“Kadesh Barnea: Let Go Of The Familiar To Embrace The New”

Do you have dreams and desires that haven’t come to pass yet? Has God promised you a Promised Land you haven’t obtained yet? So many people have settled for less then what God wants for their lives. We can learn from the Israelites in the Bible. They settled for complaining and bondage instead of obtaining their promised land. Let us not be like the Israelites, but like Joshua and Caleb who knew they could conquer the giants and possess the land God promised them.

First two years of wondering the Israelites experienced after leaving Egypt:

After the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, they entered the Wilderness of Ethem, which was connected to the Wilderness of Shur. At Shur they found no water and went to Marah, but the water was very bitter there. They complained and God heard their murmurings. Moses cried out to God and God showed Moses a tree and when Moses cast the tree into the waters at Marah, they became sweet. Then they came to Elim where there were 12 wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there. After Elim they traveled to the Wilderness of Sin. It was in the Wilderness of Sin that they cried out and longed to go back to Egypt and die there instead of the desert where they thought they would die. It was in Sin that the Israelites received Manna from heaven and quail to eat, all because of murmurings. It was also in this Wilderness that God started to appear to them in a cloud by day. From the Wilderness of Sin they went to Rephidim. At Rephidim the people complained because of lack of water. This is where Moses struck the rock at Horeb and water came out of it. It was at Rephidim that the Israelites fought with the Amalekites (descendants of Esau). This was the first war the Israelites fought. As long as Moses lifted his arms they prevailed and when he lowered his arms, the Amalekites prevailed. Also Jethro, Moses Father-in-law, told Moses to set up Judges to help Moses deal with the people. Then from Rephidim, they traveled to the Wilderness of Sinai where Moses received the 10 commandments. This is where the tabernacle was built and where they followed the cloud from the tabernacle to the next place. From the Wilderness of Sinai, which was the area of Kibroth Hattaavah and Hazeroth. From there they traveled to the Wilderness of Paran, which included Kadesh-Barnea, and also included the Wilderness of Zin.

Now here is the story:
At Kadesh-Barnea Moses sends out the 12 spies. Ten came back with a negative report and the people complained and murmured even more. Up till’ now, there has been much murmuring, but now they were at the threshold to obtain the Promised Land.

The good report:
Numbers 13:30
“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”

The bad report:
Numbers 13:31 – 33
“But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it were men of great stature. There we saw the giants; and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

They still complained and wanted to go back to Egypt. But this complaining was even worse than previous complaining:

Numbers 14:1 – 4
“Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt? So they said to one another, ‘Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

From Jacob going to Egypt to live with Joseph, to the erection of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, was 431 years [1875 B.C. – 1445 B.C.] They were in Bondage for 400 years and now they wanted to go back?!

The children of Israel were planning a revolt! They were planning on changing leadership to match what they wanted to have happen. Their complaining and murmuring clouded their viewpoint. They only listened to the negative report. They heard both, but listened to the negative. They wanted to go back to what they knew.

But this is what they knew:
•Being a slave to Pharaoh
•Never owning their own land – (They were God’s chosen people to be blessed with their own land.)
•They could not do anything they wanted.
•They were SLAVES!

Wanting to go back to Egypt was holding on to the familiar. It was settling for so much less then what God wanted to give them.

The positive guys, Joshua and Caleb, tore their clothes and said:

Numbers 14:7b – 10
“The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread (they shall be as food for our consumption); their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them. And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.”

They wanted to go back to the familiar. How quickly they forgot about the bondage and slavery they had to endure. This place was a place for trusting God. This place, Kadesh-Barnea, was at the threshold of the “New” they had to reach for. They were more scared of the “New” then they were of going back to the terrible life style in Egypt. They were more afraid of the new then dying in the wilderness!

You would think walking through the Red Sea would be enough to trust God that He would bring Victory. You would think watching the water at Marah turn from bitter to sweet would convince them. Not to mention manna from Heaven and the quail to eat everyday. How about the water coming out of the rock that Moses hit at Horeb? Remember the victory they received battling the Amalekites, or the Ten Commandments received by Moses on Mount Sinai, or even the cloud by day that they followed and the pillar of fire by night?

Kadesh-Barnea means consecrated or holy. This is a deciding place. It is a place God ordained to bring the Israelites into the promised land. A “set apart” place. It was a place where they needed to search their hearts. A place of holiness. They were too wrapped up in their “issues” and “fear” instead of seeing what God was doing and where God was bringing them.

