7 Reasons "If" Is Not For Believers

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Have you ever come across someone whom you haven’t seen in years and the very first thing they say to you is. . . “Wow, you’ve changed so much that I barely recognized you.”

Some people fail to recognize a change in your appearance, maybe a change in your hair color, radical new cut or even hair loss.

While some people will recognize the change in your outward appearance few may recognize the inward changes in your life.

There are also times that we may not recognize someone because of a change in their conversation, behavior, attitude and/or character.

While you may on occasion fail to recognize someone for one reason or another. . .there is one thing you will never fail to recognize.

Here are seven ways to recognize and embrace your destiny.

1.         Recognize the One who gives you the power.

God gives us the breath of life. . .PLUS He enables, enlightens, empowers, equips and energizes us with everything we need to fulfill our destiny.

It’s important to understand the source of all our power and insight.  We must know who He is and the fact that it’s possible to change.

1 Corinthians 1:18 in The Living Bible says:

“I know very well how foolish it sounds to those who are lost, when they hear that Jesus died to save them. But we who are saved recognize this message as the very power of God.”

As a born-again believer we are recipients of the power of God.

John 14:26 in the Amplified Bible says:

“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”

At our disposal we have the nine power gifts of the spirit. . .the gift of wisdom; knowledge; discerning various spirits; speaking in tongues; interpretation of tongues; prophecy; faith; working of miracles; and the gift of healing. (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)

Our loving Heavenly Father allows us to tap into what is most frequently called the motivational gifts of the spirit.  Romans 12:6-8 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;  [He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching; He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.”

And the very good news is that God doesn’t want you ignorant about these gifts.

The gifts of God are not something to put on our spiritual resume. . .to brag about down at your local church.  The gifts of God are to be used to bring Him honor and glory.

1 Corinthians 12:1 in the Amplified Bible says:

“NOW ABOUT the spiritual gifts (the special endowments of supernatural energy), brethren, I do not want you to be misinformed.”

God wants you to recognize Him as your power supply.

2.         Recognize your opportunity

Sadly, for many people they spend their life with their favorite “Aunt. . .Ifida.”  If I had only done this. . .if I had only done that.

Everybody has “Ifida” stories.

One of my “Ifida” stories concerns buying stock in Ford Motor Company.  Six or seven years ago, when the government was passing around bailout money the Ford Motor Company opted not to become a government controlled entity. . .and just for the record, I tip my hat to them for that.

On October 22, 2008, Ford stock was selling for a low of $1.78 per share…and I considered buying a thousand shares. . .however, we facing university tuition and fees for two daughters at the time…so I passed.

As I write this teaching…Ford stock just traded at $15.77. . .and I’m not going to figure how much I would have made…because I chose a higher priority investment opportunity at the time …the education of our daughters.

When it comes to opportunities you may have missed in the past, ALWAYS remember that your future is not in focusing on the rear view mirror.

Psalm 90:12 in The Living Bible says:

“Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.”

Colossians 4:5 says:

“Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity.”

I’ve read over two thousand books and I have distilled some of the wisdom of the ages.  I have read the writings of many great philosophers and teachers.

I can tell you without equivocation, hesitationor reservation . . . an absolute, fool-proof way to find the greatest opportunities available anywhere.

This collective wisdom of the ages can be summarized with just two words. . .are you ready to write them down.  Drum roll. . .here are the two key words for your life.


With His help you will be able to recognize and seize every God-directed opportunity that comes your way.

And by the way, just because your brother-in-law  your best friend or anyone else close to you says that something is a ground-floor opportunity doesn’t make it so.

Ask God before making a decision or you may be buried under the ground floor.

3.         Recognize your standard operating procedure.

Your view of others and your personal behavior are often shaped by your experiences early in life. . .or your standard operating procedure.  It’s why you do what you do.

External factors over the years become internalized and thus affect how and why you do certain things the way you do.

Some people use their negative factors or experiences as a crutch or an excuse to explain or justify their lack of success or why they act and react in a certain way.

There is an African proverb which I quote on occasion that says:

“If the enemy within can do you no harm. . .neither can the enemy without.”

Regardless of the headaches and heartaches of the past, every born-again believer can rid themselves of these hindrances by immersing themselves in the Word of God.

The best way to heal a hurt. . .to change the way you do things for the better. . .your daily habits, i.e., your standard operating procedure is by applying the healing balm of His Word. And by allowing yourself to be ministered to. . .in His presence.

Here are four things you should know about your SOP. . .standard operating procedure.

First, make no mistake about it. . .God knows your thoughts.

Psalm 94:11 in the New Living Translation says:

“The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are vain (empty and futile--only a breath).”

This should make us think twice before we allow sinful thoughts to roam around in our minds.

I’m not going to elaborate on this point. . .except to say. . .ALWAYS REMEMBER . . . God knows what you’re thinking.

Second, God will change your standard operating way of thinking.

Psalm 94:19 in the New Living Translation says:

“In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, You comfort cheer and delight my soul!”

As Romans 12:2 in the New Living Translation says:

“. . .let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. . .”

Third, when God touches your life. . .your circumstances won’t matter.

Proverbs 15:15 in the New Living Translation says:

“All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].”

