Saw Thousand of Miles, but Can’t See Five Miles

Saw Thousands of Miles, but Can’t See Five Miles

About 350 years ago a shipload of pilgrims landed on the northeast coast of America. In the first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness. In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward. They exclaimed…

Who needs to go there anyway?

Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean, and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision. 

Where there is no vision or prophetic insight, the people lose focus and purpose. (Proverbs 29:18, JHP)

With no spiritual insight of what we can do and/or become in Christ, even the smallest obstacle poses a serious threat to our growth and success. 

Count the Stars

Abraham was given the ominous title of The Father of Faith, but not long after leaving his homeland he grew discouraged. That’s when God appears to Abraham and reminds him of the promise that he would be the father of many nations. To which Abraham responds,

“Who me? Look God, You have given me no offspring!” (Genesis 15:3)

But instead of reprimanding Abraham, God brings him out of his tent and points up to the night sky. Then God speaks to Abraham… 

“Look up! You’re head’s been down too long. See those stars? I put those there and I’ve named every one of them. And even though you don’t understand or see how it’s possible, those stars represent how many blessings will be in your life.”

Those aren’t just words to Abraham, they are words God is also speaking to us. It’s time for us come out from the things that keep us from seeing His promises. It’s time for us to trust that His promises are just as true to us as they were to Abraham, and everyone else who’s proven God faithful. It’s time for us to shake off spiritual nearsightedness and pioneer again!


7 Steps to Level Up Spiritually

STEP No. 1: Feed Your Spirit

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, NKJV)

This verse says we cannot live on just food for our body—we need food for our spirit, too. People who level-up spiritually know the reality and severity of the works of the devil and understand the importance of developing a strong spirit to resist him.

How do you feed your spirit? By reading God’s Word. Every. Day.

It’s also vital to know one snack each week (church on Sunday) isn’t enough to sustain us through the trials Jesus told us would come our way (John 16:33). We need daily hot meals to stand on top of every trial in a victory stance.

You must arrange your schedule around the Word instead of trying to make the Word fit into your busy life. That means the Word of God has to become a priority in your life—not something you do in your spare time.

STEP No. 2: Build Your Faith

“David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6, AMPC)

Faith is your responsibility. It isn’t God’s, it isn’t your pastor’s, and it isn’t your spouse’s. The only one who can guarantee that you enjoy a strong faith is YOU. God has given you the tools you need to develop a strong faith—the kind of faith that moves mountains, shuts the mouths of lions, quenches the flames of fire, turns weakness into strength, and puts whole armies to flight.

How do you build that kind of faith? By hearing the Word of God again and again (Romans 10:17). God’s Word is the seed; hearing it again and again is how you water the seed and build faith. Just as with natural muscles, repetition is the key to building strong faith.

Keep your phone loaded with Bible-based podcasts. When you drive to and from work, listen to teaching in your car. When you work out, go on a walk, or take your lunch break, put in your earbuds and feed your spirit.

As you feed your spirit, remember that faith comes by hearing, but so does doubt. So, what are you listening to? What is the news telling you? What are your friends telling you? Guard the precious Word you’ve sown into your heart by refusing to consume anything contrary.

When you build your faith by hearing the Word on a daily basis, truth will come, faith will come and then—victory will come.

STEP No. 3: Speak the Word

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21, NKJV)

You’ve heard the saying that you are what you eat. People who level-up spiritually have learned to speak the Word over their lives and the lives of those around them. They know it is often a matter of life and death. And, they don’t intend to waste the power and authority Jesus provided for them.

To get to a place where you speak the Word over every situation, work on mastering the first two habits. By putting God’s Word in your heart on a daily basis, speaking His Word will become your knee-jerk reaction to any situation, which means you will react with an automatic, predictable response—FAITH.

No matter what you’re faced with, speak healing, speak blessing, speak abundance, speak forgiveness, speak peace. Speak the Word again and again and again and again. Fire off Scripture like a machine gun. Confess God’s Word in faith—it will change your life.

HABIT No. 4: Control Your Thought Life

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8, NKJV)

Is your thought life healthy or toxic? The mind, spirit and body are interconnected—your thoughts affect your words, which affect your health, prosperity, joy, peace and every other area of your life. So, it’s worth taking the time to perfect!

Dr. Caroline Leaf shares the connection between thoughts and overall success in life, “Thoughts are real things—they occupy real estate in your brain. ‘Bring all thoughts into captivity.’ Our brain is designed to do that. And when you do…your brain [will] start operating correctly.”