Kadesh-Barnea is very significant in the History of the Israelites

Special events that took place at Kadesh-Barnea:
•Miriam died and was buried.  Numbers 20:1 “Then the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there and was buried there.”
•Moses sent out the 12 spies to bring back a report of the Promised Land (Num. 13:17 – 30) [This was 2 years after leaving Egpyt] On their return, a revolt broke out, and as a punishment the people were condemned by God to wander for 38 years.
•Korah rebelled against Moses here
•The people murmured again and even more intensely here
•Aaron’s rod budded here (Num. 16 and 17)
•Near Kadesh Moses smote a rock and water came forth… (Num. 20:7 – 11)

The Israelites went around and round Kadesh-Barnea. They could have left Kadesh after the spies came back and only have to travel 11 days to the Promised Land, but instead, they murmured and complained and didn’t trust their God and wondered in the wilderness for 38 more years. This was because of their complaining.

They had to wonder in the wilderness for 40 years. One year for everyday the spies were gone spying out the land. This was their punishment for their complaining, not to mention the 10 spies that gave the bad report died by the plague of the LORD, and all the children of Israel, 20 years of age and older, died before they entered the promised land.

What a cost for their sin! What a cost for wanting to stay in the familiar!

They went round and round Mount Sinai or Horeb during their wonderings.

What area of your life have you traveled over and over again to never get over? •Is there a certain sin you keep falling into? Have you been murmuring? Have you been complaining? Is there a secret sin that keeps tempting you and you give in? Are you tired of going around this mountain over and over again? Are you always wondering back to the familiar? Do you Keep looking back to your past instead of what is going on in the present and possible future? Are you always looking at what you know instead of new insights from God and His word? Do you find yourself relying on your own knowledge and afraid to possess the Land in front of you? Do you fear Giants? Do you fear the “un-known?” Do you fear man?

It is time to let go of these areas once and for all. We are so use to these areas that they become familiar to us. We are use to it and accept that they are a part of our life now, but that is not true! Don’t settle for that lie! You will overcome by the power of God! You will let go of your familiar.

God wants us to let go of our familiar to embrace the new that He has for us. Letting go of the familiar is a hard thing to do. God cannot pour new wine into old wine skins (Matthew 9:17). Old wine skin is the familiar. What we did in the past, how we functioned and maintained, is gone. Now the new is here and we have to embrace it.

What in your life does God want you to let go of so you can reach for the new that He wants to give you? You might have been hurt in the past and have never let go of the pain you feel. You might have made many mistakes and feel you could never get past them, that they “define” you.

Know this; your past does not determine your future. God never determines your future by your past. He determines your future by what His Son did on the cross for you. What Christ did on the cross is a done deal. It is complete. Nothing will change what He has done. The power of the cross is still there and that power will never change. Whatever you are having trouble letting go of place it behind the Cross of grace and allow God to be glorified in it.

Letting go of the familiar is a hard thing to do. Letting go of your past seems painful, but really, it is very freeing. God is big enough to handle your past. Give it all to Him and as you do, you are reaching for the new; a new life of freedom from the bondage you have lived in all these years.

We can’t ignore what God is asking us to do. When you let go of the familiar your flesh will scream at you to stop.
It will seem uncomfortable to you. It may even seem un-natural to you. Just like Peter, when he stepped out of the boat to reach Jesus, was reaching for the new. When his flesh stepped onto the water, it felt uncomfortable and unfamiliar. His spirit wanted Jesus, but his flesh wanted to go back to the boat. Peter died to his flesh and started to walk! We have to die to our flesh! It will be uncomfortable because you have not walked down this road before.

The enemy will try and feed you lies that he has fed you all these years. Ask God to help you decipher between the lies and the truth. It’s hard to know the difference between a lie about yourself and something that’s possibly true, that you can change. Yet, there’s a harshness the Devil uses that is usually direct and painful. Thoughts that bring doom and gloom, that bring no hope, are the key to knowing a lie.

When negative thoughts come into your mind, if you dwell on them for any length of time, they will begin to take root in your heart. They start becoming your paradigm, or how you look at life. This is when it becomes unhealthy. As you dwell on how bad you are, or how bad life is, you’ll begin to believe it and start to act or react out of that unhealthy outlook. Fill your heart with Truth. The truth is God wants you set free. The truth is God is for you and not against you. The truth is you are a new creation in Christ, the old has past away and all things are new!

II Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified Bible)
“Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come.”

Let go of your Kadesh!
Let go of your familiar!
You have held onto your past for too long!
You have to change the way you’ve been thinking!
You have to change the way you’ve been going.
You have been at Kadesh for too long!

Deut. 1:6b & 7a
“The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying; You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey…..”

Stop doing what you’ve been doing and change your direction…. TURN. God wants you to turn from what you’ve been doing. Turn from what you know. Turn and repent.

