Step Towards Transformation
Sunday Sermon of 20th March, 2016
God created us to grow, expand and flourish into greatness. But sometimes, this isn’t always the easiest or most exciting thing, especially when we face hardships, disappointments and loss. We don’t always understand why things happen to us. Maybe a friend you thought would be with you for years, somebody you counted on, had to move away suddenly; now you have to find new friends. Or at work, things were going great, you had all this favor, but now there’s conflict; everything is a struggle, you don’t enjoy it.
Sometimes, God will let us be uncomfortable now so He can bless us later on. He’ll close a door; we don’t like it, we don’t understand it, but later on He’ll open up a bigger door; He’ll take us to a new level of our destiny. God is not as concerned about our comfort as He is our purpose. There are times God will stir things up: a friend will do you wrong, you lose a loved one, a business goes down.
God uses loss, betrayal, persecution, to force us to change. He’s not trying to make your life miserable, He’s pushing you into your purpose. Every closed door is not a bad thing. [see Rev. 3:7-8]. Every person that walks away is not a mistake; God knows we wouldn’t go without a push. When everything is good, we’re comfortable; we don’t want to have to stretch, we don’t want to have to find new friends, develop new skills, step out into the unknown. What if it doesn’t work out?
We may not like it, but if God had not closed those doors, we would be satisfied to stay where we were. God loves you too much to let you miss your destiny. You have too much potential, too much talent, too much in you, to get stuck where you are. God will put us in these situations that force us to stretch, that help us to grow.every difficulty you’ve been through, every bad break, every person that did you wrong, that wasn’t meant to stop you, it was meant to push you, to mature you, to make you stronger. It’s deposited something on the inside, it’s made you into who you are. You wouldn’t be prepared for the new levels if you had not gone through those things.
Don’t complain about what didn’t work out, the job you lost, the loved one that went to be with the Lord; it was all a part of God’s plan. When you face a difficulty, especially things you don’t understand, instead of being critical, complaining, negative, have this new perspective; this is not meant to stop me, it’s meant to promote me. I may be uncomfortable, I may not like it, but I know God is using it to push me to a new level, to push me to greater influence, to push me into my purpose.
When I look back over my life, I can see the key moments where I really grew, the times where I really stepped up to a new level; the common denominator was, I was pushed. I didn’t like it, I was uncomfortable, I wanted to stay; it took God closing the door, forcing me to take a step of faith, I was pushed into my purpose.
Sometimes we’re praying against the very thing God has ordained; we’re praying against what God has set into motion. The enemy doesn’t close every door; sometimes, God closes the door. God moves people out of our life because He knows they would become a crutch; they would keep us from our destiny, so God causes things to dry up to force us to change.
Quit being depressed over somebody that walked away; if they left your life, their time was up. Step into the new season. If the door closed, you went through a disappointment, don’t complain; you’re about to be pushed into your purpose. You’re about to see new growth, new opportunities, new friendships.
In the scripture, the prophet Samuel spent years pouring into King Saul; he had mentored him as a young man, loved him like his own son. But unfortunately, Saul wouldn’t do what was right:
1 Samuel 15:2-9 (MEV)
2 Thus says the Lord of Hosts… 3 Now go and strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not have compassion on them but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”… 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, and lambs.
1 Samuel 15:10-11(MEV)
10 Then came the word of the Lord to Samuel, saying, 11 “I regret that I have set up Saul to be king because he has turned back from following Me, and he has not carried out My words.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried to the Lord all night.
Samuel was so heartbroken; he felt like he’d wasted all that time. God said to Samuel:
1 Samuel 16:1 (NIV)
16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way
God is saying, “quit being depressed over who walked away. Quit being sour over what didn’t work out. If they were supposed to stay, they would’ve stayed.” God went on to tell Samuel:
1 Samuel 16:1 (NIV)
16 … I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
Notice the principle; if you’ll stop being discouraged over who left, God will send the right people. But as long as you’re complaining about the Sauls, what didn’t work out, “if they wouldn’t have left me,” you’re going to get stuck. When you accept it and move forward, you’ll not only step into a new level, but the Davids will show up; the right people will be there for every season of your life.
