danettecrawford

Just another WordPress.com site

Be Prepared

God has a special call on your life. His kingdom needs a person of standards, and you’re the one He wants. But you’ll have to undergo a process of preparation to get there.

Jeremiah 1:4–5 says, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’” First, God knew Jeremiah; second, He formed him; and, third, He set Jeremiah apart with a specific purpose—in his case, to be a prophet. It was only after Jeremiah had been set apart that God appointed Him to fulfill His purpose.

The same process happens in our lives. God first knew us in His heart—He knew what He wanted us to do in His kingdom—and then He formed us for that very purpose. Because God knew us first, He then formed us with every gift, every talent, every love, every desire, and every personality trait that we would need to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

We won’t fulfill that purpose automatically, however. We were born sinners, remember? The Holy Spirit has a lot of work to do in our hearts and our minds to prepare us for our divine destinies. The key to qualifying is to submit to the preparation process.

Jeremiah went all the steps so he reached his scheduled appointment with his destiny. He was not only appointed as a prophet to the nations, but he reached his scheduled appointment on time and he fulfilled his purpose because he was fully prepared.

Everyone likes to get on the elevator, push the button, and arrive at the top! We like to do this in every area of our lives, not just when we are in a building with thirty-plus floors. Not many people take the steps these days. We say we don’t have time for it. We’re in a rush to get where we are going, only to rush off to the next place.

This has become a part of our culture, and we have adopted this type of action in all areas of life. When we get sick, we want to pop a pill and feel better immediately. If we are unhappy with our weight and want to lose a few pounds, we want to pop a different pill that allows us to eat anything we want to eat and still lose weight without any physical exercise. We go through the drive-through and we don’t even have time to give the details of our order, so we just say, “I’ll take a number three combo, please.”

Everything is fast—we want it now, and now means immediately! We don’t even want to wait on God and His timing. We like to help Him out so we can move things along a little bit—not smart! God never needs our help; He needs only our obedience. We want to start in the ministry, push a button, and arrive at the top. We want our business to clip along from floor to floor, or level to level, with ease and arrive at the top of the Fortune 500 list in no time. We want our relationships to be easy, and if we have to put any time into “working” through things, we just move on to another one. But to be fully prepared in God’s purpose, everyone is required to take the step.

The steps are a setup from the Lord—a setup to be a build-up! He wants to build the character of Christ in us and that is learned only by going the “steps.”

I believe that everybody needs to go the steps. I believe we do people a disservice if we just throw them into a top position. Actually we can set them up to fail or even to fall in their relationship with the Lord if they are not prepared. I have seen it time and time again, when a famous personality gives his life to the Lord and the body of Christ promotes him to a place when he hasn’t had the required preparation and thus grow in the character of Christ.

To succeed, we must be prepared for the position that the Lord has called us to, and that takes time. It’s during this time that we are going the steps that the Lord develops our character and works His character in us.

God sets us up for character development before His appointed time for promotion in our lives. And, it’s important that we “go the steps” in the development of our character. If we don’t “go the steps,” we can trip up in our walk with the Lord and come falling down. 

Missions

For many missionaries living overseas, following the call of God begins as a small unction of the Holy Spirit. A certain nation seems to be highlighted. Then the unction grows and grows until they feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to follow Him into Global Missions. Have you felt the Lord compelling you toward Global Missions?The Holy Spirit may compel us to do any number of things—give sacrificially to a ministry, participate in a local outreach or an overseas mission trip, call a friend, or go out of our way to encourage someone we don’t even know. Don’t ever repel the compelling of the Holy Spirit, for God has great fruit waiting for you at the finish line of your focus!

When the Holy Spirit compelled Paul to go into Jerusalem (Acts 21), Paul didn’t reject His leading. Even though he had been through many persecutions and hardships and probably expected more of the same in Jerusalem, he didn’t squelch his passion or lose his focus. He knew where the Lord was leading him, and he focused on getting there, no matter the cost to him personally. Paul focused on the call of God on his life, he focused on Jesus.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16). When Christ’s kingdom is our passion, it compels us to live for Him, to draw others to Him, and to set a standard of excellence in His kingdom. It’s not all about us; it’s all about Him.

