"Getting Out of the Boat Means Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone"

"Getting Out of the Boat Means Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone"

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Getting out of the boat means getting out of your comfort zone. It means doing something you’ve never done before.  I’m not talking about jumping out of an airplane, or going bungee jumping. I’m talking about doing something you’ve always wanted to do. Many people have dreams burning on the inside of them, but they are afraid to step out and pursue them. They are afraid to step out of their comfort zone, because they are afraid of the unknown. Let’s look at the story of Peter walking on the water.  In Matthew 14: 25-31 it says: 

25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,[b] he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 

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Peter wanted to experience what Jesus was experiencing and wanted it so bad that he stepped out. He started walking on the water. Something that is totally impossible in the natural. There may be something that you want to do, that in your eyes, it seems impossible. You might want to start a business. You may want to go back to school; but now you’re married with children and working, so you’re wondering where you will find the time. Sometimes there can seem to be too many obstacles standing between you and your dream. Sometimes those obstacles look like insurmountable mountains. But I have good news for you: there is nothing too hard for God! The Bible says that all things are possible to them that believe. Can you believe God to pay for school? Can you believe God for the money to get that business started? Well like Jesus said, “Be it unto you according to your faith”. In the Message translation it reads, Become what you believe”.  

When Jesus told Peter, “Come”, Peter believed in the words of Jesus and he started doing the impossible. We have to do the same thing. We must meditate the Word of God and think on the Word of God until we know that we can become what we believe. Peter was doing fine until he took his eyes off of Jesus and began looking at the waves and turning his attention to how hard the wind was blowing. It was only then that he began to sink.  

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We must take our eyes off of circumstances. Yes, the circumstances are real. Yes, we have to count the cost before we step out. But we must remember that once we know that we are in the will of God, and God is telling us to step out, we must be like Moses when he was facing the Red Sea. Pharaoh and his army were behind him and the Red Sea was in front of him. God didn’t tell him, “I’m sorry man. I wasn’t prepared for the Red Sea. I guess you’re stuck”. No. God told him to stretch out that rod and move forward. When Moses did, God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites walked on dry land. It would have been okay if the Israelites walked on muddy ground, but the Bible says the Israelites walked on dry ground! When God tells us to move, we must trust that He will go before us and make the crooked places straight. Remember Jesus told Peter to come out on the water. We must step out when Jesus tells us to. We must move when we are prompted in our spirits and when we know that we are in God’s timing. 

I graduated from ministry school at the end of 2012. At the beginning of 2013, I began the process of getting on one radio station and I was attempting to get on a public access station here in Charlotte, but the timing was not right. My pastor told me to wait on God’s timing and get busy working in my church, so that is what I did. It wasn’t until this year (2017) that I began ministering the Word of God on the radio; and starting October 15, I will be on Inspiration.tv. What I am doing now, I wanted to do four years ago, but God has timing. It’s natural to want to pursue the dream that God has given you, but we must seek His will and His timing. God knows when we are ready to walk in our calling, but we must wait on His promotion. The Bible says in Psalms 75:6-7, 

For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor form the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one and setteth up another. 

God is the judge and we must trust His timing when it comes to promotion. God told Joshua in Joshua 3:7, 

And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. 

We must look to God for our day, but God knows when we are ready to be launched into our calling in the eyes of the people. It is our job to be diligent in our preparation and know that we will reap in due season if we faint not. We must not put our trust in man. Our trust must be in God. Man can be flaky. Man can change his mind, but God will not change His mind concerning us.  We must step out in God’s timing and know that when we do, we have no choice but to succeed for if God is for us, who can be against us? Peter tried to walk on water like Jesus, but He was not where Jesus was spiritually. Peter had not put the prayer time in. He did not study the Word like Jesus did, and yet He wanted to do what Jesus did. Eventually in the Book of Acts, Peter would do the acts of Jesus, but it was after spending time in prayer, in the Word, and being filled with the Holy Ghost. It wasn’t until after that, that he began healing the sick, to the point that his shadow was healing people. So many times we think we can do what someone else is doing but we must realize that until we have paid the same dues, we won’t have the same outcome.  

God has great plans for us. He wants us to step out of the boat that we are currently in; but when we do, we have to make sure He has called us out of the boat, and we must make sure we are prepared for what is outside our boat. When we are, and we start walking, get ready! You are about to do the impossible! 