Break camp and move on! (Good News)
Leave this place and go..
Make a move now, and go on your way…
Break camp, and get ready (GW)
Turn and pull up stakes and go (HCSB)
Turn and pull up stakes and enter
On your way now, get moving! (MSG)

IT’S TIME TO LET GO OF YOUR FAMILIAR!
IT’S TIME TO LET GO OF KADESH-BARNEA!
NO MORE WONDERING!
NO MORE WAVERING!
NO MORE COMPLAINING!
NO MORE MURMURING!

God has land ready for you to take possession of! What is stopping you? Get past yourself. Get past your past! Get past what you know and reach out for the NEW! LET GO OF YOUR FAMILIAR! YOU’VE BEEN AROUND THIS PLACE LONG ENOUGH!

God has so much He wants to give to us as we let go of the familiar and embrace the new. You might not know what the new is right now. Trust Jesus that the new is from Him and it is a good thing. Don’t fight what God is doing in your life. Allow the change to come and you will be freed of any bondage or burden you have been carrying all these years. God is into the reconstruction business. He will reconstruct you as you let go of your familiar. No more murmuring! No more complaining; only praising!

Deut. 1:8 (NKJV)
“See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers – to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – to give to them and their descendants after them.”

God has set the land before us! Letting go of your Egypt is the first step towards your Promise Land! Can land walk to you? NO! Take a faith walk. Go in and possess the land which the Lord gave to you already! It is yours! Don’t be afraid!

God knew to encourage Joshua as He was taking over as leader from Moses, and as he was getting ready to possess the Promise Land.

Moses is getting ready to hand over the leadership to Joshua and he encourages the people:

Deut. 31:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deut. 31:7 – 8
“Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. 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.’”

Deut. 34:9 (NKJV)
“Now Joshua the son of Num was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.”

Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you, Be strong and courageous?! Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go.”

Joshua was encouraged many many times by God and by Moses. At the time, I am sure Joshua wondered why so many times. God knew He needed encouragement ahead of time as a reserve for when he actually started to walk and possess the land.

Letting go of our familiar is hard. Remember your familiar is bondage and a road block to your freedom and possessing the Land God has for you. Don’t let the “familiar” rob you of your destiny! Don’t let your “comfort” steal your promise land! Don’t allow your flesh to be comforted or you will die in your wilderness never possess the “new” God has for you.

Possess:  Means “have as belonging to one; own:  have as an ability, quality, or characteristic: take for one’s own.

It is about time we “take as our own” what is rightfully ours… “ The Promised Land”

Blessings,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

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Demolishing Old Mindsets and Putting on the New!

God has been speaking to me lately about my old mindsets. How I view things in life from religion, to practical living, can and will affect my destiny. The choices I make today will affect my tomorrow.

God is doing new things in all areas of life. I see it! He is bringing in change into church services, and even His relationship with us, as individual believers. I have made up my mind to embrace the “New” that God is doing.

Recently I went to Africa for a three week ministry trip. This was my third time going to Nigeria. During this trip God changed me from the inside out. He started to show the real me He created me to be. I awakened and walked in this newness as I ministered from church to church and event to event in Africa. The favor of God went before me everywhere I went. Nothing that I did, but all God’s doing. My view and how I was used in ministry SHIFTED and the authority of Christ saturated my entire core. I saw myself through God’s eyes, and better then that, I walked and functioned in what I saw.

Coming home from Africa this time around was a whole new experience. I felt I couldn’t put on the old coat or “Hat” I use to wear. I was different and had to function differently.

Another example of having a new mindset was dealing with computer issues on my old laptop and buying a new laptop, which brought on even more new issues. I wanted to make some DVDs of some of my products I have available on my web site. Someone had bought a copy of each DVD I sell before I left for Africa. I contacted them asking them to kindly allow me to send them after I came back from Africa. When I arrived back from Africa my old laptop’s hard drive was totally full. It has been for a while and I have been deleting files off of it for several months to allow me to still use it properly. Also, I have been using an external hard drive but found it cumbersome and slow when I pulled files off of it to work on. I was blessed in so many ways while I was in Africa, including financially, and had enough money to buy a new laptop with a bigger hard drive and faster processor. After formatting my new laptop I was ready to work on the videos from my web site and also work on videos recorded in Africa. But, I found out the software had changed from my previous laptop version to the new, and the format my videos were in would not work with the iDVD software to create the DVDs I needed to send. Through a process of a week and pulling my hair out, I started to see things differently. I had a new mindset to create the DVDs a different way. God used the whole process to make me see there is a different way of looking at it and a different way of doing it.

