Personal study by David Carter in italics using David Johnson’s material, (I do not know David Johnson.

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David G. Johnson of Epiphany Marketing, LLC. “AND THERE was a famine in the land… Then Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year a hundred times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings. And the man became great and gained more and more until he became very wealthy and distinguished; He owned flocks, herds, and a great supply of servants, and the Philistines envied him.” (Genesis 26:1a,12-14) We said in my last message that the instructions Isaac received from God contradicted reason. He was to stay in the land despite the difficult conditions. What followed is a beautiful example of what happens when we partner with God to bring His covenant and His influence to bear on our circumstances. I see Isaac as an example of a person who obeyed God when the human tendency was to escape to what he first considered as security in Eygpt. He planted when there was a famine. To plant in a dry season without rains leaves farmers praying for rain, but Isaac did it as a direct act of obedience to God. There is a difference between obeying God and planting and planting only for a harvest. Isaac did the opposite of what good farmers do. He planted when the ground was in a dry season without having rains; yet, God gave a harvest of 100 fold. This was 100 times the normal harvest—wow! That is what the two with the talents in the NT did. They used their entrusted money to invest and experienced a 100% return. “For we are laborers together with God….” (1 Corinthians 3:9) This passage has to do with laboring together for lost souls. I cannot freely apply that to anything I plant. I can know that I am together with God. God puts brings me in unity with Him and when in unity with Him, he flourishes the harvest. Isaac planted at least one crop (maybe more!) when all around him farmers were failing. As he did, God put his “super” on Isaac’s “natural,” multiplying the results. Notice that Isaac didn’t “camp” in the land and do nothing, waiting for God to miraculously provide. Instead, he “occupied” the land and engaged in business. This, my friend, is how to partner with God.

Isaac did not wait for the ground to get ready or for the famine to past—he planted in a time of famine. He did planted in obedience when obedience to God was more important than the harvest. He was not focused on the harvest. He was focuse on obedience. Isn’t it fun that after it says he received a multiplication of results, the Scripture then says, “…and God favored him with blessings…”?! Most of us would’ve been happy with great business results, but God’s plan was bigger than that. By making Isaac a person of great influence, God was able to get the attention of the neighbors. Later in the chapter we find out that they came begging for partnership with Isaac because they saw that God was with him. Friends, in every so-called “downturn” there are those who excel. If you’re under pressure today, make God your partner. Allow the pressure to increase your capacity. God wants to bring His influence to bear on your circumstances and on your sphere. It’s time for believers to occupy the “mountain” of business. This may very well your season for it! This is a time of recession. I have always believed that the economy does not limit God’s plan. When God has promised as he has to Polly and I, it is up to Him to deliver on His promises. Tags: David G. Johnson, economy, famine, favor, partnering with God | 8 Comments » Is It the Economy? March 27th, 2008 Today’s message is a guest entry from David G. Johnson of Epiphany Marketing, LLC. “AND THERE was a famine in the land… and Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I will tell you. Dwell temporarily in this land, and I will be with you and will favor you with blessings; for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.’” (Genesis 26:1-3) We’re hearing so much this year about the economy, the housing market, the falling dollar and business conditions in general. Hopefully, your business and

family are not being affected by it personally, but whether you are or not, hearing about it frequently can have a mental, emotional and even spiritual impact. With a variety of industries suffering in the local community here, I’ve had this passage from Genesis 26 on my heart quite a bit lately. Isaac found himself and his household surrounded by difficult conditions, and it’s hard to imagine how that may have weighed on his mind. As casual readers, we sometimes forget that his household was most likely substantial, with a lot of mouths to feed and a lot of people looking to him for answers. Today, he might be the owner of a small company — perhaps with 50 employees or more. I can join in these comments and know how stressful it is when there are commitments a person has made and how it threatens his values when he cannot fulfill those commitments. What to do? I ask the question also:”what am I to do, Lord? God directed me to protect my assets and tell the bankers and be open about my condition. I am to be humble I have wanted to spiritually more humble, and this recent situation is helping me get rid of the amount of pride I had. I am less prideful and more humble. Thank you, Lord for the humility. The conditions of the economy has further broken me to the point where I was willing to give it all up in exchange to get rid of the stress.This is where God wants a person to be—willing to release all the worldly good. What’s interesting to me is that when Isaac heard from God, the instructions he received were very counter-intuitive. Egypt would’ve been a safe haven for a nomadic family like his to go and find trading partners. But God instructed him to essentially start a business in a failing industry in an economy that was suffering, and in physical conditions that would not support his new venture. When there’s a famine, it’s generally not the best time to go into agriculture! God led Isaac to farm when there was a famine. God’s ways do not have to fit into the wisdom of the world. He did not try to take-over the land. He kept moving to a new location until the Philistines no longer were threatened. Then, when his harvest was 100 fold, the Philistines came to him to learn of him knowing that he was where he was due to trusting God. This was not their god. They wanted alliances with him for his harvest and not for his fellowship. They wanted his God for the harvest and not for the relationship. Lord, I am in a love relationship with you where you lead me in the way everlasting. The large harvest would be good if that is what you want me to do—I want to follow you. I want to do the land

