Philippians 3:12 says Not that I have already obtained this or am already made perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Now lets look at verse 13, Brothers I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining for what lies ahead, 14, I press on toward the goal for prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. How many of us have baggage that we have in our lives, or have something that we continually look back upon, and wish that we never did, or wish we could just let go of. We have sins, in our lives, that sometimes come back to haunt us, and we think that we will never be able to let go of those sins. Maybe it’s not sins, but past mistakes, with relationships, friendships, and we continue to make those same mistakes in the new friendships, in the new relationships. We wish we could just let go of those past mistakes, and begin with a new slate, and forget what we have done in our past. I think we could all say we have been their, or that we wish that we can forget those past mistakes, and sins. Maybe it’s not just mistakes, and sins, but wanting to go to the next step in our walk with Christ, and we feel we can never make it, we feel we are never worth it, we will never be able to attain it, because of who we were before Christ. Though Paul in Verse 13 says we need to forget what is behind us, and we need to look to what is ahead of us. That doesn’t mean, that our past will completely be wiped out from our minds, or that we will forget what we have done, though we can’t let it hinder us from what it is, that God has for us in our future. Let us not allow our past to hinder or slow us down from what it is that God has for us, and for our future in him. If their is something that is holding you back, or stopping you from achieving the greatness that God has for you, drop it today, allow God to break the chains in your life, and to run the race that God has for you, don’t let the past slow you down from what God has for you.
Today is the day we will go out, either at school, or at work, or maybe go to a Halloween party, or even walk around the neighborhood, and wear costumes, and masks. Now before you go off, on me, this is not a Blog that is promoting Halloween, or saying that Halloween is a good thing. Nor is it one that is going to promote how to reach the lost on halloween. We wear all types of costumes, on Halloween, from superhero’s to villains, to ghosts and everything you can imagine in between. We come home, and we take the mask off, but what about the other 364 days of the year. What type of mask are we wearing? what type of person are we truly being the rest of the year? Are we wearing a mask just on Halloween, or are we wearing it the rest of the 364 days of the year as well.
I want to be open with you today, I am a friend, a son, a brother, a minister, but most importantly, I am a Son of God. I am someone who gets frustrated, angry, disappointed, sad, happy, joyful, excited, I look forward to whats to come, but more importantly I am a Son of God. Throughout school, I would get frustrated, because at times it was hard for me to learn, it wasn’t always easy for me to get the A’s, or B’s on tests. Although at some point, I would like to marry a Puerto Rican, or Dominican Woman, I have no inkling of how to speak Spanish. (Anyone want to teach me, let me know). I had to take Spanish in high school more than once. I’ve gotten hurt and disappointed, by those in the church, but I’ve also received the most encouragement from those in the church as well. I was angry with God, when my Mom passed away, because I wondered why, and I remember throwing this book across the room, Am I Not Still God, by Kathy Troccoli, and in the end He was. It wasn’t an easy thing to go through but He was.
Sometimes I still wear a mask, about certain things that I am going through, and things that I deal with in our lives, but their are those around us, that need to know what it is that we are dealing with, and going through. I think their are to many people that wear masks and hide behind those masks. Let me ask you this, what mask are you wearing today? Are you wearing the mask, of doubt, fear, depression, loneliness, singleness, marriage. I mention singleness and marriage, because maybe you go around being happy that your single, but in reality, your depressed, and lonely, or maybe you go around telling people that your marriage is going great, but in reality it’s going down the tubes. I’m still single, at 37, and would like to find that woman of God that He has for me, and I try my best to live the single life, and be happy in my singleness, but at times, it’s difficult, and yes I get lonely, and I get depressed for not having that other person in my life. Yes only God can fill that void, but don’t we all wear that mask at times.
For the ministers that will read this, you tell everyone, that you have the greatest ministry in the world, which we all say that and you might, but in reality, your hurting. You may feel that you still have that great relationship, with God that you had 10 years ago, but your further away from him. Lets take off those masks today, and reveal ourselves to either others and most importantly to God, about who we truly are. One thing I learned last week, is that sometimes no matter how close to God, we truly are, that their are still some area’s of our lives, that we are still hiding from him, that we are still putting the mask up, in front of him, and saying All is well, I am good, but in reality your not.
I am a brother, a son, a minister, a friend, most importantly, I am a Son Of God.
Jesus says Love one another, John 15:12, 1 John 3:11, says that we have heard this message from the beginning that we are to love one another. In John 13:34, Jesus gives us a new commandment that we are to love one another, and their are other verses that tell us that we are to love one another. We see that Jesus loves the unloveable, He loved the thief on the cross, by saying to him, today you will be with me in Paradise. He loved the unloveable so much, that He even went up and spoke to the samaritan woman. Now back in those days, and maybe even in todays day, men and woman did not speak to each other out in public, the man walked in front while the woman was behind him.
