Your expectations serve as the fertile ground for breakthroughs. Your expectations are the foundation for realizing your potential. The day you accepted Jesus into your life, it became significantly better.

August 21, 2023

Your expectations serve as the fertile ground for breakthroughs. Your expectations are the foundation for realizing your potential. The day you accepted Jesus into your life, it became significantly better. In fact, it didn’t just get better; it started to flourish. You were once spiritually dormant, but through Jesus, you’ve been awakened. You’re truly alive now. You may not have even comprehended what it truly meant to be alive until now. 

Now that you’ve found this new life in Jesus, you’re embarking on a journey of discovery. Don’t view your time on Earth as merely a fleeting moment, with the expectation that the fullness of God awaits you only in heaven. The essence of the Gospel is encountering God in His fullness right here and right now. Don’t let anyone mislead you into believing it will take years or that it will only happen after you pass away. The Gospel is available to you today at this moment

The Kingdom Within

Luke 17:21 – tells us, ‘the kingdom of God is within you.’

Jesus’ message was clear: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” This means he’s telling us to repent because the kingdom of God is right within our reach. Repentance isn’t about feeling remorse or being sorry; it’s simply about changing your mind. If you can change your mind, you can access the kingdom, which is right at your fingertips. The kingdom of God isn’t somewhere out there; it’s not here or there—it’s within you.

I want to emphasize that the kingdom of God isn’t a distant place. When you received Jesus, the King of Kings, he brought with him the entire reality of heaven’s kingdom right into your heart and life. It’s within you.

You see, when Jesus proclaimed, “The kingdom of God is at hand,” and we find ourselves waiting over 2000 years for His return and His kingdom to come, something seems amiss within the church. Let’s be clear: Jesus came to establish God’s kingdom, and He didn’t leave the job unfinished. He accomplished His mission. Jesus has indeed established His kingdom.

Now, where is Jesus at this very moment? He’s seated at the right hand of the Father. But what is He doing up there? Is He simply idly waiting to return? No, that’s not the case. When we say that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, it signifies that He is reigning. Yes, Jesus is reigning right now, as we speak. But what is He reigning over? He is reigning over the kingdom that He established on Earth just before His departure. 

In one of His parables, Jesus compared the kingdom of God to yeast, something seemingly small and inconspicuous. Yet, when you place it within a batch of dough, regardless of how vast that dough may be, yeast has the incredible power to permeate the entire mixture. So, Jesus teaches us that the kingdom of God is like yeast, spreading and transforming everything it touches. Just before His departure, Jesus left this “yeast” on Earth, and it’s here to infect the entire world.

Let me make a bold statement: we’re not waiting for the kingdom to happen; the kingdom of God is already here. In fact, you are the kingdom. Yes, you heard that right. 

Hebrews 3:6 – but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

Think about it – Christ is faithfully overseeing God’s house, and who is this house? It’s us. Who is the kingdom? We are the kingdom. Who is the temple of the living God? We are the temple. We are the kingdom that Jesus has established right here on Earth.

Ambassadors for Christ: Representing Heaven’s Kingdom

Now, let’s break down the word “kingdom.” It’s a combination of two En glish words: “king” and “domain.” Essentially, it means the domain of the king, wherever his jurisdiction and rule extend—that’s his kingdom.

Let’s draw a comparison here. The jurisdiction of the Prime Minister of India is limited to the borders of India, as that’s where he was elected to govern. Similarly, Jesus’ jurisdiction lies within God’s kingdom. When you receive Jesus as your King, you willingly come under His jurisdiction, becoming an integral part of the kingdom. In fact, you yourself become a representation of the kingdom.

2 Corinthians 5:20 – Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Are you ambassadors for Christ? Absolutely. But what does it mean to be an ambassador? An ambassador serves as a representative of a different country or kingdom. In this case, you’re not just a representative; you’re representing Christ and Heaven’s kingdom. You are an ambassador for Christ.

Consider the concept of embassies. In India, for example, there is the American embassy. This embassy, although physically in India, is like a piece of American soil. If someone were to seek asylum there after committing a crime, the Indian government couldn’t enter and prosecute them. Instead, they must engage in diplomatic processes with the American government. Once inside the American embassy in Delhi, they’ve entered American jurisdiction. Do you follow?

The Church as God’s Legislative Assembly

Now, here’s the important part: An embassy’s jurisdiction is defined by the ambassador who governs it. When you are an ambassador for Christ, you carry the power and jurisdiction of Heaven’s embassy. The term ‘church’ is not merely religious; it derives from the Greek word ‘ecclesia,’ which is a political term with deep significance.

