Why is there so much stress and anxiety? I don’t believe that the stress and anxiety is from walking out the was authentic gospel, I think the stress and anxiety stems from taking on every other responsibility that the world can dump on you.
If I am engrafted into Jesus, 2 Corinthians 5, then I will take on the nature of Jesus.
I am empowered to walk out the impossible to be a blessing to the oppressed.
I am empowered to walk out the impossible to correctly reveal Jesus.
I can’t do that through my own strength and power. I can only effectively walk out the authentic gospel if I die to myself and allow Holy Spirit to minister through me.
Jesus said “if you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
His command – Die to yourself and allow Jesus to live through you.
The commandments are not just to reframe from sinning, but the commandments are to position you to correctly reveal Jesus to the world.
“If you really love me, you will keep my commandments.” You need to learn to be loved. Then you learn to love. Then you learn to die to yourself and your agenda and you live for others.
All the confusion, chaos, pain, suffering in the world can be overcome in the correct revelation of Jesus.
If I am engrafted into Jesus and filled with Holy Spirit, what can be done through me is unlimited unless I choose to refuse to commit to yield, to correctly and effectually allow Jesus to be revealed through me.
There is really no pressure to become, because you become when you are engrafted into Jesus. The pressure comes from demonic opposition. We are in a hostile environment and we have an enemy that uses the hostile environment and the potential vulnerabilities of our flesh to attempt to cause us to be an effective.
The enemy wants us to get too busy in the world so that we tend to lose sight of who we are in Christ Jesus.
The enemy wants us to develop affections for things in the world that have the ability to cause us to willingly walk away from who we have the potential to be, as one in Christ Jesus, to pursue those affections.
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ redefines everything in life.
Matthew 11:25 – 30 At that time Jesus began to say, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth [and [a]I acknowledge openly and joyfully to Your honor], that You have hidden these things from the wise and clever and learned, and revealed them to babies [to the [b]childish, untaught, and unskilled].
26 Yes, Father, [I praise You that] such was Your gracious will and good pleasure.
27 All things have been entrusted and delivered to Me by My Father; and no one [c]fully knows and [d]accurately understands the Son except the Father, and no one [e]fully knows and [f]accurately understands the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son [g]deliberately wills to make Him known.
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [h]ease and relieve and refresh [j]your souls.]
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ([k]relief and ease and refreshment and [l]recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.
30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, [m]good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
We have to live to be childlike, the kingdom of God does not make sense to the intellectual. To be exalted you have to go low, to receive you have to give, and to live, you have to die.
Jesus is the ongoing and continuous revelation of the Father.
Picture a young ox yoked with a large ox. Jesus is saying – “you are yoked to Me. I will carry the burden, you just walk beside Me. I will bear the load if you yield to position yourself correctly.”
A lot of people are in a lot of pain with the yoke they are in because they choose to attempt to go a different direction.
Our life needs to take us to a place where we become like Jesus.
We learned from being exposed to people and situations that tend to irritate us so that what we need to change is revealed to us.
As you grow in favor and blessing, there is a temptation to resist people who are actually positioned to help you grow. The more powerful you are, the more options you have. People have a tendency to try to buy their way out of the discomfort that is actually positioned to help them change to be more like Jesus.
People and situations expose our rough edges.
God wants us to be like Jesus. However, blessing can insulate you from your need for change. Blessing can bring about the temptation to try to overachieve and actually become addicted to success outside of Christ Jesus as opposed to be driven to be more like Jesus.
We are put in situations and we are put with people who we need, to help us see the need for the change and to determine if we are willing to change.
What I am exposed to and involved in makes be dependent on Jesus. When I yield to Jesus, it’s light and it’s easy. When I choose to go my own way, the burden becomes very heavy.
Position yourself to fit the yoke you are in. Yield to Jesus, and trust Him.
Learn to walk successfully when you face opposition by remaining in peace, joy, and Thanksgiving.
We only change when the change that we need in our life is exposed and when exposed, we position ourselves to change through trusting God.
My inability to be joyful and give thanks means that I am choosing to carry the burden instead of yielding and being changed into His likeness.
If I am in fear, pressure, stress, and anxiety, it reveals that I am fighting the change I need and I am driven to seek independence.
We rule and we reign by effectively serving.
My inability to find joy in any situation reveals my lack of trust and dependency.
I must learn to be still and to know that God is God.
Yoke adjustments happen through yielding to remain in peace, joy, and Thanksgiving. The word of God cleanses us to make yoke adjustments.
Pain, discomfort, and need leads us into prayer, to lead us into change to become more Christlike.
Can you remain in peace and joy and give Thanksgiving?
Too often we make excuses for our weaknesses instead of allowing the word of God to change us to overcome our weakness.
“I can’t help it, that’s just the way I am, that’s just my personality.” No, that the old man talking. You have died and your new real life is in Christ Jesus.
Are you willing to learn, to grow, and to change to yield?
Situations that we are in have the ability to cause us to grow, to get in line, to obey.
Embraced each situation with Thanksgiving, and remain in peace and enjoy.
