Monday, September 19, 2011

Pit Stops

God gave Joseph two dreams that he would become a ruler over his brothers. His brothers were filled with hate and jealousy, and planned to kill him.  Instead, they changed their minds and threw him in a pit in the wilderness, trying to keep his dreams from coming to pass (Gen. 37:5-24). 
Along life's highway, sooner or later someone will throw you into a pit in an effort to kill your dreams.  The dream is the destiny that God has for you. The pit is the obstacle that tries to kill your dreams. Here are three facts about the pit.
1.The pit was planned by God.
The pit was actually an abandoned cistern, which someone had dug to collect water.  God had led his brothers to Dothan (although they were unaware of His leading them) because that was where the pit was. Someone had to dig that pit at an earlier time without realizing God would use it as a holding tank to save Joseph's life. So that pit had a divine purpose. If the pit hadn't been there, his brothers would have killed him on the spot.
2.The pit makes us think the dream has died.
When Joseph was at the bottom of his pit, it didn't look like he would be a ruler in Egypt one day. There wasn't even one shred of evidence inside that dark pit that God was with him, or that his dreams would come to pass. But He was with him, and his dreams did become reality. Keep holding on to your dreams in times of darkness!
3.The pit makes us more dependent on God.
His brothers stripped Joseph of the multi-colored coat his father had given him (Gen. 37:23). When we are in the pit, we are stripped of our pride. We come to the point of helplessness. We re-examine our priorities. The pit refines us, which takes us to a new level of spiritual growth.
Eventually Joseph came out of the pit and fulfilled his destiny.  So will you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Doubt makes us Double-Minded

Scientists once studied a snake that had two heads. Each head had a mind of its own and wanted to control the body. One moment it would crawl one way, and then the other mind would take over and the snake would crawl in a completely different direction.  The double-minded snake is a picture of a person who doubts--he can't make up his mind.  One mind tells him yes, while the other mind tells him no, and he wavers between the two.  Here is how doubt can affect us.
1.Doubt makes us unstable in all our ways. James 1:8 says, "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." The Greek word for unstable means "restless" and "unsettled." It's like being on the waves of the sea that take you up and down. Doubt takes us up and down on an emotional roller-coaster, which makes us unstable.
2.Doubt keeps us from making decisions. I knew a man who would say, "I think I need to do this" and then a little while later, "I think I need to do that."  Then he would ask, "What do you think I should do?" He wanted someone else to make his decisions for him because he couldn't decide.
3.Doubt keeps us from making commitments. A doubter won't make a commitment because it means you've got to be sure about what you want to do. Doubt takes away that certainty.

The way to stop doubt is to put a filter on your mind. An open mind is like an open window--it needs a screen on it to keep the bugs out!  You must learn to discern God's voice and screen out those voices that contradict it. When you stop the negative thoughts from entering, your doubt will leave.