Second Corinthians 5:14–15 says, “For Christ’s love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

Our passion for the Lord compels us to focus on Christ and forgo personal comforts for the sake of the call. When we are focused on the Lord and passionate about His work, we will be able to echo Jesus and say, “Father God, not my will but Yours be done.” (See Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42.) We will be willing to follow wherever God leads us, to whatever nation He directs.

I knew for many, many years that I was called to hold crusades and city-wide outreaches and events in Latin American nations long before I started doing so. But when I finally got started, I experienced some “surprises” that had not been a part of my original vision. I will never forget  my daughter, Destiny’s, first missions trip. When she was only fifteen months old, she traveled to Bolivia with me. All of the stuff I thought would be challenging wasn’t: I changed diapers on the plane without any problems; she didn’t cry or fuss, even though our travel time totaled twenty-four hours each way. She really was the perfect angel as we traveled. But, once we got to Bolivia, everything changed. I awoke one night to find hundreds of little bugs crawling on my baby. Now, let me explain one thing to you—I don’t do bugs! Yes, I grew up in the country, and my dad tried really hard to make me into a country girl, but it never worked! And the bug deal didn’t go over well with me, especially when they were crawling on my baby in the middle of the night. I was told, “They are only ants.” But to me, a bug is a bug, and I don’t do bugs!

There were other “surprises” that I will refrain from mentioning. My point is, I had to focus on what God had told me I was called to do there in Bolivia. The revealed dream or vision is what causes you to focus and hang on for the ride, pits and all!

            If the Lord is calling you to Global Missions, don’t focus on the hardships. Keep your eyes on the One sending you. The One “who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). And with Paul, you will be able to say:

“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)

How to Get Healed

God wants to bless us in every area of our lives. God’s Word tells us that we will be blessed going out and coming in (see Psalm 121:8 nkjv). But when sickness comes upon our physical bodies, it’s hard to rely on the truth of God’s Word. We become afraid, and God seems far away. But as the children of God, we can turn to a loving, heavenly Father and be healed.

The book of Isaiah says that Jesus “was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). By His wounds, we are healed—spirit, soul, and body. Jesus died on the cross for us to be healed not only spiritually and emotionally, but physically.  But how do we get this healing? It’s a simple matter of faith.

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. (Hebrews 11:1 amp)

Your faith is your title deed to the answer to every need that you entrust to God, including healing! When we operate in fear, we are throwing away our title deed—our faith. The real facts—what God says about the situation—are the truth. The facts that exist in the natural realm are often contrary to the real facts (the truth) that exist in the spirit realm. The real facts (truth) may not yet be revealed to the senses—the key words are not yet. As we stand in faith, the real facts will be manifested in the natural realm (or revealed to the senses).

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:18–21)

Against all hope in the natural realm or in the existing facts, Abraham hoped in the truth, believed, and so became the father of many nations. If our hope is in the natural facts, we’ll have many opportunities to give up hope. But if, against all hope in the natural, we maintain hope in the truth of God’s Word, we can believe and so become blessed with all of God’s promises.

While we are standing in faith, it is crucial not to allow the enemy to mess with our emotions or thoughts. Continue speaking the Word concerning God’s promises to you, and never throw away your title deed—your faith. Never allow an “if You can” or “if You will” attitude to come into your heart when you make requests of God.

The gospel of Mark gives the following account of a man who asked Jesus to heal his demon-possessed son.

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” (Mark 9:21–23)

There is no such thing as “if You can” with the Lord. All things are possible—if we only believe. When we are operating in faith, we say, “Of course, God is going to do it.” “Of course, God’s healing will be there, as long as we are walking in faith.”

Don’t go into denial, refusing to face the facts that are presented in the natural. Often if facts seem too overwhelming to deal with, we opt not to recognize or believe them. Abraham wasn’t overwhelmed or discouraged by the facts because He knew the truth of God’s promise was much greater than the facts.

