What’s In An Idea?

27584846 - beautiful woman with questioning expression and question marks above her head“The thoughts and purposes of the [consistently] righteous are just (honest, reliable), But the counsels and schemes of the wicked are deceitful.” – Proverbs 12:5 (AMP)

Have you ever had a “light bulb’ experience where a great idea comes to mind and you’re all excited about it but sooner rather than later the idea fades away? Sometimes I am almost flooded with new ideas and renewed visions of things I want to do. At times I am so overwhelmed by the ideas that I quickly drop them. Does that sound familiar? On occasion I learn to settle myself and make the idea become a reality. I have noticed that when I ask God to direct my paths and show me how to and when to act on an idea that I am able to bring it to reality. One such experience I can attest to is completing the writing and publishing of my book – Financial Empowerment.

I have realized that ideas are not just accidental thoughts. They are given to you for a reason. As a writer, I have ideas about articles or blog posts that I can write or about books and courses that I can create to help others. My ideas are often centred on my purpose, personality, preferences or interests. They are often related to God’s word, personal finance, and personal development (which I call, Christian Living Success) and how I can best serve God’s people.

Ideas also have a time or a season to become reality while others may not be meant for you at all but to be shared with others who can make use of them. I have several ideas but I don’t act on them all. I believe some of them are meant for me and over a period of time they will be acted on and become a reality in my life. However, I recognized that some ideas come that can be best acted on by someone else who has the passion, expertise, gift and experience needed to carry it out and make it successful.

So what is in an idea? Are you meant to have a flood of great ideas and just that or do you need to act on some of what you’ve been thinking about? An idea tends to come almost suddenly – like a series of thoughts that just have to be shared or written down because they are so good.

What about you? What’s your idea? What are you doing about them? These questions have some similarity to the question that Elijah asked the widow: “What do you have in your house?” Like the widow you may think that your idea is insignificant. But with God, what you have can be an income stream that is more than enough to take care of you and your family. Your idea may save you and others much time and effort. Your idea may save a life. Your idea may bring hope and help to others in some way. Your idea, once implemented, could be a world changer. Your idea is a good difference maker. Your idea is meant to be shared. Whatever your idea, it can solve a problem and make your life and the lives of others better.

Imagination
An idea comes from your imagination and your interests. It is part of your thought process. Ultimately, any good idea comes from God. When you get your ideas write down as much as you can about them. Keep an idea note book or document to record them. Ask the Lord Jesus to show you what to do about them.

Development
In order for an idea to become reality, it has to become a specific goal and then developed into a viable plan. You have to move your idea from generality to specifics. You have to make it concrete. You will need to attach numbers, dates, times, or some kind of expected outcome to it.

Empowerment
An idea can bring empowerment to you and others. Actually, as you work on your idea you will grow and learn through the process of working on the idea. You will move from struggle to success and to significance. Why? Your idea will not only cause you to achieve for your benefit alone but others will be impacted by what you do. As a Christian, your ideas are meant to be life changers; an influencer to challenge people to better themselves and improve their lives in some way.

Achievement
Acting on your ideal will eventually lead to achievement of the goal. Your idea will also lead to fulfilment and even to income generation. It’s like the Bible says, when you have seen the fulfilment of your desire “life is full and sweet” (Prov. 13:11 VOICE)

An idea is just an idea. It just a big dream if no action is taken. I’ve had and have many ideas but they are of no use to me or others unless I do something about. So recently my prayer is for God’s grace to take direct, decisive, focused action on the ideas or creative thoughts he plants into my mind and heart. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how many ideas I have. Now I ask the Lord to guide me and let me know what to take action on and in what order of priority.

Lately, I been working on my ideas – setting goals and making plans. But I have also been acting on them and have had the pleasure of seeing some ideas become realities such as speaking on Financial Empowerment and other Christian Living Success topics and I been doing some business writing (mainly resumes) – something I have always liked doing and just seemingly stumbled on the idea to offer a professional writing service .

“Entrust your efforts to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3 (GW)

The whole idea of bringing an idea (pun intended) to reality is exciting and fulfilling and once you see it you want to do more. What idea(s) do you have that you need to start working on? Feel free to share.

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Questions To Move Your Goal Setting In The Right Direction

Question marks_ID-10062766If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.James 1:5 (NIV)

Sometimes it can be a bit challenging when setting goals to define clearly what you want to achieve. In the Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner, you’re asked the question, “Where Am I Today?” which you use to rate and evaluate seven life areas. This can be challenging but it is necessary if you want to move forward. This exercise helps you to determine which areas of your life you need to focus on more.

Following that exercise, you will start setting your goals or creating your life plan. Again, even though you may have identified areas that you want to improve, putting a plan together can be quite the challenge. In the post I have created questions that you can use to help you plan in each of these life area.

