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!

3 Ways to Keep God’s Word Close

We are very fortunate in this century to have the Word of God so near to us. The Word is near us in terms of accessibility. The Word can be in hard copy; in audio or video formats; on television; on the internet; on your cell phone, e-reader, or computer. There are also different translations available to study from. Compared to the biblical times when the Word of God was read at specified times when the people of God gathered, we have it available at all times. The nearness of the Word of God leaves us with no reason for not knowing it.

Unfortunately, sometimes we become distracted with life and don’t keep God’s word as close to us as we should. However, Deuteronomy 30:14 offers us some insight on how to keep the Word near to us.

1. READ THE WORD

At home, early in the morning, in the afternoon, late a night, anytime or anywhere we can read the word. I usually read in the early morning and prayer before breakfast. While driving to work, I may listen to a sermon or I pray the scriptures I read earlier that morning. Depending on the activity of the day, I may be able to slip in a short message or read. At night l enjoy having a cup of tea J and reading either a book or the Bible just before sleeping. Other times, while doing other tasks I would listen to the Bible on my Blackberry using You Version – it’s a great tool.

2. SPEAK THE WORD

If you know the Word you will speak it.  I would purposely make an effort to repeat certain scriptures I read as go through the day. During prayer, I would confess in faith specific scriptures I have written out. I have seen the Lord faithfully honor these promises that I have held to. If we take God’s instruction, the word of God should constantly be in our mouth. We should be talking about the Word morning, noon and night; when we lay down to rest and when you get up (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19). As we do this we are not only edifying ourselves but we are teaching our children.

3. THINK THE WORD

If you are constantly speaking the word – whether in prayer, in daily conversation with friends of family, occasionally meditating on it throughout your day – then it becomes embedded in your mind and heart. You would be thinking on good, lovely, profitable, wonderful thoughts because the Word is of God and God is good. This for sure will help to erase negatively from your thinking. You will grow from grace to grace and see life from God’s perspective and not the world’s.

LIVE OUT LOUD THE WORD

Once you’ve got the Word in you – mouth, mind and heart – you will know God’s desire and you will act in a way that pleases Him. When you walk in obedience to His Word, then you will see God’s many blessings in your life (Deuteronomy 28: 1-14). When you keep His Word, your soul will prosper and so will all other areas of your life (3 John 1:2).

Therefore, keep the Word of God near to you always and treasure them more than your necessary food (Job 23:12).

What do you do to keep the Word of God close to you? Share and encourage someone.

Insatiable Desire? God Satisfies!

Sometimes, I like to watch home design shows. I like to see the transformation from old and dated to the new and sleek designs. While watching, I’ve come to realize how unsatisfied, discontented and unhappy people can be. We always want more.

Have you ever realized that people never seem to be satisfied? If we have a great job, we want a better one. If we are small business owners, we want a large corporation. If we have a house, we want a bigger one in a more upscale community. If we have a car, we want a newer one. As for electronics, what we have today does not suffice for tomorrow.

Our lists of wants grow more and more each day. No matter what we have, we want for more, we want better. We are always wishing and striving something more. Even if we have learned to be happy or content with what we have, society bombards us (television, radio, internet, magazines), vying for our attention, trying to convince us that we need more!

Although there isn’t anything inherently wrong in trying to improve or to achieve something better, there is danger in focusing on these things too much. You can become distracted from your God-given purpose. You are not here just to gain and keep all for yourself. You have an eternal purpose. Your first priority is to know God for yourself – daily seeking after Him and doing what pleases Him (Matthew 6:33). Then, you should make Him known within your sphere of influence using the uniqueness of you (Matthew 28:19-20).

Sometimes, the seeking after things is an indication of your desire for something more. No one can ever be fully satisfied until he knows Jesus and has a personal relationship with Him. I’ve heard it said that sometimes the things you desire or long for can lead you to God – to the very Source of whatever you are seeking. God calls out to us many times even in the midst of our seeking things to come to Him (Isaiah 55:1-2). He is the only one who can truly fill our deepest longing – to know our Maker and to worship Him.

Is there something you are trying to achieve that consumes you so much that you don’t have time to connect to God? Are you seeking after everything but the righteousness of God? Or do you long for more of God but instead find yourself going after other things?

The reassurance you have is that God knows your needs and desires and He is able to provide them. All He asks of you is that you make Him your priority. He wants you to first love Him and seek after Him and walk in righteousness. As you do this daily, your heavenly Father will not only provide your needs but will also grant you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

Today, long for God. Have a desire for God and not for the things that will never satisfy. God is able to satisfy you.

Courage in the Face of Fear

Courage“Be strong, be courageous!” It’s a phrase that you often hear but when you are going through a challenging situation, finding that courage is tough at times. But really, what is courage? Courage is fighting through fear. It’s the grace to keep going forward when all else is against you. It’s the ability to keep moving forward when you feel pressed and you’d rather retreat or to stay where you are.

At times I have wondered how people like Moses fought for the freedom of the Israelites. Or how the New Testament church stood strong when persecuted and some were even killed for the sake of the gospel? What about those who fought for their freedom and rights during the civil rights movement? I could keep asking about others but I am not here to raise issues about anyone rights. I am here to ask this: How do you make it through life’s battles when fear seems so strong and overwhelming?

