It’s difficult to stay positive when you feel you’re being pushed around and bullied. We don’t understand why things happen. Situations push us around and bully us taking us out of our comfort zones – work, family, a boss, a bill collector, etc. Who is pushing you?
SMILE STAYING POSITIVE WHEN…
By Pastor Delbert Young
You Are Pushed
I Am Pushed
Scriptures: Job 29:18, 1 Samuel 15:35-16:1, Acts 8:1, Acts 8:5
It’s difficult to stay positive when you feel you’re being pushed around and bullied. We don’t understand why things happen. Situations push us around and bully us taking us out of our comfort zones – work, family, a boss, a bill collector, etc. Maybe something happened in a relationship. Things exploded. It was bad, and you were pushed out. Or, perhaps things were going great at work. You were moving up in the organization. Your skills were recognized and applauded, but now there’s conflict and questions. Instead of enjoying work, you struggle going to work. It’s no fun. The situation is pushing you away from the organization where you once truly wanted to contribute. Perhaps you were laid off. You thought you’d be employed there forever. Diligently you worked your way up. It required years. Now, they’ve pushed you out. You feel used. The situation forced you into finding new employment. Or, maybe something unexpected happened in your finances. Now you’re pushed/forced into making some financial decisions you had not planned on making. These things can be very discouraging affecting our dreams and even our faith in God.
I want us to see God will allow people and situations to push us/force us out of our comfort zones today so he can bless us tomorrow. You are too large for where you are. God will shut one door so he can open a bigger better door. God is not as concerned about your comfort as he is your purpose. He will allow things stirred fervently in your life. A friend will do you wrong. You lose a loved one. People annoy you. Your business goes down. I want you to see God uses persecution, loss, embarrassment, betrayal, and negative things to both direct us and to force us into change. He’s not making your life miserable. He’s pushing/forcing you to your potential, your purpose, and your destiny. We would never find our purpose, potential, and destiny if never pushed and made uncomfortable.
Every closed door is not a bad thing. Every bad situation is not a bad thing. Most times we won’t move without a push. We become comfortable and complacent when everything is going our way. We don’t want to move. We don’t want to expand and develop new skills, and step out into the unknown. We say, “I might fail. It might not work out.” We didn’t like it at the time but had God not closed the door and pushed us, we would be satisfied to stay where we were. God loves you too much to allow you to miss your destiny. You have too much potential and too much talent. There is too much inside you to be stuck where you are. So, God puts us in situations causing us to stretch and grow.
Every difficulty you’ve been through, every bad break you’ve experienced, every person who did you wrong wasn’t meant to stop you. It was meant to push you, mature you, and make you stronger. It developed something on the inside of you. These situations made you who you are today. You would not be prepared for your next level had you not gone through those things. Don’t’ complain and be negative about what didn’t work out, the job you lost, the failed relationship, the bad thing you went through. It was all according to God’s plan. When you experience a difficulty instead of complaining and being negative have this Biblical perspective: “This is not meant to stop me. It’s meant to promote me. I don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable, but I know God is using it to push me to a new level.”
If you look back over your life, you will see the pivotal moments where you grew and went to a new level of living was when you were pushed. God had to close a door and push you to go to the next level.
I remember when I worked in manufacturing. I worked my way up the corporate ladder. I became a supervisor. I made more money than my friends made. I enjoyed what I did, and I was very good at it. I constantly set production records and became the production “poster boy” for the organization. “If Delbert can do it, you should be able to do it.” But then something happened. I became dissatisfied. Things would get stirred up. Conflict happened with my superiors. I had a boss two levels over me who was a real pain. I began dreading going to work. I prayed about it and asked the Lord to fix the situation. Around the same time, I began enjoying studying and teaching the Bible. I seemed to understand it. I saw things others didn’t. As I look back, I now see one door and season of my life was closing as another opened. When it was time God opened a door for the ministry and thirty years later here we are. I now see God was pushing me. He used the conflict and dissatisfaction to push me into my potential and purpose. He loved me too much to allow me to miss my destiny. Had conflict and dissatisfaction not happened I would have become comfortable and missed my destiny. I remember praying asking God to fix those things in my job. I know now sometimes we pray against the very thing God is using to push us to our next level.
(KJV) Job 29:18 Then I said, I SHALL DIE IN MY NEST, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
(NLT) Job 29:18 “I THOUGHT, ‘SURELY I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life.
Job said he thought he had it all planned out. He had his house, his family, his wealth – his nest. He was very comfortable. However, God allowed Satan to push Job out of his nest. Job was pushed and pushed and pushed. He experienced difficulties with family, finances, friends, health, emotions, etc. We know from our series “It’s Not Right!” God was in the background allowing Job’s pushing. Job didn’t understand or like it but said, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.” (Job 19:25) Job trusted God and knew in the end God would work it out and in the end Job had double everything with the favor of God like never before.
What we take away from this is to not be surprised if when you get everything figured out, God pushes you out of your comfortable nest. It’s not to harm you. It’s to push you to your next level and destiny. God’s dream for your life is far bigger than your dream for your life. God believes in you more than you believe in him.
Our son Lance worked with me twenty years here at Life Gate. I always preached vision, you have a personal destiny, follow your dream, etc. We had it planned out. We had our nest made. Lance would replace me when I retired, but Lance became unfulfilled here. God was pushing Lance. God was more concerned about Lance’s purpose and destiny than my nest. God loved Lance too much to allow him to become comfortable here. He’d put too much potential and too many talents into him to not utilize them fully. God opened a door for Lance to move into a large ministry. There he learned things he would never learn with me. He meet and worked with people he would never meet with me. His time was done here. Today, after a series of pushes and doors, Lance is the executive pastor at a large ministry fulfilling his destiny. It would never have happened had God not kept pushing him.
