In the story of the Prodigal Son, which is really about the Prodigal’s belief system, the Father’s belief system and the other son’s belief system who stayed at home. In all three cases, even though each one is described quite differently, they have one thing in common with us today…. Their belief systemcaused them to see and do the things they did….
What we feel, What we think, What we do, How we act, and how we respond to people and things, all flow out of our belief system…. Until you act on what you say you believe, you actually don’t believe it!
So if our belief system is flawed and faulty, then whatever we build upon the foundation of that flawed system of beliefs, will be flawed.
If our belief system is solid in its principals and values then we will be standing when those around us are crumbling and coming unglued….
I read one statement which put it this way… “Belief systems are the stories we tell ourselves to define our personal sense of Reality. Every human being has a belief system that they utilize, and it is through this process that we interact with the world around us”. (repeat)
These systemic beliefs evolve into who we are and are at the heart of the conversations we are constantly having with ourselves….
All the conversations you have with yourself about everything in your life and your experiences are continually re-examining thebuilding blocks which construct your belief system….
As we live our lives and process all the information that comes through our experiences and also the knowledge imparted to us by the experiences of others, we are trying to make sense of it all at some level.
As we have these ongoing conversations with ourselves, we are actually forming our own sense of reality. Because in the final analysis, our perception is our reality…..
Our belief system helps or hinders us in receiving all that God has planned for us to have.
The bible says that when the prodigal son was a great way off, the father ran to meet and embrace him….
This shouts something into my spirit…
The father had prayed, he had believed, he had pleaded with heaven…. And this act of the father as he looked out at the road leading home and scanned the distant horizon….he was watching for his wayward son to appear…. Because when he was done processing everything that had happened in his belief system, there were unshakable concepts that were stronger and deeper than his experiences at the moment. *…..The fact that he went out and looked down the road expecting to see his prodigal every day… meant that he never stopped believing, and as he continued steadfast in his belief he was attracting what he was receiving by faith every single day of his life…
Faith believes and then begins to receive what it can not see…..
Hebrews says that Faith is the belief in the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen……
You can see this principle all through the bible….
Act 10:43 …..through His name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.
Matthew 21:22 And all whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.
See it Church….. it’s clear in all of these verses….. Believe and receive…. Believe and receive…. Believe and receive!
The proof of believing is receiving before you see it….
As a young man, I remember that my pastor was teaching on evangelism and he gave us an example to use in leading someone to receive Christ. He selected one of the folks in the class and told them that he wanted to give them $20.00 and asked them if they would be willing to take it. He then laid it on the table and said, at this moment the money is yours. Do you believe that this $20.00 is now yours? They would say yes, I believe it is. Then the pastor would say, well why don’t you go ahead and receive what I have given you, that you said was yours, even though it’s still on the table. You believe it, but you haven’t yet received it. With that, the person would reach out and take the twenty and put it in their pocket.
They couldn’t receive it until they believed it was theirs!
I bought Winnie a Sebring convertible while she was in Virginia Beach for 6 weeks to help Karen after her surgery. When she got back, I told her to try out the car, she did and loved it, then handed me back the key. I said “It’s yours”… she said “Wow, my own set of keys, when do we have to turn it back in’… I said it’s yours… She said “you mean this is my set of keys for the rental car”?... I said, “No, this is your car”! Then she started jumping and yelling and hugging me, because there came a moment when she received it, and it became hers!!!!
Let’s go to an account which Jesus gives us that is found in
Mark 9:14 “And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them and scribes questioning and disputing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw Jesus returning from the holy mount, His face and person yet glistening], they were greatly amazed and ran up to Him [and] greeted Him. 16 And He asked them, what are you questioning and discussing with them? 17 And one of the throng replied to Him, Teacher, I brought my son to You, for he has a dumb spirit.
