Developing A Winning Mindset

One of the the things that I have discovered is that as God brings you UP, the enemy wants to bring you DOWN.  And in order to stay on the path of God’s blessings we have to determine to remain strong.

So how do you do that? First, you have to recognize YOU WILL WIN.  No matter what you experience you will always be given victory … the Bible declares, “But I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14 – GWT).  When the enemy comes in and tries to discourage you … just remind him of his future!

Second, you have to KEEP YOUR FOCUS. The main tactic of the enemy is to distract you.  He wants to get your eyes on your problems and off of Jesus.  Don’t let him. Keep your focus on Jesus.  No matter how long you serve God or how successful you become you will always face attacks.  Paul told the church in Corinth: “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen” (2 Corinthians 4:18).  In other words keep your focus on what God will do.

When the enemy sends an all out assault – don’t get discourage … remain strong – He is only messing with you because YOU HAVE GREAT POTENTIAL!  If God is blessing that’s when the devil starts messing.  Stand your ground. Be strong.  God will elevate your life at just the right time!!!

New Devils.

The enemy will not sit by and watch you experience the blessings and favor of God without an all out assault on you!  The Bible says that the enemy’s job is to “seek, kill and destroy” you.  Here’s what I have learned: “What bothered you 1 year ago may not bother you today – so the enemy needs to create a new scheme.”  As you go up the enemy wants to bring you down.

When God opens up doors for you understand not every person is going to be excited for you!  You may be single – praying about God bringing you the right person – and the enemy will send you some person to help you lose your way.  Married … the enemy may send some “distraction” into your marriage … bills, repairs … you name it … he will use it.  So as you go up … never forget the enemy wants to bring you down.

So how do you remain strong? First, you have to recognize YOU WILL WIN.  No matter what you experience you will always be given victory … the Bible declares, “But I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14 – GWT).  When the enemy comes in and tries to discourage you … just remind him of his future!

Second, you have to KEEP YOUR FOCUS. The main tactic of the enemy is to distract you.  He wants to get your eyes on your problems and off of Jesus.  Don’t let him. Keep your focus on Jesus.  No matter how long you serve God or how successful you become you will always face attacks.  Paul told the church in Corinth: “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen” (2 Corinthians 4:18).  In other words keep your focus on what God will do.

When the enemy sends an all out assault – don’t get discouraged … remain strong – He is only messing with you because YOU HAVE GREAT POTENTIAL!

Problems will not last

So often we get discouraged when we are in the challenge we are facing … and all too often we feel like the situation will never change.  Too many people find themselves just staying stuck because they believe the lie that these problems have become my identity.  No … your identity is in Jesus Christ!

Problems come because they are part of life … The Bible says, “… rain falls on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).  In others words, we will all have some pretty bad days … but a bad day or a bad break does not have to become a bad life!  Things do change.

Maybe you feel like Job’s twin. Job was the person in the Bible who lost everything in a matter of moments. Yes, Job was devastated.  He could have just believed that the problems he was facing would never end … no … the Bible declares, “… the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before” (Job 42:10).

I believe God is about to RESTORE what has been removed … and not just replace it … but give you twice as much.  Don’t get stuck believing that your problems will never leave … or your situation will never change!

Problems are not final.

To be honest, I believe God uses problems.  In Psalm 119:71 David said, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.”  Pain and problems are great teachers.  Never forget God does not cause problems – but He will use them!

You will outlast your obstacles and persevere through your problems!  God has more in front of you.  Keep looking forward.

13 years

Check this out … Genesis 37:1-11 … and we are going to learn a few lessons from two CRAZY DREAMS that Joseph had … here we go … “Joseph, a young man of seventeen” – how old?  Seventeen – “was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.  3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. 5 Joseph had a” – Joseph had a what? “a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”  8His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. 9Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.”

Could you imagine telling your brothers and father that one day you will be their PRESIDENT!!!  Most of us would laugh our heads off if our brother/sister told us that.

Not Joseph’s brothers.  They decided to sell him as a slave and told their father he was killed by a wild animal.

Imagine this … Joseph has 2 dreams that he would be ruler – and he ends up as a slave.  Now he’s in Egypt and is falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife – he now ends up in an Egyptian prison.

Wow.  How quickly would we have forgotten about that dream?  We would walk away from that dream passing it off as bad food that night.

Then Joseph is given an opportunity to interpret 2 more dreams – from prison – a baker and a butler share their dreams.  Joseph explains them.  The baker is killed.  The butler is freed.  The butler promises to remember him … but he forgets Joseph.

Years go by and Joseph is still forgotten.

Pharoah has a dream that no one can figure it.  It was then that the butler remembers Joseph.  Pharoah calls for Joseph – Joseph explains the dreams to him.  Pharoah is so impressed that he makes Joseph ruler of all of Egypt!!!

Joseph experienced 13 years of what might look like a failed dream – but God ultimately made Joseph’s dreams a reality.  13 years.  Never give up!  At the right time God will bring you to your dream.

It was a July day in 1401 when The Cathedral at Seville in Southern Spain decided to build a new church.  The whole church met in the Court of Elms and according to oral tradition the members decided – “Let us build a church so great that those that come after us may think us mad to have attempted it.” To this day it stands as the 3rd largest church in the world.  In the minutes of the meeting the church wanted to be a church “like no other.”

That’s the dream Mary and I are pursuing … to be “like no other.”

Evict the Discouragers!

Don’t allow those in your circle of influence to discourage you!  There is enough wrong in the world – we don’t need people to talk down our dreams … talk down our goals … I have discovered some people just need a kick in their attitude!!!

If someone is constantly bringing you down or “helping” you see what’s wrong … remind them that your hope is in God and not in them.  The Bibles tells us to “encourage each other every day” (Hebrews 3:13).  You should be the most encouraging person on the planet!

Encourage someone right now … send them a text or an email and let them know – “God has something great for their life.”  Evict the discouragers! Invite the encouragers!

Paul told the church in Colossians that he was sending Tychicus to “encourage them.”  God is sending you to encourage the people he brings you to.  Find someone and build them up.  Lift their spirits.  Increase their capacity by elevating their potential.

Serving as a youth pastor for over 14 years I discovered that “friends are like elevators they will either take you up or down.”  First, we ought to be those who bring people up.  Second, we can’t inundate our life with people who bring us down.

Everyday – encourage someone.  Everyday.

Hopeless is Right Up God’s Alley

Abraham was given a promise by God. It was pretty simply that he would have descendants as many as the sand on the beach or the stars in the sky.  He received this promise at 75 years old. Fifteen years later – no child – but God reminded Abraham you will have a son. Now 90 years old.  10 years later Abraham and Sarah have their son.  Abraham is 100. Sarah is 90. That sounds pretty hopeless … but Isaac is born.

Romans 4:18: “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping–believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”

No reason to hope. Abraham could have given up on the promise … he could have focused on Sarah’s age … but not Abraham.  He kept his eyes on the promise of God!  Hopeless is right up God’s alley.

No matter what you are going through or how hopeless it may seem never forget God specializes in the improbable and impossible.  Keep moving forward.  Keep your faith.  God will come through at just the right time … “even when there was no reason for hope.”