Day Twenty-Seven: Detours and Delays part 2

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 2, 2018

Day Twenty-Seven: Detours and Delays part 2

Genesis 50:20, You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

Most of the time detours and delays come at a surprise. We normally don’t anticipate problems. They catch us off guard and always have the potential to discourage us. These setbacks can kill our faith and dreams. But if we keep our trust in God and include a “God-Perspective”, we will not lose hope.

Joseph had twice as many detours and delays than good days.Broken Heart

Consider Joseph how God gave him a dream but immediately he experienced a setback. God was showing Joseph that he would bless him, he would become a great leader and have great influence. But when Joseph shared his dream with his brothers, they hated him. Talking about starting out on the wrong foot. It’s a bad day when you share how God wants to bless you and people hate you in return.

The journey for Joseph to reach his dream was not an easy one. He faced several detours and delays before he ever fulfilled the dream. In fact, he had twice as many detours and delays than breakthroughs.

  • Sold into slavery (detour & delay).
  • Living in a strange country far from home (detour & delay).
  • Given favor in Potiphar’s house (breakthrough)
  • Falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife (detour & delay).
  • Thrown into prison (detour & delay).
  • Put in charge of all the prisoners (breakthrough).
  • Forgotten by the cupbearer (detour & delay).
  • Remained in prison two more years (detour & delay).
  • Became second in command in Egypt (breakthrough).

In the natural it appears Joseph is moving away from his dream. But as Joseph stated in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Joseph had twice as many “bad days” as he did good. But he maintained his faith, because he had a “God-Perspective”.

Don’t waste your time adding up the days you are detoured or delayed. God uses a different formula to bring you to your breakthrough.

God will use your detours and delays to bring you to a good place.

In yesterday’s devotion, Detours and Delay’s Part 1, I listed a few people who accomplished great things, but did so by pushing through the bad days. To further illustrate this very important principle, here are a few more to add to our list:

THOMAS EDISON’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Edison also famously invented 1,000 light bulbs before creating one that worked.

R.H. MACY had a history of failing at businesses, including a dud Macy’s in NYC. But Macy kept up the hard work and ended up with the biggest department store in the world.

STEVEN SPIELBERG was rejected from his dream school, the University of Southern California, three times. He sought out an education somewhere else and dropped out to be a director.

WALT DISNEY was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Several more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie Snow White. Today, most children wouldn’t be the same without his ideas.

As you go through the bad days of detours and delays, keep the “God-Perspective”. Your enemy will want to use these setbacks to stop you. His goal is to distract you, weary you and drain your faith. Trust God with your detours and delays. He will bring you to a good place. 

Detours and delays. God knows how to get you to your breakthrough



 

 


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

frequency hearing God sermon series

Day Twenty-Six: Detours and Delays part 1

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – February 1, 2018

Day Twenty-Six: Detours and Delays part 1

Habakkuk 2:3 (TLB), “ But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient!They will not be overdue a single day!” 

Road Closed Detour Delays

Detours and delays can be very frustrating. For six months I was forced to drive 10 miles out of my way because of a detour. The Ohio Department of Transportation was tearing down a bridge near my house. That extra 10 miles added another 15 minutes to my travel schedule. For the first few weeks I enjoyed the new scenery. Admiring houses and yards I’ve never seen, barns, fields and flowers that were not on my normal route. But after 3 weeks, I didn’t see scenery. I was so frustrated with extra mileage and time wasted, all I seen was red. I was so done with this detour.

After the construction as I was driving over this nice brand-new bridge, it hit me. That old bridge was wearing down. It was rusted, pot holes, concrete sides were crumbling. While I was enduring the detour, someone was working on this new bridge that would serve me and my family well. This new bridge was wider, it was safer and it would last for many years.

A detour means construction is happening.

It’s inevitable, you will experience detours and delays in your life. Your plans will unexpectedly change. The answer to your prayer will appear to be delayed. You must know that detours & delays mean construction is happening somewhere. God is developing you and constructing your future at Construction housethe same time. When you experience a detour or a delay, know that God is working on your future. Instead of a construction sign saying, “Men at Work”, It’s a sign that says, “God at Work”. He is setting things up for you.

God will not place you in a future that you are not prepared for. And He will not send you to a place that is not prepared for you.

A delay does not mean you’re denied.

