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Creflo Dollar - Positioning Yourself to be Led By God

Creflo Dollar - Positioning Yourself to be Led By God

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I'm gonna be picking up with the final installment we've been talking to you about, "Clarity versus Spiritual Blindness", or "Spiritual Blindness versus Clarity". And frankly, I thought I was through with it. There were four Scriptures left and I'm, like, thinking, "Well, there's just four Scriptures. I'll pick it up the next time", and I could not shake this. And I thought, "Well, you know, maybe I need to look at it again". And man, when I did, a tsunami just hit me of things that we need to understand, that God is committed in this area of guidance. He is committed in this area of guiding you to the will of God for your life.

Everybody in here has a purpose. Everybody in here, God has a plan for your life. And from what I could see through these Scriptures that I'm gonna share this morning, he's not just dependent on you to get there. He has made a commitment to do whatever needs to be done and to allow whatever needs to be done in your life to help you to arrive at that place where you're supposed to be. I'm now understanding how important it is now when Paul talked about contentment, that there are lots of courses that a person may have to take in order to arrive successfully. And when I say arrive successfully, I mean to be able to arrive at that destination and be prepared to be successful in that destination.

There is a purpose and there is a plan for everybody in this room. There has been a distribution of gifts and anointings that have been put on every person in this room. You've been wired a particular way so you can carry out the purpose that God has for your life, and there's no wasted life in this place. There's no person in this place this morning where you can say, "Well, you know, I don't have a purpose". And you may look frustrated and you may not know the plan of God for your life. There is a plan for your life and God is committed to helping you to arrive at that place for your life.

And I want you to see this, how, you know, you really, we gotta be careful not to buy into what the unsaved world puts out there for your thinking. You've got to stick with the Word of God and you've got to make it a discipline. I believe desire gives birth to discipline. I think we've said discipline gives, we try to discipline ourselves to get the desire. I believe it's the other way around. I believe when you desire things, because of your desire, you end up doing things. How many of you like to eat? You figure out how to do that every day, don't you? You're disciplined in doing that. And so when you have a desire for God and a relationship that you're pursuing where God is concerned, you'll find disciplines being born out of the desire that you have.

Now, as we look at this today, this is God's promise and God's willingness and commitment to guide you to the path that you were born to go down, guidance to the place and the destiny of your life. And believe me, I know well that sometimes you end up in places and you think, "Where is God? What did I do? Are you mad at me? Did I do something wrong"? All involved in his plan to get you and to prepare you so you'll be ready when you arrive at that destination in your life. And the church said amen.

So let's begin this morning in Psalms 119:130. I want to use this as a text this morning because I truly believe that if we're going to start down that path, we're gonna have to start with this and we have to really lay hold of this. There's something about the Christian getting in God's Word and coming to a place where you desire God's Word. And you kinda get to the place where you stop trying to have church and church becomes the place where you express your relationship and your love for God. In Psalms 119, verse 30, let's read it out loud together. He says, "The entrance of thy words give light; it giveth understanding unto the simple".

I believe that true clarity starts with the entrance of God's Word. I believe if we're going to see clearly, I believe if we're gonna see the right dispensations and see through the lens of grace, all of that starts with allowing the Word to be a part of your life. So the question you've got to ask yourself, and here's how I study Scripture, I read it and then I immediately ask myself, "Now, where do I fit in this? Am I doing this? Am I not doing this? Have I neglected this"?

I'm not just reading the Word like you would read a novel. I'm reading this Word because it becomes the checklist for my life. And when I read something, I don't wanna just read over it and say, "Well, that's for somebody else". I want to read it and I want to ask myself, "Is this true in my life"? You know, awhile back, I asked myself, "Am I satisfied with the amount of time that I'm spending in the Word"? It changed my life because the answer was no. And I think a lot of times people are trying to pursue certain things from God, and they're even trying to pursue God, but you're doing that without allowing the Word to enter.

