O.K. We don’t like to hear this, but it’s true! Growth happens outside of our comfort zone.
If you want to experience personal growth, any growth, but particularly massive growth, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone. You can’t grow while you stay within your comfort zone.
Hint: They call it “comfort zone” for a reason! Makes you think of a big pillow, a warm blanket, and a mug of hot chocolate.
When you’re in your comfort zone, you’re comfortable. You may not be happy, but you’re not going to be totally miserable. And you’re static. There is nothing to challenge you or push you. Things are rolling along as normal, and you’re caught in the normal day-to-day flow of life.
This is a fine state of affairs if you’re happy with life, but what if you’re not? What if you want to grow and change and find a better way to live?
In the latter case, staying in your comfort zone means stagnation. It means life passing you by until one day you wake up to find yourself too old to live the life of your dreams and you wonder what happened. If you don’t want this to be you, you need to step outside your comfort zone.
Discomfort isn’t pleasant, but it’s where growth happens. Your brain and body have to respond to challenges (discomfort) and this catalyzes new growth and development. You can cause personal development and deliberately change your mindset by challenging yourself. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the response, and the more personal growth that happens.
That doesn’t mean you should schedule skydiving lessons for next weekend, however! Going too big too fast can also backfire on you. This is particularly the case if you’ve stayed in your comfort zone for a long time. Start small. Take a new route to or from work every day for a week. Try a new restaurant. Shop in an unfamiliar store.
Next, make a list of experiences you would like to have and things you would like to do. Start marking them off. Plan these things, commit time and money to them, and even tell other people you’re going to do them so you’re less likely to back out. Start planning for the biggest thing on your list.
Mark had always dreamed of rafting through the Grand Canyon. So one day, he decided to stop just dreaming, and start doing.
First, he planned the trip. He booked it for a couple of years away. So it was on his calendar and his deposit was paid, He was cammitted. In 24 months, he was going to be floating down the Colorado River.
That was a big, scary challenge. Certainly those “what have I done?!!” voices started. Yet he was committed.
What next? Mark scheduled rafting lessons. He went on local day trips. Then short camping trips. When the time came, he was ready.
You can do this no matter what the goal. Think about some big dreams you have for your internet or writing business. Then commit to them – maybe by telling others. Then plan for a year or two ahead. And begin the preparations you need to do to make this happen.
Step outside your comfort zone, challenge yourself, and change your life!
Do you pray over your business? I do.
In fact, I often start my morning with an hour or more of spending time with God. Praying, listening, and reading the Bible.
I consider him to be the CEO of my business. I’m the COO. He’s the boss. I just carry out His plans.
So what difference does this make?
First, spending this time helps me stay focused on the right priorities. My number one priority is to serve my customers – helping them to achieve their goals. I want to offer products and services which bless them abundantly.
Second, this special time helps me gain clarity. Often as I pray, the Holy Spirit gives me new ideas and shows me where I’m not being as productive. What to pick up and what to put down. With clarity, I can approach the day with a clear picture of what I want to accomplish.
Third, praying gives me confidence. I know that I have God’s hand on my business and He is empowering me to achieve His goals. So I know that I will be successful in what I am doing because He is with me in the process.
So how about you? Do you pray over your business?
I would love to hear your thoughts about this.
Kindle afresh the flame. Stir Up the Gift. It’s time for awakening!
Last night the Holy Spirit woke me up at 3 am and spoke these words into my spirit. “Stir up the gift which is within you.”
He reminded me of earlier days…He reminded me of the days when there was rejoicing in the city by the many people who were turning to the Lord, getting saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit and shouting their newfound truth to the rooftops.
Do you remember days like that?
If you have been a spirit-filled believer for many years, you probably remember. You might have memories of the Healing Revival with Kenneth Hagin, Gordon Lindsay, Oral Roberts, and others. Or you might remember the great Teaching Revival with Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin. Or the early nineties with Rodney Howard Browne’s impact on our nation. Or Toronto. Or Brownsville. Or that special outpouring of God’s blessing in your church.
Since those times there have been Prayer and Prophetic Movements and there have been the rising up of true apostles with God-ordained strategies to take the land. All of these occurrences have been milestones in God’s plan — laying foundation and restoration one brick at a time. All working toward God’s goal of a worldwide kingdom.
