Friday, August 13, 2010

Take the First Step

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Putting the progression of events in your life into perspective is certainly important...to keep moving toward your goals you have to maintain a vision of the big picture, on some level, at all times...but looking only at the big picture can sometimes be overwhelming...when you're tempted to feel like it's all just too much to deal with, simply visualize your first step and then take it...once you've taken that first step, look out from where you are at that point and notice what has changed...doing this will help you determine what your next step should be, and after that, just keep stepping..."the STEPS of a righteous man are ORDERED..."

On Wednesday nights at CITN I always have the visiting pastors share what they talked about in their Sunday sermons at their churches, and this past Wednesday, P. Brandon Mitchell talked about "Popcorn Theology", the confirmation of a spiritual truth through the plot line of a motion picture...of course, that's something I've used for years in my preaching ("You told Harpo to beat me..."), and I make no apology for it, as I see the referencing of pop culture to make a point the modern equivalent of Jesus' parables, in which he used imagery from agriculture (seeds, sowing and reaping, harvest) to explain the Kingdom of God to His first-century audience...

There's a great scene in the last installment of the Indiana Jones trilogy ("Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade") that really epitomizes the power of faith, belief in oneself, and Dr. King's above quote about the staircase...

In it, Indy, an archaeologist/adventurer, is on a quest to locate his father who has gone missing in his own archaeological quest to find the Holy Grail...though the Grail is the symbol of every archeologist's obsession, there comes a moment in the film when Indy realizes that he needs the Grail for a higher purpose other than his own professional pride...he has to find the Grail in order to save his father who, in the storyline, will surely die without its healing powers...

Up to that point, Indy has been following the instructions to locate the Grail that are contained in an ancient book...but in a very dramatic moment...just when he needs the Grail the most...he incredulously comes to a dead end...he finds himself at the rim of a chasm that appears to be bottomless, and he has no apparent means to cross to the other side of it...

So he consults the book again, and learns that what is required for the bridge to appear is belief...simple faith...and even though this idea is completely contrary to the way his scientific mind works, with this terrifying knowledge he just closes his eyes and steps out with both feet...and the bridge does, in fact, appear beneath him...then he runs quickly and effortlessly across the invisible bridge to the other side, eventually completing the quest...

"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe."
- St. Augustine

We were all raised to believe that "seeing is believing", but the more open we become to the Mind of Christ, the more we understand that believing is seeing...

Override your dependence on logic (the "seeing is believing" belief) with the knowledge that your vision has already manifested, and that all you need do is step into it..."NOW FAITH IS the EVIDENCE of things not seen, the SUBSTANCE of things hope for"...

"You become what you think about."
- Earl Nightingale

Keep your mind focused on your vision, and not on your doubts and second-guessing about it...when doubts arise, bring the vision you have for your life...your destiny...back to the forefront of your mind, and just let it override the doubts...you may have to do this frequently at the beginning, but you'll find that if you're faithful to do it, it will become easier and easier..."but be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of your MIND"...

"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail."
- Charles F. Kettering

Ask yourself "If I knew I could not fail, what would I be doing right now to bring my vision into reality?"...chances are you will think of some bold moves that will probably be far outside your comfort zone...then remind yourself that if you are capable of conceiving these ideas, you are capable of achieving them...then act on one of these bold moves..."but FAITH without WORKS is dead"...

Instead of giving yourself reasons why you can't, give yourself reasons why you can...write down your reasons for not being able to achieve your vision in one column, and directly opposite it, write down the reason why you can..."but WRITE THE VISION, and MAKE IT PLAIN on tablets, that he may run who reads it..."

You can also do this mentally whenever a negative thought arises...counteract every negative thought and statement with a positive one...be consistent in this practice, and In time, your mind will default to the positive beliefs...

This weekend at CITN is going to be awesome...there is a great flow of revelation right now in all of the services, and this coming Sunday's experience will be no exception...remember that FAITH COMES BY HEARING (not from having heard), so make your plans to be in one or both of the servies to HEAR (if you're out of town, you can stream the 11 AM service)...come and hear the word you need for your next step...

16 comments:

Avatar said...

Timely...very timely...just took the step and watching for what changes...thanks, Bishop!

Anonymous said...

