Success by God's Word

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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?

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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.

Simplify Your Life: Manage Your Time

So far in this series, we have discussed areas where we can develop a few simple life habits that will improve our lifestyle and keep it uncomplicated. Today, we continue by reviewing some simple time management practices.

So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12, NKJV)

Time is our most precious resource. Today matters for the today and when today is gone is it lost forever. As such time is highly valued but sometimes in an effort to maximize our time we get too busy.

However busyness does not mean productivity nor does being productive mean your life must be hectic. Simply put, being productive involves knowing what to do and doing it. It requires knowing how to make the best use of your time.

How is your life right now – hectic or productive? Whatever your answer, check your life and consider what you can drop from your schedule.

Learn to say ‘No’ at times and mean it. You can’t be involved in every church activity or social event. You may even need to say ‘No’ to a personal project you’ve been doing. It may not be the right fit now.

While you may opt of a few activities, you may need to say ‘Yes’ to yourself. Give yourself some personal time for self-care, recreation or relaxation. Say ‘Yes’ to rejuvenating yourself so you can be more effective in fulfilling your purpose.

Consider some of these time management habits:

Simple Life Habits For Everyday Success
  • Plan your day. Write down 4-7 things you want to accomplish the next day. However, leave room for contingencies.
  • You will gain clarify since you know what to do. You’ll be a more focused and driven person.
  • Speak success over your day. Tell God your plans and ask Him to bless your day.
  • You will experience favor wherever you go. Even when challenges arise, you will be confident and be able to overcome them.
  • Acknowledge that time is a priceless commodity that is spent even if you don’t use it wisely.
  • You will value your time and that of others. You will treasure moments with family and friends.
  • Give yourself 24 hours before commitment to anything new.
  • This will help you to avoid over committing yourself.
  • Evaluate your day. Did you accomplish what you planned? Did you slack off or did you have to deal with the unexpected?
  • You may not always check off everything on your list but the benefit is that you remain focused and can recoup the next day.

Set aside some time to determine if your use of time correspond with your goals. One way you can track your time is to keep a journal. Record the time for each of your activities at work, at home, at church, on the road, etc. After a week or two evaluate how much time is spent on what matters most to you. With this information in hand you can then re-arrange your schedule to align with your goals.

Share what you have learnt about yourself while tracking your time and how you will improve your time management.

Until next time,

Keep life simple.

Simplify Your Life: Focus on God

In July, I started an 8-part series called Simplify Your Life, if you miss any part of the series you can catch up here. Last week I offered a general introduction of the areas we will cover in this series.  At the end of it, I hope that we can all make headway in leading uncomplicated, uncluttered, productive and successful lives.

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Joshua 1:8, AMP)

Sometimes if we take a close look at ourselves, we’d realize that our schedules become so overloaded that we don’t spend time with the Lord as we should. For example, I generally read the Bible at least twice a day – in the morning and at night before bed. Recently, I realized I was dropping that night habit and furthermore I was not meditating on the Word as much. I have recommitted myself to do that night reading however little. It keeps me focused on the God’s plan for my life. I am refreshed as I meditate on the promises and commands in the Word and apply them to my life daily.

To keep focused on God you have to be intentional. You will need to develop simple habits that will keep your thoughts and heart toward God continually.

Simple Life Habits For Everyday Success
  • Prayer at all times. Although this sometimes seems like a daunting task it is possible. The key to having an open and continual conversation with God (prayer) lies in recognizing that God is with you at all times.
  • You will have a blooming relationship with your heavenly Father and be attuned to His will.
  • Read the Word at least twice a day. Technology has made it possible to have the word of God at our finger tips. To get the Word in use every possible format available – audio, video, e-readers, laptops, mobile phone applications. This will keep your spirit well-fed.
  • The Bible is our manual for successful living. When you learn God’s word you will know how to lead your life well.
  • Meditate on specific scriptures. Take a few scriptures that speak specifically to your life, your family, your dreams and on a daily basis mutter and repeated speak God’s word over your life.
  • Appropriating the promises of God will help you to become more like Christ and build your faith in Him. As you meditate on scripture you will also see God work in your life above and beyond what you speak and think.
  • Think about good things. Purposely banish negative thoughts from your mind. For example, the moment you begin to think that you’ll fail reflect on God’s word: “As a blessed child of God, whatever I do shall prosper”.
  • You will develop the ability to flush out negative self-talk. You will be able to handle life’s challenges with more confidence as you view from God’s perspective and not the world’s.
  • Praise continually. Remember that God is worthy of praise no matter what situation you are facing. God is always good and He is always doing good to you. Praise Him.
  • You will develop a heart of gratitude toward God and to the people around you. A more positive attitude will develop in you

Any one of these suggestions above will lead to a strong spiritual walk. Having a great relationship with the Father will give you more confidence and calmness. In this hurried and complicated world, life will be less complex and you’d be able to make sound decisions without doubt or fear.

What are some of the life habits you have developed to help you stay focused on God?

Simplify Your Life

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (John 10:10, AMP)

I’ve been trying very hard to make my busy life uncomplicated. With the addition of this new blog adventure, a full time job, family commitments and book publishing on the horizon it seems close to impossible. Recently, I’ve been asking myself a few questions: How do I keep my life simple yet effective? Or how do I keep emails, phone calls, project deadlines, family commitments, my life goals and plans from becoming overwhelming? Have you ever asked yourself similar questions?