Now I sense the Spirit saying that it’s time for His plan to come together.
As I write this, I see a mountain with many tributaries, or streams, trickling down. Some are almost unnoticeable; others are racing down to near-river proportions. The important thing is that as they get closer to the bottom, they run together to create a strong, powerful river which forces its way through the surrounding landscape. Eventually, nothing can permanently stand in its way. Not even the rocks, which over time become smooth and re-formed by the power of the river.
This is a picture of God’s church. The Presence and the Plan of God flowing from the top of His Mighty Mountain. At first, there are many streams which emanate from the rain of His anointing. They are truly from Him. They originate with Him and they are designed by Him to bring forth their portion of His anointing.
As they proceed down His Mountain, something very interesting happens. They meet. They join forces and get stronger — and they continue — until all tributaries and streams become One Mighty River flowing to the sea.
This is the culmination of God’s plan. The many streams becoming One and working together for His Glory. The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers unified and working together for His purpose. For His extravagant plan in the earth.
A few years ago, just as I awoke, I had an open vision. In the vision, I was up to my neck in a river, and I knew that it was the River of God. That Ezekiel 47 river. That has been one of my favorite passages for many years, so I knew where I was.
Yet I had always pictured God’s River as it appears in Revelation — as smooth as glass.
On this day, as I pondered what God was showing me, the river was anything but smooth. It was roaring and swirling — much like the ocean. I could even feel an undertow. There was such a power to this river that I had to tread water with every ounce of energy I could muster to keep my head above water. And still the force of the river was moving me down stream. He was showing me that when we are truly His, without holding anything back, His river will carry us to fulfill His plan in the earth.
So what am I saying? What does this river have to do with “stirring up the gifts?”
Our God has distributed many gifts in the earth — and we all have them. He hasn’t left anyone out. We are all a part of His plan and we all have a part to play in His next great move.
As we stir up those gifts which are within us, they will be different from some others we see, but they will be part of His plan. As we genuinely worship and praise Him, pray in the Holy Spirit, spend time in the Word, and listen to His leading, we will discover or confirm our gifts and we will grow in them.
Many people have unfulfilled prophecies which have been on the shelf for 20 years or more. It’s time to get those out and take them to prayer. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance what He has spoken to you in years past.
The time has come for many of those words to be fulfilled. As we contend for what God has spoken to us and over us, our part will come into focus.
Then, as we say, “Yes, Lord, I am willing,” we will sense the currents under us carrying us to our place in Him.
Remember, God’s Kingdom is huge and multifaceted.
As you gain confidence in your portion, you will be able to accomplish what He has placed on your heart. And please remember: there is no room for competition in His Kingdom. Only cooperation. If you are a prayer warrior, then pray for those with the evangelistic thrust to be able to break through the barriers they face. And if you are a teacher, then be thankful for the strategy-oriented apostles who can bring foundations of change. If you are an evangelist, then listen to the words of the true prophets who help establish your focus.
As all the gifts are being stirred up, God’s Mighty River will flow unabated. And get ready. We are about to see signs wonders of healing, salvation, and restoration coming all over the world. It’s upon us, and we are privileged to be chosen and gifted to be a part of God’s Mighty Plan in the earth at this time.
Yes. Get ready. “Stir up the gifts which are within you.”
And hang on for the ride!
I could barely sleep last night.
Not because I was worried. I was excited and full of anticipation.
Mickey and I watched and listened as Ken Malone and Dutch Sheets shared about the powerful prayer meeting Dutch had held from Washington DC. Because of the shutdown, his prayer trip had been cancelled. So he went with only a couple of people and fulfilled the mission with leaders from around our great country joining in by phone.
It was a great success. Powerful decrees – speaking God’s purposes into the earth. By digital devices across the nation.
But then Dutch said something which rocked my world.
He said that now it’s time for a shift. Now the internet and digital devices are going to be used more than ever for ministry. Meetings on YouTube, blogs, podcasts, etc.
That’s the vision the Lord gave me in 2013, and I have been reaching for it ever since.
With varying degrees of success. I have even re-configured several times, and I have been discouraged on occasion. But God’s Word kept me going.
And I realize that Now is the time of fulfillment!
I know that there are many ministers and leaders who have vital messages for the church – and the world at large. I want to help them establish their platform and maximize their influence.
Maybe you are one of them.
