Excuses Cause Delay in Spiritual Progress

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (John 4:9).

Too often we offer excuses as a means of justifying not doing what God has called us to do. A lot of us have various reasons for why we haven’t performed what God has asked us to do.

The Samaritan woman had a similar spirit. After becoming weary due to traveling a great distance, Jesus asks the woman to give him a drink. Instead of providing Him with what He requested, she gave a reason to justify why she couldn’t do it. She was a Samaritan and Jesus was a Jew and Samaritans and Jews didn’t associate with one another.

She offers Jesus a reason to make herself feel better about not doing what He asked her to do. Many of us can relate to this because we’ve given a number of excuses to make ourselves feel better about not giving the Lord the response He desires. We’ve offered various reasons to legitimize our decision to not move out on what God said.

We stay in unhealthy relationships because we’ve justified our stance. We do things we’re not supposed to because we’ve sanctioned our actions. We refuse to step out on faith and take God at His word because we’ve established various reasons to endorse our behavior.

The more excuses you make, the more you prolong the process of God giving you something better than what you have. The Samaritan woman came to the well to obtain a jar of water, but Jesus had intentions of giving her the Living Water. I encourage you to do what God is calling you to do so you won’t delay what He has for your life.

For further study, please read John 4:1-10.

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The Importance of Receiving Direction

“Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before” (Joshua 3:4).

It’s imperative to receive direction when you’re embarking on a new area in your life. It’s to your advantage to obtain guidance when you’re entering a place that’s unfamiliar to you. However, you shouldn’t seek advice from just anybody. You should receive direction from someone who’s walking with the Lord.

The children of Israel are on the brink of entering into the land that God promised. They were not too familiar with this area so they were encouraged to wait until they received some direction. Since they had never been “this way before” they followed the priests who were walking with God. The priests were carrying the Ark of the Covenant, which represented God’s presence. They marched before the rest of the Israelites as a means of spiritual guidance.

When you’re heading into a new arena in your life it’s so important to receive spiritual guidance. Be careful not to let pride get in your way by thinking that you can make it on your own. Be careful not to obtain just anybody’s advice because some people will lead you astray. You have to ensure that you receive direction from someone who is connected to God so you’ll possess what He has for your life.

Before you purchase the house, you should receive some spiritual guidance. Before you purchase the car, you should obtain some divine direction. Prior to opening the business, you ought to secure some Godly advice to make sure you walk in the path God has ordained.

When you’re embarking on a new area, you have to obtain wise counsel because it could mean the difference of you possessing what God promised or drowning in the river.

For further study, please read Joshua 3:1-6.

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Stay Put and Let God Bless You

“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him” (Genesis: 26:12).

One of the things that I’ve discovered about God is that it doesn’t take Him long to produce what you need. God is so awesome that He can provide for you at the drop of a dime.

Isaac witnessed this for himself. God challenged Isaac to stay in a land that was experiencing a famine because He wanted to show him that He could take care of him. Isaac planted crops in the land and in that “same year” a harvest was produced. He didn’t have to wait until the next year for a harvest because it doesn’t take God long to produce.

If you are presently going without something that you really need, know that it doesn’t take God long to produce. If you stay faithful to what He has called you to do, He can provide for you quicker than you can even imagine. Not only does He have the ability to produce quick, fast and in a hurry, but He’ll also bless you with something that you never expected.

The text informs us that in that same year Isaac reaped a “hundredfold.” God blessed him with more than he probably expected because Isaac did what God called him to do. He was going through a drought, but He followed God’s command and God honored his obedience with a hundredfold blessing. Although you may be experiencing a dry season in your life, you’ve got to stay faithful to what God has called you to do. Continue to give Him praise, honor and glory. Continue to work where you’ve been assigned. When times become rough and you get discouraged, remember that it doesn’t take God long to produce what you need.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).

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God Can Take Care of You Wherever You Are

The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you” (Genesis 26:2-3).

Sometimes God places us in unappealing situations to show us that He can take care of us wherever we are. Every now and then, He allows us to encounter difficult times to demonstrate that He’s still in control. Often times, you’ll find yourself going through a dry season, and you have to know that He will sustain you.

Isaac discovers this for himself. In the text, there is a famine in the land. We’re informed that Isaac is told by God to not go down to Egypt. God knew that Isaac had intentions of going to this land because it could provide him what he needed in order to survive. Although Egypt had the resources he desired, God challenged Isaac to stay in Gerar because He wanted to show him that He could take care of him in that location.

Please understand that God can take care of you wherever you are. You may not have a job, but God will take care of you. Your bank account may be low, but God will take care of you. You may be single, but God will sustain you because He’s able to provide whatever you need.

