We are commanded to leave our safe spaces and put our faith in the Lord during this season of great exposure because it is a time when we will be put to the test. This is a time of enormous growth and transition, but it may also be a challenging and disturbing experience. In Isaiah 54:2–3, we are given a wonderful promise of love and protection from God during this time. It says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities”.


The idea of spreading our tents is powerful because it stands for taking up more space and being brave in our faith. But this is a call to action. We must get out of our comfort zones and trust that the Lord has a plan for us.


We may even face scrutiny for following and trusting how God is leading, and this may be a test of our faith. But the Lord is here with us, and He will give us the strength and direction we need to get through. So even though we will never know all that the future holds, we can trust His promise that He will be our shield and our peace.


Have courage and trust in God and each other. Let's leave the safety of what we know and go into the unknown, knowing that the Lord is with us every step of the way. And as we move in that direction, we'll find that doing so brings the wonderful growth and change that comes from doing the Lord's will in our lives.


Last week we discussed increasing and trusting God’s timing and provision. To paraphrase, God said, "Now that you really believe I will bless you even though you are childless, you should do something to show it. Your action should be to start singing with strong faith." Start to see yourself in a better place in the future. You must stretch. Increase the size of your tent beyond what you're used to; rip out the curtains of your home here. I want you to see it coming: the tent you've grown used to, the tent you've grown used to living in. It hasn't arrived yet, but it will. It hasn't come yet, but it is on its way. It is coming.


I know it may be taking a long time, but don't be tired; you are a child of God. I know it didn't come as quickly as you would have liked, but don't let your relationship with God be shaken. How can you get ready? You have to stretch, but stretching is uncomfortable because it hurts. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and shows your weakness. If you don't stretch before and after a workout, you could hurt yourself or cause damage to your body. How much more damage happens to the spiritual body when it is not stretched?


Sometimes, when you have high hopes, you must go through something that makes you feel bad. Why does it feel bad? Because it shows how rigid you are, how weak you are, and how ready you are for what God has next for you.




God tells the Israelites to go tell people about the promised land, but as soon as the word "promised land" comes up, limiting beliefs pop up, and they can't escape them. You have to get a divorce from false self-images and limiting beliefs. The words people have used to try to shape your identity have shaped how you see yourself and how you've let others see you. You live with a set of false self-images and limiting beliefs. You will never experience God's blessings if you don’t move beyond what you currently know and stop talking badly to yourself. Can I explain why some people never get ahead? You're "hung by the tongue." What you say about yourself makes your situation worse.


In Mark 5, there was a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. She went to doctor after doctor, and each one told her that she might as well learn how to get used to her illness because it would never get better. The Bible says that it got worse, but this woman talked with herself. The Bible says so, and she told herself that sometimes you must learn to talk to yourself. Sometimes you must learn to ignore everyone else and tell them, "I'm not talking to you, so please don't talk to me." I need to talk to myself. "I need to talk to myself because I've let myself talk myself out of the blessings that God has." She said, "If I could just touch the hem of His robe, I know I would be healed." First, she was able to get rid of her limiting beliefs, which took her 12 long years. She had been living with the idea that her life would never get better, but that changed when she saw Jesus. She decided to break the limiting belief and say, "God, I'm going to trust you. I have no idea what I'll lose. I have everything to gain by trusting you, so I might as well.” She got over her limiting thoughts. She got rid of her false idea of herself. She thought that her life would always be broken because of this picture. She stopped telling herself bad things. She trusted God.


According to the Bible, there was a crowd. Jesus is surrounded by a lot of people. But even though there were thousands of people around him, this woman did the following: She pushed through the crowd and wouldn't let anyone or anything stop her from touching Jesus.


She reached out of her comfort zone and touched His hem, but it wasn't the hem that healed her; it was God, and she was made whole. You can't have high hopes for your life if you constantly talk badly about yourself, have a false image of yourself, and have limiting beliefs.


For the rest of 2023, you should have a list to help you decide who you let into your life. This year, I won't be able to help anyone whose beliefs hold them back. People with false self-images have no place in my life or on my schedule. I can’t hang out with anyone who will spend the day talking badly about themselves.




Listen to what He says: "Not only broaden its reach, but also go beyond what you already know," He says, but don't be shy. Lengthen your cords. Take note of this crucial phrase, and do not waste time. God tells you not to save anything during this time in your life and to pay attention to what He says: lengthen your cords. Get out of what’s convenient and comfortable.


If good things are going to happen in your life, they will depend on how easily you can be stretched and strengthened. Last week, I gave you some practical ways to do this, and this is a time in your life when you need to do it. High expectations imply high risks. Try something new because it will help you grow. Read something besides a novel. This gives your mind something to think about. You're always trying to be more hardworking, focused, and disciplined.




After you've made the cords longer, you should make the base stronger. God says, "Nail the pegs, or stakes, into the ground." "Build a tent for the increase and influx of blessings that God is about to bring out of the barrenness and desolation that you have experienced in the past."


In other words, you need to now drive these stakes deep into the ground. So they can hold tension, they have to be driven deep into the ground because the tent, the curtain, and the ropes have been pulled. If there was ever a time when you couldn't be spiritually shallow, it's now. Your shallow, surface-level spirituality won't help you deal with the stress and pressure of the world. You can't put 120 pounds of force on a cord only an inch into the ground. That's the spiritual problem with most people. You can't handle it because you're not ready to die. If you or I ever needed to learn more about God's Word, we could just go to church and let the pastor do all the work while we sat there, but that does not stretch and strengthen us like if we studied on our own. Dive deep. You have to go deeper.  


Here's what you should do today. Tell your family, "Let me check again to ensure the pastor isn't preaching heresy." Most people are about two sermons away from heresy because they don't understand. Since you don't read or study on your own, I can tell you just about anything and make it sound good. I know enough to get by. I'm polished enough; I know how to put words together well. I can make anything sound good if you don't know the truth. 


You need to dig deep into God's Word to get the valuable and counterintuitive attention that comes with life. You have to be so involved in worshiping God that it doesn't matter how hard the wind blows. I beg you to stop taking your relationship with God for granted. This year, go further and expect great things from God!

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4245 Cascade Rd SW
City of South Fulton, GA


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2581 Spring Road Smyrna, GA 30080

Sundays 8:30am

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2990 Bright Star Road
Douglasville GA 30134

Service Times
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