Saturday, September 24, 2011

25 of 31 Reasons People Do Not Receive Their Financial Harvest

=========    ~ Deuteronomy 28:47-48 ~  "Bcoz thou servedst not the LORD thy God w/Joyfulness, and w/Gladness of heart, 4 the Abundance of all things,  There4 shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, .. in Hunger, and ... in Thirst, and Nakedness, and ... in Want of things:  and He shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until He has destroyed thee."


     Thankfulness is a Force.
     It is more than an attitude.  It is a Lifestyle, a way of life.  It is a way of looking at things.  It is impossible 2b too thankful thru-out life.
      Thankfulness is a learned attitude It is not necessarily something born inside u.  I have watched unthankful people make turnarounds after a crisis.  Suddenly, their words of appreciation are effusive and many bcoz they have memories of lack, pain and losses.  He who God has forgiven much is thankful 4 much, was the implication of Jesus regarding Mary Magdalene (See Luke 7:36-50).
     Thankfulness is magnetic.  When u work around someone who is thankful, they are happy.
     Thankful people are always Joyous people.  It do does not mean that their life is free from stress, heartache, or difficulties.  But rather they have chosen 2 focus on the wonder and the miracle of blessing.
      Thankfulness is created by FOCUS (Deuteronomy 8:10-14).
     Thankfulness is required 4 entering the sweet smelling Presence of God"Enter His  gates w/thanksgiving, and into His courts w/praise: be thankful unto Him, and Bless His Name" (Psalms 100:4).
     Thankfulness should occur bcoz of the goodness of God, not bcoz perfect circumstances "Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  For the LORD is good;  His mercy is everlasting; and His Truth endureth 2 all generations" (Psalms 100:4-5).
     You are commanded 2b thankful"In everything gives thanks:  4 this is the will of God IN Christ Jesus concerning u" (I Thessalonians 5:18).
     Thankfulness occurs when u begin 2 remember the good things God has done 4 u.  "We give thanks 2 God always 4 u all-- remembering w/o ceasing your work of Faith, and labor of Love, and Patience and Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ..." (I Thessalonians 1:2-3).
     You must replay the memories of God's Blessings in your life.  He is a GOOD God.  He is a powerful God.  He is a Loving God.
     He has brought u thru the fire.
     He had brought u thru the flood.
     He has preserved u thru false accusations.
     He has walked in when others walked out.
     You are serving a Miracle, Loving, Powerful God.  If nothing else good ever occurred in your life, His Presence is enough 2 inspire Gratitude, Appreciation, and Thankfulness.
     Sing your gratitude and thankfulness 2 God.  Compose songs.  They do not have 2b fancy, articulate and profound words.  He just wants 2 hear u sing Praise and Worship 2 Him.
     Write notes of thankfulness and gratitude 2 God and those u Love.  Five minutes w/a handwritten note will unlock a river within u.  Suddenly, u will remember all the wonderful things God has done 4 u.
     Unthankful people are not replaying the right memories "Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a NEW THING; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?  I will even make a way in the Wilderness, and Rivers in the Desert" (Isaiah 43:18-19).
     Gratitude is a Gift 2 those u Love "Withhold not good from them 2 whom it is due, when it is IN the power of thine hand 2 do it" (Proverbs 3:27).
     What u are most thankful about will begin 2 multiply in your life.  When u are thankful 4 friends, u will multiply your friendships.  When u are thankful 4 the opportunity your boss gives u, money will begin 2 increase in your life.
     The proof of thankfulness is Joy and the willingness 2 protect.  U will protect and fight 4 the things 4 which u are most thankful.  have u ever seen a mother race across the yard when a dog approached her child?  That protectiveness came bcoz  of her thankfulness and appreciation 4 her child.  her baby is her life.  You will always fight 2 keep what u truly love.  When an employee is thankful, they will fight 2 keep their job.  U will not find them coming 2 work, taking extra time away during the lunch hour.  Why?  They are grateful.  Thankful.
     Unthankfulness is as dangerous cancer that can enter so quickly.  It comes when a contentious loved one and friend fuels a misunderstanding.  They feed your anger.  Something upsets u.  Your FOCUS is broken.  Husbands and wives can feed each other's agitation.  The wife is angry bcoz the boss requested overtime.  The husband ponders and meditates and receives the offense as well.  Within weeks, they cannot look the boss in the eye.  When a fellow employee shares their complaint, they add theirs w/it.
      Unthankfulness is contagious.  I walked off the plane recently w/great Joy.  My life was going wonderful.  The ministry was touched by God.  The finances were up.  I simply felt good.  Two minister friends of mine were waiting.  They suggested a meal, and I agreed.  Within moments, they began  share some of the trials they were going thru.  My heart filled w/compassion.  I listened.  They continued and suddenly almost w/o warning, I was in a completely different arena.  I heard myself discussing things I should never have discussed.  I shared my trials, my complaints, and those who had failed me.  Within 2 hours from my arrival, my heart was in such turmoil and frustration I could not explain it.
     What had happened?  I had permitted my FOCUS 2b broken.  Unthankful people had entered my presence.  I permitted it, allowed it, and even fed it.  My Joy left.  My enthusiasm waned.
     Yet nothing had really changed in my entire life except my 'attitude.'
     You C, somebody is speaking into your life continuously.  An unthankful person can wreck the flow of miracles into your life incredibly.
     Here are a few helpful KEYS in staying thankful and teachable during SEASONS of Financial Crisis:

