How You View Your Situation Can Determine Whether You Succeed Or Fail


Your perspective in life determines your outcome. How you perceive things makes the difference in whether you succeed or fail. You can either see the glass half full or half empty. You can view your situation as a setup or a setback. You can look at how big your God is or how big your problem is.

Your failures in life don’t have to actually be failures at all. One of the most feared and successful fighters in the world today, Conor McGregor, looks at every fight as either he wins or he learns. Defeat doesn’t even cross his mind even if the actual result of the fight is a loss. McGregor acquired this mindset from his coach, John Kavanagh. In fact this way of thinking is the title of Kavanagh’s new book, Win or Learn

In life we are going to experience some tough times. Jesus even said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In other words it’s not a matter of coming across tough times in our lives, it’s a matter of whether we are going to let those tough times overcome us.

So how are you perceiving things? Are you looking at that job loss as a setback or a setup to the greater that God has for your life? Are you looking at that bad report from the doctor as loss of hope or an opportunity for healing? Are you looking at that debt as an insurmountable hurdle or a gateway to your financial freedom? 

You can either go through life looking at the glass as half full or as half empty. Whether you overcome that mountain before you is based on your mindset. Your progress in life is determined by your perspective. The choice is up to you.

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You Hear It Before You See It

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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~ Romans 10:17 NKJV

I find it interesting that in the physical world the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound. In other words, you see something before you hear it. You see the lightning before you hear the thunder. You see the firework before you here the sound that it makes. You see the baseball player swing the bat before you hear the crack that it makes when it hits the ball.

While on the contrary, in the spiritual realm, we hear the word of God before we see the hand of God. We have to have the faith to believe for something before we actually see it happen. God spoke the world into existence. We hear the sound of a mighty rushing wind. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah told Ahab “there is a sound of abundance of rain” before he actually saw the rain. We are told to walk by faith and not by sight (See 2 Corinthians 5:7).

It’s like when a woman is giving birth to a child. For nine months, she can’t see the baby inside of her but she knows that it is there. She can feel the baby inside of her, she just can’t see it yet. She can hear the baby inside of her, but she can’t see it yet. Even though she can’t yet see the baby inside of her, she believes that it is there.

Sometimes what we see in our lives contradicts what we have heard in God’s word. That’s where faith comes in. The writer of Hebrews tells us “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (See Hebrews 11:1) Just because we don’t see it yet, doesn’t mean that what we heard isn’t going to happen. Don’t lose hope because it hasn’t happened. Hold onto your faith. And don’t stop believing.

If you wan’t to dive deeper into this thought, here is a great message from Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church, on this subject.

Sometimes You Just Have To Walk Through It


Have you ever come across a situation in your life where there was no avoiding it? You wanted to be able to side step it but there was no way around it. You wanted to avoid it but you just had to walk through it.

Everyone of us has come to a pivotal moment in our lives where we had a crucial decision to make. We could either take the path of least resistance or we could hit it head on. We could take the long way around it or we could put our head down and walk right through it. 

It’s human nature to want to take the path of least resistance. It’s in our DNA to avoid conflict. Who in their right mind would rather go through something than to go around it? But sometimes in life it’s better to push through the conflict than to proceed to go around it. It’s better to fight through the situation rather than to avoid it altogether.

Recently Steven Furtick, Pastor of Elevation Church, mentioned something profound when it comes to these moments in our lives. He said “Sometimes your harvest is found by walking through something you would rather walk around.” This is so true. Sometimes in order to get what God has for us in our lives we have to go through our situation instead of going around it.

The Israelites had to go through the Jordan River in order to get to the Promise Land (See Joshua 3). David talks about going through the valley (See Psalm 23:4). Even Jesus, though he didn’t want to (See Luke 22:42), had to go through the cross. 

So what is it that you’re facing today? What is it that you have been avoiding? What situation currently in your life would you rather walk around? Go through it. Because your harvest could be waiting for you on the other side.

God Is Not A Genie And Unlike Christina You Can’t Rub Him The Right Way

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The church has made God out be be like He is some genie from the movie Aladdin. Like we are able to rub some lamp, like Aladdin, and poof out pops God to grant our wish. We have been taught to believe that if we pray more, spend more quiet time with God, read the Bible more, or even give more time and money; God is going to bless us more. It’s this theology that if you have a greater need, you have to sow a greater seed. In other words if you want more from God, you have to give more to God.

