Acorn

One of the largest trees in the world is the oak tree. They grow to an average height of 50 to 70 feet. They tend to have a spread of as much as 50 feet from branch to branch. The white oak is the tallest, reaching as high as 100 feet with a spread of 80 feet. But did you know that a tree as large as an oak finds it’s origin from something as small as an acorn. How can something so massive come from something so minuscule?

The same concept holds true for us when we ask God for a need. I heard Apostle Ron Carpenter, Founder and Senior Pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center, say “When we ask God for a need, He gives us a seed.” In other words when we ask God for an oak tree, He gives us an acorn.

God answers our prayers but many times we don’t see it because our answers arrive in seed form. And the problem with receiving a seed is that it takes time to produce into the need that we asked God for. An acorn on average takes 8-16 months to develop into an oak tree. Many times in life it takes the same time frame, sometimes even longer, to see our needs met because the seed that we were given has not yet developed.

God has given us 66 bags of seed referred to as His Word, the Bible, for all of our needs. If you need joy, there is a seed (Psalm 30:5) for that. If you need provision, there is a seed (Philippians 4:19) for that. If you need hope, there is a seed (Romans 15:13) for that. If you need peace, there is a seed (Philippians 4:7) for that. If you need strength, there is a seed (Philippians 4:13) for that. Whatever your needs are in life, there is a seed for it. You just have to find it.

Maybe the thing that you are asking God for in your life He has already given you a seed for it. You just haven’t recognized it yet. Ask God today to open your eyes to see the seed that He has given you for your need.

Advertisements

Spoken Word

I heard Ron Carpenter, Founder and Senior Pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, SC, say “We use our words to communicate, but God uses His words to create.” I don’t think we realize how powerful our words are. We were created in the image of God, the first man, Adam, when he named the animals; what he called them that’s what they were, and the writer of Proverbs tells us “life and death are in the power of the tongue.” But yet we still toss around our words without thinking about the impact that they have.

In John 18, the writer shows us how powerful words can be. Let met put everything in context for you. Jesus is just about to be betrayed. Judas, the Pharisees, and the Roman troops have shown up to arrest Him. Just before they arrest Jesus, one of the craziest things happens. This is what John writes in verse 6 “Now when He said to them, “I am He, ” they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6 NKJV) Jesus’ words were so powerful that just His spoken word knocked people to the ground. How crazy is that?

The same words that spoke the world into existence, the same voice that proclaimed “I AM” from a burning bush in the wilderness is the same voice that spoke you into the earth. You’ve been always on God’s mind and in His heart, but in order to get you into this earth, He had to speak you into existence. You went from God’s heart, to His mind, to His mouth, to this world. Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t important, that you aren’t worth anything, and that you’re a nobody. God thought so much of you that He used the same breath of life that He breathed into man to breathe you into this world. You were created on purpose, with a purpose, for a purpose.

  1. What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
  2. How are you using your words? Are you using them to communicate or are you using them to create?
  3. Remember that you were created on purpose, with a purpose, for a purpose.

Break Free

In Acts 16 there is a very familiar passage. You probably know this story fairly well. Paul and Silas are thrown in the inner most part of prison. They are pretty much in solitary confinement, locked up in stocks, and placed under maximum security. Looks as if all hope is lost. But at midnight, they began to praise God, suddenly there is an earthquake, the prison is shaken, and all of the prisoners are set free.

Now I’ve heard this analyzed, dissected, and preached countless times and in every instance it is always determined that Paul and Silas praising God is the reason why the prison was shaken and they were set free. But recently I heard Apostle Ron Carpenter point out something I had never heard or seen before about this well versed passage of the Bible.

David writes that God inhabits the praises of His people. (See Psalm 22:3) Therefore, what Apostle Ron Carpenter pointed out, the reason why prison was shaken and Paul and Silas were set free was not because of their praise but because God had stepped into the prison with them. The prison might have been able to hold Paul and Silas but it couldn’t hold God. It might have been able to keep Paul and Silas restrained, but it couldn’t keep God contained.