1.  Recognize unthankfulness as a sin and grievous 2 the Holy Spirit"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed until the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30).

2.  Stop discussing anything that does not build up another"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good  the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29).

3.  Focus on the wonderful blessings so evident and obvious in your life "Blessed be the LORD, who daily loadeth us w/Benefits, even the God of our salvation" (Psalms 68:19).

 (4)  Cry out 2 God when u sense an unthankful spirit growing"The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of ALL their troubles" (Psalms 34:17).

5.  Confess your sins of ingratitude w/a broken and contrite heart"The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit" (Psalms 34:18).

6.  Believe your trial will cease and God will give u full deliverance"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them ALL.  He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken:" (Psalms 34:19-20).

7.  Keep a picture of the miracle u are pursuing in front of u at all times"Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are b4, I press toward the mark 4 the Prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

8.  Withdraw from unthankful and contentious people.  "Evil communications corrupt good manners"  (I Corinthians 15:33) "As coals are 2 burning coals, and wood 2 fire; so is a contentious man/woman 2 kindle strife" (Proverbs 26:21).

     Unthankfulness blinds u 2 every Gift of God.  U become critical, cynical and fault finding.  U refuse 2b thankful 4 your car bcoz u C your neibhor drive up in a new one.
     Ingratitude can be cured.  I have found 2 major methods God deals w/unthankfulness.
     His first choice is 4 u 2 enter the Secret Place, beholding His goodness and becoming thankful IN His Presence.  It is impossible 2 habitually enter your private place of prayer, praising and worshipping Him, and remain unthankful when u leave.
     The second (2) method 4 dealing w/unthankfulness is devastating.  LOSS IS THE BEST CURE 4 UNTHANKFULNESS.  God simply takes away something u are not thankful 4.  "Bcoz thou servest not the LORD thy God w/Joyfulness, and w/Gladness of heart, 4 the abundance of all things;  There4 shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things:  and He shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until He have destroyed thee" (Deuteronomy 28:47-48).
      Unthankful people are often militant influencing others w/their ingratitude.  They are not satisfied 2 sit at home alone.  They do not want 2 eat alone in restaurants.  They cannot thrive alone.  Their unthankfulness requires fuel.  They pursue others 2 sow their SEEDS of contention, discord and strife.  If u do not remove them from your life, u will enter into a covenant w/them, thus destroying every Blessing God is trying 2 place 'Near' u.
     Unthankful people create an atmosphere of discouragement.  Motivation is drained in their presence.  U lose energy.  The projects that excited u suddenly look 2 impossible 2 achieve.  U start looking at hurdles instead of Potential Blessings.  They are burdens not burden-bearers.
     Unthankful people demotivate u.  They demoralize u and DESTROY every Dream of God within u.
     You cannot afford the tragedy of an unthankful person in your life.
     Ingratitude and lack of appreciation 4 what God has ALREADY done, is one of the most important REASONS people will never taste the 100-fold return.