The only problem with this way of thinking is that it just isn’t Biblical. Yes there is the scripture in Galatians where Paul says “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (See Galatians 6:7 NIV) And even Jesus said in Luke “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (See Luke 6:38 NIV) These verses have been twisted today to make them seem like they are saying the more money you give the more money you will receive. But that just isn’t true. Neither Paul nor Jesus were referring to money when they spoke these words. Just one verse before in Luke, Jesus was talking about forgiving. And Paul follows up verse 7 in Galatians saying that our sowing should be, when we have the opportunity, to do good to all people.

Even Satan himself tried to manipulate Jesus by taking certain scripture verses out of context. (See Matthew 4:1-11 NIV) It rubs me the wrong way, no pun intended, that people use the scripture and the church to push forth their own agenda and to prey on innocent bystanders. Jesus referred to this type of person as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. (See Matthew 7:15 NIV) You know who else was referred to as masquerading about as something he isn’t? You guessed it. The devil himself. (See 1 Peter 5:8 NIV) Not someone who I want to be associated with.

The truth is that God loves you no matter what. And that God blesses us not because of what we do but because of who we are. Giving more money isn’t going to get God’s attention. Jesus already did that for us when He died on the cross. You can’t pray for it. You can’t rub some magic lamp for it. And you can’t work for it. That is a good thing. Because if we could earn God’s love, if we could earn God’s grace, if we could earn God’s blessings then we could also lose them too. Jesus already did the work so we don’t have to, and frankly we couldn’t do it anyway. God isn’t a genie. God is good. God is great. And that is why He blesses us.

 

The Way I Talk


There is a new country song on the radio today called “The Way I Talk” by Morgan Wallen. The whole message behind the song is about being authentic. It’s about being you no matter what others may think. There is a lyric in the song that stood out to me. It says “The man upstairs gets it so I ain’t tryna fix it.”

So many things we do today, we do in an effort to receive the approval of others. We go out of our way in an attempt to gain the praise and adoration of people we don’t even know. We wear clothes that aren’t comfortable in order to receive the comfort of others. We buy cars we can’t afford in order to impress people we haven’t even met. Our decisions in life revolve around capturing the attention of others. We constantly strive in vain to seek satisfaction in the sights of everyone else.

I love the message of this song by Morgan Wallen because it’s the message of our Heavenly Father. We see this in the life of Jesus. Before Jesus performed any miracles. Before Jesus died on the cross. Even before Jesus rose from the dead. God was proud of him. (See Matthew 3:17) Even Jesus couldn’t do anything to win over God’s approval. So why do we think it would be any different for us? 

God isn’t proud of us because of what we do, but because of who we are. Any parent out there can attest to this. You want to see your kids be successful. But whether they succeed or fail in life doesn’t change the fact that they are still your kid and that you still love them and are still proud of them. God is a perfect father and he loves you and is proud of you not because of your status in society but because of your position as His child.

Quit striving after the praise of others. Rest in the satisfaction of knowing God is already proud of you. Quit seeking the recognition of people. You already have the attention of God. Quit trying to look good for everyone else. You already have the approval in the sight of the only One who matters.

The Company You Keep

I have heard it said that you can tell a lot about a person by looking at the people they hold close to in their life. When you go through tough times in life you find out who your friends are, but you can also find out a lot about who you are by looking at who your friends are. In other words, we tend to hang out with people who we share commonalities with.

This morning tragic news broke of former New England Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez, being found dead after presumably hanging himself in his prison cell. The story of Aaron Hernandez is a tragic one because Hernandez was a very talented athlete that never reached his full potential because he wasn’t able to leave his past in the past. Hernandez wasn’t able to separate himself from his past and eventually it ended up destroying his future. It’s sad to see someone who had everything get it all taken away because they weren’t able to let go of the people and lifestyle in their past that were pulling them down. 

The apostle Paul knew all about this. That is why he wrote “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) You are the company you keep. If you want to be successful then surround yourself with successful people. If you want to get out of debt then surround yourself with people who are debt free. And the opposite holds true as well. The people you associate yourself with can either lift you up or tear you down. 

