By Dr Cecil Stewart OBE
We all have seasons in our lives when progress is slow. We work, we do our best but still we seem to move at snail pace.
I remember when I first started in the business world how slow and difficult it was to get people to believe in this new vision which had not been done before in Northern Ireland.
Banks and Building societies were reluctant to help fund it. So for the first years we were only able to care for a small number of people. But then, after a few years, the product was visible and it could be seen by all that it was not only an excellent, but a necessary service. Then we went from caring for about twenty until we were caring for almost two-thousand over the next twenty-five years.
Luke 19 v 5 Jesus said to Zacchaeus ‘Make haste and come down.’
Amos 9 v 13 The ploughman shall overtake the reaper.
Isaiah 60 v 22 A little one should become a thousand and a small one; a nation.
For many years, when I began to hold conferences and missions, we were only speaking to small crowds of around a hundred people. Then later it went from hundreds to thousands and then eventually, in recent years, speaking to stadiums and fields full of people and the response was amazing.
Through television and radio, God has enabled us to reach out to millions and His Word always works and brings forth great harvest.
So preparation is so very important and acceleration will come if we prepare well.
Accelerate based on 1 Corinthians 16 v13
Watch and stand fast in faith, be brave, be strong.
These words were spoken to those who had potential to rise higher and increase the influence of God’s kingdom in their world.
In the dictionary to Accelerate means to increase in amount or extent or to cause to go faster.
To me Accelerate means;
To go forward faster.
To go further.
To increase speed.
You may have been praying for things to change but it seems like everything is moving too slowly
But the Lord is saying to you today, it’s time to accelerate!
It’s time to expect answers to prayer!
It’s time to prepare for many great things to happen!
I believe you have;
potential to rise to a higher level.
potential to achieve the answers to prayer that you desire.
potential to achieve good things and reach your God given destiny.
James 1 v 17 says ‘Every good gift comes down from our heavenly Father’.
If you’re sick in body He wants to accelerate your healing.
If you’re in financial trouble, He wants to accelerate financial blessing
If you’re suffering with broken relationships, He wants to accelerate the healing of broken relationships.
Jeremiah 1 v 12 says ‘I will hasten my Word to perform it’.
He wants you to go further, faster.
So get ready to go to a new level.
1 Corinthians 16 v 13 Watch and stand fast, be strong in faith, be brave, be strong.
These words were spoken towards those who had potential to rise to another level!
God wants to accelerate us into His plan.
But it is up to us to be ready to go forward.
That’s why He says ‘watch, stand fast in faith, be strong’.
We must be on our tiptoes of expectancy because God is waiting for us to move.
He already moved when He gave His only Son on the cross to reconcile us back to Himself. See Corinthians 5 v 20.
Jesus dealt with all our sins, sickness, fears and depressions but we must rise up and claim it through faith and praying, according to the word.
We must be determined and fight to claim the benefits of what He has left us.
1 Timothy 6 v 12 Fight the good fight of faith.
The enemy wants us to be deprived of the blessings and the benefits of God.
So even though Jesus won the victory;
We have to fight to claim the inheritance that is ours.
We must not be complacent.
We must not be indifferent
We must be passionate to claim the salvation of our families, to appropriate the promises of God, to bring unity where there is strife and to bring love where there is division.
We can accelerate!
We can be strong!
And if we rise up with strong determination we will win.
When we fight the fight of faith we cannot lose!
In Luke 18 v 8 Jesus tells the story of unjust judge who did not fear God nor regard man. There was a little widow woman who kept coming to the judge and pleading with him for justice. She insisted that the judge should avenge her of her adversaries. She would not give up, she kept coming. She was passionate, determined, and relentless.
Her persistence wore the judge down and the judge said ‘even though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me, I will give her what she wants. I will give her justice.
Jesus said ‘will not God avenge his own people who are persistent?’ He will avenge them speedily.
He will accelerate their answers!
You may have been praying for certain needs in your families for years.
I urge you today to let your confidence grow.
This is your time of favour!
His answers are on their way to you! So open your heart get ready for good things to happen!
When you release your faith, God releases His ability!
In 2 Kings Chapter 7 we read about a terrible famine in Samaria. The people were surrounded by the enemy. There was no food for them. It was a desperate situation. There was no hope. But Elisha, the man of God said ‘hear the Word of the Lord, by this time tomorrow the famine will be over, by this time tomorrow our enemy will be defeated and we will be free.’
Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned laughed and said ‘if the Lord would make windows in heaven might such a thing be so.’ But Elisha reaffirmed the Word. He turned to the man and said ‘you will see it with your eyes but you’ll never taste of the food.’
Twenty-four hours later the famine was over the enemy had fled.