We don’t like it when things like this happen. It’s disappointing. It stinks, but neither can we allow ourselves to complain, be depressed, and negative. When this happens, see it as the time was fulfilled. The season has changed. God is moving you forward. It’s time to step into the next season of your time. Trust God. He knows what he’s doing. Faith is trusting God when life doesn’t make sense.
The prophet Samuel spent years pouring into Saul, the first king of Israel. Samuel mentored Saul and initially Saul did well, but became proud and arrogant and wouldn’t do what was right. Eventually, the Lord took the throne from Saul breaking Samuel’s heart.
1SA 15:35-16:1 Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the LORD was grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel. The LORD said to Samuel, “HOW LONG WILL YOU MOURN FOR SAUL, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and BE ON YOUR WAY; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
Things happen breaking our hearts. They stop working out. The Lord told Samuel to stop grieving over this. It’s all my plan. I have something bigger and better for you to anoint. Stop grieving over what you didn’t think worked out the way you wanted. Be on your way! God will send you to what will work out at your next level. As long as we grieve over the “Sauls” – things not working any longer – we will never experience the “Davids” – God’s anointing and favor. God will reject something precious to you to get you on your way to your next level of living.
It’s painful, but as the birthing of a life, the pain is the worse just before the birth. After I came to this town to pastor, another difficult time developed. The denomination we were in rejected me. They disagreed with my theology and pushed me out. I felt rejected, belittled, and hurt, but looking back, were they pushing me away, or was God pushing me into my destiny? There was a lot of pain, but now I see the pushing and the pain bringing a birth. Life Gate Church birthed from the pushing and pain. God doesn’t waste one pain. He uses the pain to bring a birth.
I asked John Attardo if I could use his story. John was born and lived in Canada. He worked for the family business. He made well financially, but was not fulfilled and became a little dissatisfied. He wanted to do his own thing. Unknowingly, God was pushing John out of his nest. With a series of doors and pushes, he and Angela moved here with a promise of fulfillment and comfort. But, it wasn’t comfortable or fulfilling. His employment became very tense, stressful, and an uncomfortable situation. Again, God was pushing. The situation pushed John through a door to different employment. There it was more comfortable, but not fulfilling. It wasn’t bringing out John’s potential and talents. Plus, the position required John to miss church, and God wasn’t even close to stop pushing John. Another door opened with a large corporation and John went through it, but it too kept him from church about half the time and he still wasn’t fulfilled. A different position became available in the same corporation, but with less salary. John took it so he could be at church with his family believing it was God’s will. It was. John continued to do well. The favor of God was on him. Time after time as he began to get comfortable in his nest, something would happen – dissatisfaction, conflict, etc. They’d take away his territory after he’d built it up and give it to someone else. He felt passed over, but every time as his nest stirred the dissatisfaction and conflict pushed John to a better position. After several doors and several pushes, John is now at the corporate level making a corporate salary. He’s at church every week with his family and more fulfilled than ever. My point is God will stir up your nest to get you to your purpose on the way to your destiny. There is too much potential inside you to lay dormant. He loves you too much to leave you alone. He knows if you get too comfortable you will miss your abundant life.
Don’t get upset, and bitter at people who cause you pain. God is using those people to push you where you need to be. They think they’re pushing you down. They don’t realize it, but they’re pushing you up. Judas thought he was stopping Jesus by betraying him. No. God ordained the betrayal. It was all in God’s plan. It pushed Jesus to his destiny. Situations in your life are ordained to push you.
Acts 8:1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. ON THAT DAY A GREAT PERSECUTION BROKE OUT against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles WERE SCATTERED THROUGHOUT JUDEA AND SAMARIA.
It sounds bad. Stephen was stoned to death. The church was being greatly persecuted. People in the church were literally driven out of their homes and their town, but then we read.
Acts 8:5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there.
Jerusalem closed, but Samaria opened. A door closed, and a door opened. Persecution pushed Phillip to go to Samaria where God brought out his talents, abilities, and purpose. A great revival took place. God could have stopped the persecution in Jerusalem or never allowed persecution to begin. He could stop it in your life, but the persecution is for a purpose. Had Philip stayed in Jerusalem, he never would have experienced his destiny.
Some of us are being pushed this moment. You’re being pushed for a reason. There’s something bigger, better, and more rewarding just beyond the next opening. You’re in a womb. It was comfortable there for a while. It was nice and warm and exactly what you needed, but there are contractions now. Things are becoming tight. You feel squeezed. You don’t know what’s happening. You’re too big to stay where you are. If you stay in the womb, it will become an unhealthy situation. You will never birth your talents, purpose, and destiny. The contractions push. Then push again. Then push again. The birth canal is tight and a squeeze. You will come out yelling and screaming and kicking. The birth is traumatic, but you birthed into a new level of living.
You’ve got to be willing to go through the process. See it as good. Joseph’s brothers thought they were pushing Joseph down. No. They pushed him out. They didn’t stop Joseph. They were only contractions birthing Joseph. Potiphar’s wife didn’t stop Joseph. She was only another contraction. Prison didn’t stop Joseph. It was another contraction. What people and situations meant for evil, God meant for good. Every person who threw you into a pit, every person who lied about you, every prison you felt you were in was not meant to stop you. It was meant to push you to your destiny. So “Smile Staying Positive When… You Are Pushed!”
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