All of us want to do amazing things for God, but many people want the promotion before they’ve gone through the preparation process. Without making it through this process successfully, it is impossible to have character strong enough to sustain your calling.


hey everyone welcome today to

conversations with john and lisa and i’m

joined here by lisa and today lisa i’m

really excited about what we’re going to

talk about and that is what are we

talking about today you’ve been saying

the word today a lot what do you have

to we’re going to talk about how god

develops character wow because character

is a big thing right now so are you born

with character or does it have to be

developed it has to be developed wow and

that’s what we’re going to talk about

how he does it and before we jump into

this very important podcast we want to

remind all of our friends to please rate

review and subscribe

and why is this important because it

helps people get the message the more

their reviews the more the ratings go up

the more people go oh let me listen

it’s easily accessed yes and so we want

people to get the wisdom of god that’s

coming from this because lisa and i

every time we jump on this podcast we

trust the holy spirit to speak to his

people and that is what’s most important


i’m going to read a review from beth and

it’s right thanks beth for doing a

reading yeah beth thank you in advance

these podcasts are amazing they are so

full of insight challenging and yet fun

and easy to listen to i listen to most

of them with a cup within a couple of

weeks and i’m now re-listening and

taking notes thank you john and lisa

still one of my favorite things to

listen to always faith building loving

and full of truth i love that i love the

way she spells favorites she is not from

the us oh yeah she’s not okay you’re

probably from somewhere like australia

or england i’m gonna guess some place

said no spell let’s go let’s jump into

this we’ve got so much to discuss so

john i’m really excited for this topic i

really believe that we have a

famine of character and i know that you

and i have early on in our lives and

continue to pray that god would work

character into our life and i have found

that every time i cried out to god god

give me your character i don’t want to

have an anointing on my life that my

character can’t sustain so we have a lot

of people who have incredible gifting

but they’ve never gone through that

wilderness that you talk about and god

where are you where you’ve gone through

that thing where the word of god tests

them where the enemy tempts them and

they they come out like gold and the

book of isaiah talks about this isaiah

48 and i love the book of isaiah it’s my

favorite favorite

book of the old testament prophets it

says behold this is god talking i have

refined you but not as silver i have

tried you in the furnace of

affliction affliction

not affliction for my own sake for my

own sake god’s like okay this is why

it’s happening i do it for how should my

name be profaned my glory i will not

give to another

okay there’s so much in this we see the

name of god the one when you you and i

have been around we’ve been in the

ministry now for almost 40 years

two of our three first pastors are no

longer really in ministry

and it all had to do with their platform

got larger than their character yeah and

who you are in private is very very

important and there’s a lot of people

that think that who they are in public

is the most important but who you are in

private when nobody is seeing is really

a test of your life because it doesn’t

really matter who you are in the pulpit

if you are living a double life lisa the

same thing is true in business

it it’s in healthcare every single area

if you’re a stay-at-home mom your

marriage because

if your character is not

uh as developed as your responsibility

your responsibility and your work or

whatever it is is eventually going to

cost you because you don’t have the

character to uphold it i look at

character lisa is like a foundation you

know when they build warships another

word for character would be virtue right

right yeah when they build warships they

put these big cannons on them and these

are these are 50 millimeter cannons

these are even bigger and you know what

they’ve gotta they’ve gotta really sink

those things down in so when that thing

fires it doesn’t destroy the ship it

doesn’t just flip everything so your

character is your ship

and your your gifting is your weapons

and so i look at

i had no idea

that it took character development

to get us to finish well because

finishing well was always important to

you and i especially when we saw our

first pastor fall after being one of the

most renowned well and talented and

talented gifted in the united states and

so i remember i kept crying out god i i

i want to i want to be holy i want i

want to i want to

i want to truly walk in godliness


i remember one day the holy spirit spoke

to me and he said son i’m going to begin

to do this work in your life i’m going

to begin to show you how to deny

yourself take up your cross and follow

me i’m going to do a working voice can

you pause for a second because that is

the dynamic that begins the work the