I was having lunch with a few of my friends yesterday. We were all talking about our frustrations with how people view things. I spoke up and said, “The Old Mindset will say, ‘Just blab it and grab it.’” (There was a Christian movement in the 70’s and early 80’s called, “Positive Confession.”) This statement comes from much abuse and people making fun of the movement. The bottom line of that movement was if you didn’t have enough faith, it was your fault for not confessing and believing something would happen. I believe the whole movement was based on the wrong foundation. It should have been based on what God can do and not on what we confessed. So, the Old Mindset would say, “Blab it and grab it!” But the new mindset will set it’s focus on God and what He can do by saying, “I believe and decree that God will move this mountain!” or “In Jesus Name, I call forth this body to line up with a healthy body and be healed!” The difference is our mindset.

Old Mindsets will say, “This is how we did it in the past and we have to do it this way now.” New Mindsets will “Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago…” (Isaiah 43:18 GWT) It goes on to say, “I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it?” This verse tells us to forget what happened in the past. Forget how things were done. Forget any stigma connected with it. Embrace, and let it become a part of you, the new!

 How do we demolish the old mindsets?

 1.  Close your mind off from what you think should happen.

If we are too focused on what has happened before and expecting the same thing to happen, we will miss the new God has for us. We might have a pre-conceived idea of how God works, but really, God works in mysterious ways. His ways are not our ways. We have to be open to new things.

Isaiah 43:18 – 19 (CEV)

“Forget what happened long ago! Don’t think about the past. I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in the deserts, streams in thirsty lands.”

Roads in the deserts and streams in thirsty lands. In the natural, the desert is a wasteland. There are usually no streams, and hardly any roads. But this verse wants us to open our minds and thoughts to something that is not natural. Streams in the desert are opposites. They are two extreme things. Yet, This is what God is doing in our lives, ministry, finances, family, and much more.

We can limit God just by having an old mindset. I was given a plaque/picture for Christmas from a close friend. It is beautiful. It has a Zebra background (I collect Zebra items) and looked very African. There was a verse written on it that says:  “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) It was a reminder of what God has placed in my heart and the vision He has given me. Christ is Whom I do things through, and He gives me strength to accomplish what He has placed in my heart. My old mindset would have said, “Well, this is what I know, and I guess I will keep doing what I have been doing.” God wanted me to close my mind and thoughts on the old way of thinking, so I could put on the new mindset to pursue the new. We have to abolish the old way of thinking. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, yet He never does the same miracle the same way He did it before. There is always a new way.

When the new way is coming forth, and you think it might not be of God, take a second look and ask God if it is from Him or not. He will show you if you are truly open to His answer. Check and see if you have closed off the new way of looking at things. Don’t be caught up in how things were, or how you think things should be. Get caught up in God and sensitive to His leading. Then, you won’t miss out on the new God is bringing.

2.  Relax if things don’t go according to plan.

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Often times this is God trying to show you there is a better or different way of doing things. We can get all stressed and frustrated over trying to accomplish something and find out the way to accomplish it, or even if you should accomplish it, didn’t work. God sees the whole picture, we don’t. Our finite minds will think something should go a certain way, but God’s infinite wisdom knows all and has a plan. God has used the most foolish things to confound the wise. Be willing to let go of your way of thinking in order to receive new revelation and insight in a situation.

I have seen people get all upset just because things don’t go according to what they thought should happen. Then, out of their frustration, they criticize what IS happening and not only miss out on what God is doing, they also cause strife and division in the body of Christ. Usually these people are very verbal with their criticisms. They are thinking they are “right,” when in reality they are totally wrong, and missing it.

Proverbs 3:5 – 6 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Our own understanding can often deceive us. What we “think” should happen. What we “reason” to happen. Yes, facts are facts, and if you are basing your understanding on that alone, you are limiting God. You see, God is a God of miracles. A place where facts alone can not explain. If we take the God-factor out of an equation, we will end up with less then what could really happen.

3.  Listen to God’s voice in everything you do, and everywhere you go.

Proverbs 3:5 – 6 (The Message)

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’S voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”

“Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go…” If we are constantly listening to Gods voice and direction, the new mindset will automatically be put on you. You won’t be surprised at the direction God is taking you. In fact, you will be so consumed in what God is doing you won’t be distracted by the old mindset. Listening to God’s constant voice demolishes old mindsets.

4.  Don’t fight change.

I am one who enjoys change. Actually, anything new I totally love. A new home, a new car, new clothes, new job, all of that is enjoyable to me. I rearrange my living room and my office at church often. When things seem to get stale, I have to change it. It fuels me. Staleness can cause you to become complacent. We get comfortable in our pursuit of God and what we do for Him. Contentment and complacency are two different things.

Contentment:  “a state of happiness and satisfaction” (Oxford American Dictionary)

Complacency:  “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of     actual dangers or deficiencies; a feeling of being satisfied with how     things are and not wanting to try to make them better (Webster).”