Bishop,

I think I mentioned this once to you, but it bears repeating. For whatever anyone thinks about Robert Tilton, he said something very profound to me that has been a strength to me over the years. It is, "I began to do what men said I could not do, but what God had put in my heart to do." Another one I hang onto was one of Lester Sumrall's favorites, "Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts". I was so blessed to get saved under Lester's ministry and weaned under the likes of him and Morris Cerullo. While my theology has grown and changed much of what was sown into me by those early years has held me strong. Thank God for great men and women of faith who have paved the way, and thank you for teaching us how to live it in the NOW. Beth

Anonymous said...

Taurea Davis said...

Good one!

Anonymous said...

Jerry Hester said...

Bishop...thanks so much for this word; it helps me in the place I find myself today. Thanks for Kingdom realities that help to renovate the mind!

Anonymous said...

Aubrey Brey Gallimore said...

I've been reduced to amazing!!! AMAZING! I'm currently somewhere where I need to be applying this though. As I wait I said let me go see what my Bish is saying today and BAM! Amazing!

Karl Cobos said...

Love those moments in that movie...really glad to see you using them!

Your use of cultural things today has really helped me to seek and find meanings and parables for myself in music and movies too...and then share them...thanks.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer M. Carpenter said...

You always post the right thing at the right time!! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

LeBronn Carter said...

Thank you bishop. The principles of God seem to be upside down or opposite when compared to the "Wisdom of this age." Thank you for your words.

Anonymous said...

Wow...Something very prophetic about today's service is magnified by today's AYITN "Celebrate Diversity"... I feel it in the Spirit...bring it on...let us all feel the bridge-building today...

Anonymous said...

Bishop,
Recently there has been such an anointing on my life that I know it is from God because every thing that happens next is a huge spiritual surprise.
Today after the nine o’clock service the left and right thing developed a prophesy inside of me that the Holy Spirit nicely commanded me to give to you direct. As the praise and worship became obviously overwhelming to me, filling my spirit with release, God gave me a prophesy
during the song "Let it rain(reign)". This song has always been a prophetic word for me and during this praise, God spoke to me and this is what He said.
During the days of Jesse, Samuel the prophet was summoned by God to go to Jesse’s house to look for a king and after searching each brother...what was right is what was left – (King David). During the time of choosing apostles, from many disciples...what was right is what was left – (The twelve).
From the beginning, judgment ran it’s course, and the law was the law until...what was right was all that was left – (My Son Jesus The Christ). To serve Christ as intended the message was charged to this man...what was right was what was left (Paul).
Today is a new day and the evangel rains(reigns) over tradition and religion...what is right is what is left (Jim Earl Swilley).

Love you,
Thank You for Everything,
Rick McCleskey

Anonymous said...

The early service was emotional for me today. The tears just kept coming. Bishop be who you are and write your book... write your heart.
Sissiedo

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Wow...thanks, Rick...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

...and everyone else...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

I love you all...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Sissiedo...

Anonymous said...

I received a knowing a few years ago about the trans-formative truth that would be brought through you to really bring freedom to the captives...the release of condemnation...the re-defining of our traditional understanding of the God nature of male and female and the God definition of intimacy...the time is NOW...God has gone before you and prepared your audience...do not fear rejection or condemnation...embrace it as these are the souls that will ultimately be released from their deepest darkness and brought into the light through this anointed Word.
Those of us that remain steadfast at your local community know the truth already but deeply desire your anointing to explain what we "know" on a deeper and more understandable level...we welcome the education in order to spread the Word with clarity...God has created a loyalty in us to you and to this message that will surround you with whatever strength you require to do what God has called you to do.
Thank you for your obedience. We love and support you very much.

More confirmation from today's ACIM follows:
God has condemned me not No more do I.
My Father knows my holiness Shall I deny His knowledge, and believe in what His knowledge makes impossible? Shall I accept as true what He proclaims as false? Or shall I take His Word for what I am, since He is my Creator, and the One Who knows the true condition of His Son?
Father, I was mistaken in myself, because I failed to realize the Source from Which I came I have not left that Source to enter in a body and to die. My holiness remains a part of me, as I am part of You. And my mistakes about myself are dreams. I let them go today. And I stand ready to receive Your Word alone for what I really am.