Positive 7

Here is a selection of videos that you can also find on YouTube. If you would like you can go to YouTube and please subscribe and share as the Lord leads. I do not advertise and have no plans to do so. I do not want to have some type of ungodly advertisement mixed in with what I am trying to present for God’s glory. I know the Lord will provide my financial blessings. I pray the Lord will speak to your heart as you enjoy these presentations.

Life is a classroom and we can choose to be students of the Creator or we can make our own plans and serve ourselves. Whether we realize it or admit it, we all sever somebody. Since each person is a spirit that will live forever, it would be wise to consider that how we live in this earthly realm will have a direct impact on us in the next dimension. When we perceive that we can live as close to God as we desire and choose this as a constant lifestyle, we begin to grasp that knowing Him is truly the purpose and meaning of our existence. The determination to develop an awareness of God’s presence reveals how serious we are in love with Him. There is not a subject on earth more important. Every moment within our mind we have the freewill choice to obey the Lord Jesus or rebel against Him. The children of light constantly battle their carnality and the devil in the war of good and evil, while the children of darkness do not even realize there is a battle. If we know that every decision we make will be a part of our judgment, why are we not more attentive to what we think, do, and say?


This is an older audio recording from 1986 and the quality is not as good as I would like it to be but there’s not much I can do to improve it. My good friend Larry Nelson was the engineer and played all the instruments except for me playing my Martin D35 that was miked. This is one of those songs that just came suddenly to my spirit and I scribbled it down and it’s exactly as it was the day it was given to me. It’s difficult to imagine all that Christ went through in those last few days before His death and heartbreaking to know how He was treated, but it never fails to convict me when I realize I was actually there that day demanding that Barabbas be set free and for Christ to be killed. Why? Barabbas represents our old nature and until we can surrender our will and allow Jesus to sit on the throne of our heart as Lord and King, we are still choosing our flesh over what He died for us to be. The crowd that day is an exact reflection of every heart that would rather serve themselves instead of God. We are born with a depraved nature and all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We do not deserve His grace and cannot earn our salvation.

The greatest life-changing story ever told is that Jesus died for you which proves he loved you more than anything in the world. He knows your every thought and intention, listens to every word, and sees every act and deed. He has never taken His eyes from you, nor has he ever been distracted or too busy to listen to your concerns. More than anything he wants us to stop living for ourselves and begin to live for him so that he can renew our mind and revitalize our life for his glory. Nothing is impossible with Jesus and the most wonderful revelation that can be realized is that he desires to live inside of us and guide us in all our decisions. What dream or imagination could be higher than to know that God has opened the door for us to live with him now and forever? “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” Isaiah 58:11. When we subconsciously adopt negative ideas and attitudes, the enemy uses these as building materials to construct a despairing fortress within our minds to discourage and disengage us from Christ. If we choose to accept this negative direction, sadness and frustration will lead us into even lower levels of depression and misery. If you have experienced these difficult places in the past and the Lord delivered you, you have an understanding of God’s grace and his compassion to leave the ninety-nine, and rescue the one. Have you ever become so desperate for God’s presence that you have fallen across your bed and wept as your repentance released His floodgates of cleansing within your heart? The Lord is holy and the continual desire to acknowledge our desperate need for humility and brokenness is critical within our personal relationship with him. Developing a spiritual awareness of his presence will remind us that we will never have his peace until we deal with our issues as the longer we carry them the heavier they become. God uses clay to describe the human conscience and explains how important it is for us to be pliable as the potter cannot mold a vessel that is hard, dry, and stubborn. Our Creator’s solution is to break the vessel, crush it to powder, add water, and make it soft so that it can be re-shaped and transformed into what he has envisioned us to be. There is much symbolism in the miracle of being born again, but to make a long story short, the Bible says in II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Within this process of spiritual transformation is the opportunity to refuse or to embrace honesty and obedience. Meekness is not pity but rather comprehending that a DIVINE power desires to change us into His image. Yielding our will sounds simple, yet it is the most difficult path we will ever follow. No matter the challenges you are facing today, God is with you every step of the way. Dale Carnegie is quoted as saying, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” In times of doubt and fear, you can know that God has never forsaken you and never will. As you walk through trials that are a part of this temporary existence, you can trust without a doubt that His loving presence is surrounding you. In fact, He promises that He is watching over us and wants to comfort us with His mercy which endures forever. Deuteronomy 31:8 declares, “And the Lord, He is THE ONE who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” If we have allowed Christ to purify our heart, our eyes are opened to see His truth, and this is the power that sets us free from sin and the dark negative influences which try to defeat us. Learning to have confidence in the Lord and embracing the endless commitment of His love is a revelation of His unfailing covenant to be with us even to the end of the world.

