These are strange days in which we find ourselves, days so strange that I am deviating somewhat from the motivational tone generally set at “The Theory Of Everything” and sharing some hard core, mountain moving, giant slaying, way making, faith talk that will not only get you through these strange days, it will set you up for “an expected end.” And that should motivate you! BTW—was that the longest sentence, ever?!? But it was not, in my opinion, the run-on sentence we were told to avoid in grammar school.
I am a faith man. Not because I read Kenyon, and Hagin long ago. I did, but not much. They merely confirmed what I already knew—faith works. Not the theological, eschatological, hermeneutical faith that even the faith movement has devolved into—No I’m talking about the raw kind of faith that cares not about your theology, eschatology, hermeneutics, or any of the other things that we have used to explain the inexplicable. The kind of faith that becomes “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen” the kind of faith that brings those things into being. BTW—I have Bachelor and Masters degrees in theology, enjoy the study thereof, and find it woefully inadequate for comprehending the mystery we call God.
“But the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32 is worth considering in these moments. I don’t consider doing exploits to be the same as doing stupidity. I am social distancing, have two cool face masks, one Black Ninja, the other Hippie Paisley, (which one I wear depends on whether I’m feeling love and peace, or like kicking butt), and our church has gone to live on livestream, Facebook, and FM radio. As I said to someone the other day, “When this is over, I plan on living to be a real old man.” To which I will add, “ A real old man continuing to do exploits.” Because I am a faith man. So how do you flex your faith while exercising prudence? Because one does not exclude the other, they are, in fact, complimentary. Let me suggest a few things.
RESIST NEGATIVE THINKING
Your mind is the gatekeeper. You decide to flex your faith or not. So it stands to reason, (because I am a reasonable man), that if you have a negative mindset faith will not flow. The one thing that every faith person that I have ever known is that they have the positive mindset that God is God and that’s enough.
What do you think? Ten spies came back from spying out the promised land saying, “There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so were we in theirs.” Ironically, they all also agreed that it was a desirable land that flowed with milk and honey. But they couldn’t have it. They had a collective negative mindset. What do you think?
I think that God is “able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Think your best thoughts and know that God is able to do superfluity, exceedingly abundantly, superior in quality, superabundant in quantity, more than that. Resist negative thinking.
RENEW YOUR MIND
“And be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We all learn unbelief. The barely hardwired mind of a child is open to imagination and possibilities, then we “grow-up” and learn to live in the “real world.” Except the real world isn’t nearly as real as we think it is.
Let me give you an example. Six or seven weeks ago at this writing I heard a word that didn’t line up with the real world— “Recession proof your life.” I thought, “How odd.” The stock market was at an all-time high, unemployment at record lows, the economy was humming, and all was well in the real world. Wasn’t that real, was it? So, even though I thought it odd, I kept that Word on the backburner and when the Covid-19 hit I was prepared to tell our people how to recession proof their lives. The Word renewed minds and the testimonies are already coming in of people who are experiencing recession proofed living.
Renew your mind. Read the promises of God. Have a prayer time. Consciously guard your thoughts. Focus on the positive. Reject the negative. Associate with likeminded people. And you will create the world that you want to live in by the power of a renewed mind.
FLEX YOUR FAITH
I walked into the office this week, held out my hand, and asked, “What do you see in my hand ?” My staff said, “We don’t know until you tell us.” It’s been a while since I’ve asked that question. You don’t need to know what I told them, but you can believe it was big. Every day I walk into the office and ask the question, “What do you see in my hand?” Now they know what to say.
On the videos this week I’ll be sharing some “What do you see in my hand” stories on FLEXING YOUR FAITH. There’s a new one Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Catch them all!
Flex your faith by dreaming of a bigger future, of doing something that you’ve always wanted to do, of having something that you’ve always wanted to have.
May I suggest that this is the ideal time to flex your faith? Envision it. See it in your mind’s eye. Live it in your imagination. Let me illustrate with a story….
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was in a time of extended prayer when I heard these words, “Ask for something you want.” I thought about it and realized that I didn’t really want anything. I was in what would be a six and half week meeting, had a beautiful wife, two cute kids, a dog, cat, travel trailer, seven loud and colorful suits, (one for each night of the week!), and shoes to match. I didn’t “want” anything. But I thought, “What would I want if I wanted something silly?” and the thought came, “a diamond ring.” So I asked for a diamond ring. For the next two months I would wiggle my finger and ask my wife and friends, “What do you see in my finger?” They all agreed, “A diamond ring.” I didn’t mention it when we went back to our home in Dallas, (actually the in-laws home), but in a meeting over my birthday a couple that had been healed and prospered through my ministry asked The Beautiful Lady, “Would your husband like a diamond ring for his birthday?” She said, “I think he would.” The rest is history. That’s the short version of “The Ring Story.” I saw the ring late last year, still being worn by the young preacher, now considerably older, that I eventually gave it to. I was reminded that things happen when you flex your faith. Flex your faith.
