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.

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.

God Already Done It… Your Success Assured

Done!

Done!

Have you ever realized that God speaks in the past tense especially when He is talking to us about a present situation we are dealing with? Yes, God speaks to our present like it’s in the past. Or rather as though He has already seen and already taken care of the problem. He has an interesting way of assuring us that everything is alright; that He is aware of our problems and that He has already taken care of them.

Although it does not make sense to our limited human logic, the Lord tells us what He has already done. It’s like He saying, “Oh I’ve already taken care of that! You don’t need to worry about how it looks now. I’ve got everything under control.”

As we read through the Word, it is sometimes hard to imagine the challenges people were facing and yet God was saying, “Oh, I have already solved that problem for you!” Even now in our lives, when in the midst of a difficult – sickness, lack of money, a troubled relationship, a wayward child and many others  – it is sometimes hard to hold on to the promises of God.

God is always ready. Nothing surprises Him. He has prepared well in advance to solve our problems, fight our battles, provide our needs, heal our bodies and give us success in all areas of our lives.

Already Provided

In Genesis, the account of creation, God shows us that He is an All-ready God who has taken care of all our needs.

And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Genesis 1:29

So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. Genesis 9:1-3

Already Own

When God made a covenant with Abram, He gave him a promise that went beyond him (to descendants that he would not see) and He spoke it as already done. God promised to give them land and He spoke this to Abram:

“On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates …” Genesis 15:17-19

Throughout Israel’s journey to Canaan, God reminded them that He had already given them the land to own. Numbers 33: 53 “you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess.”

Already Succeeded

Joshua was facing battle with a formidable force, yet God says to him, “And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.” Joshua 6:2

Even again Ai, God spoke to Joshua in a similar manner, “Now the Lord said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.” Joshua 8:1

Really, now. Joshua had not even started to fight yet but God said he’d won the battle. Hmm, when God speaks we ought to take Him at His word. From that word and Joshua’s obedience to do as God instructed, Jericho was sorely defeated and so was Ai.

What promise do you have what instruction has you been given? Step out in faith and you will win!

Already Answered

There is no limit to what God has already put in place for us. Even when it comes to our many and varying prayer requests, God answers like they have happened. Look what He says to King Solomon who asked for wisdom to lead Israel, “Behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kings 3:12-14

Isn’t God amazing? He does more that we think of asking (Eph. 3:20)!

Already Healed

Before the coming of our Lord Jesus to the earth to fulfill God promise of salvation, God tells us through Isaiah that we were healed.

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. Isaiah 53:4-5

Today, those in Christ can hold to this promise of healing as being already done since Jesus did it on the cross where he bore of sicknesses and diseases through the stripes he suffered.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:21-24

Believe God’s Already…

We tend to speak based on what we have experienced. We speak of “have done” based on the past – what God has done for us that we have seen, heard, tasted, smelt, touched. The kind of experience that David mentioned in Psalm 21:2  “You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips.” David praised God for the wonderful things He had done in his life. Yet, you can hold to this word. It is a wonderful promise.

But God speaks of “have done” even before we experience it! He is telling us, “I have already done it for you.” It is almost strange to talk this way but like God – we should speak what is even though it is yet to happen (Romans 6:17). That is faith talk.

God already said, “It is done”. He has already solved our problems. Therefore we must speak like He does; like we already have it. So when we are faced with a problem we should speak to ourselves and say, “Yup, God has already done it.” Believe in Him and His promises. He has the power to perform the “Already”.

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Rom. 6:20-21, NIV)

Are you fully confident that God has already done for you what you long for?

Pray: The Way to Change Our World

Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.                          —Matthew 18:19 (AMP)

Day after day we are constantly hearing and seeing terrible news accounts of wars, bombings, disasters, killings, etc.  around the world. Before we are able to deal with the effects of one devastation event another one comes up. There is a feeling of hopelessness that invades the world and more intensely the lives of these who suffer the loss of loved ones on account of someone’s heartless and evil act. There is feeling of futility to all the fighting and killing, and sickness and disease we see permeating throughout our world. At times it causes us to wonder if there is any point to doing the good works that we do. And often wonder if prayer does make a difference.