To bring every thought into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5), begin focusing on what you’re thinking about. Thoughts like, you’re not going to get healed; you’re going to die; you’ll never get promoted, need to be captured and cast down. You resist them. You answer them. Never let thoughts like these go unanswered. Instead, say, “I’m not agreeing with that thought because that is not what God has promised me”

HABIT No. 5: Strengthen Your Heart Through Praise

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1, NKJV)

Be fluent in praise means no matter what is happening in our lives, we have countless reasons to thank Him for what He has done, what He is doing, and what we know He will do.

Praise is not just when things are good. No, that’s easy. Praise is an act of faith. If you believe you receive what you’ve asked—you’ll thank God for it—even if it hasn’t manifested. Praise says, “I know it’s coming.” People who level-up spiritually know there is a connection between praise and strength. They know a spirit of praise puts you in position and produces spiritual strength.

HABIT No. 6: Pray in the Spirit

“Building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 20, NKJV)

People who level-up spiritually know the importance of keeping their spiritual batteries charged. That’s where praying in other tongues comes in. When you pray in the spirit, you edify your spirit, which means to uplift and strengthen. It builds up your spirit and your faith.

The powerful part of praying in the Spirit is that it allows you to pray above what you know in the natural. It takes you into the spiritual realm and opens the door to revelation, wisdom, instruction and encouragement.

Habit No. 7: Get Rid of Baggage

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV)

Streamlining is an important concept in aerodynamics. To streamline is to reduce resistance, creating a faster and smoother journey. It is studied by NASA engineers, airline pilots, shipbuilders and even athletes. The idea is to remove anything that would slow a craft, or person, down. The ultimate goal in streamlining is optimum performance and a victorious outcome.

That’s what we are called to do in our spiritual lives, too. When God told us to “strip off every weight that slows us down,” He was telling us to streamline our lives so we can enjoy optimum victory.

What kind of baggage are you carrying today? Worry, anxiety, stress or fear? Maybe it’s a habit of sin you haven’t removed or unforgiveness that’s been festering for years. Whatever it is, make the decision to get rid of it today! It’s slowing you down. Take off anything that is hindering you, and run your race to victory!

When you put these 7 habits of strong Christians into practice on a daily basis, you will develop the kind of spirit that will cripple the enemy and ensure the kind of victory you’ve always dreamed of. This is the life Jesus died to give you. This is the life you were meant to live.

Fatherhood is a Blessing

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
(Psalm 127:3, NLT)

Fatherhood is a blessing

At face value, this is an obvious statement. Of course fatherhood is a blessing! Most of us understood this when we held our child for the first time, or saw our infant son or daughter sleeping soundly in their mother’s arms. We felt the blessing when we heard for the first time the name “daddy” being directed at us, or hearing the laughter of a giggling baby.

We continue to hold onto this blessing, but it can become slippery and lose its firmness. Loss of sleep, and the ongoing stresses of raising a child can seem to wear the blessing down. However, it’s a mistake to think that the blessing has changed or faded.

When God blesses us with a child, that blessing never changes, only the circumstances change. For us to experience the blessing of fatherhood to the fullest, it’s essential that the blessing define our circumstances instead of our circumstances slowly redefining the blessing. This isn’t something we need talk ourselves into, but allow the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives daily to strengthen and equip us for the challenges of fatherhood.

Dark nights, weary days

Being a father is a role that expresses affection, authority and heredity all at once, and that is a blessing. To be the first impression of manhood to a little boy or girl is a blessing. To express the love of God through discipline and mercy is a blessing. To taste the goodness of God’s selfless love toward us as we attempt to exhibit that same love toward our child is a blessing. But because we lose perspective, it becomes easy to make the mistake of equating the blessing of being a father with being free from challenges and hardships.

The blessing of fatherhood exists because of who God is and does not fade because of Him. Knowing this will carry us through the dark nights, the weary days, and the fretful moments. It will keep us strong for the sake of our children. It will remind you of the treasured blessing you have as a father, and help you to live as a blessing to your children.

Sword of the Spirit


“Take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17)

For Roman soldiers, marching into battle meant a face-to-face confrontation with their enemy. They needed special skills to use their sword, which was one of most important weapons and could save their lives. The sword was the only piece of equipment that could be used both in offense and defense. The sword could deflect an enemy’s blow, or deal a deadly blow.

The Roman sword was about two feet in length, with a two inch wide blade. Being double-edged, the sword could cut in any direction the soldier swung. The sword’s small size allowed the soldier to deploy it rapidly. This was because most battles were fought close-up, on a one-on-one personal level. It was for this reason the Roman soldier needed a weapon that was quickly available.

 Take the Sword with you

We fight evil with God’s Word, which is sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). In combat against evil, we are to use the Word to cut and thrust, or block and knock away.  The Word is compared to a weapon because it pierces and penetrates so that neither Satan nor his attacks are able to get the upper hand on the properly equipped Christian soldier.

