Success by God's Word

Posts tagged ‘prayer’

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!

Simplify Your Life: Ask for Help

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG)

The previous post in this Simplify Your Life series discussed a few life habits we can develop to remain focused on God. Peace and confidence are blessings which become evident when God is central in our lives. In this post, we will consider an often overlooked practice that can reduce our busy schedules.

Asking for help isn’t always easy. Pride can get in the way. We all like to know that we can hold our own. However, asking for help relieve feelings of frustration and pressure and prevent you from becoming exhausted.

I recall an occasion when I needed help. Every Monday I hosted and led a small group meeting in my home. At the start of a new school year my daughter’s school program changed and I needed to help her with homework. Those evenings proved challenging as I juggled meeting preparation and homework.  I discussed alternatives with the group members but changing the time wasn’t feasible.

Then I asked God to show me the best way to fulfill both commitments. Within two weeks, my daughter’s school introduced a homework program. This was the answer to my prayer for help! She was able to complete her work during the after-school program giving me the freedom to continue the group meetings as scheduled.

If you feel overwhelmed or think you are headed for burn-out, consider these simple life habits to get your life on track and receive the help you need.

Simple Life Habits For Everyday Success
  • Pray about everything in your life.
  • Doing this will release you from worrying. As you seek God’s direction He will show you what to do or send you the help you need.
  • Recognize that God is always with you.
  • This will certainly bring peace into your life. Knowing that God is with you provides inner strength.
  • Have weekly family meetings for open discussion, prayer and thanksgiving.
  • This keeps everyone at home on the same page and working together as a unit relieves the stress of going it alone.
  • Relieve yourself of full time duty. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help and accept it when offered.
  • It will create some free time rest as well as give you the opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do.

No man is an island. We are not here to go it alone. The Word constantly comforts us with the promise that God is with us always. From the beginning we weren’t meant to live in a vacuum. Embrace at least two of the life habits above that you know will make your life simpler.

If you’re the type to do it all yourself, I have challenge for you: Think about an area where you need a helping hand. Identify friends or family members you can ask to assist you accomplish that task. Then, ask them. You may be surprised to hear, “Yes.”

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?

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.

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