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.

God Is Your Financial & Everything-You-Need Source – Part II

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters. —Psalm 24:1–2

Image credit: yuyu2000 / 123RF Stock Photo

It is perfectly logical to assume that a wise and competent Creator would provide for the needs of His creatures in their various stages of growth. —Charles Fillmore, Prosperity

Have you ever asked yourself, Who is my source? If not, now is a good time to do so. So, who is my source? Is it my job or business income—or is it God? Money is such a personal thing that we often fail to recognize that the money we hold in our hands is not ours.

Perhaps you work hard and deserve to be paid for your services. However, you may think your education, talent, creativity, good opportunities, or even your good looks brought what you have.

But again, I ask, Who is your source? Being a good Christian, you may likely answer that God is your source, but do you really believe that?

I’ve had to ask myself this question a few times in my life—when money seemed limited, when I had to juggle figures to see how I could best meet my needs when no money seemed to be in sight, yet bills were due. I’ve even asked this question when times were good and I enjoyed abundance.

So who is your source when times are good and all seems well but trouble comes and all your savings and income suddenly dry up? Do you trust God only when you have enough or live in abundance? Or do you trust Him even when you don’t know where the money is coming from?

WHY WE DON’T TRUST GOD AS OUR SOURCE

What causes us not to trust God as our source? What are some of the effects of limiting God and not seeing Him as our source?

In the previous post, we discussed three reasons but today we will look at why we should trust God.

TRUSTING GOD AS OUR SOURCE
By definition a source is any thing or place from which something comes, arises, or is obtained; origin (See http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/source?s=t). God is the origin from which all life flows. Psalm 24:1 says that the earth belongs to God, everything in it and everyone who lives on it. All is God’s (Deut. 10:14; Job 41:11; Ps. 50:12; 89:11).
So how do you view your God? Is He the origin of all you need? Is He the One from whom your needs will be met daily? Or do you still think He is limited in His ability to provide for you? If so, you need to examine the Word and see how you can align your will to God’s Word and fully understand that He is your source.

• God, the Creator, prepared for the needs of His children beforehand. From the beginning, the One who created us has been the source of all our needs. First, He designed this world for us to live in. In His love for us, He planted a garden with food, clothing, water, shelter, gold, and precious stones. The sin of Adam brought upon us the curse of hard work and poverty—by the sweat of our brows we eat (Gen. 3:17–20). But faithful as He is, God did not take away His provision from us. From creation until now we see His faithfulness in providing for all who live on this earth.

Moreover, for those who believe and confess Christ as Lord and Savior, His Word promises over and over again that He will take care of all our needs and grant the desires of our hearts (Ps. 21:2; 37:4). Yet when we face financial difficulties, we often become fearful and think God’s resources have dried up. We always need to remember that God is the source of all our needs.

• “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). What a wonderful promise! God has given you more than you need to enjoy life and live a godly life before Him. God wants to give you not just enough but more than enough to be a blessing to others. Second Corinthians 9:8 says that God will cause you to have more than you need so you can give toward good works. The Word of God emphasizes that God will supply both what you need in your life today and what you need for the future. Regardless of your need, God gives to you when you ask. The Father God knows what you need and will provide (Matt. 6:31–32).

• If God has taken the time and effort to number the hairs on each person’s head, don’t you think He has all the details of your life worked out (Luke 12:7)? If He has not only given great care to determine how many hairs are on your head, but has also numbered each of them; don’t you think He knows what your financial position is? He has said that you are more valuable to Him than many sparrows. He takes care of the animals, but He takes greater care of every human being created in His image. God had all your needs figured out long before you knew about them, so don’t worry.

• “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Yes, you probably know Philippians 4:19 all too well. If God says He will, then He will. Scripture is filled with promise after promise that God will take care of you. The psalmist said that as a youth and throughout his years on earth, he did not see the righteous and their children beg for food (Ps. 37:25). The righteous includes you! You and your children shall never beg for food because God in His faithfulness as the source of all good things will provide for you.

TRUST HIM
In this world, relying on ourselves alone is signing up for certain failure. God has promised in His Word that He will meet our needs and provide for us along life’s journey. If we trust Him, He will surely make life good for us. If we trust Him, we will have peace regardless of the turmoil going on around us. When hope fails for others, our trust in God will keep the hope in us alive, and we will see nothing as impossible or hopeless. If we trust Him, we will always remember that He who promised us many blessings is faithful to perform the word He spoke to His people. When we trust God as our source, we will experience not only His peace but also His provision.

Remember, the starting point of all you have, all you need, all you will possess, and all you will be in life is God. He is the stream from which all things flow. Your income is not the starting point of your provision; God is.

This article was excerpted and adapted from Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will. Would you like to read more and experience change in your finances as you follow God’s word, then click here to buy your copy of Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will.

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Do you already have a copy? Great! Do you want to go deeper in your commitment to God and strengthen your decision to realign your finances to His will? In the near future, I will be offering a companion book study entitled “Financial Empowerment Workbook: How to Realign Your Finances to God’s Will”. Be sure to keep visiting and sign up for updates to keep you informed of future events, workbooks and coaching programs.

 

Never Stop Trying

This is such an inspiration and I thought I’d share it with you.
It’s easier to give up that to keep trying. But to keep trying and achieve your desire is well worth the effort.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Never Stop Trying

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.
“What matters most is not how many times you fail, but that you never stop trying.” – Abraham Lincoln
“If you want to succeed, you have to learn to make adjustments to the way you do things and try again. Adversity helps to develop that ability.” John C. Maxwell form Failing Forward: How to Make the Most of Your Mistakes
It takes many trials and failures to reach your dreams. But embrace and enjoy the journey of success.
Don’t give up. Keep failing forward!
Think about this: What mistakes have you made in the past that were stepping stones to the successes you are experiencing to today?