Even before the existence of church buildings adorned with crosses, Jesus used the term ‘ecclesia.’ His usage of this term predates any formal church structure, and it’s essential to understand how those who heard it comprehended it.

Unlike our modern perception of ‘church’ as a place of religious worship, the disciples and Pharisees of that time understood ‘ecclesia’ differently. To them, it was a political term, equivalent to a legislative assembly or even a senate. ‘Church’ and ‘ecclesia’ were not religious terms; they conveyed the idea that you and I, as believers, constitute God’s legislative assembly right here on earth.

Yes, it means we have a unique role as God’s representatives, with the power to influence what heaven brings to the earth. The church is not merely a gathering of people; it’s a governing body. So, when you come to church, remember that everyone may have their reasons, but collectively, we are here to enact God’s will and purpose on Earth.

While some may attend church in hopes of finding their future partner, it’s crucial to grasp that the church is far more than just a gathering of people. The church is, in fact, the governing body of Christ, entrusted with the responsibility of determining what must transpire on Earth. It functions as heaven’s embassy right here on our planet, and this truth is worth celebrating—Amen.

Within this embassy, the rules and jurisdictions of earthly governance do not apply. Instead, we have the privilege of deciding the legislations, rules, and resources we wish to bring forth to influence the world. Our purpose is clear: we are here to shape the Kingdom of God’s influence on the Kingdom of the world. Remember, you are not here to be swayed by the world; you are here to be a force that shapes and influences the world. You are the beacon of light shining forth.

You know, you’re the yeast, the catalyst that spreads throughout the earth. I recall a moment from our time in Bhopal after the conference had concluded. Many people came forward to receive prayer. Someone mentioned to me, ‘Be cautious and wash your hands; there was someone with a fungal infection.’ Initially, a flicker of fear crossed my mind – the fear of contracting the infection. But then it struck me, I’m speaking about the Kingdom here. The Kingdom is infectious.

Consider this: Is darkness more infectious than light, or is light more infectious than darkness? Imagine a room engulfed in darkness. The moment a small glimmer of light appears, the entire darkness must retreat. Darkness holds no dominion over light; rather, light possesses the power over darkness

We often find ourselves apprehensive of the world, fearful of its darkness. Let me remind you that you’ve been called to be here, placed in this very moment and location, designated and appointed for such a time. You’re here so that the light of Jesus can radiate through your life.

You don’t need to fear the darkness; instead, you need to become the light. Remember, no matter how vast the darkness may seem, even this small amount of light will accomplish its purpose.

Do you know where the intensity of light truly shines? It’s when you find yourself in the midst of darkness. You see, right now, you’re in a well-lit place. That’s why these small bulbs barely catch your attention; they’re here mainly for decoration. But take one of those small bulbs to a pitch-dark room, and you’ll witness the incredible potential it holds.

Let me emphasize this: Sundays, when you gather at church or in fellowship, it’s an opportunity for you and me to realize our potential. However, to truly radiate, you must venture out into the dark world. If you limit yourself to attending church only on Sundays, even though you shine, you’re like a 20-watt bulb. Your significance won’t be fully apparent because you’re already in a well-lit place. Those bulbs are there for adornment, occasionally dusted off.

But if you genuinely want to discover what that light within you can achieve, you must summon the courage to step into the darkness and spread the message of the gospel.

I speak in the mighty name of Jesus, invoking the Spirit of boldness upon your life. Spirit of boldness, rise up within you. Do not cower in fear of the darkness but recognize the radiant light that shines within and through you—the light of the gospel streaming forth like living waters. In the name of Jesus, I pray that you become the light of the world.

Church, it’s time for us to step into our rightful place. We cannot remain defeated; we cannot remain on the defensive for too long. We’ve been playing it safe and staying comfortable for far too long. The church must take its position.

The Church’s Offensive Role: Assaulting the Gates of Hades

Matthew 16:18 – And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it.

In this particular context, Jesus posed a question to his disciples, asking, ‘Who do people say I am?’ The disciples replied with various answers, stating that he was a prophet, a man of God, Elijah, John the Baptist, and so on. They offered numerous opinions.

Then, Jesus turned to Peter and inquired, ‘What about you? Who do you believe I am?’ Without hesitation, Peter responded, ‘You are the Son of God. You are the Son of God.’ Jesus acknowledged Peter’s response, telling him that this revelation was not the product of his natural thinking. Instead, it had been revealed to him by the Father in heaven.

