March 6, 2005
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Genesis. Genesis chapter fifteen. Genesis chapter fifteen. This morning we’re going to be talking about visualization. Visualization. That’s Genesis chapter fifteen. And when you reach Genesis fifteen, please stand for the reading of God’s Word. Thank You, Lord. Somebody shout, “Amen.” Look at verse four.

4. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

5. And he brought him forth . . .

Talking about Abraham.

5. . . . abroad, and said, Look . . .

Somebody say, “Look.”

5. . . . now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

Now turn with me to chapter twenty-two. Glory to God. Amen. In chapter twenty-two look at verse fifteen. Somebody say, “Amen.”

15. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16. And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

17. That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You today for who You are and for what You do. Master, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see and hear You only, and not me. Master, I decrease today, that You would increase. And Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name.

And the people of God said amen. You may be seated in the house of the Lord.

This morning we’re talking about visualization. In Genesis fifteen and verse five, God took Abraham outside and said, “Look. Look up at the heavens and count the stars. If you can, count them.” And then in Genesis twenty-two and verse seventeen, God told Abraham, “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore.”

You see, if you cannot see the promise, you cannot have the promise. Glory to God. You see, your mind is a force that affects everything in your life. And God gave Abraham a visual to help him to be able to perceive what God wanted to do in his life.

And God is speaking to me. Because a lot of us God has spoken to us about what He desires to do with us, and what He wants to give with us. But what the problem is, we don’t see what God has for us, and we don’t believe (glory to God) that God is going to give it to us. Amen, somebody.

If I can’t see it, then I can’t have it. The Bible says that we walk by faith and not by sight. Glory to God. But you cannot just take that Scripture (glory to God) and begin to walk in the dark. Because a lot of us are walking in the dark. But God is saying to you, “If I said it’s yours, you’ve got to picture it in your mind, if you are going to have it.” I wish I’d get a clap and an amen in the house of God regardless.

If I can’t see it, then how am I going to obtain it? You see, our mind is a force. And that’s why the Bible said in Romans chapter twelve, one and two, that to be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. In other words, it wasn’t just saying for your mind to be transformed, it was saying that our character, everything about us needs to be transformed, that we can see things the way God sees them.

He’s saying to us that, “I promised you so many things, but you can’t see it.” How many things has God promised you, but you have not tried to imagine yourself having it? Most of us are saying within ourselves that God has promised me greatness, but if you can’t see yourself great, then you’ll never be great. You say God promised you (glory to God) that you were going to be a millionaire. But if you can’t see yourself as a millionaire, you’ll never be a millionaire. God said you’re going to be on great platforms, but if you can’t see yourself preaching and teaching the Gospel, then you won’t be preaching and teaching the Gospel. Give Him praise in this house.

He took Abraham outside, and He said, “Look.” And God is speaking to the people of God this morning, and He’s saying, “Look.” He’s saying the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof. Everything in this earth belongs to God. And He’s giving it to us, but if we can’t see that it belongs to us, then we can’t have it.

He’s official God. And He shows us things. How many of you have heard the word and the promise that God has given you, but you just can’t see yourself in it? “Surely not me, God; surely the bottom on the totem pole; surely the least of these.” The apostle Paul said, “I’m the least of the apostles.” But in order for him to become a chief apostle, he had to see himself in that position. You got to see yourself the way God sees you, regardless of what you are in right now.

The Bible said in Genesis six and verse five that the imagination and thoughts of man were wicked all the time. And that’s why He’s telling us to transform our thinking. You see, a visual is the mental image. And the reason why we don’t receive all that God has for us is that we don’t see ourselves what He says is ours. If I can’t see it, then I can’t have it.

Let me explain something to you. When God told Abraham that his seed would be like the stars of heaven, and like the sand on the seashore, that promise He gave him was unconditional. That meant that regardless of Abraham’s character, what God had promised would surely come to pass. But what God says to us (glory to God) is conditional about the way that we (oh, my God) react to the things of God. We’ve got to live holy. We got to do right. We got to have the right attitude, and we’re going to receive the blessing of the Lord.

Look at your neighbor and say, “Yours is conditional.” It’s conditional. It’s conditional based on us. It’s based on us. Let me say that one more time. It’s based on us. It’s based on how we are. Somebody needs to hear that. Because you’re waiting on the promise to come to pass, but your character is not right yet. You still got an attitude over everything. Do you hear what I’m saying? You still talking when you shouldn’t be talking. You’re still . . . Oh, my God. I know I’m talking to somebody, because you’ve been mad because the promises have not come to pass yet. But God is saying, “Work on yourself.”