The Jews and Samaritans, was two people that did not love each other, they did not hang out, did they not associate with each other. So when Jesus went up to the woman at the well in John 4, that was something that more than likely was never seen or done in that region of the world. What makes it even more interesting is that this woman was an outcast, she had previously been married, 5 times, and the man that she was with was not her husband. Because of this, a few verses down this woman goes and tells others about Jesus, and many came and believed because of what had happened at that well.
The church is not a building, the church are people, that believe in Christ, today we need to love the unloveable, to love the outcasts, to love the prostitutes, the drug dealers, the porn addicts, those that go against the word of God, we may not agree with everything that they do, or say but we are also sinners who have fallen and will fall. Another words we need love and forgiveness as much as the next person, and we need to show love to others as well. Let us love one another does not just limit us to those that are the church, but to love the unloveable. Let us Love one another as Christ has loved us.
As I was finishing up my prayer time tonight, I heard this phrase do not despise the day of small beginnings, and I looked it up, and you can find this phrase in Zechariah 4:10. What Zechariah is talking about here is the rebuilding of the temple project, and how some people had a negative, attitude about having to do it. Regardless of what others thought, God wanted to rebuild the temple, and was going to continue it, and finish it. He wanted Zerubbable to finish the building of the temple. Could it have been that those that were not happy with this building project because of the small group of people that they had helping them. Could it be that they forgot that it usually is the small remnant of people that God uses.
I remember when I started this ministry is 2007, and I started calling churches, and trying to get pastor’s to have me to come in, and speak, and give my testimony. The first year I had about maybe ten opportunities to speak. The second year came around, and it probably wasn’t much more than that probably fifteen, and the year after that maybe a few more, lets say twenty. Four Years later, I have had close to thirty, and next year, God has opened up six doors for the ministry, and pastor’s already have told me that they would have me, call them in November.
My Point being, thankfully I didn’t despise the day of small beginnings that God had for me, I didn’t give up, I didn’t say well this isn’t going to work out. This must not be what God has for me, He only allowed me to speak ten times this year. I moved forward, I continued to make the phone calls, some pastors probably have me on caller ID, and they know when I call, and say oh no, Dorsey’s calling again. You know what, regardless of what happens, God is going to make a way, where their seems to be know way.
What is it that your doing, or wanting to do in your life, especially that calling that God has placed on your heart. Maybe it’s a ministry in a church, maybe it’s a bible study at work, school, college, a home group, and for the first few weeks people don’t come out, their’s only a few people. You start to wonder, will this work out, did I make a mistake in starting this ministry. God sent his son, to this earth, thirty three years later he chose twelve disciples, twelve ordinary men, and they changed the world.
We all want to do something great for God, though when He calls us, we can’t give excuses, we need to Go. I wonder what would’ve happened when in August of 2006, God said send this out, and see what I would do, and I didn’t do it. I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. I probably wouldn’t be doing what God wanted me to do. I may have had a Noah situation, where God would’ve had to bring me back, and say this is what I have for you. When we feel the call of God on our lives to do something, we sometimes give the excuses we’re not good enough, we’re too young, we can’t speak well enough. I can’t speak that great, I get called ma’am, or even sweetie sometimes, because some pastor’s think, I am a female, why you may ask, I have no idea. Though I continue on with what God has called me to do. What about David, who before taking the charge to go up against Goliath also fought and killed a lion and a bear.
Even with that resume look at what Saul says to David in 1 Samuel 17:32-33 David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Then Saul said to David, “you are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” What about Moses who was to lead the Israelites out of the Hand of Pharaoh and told God I am neither good in speech or slow of tongue. Like Moses, and David we as well either give the excuse or are told by others that we are not capable or have the ability to do what God has for us. Even though I had the desire to do youth ministry I wondered, along with moses, how with a speech impairment I was going to be a youth pastor, never mind being an evangelist.
I had people tell me that ministry may not be good for me, I had a high school history teacher tell me I wouldn’t make it in college. Some people at bible college didn’t think that I would do well in the classes. So they had me graduate with an associates degree in my third year at College. Was I an A+ student no, was the subjects hard yes, did I have a learning disability yes. Regardless of what I felt or what people where telling me, I knew that I had to get out of my comfort zone, and keep my eyes focused on God. I believed God had a plan and a purpose for my life, I may have doubted that at times, I may have questioned it, but in Jeremiah 29:11 Message Bible it says, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for”.
