The title of today's episode is ‘New Levels in 2020,’ now that's pretty generic, you may think I'm going to be talking about business, I may be talking about personal development, but I want to talk about new spiritual levels in 2020.
I believe that and I've experienced just as I've committed my life to God, I told you guys about that last week that I was so serious in my closet when I told God if he lights a fire on the inside of me for him that I will never turn back. Ever since then I've been fully committed to his will and the plans that he has for me and ever since doing that, life has not been perfect by any means. A lot of stuff has happened since I made that decision, but there's just a level of peace, joy, fullness, and of just supernatural living that has come as a result of that decision.
Y'all know I'm really honest on this show, I don't want to come on here and paint the picture that everything is going to be perfect, but there is a guarantee that everything is going to work out in your favor when you are following God and doing his will. For today's episode, I really want to talk about getting to new spiritual levels in 2020, I've noticed there's this wave going on. Let's just talk for a second, it's just this wave where God has become very marketable, especially for entrepreneurs, where to say, to believe in God has become unclear in a sense.
Let me say that better when people say God, you're not always talking about the same God, then there's also this wave that teeters on the line of preaching and motivational speaking in a sense to where we're getting pumped up. But our lifestyles in a sense aren't necessarily getting changed to the point where we're walking in the full manifestation of what God has for us as individuals as well as us as a body of Christ. I get really frustrated by this wave that I notice because I like to compare it to… I love God y'all, like seriously, if you can't tell I genuinely, genuinely love God and I love to see people free.
I love to see how he moves in people’s; I love the way God just does whatever he wants and it’s always better than whatever we could figure out; I just love God so when I see people playing with God, I get mad. It's the same way as if I love let's say my family like I love my husband, let's use my husband for example; I love my husband, God just made this amazing man for me and my husband is a giving person. BJ has the heart of gold for real; it's so amazing how generous he is. Sometimes I’m like “Bro, you need to stop because you're doing a lot,” but that's how God made him, he has a huge heart.
So, when I see people trying to play him I get automatically defensive like “Hold on, you're not about to do that tip.” So, the same way I kind of buck up in the natural when it comes to people in my life that I love, I’m the same way when I see people playing with my father like that, you know what I’m saying? God is my dad, like “y'all playing with my dad out here in these streets” and I get mad, but I wanted to talk about new levels in 2020 because I believe that this is such a special time for the body of Christ.
I believe that this is a special time for those who have been faithful, for those who have been fighting a good fight of faith, for those who haven't been growing weary and wrongdoing. Those who have stayed committed to the course and committed to the things that God has told them to do when everything, they saw told them that it wasn't working out. For those who have continued to change their language, they've changed their habits; they've done so much; I believe that this is just a really special time.
I don't want any of us to go into this new season which honestly, God is not; what's the best way to say it, God is not subject or limited to our clocks and timelines right? 2020 is not like “okay God, now God is going…” no, God can do something today, tomorrow, next week; he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants so this isn't something that is limited to 2020. I’m going to keep saying this new season because that season can start whenever, but I believe that this is a particular season for the body of Christ and I don't want any of us to miss it.
Not only am I passionate about God but I’m also passionate about his people and I just love to see you guys' transformations and to read your stories and things like that so I’m going to go over four points that are going to allow us to navigate and take full advantage of this new season that we're all moving into spiritually.
The first point is I want you guys to understand that this is a lifestyle. This is a lifestyle and I didn't really understand this when I first got saved and that's why I kind of, not kind of but I went right back to doing what I was doing because I didn't understand how to live a lifestyle that was pleasing to God. When we're growing up and we're groomed and things like that, everything in the world is grooming us or telling us how we should act; how we should speak, what we should indulge in right?
There's so much that's going on in the world that conditions us to think, act and feel a certain type of way and we know that when we are living our lives for God we're not operating according to how the world has attempted to condition us. We have to operate on what God has said about us and how he says that we should live. But when I got saved originally, instead of being taught how to live a lifestyle that was pleasing to God, I was instead given a handbook on what not to do.
