Fri, 7 September 2012
UNIVERSITY OF EXCELLENCE
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While at a large metropolitan city - I don't remember where - I was in a hotel room reflecting, praying, and meditating before going to minister. Several stories up, I was looking out over the city to a large forest. I thought, "Where did all those trees come from?" As quickly as I had this thought, came an answer: "From a seed."
What kind of forest would you like, or need, to grow today? Is it a forest for your family, for your ministry, for the nations of the world . . . or for something personal in your life? Most of you reading this teaching already know about sowing and reaping. That is not the purpose of this teaching. What I want to teach you today is: "How to grow forests through your thinking, your ideas, and even your attitudes."
King David was a prime example of growing forests: he thought "God thoughts." He had an idea of how to use his sling shot to penetrate a small opening in the armor of Goliath, and he had a positive attitude versus a nine foot giant. He knew intimately his God and trusted Him. However, King David grew forests both positive and negative. In the positive sense, he drew from his experience and skill as a shepherd, and killed Goliath; which act later catapulted David into the office of King and leader over Israel. In the negative sense, he lusted after Bathsheba, which act played itself out in adultery with her and the murder of her husband, Uriah.
The result was fourfold judgment on David's own household:
1. The death of David's child who was born by Bathsheba (Uriah's wife).
2. The rape of Tamar, David's 15 year old virgin daughter, by his 22 year old son Amnon.
3. The murder of Amnon by Absalom, Amnon's younger brother, .
4. Absalom's treason against King David, his father, resulting in Absalom's death.
These four (4) judgments were actually the fulfillment of a prophecy (a message from God) which Nathan, the prophet, delivered to King David because of David's crime of adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah's wife, and the subsequent murder of Uriah. This prophecy, which Nathan related to David as a story about a rich man with many sheep who stole his poor neighbor's only lamb, was actually according to the demands of the Law (to restore fourfold any sheep stolen) in Torah: Exodus 22:1.
This is where the POINT OF DECISION is so important. Learn to ACT towards God at the point of decision. My mother used to say, "You should have nipped it in the bud." We are continuously growing forests: either negatively or positively. This is why Jesus said: "For a beautiful tree does not produce worthless fruit; neither does a rotten tree produce valuable fruit." (Luke 6:43) We are not just planting forests when we give money. We are continuously growing forests . . . positive forests or negative forests . . . good forests or bad forests! "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7)
Jesus also instructed us: "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these things come from within, and defile the man." (Mark 7:21-23) This is why the Proverbs admonish us, "For as a person thinks in his heart, so is he." (Proverb 23:7)
In Job 22:28 we read, "You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto you ..." In the original Hebrew language the word "decree" is a primitive root form of the word "gazar", which means "to cut out exclusively, or to decide". In its primitve form it is used also as a "quarrying" term ... as in cutting out stone from a rock quarry. It means more than to "say" or "speak". It conveys the meaning of "cutting something out in your mind's eye"; that is, "to envision [to make a vision], to decide upon it, and confess it" ... and then it will be established unto you!
Learn to control your heart, your inner thought processes! Your inner thought processes are constantly planting NEW FORESTS that will either grow to your advantage or disadvantage. This is one reason the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13 that "love . . . believes all things, hopes all things." (Verse 7) Faith works through love (Galatians 5:6). So we first must have a vehicle (or, a conduit) through which our faith can work. I have heard people spouting words of faith who at the same time didn't seem to be emanating much love. We, at times . . . especially in difficult situations . . . have to back up one step and ASK God for love. Then, we can believe all things, hope all things. Then, we can grow large quality forests.
How many times have you had a thought that played out? Maybe it was something good that you really wanted . . . or maybe it was something you were afraid of. I was talking to a person on the phone recently who was not a believer and who said to me, "Whenever I have a thought about something it happens to me."
Learn to spend quality time meditating and thinking . . . visualizing in the mind's eye of your heart . . . the GREAT THINGS you want to do for God. Plant and grow GIANT FORESTS of good. Remember, God promised you that He is "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think." (Ephesians 3:20) Spend time planting and cultivating your forest. Any worthwhile thing in life takes time, so why not spend good quality time planning and preparing your forest. There are several practical keys to growing GOOD forests. They are all listed in the podcast of this teaching. Listen to it and invest in yourself … and in your future!
Baruch haba b'Shem Adonai.
Podcast time: 9 minutes, 00 seconds.
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