Grow by allowing yourself to be yoked with Jesus where you flow with Him instead of being constantly driven to resist change and to be independent.
Fear will cause you to resist change. You have to trust that God will guide you and will bless you with more than you can obtain on your own.
No matter how it looks, God’s way is always better. Get over the fear of loss. Whatever you fear losing, let it go and you will receive from God what is superior to what you were deceived to try to hang on to that was created out of deception and exalted emotions.
Press in and trust God to bring peace and joy on the scene to enable you to walk away from that which caused you to carry the yoke of life on your own shoulders.
Rid yourself of stress and anxiety. Whatever you are attempting to hold on to that is pulling you away from God, is not worth it.
Don’t allow the world, your flesh, or your emotions to own you, to cause stress and to constantly entertained a fear of loss.
Let the word of God and your relationship with Jesus cause what you previously exalted and allowed to become your god, allow it to lose his deceptive hold.
Stop living in stress and anxiety by holding onto a deception. Let the deception be exposed by the truth of the word of God.
If you have exalted something to be your idol, do whatever it takes to pull down that lofty thing and expose it for the deception that it is. Quit living in misery by being deceived to hold and embrace a deception.
If there are things in your life that are preventing you from living in peace and joy, cast that demonic deception out.
1 Corinthians 3:1 – 3 However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [[a]unable to talk yet!]
2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it],
3 For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?
If you walk in compromise you will not walk in the power and authority to reveal Jesus to the lost.
2 Timothy 4:3 – 5 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,
4 And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.
5 As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.
People have been deceived by humanistic teachings to live by feelings, emotions, and by logic. As we get closer to the return of Jesus, people are going to be deceived to turn away from truth and they will seek and support churches that make allowances for their compromise.
Psalms 92:12 – 14 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be [a]fresh and [b]flourishing.
A righteous person is a person who is in right relationship with God. You reflect the righteousness you are exposed to. You receive it and you reveal.
Flourish is mentioned three times. The righteous will flourish – they will grow and develop in a healthy, vigorous way.
Don’t allow the world to define success for you, all success is found by being engrafted into Christ Jesus.
The characteristics of a palm tree:
#1. Palm trees are not grown to be firewood.
A palm tree is not for burning, and we are not for burning. My ultimate success – eternity that is absent from hell. Success for me is eternal life, everything else is trivial compared to that blessing.
Hell is real, hell is created for the devil and his demons. Hell was not created for mankind. However, when a person refuses to receive the free gift of righteousness offered by Father, they remain demonic in nature and ultimately will receive the reward of the demonic realm.
Jesus mentioned hell around 33 times in His ministry. Jesus used the word Gehenna.
Gehenna was once a place used for human sacrifices. In the days when Jesus ministered on the earth, it was a valley that became a dumping ground for the city of Jerusalem. They burnt garbage there.
Jesus was helping people to understand eternal punishment. Gehenna was a place of filth, stench, smoke, pain, fire, and death. John, in the book of Revelation, referred to hell as being so horrible that he could not describe it. John said it was a vast sea covered in flames and that was only the beginning of the suffering.
Hell is everything that is thrown out of heaven. My success – I’m not going to hell. That puts everything else in perspective for me. That helps me correctly evaluate my agenda and correctly defined success.
Aside from that, and just as important, when we are engrafted into Christ Jesus, we take on the nature of God and the love that God has for every person.
For me, the presence of hell creates a priority for me – to reveal Jesus correctly to the lost so that the lost turn to Jesus.
In this day and age, people are very quick to avoid responsibility by using an excuse that they don’t want to bug other people or mess with their decisions. How lame is that? All the telemarketers that attempt to call me are certainly not overly concerned about bugging me.
I look at ministering to people this way. If I came up to a large apartment complex in the middle of night and saw that it was on fire, and I started banging on doors to wake people up, you really think that those people would be annoyed at me for bothering them in the middle of the night.
Hell is real. We have an enemy – the demonic realm. The demonic realm works through deception. A lot of people that I know have been deceived to not receive Jesus. That has to matter to me. If you say you have a friend and that friend does not know Jesus and you say that you do know Jesus, I have to seriously question the value that you place on that friendship.
#2 – palm trees are always green
Not only do we avoid hell, we enter into eternity with God. We live forever.
You have life in the womb, life on the earth, and life in eternity.
#3 – when grouped together, palm trees form an oasis
Surround yourself by people who are born again, who are engrafted into Christ Jesus and are filled with Holy Spirit.
Do you influence people you hang around with or do they influence you?
#4 – palm trees cannot receive a graft
I love to grow trees. When you buy a fruit tree to plant, most the time the tree has been engrafted. What this means is that a superior rootstock is chosen and then a variety of a tree desired is engrafted into that rootstock.
You can’t do that with a palm tree – it will kill the tree. The same represents our lives. I am already engrafted into a superior rootstock – Jesus Christ. When we allow the world to be engrafted into us, it will eventually destroy us.
When sin is engrafted into you, you stop flourishing. You have allowed an unfavorable environment to be established.