We should all be content, yet, most people get confused and actually get complacent instead. Complacency is “Self-satisfaction” it is inward-satisfaction. We get satisfied with our efforts and stop pursuing God. I have seen older people with the mindset, “I already did my time, now I can just relax!” This is an old mindset. As long as their is breath in you, pursue God and what He wants you to do in this life! Don’t allow inward-satisfaction to take the place of contentment. Complacency shuts your eyes to the new God is doing. Complacency turns a blind eye to injustice. Complacency is extremely selfish. This is opposite of God’s character. God always gives his time and love to others. He never sleeps. He is older then time itself. If we want to be more like Him, then we have to up-root complacency from our lives. Don’t entertain thoughts of giving up, or retiring from God’s call.

I know of a wonderful lady who was the piano player of a church I was the Worship Pastor at. She was 65 years old but loved the contemporary Christian praise and worship. It fueled her. She couldn’t wait for me to place a new song in front of her so she could learn it. I have seen other piano players her same age fight me when I would pic a new song for them to learn. In fact, they couldn’t even play it as they had the old way of playing in their minds and it prevented them from even trying to play the piano in a new way. The lady who was open to change had a huge impact on the members of the worship team and they loved her dearly. She spoke into their lives often and they were eager to hear what she had to say. The lady who was not open to change, was often critical in most areas of life, and the worship team members literally hated it when she would be scheduled to play the piano. She didn’t speak into the lives of anyone, and often would be the first one to leave a practice.  Tell me, which one would you rather be?

I was reading a book, “Charged To Change,” by Pastor Abba Godwin (Abuja, Nigeria, Word Alive Revival Ministries). He states, “Tradition is a pothole in the highway of acceleration.” I believe it. Doing things the same way, and not looking for the new God is doing, will prevent you from arriving at your destiny. In Nigeria, the streets and roads are so bad. They have huge potholes, and sometimes the paved street is broken and gone all together. This is such an eye opener as to how tradition and religious mindsets can detour us from our prophetic destinations.

5.  Don’t stop believing.

The enemy wants you to give up on the dream God has placed in side of you. You  might have been waiting for this dream to come to pass twenty or more years ago. I am sure the dream is bigger then you. If it is, that is a true sign that it is from God. If it was the size of something you could fulfill on your own, then God wouldn’t get the glory, you would. Don’t allow setback or hardship to prevent you from believing the God-given dream will be fulfilled. God has His time-frame. He knows everything. Again, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5 – 6). This is a promise. Bring the dream before God in prayer. Remind Him (although He always remembers) and remind yourself of the dream. Pour your heart out to God and express your desire and His dream He has placed in your heart. Ask Him for the grace to finish the race to see the fulfillment of that dream. Remind yourself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Stir up faith in your spirit. Let faith arise in your heart again. Look back and remind yourself of all the things God has done in your life. He is faithful! Don’t allow the tool the devil uses; “Discouragement” to become a part of you. Shake it off and press onward! God has big plans for you.

How do we put on the new mindset

1.  Open your mind and heart to new things.

God is doing new things!

Isaiah 43:19 (GNT)

“Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already – you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.”

God is a God of the new. Yes, we need to remember history and what has made us who we are today, but to progress, we have to be open to the new God is doing. Change is the new. In other words, if you change something, it is different then what was there before. It is new. A new concept, or a new way of thinking has to come by changing what we thought before.

Don’t hate change

If you hate change, you will become stagnate or complacent. We should always be growing in Christ. We shouldn’t be in the place with God now as we were last year. We should be climbing new heights! We should be ascending to deeper places with God. We should be more like Him daily. If your spiritual life hasn’t changed in years, it is a sign you have lost your first love and become complacent. Then you have to ask yourself, “Am I hungry for God, and the things of God?” If your answer is no, then you desperately need change in your life. Chances are you have closed off your heart and mind to new things.

Matthew 9:16 – 17 (GNT)

“No one patches up an old coat with a piece of new cloth, for the new patch will shrink and make an even bigger hole in the coat. Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskins, for the skins will burst, the wine will pour out, and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins, and both will keep in good condition.”

Allow the Holy Spirit to change you. Crave the things of God. Ask God for the “new” He has for you. Open your heart to more of His presence and more of His love. His love changes you. You can never be the same after you have experienced God’s love. Get rid of the old or fleshly wineskins and replace them with a pliable soft heart. Ask God to open your spiritual eyes and see all the new He is doing. Seriously, if you don’t, you will spiritually die. You will have no new life in you. You will be rotting and spiritually stagnate and become a stench to everyone. Do you want this?