Facts exist in the natural realm, but the truth exists in the supernatural realm. The truth (God’s Word) always outweighs the facts. The fact may be that you just received a bad medical report. Your doctor may have given you four months to live. But be encouraged—those facts exist in the natural realm. God’s truth says that by Jesus’ stripes, you were healed. . It’s already done. Don’t buy the lie reported by the facts, but stand on the Word of truth.

 

Be Prepared!

God has a special call on your life. His kingdom needs a person of standards, and you’re the one He wants. But you’ll have to undergo a process of preparation to get there.

Jeremiah 1:4–5 says, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’” First, God knew Jeremiah; second, He formed him; and, third, He set Jeremiah apart with a specific purpose—in his case, to be a prophet. It was only after Jeremiah had been set apart that God appointed Him to fulfill His purpose.

The same process happens in our lives. God first knew us in His heart—He knew what He wanted us to do in His kingdom—and then He formed us for that very purpose. Because God knew us first, He then formed us with every gift, every talent, every love, every desire, and every personality trait that we would need to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

We won’t fulfill that purpose automatically, however. We were born sinners, remember? The Holy Spirit has a lot of work to do in our hearts and our minds to prepare us for our divine destinies. The key to qualifying is to submit to the preparation process.

Jeremiah went all the steps so he reached his scheduled appointment with his destiny. He was not only appointed as a prophet to the nations, but he reached his scheduled appointment on time and he fulfilled his purpose because he was fully prepared.

Everyone likes to get on the elevator, push the button, and arrive at the top! We like to do this in every area of our lives, not just when we are in a building with thirty-plus floors. Not many people take the steps these days. We say we don’t have time for it. We’re in a rush to get where we are going, only to rush off to the next place.

This has become a part of our culture, and we have adopted this type of action in all areas of life. When we get sick, we want to pop a pill and feel better immediately. If we are unhappy with our weight and want to lose a few pounds, we want to pop a different pill that allows us to eat anything we want to eat and still lose weight without any physical exercise. We go through the drive-through and we don’t even have time to give the details of our order, so we just say, “I’ll take a number three combo, please.”

Everything is fast—we want it now, and now means immediately! We don’t even want to wait on God and His timing. We like to help Him out so we can move things along a little bit—not smart! God never needs our help; He needs only our obedience. We want to start in the ministry, push a button, and arrive at the top. We want our business to clip along from floor to floor, or level to level, with ease and arrive at the top of the Fortune 500 list in no time. We want our relationships to be easy, and if we have to put any time into “working” through things, we just move on to another one. But to be fully prepared in God’s purpose, everyone is required to take the step.

The steps are a setup from the Lord—a setup to be a build-up! He wants to build the character of Christ in us and that is learned only by going the “steps.”

I believe that everybody needs to go the steps. I believe we do people a disservice if we just throw them into a top position. Actually we can set them up to fail or even to fall in their relationship with the Lord if they are not prepared. I have seen it time and time again, when a famous personality gives his life to the Lord and the body of Christ promotes him to a place when he hasn’t had the required preparation and thus grow in the character of Christ.

To succeed, we must be prepared for the position that the Lord has called us to, and that takes time. It’s during this time that we are going the steps that the Lord develops our character and works His character in us.

God sets us up for character development before His appointed time for promotion in our lives. And, it’s important that we “go the steps” in the development of our character. If we don’t “go the steps,” we can trip up in our walk with the Lord and come falling down.

Jealous?

There is a tendency to look at jealousy like a lesser sin. We know not to murder, steal, lie or commit adultery, but covetousness?  We can gloss over that. But the truth is, jealousy is an insidious weed that affects how we see others and how we treat those around us. We need to deal with jealousy, before it infects us.