Sin will always rob from you.
If you welcome evil into your life, kiss success goodbye. Make a decision – the high life, or the lowlife. When enough evil is engrafted in you, you die.
True success exists only in Holiness. God is Holy. To walk in Holiness is to say about things what God says about things. What God says is good is good. When God says something will work it will work. When God says something won’t work, it won’t work, no matter how hard you try.
Success and sin don’t go together.
Life of sin – temporary pleasure and a life of pain.
Life of Holiness – temporary discipline and permanent blessing of God.
#Five – palm trees thrive in tropical areas
the roots of a palm tree go extremely deep.
If you are rooted in the correct soil, you will not be controlled by the seasons you experience.
My success does not come from around me; it comes from what my roots can tap into. My joy is not determined by my circumstances. My joy is based on the soil that I’m rooted in, not the season – not situations or circumstances.
I’m rooted in Christ Jesus. I am filled with Holy Spirit. There is nothing that I do not have access to. Inner Joy is received through my relation and connection with God in Christ Jesus.
I must be diligent to be rooted in good soil and I must be diligent to persevere so my roots can always tap into what is needed for me to flourish.
Happiness is optional, but I always have access to joy.
This is huge – you can only lose joy when you choose to let it go. Joy cannot be taken away by force. You always have access to joy unless you choose to walk away from what you have been blessed with. If you are engrafted into Christ Jesus and filled with Holy Spirit you can live in continuous and constant joy. It cannot be taken away from you however, you can be deceived to walk away from what you have access to.
#6 – palm trees withstand abuse
With other trees, the life of the tree flows in the bark. Cut the bark, you kill the tree.
With a palm tree, the life is in the core, not the surface.
We can’t always avoid the pain and hurt, but we are empowered to overcome it.
Our life is not in our skin – on the surface, it’s in the core – in our heart, in our spirit.
People define success by avoiding pain. No, we define success by the ability to overcome.
We stand in the gap. We become a bridge for the lost to find Jesus. You are a bridge; you will get walked on – deal with it.
I am engrafted into life – I can endure pain and difficulties. A palm tree is not skin deep, and I am not skin deep.
We are in a war; we have an enemy – you will get rejected. We are exposed to pain and disappointment but we are empowered to rise above it.
When you experience pain and disappointment, be prepared to let it go. When you are rejected, shake the dust off your shoes and move on – don’t let it rock you.
Jesus told his disciples, when you enter into a town and they reject you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that town.
I’m not going to bat 1000, I know that. However, I cannot let my future be defined by failures of the past. If I strike out, I cannot let that define the next time I get up to bat.
The devil wants to make you ineffective through pain and discouragement. No, don’t accept it, we operate from a place of victory in Christ Jesus
this world is very painful and this world is very destructive. This world is very distractive. Learn to shake it off. Don’t take baggage into your next assignment.
You can’t avoid hurtful people, but don’t let them pull you down.
#7 – palm trees break bands
One of the most amazing things about a palm tree is how resistant they are. With another tree, if you would put a band, a chain, a rope or something like that around the tree, eventually, the tree would not reject it but actually grow around it and allow it to become part of the tree.
Not with a palm tree. If you put a rope or a band around the trunk of a palm tree the palm tree will not allow that to become part of the tree. As a palm tree grows, it will cause whatever has been put around the tree to snap, to break.
Don’t allow junk from the world to get in and be a part of you. Jesus tells us how to be free:
John 8:33 – 36 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Sometimes you receive freedom from just the presence of Jesus. Sometimes you have to continue to abide, continue to press in and grow until that which is trying to keep you in bondage will finally be broken off.
What has a hold on you from the world will be destroyed as you keep growing. Just as with a palm tree, junk in the world will begin to lose its hold and will break off.
You have to press in, you have to grow. The truth will make you free. Grow in the truth. The more truth that you have the more you grow and the more you grow, it will finally cause junk from the world to be broken off you.
#8 – palm trees bend but do not break
Palm trees are very flexible. They have the amazing ability to sway with the wind. They will bend, but will very seldom break.
Don’t let junk from the world weigh you down. A lot of people are in a storm because of the junk they have left enter into their boat, into their life. Throw the junk overboard the storm we eventually end. Bend during the storm, don’t break.
#9 – the older the palm tree, the sweeter the fruit is that is produced.
Get out of the negative flow of the world. Quit talking like the world talks. Quit talking death, loss, and destruction. Quit agreeing with the lies of the enemy.
#10 – palm trees cannot live in the cold.
We are in this world, but we cannot allow ourselves to become of this world.
Jesus told us that He overcame the world and empowers us to overcome the world. We live from a place of victory.
When the atmosphere of your life is negative and pessimistic – you suffer.
Be a thermostat, not merely a thermometer. We are re-created in Christ Jesus not to just identify the temperature but we are actually empowered to change the temperature.
Don’t live your life constantly complaining about your circumstances, press into what you have access to, to change what is out of line with the kingdom of God.
Once you have exalted the world to be your truth, you have established it in your mind as being unchangeable.