Success by God's Word

Posts tagged ‘God’

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!

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Seven Hidden Gifts in Problems

No one likes problems. We all dread them. There isn’t anyone who wouldn’t prefer to live a trouble-free life. But that not the way life goes.

As the old proverb states every cloud has a silver lining. In other words, there is something good behind every challenge. Problems can prove to be beneficial to us if we approach them in the right way. As such we should look for the blessing or good in every problem.

If you take a step back and examine some of the problems you have faced in the past and even those you are dealing with now, you’ll recognize some of the benefits from those problems.

Problem definition Problems provide opportunities:

1. To see God’s power at work in your life

Israel’s bondage in Egypt created an opportunity for God to display His power not only to Israel but Egypt and the world at large (Ex. 3: 7-10). It is through the miracles, signs and wonder that the world learned about the God of heaven and earth. Not only did these people learn how powerful God is but they understood that I AM was the God who would be presently continuously available to meet every need in their lives.

Your problem may be God’s opportunity to work powerful and actively in your life. Give God the invitation to fight for you.

2. To build your character

Joseph’s problems of being hated by his brothers, enslaved and taken to a foreign land, wrongful accused and imprisoned and being forgotten when he showed kindness were all part of God’s plan. Joseph had a dream but also many problems before reaching that dream. I think he believed and understood that there was a process of growth he needed before his dream could become real. Both his character and his skill as an administrator were developed during the years of being misunderstood, mistreated and forgotten (Gen. 39 -41, Gen. 45). Joseph stayed the course and God was able to use the gifts he had deposited in him to promote him and to save nations and his family from death (Gen. 45: 7-8).

Problems bring out the precious gems that have been hiding in you. You learn that there is more in you when you’re faced with challenges.

3. To have a more intimate relationship with God.

David is a shining example of someone who had an intimate relationship with God. He certainly had his share of problems. He knew what is like to go hungry but yet he saw God provide every time (Ps. 37:25). He knew what it was like to sin but was quick to learn that God forgives (Ps. 51).

Whatever your problems – sickness, loneliness, lack – you have an opportunity to call on God (James 4:2) and see Him draw close to you. He is the I AM – your Healer, your Father or Friend, your provider and whatever you need Him to be in your life. Run to God with your problem.

4. To provide the solution

The solution may actually and usually does rest with you. The solution can lead to personal victory, closer relationship with God and others, to wealth, fame, or progress. Think of it this way, the conveniences we now have where solutions to problems. The light bulb is the solution to dispel darkness and the telephone broke the barrier of long distance communication. What problems are there around you that you are the solution to or have the solution for?

People pay to have problems solved. Be the solution and be compensated adequately for providing it.

5. To bring out the creativity in us

We are stretched or challenged by problems. They make us think more and bring out the creativity within. A friend once shared her story of having very little in her pantry. She had financial challenges and no money to buy food. While standing in her kitchen, she asked the Lord to show her how to make the best of what she had to give her family a healthy meal. She was amazed at what she was able to do with three main ingredients. God gave her creativity to cook a meal that her family was able to enjoy.

Sometimes we need to step back and look to God – the God of creativity – to help up make the best of every situation.

6. To connect us with people

Sometimes we fail to recognize that problems should not be handled alone. The enemy often causes us to think that we can take care of the problem ourselves. At times we withdraw from the community or church family that God has given to us when we need help the most. The problem becomes more overwhelming and leads to defeat.

When faced with problems this is the time to connect to people. In your church, talk to your pastor, church leaders or small group leaders not only for a listening ear but to pray with you and support you in other areas. At work, connect with your colleagues with specific expertise in an area where you may be lacking. When you connect with people you not only received the needed help but you develop new and inspiring relationships.

7. To demonstrate the love of God

Our sin problem provided an opportunity for God to display how much He loves us. While we were still at enmity with God, He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us and receive our punishment. His desire for us was to that we should not have to perish but that we should be able to live full abundantly lives in Him.

Jesus commanded us to love one another because through the demonstration of our love to each other, people who don’t know Him will know that we are His. This love among us becomes real especially during times of difficult. We can also show love to others by helping when they are in need.

So whenever you are faced with a problem, consider what benefits you can derive from it. Ask God to show you not only how you can solve it or how He will work it out for you but to reveal the silver lining. Approach your problems with a positive view.

Share with us: How do you deal with your problems?

Simplify Your Life: Stick to Simple Habits

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)

It has been fun to do this Simplify Your Life series.  It has been an eye opener to me and I hope was for you too. The key to simplify your life lies in constantly evaluating what you’re doing and if you’re doing more than necessary. A simple lifestyle is a choice we have to make.

Life doesn’t need to be more complicated than it already is. Sometimes we add more to our schedule without thinking about how it would affect our lives. In the height of our activities, we may sometimes add new things to our lives that complicate matters – join an email subscription, start a course or new hobby, or volunteer to participate in a project, etc. Although these may be good activities, we usually find that we are a bit stretched.

A good practice especially before adding new things to your life is to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I need this added responsibility or activity?
  • Would it add or multiply value to my life?
  • Is it within my life plan or purpose?
  • If I take this on, is there something that I would be willing to give up?

The questions will help you weed out what you don’t need in your life. We don’t have to be involved in everything. To keep life simple, don’t give yourself more than you can handle because God doesn’t do that to you.

We do need to be purpose driven and simple in the delivery of God’s plan for our lives. Think about it – God’s plan of salvation is simple – accept Christ as your Savior and Lord; live for Him and eternal life is yours. If you choose to embark on or keep up a simple life, then be determined and stick to the plan. Don’t allow yourself, your family or friends to side track you. There is peace in keeping things simple.

