Success by God's Word

Archive for September, 2012

How to Keep Your Dreams Alive

Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:15-18, NKJV)

We all have dreams. We have the desire to either accomplish different goals for ourselves or we carry within us promises that God has given to us. Sometimes we are able to keep carrying those dreams until their fruition. At other times, these dreams or promises we have may seem so long in coming that we give up before they become reality. On the journey we tend to lose sight of our vision, get weary, and stop moving forward.

Our Heavenly Father, knowing our human nature so well, understood the importance of giving us visions. He knew that to keep our faith alive and keep us forging ahead towards His promises and the God-assignments we have, He would need to create pictures for us. God used picturing (visualization) to help His children believe in His word and receive His promises.

God promised Abraham, when he was childless and too old to father a child, that he would be the father of many nations. God used pictures like the dust of the earth, the sand of the seashore and the stars in the heavens show to him how many descendants he would have. God also had Abraham confess His word. How? Every time he said, “My name is Abraham”, he was speaking God’s truth about himself – that he is a father of many nations. Along with his confession, the people in Abraham’s life participated in keeping this vision alive when they called Abraham by his new God-given name. They were not just calling his name but they were agreeing with God: “Abraham you are the father of many nations.”

Picture this. You are walking in the seashore in the early morning and you feel the grains of the sand under your feet. You pick up a handful and attempt to count each of them only to lose many through the cracks of your hands. You quickly realize that it’s impossible to count them. Imagine a promise from God like that to Abraham. You can’t help be in awe of God. To keep this promise alive, I believe Abraham took time out to feel that sand under his feet and in his hands. What promises of God do you need to keep visually before you so that your faith would stay alive?

Consider this too. At night you go out to your patio or you look through you window at the stars. It’s such a clear night so you decide to go for a walk. As you gaze into the sky you pause to see how many stars you can count but it’s just not possible to count them all. You remember God’s promise and in awe you worship and praise Him for the wonderful works of His hands and the blessings He has given. Abraham had a visual of his promise both day and night. Do you have a picture of your vision before you?

Apart from Abraham there are many others who received the promises of God and God used imagining to help them keep the dream alive (Hebrews 11). Joseph had dreams of being great one day; those dreams were so real he had to share them with others. Through the years of hardship, I believe that those dreams kept Joseph from giving up on the promise of God.

We too have been given a visual. We have a word picture of what heaven and hell would be like. As Christians, we made a choice for heaven and we know that’s where we belong and we are going to when we pass from this earth. We just know it. That visual of heaven propels us each day towards God and His will.

Here are some benefits to visualization:

  1. The more you see your vision the more you believe it will happen. You believe the more you see.
  2. You become more focused or driven to reach your goal and to see God work on your behalf.
  3. Your expectation grows and your excitement increases. This makes the journey more pleasant one.
  4. When you imagine what your dream looks like, you make it real. A picture is worth a thousand words.
  5. Having a visual will cause you to have a more defined and clearer path (baby steps) towards your goal.
  6. Helps you to make better choices and act in harmony with your vision.

Keep a visual of your dream ever-present before you. Here are some suggestions for keeping the vision alive:

  1. Post pictures, scriptures or inspirational quotes around your home or wherever you frequent the most (e.g. fridge door, dresser or bathroom mirror, doors, poster board in your home office space).
  2. Add wallpaper to your computer or mobile screen. This year my laptop wallpaper constantly reminds me that this is my Year of New Beginnings.
  3. Create a photo gallery of what your vision looks like and review regularly.
  4. Keep pictures in your journal or Bible, and believe God’s promises to you.
  5. Take time to dream – take a 15-minute to rest and reflect.
  6. Review your goals daily and take at least one step toward a goal.
  7. Write the vision out – in present tense – like it’s actually happening now. Make a short story of what your future life is like.
  8. Use goal setting software that includes a visualization feature to help you keep the vision alive.
  9. Frequently and persistently seek God about your dreams and His promises.
  10. Always give thanks to God for His promises even before you actually receive them.

Every goal starts with a vision – a picture we have in our mind of what we want to accomplish. Often when we go off track or don’t reach our aim it’s because we have lost sight of the dream we originally had. As such like Abraham we need to get a picture and a word and daily see it until it becomes real in our lives.

With God’s help we can make it happen. Keep the faith.

Share with us: What do you do to keep your dreams and God’s promises alive in you until they become reality?

Don’t Overlook This: Pray for Success

Save now, we beseech You, O Lord; send now prosperity, O Lord, we beseech You, and give to us success!

Psalm 118:25 (AMP)

Prayer for SuccessI have read this scripture many times but recently it really ministered to me. I realize that we often strive hard to achieve success in our personal and business lives. We try different ways to reach the mark we have set for ourselves but there is one important thing we overlook – to pray for prosperity and success. That’s what hit me when I read this scripture – David asked God for success.

In other words he was saying to God: “Lord, I need success now. I have struggling through life, I have been working really hard, and I can make it without you. Give me favor, Father. And let there be continued and uninterrupted prosperity in my life.” David had his fair share of trouble. He knew what it was like to be hated because God had anointed him.  He longed for success.

When we read his life story, we see a man who actively pursued his calling. He occupied himself as a man of war while moving towards his destiny – to be what God wanted him to be, the king of Israel. Yet there is one thing we can all learn from David. He constantly ran to God in prayer at critical times to find out what He should do (1 Samuel 23:1-5; 1 Samuel 30:8; 2 Samuel 21:1-3). He knew how to acknowledge God in all he did and what it was like to receive direction from God. Furthermore, he understood what it meant to obey God’s instructions and in every circumstance to reap success.