So, if you have come to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, understand that this understanding didn’t originate from your own human reasoning.”

It’s essential to understand that the very fact you’ve stepped into this room, walked in, or even turned on your camera for a Zoom meeting is evidence that the Father in heaven has revealed to you that Jesus is the Son of God. This understanding is not rooted in mere intellectualism but is a heavenly revelation. Jesus said, ‘I tell you, you are Peter.’ The Greek word for Peter is ‘petros,’ signifying a small stone. ‘But on this rock,’ the Greek word is ‘Petra,’ referring to a boulder or a substantial stone. He clarifies that ‘you are petros, a small stone, but on this rock,’ and the rock he speaks of is Christ.

The rock upon which Jesus builds His church is the revelation that Jesus is the Son of God. That is the firm foundation. ‘I will build my church,’ declares Jesus. So, who is the builder of the church? It’s unequivocally Jesus Himself. It’s not the pastor, apostle, deacon, money, or finances. It’s Jesus who is the builder of His church.

Now, consider this: Who is building you? It’s Jesus. If you’re wrestling with doubts about your faithfulness or worrying about your consistency in your relationship with God, remember Jesus’ words, ‘I will build my church.’ Can you place your confidence in the promise of Jesus? Can you trust in His faithfulness? If He has declared that He will build His church, then you, as part of that church, will undoubtedly be built up as well.

When Jesus declares, ‘I will build my church, and the gates of hell,’ it’s important to note that the Greek word used here is more accurately translated as ‘the gates of Hades.’ Hades refers to the grave or the realm of the dead. So Jesus is saying, ‘I will build my church, and even the power of death itself, the gates of the grave, will not prevail against it.’

To illustrate this, think about scenes from movies like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ or other historical war films. Typically, one army acts as the attacking force, while the other takes a defensive stance. Now, which of these two armies, the attackers or the defenders, use gates as weapons? I’ve never seen an attacking army carry gates to battle. Gates are employed as defensive structures, meant to protect those behind them.

So when Jesus speaks of the gates of Hades not prevailing against His church, He emphasizes that even death’s power cannot stand against His purpose and His people.

When Jesus says, ‘I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,’ it’s crucial to understand the dynamics. Who is attacking, and who is defending? The church is on the offensive; it is the attacking force. However, the devil has cunningly deceived many into believing that the church is weak and fragile while painting the enemy as overwhelmingly powerful. This deception has led us to think that we must constantly defend ourselves.

In reality, the church that Jesus is constructing is an attacking church, not a defending one. Light doesn’t defend; it attacks the darkness. We are on the offensive, continuously assaulting the gates of Hades time and time again. Jesus assures us that the gates of Hades shall not ultimately stand against the church. They may withstand for a time, but there will come a moment when these gates will crumble, be overcome, and overrun.

Our role as a church goes far beyond merely gathering to sing songs, listen to sermons, and enjoy fellowship. While these aspects are integral, our fundamental responsibility is to relentlessly assault the gates of Hades. We must persistently strike at the gates of Hades, relentlessly attack them, and press onward with unwavering determination. This is our call, your call, and the call upon your life—to keep taking the battle to hell itself, to keep attacking the forces of darkness.

I truly appreciate what Reinhard Bonnke used to say, ‘My dream is hell empty, heaven full.’ Is such a dream possible? Absolutely. That’s our calling. 

Pressing On: Pursuing the Resurrection from the Dead

Philippians 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.

Here’s a vital truth: if you want to progress in your journey with God, you must leave the past behind. The devil often exploits your past to disqualify you from moving forward. He uses your sins, your shame, your guilt, and your condemnation. Sometimes, he even reminds you of past victories to make you doubt your present. But say this with me, ‘Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.’

It’s vital to leave the past behind, whether your relationship with God was excellent yesterday or not, because your focus should be on today, on the present moment. I press on. Let’s say it together, ‘I press on.’ Paul, the great apostle, exemplifies this attitude, saying, ‘I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’ He’s conveying that he’s still pressing forward, continuously pursuing the upward call of God.

Press on. Forget what has happened yesterday, forget what has transpired in the last decade. Move forward, press on. But what is Paul asking us to press on for now? To understand that, we need to consider the preceding verses.

Philippians 3:12 – Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 

So, he’s not merely emphasizing ‘pressing on,’ but ‘pressing on to make it his own,’ because he belongs to Christ.