development right. I do not like to see the get-by practices. I have spent a lot of money to do it right such as Seven Springs. It does not matter to me if anyone knows it, but you. I know that I like to take credit for what I do, but in my heart-ofhearts, I truly want to do it right because you have taught me to that. You have put it in my heart and mind. I did not have that until you taught me, until you worked that into my values. You have truly changed me. I am a new person in Christ. Lord, you are at work in all my business dealing even though I cannot see it. It is your will for me trust you to do your best. I am not capable to know the best. The best is beyond my view. You see tomorrow when I cannot see the next moment with certainity. But when you have instructions from God, you have hope that others do not have! We’ll pick this subject up again in the next message, but in the meantime, consider this question: Are you getting instructions from God in this season, or are you allowing the conditions around you to shape your thinking? Tags: David G. Johnson, economy, Epiphany Marketing, famine, favor, suffering | 21 Comments » Are You Paralyzed by Fear? February 21st, 2008 There are many identifiers of true humility, but one which is often overlooked is prayer. When we don’t pray, we are saying in effect, “I can handle this myself.” When we do pray, we are acknowledging our lack of ability and/or lack of trust in that ability and asking for God’s influence, help, and aid in the situation. The more capable you are, the more you better learn to depend on God, or you will set yourself up for a fall.

I read this and see this area of humility as one thing God is doing in my life. My capabilities must not be allowed to interfere with what God wants to do. I see additional space at CoolView, but God may see something else. Yet, it is by praying and turning to God that I believe I have seen the potential of more space at CoolView. Praise the Lord!. I do not have the answers or the certainity that there is actually more space. I ask you, Lord to make the way for this. I depend upon you. When I enter the meeting tomorrow, may I be so trusting in you that I am neither threatened nor threaten during the meeting. Open each persons willingness to help me with the situation. One way to do that is to always be stretching beyond your comfort zone, beyond your known abilities and into that area where fear rears its ugly head. If you are not facing down fear, you are probably not attempting very much. If fear is paralyzing you right now, you are quite close to deliverance. You are entering the faith zone, where you must walk by faith and not by sight. I reach out to take hold on this statement: “If fear is paralyzing you right now, you are quite close to deliverance. You are entering the faith zone, where you must walk by faith and not by sight.” I am living in the faith zone. It has been a comfortable place in the past but only when I release my doubt to God for him to give me asssurance. I do believe that I am very close to deliverance, but my human nature wants it now. I do not like to wait, but as I trust more in God and be more humble in that I cannot depend upon my knowledge or skills to solve the problem. I am not able. Lord, I do believe I have given-up trusting in my abilities. I do not want what I can get when I can have what you can give. Get up a little earlier just to spend time with the Father. Read His word and then just get a pen and paper and listen. Write down the thoughts He gives you and obey. This is called listening prayer. So much of our prayer time is us telling God stuff He already knows and asking Him for things or favor, etc. But what He wants to give us more than anything is Himself, His presence, His love. He wants us to cognitively experience Him. Train yourself to be quiet and wait upon the Lord. How long should you wait? Until you experience His mercy (favor, grace) (Psalm 123:2) In the end, you will find new strength, mount up with wings like an eagle and soar. When you run, you will not be weary and when you walk, you will not faint. (Isa 40:31)

I want to the strength. I have been so very weak during this time. I am not comfortable with being weak and feeling helpless. I have become more secure in myself as I have a strong sense of commitment, but my strength does not come from me or what I can do. My strength comes from you and you alone. Tags: favor, grace, humility, strength | 24 Comments » Running Scared Today? February 19th, 2008 Humility carries with it the greatest of benefits… God promises to give grace to the humble. Grace is undeserved but yet freely given to the humble. Grace is more than unmerited favor. It is the divine influence upon the heart. As I understand it, grace is God’s Spirit coming upon us, affecting our desires and turning our heart. You are divinely influencing my heart. You have again turned my heart to you and I thank you. I am restored to a relationship of trust that I left somehow, but now have again. Somehow His grace makes it possible to walk through any trial. It is God enabling us to do what we could never do on our own. It is God strengthening us in our innermost being to face what we would never wish to face. The test becomes a contest between the trial itself and God’s ability working through us. If we let him work through us and obey His instruction, it will confound the enemy and secure the victory. Your grace is sufficient and has always been sufficient. I listen to John Hilbun say that your grace is sufficient and he has lost his wife. I am amazed at his strength and find assurance talking to him as he lives without his wife. My situation is nothing like that. Running scared today? Bring those fears to God. Lay them at His feet. Humble yourself by leaving the consequences in His hands. Acknowledge your insufficiency and rejoice in His all sufficiency. God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands. Purify your hearts. Cease from being double-minded. Admit with all candor your failings. Let your heart be broken, contrite and repentant. When you humble yourself in His sight, He will lift you up.

I bring my fears to you, my Lord. I fear loosing everything you have provided for me. It was yours to start with and it is your now. It is your nature to be a good steward. I am not to be like the prodical son who wasted his substance in riotious living. Polly and I have lived a life of being generous, giving and holding-up high Christlike standards and I do not see that changing. I have and do humble myself in your sight. I repent of being double-minded. My life is all yours from that time I was walking through the church doors. Actually, the direction of my life was already being guided by you. You have been my Leader from the earliest I can remember. My mother guided me to walk in the ways of the Lord, no matter what. No matter when I failed! No matter when there were hardships! No matter when my world was more about me than about you!. My world is about you, O, Lord! Respectfully to the Lord Jesus Christ who is my Lord, my Guide, my Leader, my Provision, my Christ, my Jehovah Jireh, praise the name of the Lord!