2.  Yield to the promptings of correction from the Holy Spirit.

Correction is not fun. Correction says that your actions or way of thinking is wrong and you need to change. Correction shows God’s love as He prompts you to see the sin or the old mindsets in you and gently brings change if you are willing. We can fight God’s correction. I don’t advise you to do that though. Remember God has infinite wisdom, and we don’t. What seems to not make sense to us, like asking someone for forgiveness even when you thought you didn’t do anything wrong, is truly God’s kingdom on earth being manifested. Trust the Holy Spirit and His promptings. Don’t fight correction. We have to be broken so we will think differently and live differently.

Proverbs 13:18 (NKJV)

“Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored.”

Proverbs 13:24 (GNT)

“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

God always corrects those He loves. Don’t think you have arrived and will never be corrected again. From the oldest to the youngest, we all need to be corrected from time to time. In God’s correction comes a new way of looking at things, and a new way of thinking. Our job is to yield under God correction. You will soon see how circumstances or trails you go through turn out to be God’s discipline or correction. Not all are, but God will use them to help you look at the new. There are tons of scriptures which talk about God’s correction. Look some up and see what God tells you through them.

3.  Look for the New!

The new can be right in front of you and you don’t even know it. It can be so obvious and yet eluding all at the same time. Be alert! Be fierce! Look around you and see what God is doing. Pray and ask God what new things He wants you to see and do. Be open to the unexpected. Don’t put God in a box. He is constantly talking to His people and doing new things. Be eager to dig and find new things.

Isaiah 43:18 – 19 (CEV)

“Forget what happened long ago! Don’t think about the past. I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in the deserts, streams in thirsty lands.”

Do you see it? Anticipate that God is bringing new ways, new days, new life into every circumstance. Sometimes circumstances scream “There has to be a new way!” A new circumstance, that you have never walked through before, calls for finding out how to deal with and overcome it. You are forced to look for the new.

2 Samuel 6 describes bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to the City of David from Obed-Edom’s home. This was a new circumstance. Previously David tried to move the Ark of the Covenant from Abinadab’s house but Uzzah died for trying to stabilize the Ark when the oxen stumbled. David was afraid and placed the Ark of the Covenant in Obed-Edom’s home. News spread that Obed-Edom’s home was being blessed and David longed to bring the Ark back to Israel. So he set out to try again, only this time he changed things up.

As they were bringing the Ark into the City of David, David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. He was bringing in the Ark in a new way, and with much joy. Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. As David worshipped and rejoiced that the presence of God was coming back to the City of David, Michal, who was not participating in the worship, but observed it all from a distance, despised it all in her heart. She rejected the new way of worship. She was critical of how David was dressed, and how he acted. This is so true for today and looking for the new. People can be critical of a new way of worshipping God or how people are responding as the presence of God is being manifested. Worshipping from a far and not participating and experiencing the new along with others, will make you critical. You can’t see it from their point of view as you are totally in a different place and see it from a different perspective. We have to change our perspective in order to experience the presence of God in a new way. This leads us to my next point.

4.  Don’t worry about getting your hair messed up!

2 Samuel 6:20 – 23

“Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself! So David said to Michal, ‘It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maid servants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.’ Therefore Michal, the daughter of Saul, had no children to the day of her death.”

“…And I will be even more undignified than this…” We need to learn to lose our dignity for His deity! If we get caught up in what people think we will be in bondage to man. If we care about what God thinks, we will be free to experience new things.

Sometimes putting on a new mindset will mess our hair. What I mean is; it might make you lose your dignity. It might force you to re-evaluate why have you done what you have done and for what reason. Tradition can set our mind in such a mode that makes it hard or difficult to even see the new. Once you have seen the new, your traditional mindset will fight you and express, “It hasn’t been done this way before!” I am sure you have heard the definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” We will never overcome or have a breakthrough if we keep doing the same thing over and over. We have to change direction. If we don’t, we will become stagnate and complacent.

5.  Wear the New Mindset well; be Strong and Courageous!

Walk in the authority of God as you wear your new mindset. What I mean is don’t be afraid or timid as God reveals new things to you. Share them. Take action. Be bold in your faith as He reveals more of who He is and what He is doing.

2 Chronicles 32 talks about how king Sennacherib of Assyria came and entered Judah and camped against the fortified cities thinking to win them over to himself. Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and his purpose was to make war against Jerusalem. He consulted with his leaders and commanders to stop the water from the springs which were outside the city; and they helped him. He strengthened himself and built up the walls that were broken, and built up another wall. He repaired the landfill in the Ciry of David and made weapons and shields in abundance. He set military captains over the people, gathered them together to him in the open square of the city gate, and gave them encouragement:

2 Chronicles 32:7 – 8 (NKJV)

“‘Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.’ And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.”

This was a new situation for Hezekiah and the people of Judah. The enemy put up every hindrance. They even sent messages to try and scare the people and their faith.

2 Chronicles 32:21 (NKJV)

“Then the LORD sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there.”