I know for the most part taking time to question yourself may seem hard and time consuming. However, there is a benefit because for every question, even the hard ones, an answer can be found. As you start questioning yourself about your life, also ask God for already He knows the answer. He will search your heart and give you the wisdom needed to move your life in the right direction.

LIFE VISION
What would make you smile with satisfaction when you look back at my life?
How can you get closer to your 10-year goal in this year?
What can you do to make the world a better place?
How would you like to be remembered?

FAMILY
Who do you need to have a better relationship with in your family (spouse, children, siblings, in-laws)?
What family values and/or traditions (e.g. celebrations, fun events, special occasions, family devotions or prayer) do you need to develop or reinforce in order to leave a lasting legacy?
What family goals (e.g. buy a house, family reunion or vacation, stronger relationships) do you have for this year?

FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES
What relationships do you need to improve?
Is there anyone who you need to disconnect from because they are a negative influence?
Is there someone who pulls you down rather than lift you up and encourage you?
Are there people you interact with that drain your energy in one way or another?
Who do you most admire in your sphere of influence? How can you connect with them?

FINANCIAL
What are your immediate financial needs?
Do you have a workable spending plan? Does it need to be revised?
Do you have a financial plan aligned to your values?
Do you need to a financial increase? How much? What will you do to achieve this?
Are you satisfied with your current income level? If not, why and how can you improve it?
How much do you plan to give, save and invest this year?
Is there a plan to reduce debt or to get out of debt completely?

HEALTH – PHYSICAL
What can you do this year to improve your overall health?
Do you need to create and follow a healthier eating plan?
What plan do you have to keep physically fit (have a personal physical assessment and exercise plan, start walking, participate in fun sporting activities, purchase and use workout videos, partner with a few exercise enthusiasts)?
Have you booked your annual health checkup and regular doctors visits? Would you prefer to work with a nutritionist or with an alternative health practitioner?

INTELLECTUAL / PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Should you enroll in an academic or professional course or other course of interest to you?
How many books do you plan to read this year? What topics would you like to cover?
Who can you connect with as a mentor, coach or mastermind group to provide support and accountability?

CAREER / BUSINESS
Are you in the career of your dreams? If not, what do you need to do to get there?
Do you need to study in a particular field? Or do you need to get on-the-job training?
Do you need to make a complete change in your career and embark on a new adventure?
In what ways can you improve service and product offerings in order the generate business income and be profitable?
How can you better serve your customers (internal and external)?

SPIRITUAL
What can you do to have a closer relationship with God this year and beyond?
How can you better serve the Lord not only in church-related activities but in all areas of my life?
Do you spend enough time in prayer, bible study, reading books on Christian living to help you grow in your walk with the Lord?
How often do you set aside time during the day to spiritually rejuvenate (such as having moments of quiet reflection, listening to uplifting music, watch short but inspiring videos or having a talk with God)?
How can you be a more effective witness for Christ?

This does seem like a lot of questions but they are just designed to get you started in your planning. You don’t need to answer all these questions or set major goals for each of these life areas. In some cases, you may need to set small goals – simple life habits – that can and will greatly improve your life. In other cases, based on where you are today, you may need to do a makeover on one or two areas of your life.

So take a step. Look at where are today and ask yourself a few of these questions to help you set purposeful goals. Ultimately, whatever goals you set, make sure that they align with your values and with the will of the God.

If you need help with goal setting, it’s not too late. Check out the Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner.

Here’s to your best year ever!

PamelaC

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How to Conquer Negative Thinking

thinking_27584846_s“I Am The Sum Total Of My Thoughts.” This is a sign I had posted on my fridge door years ago. Beneath that quote I noted the following scripture:

“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” Phil 4:8 AMP

To this day, I still remember those words even though I no longer have that sign posted anywhere in my house. It keeps me from thinking negatively and reminds me to focus on what God thinks of me rather what I or others would.

I realize that thoughts are very real and that thoughts have power. They are just as present as our words or actions. What you think has the power to become what you experience in life. What you think can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if you allow that thought to become a prevailing thought-habit that results in the life you live. Your thoughts have the power to rule your life. Therefore, be careful what you think!

The danger comes when you have negative prevailing thoughts. Your negative persistent thoughts are:

  • A reflection of low value you have about yourself, your present circumstances and your future. How often many think they are undeserving of God’s goodness like the Roman solider thought at first? “Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (Luke 7:7)
  • Sinful thoughts within your heart which you will degrade, corrupt or pollute your life. Such thoughts produce fear anxiety, doubt, unbelief, worry, depression, skepticism, and all things ugly. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:11, 15-20). The truth is sin begins in the mind.
  • Deceitful in that you say one thing with your lips but think another. This speaks to the integrity or lack of integrity of the person. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.” (Proverbs 23:7)

In the Christian walk, you battle daily the thoughts you think about yourself more than in another area. The more frequently your thoughts towards yourself are negative, the lower your confidence level goes and you think that no one including God loves you. If this persistent, the possibility of achieving your goals or reaching your destiny becomes close to impossible. It’s like Henry Ford said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you are right.”