So take a look around. Who are your friends? Are you surrounding yourself with the right people? Are they pointing you toward your future or are they pulling you back to your past? Are they positioning you toward who you want to become? Are they leading you toward where you want to be going? Choose your company wisely because ultimately they help you choose who you will become.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want


Two of the most known and famous scripture verses are often vastly taken out of context. The first being from probably the most famous psalm written by David saying “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” And the second being a well known verse in Philippians written by the apostle Paul that says “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 

Both verses referring to God as our protector and our provider. But if we are not careful, when taken out of context, these verses can seem like God is going to give us whatever we want. On the contrary, when we take a closer look at these verses, we will see a quite different meaning. God is not a genie that is going to grant our every wish and want at our beckon call, but He is a loving father that is going to make sure we have everything that we need in life.

Louie Giglio, the pastor of Passion City Church and the founder of the Passion conferences, made an interesting observation when talking about the first verse of Psalm 23 in his message at the Code Orange Revival at Elevation Church last year. He said that when David says “I shall not want” it’s not because God is going to grant his every wish and therefore he won’t want for anything but it’s because he trusts that God knows better than him on what is best for David. David knew that God being a good shepherd would know what David would need in his life and therefore he would lack nothing. He knew if God didn’t give it to him than he must not have needed it.

Just like David, Jesus tells us that He is the Good Shepherd (See John 10:11). When our desires align with His, we will have everything we need. When we trust that He knows best for our lives, we will lack nothing. When we believe that if He didn’t give it to us than we don’t need it, we will be content. 

When we think like that we might not get what we want, but we will have what we need.

From the Heart to the Head


Have you ever been in a situation where you believed in your heart that everything was going to be alright but your head hadn’t quite begun to think like that? Of course you have. It’s called going through life. As sure as you have breath in your lungs, you have experienced a situation before just as I have described.

As I am writing this, I am going through a situation in my life just like I mentioned above. I was let go from my job after working for the company for about 4 years. My heart believes that everything is going to be alright because God is still in control but my head is still trying to understand it all. My head is looking at the reality of losing an income but my heart believes that God will supply all my needs. My heart is trusting and asking “What now God?” but my head is troubling and asking “Why now God?”. 


The longest distance in the world is the 18 inches from the head to the heart. The reason for this vast chasm is because your heart is believing in the truth of God’s word while your head is focusing on your current reality. Your heart is full of faith while your head is full of facts. This is why the writer of Hebrews says “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

So how do you bridge the gap between your head and your heart? Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” When we try to use our head knowledge to make sense of our situation, we will fall victim to our reality. But if we will trust that everything is going to be alright, even though we can’t see it in the moment, because God is in control, then and only then, will our head align with our heart.

So the next time you come across a situation where your heart is pulling you in one direction while your head is pushing you the other way, trust that God is still on His throne. Continue to believe in your heart until the reality that your head sees starts to align with the truth in God’s word.

NewSpring Church Fires Senior Pastor, Perry Noble


You have probably heard by now the devastating and shocking  news that broke this past weekend about one of the largest and fastest growing churches in the United States. Newspring Church, based in Anderson, South Carolina, announced this past Sunday that as of July 1st Senior Pastor and founder, Perry Noble, was relieved of his duties.

Here is the statement posted on the NewSpring Church website.

After a few days of silence, Perry Noble posted a video on his FaceBook page.

As a member of NewSpring Church and someone who has done a semester long internship there, this came as a complete shock to me. Because of my internship, I had the privilege of meeting Perry a few times. From my experiences, I have nothing but great things to say about him. He seemed like a genuinely good guy to me.

The one thing I want to point out in all of this is that we are all human and we all fail. Let us be quick to give love and show grace. Let us not condemn. Let us not judge. Let us not throw stones. (See John 8:2-11)

Right now Perry needs our prayers and support. We all have our demons and struggles that we battle with every day. And sooner or later, we will find ourselves just like Perry needing the prayers and support of others to help us make it to the other side.

So take some time right now to lift Perry up in prayer. Because I’m sure if you were in his situation, he would do the same for you.

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