Success by God's Word

Posts tagged ‘faith’

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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7 Strategies to Overcome Your Problems

Recently a friend encouraged me to read and pray based on the story of King Jehoshaphat. As I did, the Lord pointed out clearly how we can overcome our problems if we use this example to guide us through the battles of life.

1. Run to God in Prayer

Oftentimes when confronted with a problem our human response is to feel overwhelmed and fearful. This is what the enemy wants to do – strike fear in the hearts of the unbeliever. But we should take Jehoshaphat’s example to heart – although he was afraid he quickly sought God in prayer.

2. Fast in the midst of Prayer

Fasting tells God that He is more necessary than the necessary food you eat. Fasting isn’t a show to the world but a cry for help to God. Fasting gets God’s attention more readily – He sees your sincerity and that your need is urgent.

3. Gather Support

Don’t fight alone. Involve others in the battle you are fighting. You may call your family to fast with you or have family prayer until you see the victory. You can join with a close friend to pray over the situation. Remember, one can chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight (Deuteronomy 32:30; Joshua 23:10). There is power in united prayer and fasting.

4. Receive the Word of God

God will speak to you and to your problem; you need to have listening ears and a receptive heart. His word can come at any time – through a sermon, a song, a friend or personal Bible study. When you get that Word from God, you just accept it.

5. Worship God

One beautiful aspect of this story is the people’s immediate response to God’s word in worship even though the battle wasn’t yet won. Please hold on to God’s promise of victory and do not question it at all. Just worship and praise God in the midst of the challenge and when you’ve triumphant over the enemy.

6. Obey God

There is a part for all of us to play in any problem or challenge we face. God will give us the breakthrough and He will use our obedience to His word to do it. Just as these people followed the instructions God gave them – though not the typical warring instructions – they did it and won a fight they didn’t fight! So you to, “Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you.”

7. Expect to Win

Be like the people of Judah and go out to battle singing praises to God. They knew they would win because God was fighting for them. When God fights for you, you are destined to win and you will receive abundant blessings.

Conclusion

Even if fear comes, we can overcome it and win the battle if we follow this and other numerous examples given to us in God’s word.

Don’t be afraid when trouble comes. Ask God to fight on your behalf. With Him you will win!

Encourage yourself and others: What has been your response when faced with a problem? How did God work for you?

Special Note: I know that I haven’t exhausted this topic. Take the time to read 2 Chronicles 20:1-29 and pay close attention to Jehoshaphat’s pray, the word the Lord gave to him and how he encouraged the people to trust God. Then take time to pray according to this Word.

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.

Be an Agent of Positive Change

In the previous post, Change Comes, Embrace It, I spoke of how we often don’t like change and one way we can handle changes when they come. Today, I am talking about change but from the perspective of you being the change agent.

We hear stories of good and great things that people do and we think ourselves, “That’s great but I couldn’t do that.” Who told you so? The response we’d typically here is, “No one, I just know that’s not me”. The truth is we often believe the lies of the enemy that makes us stay where we are wishing things could change but never thinking we can be the ones to make the change.

Everyday we see people and groups who boldly proclaim their rights that bring about change – and often it is negative. Why are Christians not as bold to proclaim Christ and bring about positive change instead? It goes back to our negative self-talk or how we view of ourselves. We claim to have “valid” reasons for not stepping out to make a change or difference in the community around us. Sometimes we are more concerned about what others will say about us more than what God thinks of us.

But we need to rearrange our thinking or thought habits. We need to align our thoughts to what God says about us. Moses thought he could not speak well and represent Israel before pharaoh but God saw him as a leader and deliverer (Exodus 4). Gideon saw himself at the least in his family but God saw him as a might man of valor (Judges 6). David was also considered the least amongst his siblings but God saw him as a king and a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 16). God took the least among men and used them to bring about positive change in the lives of many.

So what about you? How do you see yourself? Please, erase from your mind the negative thoughts you have of yourself. Begin to look at yourself through the eyes of God your heavenly Father. Search the scriptures and remind yourself that:

  • You are a child of the Most High God
  • You have been made righteous through Christ
  • You are an overcomer
  • You can do great things because you know God
  • You have been chosen to be fruitful

Right where you are you can bring change – in your home, your community, your church and beyond. The key to starting positive change is in you knowing confidently that you can with Christ being your help and strength. It starts by being Christ-confident and not self-confident. It continues with thinking and speaking positive change to actively making positive change. You know where you are at. You see the challenges in your world – the children who need food and love, the teens who are longing for belonging, the young families needing guidance to stay together and be strong. The problems you see around you that burden you are often the ones that God wants you to solve. He wants you to be an agent of change right where you are.

Don’t doubt what you can do but believe you can with Christ helping you all the way. Trust in Him who can do work through you to bring change.

What change can you start making today?

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