But negative persistent thoughts don’t have to be the constant in your life. You can overcome.

Your thoughts come from what you put into yourself – from your environment, from your immediate circle of friends and family. Hence, it is important to renew your mind with the word of God.

  1. You can feed yourself good thoughts by studying with the word of God. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) The power of God’s word is enough to change your thinking about yourself. Let the word of God become more necessary than food. Feed yourself on it; “eat” the Word. In other words, meditate on it and your faith will grow and the power of His word will change your thought and change your life. Since your thoughts have the power to drive the course of your life. Therefore change your thoughts change your life.
  2. Refocus your mind as soon as your realize that your thoughts are taking a downward spiral. Recently I had a boot of bad thinking. I wasn’t happy about the progress I was making on a particular project. As I continued I starting thinking that my efforts were futile and that I wasn’t reaching and positively impacting others as I should. Hmmm, does that sound familiar? Anyways thankfully I realize that this wasn’t the way to go and then I wrote this thought in my prayer journal; “Lord, help me to see this from your perspective?” The moment I did that I paused to hear what God would say. I realized that although my efforts seem small they were gradually adding up to have greater impact and in fact there were readers added to my blog in the past two months that in the past two years! I still have a way to go but I was making progress. If I didn’t change my thinking pattern the rest of my day would have been totally miserable. Thank God I did.
  3. Use technology or a creative way to keep your mind thinking right. You can get a smartphone app to text you inspiring quotes or scripture verses or you can listen to or read the Bible. I use the memo application to keep my goals and prayer list readily available as well as to write quotes or thoughts of inspiration that I receive during the day. You can use index cards – write Bible verses or affirming words on them and at least twice a day read them. This will build your confidence, eliminate your fears and strengthen your faith in God. This way you fill your thoughts with faith and you’ll find yourself able to make bold steps towards your goals.

As you continue towards your goals, there may be times when the negative thought attack comes. Conquer it! Turn your thoughts toward God. If you have faith thoughts, nothing shall be impossible to you. (Matthew 17:20) So have faith in God because according to your faith-filled words or prayers you will have what you say (Matthew 9:20).

One other Word I want to leave with you is this, if God be for you who can be against you. (Romans 8:31). There is nothing stopping you when God is on your side. Isaiah 41:10 is a word that I summarize it like this: “God is with me. God is strengthening me. God is helping me. God is giving me victory.” Yes, God is with you and is helping you. This is not only a verse of comfort but it will help you boost your confidence levels and help you realize that with God helping you. You are destined to win. Meditate on this Word and accept it as truth. With this Word you change your thought and God’s power release in you through this word will cause you to do great things!

It’s your turn, what do you do to conquer negative thinking?

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9 Reasons Why Setting Goals Is Good For You

setting goals_5411685_s“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”             — Habakkuk 2:2-3

In my last post, I discussed, 7 Quick Tips to Make the Best of Goal Setting. This week I want to highlight a few benefits to setting goals. People have a tendency to look at goal setting negatively mainly because of the time and effort it takes to start and continue the process. However, I hope that looking at the positives of goal setting will encourage you move towards a Living Success year.

Goals setting will…

1. Give direction or focus to your life

The aim of goal setting is to make you think about your life. If no one dreamed, planned, set goals and pursued them this world would be full of problems and no solutions. It’s the pursuit of man providing solutions to the problems that makes life better. God created you to have dominion, to be fruitful, to be productive, and to do good works. Setting goals is a start to being such an individual. When you set goals you are creating your life’s road map that brings everything you’re doing and will do into focus.

 

2. Energize you

The very act of writing your goals and seeing them in black and white will inspire you to start working on them. The more you act on your goals and accomplish them step by step, the more motivated and energized you become to keep working at them until they are completed.

 

3. Provide a challenge

Sometimes goal setting can be intimidating. Why? Because our dreams often feel bigger than we are. Your written goals can prove to be a challenge. Tell yourself, “If I dream it, I can do it with God’s help and strength.” The key to any challenge is to go after it in faith and with the certainty that God on your side. If God has put a dream or goal on your heart, He can give you the grace to achieve it.

 

4. Turn the seemingly impossible into possible

The purpose of goal setting is not to write down a few items on a list and leave them alone, there is more. Your goals need to be specific, definable and time sensitive and then be broken into smaller more manageable tasks. The aim of goal setting is the make impossibilities become smaller possibilities.

 

5. Hold you accountable to yourself

Writing down what you want to do have a way of standing out. When you keep your eyes focused on your written goal it speaks to you. What does it say? You need to make this happen. Studies have shown that those who write down their goals are more likely to accomplish them than those who don’t. The more you study your goals, the greater commitment you have to accomplish them.