Job 29:18 (MEV)
18 “Then I said, ‘I will die in my nest
He was saying, he got his nest all fixed up, got his house like he wanted it, had a successful business, everything was going great, he was finally comfortable; what happened? God came along and stirred up the nest. God doesn’t send the trouble, but He will use difficulty to push us into our destiny. Job had a lot of things go wrong: he lost his business, lost his health, lost his family. If the story stopped there, it would be a sad ending. But Job understood this principle; right in the midst of the difficulties, he looked up and said:
Job 19:25 (NIV)
25 I know that my redeemer lives
He was saying, “I know God is still on the throne. He has the final say. This trouble is not going to defeat me, it’s going to promote me.” In the end:
Job 42:10 (NIV)
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.
God used that adversity to give him double. Don’t be surprised if, like with Job, when you get comfortable, when you get everything figured out, if God doesn’t stir up the nest. It’s not to harm you, it’s to push you; you have a bigger destiny. God has new levels, more favor, more influence, more resources. His dream for your life is bigger than you can imagine.
Every time i’ve seen major growth, every time i’ve stepped up to a new level, it’s because I was pushed; there was adversity, challenges, loss. Maybe you’re in a situation now, you could easily be discouraged; you lost a loved one, went through a breakup, business didn’t work out. The enemy may have meant that for your harm, but God is going to use that for your good. God didn’t allow it to stop you, He allowed it to push you; like Job, you’re going to come out stronger, healthier, wiser, increased, better off than you were before. That sickness is going to push you into your purpose. That bad break is going to push you into greater fulfillment. Or perhaps that betrayal, it’s going to push you into better relationships, into new happiness.
The pain is a sign you’re about to see a birth; the greater difficulty, the closer you are to that birth. You think, “this is as good as it gets”; no, you’re going to see God push you into a new level of your destiny. The betrayal, disappointment, bad break, it was painful, we don’t like it, but if you’ll stay in faith, it’s going to promote you.
When Jobs was in his 30s,in 1985, Following a long power struggle the very company he created fired him.
During his time away from Apple, Jobs cofounded computer company NeXT, , a computer platform development company specializing in state-of-the-art computers for higher-education and business markets. In addition, Jobs helped to initiate the development of the visual effects industry when he funded the spinout of the computer graphics division of George Lucas’s company Lucasfilm in 1986,
In 1997, Apple purchased NeXT, allowing Jobs to become the former’s CEO once again. He would return the company, which was on the verge of bankruptcy, back to profitability. When he returned to Apple nearly a decade later, he brought the innovation of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
In 1919, Disney was fired from one of his first animation jobs at the Kansas City Star newspaper because his editor felt he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,”
He and his brother moved to California and began the Disney Brothers’ Studio, eventually creating Mickey Mouse and Disneyland and winning 22 Academy Awards.
KFC- Colonel Harland Sanders
Colonel Harland Sanders sold tires in the early 1920s and became the top salesman in Kentucky, but he was fired because of his temper.
Sanders traveled across the US looking for someone to sell his fried chicken. It wasn’t until 1964, when Sanders was 74, that the Colonel had more than six hundred franchised outlets for his chicken and he sold his interest in the company for $2 million to a group of investors,
It’s difficult, but God doesn’t waste the pain; the pain is a sign of new birth. The betrayal wasn’t sent to stop you, it was sent to push you. Don’t complain about who hurt you, who did you wrong; if that was going to keep you from your destiny, God would’ve never permitted it.
Shake off the self-pity; get ready for the new doors that are about to open, the new opportunities, the skills, the new talents.
Illustration: moses..deuteronomy 32:11..eagle stirs the nest
When things are stirring in your life, when you’re uncomfortable, a door closed, a friend betrayed you, don’t think, “just my luck, always have these bad breaks,” no, turn it around; “God, I know You’re stirring things because You’re about to open up a new door, You’re about to take me to a higher level, You’re about to push me into my purpose.”
Illustration: A Doctor Does Not Tell A Woman In Labour “Just Push Whenever You Want To”. “Push Whenever You Feel Like”. They Have To Wait Until The Exact Right Time.
When you’re being pushed, it means that the door is open; something new is coming, new growth, new influence. God wouldn’t be pushing you if the door was closed and nothing new was on the way. When you’re being pushed, don’t be discouraged, be encouraged; it is the right time. Get ready; something good is coming your way.
Illustration:A little baby, when he’s in the womb for nine months, everything is great; he’s comfortable, he doesn’t have to do anything, he gets his food from his mother, gets carried around all day, he can sleep whenever he wants to, it’s peaceful, calm, life is good.