When we allow the Word of God to transform our thought process. . .things begin to change. . .and they will never again remain the same.

Fourth, you can have a successful way of operating and living on a daily basis.

Proverbs 16:3 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.”

When we cast every care on our Lord.

Psalm 55:22 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).”

Now that sounds like a really successful way of living.

4.         Recognize your abilities and gifts

Since we began the Rich Thoughts for Breakfast calls. . .and perhaps beyond that . . . there is a statement that I frequently repeat and will continue doing so until it becomes engrafted in the lives of believers everywhere.  Here it is:

God has given us ability to perform at a level we never previously thought possible. . .He sees a greater potential in us. . .than we’ve ever seen in ourselves.

Romans 12:6 in The Living Bible says:

“God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well….”

No one is exempt . . .because there are no exceptions to this scripture.  The verse clearly says God has given each of us. . .that includes everyone alive . . .including you. . .the ability to do certain things well.

This empowerment is a gift from the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 1:14 in The Living Bible says:

“Guard well the splendid, God-given ability you received as a gift from the Holy Spirit who lives within you.”

We’ve established that according to the most irrefutable source in the universe you’ve got God-given gifts and abilities.

However, you must recognize the gifting that you have and do something with it.

2 Peter 1:5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence).”

Ephesians 5:15-16 in the New International Version says:

“Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

Let’s review.

God gave you, yes you, abilities. . .use them.

God empowered your abilities through the Holy Spirit. . .celebrate them.

God energizes your abilities. . .expand them.

God expects you to engage your abilities on a daily basis. . .manifest them.

5.         Recognize your seed

Your seed is anything you do that helps another.  It may be information, encouragement, or finances.

Whatever it is, your seed is always your door out of trouble.

Job sowed a prayer of deliverance for his three friends.  Then, God turned Job’s captivity around.

Job 42:10 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored his fortunes, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

Job’s seed was his faithfulness and his prayer for his friends.

David stopped a tragedy by offering a special offering to the Lord.

2 Samuel 24:25 says:

“And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.”

When we let go of what is in our hands, God will let go of what is in His Hand. 

If we know God, we’d rather have what’s in God’s hands than what’s in ours.

Luke 6:38 says:

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

Here’s what Luke 6:38 says in the New Living Translation:

“If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving--large or small--it will be used to measure what is given back to you."

We should always recognize the power and the potential of our seed, where it came from and why we are sowing it.

Psalm 96:7-8 in the New Living Translation says:

“O nations of the world, recognize the Lord; recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.  Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his courts.”

6.         Recognize your harvest

Your harvest is receiving anything from anyone that can benefit or bless you.

Your harvest already exists.  It’s walking around you.  Just as your eyes had to be opened to recognize Jesus, they must be opened to recognize your harvest.

You must continually walk in the expectation for manifestation of your harvest. . .you’ve got to know that God’s laws of sowing and reaping. . .seedtime and harvest NEVER fail.

There have been times in my life when I expected my harvest to manifest in a particular way and it did not.  What I’ve found over the years is that the method in which God chooses to manifest my harvest is always far better than what I had in mind.

You must know God will absolutely guarantee that your precious seed will produce a harvest.  How can I make such a bold statement?  Simply because of the Word of God says so.

Psalm 126:6 says:

“He who goes forth bearing seed and weeping [at needing his precious supply of grain for sowing] shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

His Word says the one who sows it “…shall doubtless come again with rejoicing.”

Doubtless means “be doubt – less!” …your harvest is coming to pass. . .you just need to recognize it.

Psalm 126:6 in the Message Bible says:

“And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives.  So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.”

This is a favorite translation of mine because . . . you come home laughing . . . with armloads of blessings.

Those who give when it isn’t easy. . .those who sow when it isn’t convenient . . . those who continue to give in the midst of lack. . .will come home laughing with armloads of blessings.

I like saying it this way.

Bev and Harold Herring will come home laughing with armloads of blessings.

Personalize it for yourself.

<<Your Name>> will come home laughing with armloads of blessings.

Are you ready to recognize your harvest. . .your armloads of blessings?

7.         Recognize your destiny

You can recognize your destiny. . .by following His instructions as your loving Heavenly Father is scripturally training you for reigning in this life and the life to come.

 Recognizing right from wrong is a simple pre-requisite for walking in your destiny.

Hebrews 5:14 in the New Living Translation says:

“Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”

Spending time in His Word. . .meditating on His precious promises will move you into fulfilling your destiny quicker and more effectively than anything else you can do.

Joshua 1:8 in the New King James Version says:

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

In reading this verse you can see once again. . .the part you play in manifesting your destiny.

Six times in Joshua 1:8. . .the verse says “you” or “your.”  Simply put, your prosperity. . .your success. . .your destiny. . .is in your hands.

You don’t need seven keys. . .seven things. . .seven reasons. . .or seven anything. . .all you need is Him. . .for you to achieve your destiny. . .and it will be glorious.

How can I be so sure?  I’m just quoting the Word of God.

Psalm 73:24 in the New Living Translation says:

“You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.”

Your destiny is not determined by chance but by choice.

Choices that God wants you to recognize so you will choose to walk in them.