One thing I have also noticed is that as Christians and most people generally tend to react to the problems as they occur. We call for prayer and for all work together in any way possible to help the hurting souls struck by these misfortunes. That is very good on our part. Yes, Jesus has called us extend His love to others (Matthew 25:31-39). We should by all means not fail to do good works and show the love of God to others.

However, there is another aspect to this that is often missed. When we help others during their difficult times we are being reactive. But as Christians we must be proactive. Why? The word of God tells us that the devil is going about seeking to find people to devour (1 Peter 5:8)! He is busily about the work of stealing, killing and destroying lives. Somehow, we don’t get that. It is only when we face trouble that we remember that we need to pray and to work to counter his works. But we should be many steps ahead of the enemy to destroy his works before he destroys us, our loved ones and those who haven’t yet come to know Christ as their Savior and Lord. When we are proactive prayer warriors, we stop evil in its tracks.

How can you be proactive in this fight against the enemy? Pray, pray and more pray. Paul instructs us to always be rejoicing and praying (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We must be unrelenting in prayer because the enemy will go to any means to steal from us, kill us or destroy us. We need a 24/7 connection to our Father God. Wherever and whenever, we can talk to God about what’s happening in our world. We can pray that His will be done on the earth. As we do this more and more, we will begin to see more of God’s hand in our lives for our good.

At times we fail to recognize the power of the words we speak in prayer and in our daily conversation. If we always speak contrary to what the word of God says we will for sure reap bad results (Proverbs 18:21). If we agree with the word of God about every detail of our lives, we will experience an abundant life.

Very closely intertwined with what we say is our belief system. We don’t believe that prayer can positively impact our world. We don’t believe that God can forewarn us of trouble and that through work of prayer we can prevent it. Often we silently tell ourselves that we are not seeing any change as quickly as we want to, so we give up and give into accepting everything that is not good. We faint or lose heart when Jesus wants us to keep praying. I have experienced for myself and heard of testimonies where prayer saved lives and restored broken families. I have seen people’s lives transformed because others were willing to pray until change came.  I have known of those to whom God brought revelation which led them to pray and thus save others from accident and death.

Jesus’ outburst in the temple when He found people conducting business there bears an important truth for us. He certainly was not pleased by what He saw. One thing He expects is that we would be temples of prayer.That we would gather into His house to pray and be in constant communication with Him. We often think we gather with the main focus of worship – of course, we must worship this great God. Yet we have another important responsiblity when we meet – to pray. We must pray for our needs, for our country, for our government, for those who are sick, for peace throughout the world. We must pray for anything and everything because we want to set up God will and purpose on the earth. When we pray we must take authority over the wicked principalities and powers and establishing God’s rule in our lives and in this world. For certain, as we prayer in agreement, God says that He will honor our requests (Matthew 18:19).

I want to urge you, pray more. Pray without ceasing. Pray for the needs you see all around you whether near or far. Pray for protection and safety of yourself and others. Pray and believe that the Father will respond to your requests and send help. Pray proactively, don’t wait for trouble to come (Matthew 6:10). Pray and rejoice even before you receive the answers. Pray and change your world.

God Honors Your Words

Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, “Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.”                                        — Joshua 6:26

God Honors Your Word

Speak life

In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and with his youngest son Segub he set up its gates, according to the word of the Lord, which He had spoken through Joshua the son of Nun.                           —1 Kings 16:34

This short record of Joshua’s words after the defeat of Jericho says so much about the words we speak.

Our words when spoken under the direction of the Lord have great power. It does not matter how long ago the words were spoken, when mixed with faith, whatever was said will happen.

God honors His own words and whatever He says, He does. Searching through the Scriptures, men spoke and God honored their words.

  • The dreams Joseph and others had which he interpreted all happened as he said
  • Moses spoke to Pharaoh according to God’s instruction and whatever he said would happen to Egypt happened.
  • Whatever Jacob blessing was to his twelve sons, or Moses, Joshua and others prophesied to Israel came to pass
  • The words Jesus spoke to us have and continue to unfold before our eyes today

It is wonderful to know that God honors what we say. However, we should be careful what speak since our words produce life or death (Proverbs 18:21). The daily conversation we have with others and with the Lord shape our destiny and the future of those who we speak of either negatively or positively.