take up your cross deny yourself follow

me that that trifecta yes is the

beginning yeah and he said i’m going to

teach you how to do it so i was so

excited i ran back

to the apartment we were living at we

had only been married a couple years and

i said lisa god just spoke to me i heard

so clearly he’s going to work a work of

holiness in my life and

and i said all the excesses in my life

they’re going to go away well over the

next three months lisa the excesses like

doubled in my life and i was i was twice

as excessive in everything and i

remember you were always sneaking away

and getting frozen yogurt oh yeah yeah

absolutely and i remember after three

months i said god i don’t get it you

told me you were gonna work a holiness

in my life i’m twice as fleshly as i’ve

ever been as a christian before what’s

going on he said son that’s because

you’ve been doing it your way he said

now i’m going to do it my way and he

said holiness is not a work of your

flesh it’s a product of my grace well i

had no idea what he was talking about

but over the next six months i started

going through trials like i had never

encountered before and what was amazing

was they were not self-inflicted trials

you know what do i mean by

self-inflicted when you do something

stupid and you go through hardship i’m

talking about i was doing what was right

and i was going through hardship like

i’d never faced emotionally especially

and um i remember at one point the you

know during all of this i was terror to

live with and i’m so sorry again

i’m yelling at you i’m yelling at

addison was only like nine months old

i’m mad at my friends i’m mad at my

pastor i’m mad at everybody

and one day um i remember putting my

head in the corner of the wall i closed

my office door because i was working for

a big church at the time

and i said god why do i hurt so bad

inside and the lord said because you’re

dying he said there’s always pain and

death and he said son you want to know

how you’re going to be how you you’re

going to know when you’re dead i said

how he said you won’t have any pain


and so i remember

uh in that time period i’m i’m so angry

at everybody i’m getting actually


at my own behavior and i went out one

morning i said god

i’m actually working acting worse now

than before i got psyched

what is going on

and this is the scripture he used that

you just read about isaiah 48. and you

know i’ve got a technical background he

said son you see the gold ring on your

finger it’s 14 karat gold which means

it’s not pure gold

you know about 40 percent of this ring

is made out of impurities

he said what happens if you put that

ring into a furnace and heat it up a

couple thousand degrees i said well it

liquefies he said then what happens i

said the impurities because their

lighter molecular weights start coming

to the surface he said

so they appear right

i said yeah they appear

and he said you keep asking where the

anger the bitterness is all it’s coming

from he said

i saw this

you didn’t

so that’s like not seeing the impurities

in my gold ring right now he said but

the furnace has caused you to be able to

see it he said now what you do with it’s

going to determine your future yeah you

always have a choice if you own it and

repent i’ll take it out of your life

yeah he said if you justify it he said

we’ll go right back down we gotta start

all over again yeah one of the things we

love to say is once you own a mistake a


a flaw it no longer owns you you’re like

that’s that’s me that’s me you know john

and i should have learned from what you

went through because you went through

that refining process and that was

actually a real

pivotal uh it was really a catalyst for

some of the things that you still preach

and i think a lot of times people think

when they’re going through a hard time

it’s just it’s just an obstacle to get

over and god’s like yeah that’s going to

be a testimony someday but i made the

mistake uh we had i had addison we had

just moved to florida and i was crying

out god i want you to excavate my life

and i remember thinking two weeks later

what did i say

why would i say excavate i should have

said landscape i should have said

accessorize my life because i went

through the same process i started to

see this anger that i had in my life

that was once a month or every other

week start being constant i’m like every

week and then every day and then living

on edge all the time and god was turning

up the furnace to say

you can actually you’re dealing you this

i’m going to show you how bad this is if

you do not allow

me to do something and that was a

private both of these were private works

and i don’t think people understand

david’s faithfulness



when he

rescued the sheep from the lion and the

bear when no one was watching that

private victory set him up for a public

victory and so if you’re in a hard

season right now and you think well this

is just hard this is hard i’m going to

tell you god never

wastes a private victory god will take

this and go take take you to another

place and you know one of the things

when coveted beginning of covet i

remember god saying to me

tests are designed to bring out the best

in you okay that’s that furnace going up

that’s that that prayer