Every person in history who accomplished great things had two things in common.  #1 They experienced delays. #2 They didn’t let that stop them. They didn’t give up.

  • WINSTON CHURCHILL failed the sixth grade. He was defeated in every public office role he ran for. Then he became the British prime minister at the age of 62.
  • The first time JERRY SEINFELD went onstage, he was booed away by the jeering crowd. Eventually, he became a famous comic with one of the most-loved sitcoms ever.
  • DR. SEUSS’ first book was rejected by 27 different publishers. He’s now the most popular children’s book author ever.

A delay does not mean you’re denied. A detour does not mean God is not able to get you to the breakthrough. You may not enjoy the detour or delay, but you will LOVE what God has been constructing for you when you arrive.

Don’t stop. Keep your trust in God. Keep praying. Continually speak God’s Word over your life and situations. Maintain the right spirit and attitude.

Detour and delay does not mean denied


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

frequency hearing God sermon series

Day Twenty-Four: God Never Waste Tears

40 days of prayer devotion

Day Twenty-Four: God Never Waste Tears

by David Shannon Wooten – January 30, 2018

Psalm 56:8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. 

Every one of us can relate to tears associated with pain, disappointment, bad news, tragedy, loss and a broken heart. As we direct our tears in an effort to call out to our Heavenly Father, they are translated into a powerful prayer. Every mom and dad know how the tears of their children grip their heart. Compelling them to respond. We come running to see what we can do to help. Our Heavenly Father knows the sound and language of tears and they have His attention.

Your tears have a voice.

Crying

Each tear has its own voice and identity. We can be confident that our Heavenly Father will not let one tear be wasted. But with careful response He attentively collects and records them. He is promising that each tear will be remembered and a response will follow. God never does anything without a purpose. He will answer by bringing comfort, healing, restoration and resolution.

Someone said, “Tears are prayers too, they travel to God when we can’t speak.” You may be going through a season where you are not able to articulate the prayer. But your tears have a strong voice and God is listening.

Open your heart with your tears.

Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Tears come from the heart and not from the brain.” God loves when we open our heart and when we are transparent with Him. Maybe that’s why God loves our tears when we cry in faith, believing He is able and will answer.

If we must shed tears, let them be tears of faith that translate in to prayers. Knowing that God never wastes tears. He will answer.

Direct your tears as a prayer of faith.

Your tears directed to God demonstrate:

  • Confidence He sees what you are going through.
  • You believe He hears you.
  • He has the ability to do something about the situation.
  • He will bring something good out of the situation. (Romans 8:28

(To read Bold Prayers Out of Pain click this link)

In exchange for your tears.

Psalm 30:5b Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Jeremiah 31:13,  I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.

Tears are never wasted


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

frequency hearing God sermon series

Day Twenty-Three: Stretched But Not Strained

40 days of prayer devotion

by David Shannon Wooten – January 29, 2018

Day Twenty-Three: Stretched But Not Strained

Psalm 16:11, You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Stretch Incredible Hulk

I received one of my most favorite and memorable gifts Christmas morning
1979. The Stretch Incredible Hulk! Not only was it cool because it reminded me of my favorite TV show. This toy was begging this 7-year-old to test the limits of how far its arms and legs could be stretched. No matter how far I stretched the arms and legs of this Hulk, they would always go right back to its original form.

What’s Inside?

For those of us who have curious minds, we are thinking, “What’s inside?” Whatever they filled this toy Hulk with, it was durable and “almost” survived a 7-year-old.

Our circumstances, battles and tests of life will stretch us. Sometimes it feels like we are being stretched to the limit. But when we begin to take inventory of what is inside of us, we realize God is helping us to be resilient. What’s inside will determine our resilience. Bad attitude, hatefulness, grouchiness doubt and fear is not fruit that comes from the Holy Spirit. Being full of that type of attitude and mindset will cause us to be stretched out of place and possibly pulled apart. What’s inside us will help us not be “bent out of shape” for long periods of time. We know how to come back to our original form. A disposition of faith.

Be filled with joy.

Prayer and praise is so important, because it brings us into the presence of God. When we are in His presence He promises to fill us with joy (Psalms Joy16:11).

Psalms 28:7, “The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”

Nehemiah 8:10b, “This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Joy makes you resilient. Joy gives you strength for the battle. Prayer and praise will keep your perspective right and will bring you joy.

Protect your joy. Don’t let it slip far from you. When you are filled with joy it builds you up so you can withstand the pressures from what’s around you.