Their are to many times in our lives when we listen to those around us, telling us we can’t make it, we won’t finish, your a failure, you won’t succeed, your not smart enough. Even with those voices telling us we can’t, we won’t accomplish what God has for us. Their is always that still small voice of the Holy Spirit, telling us, keep going, don’t listen to those around you, I will give you the strength to finish.
When we feel Gods call on our hearts to do something for him He is not going to call us out of our comfort zone and not be their for us. Why do I know that because God gives us the perfect example of not leaving us alone when He is going to the boat and calls Peter. Peter does what most of us do at least some point in our life time, we take our eyes of off Christ. Because of the trials, situations, difficulties that surround us we begin to sink, and lose the faith that God gives us. Thats when God has to come over, take our hand and say you of little faith why did you doubt. Don’t doubt today, step out of your comfort zone, listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and do what it is that He is calling you to do.
Today I read an article in Relevant Magazine titled 5 Horrible Pieces of dating advice. I am so glad I read it, because I have been told some of these a number of times, especially when it comes to number one. I understand that people mean well, and that people try to help, but it’s difficult to understand why they would say number one. Before I say what that was, I am a guy and since I AM a guy, I was told that I am the “hunter” I am the one that’s supposed to go and talk to the girls, introduce myself, etc. Girls usually don’t come up to the guys. The guys are supposed to make the first step, and start the conversation. I am sure I am not the only guy that has heard this right?. So when people especially those that are dating and married tell those like myself that are single, God will bring her to you when you least expect it, or another version of it is, when you stop looking you will find her. Huh? I am going to quote the Article written by Eric Demeter on this topic, “However, taken to the extreme, this reverse psychology approach (of sticking your head in the sand yet expecting to find a serious relationship) is an oxymoron at best. Much of what we long for in life in discovering a fulfilling vocation, experiencing God and even meeting our future spouse requires effort on our part as well as reliance on God’s guidance”. I am glad to know that part of the process requires effort on our part, because thats what I was scratching my head and wondering about. Obviously I realized that, but it’s just weird when people say Stop looking and you’ll find her. How are we supposed to find her when were not even looking for her? Does that make sense, or am I the only one confused about someone making that statement?
Another piece of bad dating advice was that we are being to picky, why is it a bad idea to have a high standard when looking for the woman of God that He has for you. I am waiting for my wedding day to give myself to my wife, so am I being to picky when I am looking for the same standard in my wife? Are their possible exceptions to that, sure. Is it becoming increasingly harder to find that person as you get older, probably, but why can’t I pray, especially a blessing on my future spouse, and say God bless her and keep her, until our wedding day. Why can’t we be picky on certain issues? Am I being to picky or setting my standards to high when I say I don’t want my wife to drink, smoke, maybe even a Christian woman of God that has grown up in the church like I have, no I don’t think I am. I believe I am setting my standards up with “Gods lists” or standards for what He has for us in who we are to look for in our spouse. Here’s another quote from the article, “This may come as a surprise, but a famous marriage researcher named John Gottman has stated that People who have higher standards and higher expectations for their marriage have the best marriages, not the worst. Similar to a self-fulfilling prophecy, people who hold higher standards for marriage may find a more satisfying one”. So next time anyone approaches you, and tries to give you any of these advices, take it as a grain of salt, and let God lead you to do what He would have you to do. Do what God wants you to do, but realize you are also part of the process of looking for that future spouse that God has or you. And you have a right to set up, the highest standards, of what you have for your wife, when it comes to what God has for you, in your future spouse. Set those standards up against what it is that God wants for you.
I love the band casting crowns, and I love Mark Halls, testimony of what He has been through, and went through in life. I have heard Mark say that God doesn’t need me he wants me. It may not be the same context or argument, but I feel that God wants us to get married, He doesn’t want us to be alone, Genesis 2:18 says Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” I pray that if God wills it that at some point, that I will get married it’s all in his timing. Does God need me to get married in order for him to use me, or to do great things in my life, no, but He also says that no person should be alone. I also believe that He wants me to get married to the woman that is right and suitable for me. I have a saying when I speak to get people to laugh, since my testimony is so serious, that I have talked to people about being married, and having a girlfriend, and than after talking to them, I think to myself maybe it’s better to stay single. Most people break out laughing, but it’s true, marriage is not for the faint of heart. From people that I have talked to, I know it’s not an easy thing to do or to step into, though I am glad I got my friends who are single along with me, and that they are all in the same boat with me, waiting for the man/woman of God that He has for us. A lot of people say I am going to pray for the ONE that God has for me, well maybe we should pray to the One, and He will send us the number two that He has for us. Another words, we need to keep our eyes on number ONE, and He will send us the the number two that He has for us. Even for you ladies out their, when you are waiting, and looking, for the man that God has for you, don’t give up hope, and pic the first guy that comes along, wait, and if you have to wait some more than wait. We may never have the perfect marriage, no one ever does, but I do believe that God does want us to find that special someone. We just need to be patient at some point, their are always times in our lives when we need to be patient and wait, when we are cooking, we need to wait until it’s properly cooked, before we can have it. It’s the same thing when we are waiting for that someone, we have to wait until we are mature enough, and ready enough to get married. We also have to look at the inside appearance and not just the outside, should we be attracted to the person we are going to get married to, absolutely. Here’s the deal, I would rather have a 1954 Jalopy with a nice engine, (heart) than a 2014, Mercedes, with a rusted engine. Remember God looks at the heart, Not at the outside appearance.
