Today I want to talk to you about a key that David gives us to succeed in our race—our God given assignment. When Hanna hit the bar, she won, she fulfilled her purpose, and she described it as her horn being exalted. A horn held the anointing oil. We are each anointed for a purpose, David was anointed to be King! It comes with a title, a mission, and strength. But lots of kings didn’t serve God with their purpose. They got the title. They got the strength. But they missed the mission. And herein lies the problem. There are so many gifted, skillful, amazing people on this planet, doing so many things that seem great, so many trying to make a difference, but they’re unhappy and unfulfilled. Hanna said, “My heart rejoices.” David said, “My heart rejoices.” These two found out a secret that we need.
Today I want to teach you that you were designed by God to hope—to hope with God’s kind of hope. His word is always telling us things are getting better, we are getting freer, good news! And now let the poor say I’m rich, let the weak say I’m strong. I had an old car when I was a 16, and the gas tank had rust in it. Every week or so the fuel filter would get completely plugged with rust, and the car would stop moving. The car was designed to operate at its full potential, given the right environment and ingredients. When we lose hope, when we get disappointed, we lose access to all the potential that is in Christ. Consider that we are given everything we need to remain hopeful. God has given us power, position, and purpose, all with His partnership. He has called us to remain full of hope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, when we leave hope we find ourselves disappointed, discouraged, and deceived, unable to inherit what God has promised.
Today, I want to announce to you that you were designed by God. That design came with a purpose. There is a vessel that was placed in you, attached to your life, that is filled with desire and a destination. Your life came with a plan. You are unique. Your gifting, talents, and desires are entirely distinct. God designed you. Predestined: God foreknew you, and He knows why you are here, what your purpose is.
Today we are going to start in Joel 2:25 (NKJV), “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust. My army I sent among you.” There are four types of ways the curse has stolen from us. This passage is a prophecy of what happened when Christ came. Christ broke the curse, but then He didn’t just stop there. He promises to restore what the curse steals, what Satan steals, the years stolen from you. And so He identifies each of the four. They represent your effort/time, your relationships, your money, and your fruit. You worked for years and years and it was all wasted. You were married to the wrong man, he was abusive, he didn’t love you, 10 years, and you look at the time, ugh, what a waste. You made that investment; the money vanished like thin air. You raised your children to love the Lord, but they are running to the world.
Too many Christians have seen theft in their lives. The curse gave Satan access to steal, kill and destroy. But we must realize he has that access no more. God says, “I will restore the years.” The years of investing in the wrong job only to have the doors close, you went to a church that didn’t tell you about the Holy Spirit and the power, your parents abandoned you and stole your childhood. You thought those years were just gone, but today you are going to find out that God is restoring those years. That mistake you made and the years spent in prison, those years as a young girl abused and molested repeatedly, building a business with a partner only to have them steal all that you worked for, that deadbeat man that won’t pay child support. God says to you today, “I will restore those years, the years where the curse bled into your life, get ready for restoration!”
Today I want to talk to you about being Spirit-led through divine inspiration, a supernatural visitation for your distinct and unique life experience, a personalized message to you from God. The Holy Spirit’s primary way of leading is by teaching us the word of God. He also leads us through our desires. He gives us the desires of our heart; in other words, the reason He wants to fulfill the desire in your heart is because He put it in there. It’s part of His way to get you to want to do what He wants you to do. But today I want to talk to you about the daily leading of the Spirit through every facet of life that comes to us by the Spirit’s direct messaging, the specific and direct communication from the Holy Spirit that is for your personal and distinct life destination.
There is a leading available to Christians that many are completely missing, either because they are unaware, or not listening and trusting. Or they think the Holy Spirit is some far away, distant conceptual God that has no possibility of being actually real to them. Think of it this way, God’s Word is leading all of us; it is like a group text for all of us. It’s like a FB post. Instagram. But He is also direct messaging you. Here’s His group text for us today: John 16:12-13 (NKJV) “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and HE WILL TELL YOU WHAT IS YET TO COME.” It’s like a Direct Message – a personal text just for you. “Turn here, go back, talk to that person, lock your car, move your purse.” The Holy Spirit’s gonna help you at work, “Say this.” You’re a mechanic, “Check that.” Or you have a dream and your all, “Whoa! That was from God!” So today I want to talk to you about this voice, about the nudges, the Divine visitations, the dreams, the visions… the WHAT IS TO COME stuff!