The heat will not break you down.

Our battles will turn up the heat in our life. The heat will try to break you down on the inside. But if we are filled with good substance, we will not be easily melted by the battle.

  • Tin will melt at 449 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Silver will melt at 1763 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • BUT it takes 1948 degrees Fahrenheit to melt GOLD.

When God allows a greater battle, He has something GREAT to bring out of you.

God never allows us to go through tests without a plan and reason. He will never let a battle go wasted. If God allows the battle, He will not only fill you so you can withstand the stretching and pressure, He will bring something great out of it. Promotion comes through the pain and sacrifice.

“Don’t let pressure change you” is a post I shared about God being our Rock. Take a moment to click the link and let it encourage you to stand strong.

The pressure on the inside must be greater than the pressure on the outside. You are filled with “God-Stuff” and  He is very resilient.

1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

sunset on water


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

frequency hearing God sermon series

Day Nineteen: Knocked Down But Not Out

Day Nineteen: Knocked Down But Not Out

by David Shannon Wooten – January 25, 2018

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

It is impossible to live without trouble or pain. Disappointments are inevitable. Pressure from situations can cause confusion. And there is a real spiritual enemy that desires to hunt you down and destroy your faith and purpose in God.

But God never leaves you without hope. He will not allow pressure to crush you. When your enemy is all up in your face, God is right there in his face. The battle may cause you to fall flat to the ground. You may be limping through your season, but God promises you that you will not be destroyed.

Don’t let the pressure take you out.

The Apostle Paul exemplifies how to go through stuff that knocks you down, but not allow it take you out.

  1. He doesn’t focus on his ability, but he puts confidence in the power of the risen Christ who is in him (verse 7). This is not only his focus, it is a declaration that comes out of his mouth.
  2. He protects his heart from getting weary (Verse 16). When we begin to lose heart, we become unfocused. Weariness will cause us to focus on the wrong things.
  3. He is determined to keep the right perspective (verse 17 &18). Paul clearly conveys wise perspective that these troubles are creating an eternal reward. He sees these troubles as a temporary nuisance because he sees the bigger picture. Our troubled seasons are a drop in the bucket compared to our entire lifetime. And our lifetime on this earth will be even less than the drop compared to eternity. What matters most is not a comfortable or a trouble-free life; it’s what was accomplished for eternity.

You are a Champion.

Paul understood what an athlete or a solider had to endure to be a champion.

  • Champions will focus on developing character not resumes. God cannot promote us beyond our character. Nothing develops our character more, than going through trouble and straining to keep the right focus and attitude.
  • Champions make decisions that create a desired future; not decisions that create a desired present.
  • Champions focus on HOW they go through hard-times rather than getting through hard-times.
  • Champions get up, not give up. Proverbs 24:16

You will get knocked down, but you don’t have to stay down. Get Up! Keep on! Embrace the power of your risen Christ who is in you.


REFLECT:

What is God revealing about Himself through this scripture?

What do you hear God saying to you in this scripture?

How does this apply to your life?

Rephrase this scripture to a personal prayer for you. Give God thanks for how He is revealing Himself through this scripture. Request His help.

For further encouragement about prayer and hearing God’s voice, you can listen to Newspring “Frequency” sermon series at newspringlive.com/watch-read/media

The Test is to Strengthen you; Not Weaken You.

God’s tests are not to show your weakness; the test is to strengthen your faith and trust in Him. 

God’s heart and goal is to make us strong by helping us to develop a strong foundation of faith.

The tests of your faith will not show up in your life in the form of paper with fill in the blanks or multiple choice options. The tests that we face will show up as storms, relationship struggles, hard financial times and much unwanted crisis. Tests of life are inevitable and without prejudice. They come to everyone. However, God has given us four promises about tests in  1 Peter 5:10.

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” (1 Peter 5:10)

 1. God will see to it that your test will not last forever.

Tests, trials, seasons and a crisis can sometimes feel like they are here to stay in our life. However, we can trust God with “timing”.  His timing is perfect. We know that He will not allow us to be under a test forever.

 2. God will restore you after your test.

We can get weary from tests. They can be physically, mentally and even spiritually draining. So we keep in focus that our Father will restore and renew us.

 3. God will support you. 

In order to endure tests and trials we need strong faith in God. Know that we are not alone. God said He would be with us. Never leave us. Do we trust God to keep His word?

