I love the line by Matt Damon in the movie, “We bought a zoo” when the father tells his children how he met their mother. He said, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you, something great will come of it.
I don’t believe things just happen by coincidence, but that life is full of divinely orchestrated moments which all of heaven is at work to bring to pass at the appointed time. Therefore it pays to be listening up and doing what we can to understand Gods timing, plan and allow Him to direct your steps.
God says, “there is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
“A man’s heart plans his way: but the LORD directs his steps“. (Proverbs 16:9)
Today determine to use your time wisely and to make the most of every opportunity. Ask everyday for God to guide you so that you can act, speak and be in alignment with his perfect plan for your lifeso you won’t miss what he is doing.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Trust him to direct your steps and if and when the opportunity arises take your twenty seconds and believe for something great to happen.
Prayer: Lord please help me to measure my days wisely and to remain focused. I don’t want to waste anymore time, so please help me to be courageous and to know and walk in your plan for my life today. In Jesus Name Amen.
Most of us can “study” people through different means; We examine their social media, spend time with them and listen and take notice of what they say and do. We check out their online status, profile information, preferences and favourite pastimes. We study them to determine whether we want to spend time discovering more.
We study and get to know God in much the same way. You could call it having permission to be a “God stalker” with all the positive connotations. Because He wants us to not only be satisfied in knowing about him, but in actually knowing Him.
We hear about Him and what He is like and then begin discovering Him for ourselves.
We can get to know Him by sitting quietly and listening in our hearts and learning to discern His voice. We read the bible, hear other people’s spiritual journey’s and stories. We can listen to preaching and teachingand spend time with others who know Him too.
Studying God is also a little like being a new parent where you just sit, gazing at their little face, hands and feet. You learn a lot through simply being with and spending time with them.
Likewise, there are times with Jesus where you don’t have to do or say anything; it is enough to be with Him, for “In being there is knowing Him”.
Jesus wants us to study Him and for us to want to know Him more deeply. He doesn’t want our relationship with Him to stay at the same level or become superficial. He even says to fix our mind on heaven and to seek Him out so that He can share mysteries and great and mighty things with us.
Take the time today to study God because, “If you love God knowing a little about him, you can be sure you will love God even more from knowing more about him.”
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2)
“But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:16)
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Prayer: Lord, I’m going to take the time to study and get to know what you think, like, and what pleases you and touches your heart. I want to know you more and for you to know me. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Today our youngest son Isaac got lost somewhere between the apartment elevator and the floor we are staying in. He’d been messing around with his older brother and got separated by himself on the wrong floor. His brother came flying through the door of the 17th-floor apartment we’re staying in, saying, “I’ve lost Isaac.”
Several things go through your mind with the news your child is somewhere by himself in an apartment building he’s not familiar with. But, unless those thoughts are positive, it’s not usually helpful to repeat any of them.
However, it is vital to watch the first words you do choose to speak regarding a situation and especially when under pressure or feeling fearful and stressed.
What’s in our hearts and how we think and believe will be revealed through our actions, expressions, and the words we speak. Are they words of life, faith and blessing, or do we blurt out words of disaster, death, fear, and hopelessness?
God encourages us to guard our hearts, for out of them flow the springs of our life. What goes in must come out, and the words we speak can be what brings us through situations, or what’s used to bring us down and destroy us.
When we fill our hearts and mouth with God’s words full of faith, hope, and love, that is what we will start to think and declare when we are under attack or pressure. It’s how we speak and behave whilst under pressure that reveals what we truly believe and think.
Which is why it’s vital our initial first words are words of life, faith and hope. As soon as we start to speak and attach our faith to these first words, God gets on the job, and ministering angels are immediately released into our situation to bring the best result.
“Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His Word, obeying the voice of His Word! Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will. (Psalm 103:20)
“Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12)
Today, listen to the words you are speaking and check the direction of your thoughts. Determine if they are full of hope, life and faith or are they of fear and defeat? If your words are contrary to what you want to have happen, don’t just sit there waiting for something bad or challenging to occur.
Get out a bible, listen to uplifting messages, be around positive faith filled people and start putting his promises in your heart and mouth. Let them become the first words you speak in every situation, as you make your declaration for good and not evil, success and not a failure and for blessing and peace.
Issac, by the way, arrived safely back at our door, but not before we’d searched every floor, ran up and down the fire escape, and put the above into practice.
“My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight. Keep them in the midst of your heart, for they are life to those who find them and health to all their body.
Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious speech far from you.
Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established.” (Proverbs 4:21-25)
“The tongue has the power of life and death.” (Proverbs 18:21)
Prayer: Lord, I’m choosing to make my words line up with what you declare in your Word. Please put a guard across my heart and mouth so that I only store up life, joy and blessing, and please forgive me where I have allowed myself to believe and speak contrary to your promises. I choose to determine to make my first words in every situation designed to bring me into victory. In Jesus name Amen.