 

"Persistence"

"Persistence"

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If we are going to achieve our dreams and goals, it is going to take persistence. One man said, “Ambition is the path to success, but persistence is the vehicle you arrive in”. Persistence means that you have to deal with hardships. Persistence means you keep pressing when things may not go your way.  It causes you to press on when you know you are on the right road, yet it appears as if nothing is falling into place. You must persist when you are pursuing the will of God for your life and Satan is throwing everything he has at you. You must persist because you know that Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. We know that when we resist the devil, he must flee from us. 

In II Corinthians 11:23-30, Paul gives us a summary of all the things he had to face during his ministry: 

23 Are they [ministering] servants of Christ (the Messiah)? I am talking like one beside himself, [but] I am more, with far more extensive and abundant labors, with far more imprisonments, [beaten] with countless stripes, and frequently [at the point of] death.24 Five times I received from [the hands of] the Jews forty [lashes all] but one;25Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been aboard a ship wrecked at sea; a [whole] night and a day I have spent [adrift] on the deep;26 Many times on journeys, [exposed to] perils from rivers, perils from bandits, perils from [my own] nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the desert places, perils in the sea, perils from those posing as believers [but destitute of Christian knowledge and piety];27 In toil and hardship, watching often [through sleepless nights], in hunger and thirst, frequently driven to fasting by want, in cold and exposure and lack of clothing.28 And besides those things that are without, there is the daily [inescapable pressure] of my care and anxiety for all the churches!29 Who is weak, and I do not feel [his] weakness? Who is made to stumble and fall and have his faith hurt, and I am not on fire [with sorrow or indignation]?30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that [show] my infirmity [of the things by which I am made weak and contemptible in the eyes of my opponents]. 

Despite all that Paul had to overcome, he said in I Timothy 4:7: 

I have foughtagoodfight, I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith. 

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Paul was stoned, shipwrecked, whipped, and dealt with all sorts of perils, yet he never quit. He never gave up. There was something on the inside that was causing him to keep going, regardless of the obstacles that he was facing. If Paul had quit, we might not have the New Testament. We are still talking about Paul because of his ability to persist. His ability to persist is one reason why he could say that he had “finished his course” 

No matter what you are facing today, you must persist. We all have dreams and aspirations, but are you willing to pay the price for it? We have to be like the Terminator, a character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. In that movie, a character named Kyle Reese was sent back to the past to protect a woman named Sarah Connor, who would eventually give birth to the leader of the Resistance against the machines, or the Terminators. A Terminator was sent back in time to exterminate Sarah Connor, and Reese was sent back in time by the Resistance to protect her. The terminator was a robot disguised in human flesh, and based on its appearance, you would think it was a human. At one point during the movie, the terminator was blown up, and despite having its flesh burned completely off, it kept trying to eliminate Sarah Connor. It chased her into a factory, and eventually the terminator’s legs were blown off. Despite not having any legs, it continued to try and terminate Sarah until finally she destroyed it The terminator continued to pursue its mission despite losing its flesh and its legs. It would not stop until its mission had been achieved. We must have that same determination when it comes to our dreams. No matter what happens to us, we continue until we have achieved our objective. Our objective is to get where God wants us to be. Our objective is to walk in everything that God has preordained for us to walk in.  

What makes many people successful is their ability to persist regardless of what the devil throws their way.  They believe that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. They know that God always causes them to triumph. It doesn’t matter what people have said to them in the past, they realize that all things are possible to them that believe. You must continue to believe, even when it appears as if it’s all over. Isn’t that what Jesus told Jairus when he heard that his daughter had died? Remember it is the successful man who can build a solid foundation with the bricks thrown at him. The bricks that say you’ll never make it. The bricks that say you’ll never own your own business. The bricks that say your health will never get better. We don’t allow the bricks to knock us off course. We step on those bricks and use them to go higher and higher in life! 

If God has placed a dream or a vision on the inside of you, you have to fight for it. You have to pursue the dream when it seems as if it will never come to pass. When people don’t believe in your dreams, you have to continue to pursue them. You have to be like Jacob. Jacob wrestled with the angel of God and told him, I will not let you go until you bless me”. He wrestled with that angel all night, but eventually the angel blessed him. We have to have that same tenacity. We have to hold on until we see the fruition of our goals. If you can persist through the pain and the obstacles, you will see the accomplishment of your dream. Les Brown said, “If you do what’s easy, your life will be hard; but if you do what’s hard, your life will be easy. Being persistent isn’t always easy, but if you become a master at it, nothing will be able to stop you! 

God bless you. 