 4. God will strengthen the foundation for your life.

A good foundation is what keeps us stable through life. A solid foundation is one built upon principles and precepts that produce good results in our life. God promises to place us on a foundation that will not deteriorate or collapse under pressure or test.

God is directing and ordering our steps in life. His heart is to not weaken us but strengthen us. God desires growth and transformation that positions us for greatness. When the tests and storms of life come, we must not see them as an opposition to weaken or destroy us; but they have come to strengthen us.

You Can Train Your Heart to Be Happy

When we give more attention to the problems in our life than we do the blessings in our life, we are training our heart to live in despair. Living everyday wishing you had something different is a miserable life. “Wishing” can be a contagious infection that will leave you with a heavy heart.

  • “I wish I made more money”
  • “I wish I could get married”
  • “I wish I had friends”
  • “I wish I lived in a nicer house”
  • “I wish I had that job”

This kind of wishing is a waste of time, energy and most of the time only creates more problems. Proverbs 15:15 gives insight to this truth, “For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.”

“Wishing” can keep you stuck in the wrong attitude and rob you from the creativity you need to create a different habit or routine. Daily routines and habits reveal your future. Allowing your heart to be swallowed up by the negative circumstances is the wrong habit and will not fulfill your wish list. However, we can live a satisfied and fulfilling life when we train our heart to be happy. Happiness is not circumstantial, it’s a choice.

We train our heart to be happy by giving more attention and appreciation to the blessings that God has given us.

We can have hope that God has more blessings in store for our future. When we decide to live with a happy heart, we are able to receive the abundant feast that God sends our way.

A happy heart will see opportunities, advancements, a fulfillment of purpose and will have the favor of God. You can train your heart to be happy.

WHAT PEOPLE MEAN TO HARM YOU WITH, GOD WILL USE IT TO BRING YOU TO YOUR DESTINY

Can you imagine…

  • You are promised a leadership role and to be of great influence in your near future, but instead…
  • Your brothers are jealous of your potential and despise you to the point they conspire to take your life.
  • They throw you into a pit, fake your death and tell your father that you are dead.
  • Your brothers sell you as a slave. You are taken to a foreign country.
  • You are working for free and your boss’s wife accuses you that your tried to rape her and you go to prison for something you did not do.
  • You start helping people in prison. You end up helping the right person who can possibly redeem you. This person promises to remember you and get you out of prison. But they end up forgetting you.

Do setbacks sound familiar to you? People trying to hurt you? These events are exactly what happed to Joseph in the Bible.  You can read Joseph’s details in Genesis chapters 39 through 51. Joseph was despised and rejected by family, people lied about his integrity and character, he was overlooked for promotion, he served time for a crime he did not commit, but yet we read how Joseph seemed to have the right perspective and attitude throughout the entire process.

How we adjust our attitude toward people who try to hurt us and toward the setbacks in our life is so important to what comes next in our life.

We can try to get revenge, get even, allow bitterness to rob our joy and destroy our optimism. Or we can learn from Joseph and place priority on our integrity, perspective and attitude.

We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we have the power to control what happens IN us. Attitude and perspective positions us for a better outcome.

Jimmy Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Adjusting our “sails” toward the wind is adjusting the right attitude toward the wrong that people do against us. It’s adjusting the right perspective when circumstances do not go the way we expect them to. Our attitude and perspective determines which direction our life will sail.

Joseph made a statement that allows us to observe the foundation of his heart. Genesis 50:19-20, “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” This is the rock solid foundation that allowed him to not crash and burn during those trying times, but rather position him to reach his purpose and destiny.

Like Joseph, we can choose to believe God has allowed us to go through trying times, but better days are coming. “I am in the place of God”. The hurtful things that people do, do not dictate our destiny. Remember, while Joseph was going through this process, God was still watching over Joseph and blessing him along the way. God blessed Joseph while working for free. God caused him to prosper (Genesis 39:3). While Joseph was in prison, God was with him, showed kindness and gave him favor with people (Genesis 39:20-21).

When God wants to favor you, NO ONE has the power to stop it.

  • God can take your destruction and turn it around and place you in your destiny.
  • God will use your setbacks and use them to “set you up” for greater things.
  • God can take the doors that have been slammed shut in your life and cover you with His favor to open greater doors.

What people mean to harm you with, God will use it for your good.