When we are jealous of another, it means that we are not satisfied with the position that God has put us in. We doubt the sovereignty of God by daring to question. Why didn’t I get that position? Why is that person always recognized? I should be the leader of this small group. It’s thoughts like these that allow jealousy to spread its tentacles into our hearts. We put ourselves on a pedestal, and we in turn curse others. Jealousy is an ugly sin. It’s time for us to stop glossing over it and confront it head on. It’s time to deal with jealousy.

When Saul, the anointed and ruling king of Israel, realized that David was starting to gain public attention, a spirit of jealousy came into his heart.

“And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice. Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had left Saul” (I Samuel 18:9-12).

Instead of dealing with jealousy, Saul allowed it to rule his life. Jealousy is not just an innocent spirit that desires to have what someone else has, it will kill to get what it wants.  “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:1-2). Instead of coveting what someone has, turn to the One who created you. He has gifts and callings for each of us, unique to the each individual. Ask God! But when you ask, be sure you are asking for the right reasons. Do you want that position or promotion to give yourself honor? Do you want recognition to feed your own ego? “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3)

When dealing with jealousy, remember that the opposite of jealousy is love. Jesus’ command is firm, “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19). Love “is never envious nor boils over with jealousy” (I Corinthians 13:4). In other words, love gets excited when other people are blessed and rejoices with them. Instead of acting out of jealousy, love says, “Me too, Lord. I know I’m next in line for my miracle!” In other words, you are excited for others when they receive blessings, and you know that God will bless you, too, for you are secure in His love for you.    

If you are dealing with jealousy, it may be because you doubt the love of your heavenly Father. You see others getting touched, healed, promoted and you cry out, what about me? “But (God) gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:6-7). Don’t allow the enemy to put you on the pity party track.  Resist the devil and he will flee! Don’t listen to his lies. Listen to God’s truth. He has a calling custom made for you, you don’t need someone else’s.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up” (James 4:8-10). If you are dealing with jealousy, confess it as what it is, sin. Don’t hide it, but allow God to cleanse it from your life. Then you will be more empowered to love those around you and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15).

How to Recieve Favor

So many of us have bought into the lie that if we want to receive anything in this life, we have to bend over backwards to earn it. But as a child in God’s kingdom, we have to come to the realization that all favor comes from God alone. Don’t wear yourself out trying to receive favor from a man, an organization, or a corporation. When God wants to show you His favor, nothing and no one can stop the favor of God; He will give you favor with man, as well, no matter his position. For “even the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:1).

Developing God’s character in your life is the key. If you develop Christlike character, they will obtain the favor of God and succeed in all that you do. Character counts—a lot more than our gifts and talents, in fact! When your character is pleasing to the Lord, His favor will propel you into any position the Father wants you in.

When our hearts are right, when we are living out standards of godly character, we have the Lord’s favor and blessing. Don’t look for a man or a woman to open doors for you. Don’t look to a man or a woman to promote you. God will open the doors to His perfect will for you, and He will bring promotion. Meanwhile, you must focus on growing in godly character. As you live a lifestyle that pleases the Father, His favor on your life will open the door to His best. As we simply do our part, the Lord will be faithful to do His part, in His perfect timing.

God prepares us right where we are. Sometimes, we think if we aren’t currently furthering our education at a well-known institution, we aren’t being prepared for God’s promotion in our lives. Don’t buy that lie! Divine favor transcends education, social status, economic standing, and every other standard of comparison. My degree from the Master is much more valuable than my master’s degree from Regent University. When you graduate and get your degree from the Master, you have passed the test, and you’re about to be blessed.

In many cases, we don’t have favor because we don’t ask for it. We don’t ask God, and we don’t ask man. Favor is just waiting for you to ask.

At Joy Ministries, we organize more than twenty local outreaches in low-income housing areas. We have adopted about ten subsidized neighborhoods where we serve on a regular basis. Local businesses and churches are familiar with our work and have been a great source of support over the years. We have a large operating budget to fund these outreaches, but we rely 100 percent on donations, which, as you know, requires fund-raising.