And the man who had spoken words of unbelief was trampled on and killed in the rush.
We must stay with the Word of the Lord to see it come to pass.
We don’t have to be controlled by our circumstances. No matter how bad things look. You may feel like you could never get over a broken relationship. You may feel like you can never be free of depression, anxiety and fear. But Jesus took it all! He took our grief and our sorrows.
He has a plan for your life, to heal you, to restore you, to give you joy no matter what your circumstances.
You don’t have to be controlled by your feelings.
The just shall live by faith Habakkuk 2 v 4.
You can have a renewed mind. You can have a different attitude.
You can have an atmosphere of love instead of hate in your life.
Joel 2 v 25 God will restore the years the locust have eaten.
You may have done some very bad things in your life or made some poor choices but that’s who Jesus came for.
He came to heel the broken. He came to restore the years that you have wasted. He came to put back together the broken pieces of you life. He is the restorer.
If you have unforgiveness in heart, make a decision you’re going to forgive. Because when you forgive you become like a prisoner that has been loosed and set free. See Matthew chapter 18 and Matthew 6 v 12.
Jesus said we have to forgive from the heart. So when we forgive those who have hurt us most we do ourselves a big favour. We do the person concerned a big favour too. Everyone concerned is blessed.
We cannot accelerate if we are living in unforgiveness or if we condone strife and anger.
Revelation 1 v 8 He is the alpha and the omega.
Hebrews 12 v 2 Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.
Many people start off well but they don’t finish well.
God wants us to be consistent and to realise that Jesus is the author and the finisher also. He’s going to be with us until the end. He’s our strength, our peace, our power. He’s the one who’ll give us victory against our enemies.
2 Timothy 4 v 7 ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished mu course, I have kept the faith.’
Acts 2 v 1 & 2 When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. v2 ‘Suddenly’ there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind.
The spirit of God fell on the people gathered suddenly.
Suddenly the fire of God fell.
Suddenly the desires of their hearts were granted.
Suddenly revival hit that region and thousands came to Christ.
There was an Acceleration of God’s power!
But remember these people were preparing before hand. They were all of one accord in one place.
When we prepare for good things to happen doors that wouldn’t open before will suddenly open. Problems that seemed impossible will suddenly have solutions.
Things will accelerate!
Favour is manifested when preparation and opportunity meet.
God is bringing you into a time of acceleration. So expect to have favour in your life.
Prepare every day. Get ready for the best to happen.
If you’re sick in body, see yourself healed.
If there’s strife in your home, take steps to deal with it and tell strife to get out of your home in Jesus name. Start to see a vision of unity and love and pray together using your authority to bind the enemy.
If you’re finically in trouble, expect to have a breakthrough as you prepare and get ready for acceleration!
See Philippians 4 v 19 and Proverbs 11 v 24.
You don’t have to struggle on like you have done in the past. Breakthroughs are waiting to happen. Healing and miracles are waiting to happen. Even when you’re hurting find others who are suffering and keep giving.
Jesus said give and it shall be given unto you in an overflowing measure. Luke 6 v 38
Strife, division and offence have the potential to destroy vision and passion, so we must do as it says in Proverbs 4 v 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Don’t let negativity into your heart!
Where there is envy and strife there is confusion and every evil work James 3 v 16 But when there’s unity it creates an atmosphere for God to work.
2 Corinthians 2 v 11 Do not be ignorant of the devils devices.
Don’t give the devil the advantage over you by speaking negative words or by receiving thoughts that trouble you.
John 14 v 1 Do not let your heart be troubled. You don’t have to live with a troubled heart. It will hold you back from accelerating.
God doesn’t only want to accelerate you but He wants to elevate you! He wants to lift you to a higher level of blessing. He wants to elevate you to a better quality of life, better health, better peace, a better financial situation.
God wants to accelerate good answers for you!
He wants to accelerate you into a place of power!
He wants to accelerate you into a place of strength!
BE A RECEIVER
Romans 8 v 32 God did not spare His only son but delivered Him up for us all. How shall he not with Him, freely give us all things?
God is a good giver but we are not always good receivers. Very often we are asking God to do what he has already done.
He has already given everything you need. We have to be receivers by thinking and speaking in line with His word.
2 Peter 1 v 3 & 4 talks about the fact He has given us exceedingly great and precious promises, that we might become partakers of the divine nature.
Ephesians 2 v 1-22 says that we were strangers to God’s promises. We were isolated from God. But through God’s mercy of sending His son, Jesus, we no longer need to be disconnected. We have been reconciled. We have been bought into fellowship. We have His life, His power, His wisdom. We have everything we need to live a victorious life, to accelerate and see God’s purposes fulfilled in our lives.
Here are 5 points taken from 1 Corinthians 16 v 13 that will help you to accelerate.