Recently, while watching a movie (a rare occasion for me) I thought about this and realized that people fought through fear and stood their ground for what their believed in dangerous and threatening times. One thing they all had in common was courage. But how did that courage come? That common thread of courage wasn’t based on self confidence. The recounts of history through books, movies and other types of media show where this courage originated from. These people who stood for righteousness and fought for justice knew the word of God. They put their trust in God.

When Joshua took over the leadership of Israel – God commanded him to be strong and to be courageous. Why? The responsibility before him was not short of daunting. He was about to lead Israel into many battles before they could receive their inheritance. God knew he needed the Word to get him through the battles ahead.

I don’t know what battles you are facing today or what fears the enemy use to intimidate you but you know that you need to forge ahead to win the battle. When you face battles in life – whether personal or on behalf of others – fear can rise up in your heart. But God says to those who are His – be strong and be courageous.

Throughout scripture God commands us not to be afraid. In Joshua 1, God gives us the success key for any battle. He points us to His word – to mediate on the word of God, to speak what God’s word says over our lives and over our battles and to “live out loud” a life pleasing to God. God has promised us that through total reliance His word, we have the ability to be prosperous in life and to be successful in all we do. When we rely on the Word it gives us the ability to move from fear to courage because we are not focusing on ourselves but on the ability and availability of our God to fight for us.

In the midst of your battles, rest in this Word and obey God’s command to be strong and be courageous. Use the Word, use the power that God has given you and you will win every battle.

Be strong and be courageous.

Ask & Be Joyful

It is often said that if you don’t ask you don’t know or if you don’t ask you won’t get. That is so true whether you are asking a friend, a stranger or God.

Jesus says in John 16:23b -24 (NKJV), “… Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

So, now let me ask you, what is it that will make you happy or cause you to rejoice in God? What would light up your world? Maybe I can ask you a different way: What is it that you deeply long for?

Have you asked God for it? Or have you failed to ask God for it? Maybe you do ask but not consistently or persistently. Or have you decided not to bother God with your request because you don’t believe God will give you?

This scripture really speaks to me and hopefully to you. Whatever you ask God – your Heavenly Father – in the name of Jesus (using His authority as the great I AM), God will do it. It is as simple as that.

Ask and you will receive that your joy would be full and complete. God – the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – all want you be happy, all want you to be full of joy.

Sometimes we can often complicate matters with our “logical” thinking.  But we should take God’s word as truth and go to Him asking with the heart attitude of a child. To ask implies that you have an expectation to receive – just like any little child. The instruction is very clear – ASK. The result is guaranteed – YOU WILL RECEIVE. The why is evident – THAT YOU WILL BE JOYFUL.

Look at it another way. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked this question to Bartemeus (Mark 9) and now He’s asking you. Bartemeus asked Jesus for the one think that would make his life better, fuller, happier – to be able to see. What about you? What’s that one thing or those few changes that you need Jesus to do?

Think about it. Then ASK and keep on asking until you receive. Then rejoice in Him.

So, what are you asking God for?

Believe God

I Belive_2818333115_0d9cc0fb9f_oI have often heard people say, “I believe God,” or “I’m believing God for a breakthrough.” The question is: Do we really believe God?

In Mark 9:17-29 when Jesus delivered the man’s son from the deaf and dumb spirit, Jesus said, “If you can believe all things are possible to him who believes.” It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Yet it is a hard saying for most of us. This father, as much as he wanted his son to be well, as much as he believed Jesus could help him, still had some lingering doubts (Mark 9:22, 24). The doubts were so probing that he asked Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief.

As we read the conversation Jesus had with Martha prior to calling Lazarus back to life, He focuses on believing (John 11:17-41). Although Jesus asked Martha if she believed He was the Resurrection and the Life and that all who believe in Him will never die, her response wasn’t direct. Her positive answer was qualified,“Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (John 11:27 NKJV). Somewhere there was a hint of unbelief in Martha. As they went to the tomb and Jesus requested the stone to be rolled away, Martha raises an objection to this (John 11:39). Martha still didn’t realize that Jesus intended for Lazarus to come alive then and that He was the Resurrection and the Life through whom all men will live now and eternally. Jesus again reiterated the need to believe, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

When we believe God all things – everything – will be possible for us. When we believe God, we will see His glory in our lives. Our faith in God is directly related to the success and triumphs in our lives. The extent to which we believe God determines the miracle we receive. If you believe God and His ability to heal you, to give you success in all you do, to provide for you, to help you do anything, then indeed nothing will be impossible for you.

Jesus is challenging us to believe Him and not the negative things we see happening in our lives. Unbelief lurks when we put our focus on the problem and not on God and His power to save, to heal, to deliver, to provide and to make the seemingly impossible possible. Unbelief comes if our focus is off base – when we focus on the problem and become overwhelmed, when we take the ill advice of well-meaning others that is against God’s will or when our negative self talk bombard us. Whatever you focus on the most, you believe the most and you receive also. So it benefits us to purposely focus on God, His promises (the Word) and His power to make all “impossibilities” happen.

At all times, let’s BELIEVE GOD.

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