Today I want to talk to you about distractions. We are so busy. And so busy and so many distractions sometimes leaves no room for God’s plan. We just don’t have time for that right now. God’s trying to put his plan in motion, but there just aren’t any seats left on your bus. The movie in our mind is sold out. Jesus talks about this in the parable of the sower and the seed. One of the types that didn’t really get the life-changing word of God just had too much going on; too many things distracted them from producing what God had given. The boss comes in with a new project and it gets put on the bottom of the pile of what I’m doing. But is everything we are doing producing? Or maybe some of my busy is just that, busy. I believe too many Christians are being pulled off God’s path by distractions.
Today I want to talk to you about graduating to the next level. Every May students are graduating – my daughter is graduating high school this year. At the graduation there are speeches given about the new opportunities facing the graduates. You can become anything. The world is an oyster. For college graduates, they have been studying for a particular career; new information has been preparing them to be released into purpose – engineer, microbiologist, accountant. The definition of graduating is to pass from one stage of experience to a higher one. Promotion to a higher place resulting from study, preparation, and testing to determine readiness.
The Holy Spirit is our teacher. We are called to understanding. The Spirit leads us by revealing to us, through the Word, moving us along in our purpose.
“Let’s get together for coffee.” I love that phrase. We do it at our daily show, “Wake Up.” Coffee is something that can be shared in so many ways. That friend you haven’t seen in 10 years, “Let’s catch up over coffee.” Your spouse, “You wanna go get a cup of coffee?” Your best friend, “Let’s meet up tomorrow for coffee.” A new client, a possible important contact, that new possible love interest… and asking her out to dinner is too aggressive, but coffee, we could do coffee. You sit across from each other, your friend, your sister, your spouse, no real agenda, just chatting. Relaxed, breathing in life, drinking in relationship, laughing, sharing coffee, a new joke, sharing problems, stories of weariness, stories of victory, sharing opinions, sharing advice.
What if you could have coffee with some women of the Bible, heroes from ancient times? What would they tell you? What would they say? Today we will have coffee with six different women of the Bible, to listen to what they might say to you and me. What advice would they offer us? What stories might they share? Sarah, Leah, Jehosheba, Hannah, Deborah, and one whose name we don’t even know.
Today I want to take you all off roading – today we talk about getting off the beaten path and trail blazing. Did you know the Spirit desires for you to go off road, to think different, to live different, to go a different road? Did you know that the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness – took Him off road. Jesus’ whole life was spent going off road, He did things differently, He wasn’t with the pack. He didn’t succumb to the pressures of what everyone else thought or said. The Bible doesn’t use the normal paths, it doesn’t work on the 9-lane freeway. The Bible takes us right over the water, it moves the mountain out of our way, the word of God isn’t saying what the world is saying. It’s a completely different way of living life, and has a completely better destination.
We love the guys who pave new ways, discoverers. They reject status quo, they go against the grain. The world is flat, you’ll fall off the edge, but Columbus sails on. Famous men and women, whose name we still remember, discovered, pursued ideas that were rejected. Einstein claimed light was made up of particles, although it had already been proven light was a wave. Galileo fought even against the pope for his belief in heliocentrism, that the earth and planets revolve around the sun, Neil Armstrong the first man to step on the moon. Discoverers, off the path, marching to the beat of a different drum.
Today I want to talk to you about being led by the Spirit, specifically, the breath of God. The breath of God is the revealer of God’s word, bringing us revelation. Often in the Bible the breath of God is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit. The same word for Spirit is used for breath in both Greek and Hebrew, New Testament and Old. God is wanting to show us that His Spirit is like Him breathing. In Exodus 15, the Israelites are singing a song about God parting the seas, and they say something interesting. Exodus 15:8 (ISV) says, “By the breath of your nostrils the waters were piled up, the flowing waters stood up like a hill, the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.” The breath here broke something off to reveal something that was already there. It describes these deep waters as thickening in the heart of the sea – something hidden in the deep.
Listen to David sing about the breath of God 2 Samuel 22:16 (NKJV), “Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered, At the rebuke of the LORD, At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.” Ruwach – what’s the breath doing? Uncovering, showing us what’s in the deep hidden places. God’s breath here is a revealer, an uncoverer. It travels/comes with a rebuke; the word comes and rebukes something off of you, and reveals, uncovers things that were hidden before come to light. Consider you, full of the Spirit of God and a new creation. God’s word is full of revelation. Principle and power are there, and His breath reveals what is hidden. Paul said to be Spirit-led, and Jesus said the Spirit is our teacher. A teacher is leading us.