18 And wherever it lays hold of him [so as to make him its own], it dashes him down and convulses him, and he foams [at the mouth] and grinds his teeth, and he [falls into a motionless stupor and] is wasting away. And I asked Your disciples to drive it out, and they were not able [to do it]. 19 And He answered them, O unbelieving generation! How long shall I [have to do] with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to Me. 20 So they brought [the boy] to Him, and when the spirit saw Him, at once it completely convulsed the boy, and he fell to the ground and kept rolling about, foaming [at the mouth].
21 And [Jesus] asked his father, How long has he had this? And he answered, From the time he was a little boy. 22 And it has often thrown him both into fire and into water, intending to kill him. But if You can do anything, do have pity on us and help us. 23 And Jesus said, [You say to Me], If You can do anything? all things are possible to him who believes! 24 At once the father of the boy gave [an eager, piercing, inarticulate] cry with tears, and he said, Lord, I believe! help my unbelief! 25 But when Jesus noticed that a crowd [of people] came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you to come out of him and never go into him again.
26 And after giving a [hoarse, clamoring, fear-stricken] shriek of anguish and convulsing him terribly, it came out; and the boy lay [pale and motionless] like a corpse, so that many of them said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took [a strong grip of] his hand and began lifting him up, and he stood. 28 And when He had gone indoors, His disciples asked Him privately, Whycould not we drive it out? 29 And He replied to them, this kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting”.
Notice that the man with the afflicted child said “I believe but help my unbelief”…. He was addressing the problem many have and that was about the things that keep believers from receiving… that great distance between I believe, but why can’t I receive? (Somebody is about to receive their answer today!!!)
I heard someone say, “you can’t have restoration, until you first have demolition”…..
We want things to change without having to experience change…..
Often God has to demolish things in our core belief system, before restoration and regeneration can take place….
Now in this case Jesus inserts Himself directly into that gap…. But doesn’t leave it there… notice that he also gives us the solution for victory when a miracle is not immediate, such as this afflicted young man received…. *…..He says that we can overcome the gap between believing and receiving with prayer and fasting!
Prayer and fasting closes the gap!
If it doesn’t come immediately, it doesn’t mean that it’s not still yours, It means that you’re experiencing THE GAP!
it means you’re going to have to get serious about it and like Jacob when he wrestled with the angel….We too must declare “I will not be denied” !!!
Daniel faced the same situation, and after praying and fasting 21 days and nights, the angel Gabriel broke through with the answer and let Daniel know that he had been heard from the first day that he began to pray, (It was his from day one) but there was intense warfare in the heavenlies which had to be won, to deliver the answer to him!
It was his from the moment he believed, but spiritual warfare was involved in order to close the gap, from believing to receiving!!
Can I suggest something….. we should spend time in our prayer and fasting sessions, allowing Holy Spirit to demolish anything in our belief system that might be keeping us from receiving.
In Daniel 10, we are told that Daniel spent 21 days fasting and praying, and we see these words in
Daniel 10:8, “Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength”.
Daniel spent time examining his belief system and checking if there was anything which might hinder him from receiving the answer he needed and getting it out of the way. We used to sing a hymn that said “Keep the way clean, let nothing between”….
I am reminded of the scripture which tells us that when the Israelites went into the land of promise, they brought grapes out of the land, so large that one bunch took two men to carry it. They could have had the grapes in a month, but because of a belief system that was defective, it took 40 years. They were in charge of their gap. Take charge of your gap….
Grapes represent blessings…. (throw grapes)…
There was another problem they had with their belief system that kept them in fear of possessing the land, in spite of the abundance of grapes.
They said that when they saw the giants they were like grasshoppers in their eyes…. We see this in….
Amos 2:9 “….the Amorites, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and strong as the oaks…...
They got distracted from the blessings, because of the giants…. (throw grapes)
They needed to change their giant belief system to a blessing belief system…(throw some more grapes)…. The reason there are giants is because “It is not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord”….