Philippians 3:11 – that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Now, here’s what he’s pressing on for: ‘That by any means possible, I may attain the resurrection from the dead.’ Now, here’s the point.

If our theology holds that the resurrection of the dead only occurs at the second coming of Jesus when He raises all the dead people, then why is Paul expressing this desire? He’s saying, ‘By any means possible, I may attain the resurrection from the dead.’ He’s also admitting, ‘I have not attained this yet.’ To be completely honest, I have not achieved this. But this is the very purpose for which I’m pressing on, the goal I’m relentlessly pursuing—to attain the resurrection from the dead.

That’s the call Paul understood was upon his life. He knew he had to press on. The Christian life isn’t merely about comfort, promotions, marriage, or family, though those are blessings from God. The very reason Jesus sacrificed Himself for you is so you can experience life and resurrection. So, press on—press on even when it seems like your life is falling apart, because the power of resurrection resides within you.

Press on when you’re in bed, battling sickness, headaches, sinus issues, or stomach upsets. Press on when someone has hurt you, and you’re emotionally drained from investing in a relationship. Why? Because the power of resurrection dwells within you. Don’t give up, no matter what life throws at you. Press on, for the spirit of resurrection lives in you. It’s the same spirit of God that raised Christ from the dead, providing life to your mortal body. So, keep pressing on.

So, you may ask, Pastor, are you saying we won’t face difficulties or challenges? I can’t promise you that, but I’m asking you this: Will you press on? Will you fight the battles that Jesus died to win for you? Will you press on, firmly believing that His work is finished and complete?

Consider the example of Paul. Do you think he was exempt from life’s troubles? He had his share of physical ailments and struggles, yet he pressed on. ‘I pressed on,’ he declared, ‘for this is my upward calling. I press on, determined to attain the resurrection from the dead, by any means possible.’ So, let his example inspire you to press on, no matter the circumstances, for your upward calling in Christ.

Do you know how Paul died? He was beheaded. It’s quite evident that he didn’t attain the resurrection from the dead in the sense of avoiding physical death, yet he chose to die pressing on rather than giving up.

Now, here’s a question for you: Would you prefer to die pressing on or give up based on a theology that speculates about the timing of certain events? Would you rather focus on what’s clear in the Bible? It’s interesting how the Bible provides clear directives, but we tend to get caught up in the unclear details. When is Jesus coming? Is Russia the modern Babylon? These are intriguing questions, but they don’t have a significant impact on our daily lives.

What’s clear is what the Bible instructs us to do. It’s abundantly clear what the church should be doing. The upward call is to press on. Instead of dwelling on unclear mysteries, let’s concentrate on the crystal-clear commands of Jesus. Heal the sick, raise the dead, preach the gospel. These are straightforward directives that require no complex interpretation.

So, remember, the upward call of the church is to press on. In every aspect of your life, you can experience the power of resurrection. Whether it’s in your emotions, physical well-being, relationships, finances, or spirituality, you need to press on. That’s our calling: to press on, because Jesus assured us that He will build His church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. We follow what Jesus said. Press on, press on. Even when facing a headache, an upset stomach, or challenging relationships, press on. Why? Because the power of resurrection can bring life to every area, even when it seems dead. So, keep pressing on.

Moving from Glory to Glory

Glory comes in multiple levels. You start in glory when you receive the good news. But remember, glory has levels, and we are called to progress from one level of glory to another. The good news is that you can experience an upgrade, moving from one level of glory to the next, even today.

To do this, you need to move from faith to faith because ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Advancing from one level of glory to another often requires aggressive faith, the kind that seizes it with determination. Sometimes, a breakthrough eludes us because we’re not desperate enough to truly pursue it.

Let me emphasize this: certain breakthroughs may not be happening in your life because you’re not desperate enough to receive them. You might have backup plans like visiting a doctor or relying on inheritance, but when you reach a point where you have no other plan but God—where Plan A is prayer and there are no Plan B, Plan C, or Plan D—that’s when you truly see breakthroughs unfold.

You need to become desperate enough to claim your spiritual inheritance. Understand this, God is not withholding your breakthrough. 

Colossians 1:12 – giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

In other words, when you believed in Jesus, He qualified you for a spiritual inheritance, and God has already released everything you need.

So, the issue isn’t on God’s end; it’s on the receiving end. Some breakthroughs require aggressive receiving. You have to take hold of what is rightfully yours. God has made it available, but you need to claim it.

Are you desperate enough to obtain your breakthrough? If not, you might experience some level of glory, but you’ll remain stuck. To move to the next level of glory, you need to get desperate. 

