As the new year came in this year I did something which I usually don’t do, but I thought to myself,
“It is the new year, and it is always perfect to start it off with a resolution.”
You throw out the old stuff and set yourself a goal, right? So the New Year came around and I thought,
“You know since the move to South Africa I have just not been doing my workouts and I haven’t been keeping up with staying in shape.”
I started to feel it. I began to feel sluggish and tired and I just had no energy anymore, so I thought,
“This is it Lord! In 2015 I start the year afresh and new and I want more power. Aside from power from the heavens above, I want more power in my body again and I want more strength.”
So I went into a shop and got myself one of those fitness DVDs. Well here is the way it works with me. I am a person who needs to follow someone when it comes to fitness. I just find it easier if I can follow someone. If I have to do it by myself, guess what happens? After five or 10 minutes I think,
“It is enough now. We can move on.”
I am an expressive. I need a challenge and someone who pushes me a bit and says,
“You can do better.”
Well that is exactly what I got with my DVD. I have been doing it every morning with blood, sweat and tears and everything else. But you know the crazy thing that happened is after just a week of doing those exercises I felt the difference.
I am already starting to feel stronger deep within. I have more energy during the whole day and I am starting to see little results.
As I was thinking about my exercises and everything, as I spoke to the Lord about it He said,
“In the spiritual realm it is actually just the same as the natural realm. There are so many lessons to be taken out of doing exercise and so many lessons to be learned.”
A Time of Stretching
As I started on Day 1 of the exercises I hardly made it through the half an hour. Yes it is only 30 minutes long, but I hardly made it through. I had to get stretched a bit. I was so out of it that I realized,
“I can’t expect that from day 1 to day 2 I will feel okay again and it will all be back again.”
No I had to get stretched a bit and be taken out of my comfort zone. And this is exactly what God has given me for this message.
God is your spiritual fitness coach. So you thought you would get away with your physical fitness. No, sorry you are also in a spiritual fitness with the Lord right now.
There are times when we are so used to doing things our old way. We are so used to walking down the road the same way all the time, until God comes and says,
“I want to take you to the next level.”
How do you believe you will get from where you are to the next level? You have to climb the steps a bit. He has to take you higher and take you out of the spiritual comfort zone that you are in right now.
Without being stretched or without having some pressure on you, you will get nowhere. You will just stay in that nice, balanced situation that you are in. You might say,
“Yes I want more.”
But once the pressure comes on you, usually you say,
“What just happened now?”
God is taking you out of that situation that you are in. It may be because you prayed and said you wanted to go higher. Or maybe it is because He just wants to take you higher.
That is His plan so you have no choice. Whether you want to or not you have to become a better fitness person and move up a bit.
In the normal fitness world and in the natural you focus on different muscle groups. You go through the program and do your pushups or you do your leg raises. You do all sorts of different things.
God is doing the same thing with you in the spiritual. Imagine a person who is always just in prayer. Well if prayer represents the arms, they might have huge arms, but their legs may be skinny and tiny and can hardly hold them.
Or they might have the opposite. If someone is really strong in teaching and in the Word, their legs might be really strong, but they may have tiny arm muscles and they can hardly lift the smallest weight.
What use is that? You are either under developed or you are over developed but there is no balance. God doesn’t work that way. He wants to bring you into a balanced spiritual body where you don’t swing one way or the other.
If you have tiny legs and a strong wind comes along it will knock you over. If you have small arms He can’t give you the load that He wants to give you to carry so He has to take you through.
How will that happen? God has a very clear plan and He also has a very clear way as to how He will take you through those things. He wants you to wait and to follow His command.
Follow Step By Step
I want to go back again to my fitness program. That woman really drives you. But you know I do exactly step by step what she is saying I should be doing.
When she says, “Put your hands up and clap them in the air,” I am not going to do pushups on the floor because I would not be following her.
I would not know where she is going with it. And looking at her I know she has a clear path for me to follow. She knows what she is doing.
God also knows exactly what He is doing with you. He knows exactly what is best for you in that fitness program. He knows just which muscle is under developed and which one is over developed in your life right now and He says,
“Okay we want to work on this area a bit.”
Or, “We need to work on that area a bit.”
He knows exactly which of the exercises you need right now. So don’t think you know how this works. He is the fitness coach and you are the trainee. You are in your training suit and you are the one who is following Him.
I said already earlier on that He is the coach, so you need to leave it up to Him to show you what is next.
I might just go ahead in my program and do whatever I want. But by the end of 20 minutes, I would probably be so exhausted that by the time those real exercises come I would have worn myself out already.