It’s common to hear people judge Peter for denying Jesus, but we should not be so hard on him. How many times have we denied Jesus throughout our life? The same is true with being critical of those who cried, “Give us Barrabas.” We are all guilty of betraying Him which is why He came to deliver us from our pride and spiritual rebellion. Peter’s heart was broken because he knew what he had done and ours should be as well. Jesus forgave him and is also gracious to forgive us in our times of weakness and fear. Just be honest and ask God to make you stronger and more courageous in the face of adversity and persecution. After this failure, Peter became one of the most fierce and loyal followers of Christ, and many scholars agree that because of his relentless faith, he was crucified upside down as he said, “I am not worthy to die as my Lord died.” May we continue to progress in our wisdom and our trust in the Lord as we vow to stand for His truth.

I wrote and recorded several collections of songs in the eighties and nineties and this is one of those. I was sitting around one day playing the guitar and as I thought about Jesus in the Garden and trying to imagine what He was thinking, these words came to me. We know that Jesus suffered in agony during His Gethsemane experience as He knew the time had come for Him to fulfill His mission. It was His Father’s will to send His only Son to be the sacrifice that could redeem all who believe in Him. The remnant has also been called to take up our cross and follow Him, however, before we come to this place of surrendering our will, I believe there must be a season of soul searching in order for God to prepare our heart. This walk of dedication has everything to do with understanding this blood covenant and our holy vow unto Him. I pray you will receive a blessing as you meditate on how much God loves you.

I’ve never really thought of myself as anything more than an average singer or musician. I’m definitely not an entertainer, but rather a harbinger who uses whatever type of communication I can for the gospel. Honestly, I’ve not invested a lot of time working on music, I’m more of a writer who relays messages through simple melodies as just another way to spread the good news of Jesus. It’s the meaning within the songs that I hope and pray the listener appreciates and receives as thought-provoking. I wrote “My own worst enemy” as a way to express my personal struggle with my own carnality and to be honest with how difficult it is to walk in God’s Spirit consistently. It reminds me of a ballad that tells a story, as I try to explain how we can find victory in Christ IF this is what we really want. The key to finding deliverance from ourselves is first we must see it, and admit that we are the one sitting on the throne of our heart. If we are satisfied to remain in denial, this is as far as we can go in our relationship with Jesus. We can talk about serving God, but our thoughts and actions reveal just how serious we really are. We do not need to worry about the devil as much as we need to defeat our own carnality. This is why I’m always mentioning not being able to overcome the dark external influences until we can submit our internal will. To be blunt – we cause our own problems and we must own it. Check out John 12:24-26 when you have a minute. By the way, at about the 7-minute mark, you will hear some pretty heavy panting. Ha! It’s our adorable English bulldog, Teddy. He was lying under the tripod and I did not realize the mic would have picked it up, but it’s fairly sensitive. I just left it in the recording.

When we think about where we are in this world and why we were born, we must also include that God knew us and also had a plan for our destiny. I cannot help but think of what would have happened to all of us if God had not sent Jesus to pay our ransom. Do we really understand how much God loves us? And can we ever tell Him enough how much we are grateful for all that He has done for us? We must remember that we did not find God, but He found us. “He went to the cross because He knew we were lost” and we worship Him for becoming our only way to Heaven. In His blood, His truth, His Name, and His resurrection, we have found our purpose, and in falling in love with Him we have found the meaning of life.

