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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Part Two: Powerful Life-changing Promises and Lessons

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I've said this before but it's worth repeating. Worrying is sin. Really? Yes! It is because it is the practice of unbelief. Unbelief is the devil's tool and delivers the opposite heart and mindset that God wants you to have. Unbelief is the force of knocking God off the throne of your heart. Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) reveals "And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him." Faith and trust in the Lord's word and promises are what moves God and the angels who are assigned to minister to you as an heir of salvation.

There was a centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. Read these verses and you'll see how his faith moved the heart of Jesus and therefore God! Matthew 8:8-10 (NIV) "The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."  When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith."

I grew up as a worrier. My mom was a worrier. I believe she thought it was a compassionate and caring character quality to worry about everyone. It was imparted to me. God’s Word showed me that worrying is sin. Prior to receiving Jesus, worrying was what I did during the night. My brain went on overload and I could not stop thinking. The Holy Spirit taught me that worrying was not of God.

Matthew 6:27 & 34 says, ”Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not….“So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.” And 1 Peter 5:7 NLT says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.” The Holy Spirit taught me that my mind belonged to me and that I was to learn to take control and be the filter for the thoughts I let run through my mind. I was to learn to exclude and cast out worrying. That seemed like one of the most amazing things I had ever learned. I trained myself to shut my mind down from all the busy nagging thoughts. I did that by either singing worship songs to the Lord or by quoting God's promises out loud. If those thoughts of worry tried to dominate, I'd sing or speak louder. God gives us the authority and directive to do this in 2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..." It wasn't long before I was gaining control of my thought-life and thinking on God's love and promises as the basis of faith-filled prayers instead of being overwhelmed with worry! What a glorious change, transformation and victory in my life.

There were occasions when I would suddenly wake up in the middle of the night.  It was different from any time in the past. I would just suddenly awaken and it was like I was wide awake. I learned that this was the Lord. He wanted me to pray. I learned to yield and be used of God in prayer. I would usually pray in tongues and with my understanding. Psalm 16:7 NIV says, “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” These kinds of times were amazing because it was like the Lord would illuminate things I needed to know, pray for, and pay attention to (but not worry about—just pray!) I knew He was helping me catch things that might have slipped between the cracks or that I would have forgotten to taken care of. For that reason, I learned to keep a journal and pen by my bed or called my voicemail to remind myself what the Lord was speaking to me in the night. I'd write it down so I did not forget and then be released back to sweet sleep.

When I started yielding to this, it created another fear—the fear of a lack of sleep and the fear of being exhausted the next day. I knew in my heart the Lord would not wake me up to pray and then leave me exhausted. I’d just pray that He would give me grace and strength for that day and then bless me with sweet sleep the next night. I had the promise of God for that. Psalm 4:8 NIV “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” And, Psalm 28:8 says, “The Lord is their strength, and He is the saving refuge of His anointed.”

All this was a process but truly an exciting adventure! It may have taken me a year to get to this point, but I did. And it changed my life forever! Worrying is not allowed. Take control of my thoughts and make them align with God's word. Remember that sleepless moments are opportunities to pray and intercede for others. Capture nighttime thoughts from God to help me remember things I needed to know or do. And trust in His grace to supernaturally help me through the days of nights of less sleep. Not worrying but trusting God through all of this is where the victory resides! It's life-changing and will bless you!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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