 

6. Help you to believe in yourself

When you set aside time to dream and create goals, you begin to believe in your ability and God’s grace to complete them. What you really want and what your purpose is become clearer to you. As you write the desires of your heart, you become more certain that you can achieve them because they are aligned to God’s will and who you are in Him. As you review your goals regularly, the more you believe they are doable.

 

7. Bring you to live life to be fullest

What if you don’t set goals? Those I have known that set goals and pursue them, they are some of the happiest, thankful and confident people to have in your circle. For those who haven’t set and pursued their dreams, these often live in regret and talk much about what they could have done. Setting and pursuing your goals will cause you to experience a life that you once dreamed of. Go out and live your life as God intended for you.

 

8. Measure your success

Good goal setting provides a benchmark to compare to – Your goals vs your current successes. Every week, month or quarter you should take time to access where you are against the goals that you’ve created. When you do this you learn where you need to improve, what is working for you and where you need to adjust. Measuring your success is a good time to give thanks and celebrate what you have achieved with God’s help.

 

9. Help you overcome procrastinating

Identifying the next 3 action steps for each of your goals is an important part of the goals setting process. As you do this and assign timelines to these small tasks, you will be driven to do them immediately. The fact that they are manageable steps or easy tasks eliminates the intimidation factor present in large goals that often cause us not to pursue them.

 

10. BONUS Benefit: Make You Think Outside the Box

When you set goals, one of the questions you will find yourself asking over and over again is, “How am I going to do this?” With prayer, research and creative thinking, you will find the answers. Even when you are not looking for the answer, ideas or solutions will come to mind that you normally would not have thought of if you didn’t have goals to pursue. You’ll be surprised at the kind of “out-of-the-box” thinking you will do and the bold steps you will take to achieve your goals.

Goal setting really is worth the effort. When you habitual set goals and pursue them, you will happily look back over the years and be thankful that you did. One thing I have noticed is that goal setting has helped me to accomplish more than I thought I could and through this process I learned to trust God to fulfill the desires that He has placed on my heart.

Now you know why goal setting is good for you, will you take the time to create the life you’ve been dreaming of?

If you’re haven’t set any goals yet, it’s not too late to begin. If you need a step-by-step guided process to goal setting, I’d encourage you to download the Living Success Goals Workbook.

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Vision – Do You Have One?

 Like many of you, I was shocked at the sudden passing of Dr. Myles Munroe, his wife and associates last Sunday afternoon.

As I reflected on this, I came to the realization that others have come to – we need to be ready to meet our Creator at any time. Not only that resonated in my heart but the fact that this man was one who lived on purpose for a purpose. Dr. Myles Munroe is known internationally as an author, lecturer, teacher, coach, and leadership mentor. He was rather prolific and had published numerous best-selling books including one that influenced me greatly – The Principles and Power of Vision: Keys to Achieving Personal and Corporate Destiny (Study Guide).

This book helped me to recognize the potential in me and the importance of have a vision for your life. I was challenged know my purpose and have a vision for my life. I read this back in 2008 and was happy to find a notebook I had jot some notes in while reading it. Here are a few notes and quotes from the beginning chapters that I thought to share with you. I hope that they challenge and encourage you.

  • There is gold within me.
  • Lord, help me to see farther than my eyes can look. Give me vision – to see what can be and make it a reality.
  • Vision makes you persistent and persistence leads to the fulfilling of your purpose in life.
  • The vision-less person is the poorest person.
  • The frustrated person is the one with a vision that does not know how to fulfill it.
  • There is no other person like me on this earth. I was designed by God with a distinct and specific purpose to fulfill here in this world. I am unique and my vision is unique.
  • Lord what is that specific vision that I was born to fulfill?
  • My purpose will become my passion in life.
  • Lord, help me to know my gift, stir it up and make use of it that it may make room for me and bring me before great men (Prov. 18:16).
  • I am the sum total of all the choices or decisions I make every day.
  • Nothing can get in the way of God’s purposes – they always come to pass.
  • Purpose is why you were born, the reason God created you.
  • Vision is when you see your purpose by faith in your mind and you begin to imagine it.
  • Vision is as close as the desires of my heart. It is about God. It is about touching others.
  • Vision is unselfish and should always be accompanied by compassion.
  • Corporate vision stirs up personal vision. You don’t receive your vision through others but you are enabled to fulfill it through others.
  • Nothing we are born to do is to be done by ourselves or for ourselves.
  • Lord, help me to know why I’ve been born and to have a vision for my life. Father, reveal to me the deepest desires that you have placed within me.
  • Mission is the general purpose of your life while vision is a specific, very precise statement with defined boundaries.
  • People fail because they don’t know what they want to succeed in.
  • You will be protected from jealousy when you understand your vision. You won’t worry about what the other person is doing.
  • Indecisiveness is a vision killer.
  • Don’t be a professional starter, i.e. starting many things and not finishing any e.g. like reading a book and not completing it and then starting another. Leaving things unfinished discourages you from completing other tasks. The unfinished has a way of haunting your life.
  • The cost of vision is diligence.
  • Success comes in installments.
  • It is more important to know why you are born than to know the fact that you were born.
  • When you decide on a vision don’t sell yourself short.
  • You must choose where you want to go in life and then be decisive and faithful in carrying it out.
  • My true work is what I born to do.
  • Whatever you were born to do will remain deep inside until you do it.
  • Is your true work – your purpose – making it uncomfortable for you to stay in your present job?
  • What is it that I want to do? Lord, make my purpose and my life’s vision clear to me.
  • My vision is a clear conception of what is not yet a reality but which can exist. It is a strong image of a preferred future.
  • Whatever I was born to do I am equipped to do. The resources I need to do my life’s work will become available as soon as I need them.
  • There is provision for the vision God has put in me.
  • Eph. 3:20 – My imagination isn’t big enough for all God wants to do for me.
  • God has placed His vision and His spirit within me and that is more than enough potential for my needs.
  • God has given us the gift of imagination to keep up from focusing only on our present conditions.
  • Responsibility leads to respond-ability or the ability to respond to the requirements of my vision.
  • Everything God gave me to do, I am able to do. For everything God put in my heart to do, I have the corresponding ability to accomplish.
  • God never gives us dreams to frustrate us. He gives us dreams to deliver us from mediocrity and to reveal our true selves to the world.
  • You can always determine what you can do by the dream that is within you.
  • Plant the seed of your vision and begin to act on it and then nurture it by faith.