     Please pray w/me:
     "Jesus, 4give my Unthankfulness.  I C how deadly ingratitude can be.  I purpose 2 remember with Your help, Your goodness, Your grace and Your miracles.  
     Cleanse me.  I will sing a new song of Thankfulness and those who come close 2 me will hear about Your greatness and Your goodness.  I shall prosper and experience your Harvest.  In Jesus Name.  Amen."

Try It One More Time – Jesus is Here

Garris Elkins
Recently, I was reflecting on Luke 5 where Jesus calls Simon to follow Him after he and his friends had fished all night and caught nothing. As I read the text, I thought of all who are now struggling with the implications of the global financial downturn and its effect on so many. People are doing their best to make things work, but their nets are coming back empty.

In this text Jesus took Peter back out into the deep waters where he had failed to catch anything the previous night. What followed was a supernatural harvest that caused those watching to be both awestruck and amazed at what they were seeing. As I reflected on this event I heard the Lord say to me, "Tell them to try it again – I am in the boat." I knew the Lord was asking me to encourage people who are living under the weight of financial despair without the hope of a new future.

As I prayed, I was hit with a deep sense of despair – I was literally carrying the pain of others. I asked the Lord what this was all about. His love was letting me feel what was taking place in the lives of people so I could speak words of hope fueled by His compassion.

Jesus Revealed Himself and His Abundance in Their Lack so They Could Trust Him W/Their Future

Two thousand years ago a small group of fishermen, soon to become the first disciples of Jesus, were in a similar situation that some find themselves in today. Simon and his friends had fished all night and caught nothing. What worked before was not working. These men were about to be called to follow Jesus into a new season of life, but first the Lord needed to reveal Himself and His abundance to them in the midst of their current lack so they could trust Him with their future.

One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on Him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water's edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So He sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there." Luke 5:1-3

Simon and the other fishermen were doing what all fishermen do after fishing – they were cleaning and maintaining their nets. Just off in the distance were their empty boats. The empty nets and boats were silent testimonials that something wasn't working. As they scrubbed and patched their nets they were reminded of the depressing possibility of continued failure when they entered the water once again that evening.

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish." Luke 5:4

Jesus was saying to Simon, "Simon, I want you to try one more time – this time I will be in the boat with you." The invitation to Simon was to go out into the deeper water and try again. Up to this point it was just Jesus and Simon a few feet off the water's edge, providing a floating podium from which Jesus could address the crowd. There was no faith in this gesture. It was just Simon being kind to the Rabbi.

When Jesus asked Simon to go farther out into the deeper water He was asking Simon to go back out to his place of failure and try again. When any of us fail, the last place we want to return is the place of our failure. The fear of returning to places of failure is real and palpable. We don't want to relive a divorce, a recession or the time a ministry came to an end. The world system says to avoid such places. God asks us to engage them one more time so He can heal us and move us forward into His preferred future for our lives.

Our Destinies are Waiting in the Deeper Water

The deeper water was important because in the natural realm this was where the fish were supposed to be. In the Spirit the deeper water is where the destiny of Simon was waiting. Jesus was asking Simon to trust Him as He led Simon back to a place that Simon felt was still empty of fish. Our destinies are never formed in places where we feel comfortable and in control. Destinies are formed in places where, unless God shows up, nothing will happen. This is the essence of a deep-water calling.

Can you imagine the conversations that were taking place on the shore? Simon's fishing friends might have said something like, "Where is Simon going? We just came in from an entire night on the water – the best time to fish – and we caught nothing. What is He thinking?" Whenever any of us follow Jesus back into those places of past failure, the people on the shore of our lives may never fully understand what they are seeing... (click here to read the rest of this word).