In spite of where you find yourself, you shouldn’t be discouraged because God only wants to show you that He is God. Things may be rough, but He will provide. Your situation may be tough, but He’s in control. You may be struggling, but be of good courage because He’s going to supply your every need. You won’t get evicted. The car won’t get repossessed. You won’t lose your mind because He’s going to keep you.

Don’t go back to Egypt. Wait on the Lord. Don’t go back to Egypt. Trust in His word. Don’t go back to Egypt. It’s just a temporary fix. Remain with the Lord because He’s all that you need!

For further study, please read Genesis 26:1-6.

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Stay Close to People Who Are Walking With God

“I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses” ( Joshua 1:3).

Every now and then you’ll become a recipient of a proximity blessing. Sometimes God will bless you through the people you hang around. It’s to your advantage to be surrounded by people who are walking with God because often time blessings will fall into your lap. Joshua discovers this in our text. He’s informed that he would be the benefactor of some blessings promised to Moses. As a result of hanging out with Moses, he would possess some land that he was never promised. God made a covenant with Moses to give him the land, but because of Moses’ disobedience, God made Joshua the recipient.

If you’re obedient to what God calls you to do you’ll receive some proximity blessings. Although Joshua was Moses’ assistant, he got blessed beyond measure because he decided to walk with somebody who was walking with God. He never prayed to be blessed as he was. He never expected to receive what he did. He only received the blessing because he was in proximity.

You don’t have to manipulate in order to receive a blessing. It’s unnecessary to force yourself on to people who you feel can be a blessing to you. It’s not God’s desire for you to be blessed in that way because you’ll give credit to people rather than God. The only thing you need to do is walk in God’s will and He’ll surround you with the people who will bless your life.

If you choose any other route you’ll end up settling for less because people can’t bless you like God can!

For further study, please read Joshua 1:1-5.

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A “Good” Thing May be a Bad Thing

“The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God” (2 Samuel 6:7).

A friend recently reminded me, that just because it’s a good thing, it doesn’t mean it’s a God thing. Often times we encounter situations that appear to be a good thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s from the Lord. I would dare to say that all of us have been through some drama in our life because we mistook something that looked good as a blessing from God. Maybe it was revealed to you as a result of a relationship. Maybe you discovered it after taking a job. Maybe it was made known to you in a deal that went bad. I believe all of us can agree with the saying “everything that glitters ain’t gold.”

In our text, David and his companions find out the hard way that what may seem like a good thing may not be the best thing.

David and his boys are in the process of returning the Ark to Jerusalem when they are met with tragedy on their journey. It appears that they are doing a good thing for the Lord by returning God’s presence to the holy city. However, we discover that though their intentions were good, God didn’t assign the people guiding the Ark. The Ark was supposed to be handled by the priestly tribe of Levi and not by sons from the house of Abinadab. In addition, the Ark wasn’t supposed to be transported on a cart. It was supposed to be carried by consecrated hands. Their intention was good, but their approach was bad and one person ended up paying the price.

David and his crew were doing a good thing, but unfortunately it was not a God thing. They had great intentions of bringing the Ark back to Israel, but they didn’t use the approach that God prescribed.

Be careful not to mistake a good thing as a God thing because you may end up making a terrible mistake. You may find yourself on a job that you don’t like. You may end up with somebody who doesn’t have your best interest in mind. When a good thing comes your way seek out the Lord before you end up in a bad situation.

For further study, please read 2 Samuel 6:1-8.

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Forget About Tomorrow

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).

As a child, I can remember watching the television show “One Day at a Time.” Throughout the years, I’ve grown to appreciate what the title implies. Too often we stress ourselves by preoccupying our minds with tomorrow’s demands. Often times we worry ourselves because we spend so much time thinking about what’s up the road. We drain ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally because we burden ourselves with unnecessary issues. For the most part, we’re not tired because of the load we had to carry during the day. We grow weary because we also concentrate on what’s ahead.

As Jesus did with His disciples, I want to encourage you to take one day at a time. You may have a lot of things to address, but you only need to focus on today’s concerns. Stop thinking about everything you have to do this week so you can concentrate on what you need to accomplish today.

Take joy in knowing that God will address your needs so you won’t worry about how things will get done. The bills will get paid; the degree will be obtained; the project will get completed; and the promotion will come to pass. You just focus on what has to be done today and know that God will supply what you need tomorrow.

Take it day by day so you can lighten your load. Take it one day at a time so you won’t wear yourself out. You have enough on your plate as it is, so don’t overwhelm yourself with the affairs of tomorrow.