Keep Up With Him
It is the same in the spiritual life. If you are running ahead of God all the time, how can He say,
“I am actually over here and I would like you to take this step and do that exercise. I would like you to do these things.”
Or maybe you are falling behind so much, because you have been so busy on your own exercise, on your own ritual and on your plans that He has to say,
“Can we speed it up a bit please? Can we go a bit faster?”
There are both these extremes that you can have. You have to keep up with God as to where He wants you to go next.
Again you see the goal is that you want to be raised up. You want to go to the next level.
God wants you to take this new year to the next level. Wherever you are in your spiritual walk, He wants you to take it to a new level. But you can only do that if you follow Him. And only when you follow Him alone will you see the results.
No Getting Sidetracked
Let’s go back to my video again. If I don’t follow that woman I know that I will not see the results. I can maybe exercise for an hour and do all the wrong things.
I would probably end up with an injury or something else rather than with the results I really want to see. I might also exhaust myself so much that I will give up after a week already.
It is the same with the Lord. The Lord has maybe given you something and He says,
“I want you to do this.”
However you are so busy concentrating on something else, that by the time you get to where He wants you to be you feel so drained. You come home and you think,
“I can’t do anymore Lord. I have done so much over there. Can’t you see it?”
But God may be saying to you,
“That’s great and all very well, but I wanted you to do this thing here. That was really what my plan was. I have called you to do this, not to do that other thing over there.”
It sounds stupid and maybe we think we don’t do that. But think about it, how many times do we just run off and we think we are so busy for the Lord? We are so busy doing things for God that we don’t even ask if it is really what He wants us to do.
We make excuses and say,
“I have done this for the Lord. I have prayed to Him today. I have journaled and written an article.”
But have you asked God first if that was everything that He wanted you to do? Or have you decided that you want to train those muscles and that you want to put all your effort into those things?
You see again who is the coach? God wants to be the coach. Because if you let Him be the coach you will see the results.
A Time of Waiting
In any fitness training, you can be sure that after a week you will not be in perfect shape. It takes time and the results do not come overnight. There is the importance of going through the exercises and waiting.
You know when they give you the exercises they actually tell you that you should do them five or six times and then you should take at least one day off.
Praise the Lord for that one day! Because you see by that time I am so sore that I just want to take that day off. If I didn’t take that day off I actually would work against my muscles, because in that very day when you let your muscles recover, that is when the magic happens as well.
It is when your muscles build up. They have time to recover and they get into the right shape or whatever things are involved.
Again the same thing applies to your spiritual life. It is that waiting time that really counts. It is not your striving and not your doing that matters. It is the waiting on the Lord that makes all the difference.
Waiting on the Lord
I want to ask you three questions, and I want you to think about them and be really honest with yourself about them. How much time do you take to wait on the Lord:
In your worship times
In your prayer times
In your Bible reading times
Am I challenging you? Yes I am. How much time do you take in each of them?
Waiting in Worship
Do you just go through worship like this? You sing some praise songs, then you sing maybe three worship songs. Next you sing in tongues and that is it. After that you just leave.
You know there are many worship leaders out there who do exactly that. So if you are a worship leader I am talking to you right now.
How much time do you take, not just in your personal time with the Lord, but even out there in the meetings? How much time do you allow for the Holy Spirit to come down on you, to settle and for Him to take over and say,
“I want you to go there.”
Even more so, how much of that time do you take in your own four walls when nobody else is there? You might say to me,
“I don’t play an instrument and I don’t sing well.”
You know it doesn’t matter. Worship is something that starts in your heart. How much time do you give the Lord out of your heart in worship, in admiration and adoration?
How much of it do you lay down, where it is just you and Him and where you don’t rush through it?
Waiting in Prayer
How much time do you use in your prayer times? Do you just go in there and decree, declare and pray everything else? Some people even come with a prayer list. Don’t get me started on that one because we preach against doing that.
Do you just go in there and say,
“Here Lord, this is what I want.”
Or do you wait on Him first to find out what He wants you to pray? Even more important is to find out if He wants you to pray. Yes you read that right.
You know we always think we have to do things for the Lord. But let’s be honest, does He want you to do things all the time? Has He said,
“I want you to do those things.”
If He hasn’t said that then you are just running off on your own track and doing your own thing.
I thought my message would be more encouraging and uplifting, but I feel the Lord’s heart right now saying,
“I want to use you. I want to take you where you want to go, and I want to take you further, but it will not happen your way. It will happen my way and in my timing and my will.”