And we look at everybody else. And we want to blame everybody else. When you do right, can’t nothing stop what God has for you. You see, you got to transform your thinking, because you got to start seeing things so positive and not so negative. Oh, somebody needs to hear that. Because we take everything negative. We take every criticism that is given to us negatively. We take . . . When people begin to discipline us, we take it negatively. I’ll never grow like that. I’ll never become what God wants me to become if I’m staying with a negative attitude. Somebody shout, “Glory.”

He’s trying to get us out of this mundane thinking. He’s trying to bring us up into that place that He has for us. Don’t you know that you can start out seeing yourself a certain way, and then your trials and tribulations will come and try to knock that thing down like it’s not going to be? The devil is a lie.

Visual. He gave Abraham a visual.

In the book of Mark chapter five, the Bible said that there was a woman with an issue of blood for twelve years. She had an issue of blood for twelve years, but then she said, “If I could but just touch the hem of His garment, I know that I’m going to be made whole. She had to visualize herself touching that garment first, and then being made whole.

The reason why we don’t get our healing a lot of times is we cannot visualize ourselves being healed, and that we were healed over two thousand years ago. You got to see yourself in the position that God has already said that you are in.

She visualized it first. Her healing came because she visualized. She saw herself healed. That’s why she could speak what she spoke. She said, “If I touch the hem of His garment, I’m going to be made whole.” Something within her spoke to her after she received a visual.

Now, what are you seeing this morning? Not regarding me, but regarding you. Where do you see yourself? Where do you see God taking you? What do you see God doing with you? You can’t base it on the moment. Open up your eyes. Open up your eyes.

See, you’re looking at your bank account now. You can’t look at it now, because the balance may be saying zero, zero, zero, zero, or negative, negative, negative. Glory to God. But it ain’t going to always be that way.

You got to start seeing things differently. God began to deal with me, because I began to look at where I am now. But then I began to remember what God said to me and what God has spoken to me. And it’s not based on you. It’s based on what He said and how I respond. Oh, somebody needs to hear that. Because I’ve got to visualize myself in the position that God said that I’m in. I’ve got to start acting like I’m already in that position, and not trying to wait until it manifests, and then try to step up to that plate. I want to be (oh, my God) everything that God wants me to be.

Wipe away those bad thoughts. Wipe away those bad visuals that you have right now. Wipe it away. Begin to wipe it away. If you’re in a relationship and it’s not going the way you want it to go, start seeing it the way God sees it, regardless of the way it’s going right now. You got to see it different.

If that business is not doing what you want it to do, see it the way God said it’s going to be. See it blessed. See it prosperous. Don’t receive any negative word about it. See, you can’t be around people that are negative, because if you’re around negative people, then that transference of spirits of that negativity is going to start operating in your life.

You’ve got to be around positive people that are positive regardless of the circumstance and the situation. That’s why I like encouragers. That’s why I like people that encourage you, when they know all hell done broke loose, and they tell you everything’s going to be alright.

I can’t stand no complaining. It drives me up the wall. I can’t. I see things different. I see things differently. I see them differently. I see things different. You don’t hear what I’m saying. I see things different.

He gave Abraham a visual. And Abraham had to go through the process until what God said began to manifest. And God is taking you through some things. He’s taking us through some things right now, until the thing that He said would be manifest.

He’s working on us. He’s working on negative attitudes. Oh, you know if you have a negative attitude. He’s working on those of us that want our way and when we don’t get our way, we start pouting and complaining. He’s working on us that are always mad, always upset. I can’t go through life always mad and always upset about something. I can’t do it. I can’t. My makeup is not like that. I got to see joy even when I don’t feel joy. Do you hear what I’m saying, people of God?

Start looking at things differently. Start getting the visual of what God said in His Word. Start looking at it the way He said it. I don’t care if they’re repossessing your house tomorrow.

There was a church that I went to when I was in Atlanta, when I was making a transition. And there were millionaires all in the church. It was a white church. It was a Caucasian church, mostly. There was a few of us black people in there. But it was Caucasian. There was millionaires everywhere. And every time you turn around a millionaire was losing everything, and was being wiped out. And they just went on about their business, praising God. You want to know why? Because they saw things differently. They said, “If I made a million one time, I’ll make a million again.” You got to look at things the way God looks at things. It’s not the end of the world when something bad happens to you.