"Work Ethic"

"Work Ethic"

Work ethic is almost a lost art now. We live in a microwave generation. Everyone wants everything quickly. We want success but we don’t want to pay the price for success. Work ethic is a necessity. Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but without it you’re in trouble.  

Proverbs 12:14 (AMP ) says: 

A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him. 

In other words, whatever you put your hands to, do it with all your might, because whatever you put in,is what you’re going to get out. As a teacher over the years, I have observed the study habits of students. Some study right before the test and many times their grades reflect it. Other students study for days. They put more time in their preparation and their grades show it. Some people do just enough to get a decent grade and eventually how they approach school is how they will approach life. Your level of preparation will determine your level of success. Remember, life is simply an open book test. People fail because they aren’t prepared. They haven’t studied and their life is a reflection of it. If you want to be successful, you must have a strong work ethic. We can’t expect things to just get better. We have to get up and do something and make things get better. 

In a recent article, Brian Tracy, a success coach and business man said this. 

“You work 40 hours per week for survival. Everything else is for success. Every hour over 40 is an investment in your future. The average self –made millionaire in America works 59 hours per week and some work 70-80 hours. The average self –made millionaire works six days rather than five”.  

Many people have goals and dreams but they’re simply not putting the time in. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:29: 

“Do you see a man diligent in his business? He will stand before kings. He will not stand before mean men. 

What this tells me is that my diligence will determine who I stand in front of. If I am diligent, I will stand before prominent men and women. My level of diligence will determine the level of people I stand before. If I have a mediocre work ethic, I will stand before mediocre people. If I have an average work ethic, I will stand before average people. You determine who you will stand before. One man said “you have to become what you want to be around”.  If you want to keep company with great people, you must be willing to do what they have done. You must be willing to adopt their work ethic and their positive habits in order to be where they are. Remember success leaves clues. 

Many people have a $1,000,000 dream but a $10 work ethic. A big time dream requires a big time work ethic. Eric Thomas says,The bigger the dream, the harder the grind”! Unfortunately, people aren’t willing to sacrifice for their dreams. They won’t sacrifice social media for a season. They aren’t willing to sacrifice sleep, hanging out at the mall, or socializing with their friends. They aren’t willing to meet the demands of the dream. Your dream is like a dictator. Your dream should tell you how much sleep you should be getting. It should tell you what kind of friends you should have. How much you hang out. I can’t tell you what to do, but your dreams and goals should strongly influence your lifestyle. 

I heard Eric Thomas once say, “You must be willing to look that person in the mirror and say ‘I will do whatever it takes’.  I do not believe that when he said that, he meant even if it means doing something illegal. I believe that what he meant was that we must be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to make our dreams become a reality.

Luke 14:28-30 AMPC 

For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he sufficient means to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him, Saying, This man began to build and was not able (worth enough) to finish. 

What we see from this passage is that it is foolish to start a project without first sitting down and counting the cost. If you don’t you could potentially be embarrassed by your failure. Many people are failing because they just went out and tried to do something without first doing some research. They didn’t consider the cost.  A big dream is going to always cost you something. But in order for you to become an achiever, you must pay in full and you must pay in advance before you can enjoy the dream. Life is like a cafeteria, not a restaurant. In a restaurant, you enjoy the meal and then you pay for it. Life is more like a cafeteria. You can have what you want as long as you’re willing to pay for it. You must pay for the meal before you can enjoy it. There is no layaway plan. You must pay in advance and you must pay in full. 

Ecclesiastes 5:3 AMPC 

For a dream comes with much business and painful effort, and a fool’s voice with many words. 

Don’t be fooled, there is no shortcut to success.  This scripture is pretty straightforward. Whatever your dream is, it’s going to come with much business and painful effort. It may cost you some sleep. It may cost you some entertainment, but if the dream means a lot, it’s worth it. Remember, it’s your dream. Only you can make it happen. With God all things are possible, but you must believe that its possible. Once you become single minded on the goal, pay the price and realize that it is only a matter of time before your dream becomes a reality.

God bless you. 

 

"It's Time To See God Properly"

"It's Time To See God Properly"

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There is so much going on in our world.

There are so many people concerned about relationships between the police and minorities. People are concerned about the future of our country. There are so many people concerned about their children, concerned about their marriages, concerned about their families, concerned about what is going to happen on their jobs. People are just concerned about so many things; there is so much anxiety in our country right now. My question to you is, regardless of what you may be facing, is there anything too hard for the Lord? Because your answer to that is going to dictate what He can do in your life. 


