Chapter 3: Delayed But Not Denied

There were some really great points in this chapter, ones that spoke to me on a number of levels.  Jakes reminds us that it seasons of struggle are necessary.  We learn in Ecclesiastes that there is a season for everything. Likewise, in our lives, there are seasons when things go well, ones where it seems like most areas in our lives are lying fallow and there are inevitable seasons of struggles. The trick is to learn to trust God in every season.  God uses seasons of struggle to purify us, to show us what we need to work on.  Those things that we think are so bad, Paul calls “light afflictions” (2 Cor. 4:17)  Seasons of struggle don’t last always. And with each temporary setback comes “opportunities for fresh commitment and renewal.” (32)

Jakes reminds us that we should not make permanent decisions based on temporary circumstances. This is such good advice. I’ve been personally guilty of rushing into action when times get rough. I see it in marriages all the time. Things get rough and people bail. That’s a permanent decision based on a temporary situation! We see it in our children when they learn that life isn’t always about having a good time so they want to drop out of college instead of staying committed.  God created each of us with a destiny in mind.  And in those seasons of delay it is critical that you remember this. No matter what you are facing, God has already determined the time of your deliverance from the situation IF YOU JUST STAY THE COURSE.  No matter what the enemy throws at you, there is nothing he can do to abort God’s plan for your life. (33)  At the same time, there is nothing you can do to rush God’s timing.  Trust in God’s perfect timing for you. That timing is not the same timing as your friends. God knows you so intimately that he has numbered the hairs on your head – not counted. “He knows which hair is in your comb!” (41)

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Sometimes God puts you in a holding pattern in   much the same ways that air traffic controllers periodically do planes. When God has you circling, it might feel as if you are suspended in mid-air with nothing to hold on to. You may feel as if there is no place for you to get a toehold. It may be scary. It can make you anxious if you refuse to acknowledge that God is an ever-present help in the time of trouble. God upholds you with His right hand! God promises never to leave you nor forsake you. God would never send you into a wilderness experience without provision. So, if you’re in a holding pattern, remember that this is just a delay. It’s not denial. There is something that God needs to work out IN you, FOR you and THROUGH you.  Don’t let people who don’t understand your God or that you have an appointment for destiny make you act rashly. Don’t let your own fears get in the way. God always keeps His appointments.  God never forgets you! God would never just leave you hanging!!

While you’re in that holding pattern, pray. Seek God. Double check your GPS system to make sure you haven’t somehow wandered into unmarked territory. And rest in the comfort of the one who is holding you.

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Chapter 2: Don’t Count Me Out

Our next study in Insights To Help You Survive Peaks and Valleys leads us to ask ourselves some difficult but critical questions:

1. Are you intentionally getting up when you fall/fail or are you throwing a pity party and inviting everyone you know – including God?  If you choose to stay down when you fall, don’t expect God to show up. Jakes teaches “The Lord doesn’t like pity parties… [and] He seldom attends.” (21)  Failing is never fatal IF you choose to learn what you are being taught and make up in your mind to get back up and PRESS forward.

In the book, Jakes likens falling down or adversity to yeast in dough. When dough is put into a warm environment, the yeast is activated and it causes the dough to rise. Likewise, when you are in a situation that makes you feel as if you are being pressed on every side, the yeast (the power of God in you) is activated and you CAN rise. If you’ve ever made rolls with bad yeast (or forgot to put the yeast in) you know that what you end up with is not decent for eating.  These hard rolls started out with of the necessary ingredients to taste good. However, because there was no catalyst for growth, they never reached their full potential /purpose. If you’re trying to face tough times without the power of God working inside you, forget it. You’ll end up hard, dry and about as effective as a paperweight.

2. Are you pursuing a goal; are you totally committed to the pursuit of excellence; are you relentless in this pursuit OR do you dabble in a little of this and a little of that, never really knowing what it is that you were created to be and do?

According to Jakes, most people have things out of order. We spend many hours “trying to convince God that He should bless what we are trying to accomplish (ideas often born out of the womb of our minds and not God’s” Instead, we need to “spend hours in prayer for God to reveal His purpose.” (27) When we do what God created us to do, blessing is a natural by-product.   Jakes makes a distinction between talents and purpose.  God has given each of you gifts that you are supposed to use. However, the way those gifts are used should be directly related to your purpose.

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Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”  Before you were born God established a purpose for your gifts and talents. It is your job to seek God and then pursue your purpose. Stop today and check your location. Are you in the will of God? Are you on the road to fulfilling your purpose? This is crucial because God protects where God directs!

Think of this as using a GPS system. When you put in your destination (your purpose), the GPS tells you where you are right now. The GPS system doesn’t start you at the destination. It locates where you currently sit and then instructs you on ways to get to the destination.

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Some people will find that they are already on the road to their purpose. Others will discover that they are on an unmarked road. The system will warn you about the potential danger of being in unmarked territory.  And it will tell you to move to a place where you are out of danger of being lost!  No matter where you find yourself, the important thing to remember is that God IS THERE. God IS your GPS system. And as long as you listen to the directions of the GPS system you WILL end up moving towards your purpose.

Pursue your purpose with excellence!

New Study: TD Jakes – Insights To Help You Survive Peaks & Valleys

Hello friends,

Grab a copy of Insights to Help You Survive Peaks & Valleys by TD Jakes and join me on a journey to being blessed! insights

Each week I will post a brief summary (or summaries as necessary) of the lessons. I invite you to COMMENT or QUESTION. Let’s get a dialogue going.

You are also invited to join me on Sunday mornings at Omega Church at 10:00 for the study.

Be blessed!

Lesson One : The Transformers

God created the first transformer when, out of the dust of the ground, He created Adam. From this one man, God transformed “the man into a marriage. Then He transformed the marriage into a family, the family into a society, etc.” (10)  The power to transform was intrinsically placed into the man from the beginning. Likewise, when you were born, God placed into you bountiful potential to become what God created you to be.

As an illustration let me draw your attention to the caterpillar and the butterfly. God created each of you to be beautiful butterflies, able to soar above the problems that weigh you down. And though some caterpillars are attractive creatures (if you like this kind of thing) they still should not remain in this state!  This was not how they were intended to live.

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God did not create you to crawl around like a caterpillar!  You were created to SOAR Just as the beautiful form & all of the characteristics of the butterfly are hidden within the caterpillar, so is it with you!  “Life has chiseled many of us into mere fragments of who we were meant to be.” (11)  Just remember that the one who works in you is greater than any of your trials, any of your situations and any of the things that have weighed you down in the past. You have the POWER to TRANSFORM and with God’s help it is TOTALLY POSSIBLE.

Change, Bishop Jakes reminds us, is a gift of God. No matter what has occurred in the past, if you are willing, God is able to help you make the necessary changes. But, just as the caterpillar does not change into a butterfly overnight, just as there is struggle in the metamorphosis, change in your life will require struggle and prayer. Becoming a butterfly means casting off some of the wrong labels people have put on you. It might mean throwing away some that you’ve put on yourself!

I used to love the theme song from the original transformer cartoon series. Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye.  That describes me. And it describes you! When people look at you, they cannot see all that God has created you to be. They see your outer shell. They see your actions (which admittedly might not always line up with the transformation that’s taking place inside). They see what they want to see. BUT, you are more than meets the eye. Scripture teaches that eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the imagination of onlookers all that God has already ordained you to be, the seeds of which were deposited into you before the foundation of the world. And God, through your repentance and struggles, will PRESS it out of you!

Come on, transformers! Begin the metamorphosis today!


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