Turning Points Toward Success

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Are you at a turning point in your life?

Do you need to change from living in lack to walking in abundance?

Do you need to experience the healing touch of Jehovah Rapha?

Do you need to see your long-lost family members born-again and proclaiming Jesus as the Lord of their lives?

Is your spirit ready to embrace a turning point moment?

1 Thessalonians 1:9 in The Living Bible says:

“For they keep telling us about the wonderful welcome you gave us, and how you turned away from your idols to God so that now the living and true God only is your Master.”

People who experience turning points do so for typically two reasons. They become inspired to change … or the more common, they experience a life-changing circumstance (loss of a job) or a catastrophic event (divorce, health challenge etc.) that forces them to change.

Reaching a turning point in our lives. . .normally involves three things.

First, a message we’ve heard. . .that provoked our thinking.

Second, the response we had and actions we took based on what we heard.

Third, the outcome we experienced from our actions.

When we hear what we’ve always heard. . .we will believe what we’ve always believed. . .so that we’ll have what we’ve always had, been who we’ve always been and known what we’ve always known.

Do you need a turning point in your life? If you answered, no. . .then you might be the neediest of all.

We need to allow God’s Word to equip us for every turning point experience. . .starting today. Here are seven keys.

First, be willing to turn your back on what you’ve always known and done.

John 3:1 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Now there was a certain man among the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler (member of the Sanhedrin) among the Jews.”

Nicodemus was a person of prominence and prestige.

John 3:2 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Who came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), we know [without any doubt] that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs [these wonders, these attesting miracles] that You do unless God is with him.”

Nicodemus took a real risk in coming to see Jesus. No doubt that’s why the scripture says he came to see Jesus at night. He knew the other members of the Sanhedrin would not approve of his visit. In fact, they might even remove him from his position as a leader of the Pharisees.

Nicodemus spoke first-hand about the signs, wonders and miracles which followed Jesus. He had either personally witnessed these miracles or had been given reliable eye-witness accounts. Either way, there was no equivocation in Nicodemus’ conviction as he discussed these happenings with Jesus.

Nicodemus was smart enough to know that these miracles could only happen if God were with you.

You could say Nicodemus had reached a turning point in his life. He was ready to move forward instead of returning to what he’d known and believed in the past.

Nicodemus’ turning point focused on dismissing all those years of learning and influence received from his religious sect... to become a follower of Jesus Christ. (John 3:1-12)

Second, turn your back on the sin in your past.

The woman at the well in John 4 had a turning point in her reasoning.

In John 4:7. . .Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water.

In John 4:9 in the Amplified Bible the woman’s life started to change.

“The Samaritan woman asked Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (For Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans.)”

Jesus offers her living water. . .and then He reads her life like a letter in the mail in John 4:17-18 in the Amplified Bible which says:

“The woman answered, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I do not have a husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your husband. You have said this truthfully.”

I find the woman’s next statement to be one of the greatest understatements in the Bible.

In John 4:19 in the Amplified Bible the woman said:

“The woman said to Him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet.”

You really want to say “really!?” Jesus, a perfect stranger, just revealed her sex like and all she says is “I see that you are a prophet.”

But her reality is beginning to change. . .she is reaching a turning point in her life.

John 4:28-29 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Then the woman left her water jar, and went into the city and began telling the people, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done! Can this be the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed)?”

Now here’s some amazing news. . .our turning point often becomes the turning point for others as well.

John 4:39-42 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Now many Samaritans from that city believed in Him and trusted Him [as Savior] because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they asked Him to remain with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed in Him [with a deep, abiding trust] because of His word [His personal message to them]; 42 and they told the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; for [now] we have heard Him for ourselves and know [with confident assurance] that this One is truly the Savior of [all] the world.”

The people in the city witnessed the change in the woman. . .her turning point became theirs as well.

Third, your turning point. . .begins with what you’ve got.

Something I already possess will position me for a divine connection.

I’m reminded of a young boy who was going to meeting.

No doubt he watched in awe and amazement as this man called Jesus was teaching the Word that day.

His Mom has the foresight to pack him a lunch.

Who would have ever thought that the lunch his mother packed for him would bring him face to face with a Man who changed his life forever?

Not only that. . .but his lunch. . .was a turning point for him and thousands of others as well.

John 6:9 says:

“There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?”

When we take what we have and give it to God, then the potential for supernatural increase is present.

John 6:11 says:

“And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.”

This young lad’s spirit was moved and he did not hesitate. He never said, “That’s my food” or “That’s all I’ve got.”

When you start with what you’ve got. . .give it to Jesus. . .you’ve reach a turning point in your life by establishing a divine connection.

The boy went home with twelve baskets full. . .because he gave what he had to Jesus.

There may be times when we feel we have nothing to give. If we accept that reality or mindset. . .we’ve destined ourselves to failure and a life of lack.

Fourth, ignoring the circumstances to seize an opportunity. . .becomes a turning point.

