and perfect will, which unfold as we continue to follow the path of righteousness.
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Any normal person would follow their desires… *self jab. Any normal person is following their flesh desires… right into the flames of hell. Put me down for trying something different! Antonyms for normal: abnormal, different, irregular, rare, uncommon, untraditional, unusual, exceptional, extreme (amen!), eccentric, insane (to the flesh)…  extraordinary! I’ll keep that last one tucked away for later. *self protect
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quotes_confusedBack to Abraham, we should take note that his desire was for his wife. It was his wife who directed his efforts from his desire, onto seeing the prophecy fulfilled and onto sleeping with the servant girl. We should also note that God was still gracious to his confused efforts by blessing Ishmael. However, God didn’t allow Ishmael, or Abraham’s efforts, to replace His original purpose and perfect will.

Rom. 11:29 – for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable

When God decides to give us something, He doesn’t change His mind, no matter what we do. In light of this scripture, I could’ve stood firm and rested in knowing that even if I hadn’t gotten back all the money I’d worked so hard to save, I could still believe God’s promise to me that: You won’t have to worry about finances; everything will be paid for; you’ll travel in state, out of state, and internationally, and live over seas for a time while being reimbursed like a job’. O, throttle back my heart, and wait for God to turn desire into fulfillment!

Predestination & Prayer

2 Kings 20:14-19 – The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”

God had just told King Hezekiah that he would die from an illness, earlier in this chapter, but when Hezekiah prayed, God used his prayer to change the outcome of his life. He added 15 more years to his life. (2 Kings 20:1-7)

After just going through that–watching God change what He had decreed, based on a single prayer–why didn’t Hezekiah pray for God to save them from Babylon too? His one prayer could’ve saved all of Israel.

Our prayers, or lack of prayers, can change the outcomes of nations. We should be praying for the coming generations, even in times of peace; and especially when the coming generations are reaping what we’ve sown.

#Pray #PrayForParis

God doesn’t change, nor does He think like us. He doesn’t change His mind, as if He can learn of some better way to do things. He has a plan that has been in place since the beginning of time. His plan includes your prayers. Your prayer is a tool in the hand of God. When you pray, His will comes on earth as was planned in heaven before the dawn of creation. Don’t water down the power of prayer. Every prayer is important, and every prayer changes the course of history.

Predestination & Prayer

The Bridal Gift

In Genesis 24, we find Abraham’s steward going out to find a wife for his son Issac. Derek Prince helps us understand the context of the story:

  1. In the middle east you always give a gift with a marriage proposal. If you accept the gift, you accept the marriage; if you turn down the gift, you refuse the marriage to the person.
  2. Camels can carry a lot of stuff, and the steward took 10 camels loaded down with gifts, for the bride he sought for his master. He said, ‘May the one who draws water for me, and offers to water my camels, be the one chosen to be bride.
  3. Camels drink 40 gallons of water each, and drawing water takes a lot of strength. On top of being in a hot desert area, Rebekah knew that it would take her most of the evening to water the camels, and she still offered it as a service of hospitality to the stranger.

Read the passage here, or skip it to continue commentary:

Genesis 24 – Abraham… said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had… “I want you to swear by the Lord, that you will get a wife for my son Isaac from my home territory… the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor and had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water. Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder… The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. 22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels… Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother… So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men… So the servant took Rebekah and left.

This is a story of faith in action, and a prophetic story pointing to a larger picture. Over, and over again, we see in the Bible that God (represented by Abraham) is looking for a bride (represented by Rebekah) for His son Jesus (represented by Issac).

Revelations 19:7-9 – For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

If Rebekah was given so many riches to become the bride of Issac, how much more richly will God bless us to become the bride of Christ? The Holy Spirit (represented by the unnamed steward), sent from God, is looking for the bride of Christ right now. The Spirit is the gift, and He brings many more gifts when He is welcomed. If we turn down the gift of the Spirit, we turn down the marriage to Jesus.

Our character is the key factor in receiving the gifts that the Spirit has to offer from God, much like Rebekah’s character was what made her stand out as the chosen bride. Whether tongues, encouragement, prophesy, administration, etc–Our character helps us receive and protect the gifts given through the Spirit of God. When we accept Christ, we receive His Spirit. The Spirit lives in us, much like a man joined to his bride in marriage. Since the Spirit is already inside of you, so are the gifts the Spirit possesses. However, gifts can lie dormant for years. It just depends on what you want to do with them. When will you bring your gifts out of storage and start putting them on display? Invest what you have so that you can gain even more. Grow the gifts inside of you.

