Each person has a God-given design and the next step to take, but many of us have a problem getting started. In Luke 9:57-62, two people say they’re ready to follow Jesus but then make excuses for delaying the journey.
Jesus plainly says, “No procrastination. No backward looks.” The first quarter of this year has brought in a challenge for us here at Faith Outreach Church to leave behind the unproductiveness of the past. Scripture gives us direction for what we should leave behind: some examples are old history (Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT), old habits and worldly things (James 1:20-21), old hurts (2
Corinthians 5:17-18), and past failures (Matthew 26:31-35 TPT). Why? Why are we commanded to leave these toxic strongholds behind? The answer is simple because we are a new creation, reconciled to God through Christ.
I challenge you throughout the remainder of 2019 to live a life of prayer and fasting, so you can constantly overcome strongholds. Strongholds are thought patterns (mental hindrances) that keep you locked into negative, belief-defeating behavior; these negatively shape your core beliefs. When YOU uproot negative core beliefs, it eliminates the main hindrances to the mind-renewing process. You must challenge your belief systems to move forward.
Believe it or not, your belief system has been impacted by what you have seen and heard over and over. Your thinking is shaped by your core beliefs. Core beliefs are the internal standards of truth you have incorporated into your subconscious which now guides your life. Four elements that have shaped your core beliefs are the environment, creditable others, repetitive information, and life experiences.
“Remember, you can’t start the next chapter of life if you keep reading the last one!”
Let’s stop delaying. It’s time to make a change by allowing Jesus to change us, our minds, and our lives. Through Matthew 4:17, we learn that we need to change our mind, repent (Greek word, metanoeothe means to think differently, to reconsider, repent, to change one’s mind), get a new King, and understand that God is already near. Once we grasp those truths, we can draw closer to God, get honest with ourselves and others, get in tune with our God-given passion and purpose, and do something greater than ourselves.
Our God has the power to make lasting changes in us, however, each of us must choose if we will submit to the changes; God will not force anyone. We can’t go back and change the beginning, but we can start where we are and change the ending! “Jesus said, No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom
off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” Luke 9:62 (MSG) The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13-16 (MSG) “Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything
God has for us.” How do you do that? You move from old history, old habits, old hurts, and past failures. Again, remind yourself, “I can’t start the next chapter of my life if I keep re-reading the last one.” Move forward with Holy Spirit as your Guide. It’s time to make a change, and a change is not a change without alternation or some spiritual renovation. Until you change your thoughts, you will not change; and remember change involves some discomfort. Do not look for sweatless change and do not draw back because of the struggle or the challenge. Renew your mind… change your thinking. Renewing our mind includes getting into the subconscious and changing any “set point” that does not line up with God’s Word. The purpose of the subconscious mind is to keep you from changing,
so it tends to reject the change.
Study Romans 12:1-2 NLT and NIV for clearer understanding.
It is time to make a change! Many reading this are “thinking yourself” out of change; putting off until another day because today is not good. I ask you if not now, when? With each day your ability to make sound excuses is being perfected; in other words, you are getting better at talking yourself out of obedience and blessings … if
not now then when?
What time is it?
It’s time to get closer to God. James 4:8 (NLT)
It’s time to get honest with yourselves and others. Luke 5:8-11; James 5:16 (NIV)
It’s time to get in tune with your purpose and passions. Galatians 6:3-4 (NIV)
It’s time to get on with doing something greater than yourself. Ephesians 2:20 (MSG)
Ask yourself the following questions and then answer yourself. Be honest and clear with you; don’t allow you to go another day without launching out into the deep, doing what God has called you to do.
- What past history, habits, hurts, or failures are keeping you from moving forward, seeing the new creation God wants you to be?
- How can prayer and fasting throughout this year, help you step into the newness God has for you in 2019?
- What can you do right now to start from where you are in an effort to change the ending?
As you pray for yourself, ask God to set you free from the past and bring hope for the new things He wants to do in and through you.
Ask Him to forgive you for looking back, running your own life, and for trying to be a king in your kingdom. Ask for a new forward vision and for Him to be the King of your life.
Men and Women of God this year, God wants you to break away from your comfort zone, familiarity, and complacency while stepping out in faith, to do what He has put in your heart. With the first quarter of 2019 behind us, Janice and I are more determined than ever to continue taking the next step and the next step and the next step! We will not look back, be drawn back or be imprisoned by what is behind. We are on assignment; we are in a new chapter. This is how we are living our lives and are teaching those God has given us to lead to do the same.
IT IS HARVEST TIME!