The fact is your words:

  • Shape your life
  • Have power
  • Can change your world
  • Impact other people’s lives
  • Bring healing or hurt
  • Create life or death
  • Determine the course of your life

You choose what you get by what you say. Therefore choose your words carefully.

If you choose living words, then you must also have confidence about what you say. Can you imagine commanding to the sun and the moon to stand still and they do (Joshua )? You can only command great things if you’re confident that God will make it happen. But sometimes we think that our words don’t have an effect or that God does not hear them. Even if we prayer, speak, command we lack the faith that by our very words God will act for us. Sometimes our expectation is so low and does not match what we say. But powerful words can move a huge mountain (Matthew 17:20).

Think about it this way: Jesus spent a major part of his ministry speaking – words, words, words and more words. To heal he spoke, to bless a child he spoke, to deliver someone he spoke, to teach the principles of the kingdom of God he spoke. In the midst of his teaching we learn that His words are life and are spirit (John 6:63).  We read how every one of His words and actions were God-honored.

Since we stand as the representatives of the great God, created in His image, our words too are spirit and are life.  And our words are those that God will honor. But remember; speak words of life to yourself and others. Choose life. Be a blessing through your speech.

What can we do to continually speak life-giving words to ourselves and others?

Acknowledge God

Trust in the Lord

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Last year my great-aunt went home to the Lord at the age of 103. I considered her the bedrock of our family and a strong woman. I admired her love and faith in the Lord. She always had a word of encouragement to give and for sure she would always direct you the word of God. Proverbs 3: 5-6 was one scripture embedded in our minds because Aunt Manie would always quote it to you.

Looking back I realized that her words and her life have influenced me in my Christian walk a great deal. I have held to these words and even more so when life is extra challenging.

God wants us to acknowledge Him in all our ways. Yes, God wants us to seek His will in all we do. In every move we make, in every step we take, in every decision, in every thought, in every word, in every act – the Lord wants us to recognize His sovereignty over us and seek Him to direct us. He desires us to involve Him in every aspect of our lives – in all we do, our daily activities, and our plans. No aspect of our lives must be left to us alone.

As much as this scripture is so well-known and for us in this family we have probably heard it more than others, it is often taken lightly. We need to make sure that God is the central point of our focus. I may have said this before but if we expect to see daily success in our lives we need to know how to acknowledge God in all we do.

Daily connection through prayer: We need to rise up early and seek Him. Tell God your plans for the day, the week, the month, the year and beyond. He can handle it. Ask Him to show you the best way to go about living a life that pleases Him. Ask for His anointing to do the insurmountable things that he has called you do. Also seek His anointing to carry out your day-to-day responsibilities in your roles as parent, employer, employee, business owner, sibling, child or any task you do.

Let the Word be your guide: The Bible is your life’s compass. God designed His word to answer the simple as well as difficult questions of life. It is your navigator whether the seas of life are calm or there are storms raging. It will tell you what to do. Follow its instruction and you will succeed in whatever you do (Joshua 1: 7-8).

Seek Godly counsel: Our aunt was a woman of wisdom and at times she would have a word of encouragement or express the unexpected but timely advise you really needed to hear. Scripture tells us that there is safety in counsel of many. Through Godly relationships and the teachings we receive in our various congregations we can receive the wisdom we need to triumph through life’s challenges. When we see believe God’s word spoken through others, God will give us success (2 Chronicles 20:20).

Trust God completely: Consider your wisdom as nothing (Proverbs 3:7). Do whatever God says whether you like it or not (Ananias was not keen about meeting Saul). Do whatever God says whether it makes sense or not (Joshua walked around the Jericho’s wall in silence at God’s direction). My Aunt Manie still trusted God even after her legs were amputated. She still prayed, went to church when she could, didn’t complain, became more of an encourager to the family and others and still worshiped God every day and had the most positive outlook on life.

Seeking God’s will in all you do isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do but do it anyway. We can reap every day success if we rely on our Creator God to show us how.

Do you seek Him in everything you do?

10 Ways to Move Forward in the New Year

I like this time of year. Yes, it is filled with much excitement. However, I also like it because it’s an opportunity to start afresh. The New Year is a new season, a new beginning. It’s a time to keep moving forward but with renewed hope and energy.