You see, I had a vision during our prayer time yesterday, and in this vision, I saw that each one of you has the potential to soar like a rocket. Have you ever watched a rocket launch? It goes straight up, vertically, like a burst of power. In just a matter of minutes, it breaks through the Earth’s atmosphere. You have the potential to grow like that, to rise rapidly. But there’s a crucial lesson here.

When a rocket ignites, it ignites in stages, and it must shed weight as it ascends. In order to overcome gravity and break through the atmosphere, it has to discard parts of itself. So, at stage zero, the larger section is jettisoned, and as it continues its journey, more and more chunks fall away in stages, called stage one, stage two, and so on. The rocket is losing the weight it doesn’t need. To cross to the next level of glory, you have to shed the weight.

The Weight of Cravings and Desires

Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Some of you might think, ‘I don’t have sin in my life,’ and that’s wonderful. But it’s not just about sin. There are also weights that can hold you back. So, even if you’re not burdened by sin, there may be weights that are hindering your progress. Once you shed those weights, you’ll move forward and upward.

So, here are two important questions for you to ponder: First, are you truly desperate enough for a spiritual upgrade in your life? Second, are you willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it?

The author of Hebrews warns us not to be like Esau, who, for a single meal, gave up his birthright. Some of us, including myself, may not be experiencing the next level of glory due to our attachment to food. You might wonder, ‘What does food have to do with anything?’ Well, sometimes our cravings hold us back in our spiritual journey. There’s a spiritual influence at play in the food we eat and the cravings we have.

Psalm 78:18 – They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved.

We see that the Israelites tested God in their hearts by demanding the food they craved. Their cravings became a test, limiting God’s work in their lives. Can God’s work be limited in your life? Yes, it can, through your cravings and desires. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying chocolate or desiring career success, marriage, or children. However, the real question is whether you can maintain peace and joy in your life when these desires aren’t fulfilled.

If your answer is ‘no,’ something might be amiss, and it’s time for correction. Our cravings can indeed limit God’s power in our lives. Whether it’s a sudden midnight urge for pizza or any other craving, it’s essential to acknowledge this if we want to ascend to the next level of glory.

Please understand that God loves desires. It’s not about becoming an ascetic; that’s not the point. Instead, it’s about recognizing that these cravings can sometimes be so powerful that if unfulfilled, they lead to depression.”

Sometimes, we find ourselves without the joy of the Lord, and we wonder why. It could be as simple as not getting that pizza. While I’m using food as an example, the same principle applies to various desires in life. It could be the desire to get married, to receive a promotion, or anything else.

When these cravings become the source of your peace and joy, they can lead to addiction. You may find yourself constantly seeking that next moment of happiness, which leads to indulgence. However, the truth is, you have already been set free from such cravings. They are weights that hold us back from entering into the glory of God.

Do you want to soar like a rocket into the next level of glory? Then you must cast aside the weights that drag you down. As I speak, I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will shed light on those weights in your life. Remember, we can’t do this in our own strength; we need the power of God. If prayer is what you lack, ask God for the grace to pray. If it’s food, ask for the strength to overcome it. Whether it’s chocolate or anything else that takes precedence over God, it’s a false idol that hinders you from reaching the next level of glory.

I’m not speaking about heaven or hell; you’re already destined for heaven if you believe in Jesus. I’m talking about experiencing the next level of spiritual growth and blessings. To reach that next level, you must let go of the weights that hold you back.

What I’m encouraging you to do is to keep pressing on despite failures. Heaven doesn’t keep a record of your failures, but it takes note every time you get back up. So, even if you’ve failed a hundred times, heaven recognizes the hundred times you’ve persevered. So, keep pressing on, regardless of past failures.

In my case, I struggle with food, but that doesn’t deter me from trying to fast. I might succeed one day and fail the next, but that’s okay. I’ll start again the next day. The key is to keep pressing on.

Think about what might be the weight holding you back. Is it concern for your reputation or what others might think? Is it because of your age or position? Whatever it is, identify it and press on. Live a life of consecration, set apart for God, where His Word becomes your reality. Don’t let anything hold you back from moving into the next level of glory. Keep pressing on!

Is it a matter of prestige? People often recognize me in this way. When you consider the Bible, you’ll notice that those who followed God often had to let go of their reputations as their first step. Take Moses, for example, transitioning from being a prince to a shepherd and even a murderer to a vessel used by God to lead the people of Israel. If you’re holding onto your reputation too tightly, perhaps out of fear of what others in the church might think or for career advancement, it’s time to reconsider.

