God’s Set Up

Ruth 2:16 “Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

Sometimes God will set you up for a blessing. God can connect you with the right people, the right opened door. Without you even trying to get noticed, God knows how to put a spotlight on you, your business, your talent, skill or your product.

I absolutely LOVE the story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. It’s the story in the Bible found in the book of Ruth. Ruth is going through one of the darkest season in her life. But she remains faithful on so many levels. She remains faithful to God, shows extreme kindness in her relationships and consistent with her responsibilities. Ruth shows up for her responsibilities and God allows her to be noticed by the owner, Boaz. Ruth had a great reputation for the kindness she shown to her mother-in-law. The owner, Boaz, was so moved by her kindness and faithfulness, he went out of his way to position her for a blessing. She received special treatment and protection. Boaz gave an order to his employees to leave grain in Ruth’s way so she would see it and be able to harvest it. This special favor and relationship allowed Ruth to experience a greater harvest than what she would have experienced on her own.

God shares this amazing story with us to let us know that He can bring restoration after great loss. God’s desire is for us to have faith that His favor can open incredible doors and change our circumstances.

These three characteristics will open the door for God’s favor: 
• Remain faithful to God. Don’t allow your trust in God to slip. Stay anchored to God.
• Remain faithful to your relationships. Even in your darkest seasons find ways to be kind to others and ways to be a blessing to someone else.
• Remain faithful to your responsibilities. Keep doing what God has assigned you to do. Ruth may have been poor, but she was willing to leave the house and go out to find food.

God set Ruth up for a blessing that changed her circumstances and her life forever. There were things left for her on purpose, but she had to be willing to show up and pick them up. Allow your faith in God to increase. Believe that He is a God that will reward you for your faithfulness. Let your heart and mind wander about how God can set you up with favor.

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.

Why Should You Trust God?

Psalms 9:10, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.”

Why Should You Trust God?

I’m sure you have been disappointed and hurt by someone in your life. You thought you could trust this person, but they betrayed you. Maybe when you needed them the most they were not there for you. Maybe you have been that person who has let someone else down.

When we truly trust someone, we are not worried about their motives or their responsibilities. We know they are fully capable and competent. We may have great intentions. We are family and friends to many people, but we are human. We love, but we fail and we don’t always meet everyone’s expectations. We trust each other, but that trust sometimes has limitations. God desires us to trust Him with all of our heart. With no limitations. He encourages us to believe that He is fully capable to handle anything that comes our way.

You can trust God…

Because of His infinite wisdom about life. He knows the right decisions for your life. Not every option or choice is right for you. But God knows exactly which ones will keep you in His will.

James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Because He knows the future. He knows what opportunities are great for you. He knows how to protect you and prepare you for obstacles that are in the days ahead.

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Because He truly loves you. How do you know someone loves you? When someone begins to make sacrifices for you, you know that person loves you. God is the only one who has ever made the greatest sacrifice for you. Your Heavenly Father, gave His one and only Son, so you could be forgiven and free. If someone is willing to sacrifice at this measure, you can be assured that He passionately loves you and desires to help you with your entire life.

Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Totally give your whole heart to Him. Trust Him. Your life is in good hands when you place your trust in God.

Psalms 9:10, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.”

David Shannon Wooten

Only One Word Has This Much Power

Have you ever faced certain situations and you didn’t know what to say? You didn’t have any words of wisdom, answers or a solution. Maybe you were going through something so devastating you were left in shock. Maybe the situation didn’t turn out the way you were expecting and you began to speak negatively over your life.

Words are meaningful and powerful. The right words can comfort, unlock wisdom and provide solutions. The nature of our words can sometimes be inconsistent. But God’s Word always has the power to create.

Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

The Bible is not just words about God; it is words that God has spoken. It is the printed voice of God. His Word still speaks to every person today, regardless of age or nationality. His Word still has authority over every circumstance.

When God wanted to create cosmos out of chaos, He spoke His Word. When God wanted to create a world, He spoke His Word. When God wanted to change someone’s life, He gave them a promise wrapped in His Word. Consider the multifaceted power of God’s Word.

God’s Word...

  • Always accomplishes its task. “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
  •  Purifies, protects and breaks stubborn strongholds. “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)
  • Produces life. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63)
  • Brings comfort. “This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” (Psalm 119:50)
  • Produces joy and a happy heart. “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart …” (Jeremiah 15:16)
  • Will provide nourishmen “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
  • Will keep you alive. But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4)
  • Rescues and provides healing. “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” (Psalms 107:20)
  • Washes and cleanses. “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,” (Ephesians 5:26)

When you bring God’s Word into your mind, heart and believe it to the point of it becoming the standard for your life, it will transform your life.