This Christian handbook of don't smoke, don't drink, don't have sex before marriage, don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal, don't kill, honor your mother and father; it was all these don'ts. There wasn't many do’s it was all like don'ts other than going to church on Sunday, pray, that's it; so I was getting this handbook and I’m like, “Well, how does that translate into me living a life that's pleasing to God and it's also fulfilling in a lifestyle that I enjoy.”
So for the last few years, I’ve really been learning and figuring out what this lifestyle looks like because when I first got saved I was a teenager and I went right back into the world because I didn't really know how to live a life for God as I said. But, when I made that commitment in my closet a few years ago, here I am, a full-grown adult, I pay my own bills, I live on my own. I can very well choose the life that I live and I have a lot more control over it. So, as I was trying to figure out what does this lifestyle looks like?
The one thing that I realized that was so key to maintaining and living a lifestyle that I am happy with right; I love my life and my life is pleasing to God, go figure right? I was never really taught that that can be the same life, that that can be one and the same, that you could live a life that is both pleasing to God and that you're happy with.
I didn't really know and everything that I was told to do was so contrary to everything I had been taught or I had done up until that point. I didn't know what this lifestyle consisted of, so it was hard to make that transition and so I’m just now realizing like “man, I can be happy and wake up joyful and still live a life that's pleasing to God.” I can have fun and do things that I actually like and they not be a sin; my grandma's church didn't teach me that right? But the key to living a lifestyle that's pleasing to God and that you enjoy is the switch in your priorities.
I mentioned this yesterday, not yesterday but last week that I had to change my number one objective and my number one objective has been to please God and that's it. All I want to do is please God and when I say all I want to do I’m telling you that's a desire of my heart; I am happy with God being pleased with me. Ever since I’ve started living my life for him and doing my businesses God's way; every time I’m at an event I just always hear God say “I’m pleased.” People come up to me like “man, God is pleased with you.” or just looking at the room and the altar is full and I’m crying because I’m literally like “on my face.”
If y'all come to come to the tour or y'all come to any of the retreats there's probably going to be a point in time where I’m on my face crying simply because I’m never going to not be in awe of what God does. My heart's desire is to please God and so because that's what I generally want to do with my life, I am able to wake up every day and be happy and do that. This lifestyle of pleasing him makes me happy and I believe that's a place where a lot of us need to get and y'all know I’m big on honesty.
We have to be honest with ourselves to say, “you know what, my number one goal in life is not to please God, it's to get this coin, to secure this bag, is to make money for my family, it's to reach a certain level. Whatever it may be for you, it has to be switched in order for you to really be about this life, it has to be switched; this lifestyle is a lifestyle of pleasing God not pleasing people. I promise you people are so critical, people have joined things that I’ve done and sent me emails trying to criticize me and I’m like “Baby, I don't care what you got to say.”
“Have you met me?” “I don't care what you got to say, I care about pleasing God and if God is pleased with me I’m happy, you can save all that that you got to say and all of this that you've done and these critiques that you have, I don't care about that.” As my spiritual Bob Talia will say “You can miss me with all of that, I don't care what you have to say;” people will always be critical of you, but are you pleasing God?
It's the most freeing thing in the world especially on social media and we're entrepreneurs so we have to be online. I mean you don't have to be but it will be wise of you to be online in some capacity because it provides a great opportunity for you, but with that is going to come criticism.
And so a lot of us end up bound to what people think, we end up in the comments responding and clapping back to folks or in our DM's responding to people or reading these critical emails of people trying to tear you down. You end up responding to it or it impacts what you do and that is not a part of this life; this life is pleasing God. When you do that, you get free of so much else, so many other things and so much of the people, bondage and being worried about the success or the numbers and things like that. Once you adopt the mentality that pleasing God is the only objective, things will start to change.
Another integral part of this lifestyle is prayer and fasting. When God shared with me that business and faith didn't have to be separate, that if I made him the CEO that he will do way more than I could have come up with. When I really made that a part of my life my mind was blown, my mind was absolutely blown. Because not only was I getting the satisfaction of pleasing God but I began to see my business change; my numbers increase, the impact I’m making went up a notch. The reach of this podcast goes to whole new levels that I couldn't have done, I couldn't have created a marketing strategy for that.