If you keep running that way I can tell you what is going to happen. God will have to put a wall in front of you. You will hit that wall and get knocked down so badly that you will realize that you are running on your own track.
I don’t want this to happen to you, but it is about God’s plan here. It is not about our own ideas. It is not about our own mandate or anything. It is about God’s work and His people. It’s everything about Him and not about us. So it is not for us to say,
“I want to go there.”
It is about Him saying,
“I want you to go there and I want you to go there now.”
How can you find that out if you have not even heard from Him, or if you have not even taken the time to listen to Him?
You know from my own personal experience, I can even share that every now and then I thought,
“I can hear the Lord. It’s okay, I know those little nudges that He gives you every now and then to say you must go here or there. I know those little impressions.”
But what do you do when all of those prophetic things fall by the wayside? You don’t have visions anymore. You don’t hear anymore like you used to. You don’t journal anymore like you used to. The Lord has just stopped speaking to you in those ways.
Does it mean you are off? Does it mean He is not speaking anymore?
No maybe it is just time to wait on Him because He wants to talk differently to you. He wants to flex a different muscle than what you are used to flexing. It is about Him and about His choice, not about what we want.
Take the time to just follow His lead and you will see that the results will follow.
Wait for Direction
If you don’t see any results right now I want you to stop. I want you to go into the presence of the Lord when you are finished reading this message, and I want you to take the time to hear His voice.
Don’t go by the first impression that you get and say,
“I have the picture now. Let’s go; I’m ready.”
No, let it sink in. Wait and see. Push the picture away and see if it comes back or not. Because you know the more mature you are the more you may think,
“This must be it.”
But it is not always the Lord. It is sometimes still our own flesh that wants to do certain things, no matter how mature we are as Christians. Stop for long enough to really let it sink in and to let God reveal what He wants you to do.
If you don’t do it, it will feel like you are going around and around the same mountain. You go around again and you wonder why you are never rising up higher. You wonder why you never get to a different level.
You wonder why the same circumstances are coming up again and again. But maybe it is because you have not waited to listen to God saying,
“I want you to go up this step right here.”
If you miss that step you will go around the mountain again. It can be something so small that makes you miss it. But because your first impression comes and you think, “I have to go straight,” you miss it again. So throw away your own ideas and your own suggestions.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes come to the Lord and I have really good ideas. I go to Him and say,
“Lord we could do this and we could do that. Lord, can you imagine if we did that? It would be so awesome. Just imagine what would happen there.”
He stands there very patiently. I’m very grateful for that. He waits until I run out of ideas and suggestions, then He says,
“Are you done now? Can I maybe give you a hint of what I would like to do?”
It is very humbling, but He loves us so much that He lets us talk. And every now and then He even says,
“That’s a good idea. I like it; not now though. We will put it aside and maybe it will take place next year; maybe in 10 years. You are not ready yet.”
Working at the Right Level
You see that is what it is all about.
This woman that I do the exercises with has more than one DVD. Now if I were to take another DVD that is harder and try to get in there with that group I would be gone after five minutes.
I tried it so I know what I am talking about. After just five minutes I lay on the floor huffing and puffing and I had no energy or anything leftÂ Â Â anymore because I simply wasn’t ready.
I wasn’t ready to go in there and do all those things that people who have exercised for years can do. I couldn’t keep up so I had to admit to myself,
“It is not working that way. Let’s go back to the drawing board and start at Level 1 again.”
It is the same with the Lord. There is nothing wrong if you have to admit,
“I can’t keep up Lord.”
Maybe that is exactly what He is waiting for. Maybe He is waiting for you to say,
“I can’t do it Lord.”
Then he will say,
“I will do it through you. I just needed you to get to the point where you stop trying on your own; where you stop running of on your own; where you stop going ahead and giving me suggestion after suggestion and idea after idea that are not of me.”
The Most Important Person
Can you see the picture? You know all that really counts with the Lord is why He made us in the first place. He wants you to have a relationship with Him.
It is really not so much about what we do on this earth for Him. I do believe He has a plan for everyone. I believe He has a work for every single believer. And I believe He wants us to flow out and minister to other people and all of those things.
But it is not why He created us in the first place. He created us so that we come into a relationship with Him. It was so that we come and bring Him praise; so that we look up to Him and say,
“What do you want me to do?”
It is so that we come to Him and make Him our master, our teacher and our Savior. He is not just someone on the sideline that we can ask,
“Do you think it is a good idea? I will go and do it anyway.”
No He wants to be it. He wants to be the most important person in your life â€“ every day, every hour and every minute of your life.