Matthew 26:6-9 says:

“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, [7] There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. [8] But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? [9] For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.”

This woman. . .walked past other houses with her precious ointment (expensive perfume). . .the cost of which was roughly one year’s wages determined to find where Jesus was.

The woman found Jesus and she ignored her circumstances because she was at a turning point in her life. What was this woman seeking from Jesus . . . forgiveness of her sins.

Luke 7:38 says:

“And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Verse 38 says she “…. stood at His feet before Him weeping. . .” Now look at last sentence of v 39 which says: “. . .she is a [notorious] sinner [an outcast, devoted to sin].”

It is important to see and understand what happened here…the woman brought precious ointment—a seed of monetary value to worship Jesus and she walked out with her sins forgiven.

Her turning point came. . .when she seized an opportunity she saw before her.

This also happened with blind Bartimaeus… in Mark 10:46-52 the scripture says:

“. . .blind Bartimaeus. . .sat by the highway begging. . .when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus. . .have mercy on me. . .And Jesus …commanded him to be called … saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise…..  

“And he, casting away his garment, rose and came to Jesus. . .And Jesus answered and said unto him, What will thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way: thy faith made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus in the way.”

In this beautiful story in Mark 10, did you notice what blind Bartimaeus did? First, he reached out to our Lord in faith. . .then he “. . .casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.”

It is interesting to note that in this particular period of history the coat he threw away was a special garment that certified Bartimaeus as really being blind. He cast aside his old way of receiving the things he needed and wanted. . .that coat was the thing Bartimaeus had previously trusted in. . .however, in great anticipation of his healing, he cast it down.

The turning point for Bartimaeus came when he took a step of faith. . .casting off his previous way of doing things. . .and he received his healing.

Fifth, your turning point can come while you are serving others.

Jesse asked his son David to take food to the battlefield for his brothers. This began as an ordinary trip for David.

We don’t know whether he was excited to see the battlefront or whether it was an assignment David would have rather passed on being aware that his brothers were part of King Saul’s while and he was just a lowly shepherd boy.

1 Samuel 17:23 says:

“And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.”

As David was delivering the food to his brothers he heard the enormous Goliath mocking the children of God and particularly the Israelite soldiers.

1 Samuel 17:8-11 says:

8And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.

9If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.

10And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.

11When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.”

Not only were King Saul and his soldiers afraid of Goliath. . .they ran away from him.

1 Samuel 17:24 says:

“And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.”

From scripture we can assume that even David ran away. The scripture says “all” and that surely included David. Then David overheard that King Saul offered a reward to the one who killed Goliath.

1 Samuel 17:25 says:

“And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.”

The reward grabbed his attention and David ultimately rose to the challenge with the response . . . “where is that uncircumcised Philistine?”and the rest is history. No one in the reluctant army wanted to do a less than desirable task which presented David with a divine appointment with destiny.

Sixth, your turning point can come when you learn the real value of life.

Luke 19:2-4 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And there was a man called Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, and [he was] rich.   And he was trying to see Jesus, which One He was, but he could not on account of the crowd, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass that way.”

Not only was Zacchaeus reaching out to Jesus for answers. . .he was willing to reach into his own bank account. That’s when you know a man mean business.

Luke 19:8 in the Amplified Bible says:

“So then Zacchaeus stood up and solemnly declared to the Lord, See, Lord, the half of my goods I [now] give [by way of restoration] to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I [now] restore four times as much.”

The Queen of Sheba’s response to Solomon was similar to Zacchaeus.

1 Kings 10:1 in the Amplified Bible says:

“When the queen of Sheba heard of [the constant connection of] the fame of Solomon with the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions (problems and riddles).”

Are we always reaching for answers to God’s mysteries?

Seventh, knowing what to do when a storm blows in.

Mark 4:35-40 in the Amplified Bible says:

“On that [same] day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee].” 36 So leaving the crowd, they took Him with them, just as He was, in the boat. And other boats were with Him. 37 And a fierce windstorm began to blow, and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already being swamped. 38 But Jesus was in the stern, asleep [with His head] on the [sailor’s leather] cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are about to die?” 39 And He got up and [sternly] rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still (muzzled)!” And the wind died down [as if it had grown weary] and there was [at once] a great calm [a perfect peacefulness]. 40 Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith and confidence [in Me]?”

No matter. . .who you are. . .or how spiritual you may feel. . .there will be times when a storm will blow in to darken your view and force you to respond to the current crisis.

In our lives crisis will come and go like the changing tides of the ocean. But the real measure is who we are based on how we respond in the midst of the crisis.

In Psalm 34:19 in the Amplified Bible we have a promise to embrace:

“Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

If we’re obedient to the Word of God. . .when trouble comes. . .we have the confidence in knowing that God will deliver us out of it.

Another reassuring scripture to remember is in John 16:33 in the Amplified Bible which says:

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”

Life is challenging but the key to success is recognizing turning points when they come and responding with our knowledge and assurance in God’s Word.

 

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