I read an article in the New York Daily News the other day about this lady whose son got a little bit of his finger cut off, because it was slammed against the inside of the door. It only cut off the finger just below the fingernail, though this mother is calling her son disfigured. Now if this mother wanted to see someone disfigured, go to the Henry Viscardi High school, where I went. Go and google Aperts.org, cerebral Palsy, or any other severe disability website, and you will see people who are disfigured. Go as I did today, and visit or volunteer at the Empire State games for the Physically challenged. I feel sorry for the boy, though what I shook my head on is that he says that he can no longer button his shirt, or write. Growing up in a school with people who have disabilities, and living with a disability my whole life, unfortunately I have seen a lot worse than what this boy is going through. Though I have also seen these kids and adults do a lot more with a lot less than what this kid has. Philippians 4:13 says I can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Living a life with a disability, or becoming disabled after you are born, we may ask God, why? The bible tells us in Romans 8:28, And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love him who are called according to his purpose. We may scratch our heads, we may get angry, frustrated upset because we wonder how are we going to live, what are we going to be able to do now. We need to realize that no matter what disability we have, we can do everything that we are capable of doing and more if only we put our minds do it. I have seen people that have no arms, and no legs, people in wheelchairs, and a woman I saw again this woman, who have done more things in their lives, than most people that do not have a disability do in a lifetime. We need to realize that regardless of what we go through, and deal with in life that God has great things planned out for our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you to give you a hope and a future. So whatever you are facing or going through in your life, know that God loves you, and wants to do great things through you in your life, because God wants to see you do great things. You can do that regardless of the disability that you have because God will give you the strength, to do whatever it is that He has for you in your life.
Have you ever wondered, how is God going to use me? What am I going to be able to do for God? I am sure we have all have asked those questions. We may say we don’t have the qualifications to do something great for God, or that I have messed up to many times to be called and used by God. Now being called, and used by God, doesn’t always mean you have to go to Bible College, to be a pastor, you can do great things for God, and should, even without being a pastor. We always think that those in the Bible, were great men and woman of God, and were closer to God, than we are at times, but was that always the case, I think not. Let me so you some men and woman of the Bible, and how they were used by God, even with the limitations, their sins, and their struggles that they had.
The next time you feel like God can’t use you, just
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problems, and walked around the desert for forty years,
Gideon was afraid
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
Rahab was a prostitute
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
John the Baptist ate bugs
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer… AND
Lazarus was dead!
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Mark Hall lead singer of Casting Crowns, talks about the buttons that the Devil Pushes. How the Devil knows exactly what buttons to push, and when. He knows when we are doing well, and knows how to push us down. He knows when the marriage is fine, and than throws us a curveball, and wants to shake things up. Their may even come a time when we have health problem or relationship issues, and God wants to see what are we going to do. Are we going to turn our back because the fire is getting to hot, or are we going to our knees. The enemy knows when us singles are tired of being single, and looking for the one God has for us, and pushes those buttons that says we will be single forever. But God tells us, For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you to give you a hope and a future. God says in Genesis, that man should not be alone, and that the only way to live a single life is if you are called to it, not sure about you, but I am definitely not Paul, or called to the single life.
We each have those buttons, or what Paul calls a thorn in the Flesh, a messenger of Satan. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. I don’t know about you but I am not always content when dealing with these things in my life, or going through these situations. Most of you know that I have been through a lot in my life, from dealing with the devil telling me that I should commit suicide to the possibility of never getting married. Having to deal with seeing both my mom and my sister pass away was not easy, or having to go through 68 operations. But God worked it out, for His good, His honor, and His glory. I don’t know how but He did.
God may or may not remove the thorns in our lives, like he did with Paul, but Paul cried out for God to do it, but Christ reminded him my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness. We need to remember that we are in Christ, and that we have already won the victory, and that no matter what buttons the Devil pushes Christ already has the victory, He has it in my life, and Has it in yours as well.