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You may feel like you're in the desert, separated from God, because of your past mistakes or those of other people. You may be thinking, "I'd be in the ministry right now if it hadn't been for this, that, or the other."

I've got good news for you: you can still start over!

If there's something the Lord has told you to do, but it has been delayed, today is the day to receive God's grace and begin again.

Perhaps there are things God has called you to do that you have either forgotten or deliberately said "no" to. You might be a Jonah. God told you to go to Nineveh, and you're sailing on a Mediterranean cruise, but you're about to hit a storm! Like Jonah, God's got your attention and you're saying, "Lord, I'll pay my vows. I'll obey You."

Demonic spirits are sent to stop people in their calling. You must say "no" to them. Faith in God breaks the power of the devil. The spoken Word drives out demonic power.

What are you to do when you run into the devil's yoke of bondage and oppression, his diversion or roadblocks? Just keep on running. Back up and run at it again with the Word of God coming out of your mouth!

A Fresh Start
I thank God we can start over. There have been times when I've needed a fresh start. One such occasion was when God called Victory Christian Center to reach out to the poor and needy of our city through an expanded Sunday bus ministry.

There are at least 40 government-subsidized apartment communities in our city, several with more than a thousand adults and children in them. These people are as valuable to God as anyone else. Because of the circumstances of many of these people, they have no transportation to church.

Due to the cost of purchasing buses, we delayed in obeying this call. Our temporary roadblock was financial, but sometimes the roadblocks are fear and misunderstanding.

Everyone needs the good news of Jesus Christ. A good percentage of the families in the apartment communities are directly affected by drug addiction and alcohol. Many are involved in witchcraft, with demonic spirits affecting their lives and family members. We've encountered many of them with no food, no job, no education and no money.

They need practical help as well as spiritual ministry. If you just give them the practical help without spiritual direction, they'll run in a ditch down the road. If you give them the spiritual without the practical, they'll face such dire needs in their life, many will become discouraged.

At a special Christmas outreach to the people in the apartments, I asked, "What can we do to help you? They responded, "Could you send a bus so we can go to church on Sundays? They didn't ask for food, money or clothes. They wanted to attend church on Sundays. I said, "We'll come."

Sharon and I made a commitment to hold a tent crusade in a least one apartment project each month on a Friday evening and Saturday. We combined evangelism in ministry with a medical clinic and distribution of food and clothes.

After the crusade outreach, Bible Fellowship Care Groups are established to train and nurture the people. Buses are sent each week for church services. God has supplied the money for buses.

Thank God for His grace that has given us a fresh start and a new opportunity to reach these people.

Because we started over, hundreds of people have been saved and are now attending church regularly. Thank God for His grace; it was our key to starting over.

Source: You Can Start Over by Billy Joe Daugherty
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Billy Joe Daugherty
Web site: Victory Christian Center
Billy Joe Daugherty was founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was also the founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute and Victory World Missions Training Center.

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