excavate my life and that everything is


temptations are designed to bring out

your worst so god isn’t the one who

hates he’s not the one trying to tempt

you but he will bring you into places

where you are tested and that testing is

him saying

john i’m i’m going to let you find out

that you don’t live by bread alone but

by every word that proceeds out of the

mouth of god lisa i’m going to let you

know that this thing that you think it’s

just every once well thing it’s not a

big deal it could become a big deal

so i want to deal with your character in

private because i want to be able to

trust you on a larger level lisa listen

to what james 1 13 says in the light of

this blessed is the man who endures

temptation for after he’s been

tested he shall receive the crown of

life now if you look at this this gives

you something to look forward to when

you’re in the midst of this

i look at jesus he went in and was

tested by the enemy for 40 days right

and the bible says he went in filled

with the spirit but he returned in the

power of the earth now james says to us

after we’ve endured the test we get the

crown of life right now what does crown

speak up speaks of authority yeah so

in the area we’re tested we get

authority in that area if we pass the

test if we pass

you know because when it says let

patience have its perfect work or let

that trial have its perfect work that

you might be mature and perfect lacking

nothing meaning you’ll have that

authority in that area when you

win that area and it starts off with

something count at pure joy

not mixed with any sorrow when you fall

into so again why because when we go

through these hard things god is working

character in us and so even though i can

look back at my life john i’m sure you

feel the same way you can look back at

my life and i have learned more

about the character of god

my lack of character and my need for

character in a hard season than i’ve

ever learned in a season of ease and so

god will use hardship to develop

character in our life but we can we can

whine we can complain like you know what

god said to you you want it to all go

back down you know we can have this cool

off and you will have those impurities

in your ring or you can let me take my

ladle and i’ll deal with the drops i

look at the children of israel and you

look at the wilderness for one group of

people it thwarted their destiny and

that was for the people over 20. for the

other group of people under 20 they

learned how to obey and if you look at

joshua and caleb if you look at the book

of joshua there’s very little

disobedience why because in the same

hardship one group learned how to obey

the other group learned how to complain

and complaining says to god i don’t like

what you’re doing in my life and if i

were you i would do this differently

that is an insult to his character and

his ways and so that is why we never

want to complain one of the quickest

ways to fail a trial a test is to

complain in the midst of it yeah i

remember my boys hated it because i used

to always sing to them do everything

without complaining do everything

without arguing that you might i do

remember that claimless and pure

children of god blameless and pure

children of god is about our response to

hardship and about our character you

know godliness with contentment is great

gain so there’s people that pursue

gain but it’s godliness the ability to

adapt god’s perspective god’s character

to walk in virtue to bless those that

curse you to do good to those who

despitefully use and abuse you to turn

the other cheek to say i’m going to be a

servant when other people try to make me

a slave when we actually live counter


that is when the development of our

character when we don’t post the thing

that we really wanted to post we don’t

make the comments but we repent yeah but

yeah we say god that’s wrong it’s a

terrible attitude and god always give it

or we give it to god yeah who judges

righteously said that jesus committed

his soul to god he’s being falsely

accused beaten he just said okay god i’m

giving this to you so character

is something that we all need to pursue

not celebrity not celebrity

character i remember a very wise man of

god said to me when i was in my 20s he

said john what you don’t deal with now

will end up causing you to fall when

you’re in your 40s and 50s and and that

riveted me and i remember

at some time during that time it

probably was after i prayed a prayer

that i didn’t realize how important that

prayer was i said god never allow

never allow

what you do in my life as far as what

i’m doing in ministry grow beyond the

character that you have developed or i

have permitted you to develop in my life

and i love that you said at the

beginning this isn’t just ministry this

is marriage this is your your any

mandate that’s on your life whether it’s

work whether it’s school you don’t want

to cheat whatever that is and you know

i’ve heard what you uh said said a

different way if you don’t deal with it

now it will deal with you later and so

it’s worth doing the hard work now maybe

somebody’s out there and they’re saying

john where do i even start with that


how do you start to develop character in

your life i think we both kind of