People, millionaires losing it all, and then I say six months to a year later, they’re right back on top again. It was the mentality. It was the way that they saw things.

We try to hold on to every nickel and every dime. Some of us are so tight and stingy. Oh, yeah, I said it this morning. We’re so tight and stingy that we won’t even offer you a sandwich. But what if you were that widow woman, and I was the man of God, and you said, “All I have is this meal and this oil, and it’s enough for me and my son to live,” glory to God; and I told you to make mine first, what would you do? How would you see things? How would you see it? How would you see it? How would you see it?

Here’s a widow woman and her child with just enough for her and her son to eat, and then realizing after that death is on the way. And here comes a stranger. She recognized the Anointing. She must have saw something in the Spirit. She had to visualize something.

Don’t get mad with me today. I’m trying to change some things. I’m trying to change some things. I’m trying to get us in the mentality that God said He’s our Provider, that God said that He’s our Healer. If God said He can take care of the sparrows, surely, the Bible said, He can take care of us. How do you see it? Evidently, if you don’t believe God’s going to take care of you, then you’re not going to obey what God said in His Word.

I visualize God taking care of me. I visualize it. I visualize myself as a son, a God that I cannot see with my natural eyes, but I visualize that He’s my Father, and I can come to Him and ask Him for anything. If you don’t visualize God like that, then you can’t believe in God.

You’ve got to start visualizing, or else you’ll walk around upset all the time. Start seeing things differently. Start looking at things differently. Start seeing it the way God said it. Visualization.

In the book of Luke chapter twenty-three verse twenty-six through verse thirty-four, we have Jesus, and the Bible said He’s being led to Calvary. Let me give you a revelation. Jesus did not visualize Himself just being dead. Jesus visualized Himself in the Resurrection. He saw Himself being raised from the dead. If He just visualized Himself being dead, He would have stayed dead. But He saw something after the death and the burial. He saw His Resurrection.

I’m trying to get you to think. I’m trying to get you to come out of just seeing your situation right now. We get raises. We get new jobs. We get this; we get that. And we still visualize God as not being able to take care of us. I see Him differently.

If it’s time for me to go, it’s just time for me to go. If it’s time for me to die, it’s just time for me to die. But until He says it’s time for me to die, I don’t care what situation I go through, I’m going to live. And therefore, I see myself not just in death, but I see myself in heaven. For to be absent from the body is to be what? Present with the Lord. If you don’t see yourself present with the Lord, then you’ll always be afraid of death.

And so here we are this morning. What do you visualize? Not talking about for nobody else. Think about you. How do you visualize yourself? Because we can put on nice suits, and we can put on makeup and have our hairdo done to a T, and all we see is negativity; we don’t see anything the way God sees it. So He’s speaking to us. Change the visual. Change the visual. Change it. Change it. Start to think positive.

Now, I’m not talking about, you know, this positive thinking type thing, you know, the occult types of . . . That’s not what I’m talking about. But I’m optimistic about God. Start thinking and visualizing yourself in a different way. Is there anybody here that needs to do that? Yes.

When God began to deal with me about visualization, I began to visualize, not just certain things. I began to even visualize my weight. I began to visualize myself a smaller size. I began to visualize myself. Do you hear what I’m saying? You got to visualize in every area. I visualize myself (glory to God) as a great man of God. I visualize myself as a millionaire. I visualize myself with a blessed family. I visualize myself with a healthy congregation of people of God. Do you understand what I’m saying today?

Start visualizing the things that God has placed before you in a positive way. Don’t just go off of one experience, and allow everything to be negative. Women, don’t just think that every man is a knuckle head, because the last one you had wasn’t no good. Men, don’t just think that every woman ain’t no good, because the last one (glory to God) wasn’t up to your expectations. Change all of that negativity. Change it. Change it. Change it.

Start visualizing the way God visualizes things. How many of us have bad experiences, and then every situation we go into, we already go into it negative? I want you to lift your hand this morning. We don’t want to put on expectation on nothing, because we already pictured in our mind it ain’t going to work out no way. Oh, yeah. That’s what we do. So that we try to guard ourselves. We build these walls and these fences, so that when it doesn’t happen, we say, “I knew it.” Uh, uh. The devil’s a liar today.