I have just focused on a few ways to keep life simple and how to avoid having an overwhelming schedule. I have not, by any means, covered all the simple life habits we can develop to make our lives abundant and successful. After all, we are keeping it simple :).

Life is to be enjoyed (1 Tim. 6:17) and simplicity of life activities makes that possible.

Feel free to share how you are able to maintain a simple yet effective life.

Simplify Your Life: Keep Your Finances in Order

So the rich man called for his manager and said to him, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Let me examine your books. It’s obvious that you can’t manage my property any longer.’ (Luke 16:2, GW)

Review your financesIn this Simplify Your Life series, we’ve cleaned up and cleared out a lot to make our lives less complicated. However, it wouldn’t be wise to continue this series without discussing personal money management. One thing is certain; we have to account to God for everything including how we manage our money and the other resources He gives to us. It would honor. God and serve us well if we have a good handle on our finances.

We have to know when and how much to tithe, give, save, invest, lend and sometimes borrow. If we don’t set money rules for ourselves we can easily become entangled in spending more that we actually earn and be faced with more debt than we can handle. But we can develop some simple money habits to keep our finances in order.

Simple Life Habits For Everyday Success
  • Be thankful for what you have. Appreciate the goodness of God toward you.
  • A heart of gratitude keeps you from complaining and constantly worrying about whether you have enough.
  • Give generously and with a cheerful heart.
  • You will be filled with joy when you see the benefits or blessing others derive from your acts of love.
  • Save a little every time you earn or receive money.
  • Consider this as a blessing to yourself for your now and your future.
  • Don’t run into big purchases or unplanned ones. Wait 24 hours to give it some thought.
  • This will help you to avoid overspending or making unnecessary purchases that you may later regret.
  • Borrow as little as possible and pay off your debts steadily.
  • You will reduce the stress of being a debtor if you embrace this practice.
  • Keep records of your finances and review monthly.
  • You will see the progress to your financial goals and make needed changes (spend less or earn more) to achieve them.

Personal money matters could at times be rather complicated especially with the many options available to us. At times, using the services of a financial planner will make it simpler to control.

How do you keep your finances in order?

5 Life Areas to Review with Your Finances

As the old saying goes, “Time flies”. Six months of the year 2012 is almost gone! My last post focused on the importance of living on purpose and what are some of the things you can do to live intentionally to achieve your goals. One way we can keep on track is by doing quarterly reviews. Occasionally we have to access where you are compared to where you want to be and determine or revise your plan of action to get there.

Every quarter I like to take a look at my finances to see how I am progressing. I realize that as a child of God I am accountable to Him for all the resources He has placed in my care, including money. God requires us to be good managers of everything He has blessed us with.

Usually we tend to look at our finances in a bubble without taking into account the other areas of our lives. Sometimes we approach reviewing our finances and life goals with apprehension because we feel we haven’t measured up with our expectations. However, an honest assessment of our progress will not only reveal areas for improvement but will clarify our accomplishments and victories. We need to approach this time with openness and gratitude.

Over the next week, as your take time to review your life goals consider the financial side to each of them. Sometimes we tend to make plans without making the link to our finances and may later realize that we don’t have the financial backing needed to help us accomplish our goals.

So, consider these questions when you review your life goals:

Spiritual Growth

  • Are you faithful in tithing and giving?
  • Is there a retreat or conference you want to attend this year?

More important for Christians is to plan giving. You may be the one God wants to use to help another – include a little extra into your budget for giving. Be open to the leading of the Spirit of God in this area. Also consider how you can grow spiritually and account for this in your plan.

Career & Business

  • Are you satisfied with your current career or the growth of your business?
  • Do you need to study more in your field or start a new career?
  • Are you making enough income or do you need to increase revenue?

Career and business development requires a cash outflow.  However, how much will depend on the type of career or business that you are pursuing. It is important to weight all your benefits and options before moving ahead. The key is making sure this aspect is accounted for in your finances.

Physical / Health

  • Do you exercise regularly three or more times a week?
  • When was your last physical done?
  • Do you give yourself enough personal time and care?

Keeping fit means either cost of recurring gym fees or exercise equipment if you workout at home. On the other hand, the cost may be minimal because you have a few exercise videos to help you out.

I have a friend who often says that the grocery bill cheaper than a hospital bill. How true! The price you pay for being healthy is a lot less than the price of being sick. Keep healthy has financial benefits.

Family & Relationships

  • How would you rate your relationship with your family?
  • Do you spend time developing your connection to them?
  • What are some of the best ways to connect with my family?

Spending time with your family does not have to be costly. A family night with games and snacks is great for bonding. A regular time prayer will not cost anything but afford you many spiritual blessings. Society tries to convince us that we need expensive electronics and extensive vacations to have family time. I aim for simple yet effective ways to keep my family strong. Ask the Lord what’s best for your family.

Personal Development

  • Do you read as your personal growth plan?
  • Are you taking courses to increase your knowledge outside your career aspirations?

I am a reader of mainly non-fiction material usually on finances, success, and leadership and of course, Christian living. I factor books into my budget. E-books have proved to be more cost-effective but I occasionally I like to have to feel of a printed book in my hand. Apart from that, I also consider seminars or courses which will cost more than books.

I have not exhausted all the core life areas but hope you find this a helpful start. If you can see some level of success or growth – applaud yourself and keep moving forward. If you find that there are some areas where you are not progressing as you would like – don’t beat yourself up. Find out what’s lacking and why, ask God for direction and then make a plan and start with small steps to success.

For your benefit, I challenge you take some time to review your goals including your finances and align them. You may be surprised by what you have accomplished so far.

Share with us what you have accomplished to date since the start of 2012.