The Sword of the Spirit is not the Bible on the bookshelf or laying on the table in your living room, or placed in a prominent position in your bedroom. That does not scare the devil or his army. It’s when you know the Word and speak what it is written in faith that it becomes the Sword that can deflect the enemy’s blow, or deal a deadly blow.

Your Spiritual Bloodline

Blood of a champion

Only a certain kind of horse makes it to the Kentucky Derby. It’s the horses that are the fastest in the world. They’ve been carefully studied and carefully bred for generations.

Before breeding, the owners will go back 50 or 60 years and study the bloodline of a particular stallion. They’ll research his father, his grandfather and study how long their stride was, how tall their legs were, their takeoff speed, their endurance. With all this information, they’ll choose what they believe to be the perfect match.

They understand winners don’t just randomly happen. It’s in their DNA. That’s what sets these horses apart. They have generation after generation of champions on the inside.

Inside of you!

When you were born again your DNA changed. You don’t come from ordinary stock. You came from the best of the best. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, what color you are, how tall or short, how attractive or unattractive. It doesn’t matter how many weaknesses you have.

You may struggle with an addiction. You may have made some mistakes. What supersedes everything is that on the inside you have the DNA of a Champion. You come from a long list of winners.

If you look back and study your spiritual bloodline, you’ll see who you are! You’ll see your ancestor Moses parted the Red Sea—there’s great faith in your bloodline. You’ll see David, a shepherd boy, defeating a giant—there’s victory in your bloodline. You’ll see Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem when all the odds were against him—there’s increase, promotion and abundance in your bloodline. You’ll see a young lady named Esther who stepped up and saved her people from certain death—there is courage in your bloodline.

Remember, you come from a bloodline of champions. You were born to win, born to overcome, born to live in victory. It doesn’t matter what your present circumstances look like. Freedom is in your DNA. Health and wholeness is in your DNA. Restoration is in your DNA.

Lack, struggle, barely getting by, is not your destiny. Abundance, increase, opportunity, good breaks; that’s what’s in your spiritual bloodline!

Blessing or Curse

A predominant thought in many Christian circles is that poverty is a characteristic of humility. The verse, “…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mt. 19:24), is often used to teach that the righteous are not be wealthy. Job’s life is also used as a model of how God can use a life that is poverty-stricken, sick, and afflicted. However, the entire Book of Job happened within a period of nine months, and the last chapter of the book tells us, “the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).

Redeemed from the curse

Galatians tells us that Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law. What is the curse of the law? In the first five books of the Old Testament, which is called the Pentateuch, or the Books of the Law, we are told that the curse, or punishment for breaking God’s law, is threefold: 1) spiritual death, 2) no protection from attack or sickness/disease, 3) and poverty/debt.

Just as the curse is three-fold in nature, so is the blessing. First, there is the promise of salvation (spiritual blessing). Second, there is the promise of physical protection from sickness and from attack. Third, there is the promise of financial blessing.

Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of spiritual death—we do not need to fear death. He as delivered us from sickness and disease. And He has delivered us from poverty and debt.

Destined to Rule and Reign

God created everything and then made man and gave him dominion over all of it. But Adam forfeited Man’s rights to Satan. Jesus, however, came to redeem us from Satan’s power and dominion over us.

Romans 5:17 says,

“For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”

The Amplified version of the last part of verse 17 reads, “They shall reign as kings in life, by one Jesus Christ.”

Through Jesus we are to reign as kings in life. That means that you have dominion over your life. You are to dominate—not be dominated. Sickness and disease are not to rule and reign over you—you are to rule and reign over sickness. And poverty is not to rule and reign over you—you are to rule and reign over poverty.

If you don’t believe me, ask Job.

Stand Up for Jesus!

Hearts stirred

A revival occurred in Philadelphia in 1858. The leader was a 29-year-old Episcopal minister named Dudley Tyng. It began during a series of noonday Bible studies for men that he led and grew to thousands in attendance. On March 30, 1858, he addressed a group of 5,000 from Exodus 10:11,

“Go now you that are men, and serve the Lord”

As Dudley read this words, some stirred in him. He raised his right arm and declared,

“I would rather have my arm removed at the stump
than to fail to declare God’s Word to you.”

After he said these words, 1,000 men gave their lives to Jesus Christ.

Inspired song

The next week Dudley Tyng visited a farm outside the city. Fascinated by a mule-drawn corn thresher, he reached out to pat the mule. As he did so, the sleeve of his jacket got caught in the thresher and his arm was badly mangled, severing the artery and doing severe nerve damage.

Several days later doctors had to amputate his arm. Unfortunately it was too late. Infection had set in and he was declining quickly. Knowing that he was dying, Dudley called his family and friends to gather around his bed. He struggled but managed to speak these words to them…

“Stand up for Jesus! Go back to the church
and tell them to always stand up for Jesus.”