I’m smart, I got an MBA, a digital marketing certification, I’m very smart but the things that God has been able to do with me are way beyond whatever my qualifications on paper are. I remember the other day I woke up and I felt this strong need to go and get my notebook and sit before God. What happened was I woke up feeling that way but at the same time I had a lot to do, y'all know we just moved into our house so we still got stuff to unpack, we still got furniture being delivered and it was just a bunch of stuff happening.
I got lost in the sauce of like emails; I started checking my emails when I first woke up and so I’m responding to all these emails, all this is going on. So somebody who attended the retreat we're in like this Group Me message and so they communicate with each other and I like to hop in here and there. But they also have access to me; it's on my phone so it's kind of like sending me a text message. So she texted me and was like “Hey, I was praying for everybody in the group, just going through the names in the group me, of course, yours was up there and I believe that God is trying to give you some strategies today.”
Like, “Forgive me if I’m overstepping but I feel like God is trying to give you some strategies.” And I was like, “You know what, I knew in my heart when I woke up this morning that I needed to go into my little war room”. There's a lot of prayer that happens in this room, y'all going to be sleeping in the glory okay. But anyway, so I go into the room and I’m like “alright, I might have just done this right now because God's clearly seen me get caught up in everything that I got going on so I’m about to drop everything and go.
I got excited, I got my worship music along with my instrumentals playing, I made myself some coffee, I got my journal and I just start sitting and praying. I’m praying in tongues, speaking in tongues before just to clear my mind and to really get set to hear from God and to get my mind off of everything that I was working on prior to having this business meeting with God you can call it. So, I’m just speaking in tongues and I’m clearing my mind y'all; listen, so I’m like “God, what are you trying to show me?” God gave me this blueprint for 2020 that was so smart on so many levels.
God has already just done so much with me and I promise y'all, that's why I’m always crying. God has already done so much with me and I know that he's just getting started and I know that there are some really big things coming from me and I’m just down for whatever at this point. God has done so much for me already, I’m just forever grateful but he just gave me this blueprint, this strategy that was just so clear.
I’m the type of person where I like structure and so I feel like for a long time, especially the last couple of years I’ve just been doing whatever God told me to do. There are some foundational things that I knew I wanted to clean up but I just didn't know how to do it in a way that will fit God's plan so that was actually one of my prayer points. And before I could even set up my own business session with God to sit down with him, he had already was like “I got it for you” and once I sat in his presence he gave it to me and it was so perfect.
It incorporated my husband and some of our prayers for him and it was just so fantastic and as I said, God has already done so much for me and I know he has so much more. The instruction that he gave me was so strategic it's going to allow me to multiply like never before and handle the mantle and increase assignments that he gives me like never before so I’m hyped y'all. The point is I’m hyped but that comes from having a lifestyle of wanting to please God, a lifestyle of being sensitive to his voice, and knowing when God needs my attention right then and there.
Then God being so gracious having people around me who could be like “Hey, God wants to give you some strategy.” If I’m getting distracted, being able to reach me even though somebody else to say “no, go sit down right now because there are some things that I want to give you.” So again, having this lifestyle you guys it’s a lifestyle of spending time with God; it's a lifestyle of praying and fasting. I spent a year fasting every single week from food 6 am to 6 pm.
During that time was so critical and me being able to handle the assignments that God revealed to me after that period as well as to be able to just continue to push through the journey. Because like we say all the time it's not easy, all the time it's not all roses and rainbows and clouds like people try to paint this picture for you.
But the thing about God is he's going to give you peace throughout all of it and he's going to protect you throughout all of it but it's through prayer. It’s through fasting, it's through having one assignment which is to please God and it's through spending time with him that your faith is going to increase and that your spiritual life is going to increase. So as we enter into this new season you guys the first thing that you have to understand is that it's a lifestyle; it's a lifestyle that surpasses going to church on Sundays and going to Bible study during the week.