For me that is what pulls me deep within. That is what burns in me. It is to become a person that walks every minute on the earth step by step with Him.
Am I doing it? No I’m not that good, but I have a desire to do it. I have a passion to get there.
Every single day I put all that I have into it. And every effort that I make I do not do through my works, but through my attitude and my heart to find out what He really wants me to do that day.
Make Him Part of Everything
You know when Monday comes around, wherever we are we look at everything that we have to do for the week. Then we set our plans and say,
“Good, let’s go.”
We maybe go to the Lord on Monday and say,
“Lord, please empower me to do all these things.”
Then on Tuesday you say,
“I’m already five minutes late. I got up too late. Sorry Lord I have to go now because I have this whole schedule that I have to follow.”
We should not treat the Lord like that. He is more important than any schedule. He is more important even than any work that you do for Him. He is more important, because if you take that time every morning or whenever you have time for it, you will make it through each day.
You will never run dry. You will never come to the end of the week and say,
“I can’t do this anymore Lord. Can you give me a break now?”
You will never miss an opportunity because you are walking so much in sync with Him. Every minute of your walk, whether you are in the shops or wherever you are, He could just put someone in front of you and say,
“Here we go, minister for me. Speak the word for me here.”
That is what He really wants.
You know if you want something new it will really cost you something. You will have to press more into Him. You will have to take your time and search Him until you have what you want. As I said before it doesn’t come overnight. You have to take the time; even the hours if needed.
I love that about Joshua. In the book of Joshua it shares how Moses and Joshua went into the presence of the Lord. Moses eventually had enough and said,
“Okay I’m going Lord.”
I imagine that is what he said. He went out because he had been filled by the Lord. But what did Joshua do? He stayed in the presence of the Lord and said,
“I want more. I am not leaving until I have more – even double what Moses had.”
That is what our attitude should be. It should not be to just get in quickly and say,
“Here I am Lord. Thank you for giving me my daily bread. Bless me for today.”
Then you go out of His presence again.
If you have a desire to have more anointing in your life, to maybe even have a double anointing, you have to put something in. You have to put some effort into it and you have to make a commitment to God that says,
“I am not leaving. I am not giving up. Even if you say no to me I am not going.”
Do you know how many times I have prayed about a certain thing that I have asked for and the Lord has said,
“I don’t think you really need that. I have not called you for that.”
But I said,
“Do you know what Lord? I want it anyway. I am not leaving your presence until you have anointed me double. I am not happy with just this little bit of anointing in my life. I want more.”
He has never yet rejected me for it. He has never ever said,
“Sorry I am not going to give it to you.”
No He has actually said the opposite. He has said,
“That is exactly what I wanted you to have. I wanted to test your commitment to me.”
He tests His people to see if they mean business with Him or if they are happy to have just a small part? Why should He pour out His Spirit and His double anointing on you if you are too happy to have just a small part?
Paying the Price
Why should He give you those things if all that you want to do is exalt yourself and use it for yourself? You see He is going to test you on those things. If you really want that double anointing; if you want more in your life He is going to test you.
Be ready for it and be ready to pay the price to spend the time on your knees in His presence.
Joshua did not get it in five minutes. But you know I would say that he rose up as a higher leader than Moses. He did a whole lot more, because he wanted it and because God wanted to give that to him.
But it comes with a price. Do not think that it will just drop down from heaven and you are ready for it. It won’t happen that way. Consider and ask yourself,
“How important is this really to me? Am I happy the way I am?”
If you are then God is happy as well. You won’t get more. You will just have what you have and He will bless you.
But how important is this to you? Because if it is you will make the effort. You will prioritize your time and an investment will be required from you.
You know some people come with the excuse and say,
“I can’t do it because I have to go to work. I get up early in the morning and I come home late.”
I want to tell you straight that I also did that. I worked for 10 or 12 hours a day. I got up at 3 o’clock in the morning and came home late at night. Then I went from there straight to church.
We had church meetings every single evening. But you know what? That was important to me. So what did I do? I said to the Lord,
“Please help me to get through this.”
I took every free minute that I had in my car by myself to speak to the Lord, to reach out and to pray in tongues.
I sometimes got up in the middle of the night and asked the Lord to wake me up. And after everyone went to bed I stayed up and spent another hour in prayer because it was and still is important to me.
There is no excuse under the sun. If you really want something you will turn every stone until you get what you want. You won’t think,
“Oh it’s fine. I thought it would come a bit easier.”
No, you stay there until it gets to you. You stay there and wait until God moves something. Whatever He requires of you, you are willing to pay that price.