For further study, please read Matthew 6:25-34.

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Don’t Miss God’s Blessings

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34)

Too often we pass up a good thing because we don’t recognize what a blessing looks like. Too often we miss out on what God has for us because we don’t discern what’s best for us. God sends us a blessing, but we get rid of it. He tries to address our situation, but we overlook it because we don’t know the characteristics of a blessing.

In our text, Jesus is in agony because the people whom He was sent to bless have rejected Him. He’s hurting deep within because the people whom He wanted to show some favor have mistreated Him. After all He did to reveal who He was, the people who He was on assignment to bless, refused to receive Him. Although He healed the sick and raised the dead they still rejected Him. In spite of His making the lame walk and causing the blind to see they still gave Him the cold shoulder.

It’s sad when God gives us revelation and insight in respect to what He has for us and we end up turning it down. He allows us to see how blessed we would be if we were to embrace what He sends our way. He gives us a chance to witness what we would receive if we were to accept what He presents us. Yet, inspite of receiving this sort of revelation and insight, we often discard the blessing that He has for our lives.

We choose drama instead of deliverance. We choose frustration instead of favor because sometimes we can’t discern a blessing from a burden. You have to make sure that you’re on the same page with God so you won’t miss out on what He has for you. Opportunities will come and chances will arise, and you have to make sure that you can recognize a blessing. Consider the various attributes that are connected to what’s presented in order to determine what’s best for your life. Don’t grieve the Lord by rejecting what He has for you. Receive and embrace the blessing that He has for your life.

For further study, please read Luke 13:31-35.

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In the Right Place, but With the Wrong Spirit

“Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, ‘Why are you thinking these things?’” (Mark 2:8)

As I read our text for today, I was intrigued with the posture of the teachers of the law who gathered in a home where Jesus was preaching. Jesus had returned home to proclaim the word of God when four men carrying a paralytic interrupted the service. When Jesus observed their faith, He forgave the man’s sins but he received some static from the teachers of the law.

It’s amazing how people can be in the right place, but have the wrong spirit. You have to be careful of this in the church because a lot of people come to church for the wrong reasons. They come to the right place, but they have the wrong disposition. They come to the house of worship, but they have the wrong type of attitude. Jesus is in the midst of blessing a brother’s life, but some teachers of the law seem possessed by demons.

You have to be aware when you come to the house of worship because everybody doesn’t come to service for the right purpose. You come to church to praise, but they come to prey. You come to hear a word, but they come to get your number. You come to worship, but they come to gossip because they’re on assignment from the enemy.

I encourage you to utilize your spirit of discernment so you won’t get hooked up with the wrong people. They can come to church every Sunday, but have the wrong intentions. They can show up for every Bible study, but have the wrong thing in mind. They may be heavily involved in ministry, but don’t be naive, because the devil understands how to put on a façade.

This is not only true in the church, but this is true in the “world.” There are a lot of people in the right place with the wrong spirit. There are some people who have a great position in your company, but they have the wrong attitude. You have some people who could be a blessing to you, but they prefer to bless others because they are controlled by a demonic spirit. Instead of being discouraged, employ your divine authority by praying the demon out of their life.

For further study, please read Mark 2:1-12.

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Recognize Your Worth

“If you are so numerous,” Joshua answered, “and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites” (Joshua 17:15).

I love being around people who recognize their worth. I get excited when I meet people who refuse to settle for less. They have a certain swagger about themselves because they understand who they are.

That is the case for the people of Joseph. They recognize who they are in the Lord, and they’re not satisfied with the land they’ve been given. They inform Joshua that their allotted land is inadequate because they are a numerous people. They’re unhappy with the territory they’ve been assigned because it’s not sufficient for them to occupy.

Since they’re not pleased with their apportioned land, Joshua urges them to do something about it. He told them to go up into the forest and clear land for themselves so they could acquire what they needed. Essentially, Joshua was telling them that the land wasn’t going to be given to them, so they would have to put in some work in order to possess it. Please understand that instead of viewing their land in terms of their region’s size, the Israelites viewed their regions in terms of the land that was already cleared for farming and grazing.

Joshua lets them know that if they desire to have increase, they would have to work hard and fight for it. It would not be handed to them or awarded to them. They would have to roll up their sleeves and expend some energy.

If you’re not pleased with your present situation, you have to work hard to make things better. If you’re not satisfied with what you have, you have to fight until you obtain your desires. If you want it bad enough, you’ll do what’s necessary to make sure you receive what you need.

Don’t just settle when you understand your worth – Move out and take possession of unlimited blessings.

For further study, please read Joshua 17:12-18.

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