alluded the first thing is you pray and

you ask god for wisdom you say god is

there areas where i am compromised my

character god excavate my life it’s a

dangerous prayer i remember when i when

i turned 50 lisa and you know we were

talking about 20s now but when i turned

50 i said god i’m i feel like i’m at

halftime and half times when you assess

and you go over what you you know needs

to be changed in order to win because

second half is when you win right

and i said god if there’s anything in me

burn it out cut it out i don’t care what

you gotta do and i remember it was the

hardest summer i’ve ever lived through

oh my goodness and i remember one of our

board members who’s a very wise pastor

was laughing at me on the phone he said

john that’s prayers you pray when you’re

in your 20s not when you’re in your 50s

but i remember laughing you want to

finish as well and i thought to myself

but i i actually don’t resent praying

that i want to finish well and and just

to bring a real cap on everything lisa

and i’ve been saying i want to tell you

we’ve been talking about refining let me

tell you some of the three really great

things that happen


gold or silver has been refined number



silver once it’s been refined or excuse

me gold once it’s been refined it will

never tarnish

wow okay now now it’s brass which it

looks like it won’t corrupt yeah it can


brass can tarnish brash can be corrupted

gold can wow all right so here’s the

next thing gold in its pure state is is



you can shape it so now god can

shape you how he wants you right you’re

not hard whereas if you look at my 14

karat gold ring it’s very very hard you

can’t you can’t bend it and shape it

here’s the biggest thing i like if you

look at the pure gold in heaven the

streets are made out of it and they’re

transparent you can see right through it

wow so golden’s purest state nothing to

hide nothing in the world they don’t see

you they see the treasure in you i love

you so if you want people to see jesus

in you instead of you that’s what paul

said i’m crucified with christ yet

nevertheless i live christ lives within

me you need to pray that god would

purify you and build your character now

get ready you’re going to go through

some stuff it’s okay god will walk you

through it and he will help you get to

the other side to where you are now a

pure vessel and now you’re able and

ready for the master’s use so i just

want to highlight this gifts are given

the gifts of the spirit the talents that

the ability to preach those are things

that are

given gifts are given fruit is

cultivated character is attached to

fruit it has to be

cultivated that means there’s pruning

there’s planning there’s weeding there’s

watering so character needs to be

developed and i hope you know that john

and i didn’t take this time attacking

other people’s character i hope that you

understand that character doesn’t go

around attacking other people’s

character characters said i’m going to

judge myself i’m going to see where i

stand right now what my relationship

with god is and how i’m relating to

other people we’re so busy actually

making sure that we’re pleasing to god

that we’re not going to talk about how

everybody else is displeasing

well lisa we’re out of time and i just

want to thank everyone for tuning in and

i hope that you have grown from this

please remember to rate to review and to

subscribe to conversations with john and

lisa this will help the message get out

and if you haven’t done it already which

i’m sure most of you have download

messenger x just go to the app store

type in messenger x or go to google play

if you’ve got an android type in

messenger x if you’ve got neither go in

your computer on your web browser and

just type in and you will get there we

have over 40 courses we now have group

functions you can go through with one of

your friends two of your friends five of

your friends and you guys we’ve got

functions on there to make this a whole

lot of fun going through the courses

leadership you could do corporations

create any group as large as small as

you want it’s the new feature that’s on

there we spent a lot of time developing

i shouldn’t say we our developers in

dallas texas spend a lot of time on that

it is absolutely going to revolutionize

i believe discipleship because

discipleship can’t happen by yourself

it happens to a degree by yourself it

happens much more rapidly when we have

others involved well i’m always super

nice when i’m alone it’s when i have

other people in my life that things come


so anyway

get on messenger x start a group and

until next time this has been

conversations with john and lisa

thanks for listening to conversations

with john and lisa let us know your

thoughts by leaving a review you can

subscribe and share these episodes

through apple podcast spotify or

wherever you get your podcast and while

you’re there be sure to check out our

other shows in the messenger podcast

network including the godmother with

lisa bevere let’s talk about it with

sons and daughters and the messenger

podcast you can also connect with john

and lisa through facebook instagram and

twitter and don’t forget you can

download the messenger x app today in

the app store until next time