Look at it different. Go into that thing positive, with great expectations. And then if it don’t work, say, “Glory to God. It must be something better on the way.” Give God praise in this house today.

I’m trying to meet us where we live this morning. We live in negativity. We live in seeing things so negative. We got to come out of that. We have to come out of that. I don’t care how old we are . . . I’m thirty-nine years old, and sometimes I still go into things negatively, “Oh, yeah.” Soon as I sit down (glory to God), and start talking, I already know; I just want to hear you say no. the devil is a lie. Jehovah Nissi is my banner, and He goes before me to the victory, in the Name of Jesus.

Somebody needs this today, because you’ve been so negative about everything. You can tell when a person’s negative, because all they do is say, “Oh, yeah. Yeah, child. Yeah. They ain’t going to do it. Oh, you going to go over there? I wouldn’t go over there. Man, I went over there the last time; let me tell you want happened, man.”

Uh, uh. I don’t want to hear that mess. Tell me something positive. Don’t bring me no bad news. And if you bring it, you bring me a solution. What is your solution to the problem? Don’t just bring me the problems and dump them on me. Give me your visual. Give me your take on what we need to do. Oh, you heard that. You need to clap your hands.

Because we’re so good at telling what’s wrong, but we’re so bad at telling what’s good and how we can rectify the problem. Why? Because that takes a little thought sometimes, doesn’t it? It takes a little thought on our behalf. It takes a little time. But if I can just tell you the problem, and then you try to envision what we need to do, then I lift it up off of me. But no, the Bible says we’re one body in Christ, and we got to do this thing together.

Visualize. Start visualizing things differently. You see, as your pastor, I’ve got to visualize things for you. Don’t you know that’s why I tell you (glory to God) all the things that God places in my spirit about you? Because I’m trying to get you to see what I see about you. I know that you ain’t no good. I know that you murmur and you complain, and you get upset, and you got an attitude, but I’m looking past all of that. I see what’s down the line for you. Somebody need to give God a handclap of praise. Oh, you don’t want to hear it, but it’s the truth.

How are you going to tell me all of this negative things, and I’m telling you all of these positive things about what I see about you? If I tell you what I see, stop looking at the way things are right now. Change. Change it. Change the picture that you see. Change the picture. Change it. Yeah. Start seeing stuff differently. Yeah. Start looking at it differently.

If you need deliverance, start looking at yourself delivered. Imagine in your mind your deliverance. If you need a blessing, imagine in your mind you being blessed. If you need a healing, imagine you being healed. If I can’t see it, then how am I going to have it? If I can’t see myself in that job, in that position that has become available, then how am I going to have that job or that position? I need to say, “God, I thank You that I see it. I see myself in it, in the Name of Jesus, and I thank You for the manifestation of it.” You got to see yourself in it. You can’t just say, “Oh, they’re not going to pick me. Why would they pick somebody like me?” You’re already defeated before you even go in there.

And how you perceive yourself, no matter how you hide it, it’s going to come out. How you see yourself is going to come out. I don’t care how you try to hide it, how you see you is going to come out. I don’t care what you look like physically, how you see yourself is going to come out; it’s going to show on your countenance. You know, like when we’re angry, it’ll show on our countenance. And we want to hide it, but we can’t hide it. Do you hear what I’m saying? You got to understand what’s on the inside of you, it’s going to show on the outside.

How do you see you today? After this message I want you to see yourself differently. And if there are areas that you need to work on, work on it. Work on it. There are areas that we all need to work on. We’ve got to work on them, on how we feel on the inside.

Do you know that when a person acts overconfident, that’s sometimes an indication that they’re really insecure? Do you understand where I’m coming from? We try to cover up stuff.

How do you see yourself inside? Take a moment. How do you see yourself? And if the first thing that comes to your mind is negative, then you need to change the screen. If I was to take a poll in here and ask the question, “How many of you first thought negative?” I bet you over half of the congregation would lift up their hands. We may not be honest about it.

But you got to say . . . You know, “I see myself empowered. I blessed. I’m highly favored of God.” You got to speak those things that are true. All that other stuff is a deception. It’s a lie from the enemy. It is.

Yeah. Yeah. I’m going to start seeing things differently. In different areas of my life I’m going to start seeing things differently. And watch what happens. Watch what happens. What and see what happens.

When you get up in the morning, the first person you say, “Thank You” or “Good morning” to is the Lord. Tell the Lord good morning, and take it from there. But as soon as you wake up, and all of a sudden bills, they just immediately hit your mind, you need to bind that mess. Soon as we get up in the morning, “Oh, I need to pay this. I need to pay that. I need to . . .” You know, and Satan is trying to put a negative image of your day before it even gets started. Amen, somebody.

Soon as you get up in the morning you’re thinking about that so and so on your job. “Oh, I hope she ain’t there today. I hope she don’t get on my nerves today. I hope he ain’t there today. I hope he don’t get on my nerves.” Uh, uh. Done messed up your day already. Can anybody identify with what I’m saying? Yeah.

We got to start changing things. Changing the way we see ourselves and changing the way we see our destiny. Because if we can say it all day long, but if we can’t visualize it, we be walking in mad, and we’ll never see the progress that we’re making. We’ll always look at ourselves like we’re just in a rut, and nothing good is happening. “I’m in a spiritual rut.” But now you’re prophesying, and you wasn’t prophesying last year. How are you in a spiritual rut? Hold up now. You’re saying things wrong. Oh, I think I hit an area.

You understand in the Word now, but you didn’t understand the Word two months ago. Now you can open up your Bible and pray and start understanding the Word. Glory to God. But, “Oh God, I’m not growing.” I’m trying to hit it home. I’m trying to get outside of the place where we just look at everything so negative.

There are people that are hard to love. No, let me take that back. There are people that we love, but their ways, we just can’t stand them. And people ask me all the time, “How do you do it, sir? How do you do it?” I see them differently than how you see them. That’s why I can be patient with them, through all of their foolishness.

Do you understand where I’m coming from? As a pastor I’ve got to see it differently. When everybody else is coming down on you, a lot of times I’m taking the blow for you, for your mess. And I’m holding folks back from you. Because if folks had their way, they would gouge your eyes out. They’d break your jaw. Oh, this is raw talking right now, isn’t it? But I’m holding folks back, because I’m trying to show them something about you. I think that should break, cut some people on down. Come on down to earth now, because we’re not all that wonderful. Because I see you differently. I see you differently. I’m visualizing you based on where the Lord wants to get you to. Can you understand that today? Can you really understand that today?

Now that you’re going to try to look at yourself differently, based on the last things that I said, and in my closing, I want you to start looking at everybody else differently. Because even though you can’t stand them, God loves them. Did you hear what I said? Even though you can’t stand him or her, God adores them.

When I was in my mess, God was loving on me. Do you hear what I’m saying? God was loving on me. Even when people just, you know . . . I mean, I really haven’t experienced people not liking me until I really started pastoring. When I start pastoring, that’s when I found out, you know, things were different. You know, but now that I understand, I can look at things differently. I can look at things differently.

Look at your brother differently. Look at your sister differently. They offended you? Bite the bullet. We don’t want to bite the bullet in nothing. We just got to say it. We just got to say it. We just got to say something. We just got to let you know how we feel. Sometimes you got to bite the bullet, and let it help you grow, and look at the people that harm you even the way that God looks at them. Then you’ll really grow.

I’m going to ask one question. Is there anybody in here that has been offended by somebody? Oh, come on. Yeah. Now, did you just have to let them know or let somebody else know that wasn’t even in the picture? And now you causing them to look at this person differently, and they never had that mental picture of them. And they’re saying, “What? For real? I never saw them like that.” And now they got to see it in them, about somebody that they don’t even never talk to.

I’m trying to get us out of some things. I’m trying to get us out of some things. I’m sure there will be some of you that’s mad with me after I finish this word today, but you’ll get over it. You will, if you want to get over it. Now, if you don’t want to get over it, then you won’t. But I’m not going to lose no sleep over it. I’m going to go home, and I’m going to go to sleep. Uh huh.

I don’t normally say the things the way I’m saying them today, but I need to pull us up out of some stuff. I need to pull us up out of some stuff. I need to get our mind right, because our minds haven’t been right. I have to. I got to get us back thinking right, seeing things right. I have to.

Now, after today see yourself differently; see your brother differently; see your sister differently. I know all . . . I know, I know. I know how . . . “You don’t understand how they are.” Yes, I do. I know how they are. But use that to let God work on you. Come up to them and love them anyway. And when they start their mess, just say, “Oh, sister, praise God anyhow.” Change the conversation to God. I bet you they’ll shut it up. Okay. Somebody give God praise today. Hallelujah.

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