I don’t know what your situation may be, but know this. The prison you may be in might be able to hold you but it can’t hold God. The enemy may have you locked up momentarily, but when God says it’s time to break the chains, He will set you free. The prison you’re in can not and will not contain the purpose that God has placed within.

God is about to step into your situation and move mightily on your behalf. Lift up a shout of praise and break free.

Win From Within

Nike recently came out with a commercial, you probably have seen it, that had this slogan or phrase “Win from Within.” The actual word Nike means victory and the main point of the commercial is that you have what it takes to succeed already built inside of you. This is what is referred to as potential. Each one of us has greatness inside of us. God has equipped you with everything you need to fulfill His purpose for you. And because of this the enemy, the devil, tries to keep you from pulling everything out from inside of you.

Apostle Ron Carpenter said “The devil doesn’t fight you at the level where you are at but at the level of your potential.” In other words, the devil fights you at the highest level in order for you to not reach your potential. The devil uses your past and present circumstances to try to destroy your future. He will try to get you to focus on your problems so that you will forget the promises of God.

Jesus said this in John 10:10 that the thief, meaning the devil, comes to steal, kill, and destroy. In other words the devil tries to kill your dream inside of you, steal you away from God’s purpose, and destroy your potential. I’m so glad that Jesus didn’t stop there but went on to say that He came to bring life more abundantly. Meaning that every time the devil kills your dream, Jesus will resurrect it; every time the devil steals you away from God’s purpose, Jesus will recapture you for His purpose; and every time the devil destroys your potential, Jesus will recreate it.

The devil will try to bring up your past to condemn you. He will try to make you feel like a failure. But Paul writes in Romans 8:1 that there is no more condemnation in Christ Jesus. The devil will try to discourage you. He will try to cause fear to arise in your life so that you will never attempt anything for God. But 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. The devil will try to overcome you by having stuff rise up against you in your life. But 1 John 4:4 says that greater is what God put inside of you than anything that the devil can place around you.

So next time the devil tries to kill, steal, and destroy remember that Jesus has given you life. Don’t let anyone or anything keep you from reaching your potential. God has put greatness inside of you. You win from within.

Surprise

I heard Ron Carpenter, Senior Pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center, say “Disappointment comes from when your expectations are not met.” If that is true then the opposite is true that surprise comes from when your expectations are exceeded. I think all of us at one time or the other have been disappointed and surprised in our lives.

There has been times in my life where I had expected to get something but was disappointed. I thought if I had done this, this, and this; it would result in that, that, and that. But it never happened the way I had expected. Other times, I thought that what I needed would come from a specific place, but it came from an area where I would have never expected it to come from.

Maybe the place you’re looking for your breakthrough to come from isn’t where it is going to come from. Maybe your breakthrough is found in the place you least expect. Maybe you are overlooking doing a menial task, but that task is in fact the very thing that will give you the opportunity you are looking for. Maybe where you are at presently and what you’re doing now is God preparing you for what He has for you next.

God told Moses to get water from a rock. Not the exact place you would look to get water. David was just being an errand boy for his father delivering lunch to his brothers, but it put him in position to face Goliath. Five thousand people were fed with a little boy’s lunch. The disciples were definitely not thinking that 5 loaves of bread and two fish were going to be where enough food to feed a crowd of people would come from.

So what are you waiting for, hoping for, or praying for? What small, unimportant, menial task are you overlooking? Are you looking for water to come from a rock? Start looking in unexpected places and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Stages to Breakthrough

I was at work the other day and I was thinking, because that’s what I do, and God hit me with this revelation of what stages you have to go through in order to get a breakthrough. I’ve never seen this before, I’ve listened to all different messages from T.D. Jakes to Perry Noble to Steven Furtick to Judah Smith to Ron Carpenter on the subject of breakthrough, and have never heard this example used. There are 3 specific stages you have to go through for breakthrough to happen in your life that God revealed to me through the story of Noah’s Ark and here they are.