It's a lifestyle that is every single day, that's meditating on the word day and night, that's sitting in his presence, it's worshipping him, it's a lifestyle y'all. If you look up the word lifestyle it means the way in which a person or group lives. So you have to live in a place or in a manner that brings honor and glory to God every day, not when things go awry and now you want to pray because you're trying to get out of a bind. Not when you do things your own way and you've been ignoring the Holy Spirit, it is a lifestyle of always doing what he's called you to do.
Again remember, last week we said that we don't have to be perfect but also don't give yourself excuses, give yourself grace without giving yourself excuses; this is a continuation of last week, you guys. That was point number one, if you are going to handle this season that God has for you, that he has for us you have to understand that this is a lifestyle and commit to it.
Okay, point number two is we have to be doers of the word. James 1 verse 22 through 25, I’m going to read it out of the New Living Translation, it says, “But don't just listen to God's word, you must do what it says otherwise you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it's like glancing at your face in a mirror, you see yourself walk away and you forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, God will bless you for doing it.
Now, this goes into the lifestyle, in order for you to know what that lifestyle looks like and in order for you to act out this lifestyle and to see God's blessing. It says at the end, “If you do what it says and don't forget what you heard then God will bless you for it.” So if you want to see these things in your life you have to be doers of the word and in order for you to be a doer of the word, you have to comprehend the word, in order for you to comprehend the word you got to actually study it right?
I believe there are so many ways for us to access information; we can Google anything, we can watch a sermon on things, we can look things up really quick because there are so many resources out there, I think it hinders us in a sense, right? Technology is such a beautiful thing because it does give us access to more tools and information, but it's not to substitute the work of you actually sitting down and studying the word. I believe too many people like to settle at the excuse of “I don't understand, I can't read the Bible because I don't understand it.”
There are literally so many translations and so that's an excuse that we're not taking into this new season. You cannot go into what God has for you and not even know his word; it's going to eat you alive. In Deuteronomy, I forgot where I think it's in… I’m not even going to say it because I forgot where. But in Deuteronomy, he talks about “When I take you to the land that I swore to your ancestors, I’m going to drive out seven nations that are stronger and numerous than you. It's something like that but what that tells me as I was studying in the places that God is taking me while these are the things that he has to me.
They are great platforms and great blessings but if he drove out seven nations that were stronger and more numerous than me that means there will still be some remnants and some things I’m going to have to fight at that level. That's why it's important to not overlook or downplay the level that you're at right now or the waiting season or that preparation stage where God is preparing you for what he has for you. It's important that we don't skip over that because it's the tools that we learn in that season that's going to allow us to be successful in the place that he has for us.
As men and women of God, it is our job to stand out, to be set apart and a part of being doers of the word is it allows us to be set apart and if you don't understand the word, you're going to easily conform to your surroundings. All of this week, we talked about all of the witchcraft and the new age things going on in entrepreneurship and there are so many people who say that “they're Christian and they know God.” They're conforming to these things and you're conforming to it because you don't understand what the word says and these things are not of God.
The reason why you don't understand is that you aren't studying the word. I mean, look around you guys, there are so many misinformed Christians because we're relying on third parties to tell us what the word of God says as opposed to sitting down with our Bibles, sitting in God's presence, and studying his word. You cannot be a doer of something that you don't fully understand and you're not going to last at this level that God has for you if you do not become a doer of the word.
I did a message on ‘When the Weight is Self-Imposed’ in Atlanta and I put it on the podcast, that's another way that the weight is self-imposed because God is trying to protect you from yourself. Because if he gave you the things that you're praying for and you haven't taken the time to really prepare and to understand his word and to be a doer of the word, it will destroy you if he gave you what you're asking for. So, in a way, he's protecting you but at the same time in order for you to graduate to what he has for you in this new season, you have to become a doer of the word.
You have to study so we need to stop making excuses and start studying you guys, the same way if you are taking a new subject in school you will sit down and you will read the book. If reading the book is not helping, you find supplemental materials to help you further understand the text. If you have good people with the spiritual gift of teaching over their lives you can go to them, a lot of pastors are great teachers. You can go to them to help you further understand or you could use things like biblestudytools.com.
The Bible concordance is great at defining a lot of the words that are in the Bible that we don't understand; of course, having a great study Bible helps using… I like…. what are they called? Oh, the Bible Project, they're really great; they're on YouTube, they do a lot of videos and things to help further expand upon the text that you're reading.
Biblegateway.com is great; these are all resources that you could use to help you study the material. And unfortunately, like the same way you're in school you don't take the test as far as a written exam is concerned and somebody is giving you the grade. Life becomes your test and how you handle situations and how you handle different things that may come your way, that's going to improve how you really understand the word. What your lifestyle looks like its going to prove, get or give you that grade on how you're applying what you've learned in your study time, but again you guys, we're not going to be able to last in this new season if we are not doers of the word.
So, I need you guys not to make this a 2020 goal; we're not subscribing to that, we're not waiting another 30 days or so to start doing something, we're going to do it right now. We don't even know if we're promised tomorrow so we're not going to waste another second not being or not fully comprehending God's word and as you're not going to understand, the Bible is huge. There's so much in it and you're probably going to get a different revelation every time you read it but there it's not for you to say “by tomorrow I’m going to read the whole thing,” but really make a commitment to study.
That's it, commit to studying and as you comprehend, you'll see your lifestyle change, you'll see your demeanor change, you'll see how you approach situations differently. And you'll be able to then see how you could better handle the things that God has for you and how you won't blow it. One of my biggest fears and something that really drives me and keeps me on my face is I don't want to blow it, I don't want God to put me somewhere and then take it all away from me because my head got big. No baby, I’m going to stay on my face because I’m not blowing this because I will not disappoint God.
So, it’s the same thing for you guys; be a studier, a comprehender, a doer of the word so that you could ultimately fulfill who he saw before he formed you in your mother's womb; so that was point number two.
Point number three; learn how to follow the cloud and what I mean by that is back in Exodus when God rescued the people of Israel from slavery as they were making their journey over to the promised land, they followed the cloud. That's how they knew God was moving, the cloud lifted and it went and they followed and wherever it settled is where they settled. You guys in this new season you're going to have to learn how to follow the cloud, you're going to have to know when God's presence has left somewhere.
You are going to have to know when God's hand is not on something anymore and you have to know how to follow that. I recently left a church this year and there wasn't any big drama, you know, God bless, no big drama but I noticed that the cloud had left and I follow God. There are too many people attached to me for me to be out here playing and for me to be out here sitting under anybody, I don't play about the business of God. I don't play about God's people because God doesn't play about his people so I'm going to treat his people with love and respect and kindness. And I’m going to respect the people that are attached to me enough to make sure I’m not under anything that God's hand isn't on. I had to leave the situation because I recognized that God was not there anymore and it's not the easiest thing to do because of course, people ask questions, people have things to say, you get backlash, and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, we have to know how to follow the cloud.
There are people who I used to watch online and things like that and I remember like… it's been a while since I really watched sermons like that. I don't watch too many sermons, I kind of just open up my Bible because I speak so much, I don't want to be a melting pot of everybody's favorite preachers or my favorite preachers. That's not what I’m trying to do, I’m trying to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and I’m trying to learn and comprehend as best as I can the bible and then apply that to my life. Again, I don't listen to many sermons, but when I did, I remember I came across one recently and it's been a while since I’ve listened to anybody like that.
I was looking at this preacher and I was like, “Something is different, God, what happened?” God's glory used to be all over this, the cloud done left. But a lot of people aren't really able to or aren't deep enough I guess or don't have a level of discerning experienced enough to know and be able to recognize that. And that's why I wanted to talk about that on here because you have to not only be able to know when God's presence is somewhere but you have to know when God's presence is has left. Don't allow yourself to sit under anything that God's hand is not in.
Sometimes it’s tricky and this is a hard point to explain because sometimes it's tricky and something or someone may be doing all of the things that outwardly look right. You know, they may be doing all the good works and deeds in the community, they may be nice. They may be from what you could tell very caring or generous people, good people, and things like that but God's presence, the cloud is not there anymore. That is really tough just to discern sometimes and that's why the first two points are so important.
It’s to have a lifestyle of dwelling in God's presence for yourself and things and then also understanding and comprehending the word so that way you'll be more equipped. As you do that, God will begin to show you your spiritual gifts and you'll be able to be better at discerning the spirit. So, as you go into these new places that he has for you because I do believe that there are a lot of people who listen to the show that is called and that is chosen. And that God is going to put on mantles, I mean on platforms and there are various mantles that are on you guys’ life.
I don't think that there is a lot of regular people listening to this podcast; I believe that most of the people who listen to this podcast are very special people. I know because I’ve met a lot of y'all in person especially this year at these events. A lot of you guys are very powerful and so it is important that you're able to or that you are so in tune with the Holy Spirit that you know where God is and where he isn’t. And you get out of the places that he is not and follow where he is leading you. Now, there may be circumstances where God may have you on assignment and stuff like that, that ain't what I’m talking about, I’m just saying in general, follow the cloud.
Point number four is, don't allow yourself to be spiritually manipulated. We are not going into a new season where we're being spiritually manipulated, you guys. I went to a church yesterday; I don't have a church home right now so I kind of go and visit different places. If I’m being honest, I got frustrated at first because it was really hard finding a church in my area that really appeals to the different aspects of me.
Not only do I want a place that of course meets all the requirements of the cloud, God's presence being there, being Biblically rooted, good people, and all that stuff, but also the subject matter matters to me too. I’m an entrepreneur and if everybody is always talking about a job and a bonus and somebody's boss, it's hard for me to really connect with that because that's not my life so it's been really hard to find somewhere. And so my husband and I kind of bounce around and a lot of you guys recommend places to me and I do visit some of the places but we haven't found anywhere that is for us.
We visited somewhere different yesterday, it's been a while since we visited somewhere new. We visited somewhere yesterday and y'all, I was in that place cracking up and I was cracking up because I didn't grow up in church as y'all know, but whenever I get around churchy environments where it's a lot of hooping and hollering with no real power, it just cracks me up. Because the pastor will say something like “open the door” everybody's like “wow, he said open the door” and I’ll be like “he's saying nothing profound, my man said to open the back door and y'all are like wow, my, my, like what?”
So I'm cracking up and I’m sitting here so we go through all of the services and the pastor comes up and preaches; he didn't give one scripture, like anything about the sermon was Biblically based. It was this whole motivational-ish speech; friendships in your circle were pretty much what he was talking about and how to identify different things in your circle, but it was no Bible, none. Then the scriptures that he did reference, it seemed like he goggled scriptures about and then just picked the couple and bowed them off like it wasn't any real Bible teaching.
And I’m sitting there confused because everybody is hooping and hollering and everybody has given all of this feedback. When my husband and I got in the car and my husband was like “Yo, that man ain't talking nothing about no Bible;” I was like “I knew I wasn't tripping” because I didn't say anything to him. Then he said something else as he was preaching, he brought up a couple of social media things like he pulled up a tweet and he pulled up a Facebook post. He was saying when he was in his study time, he saw these things. So, I’m like, “well baby, if you're in your study time how are you on Twitter?”
“If you are on your study time how are you picking out Facebook posts? Like I don't understand,” so I’m sitting there and I’m looking around like “y'all are okay with this?” I was chuckling in my head because it was just mind-boggling to me but then I was also a little bit frustrated because I’m like “well, what's going on to where this is acceptable?” I don't know, I’m not a pastor and I don't want to be but God usually puts me in positions I don't want to be in, but I really don't want that life. I don't know, maybe that's a plight that I don't personally understand but what I do know is when I am in a place of God and I’m sitting under anybody to be taught, I want to be taught the word.