The entrance of that Word will bring light, and I believe it starts there with every person, having a desire to want to get God's Word, not just at church. Of course this plays a big part, but also in your personal time. Even take what you get at church and spend the rest of the week breaking it down, spend the rest of the week looking at each Scripture and asking yourself, "How do I fit here and how does this Scripture fit with me?" so that we're no longer playing church, but we know how to live this genuine life with the Scripture, the genuine life with the Word of God that we read and what we're meditating on, that it convicts us, that it convinces us, that it changes us, that it challenges us until we get to a place where we're saying, "Oh, now I'm enlightened. Oh, now I have clarity. Oh, now I have understanding of this application in my life".

So what is his commitment to us? Let's begin and just allow these Scriptures to speak to our hearts this morning. Psalms 37, and verse 23 through 25. What's God's part? What is his commitment in our guidance? How many of you wanna know the plan of God for your life? Amen, I want to know the plan of God for my life. The greatest, greatest day of my life is when I discovered the plan of God for my life. Wow, but there were a lot of things it went to I didn't necessarily want to go down that path, and there were some things that I had to really get into and understand. Look at this, Psalm 37, verse 23 through 25. He says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way". "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall".

So there's gonna be some falling going towards that path. Are you understand? "Though he fall". You know, your greatest lessons comes from sometimes from your biggest mistakes, your biggest mess-ups become your greatest messages, and sermons, and life lessons come from looking at you. And somebody want to call you an expert. Yeah, you're an expert in falling.

You know, the first time I went skiing, I struggled. I struggled with this, well, I struggle with a lot of things. First of all, I'm the only black guy on a ski slope. So I'm thinking, "I ain't got no business here in the first place". Secondly, the little thing that picks you up and takes you somewhere, "I thought they were gonna stop and let me get on". So when I got on, I'm hanging halfway off the thing and I'm like, "You can kill somebody going up this high and all that". But they taught me how to fall, because they told me, "Now, if you run into somebody, you could be sued". I said, "Well, I'll learn how to fall".

You know, I became an expert in falling. I learned something. I learned not to go down a ski slope anymore. But sometimes you got to recognize some of the stuff you go through, that may be the thing you need to know to help you get where you need to be. I never thought, I would have never believed that the Holy Ghost would be the one behind leading Jesus into the wilderness, but the Bible says Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. By the Holy Spirit, he led him into the wilderness. I wonder where he's gonna lead you.

See, we got this little daisy mentality, this on the clouds, sipping a Coca-Cola mentality. Where's he gonna lead you? God's gonna lead you to the places that are gonna prepare you for the destination, amen? He says, "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the lord upholdeth him with his hand". Look at the next verse, "I have been young, and now I'm old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread".

Now, look at this in the Amplified Bible. Psalms 37, verse 23 in the Amplified version here. He says, "The steps of a good man are directed and established by the Lord when he delights in his way and he busies himself with every step", 24, "Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him". Turn your neighbor and say, "God's got your hand". So no matter what happens, God's got your hand. God's got your hand. Well, that's comforting to me. God's got my hand. God's got my hand. He's got me. He's got my hand. Boy, that's so comforting to me. God's got my hand.

So the next time you fall, remember God's got my hand. Sometimes you feel like, "I done fell so deep, ain't no recovery". God's got my hand. And look at this, "I have been young and now I'm old, yet have I not seen the uncompromisingly righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread". One scripture says, "I've never seen the uncompromisingly righteous hungry and forsaken", that God will never ever abandon you because of your righteousness. Say out loud, "I'm the righteousness of God". So no matter what happens on your journey to discovering the plan of God for your life, God's got your hand, so you don't have to be afraid; that no matter what happens, God's got my hand. He's not gonna let me go. He's not gonna forsake me. He's not gonna leave me.

Now, for a moment it might seem like, "Uh oh", but just remember God's got me. God's got me. There've been several situations in my life where I simply heard those words in my spirit, "I got you. I got you. I know it seems like something really, really bad is gonna happen, but I got you. There's nothing that I allow you to go in without my hand gripped to yours". Hallelujah. Some of you don't even know how you got in the situation you're in right now but God's got your hand. You remember that old song, "Put your hands in the hands of the man who steals the water"? That's all I remember, but God's got your hand, amen?

Now, look at Jeremiah chapter 10. Jeremiah 10, verse 23. God's got your hand and he orders your steps. God's got your hands and he orders your steps. God's got your hands and he orders your steps. Now, some Christians say, "Well, that can't be God having me step here". Remember, the Holy Spirit led Jesus in the wilderness. "Well, that can't be God that had me here". Remember, the Holy Ghost led Jesus in the wilderness to be tempted of the devil for 40 days and 40 nights. "Well, why would God let this happen"? Honey, he trying. He knows you gotta take certain courses before you arrive.

Some of y'all think you get saved and bam, you just show up. Well, you're just gonna mess up a lot of lives because you don't know enough. I mean, one of the greatest deceptions is that we think we know more than we really know. And that's why I want to always be a student. I don't want to ever get to the place where I think I know something and have to realize, well, I guess I didn't know what I thought I knew. Thank God. Lord, teach me how to be content where I am, trusting you and believing that you have my hands. So if I'm in an uncomfortable situation, you remember what Paul says. Paul said, "I learned how to be content in no matter what situation I was in".

Lord, help me to continue to learn how to be content regardless of whatever the situation I'm in. When I'm up, I want to be content. When I'm down, I want to be content. When all my bills are paid, I want to be content. When they're not paid, I want to be content. When the IRS sent you a letter, I want to be content. Help me to know how to be just fine trusting you in no matter what situation it is, why? 'Cause I know wherever I am today, that's not where I'm always gonna be. I am on my way somewhere. I'm on my way somewhere. I'm on my way somewhere. And I guarantee you, wherever you are right now is it's just part of the equipping so you can be ready when you arrive. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

"O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps". And then you ask the question, "Why are my steps ordered by the Lord"? Look at this in the NLT, the New Living Translation. Now, this was pretty fascinating to me, that the way of a man is not in himself. Put this up. Everybody look at this. Look at this. "I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own". Now, stop right there. Can you recall some time in your life, or maybe you've said it yourself, "This is my life and I can live it the way I want to live it"?

All right, let me help you. It's not your life and that's the problem. First of all, you think it's your life, and then you proceeded to try to live it the way you want to live it and you wonder why things ain't working. "I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course". Now, think with me for a moment. To now realize that your life is not your own and that you need him to help you to plan your own course, think about the guy who says, "This is my life and I'm gonna live the way I want to live".

Let me show you the problem with that. Here is where the problem comes in is you're trying to live your life the way you want to live it and you don't know how it's supposed to work. You don't know it's supposed to work and that's the sad thing about it. And believe me, we're living in a generation right now, it's just filled with people, "This is my life. I want to live like I want to live, how I want to live. I want to be what I want to be. I did it my way". And it's gonna be like gravity. You can never win over gravity. You can get on top of whatever building, but when you step off, gravity will always win.

And see, you've been conditioned to just, you know, live by the moment, and social media will deceive you. Social media gives you a picture of everybody's happiness, but as soon as they posted it, the thing got posted, they went back to the same depression, argument. People who are ready to kill themselves will post something with a smile. And now you compare yourself with that. You're following somebody who's trying to plan his own life, and look at where it ends up. Now, here's what God wants. Can you get to the point where you say, "Lord, this is not my life. You gave it to me. You've got a purpose and a plan for it. Help me to plan the course. Help me to plan the course".

How are you not wanting to have something to do with the only one who really understands the plan and the course for your life? And you're so busy trying to get on somebody else's path while you keep going bypass your path. Let me talk to you for a moment here. What happens is we, in search of the plan and the will of God for our lives, or trying to find purpose in our lives, when you X God out of that process, you leave it up to you to choose the path. And most of the time you're right there at the will of God for your life and you choose the other path.

Now, here's what happens. The other path takes you on a detour that may take two years of your life and then you get back to that path again, and watch this, you say, "Something telling me to go that way. No", and then you choose your own path and you go on a four-year detour. Now you've lost six years in detour and detour. And you keep coming back close to the path because God loves you. You keep coming there, but you don't want to have nothing to do with him. You don't want to have nothing to do with anything that contradicts your plans. Your plans.

So if God called you, and equipped you, and gifted you to do something, he's gonna be the one to lead you to the path of you being able to use that gift and plan. But no, you've been busy comparing yourself amongst yourself, and you so busy trying to be like somebody else, all you've been doing its pursuing a cheap copy. And God's trying to get you to go down that original path for you so you can be a very valuable original. But you won't do that. You're so busy trying to be like somebody else. What tickles me is sometimes when I talk to our younger kids, they're actually deceived that the style they have, that they originated it.

And I'm thinking, "Little boy, you ain't originating nothing. You're just copying somebody else". You're too afraid to originate something. 'Cause God wants you to be that original. There's an original part of you that can change somebody's life. God has a plan for your life that's gonna be a world-changing plan, that's gonna impact your life and somebody else's life. "Well, why don't he just go on and give it to me"? 'Cause you ain't ready yet. And if you enter into the destination unprepared, you're gonna mess up somebody else's life 'cause there are other people involved in that destination. There are other people that are scheduled to meet you at that place.

So what happens? Old script just continues to maintain old problems. Yeah, when is somebody gonna get bold enough to step out and say, "You know what? What are you saying, God? What do you want me to do"? Imagine if we were still under the old script and the old dispensation of the law. Oh, I don't have to imagine. We were there and it wasn't nice, was it? And so now, me and some other people begin to talk about this new script of the gospel of grace, and all hell breaks loose, and people think that you're this and that, and you've got to be prepared for that.

When God prepares you to deliver a message, you gotta be prepared for, I'm prepared for people talking about me, dogging me up, making fun of me. I spent almost 20 years preparing for that. So now when I teach the gospel of grace and somebody wants to make a derogatory, negative comment about it, it don't bother me. I'm thinking, "It's out there. You gotta decide whether you want it or not. I'm fittin' to go get an ice cream cone. What's up"? That ain't gonna keep me up at night. That don't cause me to do this. You know, that's not gonna cause me to come and defend myself.

You know, I get tickled at some of these people. You know, certain things, when people talk about you, certain things don't require a response. There are times when you just need to shut up. You already know it ain't true. It doesn't require a response. "I'm gonna call her back and get her told. You don't talk about me". I told you that Word of the Lord that came to my wife, "Tend to your own business". Some of y'all are in everybody's business, and stressed out, and don't know why. 'Cause you're taking on somebody else's stress. Let me go and leave that alone, y'all. Some of y'all, "I don't wanna hear that. I didn't come here to hear all of that, you know"? "I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own".

Now, apply that to you. Do I know that my life is not mine? I'm not able to plan my own course. You know how powerful it is when you come to a place where you can admit, "I'm not able to plan my own course"? The issue is you think you are. You think you are. "I don't need God. I don't need no church". I'm not able to plan my own course. You know what happens the day you realize that? You get out of his way and allow him to take you, 'cause he already got your hands, and say, "Come on, baby. Let me go in front. Follow me". That's what it means to yield. "Let me go in front. Follow me as I escort you".

See, I wanna be escorted to the path that God wants for my life, so when I get there, somebody say, "What are you doing"? "This is where God has called me and escorted me to do". And everything you're looking for in life, everything you lack in life, is waiting at that place called "there". It's waiting at that destination for your life, and God'll take you to that place where wholeness will be your testimony, because I found where I was supposed to be. But I cannot, I'm not able to plan my own course.

That's the most powerful thing I ever read. I'm not able to plan my own course, but when he is allowed to do that, oh, when you get to that destination, you'll sit back and say, "I don't know the intricate details of how I arrived here". And you'll lift your hands up and say, "How great thou art". And you'll find in a lot of cases, "I would have never known how to get here", but he does. Oh, lift your hands up and just worship God for a moment. Just worship him for a moment. Oh, help me, Lord. Help me to plan my course. Help me to plan my course, amen? Help me to plan my course. Amen.