For a season, that’s healthy; he’s growing, he’s maturing, that’s where he’s supposed to be. But if he stays in that womb too long, instead of being a blessing, the womb will become a curse. It’s too small; it will keep him from his destiny, it will limit his potential. He has to get out.
When he comes through the birth canal, it’s tight, uncomfortable, traumatic. Up to this point, all he’s known is peace, calm, lying around doing nothing; now, it’s like all hell breaks loose. He thinks, “what in the world is wrong with mama? Has she lost her mind? Is she trying to kill me?” He’s being pushed, squeezed, pressured. He gets pushed again, pushed again, pushed again; finally he comes out, he’s born, breathes new life, steps into that new level.
It’s the same principle; when things are tight, when you’re being pressured, when you’re uncomfortable, it’s easy to think, “what in the world is happening? I liked it when it was peaceful; I want to go back to how it was.”
But if you stay in that womb too long, in that protected place, it won’t be a blessing; it will keep you from becoming all God created you to be. God controls the universe; He knows what’s best for you. If you’re being pushed, it’s because the door is open; there’s something greater in your destiny. It may be uncomfortable; don’t complain. God is stretching you, enlarging you. You’re about to see new growth, talents, opportunities.
The same God that opens doors, closes doors. Don’t complain about people that betray you, do you wrong, leave you out; God uses people to get you to where you’re supposed to be. They may think they’re pushing you down; what they don’t realize is, they’re pushing you up, into your destiny.
Illustration: Judas thought that when he betrayed Jesus, he was stopping him; the truth is, he was promoting him. God ordained the betrayal.
The scripture says:
Acts 8:1-5 (NIV)
2 … persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem… . 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria
It doesn’t say that Philip prayed and decided to go to Samaria. He didn’t have a choice; the persecution forced him out of his hometown. He was pushed out of his comfort zone. It’s interesting; God could’ve stopped the opposition. He’s God; He closed the mouths of hungry lions for Daniel, it would’ve been no big deal. But the persecution was for a purpose; He allowed that opposition to get them into their destiny.
It was in Samaria that Phillip saw all his greatest days of ministry. If he had stayed in Jerusalem, he wouldn’t have reached his highest potential.
Maybe Jerusalem has closed up for you, so to speak; a bad break, a disappointment, a betrayal. Don’t be discouraged; Jerusalem may have closed, but Samaria is about to open up. God wouldn’t be pushing you if He didn’t already have another open door. God loves you too much to let you stay in mediocrity; He knows how to get you out of your comfort zone. He opens doors, and He can close doors. It we don’t take the hint, He’ll push us. Don’t be discouraged by your closed doors; that’s God pushing you. Don’t get upset because of a bad break; if it was going to keep you from your destiny, God would’ve never permitted it.
In the scripture:
Acts 27:23-24 (NIV)
23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar
Paul was on a boat headed toward Rome. They encountered a huge storm; the winds were so strong that it blew the boat aground. The whole boat fell apart. They all had to swim to this little island called Malta. (NB: Malta is a country in the Mediterranean Sea.) It looked like a bad break, a disappointment, but that storm didn’t stop God’s plan; it was a part of God’s plan.
On that island, the chief’s father was very sick. Paul prayed for him; God healed him. They started bringing other sick people, same thing, God healed them. Paul ended up sharing his faith with the whole island.
The winds that were meant to stop you, God will use to push you into your destiny. You may not like it, you may not understand it, but if you’ll stay in faith, it won’t defeat you, it will promote you.
You’re being pushed for a reason. There’s something bigger, something better, something more rewarding in front of you. Now you’ve got to be willing to go through the process; when it’s tight, you’re uncomfortable, you’re being squeezed, that’s a sign you’re about to see new birth. Where you are is too small; that womb was fine for a time, it served its purpose, but now it’s a new day. There’s about to be new growth, opportunities.
Keep the right perspective:
Every difficulty you went through, every storm, every person that did you wrong, it was pushing you to mature, pushing you to know God in a greater way, pushing you to become stronger, more resilient.
Don’t be discouraged by the process. Perhaps you feel like you’re being pushed right now; it’s tight, it’s uncomfortable. You need to get ready; God is about to push you into a new level. He’s going to push you into greater strength, greater influence, greater resources. You’re coming into a new season; health, favor, victory, breakthroughs. The winds that were meant to stop you are going to push you into your purpose.