Just typing out this notes to share with you has reminded me of some important truths- know your purpose, have a vision and live it out to the glory of Jesus our Lord. From what we have seen Myles Munroe, he not only wrote about serving the purpose of God in your generation but he did that himself and it is for all of us to do.

Reading and studying that book as well as another of Dr. Munroe’s books called The Glory of Living: Keys to Releasing Your Personal Glory were the starting points for me in having a clearer vision for my life. I see a lot of what I wrote then being lived out and continually being worked out in me today. I plan to take the time to revisit these books as they helped me to work through the deeper thoughts in my heart.

I hope these notes have inspired you and encouraged you to live out your life purpose. If you want more, then go visit this Amazon page – Myles Munroe – and choose a book or two from this great author and man of God. I am sure that reading his works will propel your life forward as it did mine.

Have you read any of Myles Munroe books, what stood out for you the most? What changed your life? Share a word.

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7 Ways to Receive Your BreakThrough Part II

This is the short version of a message I shared at church. Be blessed!

BreakThrough

BreakThrough

Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”

And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.  And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away.

Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.                          2 Samuel 5:17-2

4. Be willing to wrestle with God all night.       —Gen. 32:22-32

Jacob wrestled with God all night to receive his breakthrough. For him it wasn’t about money; he was wealthy. He needed a transformation in his life. His breakthrough was about getting a blessing that would change him from the inside out.  Jacob held unto God all night until He blessed him. And God blessed Him and changed him from being known as a trickster or swindler (someone who couldn’t be trusted) to being a prince with God.

What life transformation do you need? Are there areas in your life that remain stagnant or become worse? Do you have character issues or a reputation that stains you wherever you go? Are you willing to stay up all night seeking the Lord to receive your breakthrough? To wrestle with God is to passionately pursue Him and have an encounter with Him that changes your life and perspective. Maybe seeking God in the night season when there are no distractions and you can fully focus on Him is the answer to your breakthrough. Don’t let go until God blesses you.

5. Your heart must hold onto the promise. Speak God’s word over your life not matter how bad it looks.         —Joshua 1:8

Abraham believed God for his breakthrough – to have a son and become the father of many nations. In Gen. 12:1-3, the Lord gave Abraham (then Abram) promise that he would be the father of many nations. Years passed and in Gen. 15:1-6, Abraham confronts God about the promise because the only heir in his house was his servant’s child and Sarah wasn’t pregnant yet. God assured him of the promise, made a covenant with him and changed his name from Abram to Abraham (father of many nations). God also gave him a visual – the stars – to help him understand the vastness of the promise. Then Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. When Abraham is about to sacrifice his only son (Gen. 22), God reiterates His promise with two visuals – the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. All those years, can you imagine, Abraham had to hold that promise but God gave him the tools to do it: his new name along with the visual of the stars and sand. In everyday conversation he was being reminded of the promise every time someone called his name. He was being reminded of the promise when he felt the sand under his feet and gazed at the stars at night.

To get the breakthrough you have to hold unto the promise (the word God gave to you). You have to hold to the Word – meditate on it day and night and live it out in your life (Joshua 1:8). You have to keep speaking in faith what God promised you (Heb. 4:14) – be it healing, deliverance, or another promise He has for you. Jesus’ ministry to you is to bring to past the word you speak concerning yourself that is according to the will of God. Therefore be careful what you say – not only in the prayer closet but in your daily conversation. You must hold fast (keep speaking) that confession until your breakthrough happens.