Now, let's look at Philippians chapter 2:3 in the NLT. Is God really committed to be involved in working in us? You know, I thought, as a Christian, you know, 'cause people told me that the Bible said that God helps those who help themselves, and I was looking for that Scripture, and I found out it is nowhere in the Bible. But then, when Siri came along, I found out, wait a minute, the Bible didn't say nothing about God helping those who help themselves. The Bible said, well, Bible makes it clear throughout the Scripture he helps those who need help.

Benjamin Franklin said, "God helps those who help themselves". And we gotta be careful not to take another man's comment that doesn't know God and turn it into Scripture. If you're gonna live by the Word, make sure it's in the Word, amen? All that's saying is, "I don't trust that God can do anything without me". I used to think that. "Well, Lord, I got to yield". Now, of course, there are lots of things, if you wanna do it right, that requires you yielding to the Lord, but I also discovered that God knows how to get your attention, and God knows how to get you where you need to be when you need to be there. Don't think you're all that now. He know how to do it. God know how to change your mind, and he know how to change your desires, amen?

Now, watch this. "For God is working in you". For God is working in you. For God is working in you. I said God is working in you. Right this moment, while you are seated here listening to me preach, God is working in you. On the way home, God is working in you. When you get home, God is working in you. If you go to a bar tonight and get drunk, God is working in you. If you're upset with somebody and got unforgiveness, God is working in you. I don't care the situation, God is at work in you right now. God is working in you. Now, what is he doing? He's giving you the desire, the desire.

See, you might not want to do the thing that God has revealed to you, but God says, "Not only will you end up doing it, but I'm gonna give you the desire. You're gonna want to do it before it's over with". Ain't no way in the world I wanted to be no preacher. Ain't no way in the world I wanted to be no preacher. My last name was Dollar, it didn't go together, Reverend Dollar. No way in the world I wanted to be no preacher. I didn't have no desire, I didn't like preachers, I had no desire, but God started working in me.

Some of the things that you're gifted to do and the plan of God for your life, you might not want to do it right now, but God is working on the inside of you, praise God. God is working in you. "He's working in you", to do what? "Giving you the desire and the ability". That word "power" is the ability to get the job done. He's giving you the desire and the ability to do what pleases him, so this is more than you. Of course, your decision is important. Absolutely. You know, of course, when God begins to show you things, you making a decision to cooperate with him, that's the very, very important part of it. But God says, "I will also do my part and work in you to give you the desire to do what pleases me".

How many of you wanna please God? I do. Someone says, "Why do you wanna please God"? 'Cause I'm gonna die one day; and when I die one day, I'm gonna stand face to face to something that's more real than this physical world being in this physical body, and I don't think a lot of people understand that you have to be prepared to die. They don't think about that. You don't think about that. And not to be prepared to die, you think you're so in control of your life and so in control of your course, and then that moment comes, the issue comes, that thing happens, you got up that morning, never knew that was your last day, and now you're dead. You don't have time to get prepared. You don't have time to go do it again. It's done. You're dead. You have slipped out of time into eternity. I can't risk that. I have to be ready every day, and that's not talking about having good behavior every day.

There's one easy way to get ready: get born again, and you're ready. Because what Jesus has, you know, I'm not talking about the outside job. I'm not talking about, you know, you can't wear pants no more. You can't wear makeup or you ain't gonna go to heaven. All that's a bunch of bad stuff. What Jesus did was an inside job. It's an inside job that occurred when you got born again, and the day you make Jesus the Lord of your life is the day where you declare to heaven and hell, "I am ready to die at any moment". Why? 'Cause I have Jesus in my life. Not because I did all the goody-goody things, but I had Jesus in my life. I believe in Jesus. I believe in Jesus, that he forgave me of all of my sins, known and unknown. I believe in Jesus, that he shed his blood for me. I believe in Jesus and the finished works of Jesus. I am ready to die.

There are some people that are not. They're still planning their course, because they say, "This is my life, and I wanna live it the way I wanna live it, and if you don't like it, then tough". Well, you know, as long as you're, you know, not living in my house then, yeah, you can do whatever you wanna do. But I see that all the time, and my heart goes out, 'cause it's like... have you ever met a arrogant person? You know what arrogant is, arrogance really is? It's dressed-up insecurity. If you will know how to understand stuff, you can look at people and, "Oh, I see your problem right now. You're arrogant, but you're really insecure".