Letting Go of Things
I want to come back once more again to my exercise. You know even in the natural you can sometimes exercise for hours and as much as you want. Just doing the exercise doesn’t make you slim. It doesn’t give you all the energy that you want.
Sometimes you are required to cut out certain foods as well. You need to cut down on calories a bit or cut out the sweets or you won’t see results.
The same again applies to the spiritual. You might say you don’t have time to pray, but you are watching an hour of TV every day. You are reading magazines every day and surfing the web every day for 30 minutes.
That is all the time that you could use and invest into the Lord. Not only is it using your time, but those things are consuming so much of your ideas, of your energy and your heart.
If you come to the Lord, then He has to first take out all the junk that you have just put in for all those hours. He can’t pour His anointing through because there is so much muck in your heart. There are so many stones and everything in you that He has to first move all of that out.
You see sometimes we have to make a sacrifice. We have to say,
“Lord, this is more important. Your work, your anointing and power is more important to me than anything else in this world.”
Even if it means you have to cut down on relationships, maybe that is what the Lord requires of you so that you can spend time in His presence.
I am not saying go overboard, and just spend time with Him and become a social dropout. Don’t get me wrong. But I think you get the picture that if it means something to you it will cost you something and you will put in the effort.
Be Who You Are
God has a unique plan for you. Don’t compare yourself to others.
I loved it when He gave me that revelation. In exercise we have different body shapes which equals different workout plans. Not every person can follow the same workout routine and get the same results.
It is just the way the Lord made us, not just in the natural but also in the spiritual. What you maybe can do I can’t do. Maybe to me He says,
“Sorry it is not acceptable anymore.”
The same applies to the person next to you. Maybe what they can do or can’t do, you can do. You see you cannot compare yourself with others and say,
“Okay I will just follow the same plan. I will follow the same steps that they are doing. That allows me to go less to the Lord and allows me to invest less time. I will just do what they do and it will work for me as well.”
Maybe it will and maybe it won’t, because God maybe wants you to do something completely different from what this person has done. Maybe what He has for your life is something different. And if you just keep going in the footsteps of others you will miss the whole plan that He has for your life.
Again, what does God want from you right now? It goes back to the very beginning again and waiting on the Lord. You just can’t get around that.
If you want to find out what He wants for you and the unique plan that He has for you which He has promised, it gets back to waiting in His presence until you hear Him say,
“Step out now.”
You don’t step out until He says so and until you have heard from Him. Then on the other hand, when you have heard from Him do not drag your feet and think,
“I can’t step out now.”
No, then you do step out and you do what He has asked of you.
Also don’t go around and just copy everybody else. I don’t like copycats to be honest. Don’t just do what everybody else is doing or you might find yourself getting stuck. You might find yourself walking so much like them and thinking,
“I have to keep up but I can’t do it anymore. They are going too fast but I’m going as fast as I can.”
Eventually you will get stuck because God says,
“I never wanted you to go that way. I wanted you to go back there because that is where I have a plan for you.
You missed your turn again, which means you go around the mountain again until you get to the turn. Or you have to now take a detour, because you were so busy looking at that person instead of to me, and you were not listening in my presence to what I had to say.”
You will hit the wall again and get so frustrated because God will suddenly stop speaking. Then you will say,
“What has happened now? Where is God? Where are all those things that He promised?”
The problem is you have to go back again and wait on Him. Do what He says. Don’t do what others are doing because their plan is different. Some of them will go higher; others will stay lower. It is the way God has made it.
Find His Plan for You
You have to find out what He wants to do with your life. And if you walk in that very plan that He has for your life, and if you take that time to wait for Him, I can tell you that your life will change from day to day.
You will see things happening around you and in you every single day. You won’t go through a week anymore and think,
“Wow, what a boring week. Can we please move on? When are good things going to happen?”
No you will get up every day waiting to see what God is going to do through you and with you. And even if He doesn’t do anything, you will be so fulfilled because you will be walking with Him step by step.
Maybe all He wants you to do tomorrow is to praise Him, adore Him and worship Him. If that is what He wants you to do, do it with your whole heart. Do it with all your might. Do it with everything within you. Don’t feel pushed to think,
“But what about your people?”
Trust me, He has enough people in the Body of Christ. If that is what He wants you to do, just wait on Him and spend that time with Him. Then go and do it.
If you follow the steps that I just gave you now, you really will go from glory to glory, from strength to strength and you will never get exhausted.
So expect to be challenged. Wake up tomorrow and wait on the Lord, and walk in the amazing plan that He has for you.