As you grow to know God, trusting His promises becomes less difficult because you come to realise that what He says is grounded in His character and who He is. He is absolutely trustworthy and uncompromisingly faithful to fulfil the promises in His word for anyone who dares to believe them.
He even supernaturally overrides natural forces to get to you what you are believing for. From making a borrowed axe head float on water to ensuring a man stays out of debt, turning water into wine to save embarrassment at a wedding, or opening blind eyes and raising the dead to life, God fulfils his promises. (2 Kings 6:1-7;John 2:1-11; John 9; John 11:38-44; Luke 6:17:7-23)
Today don’t settle for less than all that Jesus came to give and has spoken over your life. Lift your expectation and trust in what He will do for you. He does not lie, nor does He change like shifting shadows. What He said He will do, even if that means moving heaven and earthto make happen.
Dig into God’s word today and find the answer and promise for what you need or are believing, and by faith and patience inherit the promise (Hebrew 6:12).
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
“The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” (Jeremiah 1:12)
Prayer: Lord, thank you that I can trust in your promises, knowing that you are entirely able to fulfil all that you have promised. I choose to get into agreement with what you say rather than anything or anyone else today as I believe in you. In Jesus name Amen.
What’s the worst thing that can happen? Because if you can handle that, then you are going to be okay.
It’s many people’s mindset and practice and acts as a coping and protective mechanism to help us deal with the what-ifs and trauma we can sometimes experience or live in fear of.
But what if you stopped preparing for the worst-case scenario and began to expect the best possible outcome was going to happen instead?
How different would your mindset be, and how much greater the possibilities and belief that would be generated because you are focusing upon everything you desire rather than what you dread or fear.
Outstanding achievements, faith and getting to live our best life come from having great expectations, not preparing for worst-case scenario’s which condition us to expect trouble, fear, lack and stress.
Today check what you have been expecting and preparing for. Is it for good things ahead, overflow, health, happiness, purpose, fulfilment and your dreams coming true, because that’s the expectation and plan that God has for you.
God says; “For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.” (Romans 8:32)
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT)
Let go of the worst case scenario’s and expect wonderful big things to happen today. Great expectations bring great results.
“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us.’
Prayer: Lord, thank you that nothing is impossible for you and that you have great plans and purpose for my life. Please help me to have great expectations so that I can experience great results today. In Jesus name Amen.
One thing I’ve learnt over 30 years of marriage is to look on the bright side. This may sound obvious, but for me it did not come naturally. I am a details person and if left to my own devices I have been known to fixate on problems, and to worry far too much for my own good.
But it’s the ability to look on the bright side, and to realise that the things I’m stressing over I probably won’t even remember in 20 years time that has been one of my greatest lessons.
Most things are as Paul says in the bible, momentary concerns and if we choose to look on the bright side; to search for the positives on what we have learnt through our difficulties, and how we can do better next time that will give us strength and understanding to keep growing stronger and stronger as the years go by. Looking on the bright side also means recognising God’s hand upon our situations, and then searching for His strategy to bring us out out the other side of any trouble.
We will no doubt be tougher from gaining a few bumps and bruises, but we will also gain some faith muscles to show for our journey.
Today, choose to look on the bright side; to look for the positives and even the smallest sliver of light that you can then head towards. God is there, and He always has a way through. He promises strength and comfort for the journey, better things ahead and a strategy to walk you out of darkness and into the light.
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
Prayer: Lord thank you that anything I may be facing doesn’t have to last, and that you have a way through. Help me to look on the bright side today; to look for your hand in situations and for your strategy to overcome whatever situation I may be facing as I grow stronger in you every day. In Jesus name Amen.
God wants us to be focusing on and believing in wonderful, amazing, awe-inspiring things every day. You can’t overdose on joy and positive things, so we can keep on adding these into our lives.
The bible teaches that “as a man thinks so shall he be, and to think upon those things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely of good report, and praiseworthy.” (Proverbs 23:7; Philippians 4:8)
Rather than focusing on how things may not be quite the way we’d like them, let’s determine to focus on how we can heap up piles of joy so that the good and not the negative grows and is attracted into our life, overflowing to others.
Today schedule some time to do something you enjoy, even if it is just one thing. Focus on the aspects of your relationships that unite and enhance your relationships, rather than those which separate or annoy you. The qualities you appreciate in people rather than issues or personality differences which cause strife and disunity.
Make a quality decision to add to your pile of good things in your life, and to see your circumstances and relationships through heavens eyes and perspective. As you do, ask God to fill you with His overflowing life-giving joy. You will be glad you did!