You ever met a real angry person? That's a person that's full of fear. That's what, anger is nothing but an expression of fear, so the next time you're around some person that's angry, you ask 'em, "What are you afraid of"? Because when you're expressing the anger, you're expressing, "I am afraid of something". See, you need God to help plan your course, 'cause you're going in all the wrong ways. So, your steps have been ordered, so with clarity you can walk in those steps. So, he's working on the inside of you. He has your hands. He has your life. He's agreed to help plan the course of your life. He is committed to you finding that will of God for your life.

Well, look at Jeremiah chapter 29:11. I wanna look at it in the NLT. God has an expected end for all of us. I hope your end is at the place where God expects for you to be. I often wonder about that. "Lord, I wanna make sure I'm on course. I wanna make sure I end up where your plans are for me to end up. I don't wanna end up somewhere where"...

Oh, so here's the deal. We live in a society right now, and this is so deceiving. We live in a society right now that if you make a mistake, the society wants to keep reminding you of that one mistake that you made, like they ain't got nothing too. That they can't hardly report on you without going back and picking up, "Yeah, you were awesome, but now what about that one"? But what about yours, and your mama's, and your grandmamma then? People grow from that place. You just don't understand, people, even some of the people that you still judge wrongly and you hadn't seen 'em in a while, they're not where they were when you last saw 'em. Everybody say, "Progress". They're not where you last saw 'em, but yet your opinion and judgment of them is where you last saw 'em.

"Yeah, but you don't understand, you know, they went to church, they smoked, they got two divorces". Okay, I don't understand that. Christianity does not mean you came out flawless, and it just irks me when we pick people and think, "Oh, they were so wonderful, they were so awesome, they gave bicycles to three people, and, oh, just darling folks". Them same folks got some crazy spots too. What would happen in the body of Christ if we can just stop accusing and judging people from their crazy spots and realize they've grown from there? Not try to keep people at the same place you encountered them. They have grown from that place. Amen. Amen.

Verse 11 says, "'I know the plans I have for you,' sayeth the Lord. 'They are plans for good, not for disaster'". So, if you're having disaster, that's not God's plan. The crazy stuff going on in your life, it's not his plan. His plan is for good, not for disaster. His plan is to give you a future. His plan is to give you hope. Now, you take that Scripture, and you apply it to your life. If his plans are not plans for disaster, then I must be going down the wrong path. If his plans are not plans for hopelessness, then I must be going down the wrong path. If his plan is not a plan that says you don't have a future, you might as well give up now and kill yourself, that must not be his plan for your life. His plans for your life are good. I said they're good. I said they're good, amen? They're good.

Look at Proverbs 16:9 in the NLT. Proverbs 16:9. What are we doing? We're turning to Scriptures, explaining them, and then you're asking yourself, "Is that working in my life? What am I doing"? You know, a plumber has got to go get training in order to be a plumber. Huh? A doctor has got to go get trained in order to be a doctor, but Christians wanna be Christians without training. We wanna jump into a marriage, and it doesn't even have a shot, 'cause there's no training in how to be a married person.

You think marriage is all about, "Well, I love her. He love me". All that's gonna wear off in about two, three weeks. You gotta gave something deeper than that, or you end up, "I love you, but..." 'Cause you don't know how to live with each other. You don't know how to live married. You don't know when certain crazy stuff happen, that's just called marriage. You been looking at too many movies. You're looking at movies about laying in the grass somewhere, little violin playing, and all that kinda stuff. No, they need to make a real movie about marriage. "Oh, I love you. Oh, oh, oh, you're awesome. You're special".