What are the giants in your belief system that are keeping you from the grapes of blessing (throw grapes)
KILL THEM…. DEMOLISH THEM…. You will own the grapes they want to keep from you!
Giants are not there to kill you, they are there to grow you up…. They will make you a bigger, stronger believer. Feel yourself growing with each giant you demolish!
*God has chosen my destiny, now I choose, MY THOUGHTS, MY WORDS, MY GOALS, WHAT I CHOOSE TO SEE, AND HOW I CHOOSE TO ACT as I close the gap to my destiny!
Don’t live in someone else’s destiny…. Live in your own destiny, not what your giants choose…. Don’t live with Misery because you don’t have confidence in what God has chosen for you and what you dreamed and hoped for!
Every one of us have an incredible super power….. That super power is our belief system, which causes us to hope when it looks like there is no hope, to believe when we see nothing happening, to dream, to imagine, to create, to have faith in the God of every destiny!
You can’t be fully who you are designed to be, with a faulty belief system….
The messages of your childhood, become the belief system of your adulthood… So it is important to edit the messages of our past….
When God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve each evening, He was constructing their belief system so that they could fulfill their mission in the garden, and then take on the world.
When God asked them “Where are you” after they had disobeyed Him…. COME ON, HE KNEW WHERE THEY WERE….. What He was really asking was “HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE”?.....
What voice have you listened to that has poluted your self-image, that is not My voice!
Isn’t it amazing how God can tell us something a hundred times…. And Satan can say something once, and fear, unbelief, confusion, division, accusations, and intimidation drown out the voice of God….. Suddenly, our belief system becomes compromised and we can’t seem to receive!!!
For the hundredth time Mrs. Persecuted and threatened, called her pastor because her husband was threatening to kill her. Pastor Good Intentions would pray with her, quote her some scriptures, and tell her that the Lord would watch over her. Yes Pastor, she said, He certainly has watched over me, but I’m calling because He’s on his way over to your house, and says he’s going to kill you…."Well, now," said the pastor, "The Lord has been speaking to me about taking a church in Alaska and I’m on my way out the door now." That’s pastor (do as I say not as I do)
When the woman in John 8:11, was dragged naked, before Jesus by the Pharisees, who were going to stone her for adultery… They said, the law said that she should die, They knew it and Jesus knew it (Jesus knew the law)…. But did you notice in the story that Jesus didn’t get something to cover her nakedness…. He did something more important…. He covered her shame, her guilt, her condemnation, and her poor self image, which had twisted her belief system….. by saying, “NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU, GO AND SIN NO MORE”…..God says you are lovable, valuable, forgivable, changeable and never alone. It was up to the woman to cover here nakedness, not someone else….
Jesus knew that if he dealt with her at the level of her belief system, she would not continue to do what she did!!!!
We were shaped and formed by the voice of God….. AND GOD SAID!!!! We are not created to have our minds, our souls and our spirits bombarded by all these other contrary voices!
I believe in the big bang theory…. GOD SPOKE AND BANG, IT HAPPENED!
So we treasure His voice, we honor His voice, we desire His voice, and we shut the door on those things which compete with His voice in our lives!!!!
You can’t say “No” to Him and call Him Lord at the same time…..Where is place your heart calls home…. Where is your love center, the magnetic north on your hearts compass?
Mark 12:30 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the greatest commandment.”
Because we are physical beings, our bodies often gravitate to the pleasure centers of our experience…. If we are not careful, these pleasure centers can compromise our belief system…. The more you return to your pleasure centers, the
Deeper they control your time, your energy, and your resources….
We are the most vulnerable when we are hungry (Eve saw the apple that it was good to eat) When we are lonely, when we are tired, (the disciples fell asleep the night Jesus was betrayed) when we are bored, (David watched Beth Sheba bathing from the roof top) and we can be vulnerable when we are anxious or depressed….
Zero tolerance means that if I take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves…..
Temptation is not a sin, but when we give our energy to it, it becomes physical substance….