When those words were repeated at the funeral, they had an enormous impact on a man young man named George Duffield. He wrote them down, and later put them to music…

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory, His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.

For Every Mom

What do you say to the woman who taught you all you know?

At 4 years of age: “My Mommy can do anything!”
At 8 years of age: “My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!”
At 12 years of age: “My Mother doesn’t really know quite everything.”
At 14 years of age: “Naturally, Mother doesn’t know that, either.”
At 16 years of age: “Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned.”
At 18 years of age: “That old woman? She’s way out of touch!”
At 25 years of age: “Well, she might know a little bit about it.”
At 35 years of age: “Before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion.”
At 45 years of age: “Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?”
At 65 years of age: “Wish I could talk it over with Mom.”

The writer of Proverbs puts it this way…

“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her.” (Proverbs 31:26–28, NLT)

To the woman who taught you unconditional love, particularly during every argument you had with her when you still saw nothing but love in her eyes. To the woman who taught you compassion, picking you up when you felt broken, and holding you when you needed a shoulder to cry on. To the woman who protected you, nurtured you, and raised you to be the person you are today.

To the woman who gave you everything she could, and never asked for anything in return. If there’s one thing we can say, it’s THANK YOU, for all you have taught us. To every mom today…HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!…you are a blessing!


Wear Your Badge

Jesus didn’t die so you could be…

…pitiful…pathetic…weak…wimpy…moaning…groaning…complaining… murmuring all the time, and afraid of everything. He died so that you could have powerful, bold, amazing, fruitful lives. And not just so you could have a good life, but so you can reach out to other people in love, helping them to find their way to Christ also.

Now you understand that I have imparted to you all my authority to trample over his kingdom. You will trample upon every demon before you and overcome every power Satan possesses. Absolutely nothing will be able to harm you as you walk in this authority. (Luke 10:19, TPT)

The devil is alive and well on planet earth, but the good news is although he has power, we have authority. And the only authority he has is what we give him, and most of the time we give it to him through lack of knowledge, or sometimes through laziness—not being willing to do what we know we need to do when we need to do it.

Tanks or Badges

In the New Testament there are two Greek words, dunamis and exousia, both are translated “power.” It would be more accurate to translate the word dunamis as “power,” and the word exousia as “authority.”

The difference between the two can be illustrated by to objects: a tank and a badge. Am A1 Abrams tank is an object with incredible intrinsic power. A uniformed policeman with a badge is a person with incredible delegated authority.

Put the policeman at a traffic intersection. As policeman holds up the palm of his hand, signaling a large semi-truck to stop. The driver stops the truck. Why? Because the policeman has the power to stop the “big rig”? No, the trucker knows that he has the power in his control to run over the policeman, but the policeman has the authority that is backed by the whole police force, along with the whole municipality.

Likewise, as a Believer you have been given authority (exousia) in areas where you would normally be overpowered, but you backed by the King of the Universe!


The heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the authentic person. It is the place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity. The heart is at the center of how we contact God and His spiritual world.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)

Your heart is your personal headquarters for every issue of life – your walk with God, marriage, family and kids, friendships, financial and career decisions and every choice you make. Because your heart is so central to all the issues of your life, it’s imperative that you guard your heart and keep your “headquarters” clear.

Just like freshly organized closets or drawers eventually become disorganized and clutter-filled if not attended to, so too, your heart can get filled with clutter if you don’t guard it. Let’s examine some potential areas of “clutter” that try to take root in your heart:

Busyness—It’s hard to hear your heart and follow the things that God puts there, when you are too busy to listen to Him. This is why it’s essential every day, preferably in the morning, to set time to get alone with God.

Voices—There are many of voices to distract you. It’s no secret that the media, advertisers, friends, family, enemies, unforgiveness, hurt and even our own voices are fiercely vying for your attention! Keep your heart tuned into God’s voice and His Word and turn off the “clutter” of too many voices.

Guilt—the condemnation that comes from sin will clog up your heart. The enemy uses guilt to create a sense of unworthiness and shame. This will discourage, condemn, overwhelm and eventually destroy you if not dealt with. But 1 John 1:9 if you simply confess your sins to God, he will forgive you and cleanse you.

Fear—through fear of man, fear of losing your security, fear of living by faith, fear of loss, fear of just about anything, you live in anxiety and the enemy gums up your heart and robs you of the ability to follow your heart. Again, John helps us clear the clutter out…

“Love never brings fear, for fear is always related to punishment. But love’s perfection drives the fear of punishment far from our hearts. Whoever walks constantly afraid of punishment has not reached love’s perfection.” (1 John 4:18, TPT)