David provides the classical example for us – if we want success – we must prayer before we act especially when making critical decisions. Other people of God throughout the Scriptures also confirm this truth, that seeking God is necessary in achieving success:

  • Moses acted on God’s instructions to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 3-14).
  • Joshua led a successful victory over Jericho because he followed God’s not-so-orthodox instructions (Joshua 6).
  • Jehoshaphat and the people of Israel or Judah fasted and prayed before going to battle. Again a hands-down victory was won without the people of God fighting the battle (2 Chronicles 20).
  • Ananias obeyed God’s instructions to pray for Saul after receiving a vision from the Lord. Obedience (despite his initial concerns about Saul) not only brought healing to Saul but also cause him to receive the Holy Spirit and become a great apostle (Acts 9: 10-19).

I have seen how praying and acting on God’s instructions have led to personal victories for me. Admittedly there were times I was hesitant to obey because I wondered if I was hearing from God or didn’t think what I was guided to do seem logical. However, I soon realized that God doesn’t do things the way we do, He sees way ahead of us and as such we should just trust and obey.

If we want to be successful, we need to include these two important godly principles in every area of our lives:

  1. Follow the instructions for success and prosperity as given in Joshua 1:7-9. Read the word, meditate on it day and night and obey it.
  2. Like the Psalmist did pray for success (Psalm 118:25) and the way to do this is the acknowledge God in all you do and He will certainly directly you along life’s journey (Proverbs 3:5-6).

My challenge to you is to pray for success everyday as you work towards to your goals and your God-given assignments. Don’t be shy to ask it: “Lord, give me success now.” When you live to honor the Lord; He will not reject your plea for success.

May success come to you as you seek and do His will. God bless you!

6 Ways Reading Can Improve Your Life

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 (AMP)

Reading

Reading the Bible

I love reading the Bible. If there is one book I can read over and over and constantly learn from it, it is the Bible. It’s the compass of my life. I can always look to the Word to help me make sound decisions. It’s always a comfort to me. The Bible is total true about our humanness – it doesn’t hide anything. It expresses the human heart and as well as God’s heart. Reading the Bible as well as other good books has helped me grow in my Christian walk.

I would certainly encourage you to develop the habit of reading every day. It would help you progress through life as well as bring other benefits. Reading good books can:

1.     Ignite your imagination.

A novel or a book that includes storytelling helps you to create a vivid picture in your mind. This makes the process of reading more real to you. The material becomes more enjoyable and easier to remember when you put your imagination into action.

2.     Help you develop ideas.

Whether you are reading a fiction or non-fiction book ideas can quickly surface to your mind. Ideas related to personal improvement, career or business development, building your family life, growing in your Christian walk or other area of your life. Reading can help you develop ideas that effect positive change in your life or other people lives.

3.     Increase your knowledge base.

The beauty of a book is that it is a quick study on a specific subject area. You can learn from the experiences of others and from the hours of research the author invested into his/her work of writing. What may have taken you hours, days or months of effort to research is compiled for you. With a book in hand you it will take you less time to gain the knowledge and understanding on any topic of importance to you.

4.     Develop your communication skills.

One thing is sure, the more you read, the better a command of the language you gain. Reading makes you a better communicator. If you’re not confident in writing or speaking, regular reading will sharpen these skills.

5.     Be a form of relaxation or therapy.

That may seem weird to some because we often associate reading with studying. But personally, reading is a pleasure for me and most of (if not all) my free time is reading time. I don’t read the comics or the novels that would be considered light material but once I read within my scope of interests I enjoy it. That’s why I often end my days with a cup of tea and a good book or the Bible before going to sleep.

6.     Bring success and God’s approval.

When you read and make careful and discipline study of God’s word, you are approved by God (2 Timothy 2:15). God is pleased when we make a strong effort to learn of Him and draw close to Him. Not only that, one of the essentials to a successful and prosperous life is to read the Word of God day and night, to meditate on it and to do what God says in His Word (Joshua 1:7-8). Every successful person reads. Reading is an important element of personal growth and success.

It is often said that when you stop reading, you stop learning and growing. Since you and I don’t want to live a stagnated life, we must develop or keep up the habit of reading.

Here are some of the ways you can keep the reading habit alive:

  1. Set aside time every day to read – early in the morning, at lunch, or before bedtime.
  2. Maximize your time while you are on the go – read on the train or bus, on the airplane, or wherever you know you’ll have at least half hour of reading time. Plan ahead for these opportunities to read.
  3. Consider other alternatives to reading – listen to an audio book, view an infographic or watch the video of a book (I liked The Ultimate Gift).
  4. Take advantage of technology. Apart from the printed books you can now read books on e-readers, mobile phone, tablets. Take your pick.
  5. Have a copy of a book wherever you go. Again it’s easy to carry books around thanks to technology but I often have a hard copy book with me if technology fails me or I just prefer to have the feel of a book in my hands.
  6. Challenge yourself. Set a goal to read at least one book a month or two books a month if you like. Even if you fall behind in keeping up, a few hours of dedicated reading time can bring you back in line.

My challenge to you this week:

Choose a book that you’ve wanted to read for a long time and assign a time to read it every day. Share what you’re reading along the way with family or friends.

I am sure there are other ways reading can improve your life that I haven’t mentioned. Please share how the habit of reading has benefited you. I’d love to hear from you.

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