Prayer: Lord, would you please help me shift my focus off any negatives or annoyances and instead look to add to my pile of good things in my day so that it would grow. I choose to look for those aspects of my relationships that unite rather than divide. In Jesus name Amen.
It’s easy to focus on problems in life rather than what God is saying and doing. If we are not careful, we can then begin to speak, believe and even pray the problems rather than look to and trust God for the answers.
David in the bible is an excellent example of someone who determined to be God-focused rather than problem-focused. He purposely chose to diminish his fears and the size of the giant he faced as he ran into battle by focusing on God, rather than reinforcing in his heart and mind his enemy’s strength and ability to harm him.
When David faced Goliath, he didn’t declare him to be a giant. Instead, David downplayed his size and chose to declare that Goliath was an “uncircumcised Philistine” and no match for the God he served. (1 Samuel 17)
How often faced with our “enemies”; the things we fear, the unknown’s, bad reports, sickness, lack or that which looks too big for us to handle, do we amplify the problem rather than looking to the size, strength and capabilities of the God who created the Universe?
He is the one who formed the moon and the stars with a spoken Word, parted the Red Sea, opens blind eyes, heals broken and wounded bodies and deliveredHis people from the fiery furnace and the lion’s den.
Today, don’t look at your giant’s size and allow your heart to be overcome with fear and doubt. Look to God and know that just as He was with David as he ran into battle against an “uncircumcised Philistine”, He is also with you.
Alone you are limited in your strength and capabilities, but you can do far more than you ever imagined possible when you focus on God and not your problem.
“Those who know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Dan.11:32)
“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Duet 31:6)
“The Lord, your God, is in your midst, the mighty one who will save.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are with me and that I don’t need to be intimidated or fearful of my enemies’ strength or that which causes me to be afraid. For no weapon formed against me will prosper, and all those who rise against me will fall. In Jesus name Amen. (Isaiah 54:17)
What we truly believe is all to do with what’s in our line of vision and what we choose to see because our FOCUS inevitably governs our beliefs, future and destiny.
An excellent illustration of the correlation between focus and belief is the account of the twelve spies Moses sent out to survey the land God had led them to after the Israelite’s deliverance from Egypt and slavery. (Numbers chap 13-14) These twelve men were all “giants” in their own right, being leaders of their tribes and renowned as men of courage whom their families all looked to for guidance and protection. They were essentially the “cream of the crop”, chosen from a community of over three million people for their leadership skills and ability.
Sadly, history doesn’t remember most of these men as great men of faith and leadership but instead as cowards who could not trust God and take their promised land. We remember them as men who caved under pressure and even attempted to kill innocent men to silence the only two other spies, Joshua and Caleb. They stood up and resisted the temptation to tremble in fear, nor to remain silent when every other spy and leader brought back an evil report regarding the land God had led them so miraculously to.
The difference between Joshua and Caleb and the ten other spies was that they refused to focus on the strength of their enemies fortified cities, the fierceness of the people who lived there or the vastness of the land and all the possible what-ifs and unknowns. Instead, they chose to focus on the potential and opportunity God had brought them. They looked at the land and saw its fruitfulness, the blessing, the provision and the great vision and plan God had for them as a people. Joshua and Caleb didn’t fail to consider the challenges they would face regarding the land’s inhabitants. Still, in acknowledging the problems, they then chose to extinguish doubt and unbelief from their hearts and minds by focusing on God’s potential blessing and ability and remembering what He had already brought them through.
The choice of their focus shaped what they believed and, consequently, everything they saw, heard and spoke as a result. Their choice of focus enabled them and their immediate families to enter the land while everyone else their age and older died, having never lived the life for which God had planned. (Read the account in Numbers 13:1-31; 14:1-36)
Today choose well what you focus on because it will shape what you believe.
What you “see” will undoubtedly enhance or limit your ability to either possess your promise or keep you wandering in a “desert” of fear, lost vision and potential.
We are all called and chosen for something; but our destiny and success is dependant on whether we both individually and corporately are brave enough to focus on what God is revealing and decide to step forward when He says, “move!”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT)
“Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life’s distractions. Watch where you’re going! Stick to the path of truth, and the road will be safe and smooth before you. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked for even a moment or take the detour that leads to darkness.” (Proverbs 4:25 TPT)
“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35 NLT)
Prayer: Lord, please help me learn the lessons from your Word and choose well what I focus upon. Forgive me for when I have stepped back in fear and believed a “bad report” regarding my future when you repeatedly say you have plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future beyond my wildest dreams and imagination. I believe in great things to unfold in my life today. In Jesus name. Amen