Life demands often seem urgent. There is always something that needs your attention, or someone who needs your help. Along with life goings-on is the challenge of living in this technological advanced age where many opportunities abound. There is a constant struggle to juggle all life’s activities. But the need to keep life simple is more necessary now than ever before. Why? If you don’t maintain a simple life, you’re likely to lose peace of mind and be diverted from living out your purpose. An abundant life – a better life – is often not in the more or the complicated but in the simple.

Without noticing it, we often slip into bad habits or break good ones and when we do we feel out of sorts. If we want to live simple yet successful lives, we will need to develop some healthy habits or practices to make this possible. When I feel overwhelmed I know that it is time to restore simplicity and order to my life. Here are some of the areas I try to work on to keep my life as simple as possible:

  1. Focus On God
  2. Ask For Help
  3. Manage Your Time
  4. Reduce the E-Load
  5. Remove The Clutter
  6. Clear Your Mind
  7. Keep Your Finances In Order
  8. Stick To Simple Habits

Over the next few weeks I will review some habits or practices you can use to simplify your life. Some of which I either practice myself or have seen my friends incorporated into their lives. From each discussion point I hope that you will find something that you will work for your life. It is in these small habits or changes that you can find everyday success and achieve your life goals with less stress.

7 Ways to Live on Purpose

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about living on purpose and the importance of pursuing your dreams. But what does it really means to live on purpose? I’ve defined this as intentionally living out your vision – dreams, goals or pursuits. It’s living out God’s will for your life. To live on purpose is to live your life by design.

That sounds great but how do you do this? I’ve noticed that it can be challenging to keep the fire burning and remain purpose-driven. In my life recently I’ve been telling myself that “there too many moving parts” towards my pursuits. I’ve been wondering how to keep up with all of life and still live out my dreams in an effective manner.

The question is: How do I daily keep focus on my purpose? What do I do to continually move forward and achieve my goals?

This post includes some of the habits I use to maintain intentional living.

Know what your purpose is. This may go without saying but still we need to be reminded. What is your dream or the major goals you want to accomplish in your lifetime?

  • Ask God for direction if you’re not sure of the specifics. God’s will for you is wrapped up in you waiting to come out.
  • Assess yourself. Learn about you. What are your likes, dislikes, gifts, talents, education, personal experiences (problems you have overcome), passions, and interests? A good question to ask is: What do I love doing and would be willing to do without being paid for it?

Have a vision and write it out. Sit down in a quiet place with no distractions of any kind and dream a little, no, a lot. This can be a scary thing but you need to take time to think about your life and what you want it to look like. The challenge is linking it to God’s will for you but if you approach this time with prayer (and fasting, if possible) the Lord will guide you. Remember He is your Shepherd.

  • Whatever your dreams are – write them down. Get it out of your head and on paper. It will clear your mind and relieve the mental load you may have been carrying.

Set small goals. I would suggest that you do this the same day as your dreaming day but don’t delay too long.  Choose another quiet time and begin to put your big dreams into smaller goals.

  • Span those big goals into your lifeline from current tasks and projects, to one- to two-year goals, three- to five- year goals all the way up. For your one year plan break it down in quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks.

Create signposts. We are encouraged to know the Word and keep it close wherever we can see it. I believe that you can do the same with your goals. You’ve written them out but to keep focused on them and act on them you’ll need to develop signposts.

  • Post these goals along with God’s promises to your computer or mobile phone as the wallpaper or in a file that you constantly refer to
  • Post them where you frequent the most: your dresser mirror, refrigerator door, home office desk
  • You can even create picture collage that represent all the different aspects of your dream and post it where you can see it often.

For example, maybe you have goal to lose five inches off your waist (my wish) and strengthen your abs – post a photo of a fitness advertisement and write on it, “How am I doing today?” Make sure it is strategically placed where you can see it to motivate you to exercise and eat right.

Depend on God’s direction. Again, I refer to what God says about His word – talk about the Word when you get up, lay down, with your children, at all times really. You need to do the same for your goals.

  • Talk to God throughout the process. God is the CEO of your life. He is the Master Strategist. He will give you direction to help you live on purpose and fulfill your destiny. Trust God through the process and enjoy the journey which is all part of living on purpose.

Talk about your dream. When you talk about something a lot it becomes more and more real to you. Talking positively about your dreams is a great self-motivator.

  • Speak the word concerning your dream. Visualize and confess the word as it relates to you dream. Speak those things as though they already exist even though they are yet to become real. Your tongue is a creative force. Use it well to build your life and fulfill destiny.
  • Talk to trusted friends. Choose carefully those who you share your most important goals with. There are some who will support you and there are others who will question your dreams. Find and hold to those who will rally around you and support you in prayer and in practice.

Work on your purpose daily. Work your dreams. This requires daily effort but you can do it.

  • Review your goals daily and every night write at least seven things you want to accomplish the next day.
  • Keep that list where you can clearly see it and make sure to act on what you have written down. Set you mind daily to do at least two or three tasks related to your goals.

No amount of planning is useful with acting on the plans.

I hope my list above will benefit you. It is by no means an exhaustive discussion on the topic but hopefully it’s enough to either help you move in the right direction or encourage you to continue living intentionally.

Tell me and encourage others too: What do you do to keep living on purpose?

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