A few years ago, I made a phone call to a local business owner, hoping he would agree to make a donation toward one of our upcoming outreaches. As I prepared to call him, I kept thinking, I don’t really feel like asking him for money. I hope he doesn’t get upset that I’m calling again. When he picked up the phone and found out who I was, he said, “I was wondering when you were going to call me. It took you long enough! I have some money for you.” I didn’t even have to ask—he had been waiting to give me money. God had given me such favor with this businessman. Don’t allow the enemy to talk you out of asking.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7–8)

Favor is just waiting for you to ask, seek, and knock. Seasons of life change, but God’s favor never does. His favor on our lives just grows as it follows us into each new season. When you have clear focus, the change of season doesn’t bother or shake you.

To help us develop character and ultimately earn favor, God takes us through a series of tests. As we pass each one, we’re promoted to the next level, climbing ever closer to the position God has for us. These tests will assess our humility, our obedience, our integrity, and our beauty—spiritual beauty, that is. If we don’t pass on the first try, God loves us so much that He allows us to retake the test as many times as needed until we pass with flying colors.

Take the children of Israel, for example. They were tested in the wilderness, and it took them forty years to pass the test. Some of them even died trying. Let’s make sure we submit to the preparation process and learn quickly! Get ready to pass the test and be blessed.

Favor is just waiting for you to ask! Let the Lord build your character and see favor develop in your life.

Don’t Quit In the Pit

Any given day, we find ourselves on a peak, in a pit, or somewhere in between. We’d love to remain on the peaks of life—those times of extreme joy and gladness. Unfortunately, though, a lot of people spend too much of their time in a pit, whether it’s a pit of emotional despair, financial hardship, mental anguish, physical pain, or something else. Even worse, many people park in the pit and never get out. Discouraged and defeated, they decide to remain where they are instead of determining to escape their pit and climb the next peak. Don’t allow this to be your fate! You can’t afford to park in the pit. Your life—and your ultimate destiny—depend on your determining to trust God and get out.

            Are you looking up from a dark pit with high walls and no ladder in sight? If so, I want to extend a rope of hope to you! Your situation may seem hopeless. Your pain may be overwhelming. Yet there is Someone who knows your sorrows even better than you do, and He will bring you out of your pit. Even in your pit, you’re not alone; the Lord is with you, no matter how deep and dark your pit may be.

If you feel like you’re in a pit, relax. You’re not the first person to find yourself looking up from within what feels like a deep, dark hole. In the Old Testament of the Bible, we read about a guy named Joseph who found himself in his own pit—literally! For Joseph, that pit looked like a dark dead end, but it was truly a pathway to the palace—a direct route, at that. (See Genesis 37:5–36; 39; 41:14–44.)

In the New Testament, we read about the apostle Paul, a respected Jewish leader who became a Christian, won souls for Jesus, and consequently found himself in his own pit. Paul’s pit was in the form of a ship tossed in a raging storm. Everybody wanted to jump off the boat, but God told Paul, “Don’t abandon ship—you’ll come through this!” (See Acts 27.)

Being in a pit is a situation common to all people—male and female, rich and poor, young and old. I want to encourage you today—don’t abandon ship! Your pit may seem overwhelming. You may be in the midst of the biggest storm of your life. But I can promise you that it’s temporary. When you trust your Father God and obey Him, He will guide you out of the pit. This, too, shall pass.

Both Joseph and Paul needed a rope of hope to climb out of the pit. Their rope of hope was the same one that’s available for you—God’s Word. The Bible provides a map to guide us out of any and every pit that we find ourselves in. Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (nkjv). In other words, we all will experience “pits” in our lives—they’re inevitable—but we can escape when we grab hold of the rope of hope and determine to climb out.

Reading the Word of God is like studying a map. You will arrive at your planned destination only if you read it—you can’t automatically absorb knowledge of the route. The same rule is true regarding our map out of the pit. We have to read the Word of truth—the Bible, which is our map! John 8:32 says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The truth on its own doesn’t set you free; it’s the truth that you know that sets you free.