As I look back on the year it was indeed for me a Year of New Beginnings. The Lord helped me to make some new and wonderful starts in my life. I started a new job, began a blog, purchased a much-needed vehicle, worked hard at completing the writing, editing, and interior and cover design for my new book and published the e-book in December. I achieved more than I expected but frankly it was all that I desired.

As I reflect on last yer there were some habits I developed and things I did which I will continue to do in this year. I hope that by sharing these you too will adopt one or two of them to help you through this year:

  1. Step out in faith. Do that thing you have always wanted to but didn’t because you were afraid that it won’t work or that people would laugh at you. Whatever was holding you back don’t let it anymore. Faith requires corresponding action.
  2. Start and continue with prayer. Try to keep a visual of your yearly goals (in short form) in your Bible, on your cell phone, on your computer desktop or even on your fridge door. At church the Senior Pastor challenges us to write our goals and to present them before the Lord even before the New Year begins. With those goals in hand, throughout the year, as you work at them you would also pray about them. What goals would you like to accomplish this year?
  3. Put fasting in the mix. It’s a good practice spend some time at the beginning of the year before the Lord. Although I normally spend time in January reading through the Bible, in 2012 I added fasting. I felt that I needed to know the heart of God concerning many areas of my life.  Prayer along with fasting helped me to focus more on the Lord’s will for my life.
  4. Keep working steadily. It takes discipline and diligence to keep working toward your goals. Sure, we are not perfect and we may at times fall off track but we have to get back up and start moving again. Revive yourself if you have slackened your pace and start again.
  5. Trust God to help you. Don’t rely on your strength. I like Isaiah 41:10. God promises to help me and strengthen me. I need that reminder very often. Sometimes we can get discouraged and become afraid of those things that are seemingly bigger than us, we need to remember that God is with us and will help us. Not only that He will sustain us and give us success.
  6. Take short breaks. Refresh yourself. I am always on the go and sometimes find myself too exhausted. I have experienced the benefits of taking short breaks – sometimes just 15 minutes during the day is enough to recharge me.
  7. Don’t beat yourself up. If you don’t accomplish the goal when, where and how you want to, make adjustments and keep moving forward to your goal. Tell yourself that you can make it instead of being hard on yourself.
  8. Ask God for favor. You need His goodness all the time and you need others to show kindness to you too. It starts with asking God to touch the hearts of others to help you in your daily activities.
  9. Make adjustments. I can’t begin to mention how many times I changed my timeline for publishing my first book. With family commitments, other responsibilities and the unexpected events of life, I had to make changes along the way but still I was able to achieve what I wanted. Changing course does not mean giving up. A traffic diversion does not mean you won’t reach your intended destination.
  10. Give thanks along the way. Sometimes we can get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to honor God with thanksgiving. As I mentioned in an earlier post, create seasons throughout the year to review and celebrate where you are, where you’ve been and where you are going. Pause (Selah) and think about how God has helped you and give Him thanks for His blessings.

I plan to continue using these habits and principles during this year. I hope you will too. This year, keep moving forward. Challenge yourself and set goals that take you outside of the box.  Expect the goodness and mercies of the Lord to follow you and overtake you.

This year may the blessings of the Lord increase in your life and His goodness be more real to you. Happy New Year!

10 Essentials of Effective Prayer

And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly].Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].

Mark 11: 21-24 (AMP)

Prayer is simple. It’s a conversation between us and our heavenly Father. Although prayer takes discipline, God wants us to enjoy the moments we spend with Him and to receive His blessings.

 

Sometimes when we pray and we don’t receive God’s response we often get frustrated and give up. However if we want to see success in our spiritual walk and receive answers to our long-desired requests we need to keep some basics in mind.

Praise God          Matthew 6:9

I once heard someone said that when you don’t know where to start, begin by praising God. Attributing praise to God draws us closer to Him and He comes near to us because of our worship. Acknowledge Him as your God and your Father who is the most High God – great, mighty, gracious, loving and a lot more wonderful.

Ask the Father in Jesus’ Name   John 16:23-24

Direct you prayer to the Father through the Son. Jesus said that the Father will do whatever we ask in His name. It’s so simple, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

Be Persistent     Luke 18:1-8

Keep asking until you receive an answer from God concerning your matter. I understand, I’ve experienced for myself, some requests seem to take long but at the right time the answer comes. Please, don’t give up. Keep praying and don’t let go until God blesses you.