I want to be taught the scripture, I want to leave with scriptures like “Oh, I want to study that in my own time to get a deeper understanding of that.” But I believe that a lot of us are sitting in places and listening to people and things that are just spiritual manipulatives. Even in business, there are so many people who use God as a marketing tool; seriously, and for me, I’m really really big like when God had me coming into this arena of merging faith in business. What frustrated me the most is I was like “God, I don't want people putting me into a box, I am not anybody's pastor, I have not been ordained as anything five-fold ministry.”
I’m just somebody that you told to speak and I decided to speak, I am an entrepreneur, I have a master's in business, I am a business person; that is my thing, that is my comfort zone, that is what I enjoy and that is what I love. I don't want anybody putting me in a box to wear because I have a gift of being able to speak and because you do so much through me, I don't want to be put into a box and that was my biggest frustration. Even with that though, I’ve seen in entrepreneurship that a lot of people are using God as a marketing tool and it's so funny because Jessica, the host of the Fashionpreneur Diaries that is exactly produced by Anchored Media.
I was editing her episode the other day, the episode came out today, Monday so go check it out and she had a guest on there; it's a really great episode y'all, go listen. She was saying how she sat down with somebody in her industry and the person uses God a lot in their marketing and she was like “God told her to just go sit down with that person.” She sat down with that person and as they were talking, they really weren't about that life; Jessica was asking like “do you tithe, how do you spend time with God, what's that like, and things like that.”
She was just talking to her about faith and the girl was not really about the lifestyle and Jessica was saying how she just believed that God wanted to really show her how there are a lot of people who are using his name but aren't really about that life.
So, this actually makes me think of the scripture because if we… going back to being spiritually manipulated. I want you guys to have some scriptural foundations so that you could be able to spot somebody who isn't really about that life or somebody who says that they love God and their heart is far from him. Or somebody who was using his name for marketing and you're buying into it because you think that they are on the same page as you and they're not. It made me think about Matthew 7; Matthew 7 verse 15-20 and I’m going to read it out of the New Living Translation.
It says, “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way, they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree can't produce good fruit so every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, you can identify a tree by its fruit so you can identify people by their actions.”
So, you guys, as you are positioning yourselves to be influenced in any way, spiritually influenced in any type of way start paying attention to people's fruit. Like the scripture says “a good tree cannot produce bad fruit” and fruit is not money.
It's not always just money you guys because there are a lot of successful people whose hearts are far from God. There is a lot of rich people whose hearts are far from God, but the fruit is their character; it’s how they act, it's the quality of the way they do business, it’s how they treat people. It's all of these things put together so start paying attention to people's fruit, like people who've come to the tour or any live event that we do, they are always amazed because they never expect what happens. Every event, every tour that we did, the retreat that we did, it's like the Holy Spirit just blew everybody's mind.
People were in awe and I’m like “it's only because this is just a representation of my life when y'all are not around.” What is happening here is happening because of me praying over the room before y'all get here, putting my oil on the doorpost before y'all get here, and declaring things before y'all get here. Fasting on your behalf before you get here, being on my face about every single detail before you get here. So, a lot of people may look at the things that we're doing over here and being like “oh my gosh, you have so many great things going on,” that is only because of God.
It is only because of the lifestyle that I’ve created of prayer, of fasting, of staying in his presence of always being on my face of not playing with God's people, that is only because of that and nothing else. You will never see me … I was about to say science, that's a DC, DMV term but you'll never see me hype myself up saying that Tatum did something. Man, please, I’m telling you, I might have been alright if I was doing this by myself nowhere near where I am right now, this is all God. For any of you guys, as you are positioning yourselves in any way like I said to be spiritually influenced, make sure that they're not manipulating you.
Another great way to tell is, are they directing you to themselves or are they directing you to God? If somebody is not ultimately sending you back to the father, they're building an altar for themself and they're not doing what they're doing for the glory of God, that is a key differentiator. If somebody is always pointing you back to themselves in some type of way and there are so many people out there that are building altars for themselves and are not giving glory to God and it drives me bananas. You have to make sure that whoever you position yourself under, especially as you get into this new season.
Make sure that those who you are letting in your ear gate and your eye gate are pointing you back to the Lord.
