Let me be transparent with you… I was not always a Believer in Christ. It actually wasn’t until much later in my life that I came to know the Lord. At that time I was living the life of a successful businessman, and the transition into ministry was extremely difficult. I have to confess that there have actually been times throughout my Christian walk where I thought I’d never make it.
Over these past years, God has taken me on an immense journey, and through it all I have learned some important life lessons that I would like to share with you.
The Battle for Your Identity…
It is so important that you know who you are in Christ. At the first of the year I had invited each one of you to set your year for success. This was an exercise in learning to invite the Lord to help you define your destiny and set your personal goals for the year—the value is immeasurable. It is only through His guidance that any of us succeed in living out His highest calling for our lives.
You see, when you are confused about what He wants for your life, the enemy will bring in counterfeit activity that robs from your time, tasks, and abilities. Often, when all have been squandered we’ll look to the Lord in frustration saying, “But I thought this was what you wanted for me!”
Have you ever been there before? I know I have.
How do I deal with a Spirit of Fear?
I had struggled with a Spirit of Fear as early as I can remember. Abandoned by my mother and father, and raised in a Catholic orphanage on skid row until I was six months old—these are circumstances that affected my life greatly, even into adulthood.
As a young boy, I had experienced the racial tension and violence of the 1965 Watts Riots, as well as other inciting events of the 60s. Before I was a grown man, I had witnessed multiple murders and been physically assaulted due to just the color of my skin alone.
It took major deliverance for me to walk free from fear… MAJOR!
Spiritual maturity is more than just being saved for many years; it’s all about living a life full of victory—undefeated by the bullets and arrows shot by the enemy. Until you can get to a place where you learn the lessons God is trying to teach you in any area, you’ll continue to circle around that mountain again and again.
In my own personal life I’ve gone through two very malicious and brutal seasons of attack, where I have been publicly humiliated, and accusations were brought against me that were absolutely not true. These seasons were extremely difficult, but it was through those times of testing that I grew the strongest in Him. I personally had to learn these lessons the hard way, but today I look back on them and am extremely grateful for what I learned and how much I grew.
How did I get there? It was a process…
Twelve spiritual lessons that changed my life—
Each one of these twelve lessons has been in preparation to look and become more like Jesus. Once I began to understand the importance of these lessons, all of the competition stopped, all the jealousy and battle for identity dissolved…
“The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills…”—Habakkuk 3:19
The Lord wants to make your feet like hinds’ feet (a female deer that can place her back feet exactly where her front feet stepped) so that you can tread upon His high places, so that He can take you into the Courts of Heaven to use you to change the atmosphere and the destiny of those who are stuck in the valley of decision.
The Lord is using your battlefield to teach you the ability to do spiritual warfare, not for today but for what’s coming ten years from now.
The first spiritual book I read outside the Bible was “Hinds’ Feet on High Places,” and it greatly impacted my life. The main character is a young woman whose name is Much Afraid, and her two companions are Sorrow and Suffering. I don’t have time to go into the entire story here, but basically through her own spiritual journey, she eventually transforms from Much Afraid, to Acceptance with Joy—this transition finally allows her to interact with the Shepherd and be at peace.
My experience is similar. I started out much afraid, but through trials and tribulations, with a mix of extreme successes and spiritual victories, I have come to know the Shepherd in an intimate way, and accept each one of my assignments with joy—knowing that through Him, I will be victorious in every walk of my life.
When you choose to forgive those who stand in your way, every interruption will strengthen you to become more like Him.
“Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”—Numbers 14:9
It’s time for you to be delivered from the fear of man. You need to know that nothing is going to be able to stop you from fulfilling the assignment that God has called you too. Neither man nor demons can stop you from accomplishing your assignment.
I’ll say it again… “Man nor Satan can’t stop you!”
Your destiny is in God’s hands, and your life is also. You are strengthened by every resistance that you are fighting against. And meanwhile, you’re asking questions like… “What’s happened here? Why all of these problems now?”
He’s training you!
Once you take spiritual authority and break the assignment, things will settle down… but even that doesn’t happen overnight.
- Freedom from Needing Answers: Trust is the Key to a Covenant Lifestyle
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.’”—John 13:7
God gave this scripture to me in 1992, and I can honestly say that I know what He’s doing now… but I didn’t then.
One of the keys to spiritual breakthrough is trusting the Lord in every circumstance, even without having full understanding.
I made a decision a long time ago that I’m going to trust Him, EVEN when I think He’s crazy. However, you can bet that if God would have put me in as His chief assistant, I would never have let half of the stuff that has happened to us, happen.
There have been many times where things have been falling apart on every side. And then the Lord gives me the scripture above, and it nearly paralyzed me. He’s saying, “You’re going to trust Me and not question, because I’m going to finish this with you one way or the other!” It’s tough, but extremely worth it in the end.
Trust is the key to covenant between God and man. Once trust is broken in a relationship there is no covenant.
3) Your Weaknesses are Where God Transforms You and Releases His Glory
“When Jesus heard that, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’”—John 11:4
As a Type A personality, and one who was extremely successful in the business world, I understand cooperate behavioral management at a high level. Still, there was a time in my life where I couldn’t seem to manage my thoughts and the things I said out loud. The only scripture that gave me comfort was what Paul wrote when he shared that the things he did not wish to do he did, and the things he wanted to do, he didn’t.
I kept wondering why do I keep knee-jerking in anger? And it turns that out that all those things were anchored in the fear issues that the Lord was working to deliver me from.
Your weaknesses are sicknesses in your system… but I can tell you that from experience, it won’t last forever. This too shall pass. These things aren’t forever. It may take awhile to get over this mountain, but you WILL make it!
4) Make Peace With the Crushing: Quit Running from Your Gethsemane.
“Bread flour must be ground; therefore, he does not thresh it forever, break it with his cartwheel, or crush it with his horsemen. This also comes from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.”—Isaiah 28:28-29
If you want to be like Him you’ll have to go through crushing. Crushing is part of the process and the preparation for the assignment.
During my early years as a Believer, the Lord was dealing with me and spoke that if I wanted a real anointing Curt would have to be crushed. I had a choice at that time to separate from other Believers and from my God, or I could stay in the cluster and become a fine wine.
It was at that time, that I decided to accept God’s process and not resist it anymore. I stopped trying to find a way to grace my way out and went through the press.
The Lord revealed something extremely deep within me at that time… it was about complaining. He shared with me then, that if we resist the press, choosing only to complain, God cannot use us. We must submit to the wine press, we must answer the call.
5) Tribulation is the Fire for Supernatural Glory and Authority
“O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires.”—Isaiah 54:11
I once had a really annoying neighbor who collected stones… He had a rock tumbler in his garage, which you could hear from our master bedroom. He polished these stones for hours and hours, the noise was horrendous. Sometimes the stones were extremely ugly when he started, but by the end of the polishing… they were beautiful!
That’s all about you and I. Times of testing tend to reveal the ugly parts of our nature, but through the tribulation and the trial, we become smooth and beautiful.
The end goal for every Believer is that we should become more like Him. The more we become like Messiah, living in an intimate relationship with our Father in Heaven, the greater our witness is to others.
This is true Shalom… this is true peace.
I hope you’ve enjoyed Part 1 of this two-part series, “The Journey.” Please be sure to join me next time in Part 2 when I share the last 6 steps to developing an intimate faith walk with the Lord.