1) Hard Work-The Working Stage

Noah was about 120 years old when God told him to build an ark. God said to Noah that he was going to have to swing a hammer, he was going to have to get his hands dirty, he was going to have to do some work. James tells us that faith without works is dead (See James 2:26). I believe we never see any improvements, progress, or breakthrough in our lives because most of the time we’re not willing to put in the hard work. The servants had to fill the jars with 120 to 180 gallons of water before Jesus turned it into wine, the disciples had to split the multitude into groups of 50 and distribute the loaves and fishes before Jesus fed the 5,000, the 4 friends had to cut a hole in the roof before Jesus healed their cripple friend. So if you are wanting to see a breakthrough in your finances you’re going to first have to work to put a budget together, if you want to see a breakthrough in your relationships you’re going to have to work to love and communicate with each other, if you’re wanting to see a breakthrough in your job you’re going to have to work to put yourself in position for that promotion, if you want to see a breakthrough in your life you must first put in the hard work.

2) Trials and Tests-The Storm or Flood Stage

Noah was in the ark for 40 days and nights while it was storming and flooding. James 1:2-4 tells us that the testing and trials we go through produce patience and perseverance and when they complete their course we will be complete, lacking nothing. Paul writes to Timothy saying that those who endure through the struggles, persecution, trials, and tests will reign after they’re all over (See 2 Timothy 2:12). So what is it that you’re going through right now that you just want to give up, give in, or throw in the towel? Push through it and outlast it because in the end you will get your breakthrough.

3) Patience and Perseverance-The Waiting Stage

After the storm and flood was over with, Noah had to wait for a while until the water had subsided and there was dry land to step out on. This might be the hardest stage to go through. It’s difficult to go through because you never know how long you are going to have to wait on God and you have the temptation to try to force the issue and help God speed up the waiting process. David instructs us to wait on the Lord because He will strengthen us (See Psalm 27:14). The prophet Isaiah tells us that those that wait on the Lord will renew their strength, will rise above their problem, will run and not grow weary, and walk and not get tired (See Isaiah 40:31). If you are faithful through the waiting period of life, you will gain the strength needed to carry out the calling, task, and purpose God has for you.

Lastly when Noah started building the ark, he was in the valley, but we’re told that after the flood was over; the ark came to rest on mount Ararat. God wanted me to tell whoever is reading this that you may start in the valley, but if you put in the hard work, endure through the storms of life, and are faithful to abide through the waiting process; you will end up on top of the mountain.

Jack in the Box

Most of us probably had a “Jack in the Box” toy growing up. You would wind the crank on the side of the box, music would play as you were winding, and then a clown, Jack, would pop out of the top of the box when the music ended. Whenever we wanted the clown to come out of the box, we would just turn the crank until he popped out.

Sometimes that’s how we treat God. We put Him in a box or on a shelf until we need Him. Then we take the box down, dust it off, and wind it up until God pops out. The children of Israel were the same way. God wanted to speak to them directly but they were afraid and wanted Moses to speak to them on behalf of God. Because of this God told Moses to build the ark of the covenant. Thus they limited all powerful God to a box (See Exodus 20:19-21 and Exodus 25:10-22).

Other times we put limits on God with our foolish criteria. The woman with the issue of blood had to touch the edge of Jesus’ cloak to be healed (See Matthew 9:18-21). Thomas had to put his fingers in the holes of Jesus’ nailed scared hands and put his hand in Jesus’ pierced side before he would believe Jesus was alive (See John 20:24-29). We put finite limitations on an infinite God. I heard Apostle Ron Carpenter, Senior pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center, say “Instead of having God bring us up to Him, we bring God down to our level.” He went on to say that God’s level is whatever and all but we never seem to get to that level because of our limits, criteria, and doubt.

Jesus said that if we believe, we will receive whatever we ask for (See Matthew 21:22). He also said that with God all things are possible (See Matthew 19:26). Paul tells us that God can do above and beyond all we could ever ask or imagine (See Ephesians 3:20). Can you have the audacity to believe God for the whatever and all? If what you’re asking or imagining is not scary or challenging to you, then you’re probably limiting the potential of what God can do in your life.

So what box do you have God in? What finite limits or foolish criteria have you set for God? Let God out of the box and start believing He is able to do whatever it is He said He would do.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: