Tag Archives: Joyce Meyer

Take The Road Less Traveled To Significance

The graveyard is the richest place in the world for it is utterly filled with untapped potential.

It is unfortunate that many of us will leave this earth without coming close to fulfilling our God-given potential and purpose for a myriad of reasons – ranging from life circumstances to cultural beliefs and to fear and unbelief. While it is quite tempting and very easy to give reasons and make excuses for why we are not on the path to fulfilling our God-given potential, a closer look at our world reveals stories of people those that have overcome unimaginable odds to accomplish something wonderful in their world.  A well-known example of this is that of Joyce Meyer, a now world-renowned preacher who had to overcome protracted abuse. Another example is that of Dana Bowman, a double amputee who re-enlisted in the U.S Army and is a well-known motivation speaker.

When thinking of Joyce and Dana, we shouldn’t stop at admiration, but should ask the question ‘How did they do it?’. Two things they both did are as follows: (1) Both did not allow their circumstances to determine their identity and worth. (2) Both determinedly followed the road less traveled to its eventual end of receiving the promise.

So what makes anyone take the road less traveled? The simple answer is boldness and courage. For a believer, that boldness and courage should be rooted in our identity in Christ, His power towards us, and His unfailing love for us! It is when we have this foundation firmly established that we stop asking ourselves questions like, ‘what if I go after my dreams and fail miserably?’ and ‘What if I miss God?’ This foundation tells us that He will pick us up if we fail just like he did to Peter when he lost faith and sank. If we miss God, He will find us and correct our course.

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If you are considering taking a road less traveled, here are a few things you need to internalize.

God’s Power Follows His Purpose

God never tells us to do something without giving us the power to do it. When God commanded Moses to go back to Egypt, he gave him signs and wonder, a rod of power, and a side-kick. When Joshua began his journey, God made him a promise that no one would be able to stand-up to him. When He prompted Jesus to begin His ministry, He equipped Him with the Holy Spirit and empowered Him. When He commanded the disciples to give the bread He had broken to the 5000 men (excluding women and children), the bread never ran out in the hands of the disciples, meaning that the miracle happened in the hand of the disciples as they followed God’s commandment!

God will not tell you to go for it without giving you the supernatural ability to accomplish what He has told you to do. So do not worry about not being qualified or not having the ability.

Delay Does Not Mean Denial

Delay in life can occur due to circumstances beyond our control or our own mistakes. Consider Sarah who was unable to have a child because she was barren. What about Moses? His heart intention of delivering the Israelites was delayed 40 years because he tried to do it in his own strength (when he murdered the Egyptian). The children of Israel’s entry into the Promised Land was delayed some 40 years because they were disobedient to God.

Remembering these cases, we find that Sarah did have a child called Isaac at 90 years old, Moses did deliver the Israelites our of Egypt at 80 years old, the children of Egypt did enter Canaan – including Caleb who was 85 years old.

Thus, it neither matters that you have made mistakes nor does it matter how old you are, what matter is that you submit to God now. Remember that Jesus’ ministry spanned just 3 years, yet it remains the most powerful ministry in the history of mankind. So do not worry about having wasted too much time or being too old.

Your Disobedience Does Not Negate God’s Faithfulness Towards You

Note that the above says that our disobedience does not negate God’s faithfulness and does NOT say that God’s faithfulness negates consequences for those mistakes. While there are consequences to our disobedience, our disobedience does not put an end to God’s calling on our lives. Indeed, Gods gift and calling are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). He is faithful to keep His word even when do not keep our own. He is not like man in this regard, for man tends to change his mind based on the actions of other men.

God did not take away the manna, the cloud by day, the fire by night, and the supernatural miracle of clothes and sandals not wearing our when the children of Israel disobeyed Him. God did not take away the crown from David’s head when he decided to take Bathsheba as his wife and kill her husband. God does not rip away His Holy Spirit from us when we disobey Him. No, God is faithful even in the midst of our unfaithfulness.

God is merciful towards our disobedience and extends His grace towards us that we may grow in faithfulness. So do not worry about making a mistake.

Old Doors Close When New Doors Open

The manna stopped falling from heaven after the children of Israel entered the Promised Land and they had eaten of the produce of the land (Joshua 5:12). The produce of the land represents an opened new door while the manna represents a closed old door. Thus we should not be surprised if some old doors close the moment we decide to take the road less traveled.

How daunting and strange it must have seemed to the children of Israel. They were used to effortlessly picking up manna for 40 years, then one day it suddenly came to an end. Though there had to be some ‘letting go’ that had to happen, it was the right thing and blessed thing to do. In the same way, we should not be surprised when old doors close when God opens the doors to that road less travelled. We should acknowledge what the old door meant but never to the point where we do not let go of the old – for the old will only lead us back into the wilderness and away from God’s best.

If a door closes suddenly, we should open our eyes to see the door that He has opened that we may walk through it. The angels are cheering your on to go for it.