6. Examine your heart (rather ask the Holy Spirit to examine you) and ask for forgiveness where you have fallen.       —Psalm 51

Nothing severs our relationship with God like sin. Sin not only brings a barrier between you and God but it stops the blessing (Deut. 28:15-68). David is an excellent example for us. He wasn’t a perfect man, yet God calls him a man after His own heart. I believe one of the reasons he says this of David is because he was quick to repent whenever he faltered (2 Sam. 12:1-15).

Today, though we are under a better covenant than David was we too sin at times. However, God is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you (give you the ability to overcome the temptation) from all unrighteousness (1 <st1:bcv_smarttag>John 1:9). Don’t let sin come between you and the wonderful relationship you have with God. Be quick to forgive and be quick to ask for forgiveness. It is needed to continue in right relationship with God and to experience your breakthrough.

7. Don’t just call on Jesus but believe that you will see the glory of God.          —John 11:1-44

Mary & Martha called on Jesus for their breakthrough; they wanted their brother to be well again. However, as scripture points out Jesus delayed his visit for a few days and by the time he reached there Lazarus was dead. But His intention was still to restore Lazarus though dead. He encourages Martha – at her objection to have the stone removed from the tomb opening – to believe and she will see the glory of God (vs.40).

Often times we accept our sickness or problems quickly and are ready to give up. But your sickness or problem is not meant to end you but to honour God and promote His glory. (vs.4). How? When God gives you your breakthrough you will by all means praise Him and tell others what He has done for you. Ask God to show His glory in your life. Why His glory? Because the God of the breakthrough can make the impossible become possible and real to you. He can destroy the works of the enemy and bring you the breakthrough you need.

8. Step outside the norm or the status quo. Ignore what others may say.          —Mark 10:46-52

Bartimaeus needed a breakthrough – he wanted what he never had before – the ability to see. He was known for who he was – a blind man begging on the road side. Vision is something we take for granted but for him not being able to see meant living below standard and having to beg at the wayside in order to live. No vision was darkness over him – no work, begging all the time, being out in the scorching sun, being snubbed and ridiculed. Bartimaeus wanted more and saw the opportunity when he heard that Jesus was passing by. He was not willing to let this moment pass him by. He yelled out to Jesus until he got his attention. He ignored the naysayers and kept shouting until Jesus took notice of him. Then Jesus asked Bartimaeus … “What do you want me to do for you?”

Is there something in your life that you’ve never had before? Have you thought about how your life and those around you would be better if you could have your breakthrough? Maybe you need a clearer vision your purpose and help to get you started on that road but it’s hard to see or conceptualize and you need God’s direction. Hmm… What do you want Jesus to do for you? What breakthrough do you need from Jesus today? What is it that will get you on the path that God has ordained for you?

What are you willing to do for your breakthrough?

Will you pray and weep until your voice isn’t even heard or wrestle all night with God (pleading in desperation) to get your blessing. Maybe you need to mix your prayer with regular fasting, or make a vow to the Lord in advance of the breakthrough. For you, it may be as simple as asking God for direction or strategy or it may require boldness and faith doing to do what you’ve never done before.

Whatever the need, we all need a breakthrough – our countries, our churches, our families, and ourselves. Let’s pray to get the breakthrough coming….

Don’t forget to share with others to encourage them in the Lord.

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7 Ways to Receive Your BreakThrough Part I

This is the short version of a message I shared at church. Be blessed!

BreakThrough

BreakThrough

Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”

And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.  And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away.

Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.                          2 Samuel 5:17-25

What is a breakthrough?

David described his victory over the Philistines like the powerful force experienced when water breaks over the banks of a river or like a tsunami that washes away everything in its way. In honour of the Lord he renames what was once called the house of the giant (Valley of Rephaim) to the Lord Who breaks through (Baal Perazim). Where the enemy (the Philistines) thought they were strongest because they had their baals (gods) with them, God proved even stronger!

Today you don’t fight the physical war against people but a spiritual one against the enemy of our souls. We fight against the attacks of the enemy – sin, sickness, failure, lack or poverty, defeat or oppression of any kind. These problems are like the enemy’s floods that are meant to carry you away or to destroy you (Is 59:19). However, when God is the Lord of your breakthrough for you, He advances over and above the enemy’s flood. The Lord pushes back the enemy’s flood of trouble, sickness, lack, and all negativity with the flood of His blessing, goodness, love, favour and every good thing you need in life.

** God wants to give you a breakthrough in those areas of your life that the enemy appears to be the strongest.

Do you need a breakthrough?

  • Is there a need that is long overdue?
  • Have you been waiting on the Lord for a long time and nothing seems to be happening? Do you need God’s hand on your life?
  • Are you pregnant with a vision, dream or desire that seems to mock you?
  • What is your need? To be healed, to have a house of your own, to be relieved of the burden of financial debt, to have a positive income stream to help provide for your family, to see family members come to the Lord…?