Matt. 7:11 – If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The gifts are not to be feared, but cherished. They ARE God after all.

People seem so scared of the gift of tongues, or the gift of prophecy… but the gift of faith–that’s scary. That’s where you trust God to come through, faithful to His promises, even though everything in your life seems to be displaying the opposite. That’s when you do whatever He told you to, even though it seems to make the least amount of sense.

Heb. 11:6 – Without faith it is impossible to please God

Faith is a gift of the Spirit & God says you can’t please Him without it. What then should we think of the other gifts of the Spirit?

1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit

God never said things wouldn’t appear scary:

Mark 6:49-51 – Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake… when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed

but He does say 150 times, ‘Fear Not.’

Is. 41:10 – do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you

And that’s the purpose of gifts. They are not given to scare us (though they may at times from our misunderstanding), but for our strengthening, encouraging and comfort (1Cor.14:3-4). The disciples were scared for a moment, but Jesus immediately said, ‘Take courage.’ He immediately comforted them from the fear of the waves, storm, and the way He came to them. So, don’t let it scare you if He comes to you through gifts, because when He comes it is to comfort you. If you are like the disciples, and have fear because you don’t understand a way in which the Lord operates, then search out the explanation in His word and ask Him to show you personally:

1 Cor. 12:1-11 – Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

John 4:24 – God is spirit

2 Cor. 3:17 – the Lord is the Spirit

Do not reject the gift of God Himself, and do not reject any gift that He sees fit to give you. Every gift is to help and prosper you.

Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


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Glory & Trial

When the Spirit of God descended on Jesus, it immediately drove him into the desert for a time of testing. When Jesus emerged victorious, he was springboarded into the beginning of his ministry.

– Mark 1:9-12 – At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.

To get from one mountain to the next, you have to go through the valley; a time of testing.

– 2 Cor. 3:18 – And we all having been unveiled in face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.

I can rest easy knowing God’s plan because he’s already told me his promises in the ‘logos’ (written) word and in the ‘rhema’ (spoken) word. Before I was laid off at work I received a prophetic word that God was promoting me, pouring more into my hands, and that my life was changing, but that I should sit still and be unmovable in this season. This is just the valley on the way to the higher mountain. This is just the wilderness experience that comes with receiving the words of the Spirit. This is just the moment when Jesus flips the tables; that paradoxical nature he operates in. He hides his poker hand to everyone for the opportune moment, but he’s already shared the secrets with the one he loves. His promises give us peace and focus in the trial, and his word never returns void, but accomplishes that to which he sent it to do. And at the right moment there’s a royal flush revealed

– Rom. 8:31-34,37-39 – If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one…  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Ps. 40:5 – Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

– Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

– Eph. 2:8-10 – this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

He has a plan for every moment of our lives before we were even born. He will bring it about. His plans are good. The enemy intends to harm us, but God works it all out for our good (Gen.50:20 & Rom. 8:28).

– Ps. 139:16-17 – You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

Focused on Purpose

Luke 4:42-43 – And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

You need alone time to decide what your priorities are; go to that desolate place for a moment. If someone is demanding too much of you, even hunting you down in your quiet moment, not respecting your time or decision making skills, but instead pressuring you – then even Jesus told them too bad; He just said it all nice and gentle like, ‘I am going to do this thing that I have determined to do.’ He did not tell the people what they should do, and he did not turn down the people; He simply stated what He was going to do.

If people in those days were anything like people today (which they were), then the majority of them got in a tissy about his response. It’s your job to set your goals, boundaries, and have self-control of your decisions. If you don’t want to have control of your decisions, there are plenty of people who would love to take control of you and make the decision for you; they will abuse your time and take you off track of your purpose. If your decisions make someone upset, then it’s up to them to deal with that, and to learn to make the most of the time that they do have with you. This is great advice for work, home, or life in general.


Luke 5:1-5 – On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Simon had already put up for the day and closed shop. If Jesus was wrong he’d have to redo everything he had just done. It took an act of faith to throw those clean nets back in the water to pick up weeds, and grime, that would rot the old-fashioned (non nylon/non polyester) ropes if he didn’t clean them again. Do you have the kind of faith it takes to do the job twice if it doesn’t come through, and hasn’t come through all day?

When you feel like you’ve failed. When you feel like you’ve already given it your all. When you’re ready to call it quits. Jesus says put out the nets.

Keep your boundaries and purpose, yes, but never avoid something hard. There are those clients who will be nightmares and eat up your time. Set boundaries, but don’t quit on them. 50 designs later, are you still working with all your heart?

– Matt. 18:22 – Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

– Col. 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

– Eph. 6:7 – Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people