CONFESS A GOOD CONFESSION
I spent almost three months confessing that ring into reality, and no, the couple that gave me the ring didn’t hear of my confession. Confession works… if it is a real confession.
A confession, by definition, is what you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth. Most people get it backwards, thinking that if they confess it with their mouth’s they will somehow believe it in their hearts. That kind of erroneous thinking has led to a lot of disappointments and cast a pall upon a powerful adjunct to faith. The problem with confession is that you have to do the inner work first, and most people aren’t willing to do the inner work.
Do the inner work. Pray. Meditate. Renew your mind. Learn to see into the unseen and know the unknowable. It takes time. It takes persistence. You may even feel like you’re not getting anywhere. Keep it up. Because I you do you will be able to confess a good confession and ask the question with assurance, “What do you see in my hand?”
MAKE YOUR PLANS
These are good days to flex your faith by making plans for the future. You do have a future, don’t you? I’m sure that you do. “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good and not of evil, to bring you to an expected end.” I submit that if God is thinking thoughts towards you that you should be thinking thoughts toward that expected end. Make your plans.
What does the future look like? I promise you one thing—it will not look like the past. It never does. Here’s a better question—what does your future look like? I hope you are not among the sad majority that believe that their futures are controlled by forces bigger than, and beyond themselves. Because while it is true that we are affected by those bigger and beyond forces, at the end of the day the future that you find yourself in is the future that you did, or did not, create for yourself. Make your plans. And what if your plans don’t work? That’s easy—make new plans! “A plan in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man, (or woman!), of understanding draws it out.”
TAKE WHAT ACTIONS YOU CAN
You may be limited right now. Many of us live in states where businesses are shut down as we’re told to stay at home and social distance. Some are limited by finances, physical, or other constraints. But everyone has some action, however small, that can be taken to create the future their hearts desire. Take what actions you can.
Let me tell you how I began on television
I asked about buying airtime at the only television station in town, a CBS affiliate, only to be told, “We don’t want any more religious programming.” There was a Christian station under construction and I inquired about putting a program on, only to be told, “We’re not going to air any local churches. We don’t want to be known as any churches station.” But I knew that we were supposed to be on television, and a still small voice said, “Prepare two programs.” I had the local cable station come out and tape a service, which they edited the service into two half hour programs. The tapes sat there for two weeks when I got a call from the CBS station, “Do you still want to go on our station?” “Sure!” I replied. “When can you start?” “I have two shows in the can, and can start this Sunday.” Shortly afterwards the Christian station called me and said, “If they’re going to put you on we guess we have to put you on,” and gave me my choice of times—I chose Saturday night at 8:30, right after Fred Price. That was almost forty years ago and I’ve been broadcasting ever since. What happened? Jerry Falwell became too adversarial and they wanted to take him off, and they thought it would look better if they put on a local church in his place. It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t prepared those two programs. Flex your faith… Take what actions you can.
Your action should always be inline with your objective, move you towards your objective, and it should make sense. You may think that preparing two television programs when I couldn’t buy airtime doesn’t make sense, but I had a Word from God and anything can happen if you have a Word from God. But that’s another chapter. Until then, Take what actions you can!
“Once there was a little old ant, thought he could move a rubber tree plant.” I hope that you know the rest of the song and that it stays stuck in your mind all day. You’ve got to have high hopes. (If you need something contemporary Panic At The Disco has a great new tune called “High Hopes” with nary an ant or ram to be found in it.) Stay positive.
My default setting is negative. But I learned a long time ago that whatever you are manifests in your life so I learned to think positively. It was, and has been a process. A continuing process, exacerbated by the need to recognize the negative aspects of life while mitigating them in a positive way. Like the before mentioned face masks. They are a sign of bad times. Declare them to be Ninja… kick butt… Hippie… peace and love… and you have a positive spin on a negative situation. And the choice to determine how you approach a situation… kick butt… peace and love. It’s all process.
There are several things that will help you to stay positive, not the least of which is dialing down the negativity of the twenty-four hours news cycle. (Full disclosure—I am a news junky!) Add to that a set aside time for prayer and meditation, reading and listening to positive, practical, encouraging material, (like you’re doing right now!), and surrounding yourself, (while social distancing!), with positive people. Look for the positive in the negative and you’ll not only find it, you’ll find yourself healthier and happier in these strange days in which we find ourselves. And these are strange days, indeed. Stay Positive and flex your faith.
Let me know how you are flexing your faith. I’ll stand in agreement with you for the good that you desire to manifest in your life. New videos on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, each one is about flexing your faith, and all of them will build you faith. I’ll see you then!
I ALMOST FORGOT! Really, I was about to upload this to The Keeper of the Blog, when I remembered that I didn’t challenge you to flex your faith by sowing a seed into this ministry. I always sow a seed when I’m flexing my faith— sowing creates an expectation for manifestation and releases the blessing of God. Sow your seed, flex your faith, and expect to be met in your expectations. You’ll never go beyond your expectations.