As believers, we’re people of faith. You might feel the pressure to give a flawless testimony or struggle with attending a church that emphasizes healing when you’re dealing with illness yourself. If these concerns are holding you back, let me tell you something: release that grip on your reputation and place your trust in God’s power. 

I remember a time when I was speaking about redemption while facing a twitching eye issue for the past two weeks. It was challenging to preach, and I felt like a hypocrite. I was talking about the power of resurrection while battling this infirmity. That’s when I realized it’s not about me; it’s about what God has entrusted me with. So during my sermon, I prayed for healing, specifically for anyone with a left eye issue like mine. I declared that it would trouble them no more. Why? Because it’s not my reputation at stake; it’s Jesus’ reputation. Since that day, my condition has significantly improved.

So, my friends, let go of the burdens weighing you down. Release the concerns about what others may think or say. These are the lies of the enemy, deeply rooted in our culture. Instead, focus on what God says, what He thinks of you, and how He experiences you. Let go and trust in His truth.

Before I conclude, let me share one more vision with you. Picture a scenario where a pipe is being excavated to tap into underground water for a motor. When they initially start the motor, what emerges before the clean water is a flow of filth. As you listen to this message, understand that in your life, a similar process may occur. Don’t suppress it; let it come. Let it flow because when the streams are alive, the waters flow. It carries away the impurities within you, cleansing you from the inside out. 

So, when you sit down for prayer or fasting, and you feel anger, hunger, or disgust, don’t resist it. It’s okay. Acknowledge it, and let it flow. Embrace it. It’s only after this flow happens that you will feel delivered from it. Many people who engage in fasting experience anger on the first day, and I can relate to that feeling. But don’t worry; don’t suppress it. This is where the grace of Jesus comforts you, saying, ‘Get up. It’s okay. Your reputation isn’t at stake. Just get up.’ And you will rise.

Do you know how many times I’ve felt like a hypocrite when speaking from the pulpit? Countless times. I’ve thought, ‘God, I preach these words, yet I struggle in my own life.’ But then Jesus reminds me, ‘Are those your words or mine? You speak my words.’

We’re not sharing all of this because we claim to be perfect, but because we’re determined to persevere. Join me in saying it: ‘Press on, press on!’ My friends, press on against disappointments, press on against offenses, and press on against the cravings in your life. Keep pressing on, even amid the chaos of life. 

3 practical principles that can guide your heart:

First, cultivate a heart of humility. Be willing to learn, and guard against the growth of pride and offense in your hearts. This is the essence of humility.

Second, nurture a heart of sacrifice, which includes a heart of praise, thanksgiving, worship, and generosity. Embrace a life characterized by sacrifice. Live generously, for worship is meaningless without sacrifice. It’s the sacrifice of praise. When do you offer a sacrifice of praise? When everything in your life seems to be falling apart. That’s precisely when you choose to put on a praise song and rejoice in the Lord. That’s true sacrifice.

Lastly, develop a heart of honor. Honor is the ability to recognize God and His moments. What is honor? It’s the capacity to acknowledge God and His divine appointments. Remember Martha, who missed a God moment because she was too busy? Sometimes, our busyness stems from a desire to prove our importance to others. I am an important person. Now, the issue here isn’t that Martha was serving; it’s whether Jesus had asked Martha to serve. That’s the crucial question. Often, we become engrossed in unnecessary tasks without Jesus’ guidance and then find ourselves complaining. If Martha had truly honored who Jesus was, this is what would have happened:

Picture this, Jesus—fully man, fully God—enters the house. Mary immediately recognizes the divine in Him, while Martha focuses on His humanity. This recognition shapes their responses. Martha, seeing His human side, starts to serve, thinking, ‘He must be tired after a long journey; I should tend to His needs.’ Mary, however, perceives the God in Him and chooses to sit at His feet, eagerly listening to His teachings. This is the power of honor.

A heart of honor tunes your spirit to recognize God and seize the divine moments you share with Him. Every time you act in honor, you position yourself to recognize God and His presence in your life. You can experience God’s presence every single time, just by attuning yourself with a heart of humility, a heart of sacrifice, and a heart of honor.

About the author

Samuel Thomas

Samuel is a second-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. He has been the pastor of Lighthouse Church since 2017 with a two-word mission statement: transforming lives. Samuel's priority in life has been to know Christ and to grow deeper in His love.

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