In the dictionary, to ‘watch’ means to look at or observe attentively, typically over a period if time.
To me it means to;
Be on the alert,
Have sensitivity to the Holy Spirit,
Get to know what the Word says,
Be listening for God to speak into our spirit,
Have our eyes open and avoid Satan’s snares,
Be ready for the good things God has for us.
See 1 Corinthians 2 v 9 and Jeremiah 17 v 7 & 8
Sometimes people miss out because they’re not expecting answers. Get a vision for good things happening.
This means there will be opportunities to fall short but we must stand fast on God’s promises to accelerate His work in our lives. See Galatians 5 v 1
In Joshua chapter 1 God told Joshua ‘every place you step your foot will be yours. Be strong and very courageous.’
Joshua had to overcome many enemies before he could possess what was already his. That is why God says stand fast. The enemy will try to rob us of our inheritance, but we are to stand fast to claim what is already ours.
See Romans 13 v 11-14.
1 Corinthians 15 v 58 Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
Don’t let Satan arrest your progress, Accelerate! See 2 Corinthians 2 v 11
KEEP YOUR FAITH STRONG
Why is faith so important?
Because without it we cannot;
…Be saved Ephesians 2 v 8
…Overcome 1 John 5 v 4
…Please God Hebrews 11 v 6
…Stand 2 Corinthians 1 v 24
…Walk Corinthians 5 v 7
…Live Romans 1 v 17
Faith is part of the armour of God that protects us from the enemy. Ephesians 6 v 16 Above all, taking the shield offaith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
What is faith?
Faith perceives as real fact what is not yet revealed to the senses!
We must keep our faith strong. Our faith has the potential to grow.
We start with little faith but it grows as it is exercised. In the same way physical exercise make your muscles grow stronger, exercising your faith will make it grow stronger also.
Be brave, step out, don’t be afraid, be very courageous, and you will advance and accelerate.
Proverbs 28 v 1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
When we face adversity we must remember they will only last a season and so we must face them with bravery in order to succeed.
2 Corinthians 4 v 17 For our affliction, which is temporary, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Hebrews 13 v 6 We may boldly say ‘the Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’
When God is on our side we have nothing to fear. We do not need to fear the works of men or the devil. We can be bold! See Timothy 1 v 7.
Ephesians 3 v 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
When our faith is in God He gives us boldness!
And in mercy!
Be strong in your family, in finance, in evangelism, and in discipleship making!
Being strong in all these areas will help you to accelerate. See Ephesians 6 v 10
How do you become strong?
By spending time in God’s Word.
By exercising your faith.
By uniting with other believers to pray with you.
By being ready to forgive.
By preparing and reaching for a greater harvest.
By walking in the love of God.
All these things will help you to grow stronger, to move to a new level of productivity. Because it is Harvest time!
We have a short time to accomplish what God’s called us. John 9 v 4 ‘We must work while it is day. The night comes when no man can work.’
We must make the use of every moment.
Every day is precious.
Don’t waste a moment being full of anxiety, full of fear but be strong.
I used to have a habit of worrying about everything. I imagined the worst would happen in every situation. This is exactly what the enemy wanted me to do.
But when I saw what God’s plan for my future was I absolutely refused to worry any more. I refused to waste precious time in anxiety and fear.
Instead I spent me time meditating on the Word, praising and magnifying the Lord. It was then that His anointing and presence filled my life and I was able to speak forth good things into people’s lives.
We must be focuses and not meditate on the cares of this world. Mark 4 v 19 And the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
In order to gain strength in out hearts we are encouraged to wait on the Lord. Psalms 27 v 14 Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.
We are to prepare ourselves for battle against the enemy and declare that we are strong! Joel 3 v 9 & 10 Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men…Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’.
In our weakness God makes us strong.
Hebrews 11 v 34 Out of weakness we are made strong.
2 Corinthians 12 v 9 & 10 My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness…v10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
With God’s strength we can rise above those things that are set to bring us down and stop us from accelerating.
2 Samue1 22 v 40 You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose against me.
Be strong in character, patience and mercy and you’ll increase kingdom influence!
Isaiah 54 v 3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left. Your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.
2 Corinthians 9 v 8 God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you may have an abundance for every good work.
Psalms 92 v 12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
These three scriptures show us we’re going to make progress.
We’re going to accelerate!
Accelerate in loving people,
Accelerate in speaking words of life
Accelerate in showing a better attitude
Accelerate in sharing the gospel with lost people
Accelerate in training others how to use their gifts and callings.
If we follow the steps set out in 1 Corinthians 16 v 13; watch, stand fast in faith, be brave and be strong, then we will see Acceleration in our lives and accomplish what God has called us to do.