Whatever the need, the Lord your God, is the Lord of Your breakthrough. The Word shows us what others have done to receive their breakthrough from God. Let’s see what you can do to receive for your breakthrough?

1. Ask the Lord what to do. Be prepared to seek the Lord.         —2 Sam. 5:17-20

David needed to fight and win the battle against the Philistines who had come after him. So David (as he often did) asked God what to do before going out to battle. He realised that he was in a better position whenever he consulted God. He not only asked what to do but he did as God directed. God gave him strategy on how best to defeat his enemies.

For you to receive your breakthrough you need to ask God and then step out in faith and in obedience to do as God said. God is the Master Strategist and has the upper-hand over the enemy, follow His leading and you will be victorious and rejoice.

2. Make a vow or commitment to do something for the Lord. —1 Sam. 1:1-20

Hannah desperately wanted a child. Being taunted by her rival about her barrenness didn’t make it easy to bear. Hannah poured her heart out to God. She wept her prayer and made a vow to the Lord to give back when she received her breakthrough. She offered to God the thing she wanted the most – a child. What a commitment!

What about you? Don’t be reserved. If you have to cry, then cry but let God know your burden and express your desire to Him (vs.10). If you are as determined as Hannah was about receiving her breakthrough, maybe you too need to make a commitment to the Lord. Is there an area in which you’ve been meaning to serve but haven’t yet? Is there something you will sacrificially vow to give to the Lord? I’ve seen friends vow their first pay check to the Lord when they needed an income stream and God blessed them. What can you vow? Make a vow to the Lord and when you receive your breakthrough be sure to follow through.

3. If you want to get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done before and fast your prayer.         —Esther 4:13-17

Esther fasted and prayed to save her life and those of the Jews. She did something she never did before – she risked her life for the sake of her people by going before the king uninvited. However, before she took that risk, she and her people prepared themselves – they fasted and prayed to God for three days. Why? She knew only God could touch the heart of the king and give her favour with him.

Do you need to take some risk? Do you need to mix your prayers with fasting? As Jesus said there are some situations that would need prayer and fasting to bring deliverance, to be resolved or for breakthrough to come. Examine your life and the circumstances you are experiencing? Have you tried different ways to deal with your problems but they still prevail? Consider spending time in prayer and fasting. Even a commitment to skip a meal for a season would help bring light to your situation.

Next week, I will share the second part of this message.

Don’t forget to share with others to encourage them in the Lord.

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Success Is a Series of I Cans

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. —Philippians 4:13 (AMP)

success comes in cans

I can do all things through Christ my strength

When we see the outcome of someone’s efforts that cause them to be wealthy, well-known in their field or outstanding in some other way, we focus solely on that result. Most people tend to look at success as a one-time event but it really is a series of events that culminate into something outstanding. Success is a series of “I cans”.  Whether we are working towards a closer relationship with God or being better moms, wives, dads, husbands, siblings, children, business owners, employees, or students and so on – it takes a series of efforts to make it happen. Although we may have specific defined goals, success is ongoing positive progress in whatever area of life we are aiming to grow.

A successful life is a constant work in progress and through it we have many responsibilities. In the midst of the daily activities, many have a desire in their hearts to do something beyond the norm, to do the extraordinary for God or to fulfill their God-sized dream. Yet, many conclude that they can’t. `I can’t` become such a normal part of our conversation that we don’t realize it:

  • “My life is too busy. I have so much to do that I can’t possible fit in another thing. ”
  • “What’s the point; I couldn’t possibly get that done even if I tried.”
  • “It’s just too hard. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”
  • “My uncle didn’t think it was a wise career choice, so this is what I ended up doing.”

Yet the question remains, since God put it on your heart to do something, if God gave you a dream, why do you think you can’t do it. It’s not that it would happen overnight, but it certainly can if you begin by saying, “I can. Yes, I can.” But you have to stop saying “I can’t.” When you say you can’t do anything, what are you doing?

  • Belittling God who imputed His grace and strength in us
  • Believing more in the circumstances around us than in the promises of God
  • Making our challenge or problem bigger than what it really is
  • Thinking lowly of ourselves and therefore making ourselves powerless to do anything good
  • Resigning ourselves to failure and a limiting, fruitless life

Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.

Henry Ford

Success is a series of “I cans”. This does not mean that we won’t fail at times but the wonderful part is that you’re still alive and well and God hasn’t finished with you and me yet. Every morning we arise from our bed we have another opportunity to do something great. We can honor God in whatever we do. We can minister to someone about Christ. We can help feed a hungry person or pray for healing of someone who is sick. We can work towards our life’s mission or destiny – that passion or desire that God has placed on your heart to complete.