We think our next opportunity is coming from somebody and not him, we think that our next paycheck is coming from a client and not from him. There's a level of freedom that you operate in your business when you know that it all comes from the father and for as long as you continue to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to him that he will provide. He'll provide for you regardless but there are some special things and promises and rewards for your obedience. So again, you guys do not go into this new season and allow anybody to spiritually manipulate you.
I’m going to finish off with this; another way that people spiritually manipulate us is by tradition and I’ve learned this because God has called me to do things in some very unorthodox ways. I’m on a podcast for goodness sake, most faith debates podcasts are sermons; now this may sound like a sermon but this isn't a sermon y'all. I told you I’m regular, I’m just talking and doing saying whatever God tells me to say but most of them are sermons. Most business podcasts are specifically about business and growing your business and all this stuff but God called me to merge faith in business and to talk about the journey.
To talk about how they're one and the same and how he wants to bless these businesses that we're building and so this is unorthodox. What I’m doing right now was unorthodox, God called me to do a fast for 21 days for women in our community; 500 women, 21 days it was unorthodox, it wasn't in a traditional manner. What he has us doing is not things that we've seen before; we're doing podcasts, retreats, we're helping people of God build platforms. Teaching them the important business skills and marketing and branding and finance skills that they need to make their show successful, is unorthodox.
If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a story of some of the reactions and the things that happened in our retreat. It's unorthodox to go to a business event for a three four-day business event and leave free and leave delivered. Have people laying hands on you and have us pray and have us totally interrupt a whole schedule of events for you because God says so. That does not happen anywhere, that's unorthodox, but I believe that God is doing things in unorthodox ways because he's trying to get us out of what we were used to and get us back to Acts, to get us back to the foundation.
A scripture that comes to mind is Matthew 15 and I’m going to read this, verses one through six and this is in a New Living Translation as well, starting at verse 15. It says, “Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and ask,” “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat.” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” Jesus was a gangster y'all but he said, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
For God says, “Honor your father and mother and anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death, but you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is devoted to God. They are not to honor their father or mother with it; thus, you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”
Jesus called the crowd to him and said “Listen and understand, what goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth is what defiles them.” Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” He replied, “Every plant that my Heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots, leave them, they are blind guides, and if the blind lead the blind both will fall into a pit. Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”
“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them, “don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body but things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart and these defile them. For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander; these are what defile a person but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” I believe that this is a clear measuring stick that you could use to know if you're being spiritually manipulated. Remember I said that a lot of people try to manipulate us because of traditions and God is causing us to be unorthodox.
If a tradition or something that we've all especially in like the black community; we've heard and said things for so many centuries, we got all of these country sayings. My family is from the south so we got all the country sayings in the world and it becomes fact because it's just something that's been repeated over time. I believe that that happens in spiritual spaces as well, a lot of things we just hear all the time and they might not even be in the Bible for real. But because we've heard them so much, we take them as fact and so the tradition is another way that people get manipulated but Jesus was very clear here that your traditions go against the word of God.
“You asking me why my people don't wash their hands before they eat, why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition, like what you even talking about here?” The command of God is not they need to wash their hands before they eat, you told them that and you coming at me like why are they not doing what you say? You ain't even doing what I said because you’re trying to keep up with your tradition, what? So again, you guys, this is bad, go read this joy for yourself because I thought it was gangster when I read it, but tradition keeps people bound as well.
So again, to bring this all home, we are going into new seasons; we as the Body of Christ, people of God, people who are called to platforms because y'all are some special people who listen to this podcast. You have to make sure that you are spiritually elevating in this new season and that you're spiritually elevating right now before the season even happens.
1: Understand that it's the lifestyle that goes way beyond going to church, going to Bible study, and church on Sundays, it's a day-to-day lifestyle.
2: We have to be doers of the word and in order to be a doer you have to comprehend the word.
In order to comprehend the word, you have to study it, open your Bibles and sit until you get it, find whatever supplemental materials you need to understand the text.
3: Learn how to follow the cloud
4: Don't allow yourself to be spiritually manipulated.