One of the greatest legacies that anyone can have is to be known for their love. I’m always reminded of Jesus when He was nailed to the cross and asked God to forgive those who were torturing and killing Him. The Christian conscience is supposedly the result of our spiritual transformation from being lost to being saved and reminds us how love must be the heart and soul of our identity or we may be deceived. Our Creators plan for our existence is to not only to receive His love for ourselves but also to pass it on to others. Without learning what it means to be a genuine overcomer for Christ, our lives will always be empty and meaningless, no matter how many good works we can do. I have spoken with many people over the years who are convinced that God grades everyone for their accomplishments and if we make a passing grade, we automatically graduate into the next life. The logic of many who are religious without relationship assumes those who receive bad grades because of their trespasses, will fail to reach the required points needed in their quest for the keys to their “mansion just over the hilltop.” This might be considered natural common sense, but it’s not what the Bible says. If a person serves the devil but yet is known to be generous, this might look good to the world, but God is not impressed. There are many wicked people who give and help others. I John 2:15, says it this way, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” As we are filled with the endless flow of His love, it overflows onto others and is what “this little light of mine” is all about. We cannot out-give or out-love God! You see, we are told in first Corinthians chapter 13, verses 1-3, that without the love of God flowing through us, we are not what we think we are. “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.” To be nothing and have nothing is to be spiritually bankrupt. We have a glimpse of the fate of many who will stand before Him someday and try to negotiate a deal with the Almighty. “Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” Matthew 7:21-23. Agape love is the only love that can make us whole and give our lives the meaning and purpose Jesus intended. Works and grace are two different things. Being a loving person does not just fall on our head, we must pray and learn to love by faith. Love is a learned behavior and failing to do so is a sin as the writer tells us in Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, that He will not hear.” It’s true that spiritual love involves treating others respectfully but helping someone is also not the same thing as loving them. The love of Christ goes beyond the practical thinking and the emotions and must come from within our spirit. This infinite love is for everyone (including those we do not like). The love that made you a child of the King is the same love that makes it possible to share God’s love with others. We are to hate sin like God hates sin, but we love the person as God loves them. How can we love those we do not agree with? Only when we fall deeply in love with Jesus will we be able to love everyone and acknowledge them as someone He died for. When we fail to love God with all of our heart, we are demoting Him to a lesser position in our life and this allows religious ritual to take the place of personal intimacy with Him. God says that He is to be our greatest love, and it is our responsibility to stay focused on Him. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” Romans 5:5. “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like, unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” Matthew 22:35-40.

Worshiping God as a constant lifestyle is a subject that is close to my heart. We hear a lot about prayer in the Christian realm, but adoration is also very much associated with spiritual intimacy. As with all topics, there are levels of enthusiasm and passion for certain subjects. For example, with prayer, there are people who only occasionally say grace over their food while other individuals have prayer journals which they keep up with every day and are always including new situations and needs to pray about and also list praise reports when their requests come to pass. This is a higher intensity commonly referred to as intercession and spiritually standing in the gap which comes from a more serious understanding of our responsibility as Christians. The concept of loving others to the point of developing a burden for them includes a much deeper interest than just casually talking about their problems or merely being sympathetic. In the same way, worshiping Him in Spirit and truth is having a sincere desire to love and know God and to spend time with Him as continuous behavior. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” Habakkuk 3:17-18. I’ve have had the privilege over the years to be a worship pastor and to lead others into God’s presence. I have researched and studied about praise and worship and had the honor to publish a book in 2015 called, “A Lifestyle of Worship – Living in the awareness of God’s presence.” In this presentation, I attempted to share my heart about how going to church is good but having God on our mind constantly is a learned behavior that will literally change our life. Again, there is a huge difference between going through the motions of a religious ritual and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and we need more teaching about this spiritual reality. I have written a few worship songs and I hope that God allows me to share more of this music in the future. When we walk with Christ, we have joy and peace in this secret place with Him. This spiritual habitation is not a geographic location but rather a realm within our heart where our spirit, conscience, and mind bow down before the Lord in humility and reverential fear. The inner-most chamber of our soul is a place where God and man can fellowship and is the literal sanctuary in this natural existence. The idea of meeting God in a building made with hands is only symbolic of God’s desire for us to abide under the shadow of the Almighty. This song is called, “We will never be alone” and is an encouragement for the follower of Christ and reassures us that no matter what may come He will always be in our heart and surrounding us with His peace and love. As we move toward the end of the age, we will need to remember this wonderful and amazing truth. Joshua said in chapter and verse 9, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” The context of this message was the children of Israel, but we can also embrace this declaration as a timeless word of hope and confidence. This recording is nothing fancy, the equipment is basic, with no studio effects, no mixing, or mastering. Just a simple musical message from my heart. Paul said, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden, and that God destined for our glory before time began” I Corinthians 2:4-7.