God will send his breakthrough in your life this year! This is a year of walking in our authority in God and believing for great things.

I am believing that every hindrance the enemy is trying to make will be lifted from you and I break the power of delays in your life. This is a year of victory over the enemy! Walk in the new mindset God has available for you. Break the mental bondage and walk in God’s freedom to be who you were created to be in Jesus mighty name!

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

Love People Into Transformation

Every person on this earth wants to be loved and accepted. We want to know we are valuable and cherished. Even the hardest of hearts has a weak spot… Love.

We celebrate love as a Nation every year at this time in the form of “Valentines Day.” Why? Because everyone wants to be loved.

Songwriters have written songs like; “Love is all you need,” or “Love will keep us together.” How about; “I’m all out of love, and so lost without you.”

Let’s remind ourselves of the One Who has loved us first and the most:

John 3:16 NLT

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

God loved us, so He gave… He gave up the very person he cherished the most, Jesus Christ, because God had to save the world from utter damnation. This is extravagant love. Our minds have a hard time wrapping itself around the thought of this. But God loved people enough to send His only Son to save us from spending eternity in Hell. This is powerful love!

We, as the World, need this transforming love in us and we need to show this love to others. We need to cherish people like God does. We need to love people into transformation.

LOVING PEOPLE INTO TRANSFORMATION

1. Love conquers all. Love covers all.

1 Corinthians 13:1 – 13 states if we don’t have love we have nothing. Love takes its time. It is not in a hurry. It comes with no expectations. It just is.

Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13 together and discuss what it is actually saying:

1 Corinthians 13 (CEV)

1What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 

  • Having the highest intellect or ability to speak languages known and unknown doesn’t mean a thing if you have no love.
  • People are more important then boasting about our abilities and knowledge.
  • What good is having the ability of speaking to any nation if you have no love for that nation?
  • Noisy gong or a clanging cymbal makes a lot of noise but really has no other use.

2What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? I would be nothing, unless I loved others.

-I have seen people “prophecy” in a very judgmental, critical tone and think it is okay, but there was no love in it, not even tough love.

-We can have all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding and live a very lonely life, all because we choose to be selfish and not love others.

-God knows what motivates us to do things. If you are ministering or confronting people and there is no love, it will come across as harsh, stale, and mean.

-If you are correcting your children when they have done something wrong, but don’t have love, you are in the wrong. It will scar their lives forever.

3What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.

-What if we gave all that we owned to the poor, but our motive was not backed with love? It is all worthless. We wouldn’t gain a thing, and really either would the person you gave everything too because you would have spoiled them and they would expect more and more. [Matthew Henery Commentary: “If we give away all we have, while we withhold the heart from God, it will not profit. Nor even the most painful sufferings. How are those deluded who look for acceptance and reward for their good works, which are as scanty and defective as they are corrupt and selfish!”]

-When you think about it, being selfish is the opposite of love. If you find yourself thinking about yourself and wanting things your way, this is not love.

4Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. 6Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. 7Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. 

-Kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude:  Can you place your love for others in these categories?

-Taking the time with others when they need your help is showing love.

-When you  are waiting for someone to do something you want them to do, do you wait patiently?

-Do you show kindness and speak kind words, even when it is to your enemy?

-Do you get jealous when someone you love succeeds or do you rejoice with them?

-Do you remember the wrong people have done to you and bring it up to them?

-We need to rejoice in truth and not in evil. Don’t be happy when evil prevails. Fight for justice for yourself and for others.

-Do you remain calm when someone is angry, or do you get angry yourself which complicates matters worse?

-The New Testament word for ‘love’ is ‘agape’. It is not the natural love for a friend or a relative. It is the kind of love that God shows to people. We do not deserve it and we can never earn it. So, when we know God’s love, we should show that same love to other people. (www.easyenglish.info Bible Comentary).

8Love never fails! Everyone who prophesies will stop, and unknown languages will no longer be spoken. All that we know will be forgotten. 9We don’t know everything, and our prophecies are not complete. 10But what is perfect will someday appear, and what isn’t perfect will then disappear. 

-Prophesies, and unknown languages are gifts from God for us today, but this scripture lets us see the importance compared to having love for others. There is no comparison. These gifts are important, but loving others is even more important. It doesn’t matter if you have these gifts yet never show love to others. Love is God, and God is love. It is the very essence of God. The gifts are just that; gifts from God.

-All these things will pass away, and all that is not perfect will pass away, but love will never fail!

11When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways. 12Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don’t know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us. 

-Don’t think like a child any longer. Put away childish ways of being selfish and arrogant.

-Even in our pursuit of love on this earth, it really is a cloudy picture we have right now. Some sweet day we will see God face to face. We will see Him as He is. Then we will understand God’s love completely.

13For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love.”