When circumstances look tough and you don’t have the words to say; God wants you to adopt His Word as your words.

There are three practices that help me keep God’s Word in front of me.

  1. Printing scriptures on a piece of paper that speak to a current situation that is going on in my life. God may be impressing on my heart and mind certain scriptures in His Word. That is God trying to encourage me. I don’t take that lightly. I will print those scripture and post them around my house, office, car, etc.
  2. I try to memorize and quote certain scriptures that I feel are promises over my life. I commit them to memory and quote them frequently. When I’m tempted to speak negatively, I make a choice to not speak my feelings, but to speak God’s promise.
  3. When I pray about certain circumstances, I will not just pray my feelings, but I also pray God’s Word. I believe praying God’s Word is the highest form of faith. It’s hard for doubt and fear to settle in my heart, when I’m praying God’s Word.

God’s Word is alive and active! When you don’t have the right words to say, speak God’s Word.

Don’t Seek the Breakthrough; Seek the God of Breakthroughs

Second Samuel chapter five shares with us the time David was surrounded by his enemies. He was just positioned as king. God called David to lead Israel and bring honor to Him. But there was an entire nation who hated David and definitely did not want him to be king. They sent their entire army to surround him with the intention to wipe him out.

David’s first reaction was not to measure the size of their army with his. He didn’t take inventory of how many weapons he had. He was not assessing whether he could defeat his enemy based on his armies strength or capability. David’s principle, belief, conviction was to seek God first.

“Many people miss their breakthrough because they are seeking their breakthrough rather than seeking the God of the Breakthrough.”

David exercised this principle throughout his life. Every time David seeks God first for direction and instruction, he finds success. This key principle will work in every area of your life. It’s the principle of seeking God first. When we seek God first we are making a statement that we TRUST God. Our decisions and actions reveal what we believe. When we truly believe God has the ability to break through for us, we will seek His council before making a decision or taking an action step.

Seek God first by…

  1. Going to prayer before your mind is made. Keep an open mind and heart. Ask God what you should do, what action steps to take, ask Him for wisdom, knowledge and clarity of mind. Ask God for His discernment and favor.
  2. Don’t make major decisions without sensing God’s PEACE first. We can make huge mistakes, deal with regrets and get stuck in life when we make a decision knowing that God never gave us permission. Following the peace of God is like following a compass. You can stay on track with God’s plan for your life when you stay in His peace. After spending time in prayer and you still feel anxious, heavy hearted, fearful, don’t make the decision. Continue in prayer until you sense God’s peace.
  3. Take several days to seek God in prayer. If it is a major decision that has the potential to alter your life, consider fasting and prayer. Decide on a time period to fast, time in prayer and in God’s Word. You will gain God’s wisdom through His Word. You will have a clear mind and liberty in your spirit by spending time in His presence. Fasting and prayer is a powerful process to see incredible breakthroughs when you fast to seek God.

This is the process of seeking God first rather than seeking the breakthrough. Everyone wants the right outcome, the blessing, the breakthrough. But it can feel like we are chasing the wind, if all we do is seek after the breakthrough. When we seek God who has the power, ability, and knowledge to breakthrough for us, we cannot fail. We will find success. He is the God who breaks through for us.

God Will Fight For You

Moses and the Israelites are trapped. A huge Egyptian army is rushing toward them and the Red Sea is in front of them. There is literally nowhere for them to go. They can hear a multitude of horse’s hoofs pounding the ground and the footsteps of thousands of soldiers rushing toward them. They can’t escape under, over, to the right or left. They can’t go forward and they for sure are not going backward. They are completely surrounded. I’m not judging these guys, because I’m sure I would be more than a little concerned. My excitement level would be greatly elevated. Take a look at their reaction…

  • They feared greatly. Exodus 14:10
  • They started complaining. Ex. 14:11-12
  • They wanted to go back to being in bondage. Exodus 14:12

This is what fear does:

  1. Fear sends us backward. It causes us to want to retreat.
  2. Fear will always prevent our faith from rising to a level that will allow us to see great miracles.
  3. Fear will cause us to complain and cast blame to others.
  4. Fear will tempt us to live in a familiar place, even if the familiar place is a place of bondage.
  5. Fear will cause us to compromise the promise of God.

Moses addresses the fear issue and encourages them to position themselves to allow God to fight for them. Exodus 14:13-14, “And Moses said to the people, ‘Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”’

  1. Don’t fear. Keep fear out of your emotions. Be emotionally stable.
  2. If you keep your mouth shut, God will fight for you.

They had to stop the fear and shut down the complaining in order for God to fight for them. The wrong focus, the wrong mentality, the wrong words, the wrong language, the wrong conversation will not lead to victory. But the right perspective and attitude will.