Can we be like Jesus? Absolutely. Will it be easy? Of course not. Surrendering our will is our ultimate sacrifice and has everything to do with taking up our cross and following Him. There is no demand for control in the one who has sold out to Christ. The overcomer has come to the point where they have let go of their life and embraced His plan for their destiny. When the heart cries to be like Jesus, they are inviting Jesus to sit in the King’s chair. There is only one seat in the throne of our heart and we all will decide if we are going to rule ourselves or allow God to rule us. The refining fire is for purifying our hearts and is the critical difference between a personal relationship with Jesus and an empty religious experience. Who will say, “Break me, melt me, change me, and make me, just like you?” This song was written and recorded around 1994. I had a four-track Yamaha cassette recorder and I would pull a chair over to the bed and sing into a Shure 57 mic which was placed between my voice and the guitar. As I’ve noticed over the years, it’s not about the equipment or the production, but rather the anointing of God’s Spirit that is captured. I call this unique group of songs that God allowed me to write during this period the “scribble collection” and they are all near and dear to my heart. I recall being at work and a melody and words would just come to my mind. I would grab a scrap piece of paper and quickly jot down the verses and chorus and put it in my pocket. When I would come home, I would pull out these notes and play the entire song. When I wrote this particular song, I had injured my leg at work and was laid up for about 6 weeks, which gave me more time to study and read. It’s true the Lord works in mysterious ways and this is a story of how He opened the door for me to practice playing, singing, writing, and listening to His voice. I was upset with not being able to work, but was trying to be patient as Romans 8:28 teaches, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I look back now and see that if I had not had the time to be still and listen carefully, I might have missed them. For a stretch of a couple of months, I had been witnessing to some of my coworkers and songs were coming to me on a regular basis. A few days before I was hurt, I had a dream that Jesus and I were quietly walking along a path in a beautiful garden. It was so simple but comforting. I did not think about looking at His face because as we walked and talked I definitely knew it was Him. I was gazing at all the beautiful wonders and could feel the radiance of His love and the depths of His understanding. I know it sounds strange, but we did not talk audibly and yet we were having a conversation just the same. I don’t even remember what we were talking about or what I was looking at, I was just filled with such a heavenly peace and security. It seemed as if I was floating. The most amazing thing about the dream was my realization that He cared so deeply for me. His love penetrated my entire being like I was absorbing His compassion. When I woke up I was still saturated in reverence of His holiness and as I relayed the dream to Cheryl, I was crying. The power and glory of His presence were beyond words. I can only describe that moment as I Peter 1:7-8 says, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” When I got out of bed and went into the next room, this is the song that came out when I began to play. I scribbled it down and recorded it and it has not been tweaked or changed since that time and today I’m thankful to be able to communicate this musical message to you.