The good news is that every pit has the potential to be temporary because the Word promises that God will deliver us from every affliction. God’s Word will never disappoint us. “Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23). Isn’t that a precious promise? We have a Friend, our wonderful Father, who never lets us down. When our hope is in Him, we are never disappointed. When our hope is in another person, a paycheck, or a situation, we will eventually be disappointed. But with the Lord, we will never be disappointed.

We must be determined not to remain stuck in the pits. My prayer is that your times in the pit will be temporary seasons. Whatever kind of pit, I want you to be determined never to quit. Always grab hold of the rope of hope—God’s Word—and make your way to the palace. 

Miracles

Are miracles real? In a word, yes. Miracles are wonderful and inexplicable. Nature and science can’t explain why or how they happen. The blind receiving sight. People rising from the dead. Deaf ears being opened.  They are a fingerprint that God leaves, testifying to his awesome power.  Scripture is full of story after story of the miracles of God. But to leave miracles in the past is to weaken the mighty God we serve. Amazing miracles like those mentioned above are happening all over the world. And even more common place miracles. Family reconciliation. An alcoholic losing his taste for liquor. Financial breakthroughs. We serve a God who makes uncommon occurrences common.

I have seen thousands of people receive physical miracles, receive deliverance from addictions, and be set free from emotional baggage. But if you want to see miracles happening in your life, you need to start living a life of faith.  Faith is the foundation to all miracles. Because, to draw near to God and His miraculous power, we first have to believe that He exists and is able to do what He has promised (Hebrews 11:6).

After returning from a miracle crusade years ago, I was earnestly seeking God and praying that He would use me as a conduit of miracles. I wanted His miraculous power to be a regular part of my ministry. So, I sought the Lord in prayer and petitioned Him to show me some keys to flowing in His power.

After several days of this, the Lord spoke to me and said, “It’s the little keys that give you access to the place that not many are qualified to go.” He placed an image in my mind—one of the file cabinets in my office. I keep this file cabinet locked, as it contains sensitive documents—payroll records, confidential personnel files, tax documents, and so on. Not everyone is qualified to open that file cabinet. Only the person who has the little key that corresponds to the lock may open it. (And that’s me.) God said, “That’s how it is with the miraculous.” I realized that it’s the “little keys” that give us access to the power of God and the miraculous, and we need to qualify before we gain access to the little keys that unlock that power.

The Lord went on to tell me that He desires for every person to qualify for those “little keys,” but that not everyone is willing to pay the price for them. What a revelation! I thought it was going to be a “big key” to flowing in the miraculous. I thought the Lord would tell me to go on a forty-day fast or do something “big.” Instead, He began to show me “little keys” that were no less important.

[Jesus said,] “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

Faith is a key to the miraculous, no matter what kind of miracle you need—a money miracle, a miracle healing, a miracle job, and so forth. Faith takes us to the next level. When God is calling you to a higher level, it will require you to do something you’ve never done before—and, usually, it will demand a deeper level of faith.

 “But the just shall live by faith…and if [My servant] draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38 amp).  Again, faith and fear are opposites. We must combat the doubts that the enemy throws our way and we must face our fears. When you face your fears, you can build your faith! If you refuse to face your fears, you will never conquer them, and you will stunt the growth of your faith.

The Lord not only wants you to have faith, but He wants you to have great faith. Great faith knows that Jesus only has to say the Word. Great faith knows that no one has to lay hands on you—except the Holy Spirit. Great faith knows that your miracle does not depend on the strength or abilities of a man or a woman. Great faith knows it’s the name of Jesus, and His name alone, that brings about the miraculous. Great faith prays in the name of Jesus and expects results. It was great faith in the name of Jesus that healed the crippled beggar in Acts 3 and made him strong. And it’s great faith in the name of Jesus that brings miracles in your life today

How to be committed

In this day and age, people don’t like to make commitments—even simple ones. Husbands and wives walk out on their marriages because they don’t “feel like” being committed anymore. Churchgoers leave a church because they “can’t commit” to persevering through the difficult times. Leaving during difficult times is almost never God’s will.  God often uses difficult times to do a great work in you, if you’ll just stick around instead of running away from His pruning process.