Don’t be Selfish               James 4:3

This may sound strange but check the motive behind your asking. Yes, you have needs and desires but is your asking only beneficial to you all the time? Do you consider others when you are praying? Sometimes our prayers can be selfish, “Lord I want this and that and that.” We look out our own and not for others. Jesus expects us to pray for others too. Consider the needs of others.

Have a Pure Heart           Mark 11:25-26

Hidden sin such as unforgiveness, bitterness, unresolved conflicts, hate, hurt, etc. can keep us from receiving answers to our prayers. As Psalm 66:18 says, the Lord will not hear us. If the Lord does not respond to our prayers then no blessing will come. Jesus said if we have issues with someone, while we are praying forgive them. Forgiving others benefits us because we receive forgiveness from God. Therefore, set your heart to forgive and receive God’s best.

Don’t Worry       Phil. 4:6-7

This scripture deeply resonate in me. It is a constant reminder that nothing in my life should cause me to be anxious. True prayer brings inner peace. It does not mean that we see immediate results but we have God’s peace protecting our thoughts and our hearts from constant worry. When we pray the effect on us should be an inner confidence in God’s ability to help us.

Don’t Doubt God             James 1:6-8

Doubt – regular instances of negative thinking – contradicts your prayer. Doubt will result in unanswered prayer. If you are uncertain about what you want God to do, how can you expect a definitive response to your prayers? Like the father who had some doubts that Jesus could heal his child, ask God to remove any doubt from your heart.

Have Faith in God           Mark 11: 21-24

Believe you have what you asked for. Believe that God exist and that He is willing to bless you (Heb. 11:6). As Almighty as God is, God will only do through us and for us what we believe. The success of our prayers is dependent on what we believe God can do. Faith in God leads to salvation, victory, success, provision, healing, and so much more.

Think & Ask the Same Things     Ephesians 3:20

This may seem like a repetition of the above but we need to align our thoughts with our prayers. If there is any contradiction between the two then we are hindering the answers we need. What we think works with what we say. Therefore we must be careful about what we say not only in prayer but in our day-to-day conversation. We must also what keep renewing our minds in Christ so what we are thinking is brought in line with His will.

Seek God First  Matt. 6:33

The best solution to answered prayer is to seek after God first. Make Jesus, His kingdom and His will your priority. It’s not like God doesn’t know what His children need or want. He certainly does but He desires a relationship with you too. Let your first priority of prayer be fellowship with the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.

I hope that as you reflect on these points, you will ask your Father God to help you draw closer to Him. Prayer is not only about asking for what you need or want but it’s about building a relationship with your Creator, the Most High God. What a blessing we have to be able to connect to this great and awesome God!

What do you do to help you prayer more effectively?

Simplify Your Life

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). (John 10:10, AMP)

I’ve been trying very hard to make my busy life uncomplicated. With the addition of this new blog adventure, a full time job, family commitments and book publishing on the horizon it seems close to impossible. Recently, I’ve been asking myself a few questions: How do I keep my life simple yet effective? Or how do I keep emails, phone calls, project deadlines, family commitments, my life goals and plans from becoming overwhelming? Have you ever asked yourself similar questions?

Life demands often seem urgent. There is always something that needs your attention, or someone who needs your help. Along with life goings-on is the challenge of living in this technological advanced age where many opportunities abound. There is a constant struggle to juggle all life’s activities. But the need to keep life simple is more necessary now than ever before. Why? If you don’t maintain a simple life, you’re likely to lose peace of mind and be diverted from living out your purpose. An abundant life – a better life – is often not in the more or the complicated but in the simple.

Without noticing it, we often slip into bad habits or break good ones and when we do we feel out of sorts. If we want to live simple yet successful lives, we will need to develop some healthy habits or practices to make this possible. When I feel overwhelmed I know that it is time to restore simplicity and order to my life. Here are some of the areas I try to work on to keep my life as simple as possible:

  1. Focus On God
  2. Ask For Help
  3. Manage Your Time
  4. Reduce the E-Load
  5. Remove The Clutter
  6. Clear Your Mind
  7. Keep Your Finances In Order
  8. Stick To Simple Habits

Over the next few weeks I will review some habits or practices you can use to simplify your life. Some of which I either practice myself or have seen my friends incorporated into their lives. From each discussion point I hope that you will find something that you will work for your life. It is in these small habits or changes that you can find everyday success and achieve your life goals with less stress.