And then, you know, go on commercial and come back. "You know what, I can't stand your tail. And I thought about not marrying you in the first place, but I tell you what, you better not tell me to shut up no more. That's what you better not do, or you're gonna learn today, I'mma tell you right there. What you gonna do? Hit me? Hit me, joker. I take judo. Hit me. I will hurt you, man. Baby, bring me some water. What's wrong with your feet"? That just sound like marriage, helping to mature you out of immaturity so you can learn how to be mature enough to get along with one another, trying to get you out of the self-centered circle and get you to put her in the circle, or him in the circle, and get you out of the circle so you can learn how to submit yourself one to another. But you gotta take some courses.

Christian people play these games. I'm tired of playing all these little church games. Come to church, you know, "This is the way we come to church, come to church, come to church. This is the way we come to church early in the morning. This is the way we greet people, hallelujah, greet people, hallelujah, greet people". I'm so tired of that, I don't know what to do. Proverbs 16:9. I'm not gonna believe I just skipped across the front of the stage right there. I did skip. All right, watch this, verse 9, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps". Wow! So, those of you who've decided, "No, I'm gonna go ahead and make my own plans", yeah, you can make your plans, but at the end of it, God's going to determine your steps. Thank you, Jesus.

Look at Isaiah 30, verse 21 in the NLT. What is the sermon? I'm just reading it. I'm reading it, I'm showing it to you, trying to get you to see it and apply it in your lives. I want you to live successful lives. I want you to be whole. I want you to be happy in your life. I want you to enjoy your life. This is the craziest year you're gonna ever see, ever. It's gonna be two extremes, extremely bad and extremely good, and I wanna focus on the extremely good part. And I might have to go through some bad parts to get to the good part, but I'm telling you, we're gonna find out what kinda relationship you got with the Lord this year. "Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, 'This is the way you should go,' whether to the right or to the left".

Now, listen to what he was saying. Look at God's commitment. He says, "I'mma get you to the path. Your ears are gonna hear me. You're gonna hear a voice, and that voice is going to say, 'This is the way you should go'". See, when I read the Scripture, I'm like, "Am I open to hear from God? Do I need to do some more study and get in the Word on hearing from the Lord, the Holy Spirit leading my life"? Understanding that I'm his sheep, and I hear his voice. I'm supposed to hear his voice 'cause I'm his sheep. Why am I not hearing his voice? How do I hear his voice? Because he'll tell me, "This is the way. This is the way you should go".

I don't wanna be so cluttered with the trauma of the world, so cluttered with the cares of the world, I can't hear that still, small voice that says, "This is the way. Go here". Oh, man. I have to have him. There's nothing about this life that says to me that I'm in control. What it says to me is that I need him. Couple more Scriptures. Proverbs 3, verses 5 through 6, the NLT. Proverbs 3, verses 5 and 6. Well, the King James Version says a little different. "Acknowledge him in all thy ways, and he'll direct your path". When you're applying that Scripture to your life, you ask yourself, "Am I acknowledging God in all my ways, or am I just acknowledging him in the ways I can't figure out how to deal with"?

Are you the kinda Christian that just only goes to God when it's an emergency, and then get upset when he doesn't respond quickly? The NLT says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding". Next verse. "Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take". Seek his will. "God, I'm getting ready to do this. What's your will for me where this job's concerned? What's your will for me where this business is concerned? What's your will for me where this man or this woman is concerned, where marriage is concerned? What is your will for me, God?" Will I take the time to let him in on it, if I believe he's my leader? If I believe he can plan my course, will I acknowledge him?

And he says by simply acknowledging him, by simply seeking his will for a thing, he'll show you which path to take. You know what the deal is? Either you don't know that, or you know it and you're just not willing to do that. I remember a time in my life when I said, "I don't wanna know what his will is, 'cause I'm enjoying myself, and I don't wanna know his will, 'cause he might have me do some little nice-y thing that I don't wanna do".

What's going on in the world? You have people coming to church, and the believers are not believing. But I bet you if you go outside and the sky breaks open and this dude appears in the sky, you're ready to fall down and, "O Jesus, help me". I don't understand why wait till the last minute to do a thing. Why? Why? Why push it? Why push it? I can't afford not to get saved. "Well, I don't really believe all that". Well, here's your issue: if you're right and there is no heaven or hell, then I still lived a good life. But, boy, if you're wrong, you in trouble.
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