A few things I have learned:
- It’s easier than it looks, to set up a blog, write a book, or start a podcast.
- Alone it’s hard. Together we help each other, and it becomes doable.
- There are many messages and it takes many messengers to accomplish God’s plan. When the streams flow together, we have a mighty river!
- Our minds cannot comprehend the numbers of people we can reach as we band together. (Think about the current billionaires. They got there because of the numbers).
- We can literally reach the world. (If you don’t believe me, click on the button at the top right of the page which says, English, and watch the page translate before your eyes).
We stand at an amazing moment in time.
God has given us the digital world for His Purposes. And He has great plans for its use!
If you have had ideas about starting a blog, or writing a book, or beginning a podcast, or wanting to teach on YouTube, your moment is here.
People are tuning in to God’s spirit. They are beginning to realize that they need Him more than ever.
Or, for the first time, they are reaching out to Him. They are searching for answers to the big questions.
They are praying. They are seeking.
And they are ready for you to help them learn more.
If you feel that you are part of this, go to https://OurCBI.com and sign up at the bottom of the page.
This is really our time!
In the meantime,
Keep on Soaring!
What exactly is awakening? Have you thought about that question? As Christians, we want it – and we are all looking for it to happen. Yet what does awakening mean? And what does it look like?
Most serious Christians bemoan the condition of our world as it is. We see ideas and actions removing boundaries we once thought were permanent, and we see an emphasis on many religions other than Christianity. How did we get here and how do we turn it around?
Most Bible scholars who are praying and listening for God’s direction see a Great Awakening coming to America and to the world. So what will it be like?
First of all, this awakening will involve many who are Christians waking up to the reality of who Jesus is and how important He really is in their lives. Their love, which might have grown cold, will return, along with their desire for His will to be done. Their faith will rise up as they turn their hearts back to God.
The second part of this awakening will be for many new believers to come on the scene. Many who have known about Jesus all of their lives, but who haven’t really known Him personally, will wake up to the fact that He is real and He wants to be their Savior also. And their lives will change dramatically, turning to the One True God for their answers.
Then society will begin to change. There are those who will never receive Jesus, of course, and those people will be determined to continue down the road of destruction. Yet there will be a change, because the righteous will have more of a sway on laws and customs in society. They won’t tolerate the greed, the corruption, and the evil which is so accepted today. God’s love and wisdom will have more of a presence.
So how does this happen? It happens one person – one soul – at a time.
Current expectations always involve huge crowds and massive actions, but that’s not the only way it happens. Even if a huge crowd is there hearing a powerful message, salvation or rededication comes one person at a time. Each individual heart has to make the choice to accept Jesus on its own. One person – and then another – and then another.
One thing we have to overcome is what I call a “spectator mentality.” We sit in the stands and watch our teams play their games. We sit in churches watching and listening while the preachers preach and the singers sing. We sit in front of our TV’s and watch celebrities perform. Oh, it’s even worse than that. Now we watch other people live their lives in the Reality TV craze.
We have become watchers and not doers.
Yet awakening will change that. As people turn to Jesus, they will have a zeal that will bubble over into every aspect of their lives. People at work, at school, and at home will see the changes – the love, the joy, the faith – and they will want to know more. Then also the newly revived ones will be eager to share their newfound zeal. They will be witnessing as they go – wherever they go.
That’s what real awakening will look like. In the 60’s and 70’s, there was an incredible revival of Holy Spirit and the Word. During that time, many non-denominational churches were founded and organizations like Full Gospel Businessmen and Women’s Aglow were started. There was revival all around.
Significantly, the many people who were impacted by that revival came to the Lord through the influence of friends and family. There were large meetings, of course, as there are always when God is front and center. But the majority of people came to Jesus because of the testimonies and lifestyle changes of their friends.
That’s why you and I are so important. As the coming awakening ramps up, our stories will be significant- and our willingness to share with others will be crucial. Some will make their decisions in large meetings, for sure, but they will need people along side of them to answer questions, to pray with them, and to encourage them in their walk.
So as we look forward to this next great revival, let’s get off the bench and get into the game. All of us are needed. That’s how it has happened in past awakenings, and that’s how it will happen this time.
All hands on deck. A thrust of God’s people fulfilling His call – praying, witnessing, and encouraging those around them. A thrust of God’s people fulfilling His vision for His world.