A few years ago I was talking to a young pastor who wanted to turn his church over to someone else. He was tired of dealing with the trials and tribulations of the "revolving door."
Getting new people into the church wasn't an issue. The problem was that he couldn't keep the ones who had been around for a while. The church stayed about the same size, but the faces in the congregation continued to change.
When I asked him what he thought the problem was, he said, "When these people realize they need to take responsibility for changing their lives, they go back to the denomination they came from."
His church was in a region of the country where the predominant denomination preaches things like, "God is in control" and "You never know what God will do."
In other words, God will do whatever he wants to do. You're basically at the mercy of his decisions. You have no control over your life. After all, you can't fight city hall, you know.
The ones who preach that also shovel the belief that "Sickness is a blessing, and Poverty is a virtue." They may not come right out and say it that way, but that's what they believe.
If God decides to make you sick, bear up under it because there must be a greater good that's coming out of it all. And if he makes you poor, count the blessings you DO have. After all, he loves YOU, and he hates the RICH.
Listen. You can't take that "sickness is a blessing and poverty is a virtue" stuff out on the streets and win anyone to your God. The people out there KNOW that's a bunch of bull.
It takes RELIGION to peddle that stuff and make it fly. And Jesus hates religion. (Everything he did flew in the face of the religious teachings of the day. That's why the religious leaders hated him. He just wouldn't toe the party line.)
Okay. I'm through with my rant.
Are you still reading this? (I'm impressed.)
Let's go back to that statement, "God is in control." Let's take a look at it in the light of what the Bible says, starting with the following.
"(God) is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." - Ephesians 3:20
There's a common saying that's rooted in that verse of scripture.
"God can do ANYTHING."
Let me ask you this... If he's ABLE, then why doesn't he DO it?
The answer a lot of people will give is this: God CAN do anything. So, if he CAN, but he DOESN'T, then it must mean he doesn't WANT to do it FOR YOU.
You see, their focus is only on the first part of that verse. They stay away from the most crucial statement - the part that comes AFTER the comma.
Did you see it?
"(God) is able... ACCORDING TO the power that works in (YOU)."
Let me rephrase it like this.
God's ability is dependent on YOU.
What? You didn't like my interpretation?
Okay, I'll say it another way.
God is ABSOLUTELY able to do ANYTHING for you. HOWEVER, that ability is limited by YOU.
Yes, I hear you saying that can't be right. After all, how can WE limit Almighty God?
Allow me to show you.
Psalm 78:41 says the Israelites (when God brought them out of Egypt and tried to get them into the promised land) "turned back and tempted God, and LIMITED the Holy One of Israel."
You might be shocked to see that these people LIMITED GOD. But isn't that what the Psalmist just said?
You see, God WANTED to take them in to possess the promised land. THEY didn't believe they COULD. What they believed as a group LIMITED GOD. Though he WANTED to take them in, he couldn't.
Not enough proof?
Let's try this, then.
You and I can agree that Jesus could heal anyone of anything, right? I mean, the Bible says he "healed them all." It even says he healed the MAIMED. Think of that. He was even able to heal those who were missing something, like a finger, an arm, a leg, or (well, whatever "maimed" includes).
BUT, when he went to his home town things were different.
Mark 6:5 says, "He COULD NOT do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them."
The word "could" speaks to one's ABILITY. Jesus was UNABLE to do ANY miracles there. It is evident that the people in his home town put up LIMITERS on the ABILITY of Jesus to do MIRACLES.
Mark goes on to say, in the next verse, that "He was amazed at their unbelief."
Their UNBELIEF kept Jesus from working miracles in Nazareth.
What's that? Do I hear you say that their unbelief couldn't have been the reason?
In Matthew 13:58 it says, "And he did not do many mighty works there, BECAUSE of their unbelief."
In light of that, look at what happened one day near the end of Jesus' ministry.
When the disciples COULDN'T cast a demon out of a boy, they asked Jesus, "WHY COULD we not cast out that devil? Jesus then gave them this answer:
"BECAUSE of your UNBELIEF." (Matthew 17:20)
To the boy's father, Jesus said, "EVERYTHING is possible to the one who BELIEVES." (Mark 9:23)
So you see, God's ability to do things for you is dependent on YOUR belief system. YOU are the catalyst. Limit God's ability or release God's ability. It's according to YOU.
Is life hard? Is it painful? Is it difficult getting things accomplished? Are you living a lower life than you know you should?
God so wants you to live an abundant life.
"The thief comes for no other reason than to kill, to steal, and to destroy. I (Jesus) came THAT you might have life, AND have that more abundantly." - John 10:10
If you choose to believe the opposite of “abundance,” that’s what you will live - even if you really WANT life to be different.
HOW does one get rid of old belief patterns and replace them with those that will release abundance?
You can't change by continuing to accept (as truth) what you've heard up to now. To get something different you'll have to do something different.
THAT's what I do in the emails I send you.
1) I help you SEE belief systems that limit you.
2) Then I help you REPLACE the old belief systems with new, empowering ones.
With an adjusted belief system you will live a life more closely aligned with John 10:10.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
A lot of people don't know their life can be different.
They want it to be different. They dream of it being different. They hope it will someday be different. They dream of what it would be like to live a life of peace, surrounded by those who will love and appreciate them.
They hope for a drastic change in their financial situation, or deliverance from a life of sickness. The underlying belief system they have, though, keeps them from rising to a higher level.
When they are confronted with the good news that they have the ability to achieve those hopes and dreams, that it's actually within their reach, they aren't willing to take responsibility for changing what they need to change.
They decide, instead, to hold onto what they've been told and sold. They've heard that the change they desire is unreasonable and impossible. They decide to hold onto the belief that they're not good enough or that they shouldn't have a life like that. Even though they want something different, they choose for things to be the same. They choose to continue to walk a path that is full of pain, fear, lack, want, anger, frustration, disappointment, and self-loathing.
But you... You see it, don't you? You CAN change things. It's NOT unreasonable. It IS within the realm of possibility.
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