When I think of the word refuge, I imagine safety, protection, and security. I was inspired to write this song from the passage found in Psalm 46:1, “God is our REFUGE and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” When I was younger, I thought I could fix everything and figure out my own problems, but I soon discovered that I am weak and very limited in wisdom. I am still learning to put my truth in God and that He wants me to invite Him and include Him in every tiny part of my life. The idea of Jesus becoming our Lord includes allowing Him to take over our life. And this, in turn, means that we must submit our will so that we can live in His will. I’m reminded of the song, “I surrender all” and how many times we sing this but do not really mean it. We cannot expect to enjoy all the benefits of God’s love and grace without knowing that we are accountable for the way we live. The concept of living in the refuge of His presence must be realized as a precious dwelling place of holiness and purity on our part. In this natural realm, we find beauty, but it was never intended to be our spiritual security where we can go to be safe from all the troubles and problems of life. Of all the many wonderful blessings which are a part of our personal relationship with Jesus, we are so grateful to be able to run into His presence and find peace and comfort in the midst of whatever type of storm we are going through. I love the passage found in Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into it and are safe.” I encourage you this day to find a quiet place where you are not distracted and just talk to God. Pour out your heart to Him and share all of your thoughts and feelings with the one who created you and who loves you more than you can comprehend. I wrote a book called, “A lifestyle of worship – living in the awareness of God’s presence” and it was about being able to be as close to God as we want. It is a revelation and goal in my life to develop a constant awareness of God and to learn how this will help transform our mind and attitude into His thoughts as we continue to draw closer to Him. In order to live in this level of spiritual sensitivity, we will not only come to know Him as the purpose and meaning of this life but also acknowledge Him as our eternal security and refuge. “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I will trust.”

For those who are God’s children, our reborn spirit becomes like a radio receiver, and when we are dialed into His broadcasting signal, we can clearly understand the mission He has called us to accomplish. One of our general callings to develop an agape love for everyone and included within our attitude of spiritual service is the responsibility to pray and to sow seeds of His gospel so that everyone can be introduced to the Savior and King of glory. This song was inspired by the passage found in Isaiah 6:8 and contains a very important question to all who proclaim to be a follower of The Almighty. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, here I am, send me.” Isaiah was chosen by God to become a messenger for His Kingdom and he tells the story about accepting his commission to preach and witness to a nation that was filled with religious pride. As we are facing a very similar situation today, we are also being held accountable to speak the truth without fear of persecution. Do you feel convicted by the Holy Spirit about where those around you will spend eternity? One of the keys to becoming a reflection of God’s light within this world of darkness is to allow our heart to be filled with humility and forgiveness which can help increase the level of love and faith that is needed to care about people’s souls. As we yield and surrender to this holy responsibility, we begin to realize what it means to lay down our will and become a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable unto God which is our reasonable service. How selfish it is to secure our own future and then turn our back and not care about everyone else. Without allowing God to open our eyes to what is at stake and asking Him to give us a compassionate burden for the lost, we will spend all of our time and energy only being concerned with our own life. The world is deathly sick, and you have the medicine they need to live, will you relay to them the gospel of Jesus which can save and deliver them from sin and eternal death? “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” I Corinthians 13:1-3.

Being spiritually born again through the blood of Jesus Christ is the highest honor and privilege in this world. Analogies of this miracle process are commonly compared to metamorphosis and our continuing advancement as a continuous advancement into His person. However, as God’s grace is infinitely amazing, it’s only the beginning of our potential to actually know God and walk with Him in this covenant relationship. We must remember that our free will allows our minds to have the option to choose how close we will live with God. (By the way, we can be as close to God as we desire.) Our fallen human nature is our most fierce enemy and prevents many Christians from proceeding to build their house according to the divine blueprints which God has drawn for all of us. May we consider that If we cannot resist our own carnality, we will not resist Satan. The Apostle Paul declared that knowing Christ is the ultimate goal and purpose of our existence. “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” This spiritual and mental transformation is more than knowing what God has done – it is knowing who He is within us as the hope of glory. Likewise, pressing toward the mark of our highest calling in Christ Jesus is not just about what we can do – it involves falling deeply in love with Him. (How can we love anyone if we do not know them?). So how can we evolve stronger in our faith and develop a constant awareness of His presence? Study God’s Word, pray and talk to Him without ceasing and remember to spend time listening, strive to control our flesh, be determined to have a hatred for sin and a love for purity, fellowship with those who love and worship God, share our faith and be discerning for divine appointments, embrace the need to obey God above all things and realize it is our responsibility to allow Him to transform us into HIS image. These are excellent places to begin and maintain our spiritual evolution. How many are passionate about giving themselves completely to God’s control? “I Surrender All” has everything to do with submitting our will… “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” Ephesians 4:22-24.