One man told his girlfriend…. You've really brought religion into my life. The woman was shocked at this news, and said Really? How is that so, dear? The man said “Until I met you, I never believed in Hell”…. OOPS! She would have said it but he said it first!
Many folks are afraid of the word commitment today…. They see it as a loss of freedom, or a way to give others permission to control your life. But The word commitment in Hebrew is GAWLAL (LIKE A GROWL)…. It means “to roll” .. we say, “You’re on a roll”..
You’re committed, you’re in the groove, “you’re down with it”!
Psalm 37:3 “Commit your way unto the Lord and live right! v4 Do what the Lord wants, and He will give you your heart’s desire. v5 Let the Lord lead you and trust Him to help. v6 Then it will be as clear as the noonday sun
that you chose the right path”.
God is the ultimate example of commitment. He doesn’t know how to quit on love, and He has planted that spirit deep within each one of us, if we will let His voice be heard….
Many have misunderstood Love as a feeling, it is not a feeling, it is a commitment….
(GAWLAL) Love doesn’t whisper, IT ROARS!
When you make a declaration of your commitment to all the wafflers, the vacillators, and the flip floppers, they’ll get a look of shock on their faces, their eye brows will go up, and they’ll leave you alone!
Joshua 24:15 Joshua stood before the entire nation and declared…. “Choose this day whom you will serve, But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Stop comparing yourself with others….
God is blessing you, according to you…. Comparison makes us more than or less than, better than or worse than…. No!!! God deals with you as YOU. Remember when the Israelites compared themselves to the inhabitants of the land, they were grasshoppers….
The miracle of the multiplication of the oil and meal, began by the prophet asking the question …. “What do you have?”
And God said give me that and we’ll change history!!!
Be where you are, not where you are not…. Answer the question “WHAT DO YOU HAVE” AND SEE WHAT CAN BE POSSIBLE WITH WHAT YOU HAVE RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE!
Déjà vu means, I feel that I am doing something or seeing something that I have experienced before…. So how about Deja stew: The feeling that this is made from the pot roast my mom served the week before.
Deja Phew: the feeling I've smelled this before.
Deja moo: The feeling I've drank this bad, outdated milk before.
Deja zoo: The feeling that I have, met these monkeys at a party before….
DUH-ja-DUH: The feeling that I should have known better than to do this again…
But I believe it’s just as important to have Vu ja De moments as well as De ja Vu experiences…..
Vu ja De, means that we can be able to see everyday things in a new way. To view what you already have from a different perspective, with new eye sight….We can experience marriage relationships in a new way with Vu ja De…. We can have constant Vu ja De moments in the Word of God, in prayer, in times together with our friends and our family and church relationships…..
We’re talking about our belief system…. And what better place than right there, to have some Vu ja De…. And not take for granted or assume that things are just the way they are…..But we can choose for it to be better…
Speaking of our belief system, Who you are and the place you are to have in life, should begin with God, not people or circumstances.
Our beginning is Spiritual and we were created for spiritual things, not just material things….
God created us to flourish by Eternal things, not temporal, material things….
We take physical matter and turn it into energy….to power our cars, to fly our planes, to cool our homes, to nourish our bodies and to make a living in a material world….That’s how we have spent most of our lives….
But God uses energy and turns it into matter…. He gives us an entirely new paradigm for our belief system… He spoke and the universe of matter appeared, He touched and blind eyes opened, the dead were raised, the sick were healed, storms were calmed, and bread and wine were multiplied.
Insert this into your belief system….Scripture says that we are heirs and joint-heirs with Christ… You have a vote in the matter. A joint heir is a full participant in the matter. The Bible is the will and testament of God, and He has made us the executors of His will…. To make sure that His wishes and desires are carried out here, through us in the earth.
God’s message should be our message, since we have been given the privilege of being the voice of God in the earth….
His energy is in this room and it is in us, and He is right here to cause matter to appear by the energy of His Spirit!!!!