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Monday
Apr232018

Limitless Thinking: Forget the Glass!

I come from a long line of negative thinkers. My grandmother lived with depression and dealt with fear on a daily basis. My mother was overly critical and cynical about most situations. And while I don’t consider myself to be in their league, I’ve definitely been a glass-half-empty person most of my life. The longer I walk with the Lord, however, the more that negativity falls by
the wayside.

The problem with my negative thinking was that it kept me from dreaming big. It was hard to be hopeful and believe for the best possible outcome. Instead, I usually found myself thinking about the worst-case scenarios. I didn’t understand that when we think small or think the worst about life and the future, it limits what God can accomplish in and through us.

One day I was having a pity party of sorts, wondering why I wasn’t seeing breakthrough in a certain area that I had been praying about for a very long time. God interrupted my “party” to remind me of Caleb and the spies during their recon mission of the Promised Land. I opened my Bible and read the story from Numbers 13. God spoke to my heart through verses thirty to thirty-one, and I immediately realized that it was, in fact, my thinking that had kept me from my own promised land of blessing.

And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. [31] But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

Numbers 13:30-31

Caleb and the spies witnessed the exact same scenario. But the spies saw the land as having insurmountable obstacles, while Caleb envisioned it as being completely conquerable.

In Andrew’s Don’t Limit God teaching, he shares how, on January 31, 2002, the Lord spoke to him from Psalm 78. In the following passage, God showed Andrew that he, too, had been limiting Him with small thinking.

How oft did they [the Israelites] provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 78:40-41, brackets and emphasis added

Wow! We can—and often do—limit God’s power in our lives by how we think! God wanted to exponentially expand the Gospel Truth television program onto numerous stations worldwide. At that time, however, Andrew’s thinking was too small to catch God’s vision. But once Andrew understood how he was limiting the Lord from fulfilling His will, he began to change and expand his own thinking. Within only a couple of weeks, resources flooded in that made the television expansion possible.

There are many ways we can limit the Lord with our thinking, including not dreaming big enough, having an inferior image of ourselves, or expecting the worst. These all describe my problem—negative thinking. In Don’t Limit God, Andrew explains that we must “quit thinking small and limiting God and imposing [our] inadequacies and . . . failures upon God and recognize [that] He’s limitless.”

The way to do this, as Andrew discusses in his teaching, is to change our inner image. We must first see in our hearts what we want to see happen in our circumstances. This comes as we align our thoughts with God’s Word and allow Scripture to challenge us to think bigger. And because we have the mind of Christ, we can think as big as God thinks.

I challenge you today to start changing your thinking and take the limits off God. When you do, your glass won’t be half-empty or half-full; it will be overflowing. So, you might as well forget the glass!

Written by Renée Gray-Wilburn

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Monday
Apr092018

The Best at Being Me

When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

2 Corinthians 10:12, New International Version

For most of my life I’ve had a competitive streak. From report cards to card games, I wanted to outdo everyone at everything. Somehow the idea of not excelling and being the best was a threat to my security and well-being. In my mind, coming in second place was the same as being first loser.

During my second-year Charis Bible College missions trip, I came face to face with my insecurity. Sitting in the rear of the bus one day as our team traveled back from an outreach, I mulled over the events of the trip thus far. I had been able to give a testimony during one outreach, but I hadn’t been chosen to do anything “important.” I was feeling invisible and unnecessary, and I didn’t like my “background” role.

At the same time, I knew my attitude was wrong. After all, every member of Christ’s body is essential and equally valued, and it was the same for every member of our team, including me.

Thankful that no one could read my thoughts, I prayed and asked God
for help.

That same night, the Lord woke me up with a scripture, taken from the
Mirror Bible:

“Quit your efforts to try and impress one another. The law of works reduces your life to envious comparison and petty competition, while love only always seeks the advantage of the other!”

Galatians 5:26

Hardly noticing the reproof in the Lord’s words, I was so grateful for His directive—and for the answer to my longtime dilemma.

In one short verse, God revealed that my competitive streak was the result of comparing myself with others. Insecure about my unique value to God, I felt like I needed to compete with everyone to validate my importance. I was never able to settle down and be comfortable with the person God made me to be. And more importantly, my insecurity kept me self-absorbed rather than others-focused.

In his Don’t Limit God book, Andrew says that being ignorant of our value as God’s children limits God and His ability to work through us:

“God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He wants to do absolutely miraculous things in everyone’s life. God has never made a piece of junk. He has never made an inferior person. We all have something that God wants to accomplish through us, but most of us are ignorant of this and have bought into the lie that there’s nothing special about us. But the truth is that we are all unique and can do something that nobody else can.” (p. 3)

With thankfulness and a new perspective, I finished out my missions trip, grateful for the opportunity to do whatever I was asked.

Since then, I continue to renew my mind about my worth in God’s eyes. And I’m coming to realize that although I may not be the best at everything, I’m the best at being me. And I can live with that.

Written by Sylvia F. Wells

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Monday
Mar262018

User Manual Included

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. One of my coworkers told me, “I just wish there was a manual given at birth that told me how to do life. It would’ve made things so much easier for me!” I was stunned, but she just laughed off this far-fetched idea.

She wasn’t a believer, and she had gone through serious turmoil that left her filled with anger and put her on an endless search for answers. And here I was, screaming on the inside, There is! I have the answer!

That day I realized the hard truth: there are people in this world who desperately need what God has already given us through His Word, but they have no idea how applicable or relevant the Bible is to their lives. Particularly the book of Proverbs. It is so transparent. It literally is our manual for life.

This week, Andrew continues his teaching on this book of wisdom on the Gospel Truth broadcast. In this teaching, Andrew shows us how we can choose to accept God’s help in life. We need God’s wisdom and His inspiration. And that’s what Proverbs is all about.

I’ve experienced this guidebook firsthand when Proverbs literally saved my life. I was only twenty when I got engaged to a guy who was not right for me. The months of dating before that were filled with so many doubts and so many smart people warning me to jump ship. Sometimes I listened, and we would break up; then later, I’d ignore their advice, and we’d get
back together.

Dumb.

I knew of others who ignored the naysayers and succeeded in the plan of God for their lives. So, I thought that would be my story too. But Proverbs 11:14 says, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers” (New International Version). Truthfully, it can feel really cool to go against the grain and prove people wrong. But for me, this verse meant escaping a terrible decision. With godly people speaking to my heart and confirming what I already knew deep down, I couldn’t ignore what God was saying to me anymore. I broke the engagement off. This time it was for good.

Andrew shares how if you’re undergoing struggles in your life right now, “it’s because you haven’t been following God’s direction. . . . And because of that, we go out and make mistakes that we don’t have to make, that the Word of God teaches us how to do things differently.”

Proverbs expounds on life’s biggest questions for both the little things and big things. And even if you “miss it,” God has a way of bringing wisdom back around to you, sometimes through another person. For me, it was through my amazing sister who spoke up and voiced my fear that my former fiancé was not the best choice for me.

Along with stressing the importance of having many counselors, Proverbs 11 also shows that it’s a gift when you have a faithful friend. Andrew explains that “you can’t just be best friends with everybody.” He says, “When you find somebody who will honor you . . . and protect you—man, that is a
faithful spirit.”

That’s how gracious and faithful God is to us. He gives us people who wake us up to His call on our lives and point us to His Word. I’m thankful for those people and my brave sister, who were my wake-up call to finally walk away from something that wasn’t God’s best.

We do have a manual for life. It’s the Word of God! Keep watching the Gospel Truth this month to gain more timeless wisdom for a life of purpose. It just might save your life too.

Written by Mo Smith

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.