When we say “I can”, we are:

  • Glorifying God in our lives and giving others to opportunity to praise God for the good they see us doing (Matthew 5:16)
  • Failing Forward and progressing toward our destiny. We are seeing the prize before it arrives and pressing towards it. We are focused on the goal (Philippians 3:14)
  • Relying on the strength and wisdom of God to do what seemed insurmountable at first (Philippians 4:13)
  • Walking in the abundance life Christ paid the price for (John 10:10)

You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.

Michael Phelps

Sometimes we think that when we move forward to achieve a dream that we have to give up – time, pleasure, relationships, money, certain foods or overeating, etc.  However, we are actually gaining in life rather the losing. The reward of daily success is far sweeter – what you give up cannot compare to what you will gain. From the experience of giving up you grow in character, in knowledge, in wisdom, in favor with others and if you embrace the success journey you will gain much more that the goal or prize you want to receive.

Success is doing what you have to do to achieve what you have dreamed.

Success is the ability to think soundly, speak confidently and act wisely while trusting and honoring God all the way (Joshua 1:7-8).

Success is a series of I CANs. You have a choice. You have the power to choose – success or failure. You have the power to say “I can”.

I hope today you will choose to say, “I can and I will” and therefore begin TO DO. Remember, you can through Christ being your strength. Recommit yourself today to the Lord and to the desire He has placed on your heart to do. He will give you strength to do it. Yes, YOU CAN!

Share a word – What have you put on hold that you need to say, “Yes, I can” to?

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From Tenacity to Success

The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. —Proverbs 13:4 (NKJV)

It’s April already! Time flies. As my grandma often reminded me, “Time waits on no man.” So true, isn’t it?

Many of us started of this year with a bang. Full of excitement about what is ahead. We created our goals and looked forward to a productive and wonderful year, no doubt. Now we are into the second quarter of the year, and you may have slacked off from pursuing our goals or doing what the Lord has instructed you to do.  On the other hand, you may have become distracted or lost your focus. Maybe you faced with challenges that were unexpected or not anticipated. For me, it’s a bit of all the above but I am still excited. I feel encouraged rather than discouraged. Why, because the year isn’t over yet! It’s just the end of the first quarter. I believe that with God’s help I can keep moving forward to accomplish what He wants me to do and some of what I desire to do. You too can succeed!

Recently when preparing to lead a prayer session at church, the Lord reminded me of the need to remain tenacious. Life requires tenacity. A certain amount of stick-to-itive-ness is required in order to succeed in life or to overcome life’s hurdles, to solve problems (yours and others). An inward stubbornness (so to speak) or persistence is needed. I know that is easier said than done but we’ve got to make the effort. If we press forward, we will gain the prize we have long dreamed for.

Personally, one way I keep moving forward is by revisiting or re-evaluating my goals. That does not mean that I give up on them if they are not progressing as I hoped but I rework some of them in order to get the desired effect I want. This is the time that I also celebrate – I create my season every quarter – to be thankful to God for all He’s done and will do in my life. It’s a time for me to reflect on what I have done, where I am and where I want to go. It’s time to recommit myself to the Lord and His will for my life. Through this God imparts His grace to stay tenacious.

Jesus encourages us to be tenacious in prayer. We must always prayer and don’t give up until we have an answer from God (Luke 18:1-6). In Matthew 7, Jesus also speaks of the need to keep keeping on – always praying, always seeking, always knocking. Jesus promises that if we be persistent in these areas, we will receive, we will find what we are looking for and we will have open doors or opportunities made available to us.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. —Matthew 7: 7-8 (AMP)

This tenacity in prayer affects every area of our lives. How is that? Prayer covers any and every thing pertaining to our lives and our walk with God. So what do you need to be tenacious about in order to reach your goal?

Looking for a promotion at work? Then be diligent in your work. Do your work well, seek to improve it in some way that benefits you, your co-workers and your employer. Promotion will come.

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. —Proverbs 12:24 (NKJV)

Do you need to pass your next exams? Then create and work a system of study – set the place, length of time, frequency. It may mean giving up television, socializing or volunteering for a bit. Remember, studying and anything else for that matter, is for but a time but the achievement of the certification or degree will benefit you many times in the future.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

Do you need your business to grow? In this case, you may need to try new things, revamp an old method or business process. Think and move outside the norm and trust God for increased sales and profit.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. —James 1:5 (NKJV)

Do you want to build a strong family unit? Consider be persistent about having family times together regularly and consistently – maybe one-on-one special times with your children, going on a date with your spouse, or having family prayer times together. These both build you and your family’s faith and make the bond between all get stronger.

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. —Proverbs 24:3-4 (NKJV)

This week, consider taking some time to reflect on your life over the past three months – give thanks to the Almighty God and asking Him for the grace to be tenacious in whatever area of your life you need to push ahead. If you need to revise some of your goals in some way – do so and persist in prayer daily about them. No matter what don’t give up. Your tenacity will lead to prosperity and victory.

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