-Verse 13 *Faith, hope and love seem to have been a well-known group of qualities. Paul speaks about them in other letters. For example, 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Colossians 1:4-5. These three words explain the whole of the Christian life in this world. Christians have ‘*faith’ that God will forgive them because of Christ’s *sacrifice. They have ‘hope’ for the future, because of Christ’s *resurrection. They live a life of *faith and hope among Christian *brothers and *sisters whom they ‘love’. Of these three, only love will remain into *eternity. *Faith will no longer be necessary. Hope will become knowledge. Love is the greatest, because God himself is love (1 John 4:8). A friendship with him will never end, but it will continue into *eternity. (www.easyenglish.info Bible Comentary).

1 John 4:8 (NKJV)

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

If you are struggling to love people, take a look at your relationship with God. Do you really know Him? Chances are you don’t because God is love! He loved the world so He gave…. If we want to be more like Jesus, we have to embrace people and love them with the love He had given us. If not, we will just be a noisy clanky gongs and live a miserable life.

Now after reading 1 Cor. 13 and studying it together, turn this passage of scripture around and see this is how God is towards us. Substitute the word Love for God in verses 4 – 8 and it will read like this:  4Love God is kind and God is patient, God is never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5rude. Love God isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It God doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others we do. 6Love God rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. 7Love God is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love God never fails…”

2. Love sees the other person through God’s eyes. 

Even if that person is rejecting you or behaving badly, the love of God in you helps you to continue in a relationship with them. You are praying and believing God will change their hearts and outlook. You know that the same Holy Spirit Who works on your heart is working on theirs. God pursues us constantly. He doesn’t force us to love Him or even like Him. Yet He relentlessly pursues us. We are valuable to Him. He never gives up on us.

Jeremiah 31:1

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love, With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

God is constantly pursuing us. He draws us with His love. His love is everlasting, and never-changing.

How did Jesus forgive the very ones who were crucifying Him? With Godly love. It wasn’t human love that held him to the cross. It was the love of the Father that gave him strength to fulfill the redemptive plan to save this world.

We are ignorant to the fullness of God’s love He has for us. Yet, we can taste a little of His love on earth by opening up ourselves and receiving His love. Often times we reject God’s love thinking, “We are not good enough” or “He could never love me after what I have done.” These are just excuses for not receiving His love. His love is unconditional. It doesn’t have attachments connected to it.

God just puts His love out for us to receive it again and again. Eventually, through circumstances and finding the right pieces to the puzzle, we see how much God loves us and we start receiving His love in our hearts. When we finally receive His love it fills us to the point we even wonder why we fought it in the first place.

God’s love is contagious. People will sense and see something different about you. You are walking in God’s love, which is not of this world, and the people will be drawn to you. Not because of anything you have done, but because of the Love of God in you.

Ministering to people, without having love in your heart for them will not have the abundant fruit you are looking for. We, as ministers, have to be full of God’s love, and out of the overflow we will minister successfully to others.

3. Don’t Fake The Front

People know if you are fake or genuine.  We can’t “Fake The Front” and still be productive in the Kingdom of God. Faking the front is when you pretend you love someone and act like everything is okay when it is not.

God sees your heart and He knows you are not being genuine. Ask God to teach you to love with the love He has given you.

1 John 4:8 (NKJV)

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

1 John 4:11 (NKJV)

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

We can love others with Godly, Agape love. This is genuine love that will never fail.

4. The love of God in you will open doors of opportunity. 

Once you start loving people with the genuine love of God, you will see open doors before you. Why? Because God’s favor goes before you. You are oozing with God’s love and it can’t help but minister to others.

People will want what you have. They will see you are different from other people. You will get promoted at work over others that are more qualified, all because you finally have received God’s love and show it to others.

God opens these doors because you are His hand extended. You have been transformed by His love and now can be trusted with greater things.

Your demeanor changes. Your countenance changes. You are more pleasant to be around. You value people more. You show appreciation towards your work and the things you do at your job all because the love of God is flowing in you.

5. Love people as you minister to them.

This has been taught and instilled in me from a precious Godly lady. She has shown genuine love for others and the Love of God flows out of her as she ministers.

I have seen this in my own ministry. People won’t care what you have to say until they see you care. It would only be a clanging gong if I ministered out of head knowledge and not a heart of love.

People take time to change. There is a process for healing. There is a process for understanding. There is a process to changing. All people have a higher level of potential they can climb to, but the very thing that is blocking their accent could be the lack of feeling loved or cherished.

Love people as they are transforming to be more like Jesus. There will be hard times, times you will want to give up on them, but don’t give up. You might even be misunderstood, but it is all worth seeing someone receive the love of God which will empower their lives.

Pastor Kris Belfils

http://www.krisbelfils.com