Of course, I’m not talking about leaving an abusive situation or other difficult times that the Lord releases you from. But I am talking about you releasing yourself from your commitment because you don’t “feel” like keeping your commitment during the difficult days, weeks, months, or years!

We have to be firm in our commitments and we have to purpose to be where the Lord wants us to be at the time He wants us to be there. If not, we will just drift through life, being controlled by our circumstances rather than by the Holy Spirit.

The Word tells us that the Lord has called many people, but only a few are chosen to be used by God. (See Matthew 22:14.) The reason that many are called and only a few are chosen is because of a lack of commitment.

The Lord has anointed you to share the good news of the gospel. The Lord wants to send you to bind up the brokenhearted and to minister healing and deliverance to those in need (Isaiah 61:1–3). You are already called and you are already anointed, but now you need to be committed. Your commitment causes you to be fruitful in the lives of others and your commitment keeps you focused on the end product – His glory, not ours!

The Lord desires to plant dreams and visions into the heart of His people. But once we conceive these, we must remain committed. Too many people abort the dream or the vision before it’s actually birthed. The day I delivered my daughter I had been at the doctor’s office that morning. When Dr. Miller examined me, he said, “You are already five centimeters. You are going to have this baby today.”

I couldn’t say, “Well, I have been thinking about it, and I really don’t want to commit to having this baby today. I would rather go shopping and eat chocolate.”

Too late—I had already conceived her; I had made the commitment! I was going to deliver that baby, like it or not. Yes, there was some pain, but it was well worth it!

Knowing God’s will and His plan for your life isn’t a hard thing. But disciplining your flesh and your soul to stay committed to fulfilling God’s will for your life is not always easy.

God disciplines us in order to train us. The Word tells us that the Lord disciplines those He loves. (See Hebrews 12:6.) Always welcome the Lord’s discipline. Then, make the changes that He shows you to make and “grow forward.” I discipline my daughter because I love her and want the best for her. The same is true with the Lord. He disciplines us to bring us into His best for our lives.

God’s discipline trains us so we can develop self-control. He wants us to have self-control so that the Holy Spirit can be in control of our lives. He disciplines us so we can have character—the character of Christ. God disciplines us so we can develop orderliness and efficiency in our lives. With orderliness and efficiency in our lives, we can have attainable, God-inspired goals.

Discipline in one specific area of life will help us to be disciplined in every other area. If I stay disciplined to eat healthy and exercise, it’s easier for me to stay disciplined to read my Bible and maintain a powerful prayer life daily. But if I slack up in my discipline in eating or exercising, I find it harder to be disciplined in prayer and reading the Word. If I’m disciplined even in my spending, it helps me to be disciplined in other areas of my life.

The Lord wants us to be disciplined enough to make commitments and disciplined enough to keep our commitments. Discipline in other areas of your life helps you to be disciplined enough to keep your commitments. Discipline is contagious.

Commitment causes us to be chosen for kingdom purposes. Yes, many are called, but few are committed enough to be chosen. I don’t know about you, but I want to be committed enough to be among those chosen for kingdom purposes during these last days.

Need Financial Help?

Have you or a friend or relative lost a job, a pension, or home because of today’s troubled economy? Perhaps you are suffering financially from circumstances that seem to be way out of your control? There is hope. There is a way out. There is help. “When my husband moved out, I was left with a tiny newborn–and a great big God,” writes author Danette Crawford. In the midst of great financial pressure, the author began to treat every bill that arrived as having God’s name on it–not hers. Standing at the mailbox, she looked up and said, “God, You’ve got mail ” Through real-life testimonies and in-depth teaching, you will learn the 15 secrets to abundant financial provision. You can sleep easier after discovering the important keys revealed in “God, You’ve Got Mail: 15 Secrets to Abundant Provision in Troubled Times “