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!’ I heard it for the first time in 2002 from an older lady in college. See, I worked as a math tutor and she was a non-traditional student taking college courses after work. One afternoon, she came in wearing a sad countenance. Halfway into our session it became clear that her mind was elsewhere so I asked her if everything was alright. At this she apologized and told me she was thinking about her 9-year old son – how it hurt her that he was growing up without his father. She told me how she went from being a stay-at-home mom to having to go back to work, and is now taking college classes so she could get a better job and build a better future for her and her son. After she finished giving me a few more details about her divorce she said finished with, “my mom always says when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

Friends, this phrase has become more prevalent in my thinking the last couple of weeks. Indeed, life has handed me some lemons lately. Yesterday, as I pondered the phrase, the Holy Spirit quickened me and used it to teach me 7 life lessons

Lesson 1: When 

It is not a matter of if lemons (troubles) will show up, it is a matter of when they show up. Lemons in life are inevitable. Instead of hoping that lemons never show up in our lives, we are better served to prepare for those lemons. Prior preparation allows us to respond in love rather than react in fearfulness when trouble does come. This is where we want to be.

Consider that the prince and princess that rode off on a shiny white horse into the sunset in the fairy tale did not ride forever. The horse got tired and they had to get off the horse at some point – even if it was just for a bathroom break. So don’t dread the lemon, prepare for it. Whatever you are prepared to deal with is less daunting when it comes to pass. Moreover, be careful not to break off a fairy tale just because a lemon shows up in it.

In this life you will have trials and tribulations, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world – Jesus Christ

Lesson 2: Life

Lemons come from life. Most of the lemons we encounter in life come from our own or other people choices and decisions. Some lemons do come from what mother nature dishes out (i.e. natural disasters) but these are in the minority.

No matter where your lemon comes from, know that it does NOT come from God. God does not give lemons, God takes away or redeems lemons. Settle that in your spirit right now.

No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone – James (brother of Jesus)

Lesson 3: Gives

While it is true that life will give us lemons, it is not true that we have to keep possession of it. For example, unless you are a farmer, if given a pile of dung, are you likely to keep it? No, you are likely to throw is away or sell it. Even if you are a farmer, you are unlikely to keep the dung in your house but you will put it to good use. The same goes with a lemon of a car. You will not keep such a car but get rid of it.

Similarly, we should not keep possession of every lemon that comes our way – especially the rotten ones that serve no useful purpose. If your old friends have become lemons in your life, find new ones. If your hobby is killing you, find a new one. If the demands of your job is causing a major rift in your marriage, it’s a lemon, do something about it.

There are somethings given to us to posses, then there are others things given to us to transfer. God does not want us to merely take possession of lemons but wants us to do something with them. Ask Him what he wants you to do with the lemon you have. Is He calling you to take possession of the lemon or throw it away?

 Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess – God the Father

Lesson 4: You

The lemons we have are trouble enough. We should not take possession of other people’s lemons.

Consider Joyce Meyer’s story: She is always very clear about the lemons that she had in her life – lemons she carried with her as a result of an abusive father and a cheating husband. Yet she is equally clear that Dave Meyer did not take possession of her lemons but stayed content while she wallowed for a while in self-pity.

In other words, we should not expect anyone else to take possession of our lemons and we should not try to give others our lemons

Furthermore, while playing the blame game makes us feel good, it does nothing to rid us of our lemons.

Cast your cares and anxiety on the Lord for He cares for you – Peter

Lesson 5: Lemons

Do not deny that the lemons in your life exists and do not meditate on them. Just as ignoring the lemons in your life will do nothing to give you rest, meditating on your lemons will do nothing but give your lemons power over you. Accept that the lemons exist but also accept that there is a God greater than your lemons. Lemons are simply opportunities for God to show off in your life when you give them to him.

We walk by faith (trusting and believing in God) and not by what we see – Paul   

Lesson 6: Make

The first thing we tend to do when we receive a lemon is to pray to God to take it away. Then if God does not take it away, we may blame God for not taking it away or we blame ourselves for either being too sinful or not having enough faith to get rid of it. Friend, if God does not take away the lemon, it is because he wants you to do something with it. If all lemons were simply taken away then we would not have lemon meringue pie or lemonade would we?

When life gives you lemon as an ingredient, do not get mad. Ask God what he wants to create from the lemon and get moving.

Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours

Lesson 7: Lemonade 

To make lemonade out of lemons requires three things: (1) squeezing the lemon juice out (2) diluting the lemon with water (3) stirring in sugar or honey.

To squeeze the lemon means to sift out the life lesson the lemon is there to teach us. For me, after cutting one of my biggest lemons, I found out that fear and pride was the juice hiding within the cleverly packaged exterior of security and independence. If I had been afraid to squeeze the juice out, I would have missed out on growing.

To dilute the lemon juice is to attack the problem area with the word of God. For example, if the lemon juice is sickness, it is time to focus on healing scriptures. If it is pride, the book of Daniel may be a good place to start. As we read the word of God on purpose we realize that juice is not as bitter as we once thought as we understand there is a solution. Magically the juice becomes more palatable

To stir in honey is to start moving in accordance to the will of God. As we do that, what was meant to bring a bitter taste in our lives starts to taste sweet.

So friends, let us commit to turn a few drops of bitter and tart juice into a cup of delicious and enjoyable lemonade.

When life gives you bitter lemons,  do not worry, but turn to God and He will help you make sweet lemonade out of it – Emmanuel  

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