Keith Craft from Elevate Life Church in Texas shared a special message with us. He explained that he grew up in a cop’s home and so he learned the importance of a fingerprint. His dad told him that at the end of your finger tip is a fingerprint that nobody in history would have have. And then God spoke to him and said to leave an imprint that nobody else could leave.
God made you very unique.
Pastor Keith shared a story about how when he was young, his dad took him in the car on a long drive. When they finally arrived to their destination, they were in the poorest neighborhood he had ever seen and the house was old and decrepit. Inside the house, there was no furniture, the floor was dirt, and the glass in the windows had been knocked out. The only furniture was a couch in the corner and there was on old man sitting on it. His dad walked up to him and said, “Hi, Dad.” Keith was looking at his grandfather for the first time. But his grandfather didn’t say anything and didn’t acknowledge him.
Keith said, “And it wasn't about five minutes and walking out the door and I grabbed my dad's hand and I said, I never want to come back here." And my dad stopped and looked at me and said, "that's why I brought you here." He said, "This is where we are from. But this is not who we are. And I came here to tell you this.”
God has great, great plans for you.
I don't know where you come from, but I know where you are going. God has great, great plans for you. He's got a great, great plan for you. If God has given you a unique fingerprint, then He must have imprinted for you to make in your family that nobody else has ever made, in your business that nobody has ever made, or in life that nobody else has made.
Each of us has a philosophy of life that we live by. You have a way of thinking that determines who you are or a way of being and your thinking plus your doing determines what you have in life. And some of us never get past our thinking and we don't realize it. We default to a poor way of thinking, a White way of thinking, an African-American way of thinking, etc. Who taught you how think like you think?
And therefore everything you have, the marriage you have and the finances you have and the career that you have and the life you have...going backwards is a result -- watch this, not what someone else thought about you or how someone else was whether it was based on what someone else did to you, but the way that you think, be, and do. That's what determines what you have.
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."
"Keep your heart with all diligence because out of your heart flows your issues." Proverbs 4:23
You may think that you may have an issue with a person or with your job. But the Bible says that out of the heart flow your issues. The issue is not the issue.
When you elevate your thinking, you elevate your life.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
Here's what God is saying. He's not bragging that He's God and thinks better than you or does better than you or is better than you. He's inviting you as your God to think, be, and do like him.
Pastor Keith refers to Luke 4 about the story of Jesus and being tempted.
Jesus was full of the Spirit and led by the Spirit. Whatever we are full of, we are led by. If you are full of anger, you will be led by anger. If you are full of hurt, you will be led by hurt. If you are full of sorrow, you will be led by sorrow.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Luke 4:3-12
This is not about stones turned to bread or Jesus showing that God was God and He was Jesus by jumping off of a building and proving that God would save him or bowing down and worshipping the devil. Here's what we have, to settle for less than what God has for you.
The devil wants you to settle for what’s less in your marriage, in your family, in your finances, in your career. He wants you to settle and get into survival mentality and just try to make it through.
But there is so much more that God has for you than that. Jesus went through this temptation so that He could show us how to think, be, and do.
1. Think Spirit-led
Keith proposes to be led by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. To be led by the Spirit and His word.
You start to think Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, when you say, “I am not going to allow bitterness, hurt, or pain to keep me from having this super power that God has given me to forgive others. But I must be forgiven myself."
The devil doesn’t want you to know you can be forgiven of all of you sins. The truth is when you are not forgiven, you live in guilt. When you are not forgiven, you live in shame. When you are not forgiven, you lose hope. When you are not forgiven, you go through life and never reach your full God-given potential and settle for less than what God has for you.
How do we think spirit led? When you allow God to forgive you of your sins, you are allowing His super to come into your natural. When this happens, you are not only forgiven, but He also gives you the power to forgive others.
You can think differently and it starts by being forgiven by God. How you think determines how you be.
2. Be core-values based
Decide what matters most to you. Does honor matter to you? Does being your best for God matter to you?
Core values work and they work for you and your family and you don't have to settle for second best. God has great things in your future, in the name of Jesus.
Think Spirit-led and be core-values based. Watch what God will do.