In Matthew chapter 9, there were two blind men that approached Jesus, desiring to be healed. When they approached Jesus, He asked them, "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" And they said, "Ye, Lord." And then He said, "According to your faith be it unto you”. So I would like to ask you something,“ Is there anything too hard for God”? Sometimes when we look at our present circumstances we say 'there ain't no way'! You might have looked at your job and say, "There is no way I am going to move up higher". You might look at your children, and maybe your children have been acting a certain way for so long. Regardless of what we see, we must believe that God can do anything. We must believe that no matter what is negative in our lives, God can turn it around 


In Genesis 18:11-14: 

Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of woman. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself saying, After I am waxed old, shall I have pleasure, my Lord being old also?' And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore that Sarah laughed saying shall I but surely bear a child which I am old. Is anything too hard for the Lord? 

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How many of us, our circumstances have gotten so bad that you say, "God can you do this? Can you turn this situation around?" What gets me about Christians today and modern day Christians is that if you read the Bible, if you read the Old Testament, the stuff we deal with now isn’t anything compared to what they dealt with in the Old Testament. People talk about famine and people talk about food shortages, but I think it has never been as bad as what we in this scripture.
 

The Bible says in 2 Kings 6:25-28: 

There was a great famine in Samaria, and behold they besieged it until the donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver and one fourth of a cab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver. As the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him saying, 'Help my Lord, oh king'. And he said, 'If the Lord do not help thee, whence can I help you? Out of the barn floor? Or out of the winepress? And the king said unto her, 'what ails you?' And she answered, 'This woman said unto me, give me your son that we may eat him today and we will eat my son tomorrow.' 

I have never looked at my wife and say, "Look, we'll eat our daughter tomorrow and we will eat our son the day after until we run out of children." We have never had it that hard. We think when we come down to our last $10/$15 dollars, it's life or death. But we have never experienced stuff like this, yet we act like there is not a God in heaven. We act like, "I wonder if God can come through? I wonder if he can pay my light bill? Our Father who got water out of a rock, I wonder if he can feed me this week”. Sometimes we don't think because we haven't renewed our minds.

In chapter II Kings 7:1-2, it says: 

Elisha said this, Hear ye the word of the Lord, thus said the Lord. Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, two measures of barley for a shekel in the gates of Samaria. Then the lord on whose hand the king leaned answer the man of God and said, Behold, if the Lord will make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, you shall see it with your eyes, but you are not going to eat it. 

Do you know what the problem was? He was so caught up in what he saw, that he couldn't believe the Word. Remember when Jesus told Peter to come out on the water? Peter was locked in on what Jesus said. He didn't even see the storm anymore, all he heard was “Come”. When he heard those words, he stepped out and he started to move towards Jesus. He began to act on the Word and he walked on the water. He experienced a miracle even if it was just for a little bit. It wasn’t until he took his eyes off of Jesus and began looking at the wind and the waves that he began to sink. We as believers have to make sure we keep our eyes on the Word if we are to experience the reality of God’s Word in our lives. We have to get to the point where we don't see the circumstances, we don't see the bills, we don't see the troubled marriage, we don't see our children; we are to walk by faith and not by sight. 

You were never created to take care of yourself.

The first time man tried to take care of himself was after the fall. Man partook of the fruit and the Bible says that Adam and Eve saw that they were naked. They took some leaves and tried to clothe themselves with them. I can imagine that when God looked at him He said, "Oh my goodness”. The Bible says God clothed them with the animal fur. Adam and Eve was trying to take care of themselves and they blew it just doing that. Proverbs 3:5-6 says: 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. 

The problem is that we have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, but our minds haven't. Spiritually we are in the kingdom, but unfortunately many believers haven’t renewed their minds. God wants us to get out of the "I have to take care of myself" mentality. 

We have to renew our minds and realize that the God we read about in the Bible is our Father, , and therefore I can trust him. I can trust that He is going to do what He said He would do. I can trust that he is not going to let me down. I can trust that he is going to take care of my needs. 

Limitations are of the mind. God never ever intended for you to have limitations. You have never ever thought of something and God said, "What are you doing? I can't do that”.

The Bible says in Ephesians 3:20: Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we could ask or think”

When you operate in the kingdom of God, you are limited to what God is limited to, and nothing can limit God. You are in a kingdom of unlimited possibilities. 

It's time for us to see God properly. There is nothing too hard for God. God can heal anything and God can heal anybody. God can get you out of debt. God can get that house that you want. God can do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think if we would just simply believe and trust Him.