When we think about God’s attributes, one of the most amazing revelations is that He is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent. It’s easy to forget that God is always watching, knows every word we say, everything we do, and is even aware of our thoughts. It’s true He longs to have a personal relationship with us and understanding about what He can do, is another wonderful step toward knowing Him and loving Him for who He is.

Following God’s agenda and not our own

When it comes to being knowledgeable, it’s not how much we know but how much we understand. It’s one thing to have bags of information seeds stacked up in the barns of our minds, but more importantly, how many seeds have been planted and nurtured to take root within our conscience? Even the devil himself has more knowledge about God than the average person but he does not allow it to change who he is. It’s called selective thinking where facts are learned and accumulated but not acted upon. This is where we see a huge difference between knowledge and wisdom. Just because we read about how to live a victorious Christian life does not mean we will automatically be converted into a victorious overcomer. We must absorb His Word through our brain and into our spirit all the while learning how to surrender our will and discipline our flesh.

Beware of powder-puff messages that talk about strolling through life enjoying the overflowing storehouses of blessings. They do nothing to awaken our desperate need to live for God. In reality, the Christian life is not easy, and in fact, the more serious we become about taking up our cross the more difficult it will be. If we are genuinely born again, our spirit is connected with God’s Spirit and we have a wonderful opportunity to channel His energy into us. If we can prevent our old corrupt nature from talking us out of it, we can be saved from ourselves but it’s going to take a burning passion and a total commitment to live what we believe. Being a follower of Jesus means we are accepting a golden opportunity to transform the way we think which will literally change who we are.

Persistence and stubbornness can be good if we can incorporate them into following Christ. Yes, being stubborn for God can be considered faith, however, being stubborn against God is an attitude of rebellion. He appreciates us for being persistent but when He tells us no and we still keep pushing forward, we fall into the dangers of disobedience. There have been times in my life when I did not know if I should stop believing or if I should keep pushing. I’ve had doors slammed in my face and my share of disappointments, but I kept knocking even to the point of trying to force them open with a crowbar. Maybe God never intended for them to open and my demolition attitude just made things worse. Or maybe He wanted to see how much I really wanted it. Whatever the case, the key to avoiding resentment and confusion and knowing if the dark side is working against us or if the Lord is directing us, is spiritual discernment. It comes from seeking God’s still small voice with all of our heart and mind.

Pray and research thoroughly before you move forward. If you are standing in a crossroad and not sure where to go, do something positive while you are waiting for His confirmation. If you’ve been seeking His direction for a long time and have not heard anything, I once heard someone say, “while waiting for a door to open, keep praising Him in the hallway.” You might feel the desperation to begin a personal fast in order to become more sensitive to His voice. Fasting is not always just about food but can be the denial of other activities as you dedicate quiet time alone with Him. By the way, this is personal and there is no need to broadcast this on social media. When you discover all the requirements that are associated with your goals, you may realize you are simply not ready to proceed at this time, or maybe not at all. Yes, God can move mountains, but since He is the one who created our destiny, our ideas may not be the same as His. He can influence others, give us favor, open doors, and present divine appointments, but it’s our diligence and perseverance that helps us to be in the position to receive. He is preparing a path for you behind the scenes that can utilize your strengths and will be a perfect fit for you, however, your obedience and patience are critical factors as you follow His plans and not your own.

Dr. Holland is a Christian minister, author, and community outreach, chaplain. Read more about the Christian life at