Yes, the Egyptian army was great in multitude, but they had God. If you’re going to be trapped by a large army, who would you want to be there with you? How about God? He was there with them. In fact, He was leading them. He led them right to the spot where they were trapped. Look at what God was doing for them:

  • God was speaking. He was giving them step by step instructions on what to do. Exodus 14:13-15
  • God was sending an angel before them. Exodus 14:19
  • God moved a huge cloud that stood between Israel and the Egyptian army. Exodus 14:19-20
  • God sent the wind to push back the sea so the Israelites could walk across the sea on dry ground. Exodus 14:21-22

If God led them to it, then He can lead them through it. Our perspective should be when we feel like we are surrounded… God is always greater than our opposition.

Let God fight for you today. Keep fear out and keep your faith at optimum level. Keep your emotions stable, stand firm, keep silent and God will fight for you.

Another key verse in this context is Exodus 14:15, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” I love that. Quit your crying and move forward. I believe our call to action is to move forward in trust and faith. Trust God more than you fear the outcome of your circumstances. You may feel surrounded on every side. You may be bombarded by difficulty, but trust God. God will Fight For You.

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.

Timing is Everything – Wait for the Right Time

Our entire solar system relies on timing. One second off could instantly create an unstable environment. Our stable cosmos could quickly return to chaos. Planets and stars would eventually collide and cause great devastation. All because of bad timing. The earth spins on its axis every 24 hours. The earth orbits the sun exactly 365.26 days. The moon orbits earth 27.3 days. The perfect timing rotation and orbiting set by our Great Creator allowed previous generations to rely on these cycles and times for calendars, agriculture and navigation. If the timing was not reliable, planting and harvesting would be affected, people would be confused and lost while traveling, the seas would not stay within the boundary of the shoreline and weather would devastate our beautiful earth. Centuries ago before spacecraft’s, astronauts, Hubble telescope, and research; David looked up toward the heavens, and realized the details of God’s design and declared…

 “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalms 8:3-4)

Before science and modern day technology, God gave David wisdom and insight to God’s creativity, His attention to microscopic detail and the ability set things to proper time.

No one likes to wait for the things we desire. When we get impatient we must remember God has perfect timing. Consider these timing issues:

 Most valuable things require a significant amount of time to plan and create.

  • An oak tree takes 40 years to mature.
  • Food prepared in the kitchen and cooked in the conventional oven is a lot better than microwave dinners.
  • It takes 5 to 20 years for a salt water pearl to form. The longer the years; the bigger the pearl, ladies!
  • You can build a barn in a day. It takes months to build a beautiful home.
  • Ferrari’s are a handmade workmanship by tradesmen. They are not made by a robotic assembly line like the common Ford, Chevy or Toyota that is built in a day. Ferrari’s require 3 weeks to be hand built. A common car on average can be purchased around $20,000 to $40,000. The fabulous Ferrari can be purchased for $192,000.

Try to not be impatient. Don’t get ahead of God and don’t get behind God.

  • When we get ahead of God we usually make decisions that cause us trouble down the road. Impatience can cause bad debt, bad decisions and a partial plan that leaves out crucial details.
  • Marrying someone too soon can position you for heartache in the future. Take time to really get to know someone. Ask a lot of questions and observe how they react under pressure.
  • Wait for God to give you His “YES” on the decision. God’s “yes” will probably look like…
    • You will have peace in your heart. No anxiousness. No peer pressure.
    • You will not have to hide the decision from your friends and family.
    • You will not have to cheat anyone.
    • It will not put your future or family in jeopardy.
    • It will not require you to break your values or cause you to sin.
    • It will align with God’s Word.

Remember, when God is creating something for you… it will be worth the wait. He creates PERFECT things.

  • Psalms 18:30 “God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.”
  • God doesn’t create junk. God is classy. God has expensive taste. Just read what Heavens gates and roads are made of. (Revelation 21:21)
  • God has perfect blessings in store for you. No one can take your blessing from you.

Waiting on God’s timing will require you to exercise trust. When we trust God, He promises to show us the right way.

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORDwith all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
  • Trust God that there’s a reason why it’s not happening on your time.
  • Trust God that He is aligning everything behind the scenes.

 

As far as I know, David did not have formal training in medical school, but God gave him the understanding that our bodies are detailed; therefore, David understood that God was concerned about the details of his life. David trusted God with the details of his life. He knew that God was had the knowledge and the ability with timing.

Psalms 139:13-18, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”

If we can trust God to keep the planets spinning in perfect time, then friend, I believe we can trust God’s timing to open the right doors and bring the right blessings into our life. Wait for God’s timing, it will be perfect.