7 Ways to Live on Purpose

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about living on purpose and the importance of pursuing your dreams. But what does it really means to live on purpose? I’ve defined this as intentionally living out your vision – dreams, goals or pursuits. It’s living out God’s will for your life. To live on purpose is to live your life by design.

That sounds great but how do you do this? I’ve noticed that it can be challenging to keep the fire burning and remain purpose-driven. In my life recently I’ve been telling myself that “there too many moving parts” towards my pursuits. I’ve been wondering how to keep up with all of life and still live out my dreams in an effective manner.

The question is: How do I daily keep focus on my purpose? What do I do to continually move forward and achieve my goals?

This post includes some of the habits I use to maintain intentional living.

Know what your purpose is. This may go without saying but still we need to be reminded. What is your dream or the major goals you want to accomplish in your lifetime?

  • Ask God for direction if you’re not sure of the specifics. God’s will for you is wrapped up in you waiting to come out.
  • Assess yourself. Learn about you. What are your likes, dislikes, gifts, talents, education, personal experiences (problems you have overcome), passions, and interests? A good question to ask is: What do I love doing and would be willing to do without being paid for it?

Have a vision and write it out. Sit down in a quiet place with no distractions of any kind and dream a little, no, a lot. This can be a scary thing but you need to take time to think about your life and what you want it to look like. The challenge is linking it to God’s will for you but if you approach this time with prayer (and fasting, if possible) the Lord will guide you. Remember He is your Shepherd.

  • Whatever your dreams are – write them down. Get it out of your head and on paper. It will clear your mind and relieve the mental load you may have been carrying.

Set small goals. I would suggest that you do this the same day as your dreaming day but don’t delay too long.  Choose another quiet time and begin to put your big dreams into smaller goals.

  • Span those big goals into your lifeline from current tasks and projects, to one- to two-year goals, three- to five- year goals all the way up. For your one year plan break it down in quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks.

Create signposts. We are encouraged to know the Word and keep it close wherever we can see it. I believe that you can do the same with your goals. You’ve written them out but to keep focused on them and act on them you’ll need to develop signposts.

  • Post these goals along with God’s promises to your computer or mobile phone as the wallpaper or in a file that you constantly refer to
  • Post them where you frequent the most: your dresser mirror, refrigerator door, home office desk
  • You can even create picture collage that represent all the different aspects of your dream and post it where you can see it often.

For example, maybe you have goal to lose five inches off your waist (my wish) and strengthen your abs – post a photo of a fitness advertisement and write on it, “How am I doing today?” Make sure it is strategically placed where you can see it to motivate you to exercise and eat right.

Depend on God’s direction. Again, I refer to what God says about His word – talk about the Word when you get up, lay down, with your children, at all times really. You need to do the same for your goals.

  • Talk to God throughout the process. God is the CEO of your life. He is the Master Strategist. He will give you direction to help you live on purpose and fulfill your destiny. Trust God through the process and enjoy the journey which is all part of living on purpose.

Talk about your dream. When you talk about something a lot it becomes more and more real to you. Talking positively about your dreams is a great self-motivator.

  • Speak the word concerning your dream. Visualize and confess the word as it relates to you dream. Speak those things as though they already exist even though they are yet to become real. Your tongue is a creative force. Use it well to build your life and fulfill destiny.
  • Talk to trusted friends. Choose carefully those who you share your most important goals with. There are some who will support you and there are others who will question your dreams. Find and hold to those who will rally around you and support you in prayer and in practice.

Work on your purpose daily. Work your dreams. This requires daily effort but you can do it.

  • Review your goals daily and every night write at least seven things you want to accomplish the next day.
  • Keep that list where you can clearly see it and make sure to act on what you have written down. Set you mind daily to do at least two or three tasks related to your goals.

No amount of planning is useful with acting on the plans.

I hope my list above will benefit you. It is by no means an exhaustive discussion on the topic but hopefully it’s enough to either help you move in the right direction or encourage you to continue living intentionally.

Tell me and encourage others too: What do you do to keep living on purpose?