How to Thrive Through Financial Difficulties

When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow.                                                                                                                                                                                      Genesis 26:12-13 (NLT)

thriving

Are you in a financial famine? Or do you say like many do, “I need more money.”? The above scripture often touches our hearts during financial difficulties and rightly so. It reminds us that God is still in control even when the world around us is falling apart. It also reminds us that we are not forgotten by God and that He can and is able to bring us out of any financial trouble we may be facing.

This account of Isaac’s encounter with God occurs during an economic hardship that affected many. There are a few principles we can take from this part of God’s word that would help during challenging financial times as well as when we experience financial increases.

 

Be open to hear from God. Be open to hear the most unusual and seemingly illogical instructions.

Gen. 26:2 -3, “Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.”

God wants to be an integral part of your life. Even in times of financial difficulties God wants to relate to you and to help you through the rough roads.  He wants to encourage and direct you so that you would prosper through life.

As God speaks to Isaac He gave a command with the promise of His presence and of His blessing, “I will be with you and bless you” (Gen.26:3).

Just as He did with Isaac, He is willing to do with you. He wants to direct your life and be with you all the way as you carry out His will and in the process of life bring blessings to you.

 

Obey. Do what God tells you to do; even when it doesn’t make sense to you.

The blessings God gives goes beyond the person and the material. They extend beyond your generation. Imagine that – because of your relationship with God your family is blessed for generations. As God’s oath to Abraham was transferred to his son Isaac and to Isaac’s descendants, so does His blessings to you reach forward to your family for generations to come.

 “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Isaac learned that well and obeyed God and stayed where he instructed him to (Gen. 26:5-6).

Think about this. Does it make sense?  Imagine you have the opportunity to go where the economic climate is better. Or you have a job offer or business opportunity opened to you in another country and the prospects indeed look promising. As you ponder and pray about it, God tells you – “Don’t go; stay here with your family.”  What would be your first response? Human as we are, we would think much about it and even question God. Although we know God wants what is best for us when a good thing comes along we might think that God is holding us back. In some cases, we may even think that it is the enemy trying to dissuade us from receiving the blessings of God. This is a tough one. But obedience to God is always best. Obedience to God is key to life and financial success.

 

Speak the truth at all times.

I like the Bible. It shows how much God is willing to relate to us even in our sinful state. The relationship of imperfect man with a perfect and loving God rings throughout.  Sometimes when we are in difficulty (like Isaac being in a strange land) we tend to put up defence mechanisms to protect ourselves. From a financial perspective, during difficult we may lie to the creditors or avoid taking their phone calls. But there is no need to do this when God is with you.

When Isaac’s lie was discovered, it actually resulted in his safely being guaranteed by the very people he feared would kill him. Telling your creditor about your loss of income and your inability to repay as required can actually open the door for some relief. I have heard of cases where the debt has been cancelled! The creditor may be able to give you a longer grace period or offer an alternative that would help until you get back on your feet financially.

Don’t be afraid to be honest. God will honour that.

 

Take action to create wealth.

Gen.26:12-14 really encourages me to move forward with my goals regardless to what the economic forecasters as saying.

 You don’t have to wait for the external conditions to improve or change in order to make an internal shift and take decisive action. If you wait you will likely never achieve your goals.

Isaac’s action to plant during the scarcity was a step of faith which God honoured. Not only did he reap 100% of his crop but his cattle and his household increased so much that his neighbours noticed it. When you move forward in faith – whether to change your career, work towards a promotion that doesn’t seem likely or start a new business or even find an extra income stream – God will prosper you and those around you will see it too!

 

Avoid relationship conflicts.

When you begin to prosper (while others are still facing financial challenges) not everyone will be happy about your successes. Some will want to learn from you while others will envy you and try to sabotage you in some way. This is what happened to Isaac. Each time he succeeded in digging a well and finding water – a much-needed commodity then – his “friendly” neighbours came to stake their claim on it.

The blessing on your life may cause others to envy (Gen.26:14), to fear you (Gen.26:16), to quarrel with you, to steal from you and to try to frustrate you (Gen.26:19-22). You may experience conflict in one way or another with friends or family members. People may think that your good fortune is undeserving. You may have ‘sudden’ friction between you and others that didn’t exist before. You may find that people just attach themselves to you to get what they can from you and not because they genuinely care about you. It’s unfortunate but this is how some respond.

The important step you must take in times like these is to let go and let God and not to react rashly to what others are doing. Isaac gave up what he and his servants had worked hard for but in the end they prevailed. So don’t despair. Don’t fight your enemies. God will make room for you and make you fruitful where you are (Gen. 26:22).

 

Finally, be patience, peace (shalom) will come.

The time will come as you continue to prosper and you handle relationship issues well that God will cause even your enemies to be at peace with you.  Why? Your godly response to them (even when they do you wrong), will cause them to acknowledge that the Lord is with you (Gen. 26:28-29). They will want to make amends with you. Being at peace with your enemies will make the financial successes you receive even more pleasant.

Isaac’s situation takes us through the stages from financial struggle to success giving us some insight in how we should respond in times like these. The essence of this is that we should have a relationship with Christ, follow His leading, take action and live out the Christ life as He want us to.

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.

10 Ways to Grow in God’s Word

Grow in God’s Word

Reading the Bible

But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. Deuteronomy 30:14

The Bible is a wonderful gift from God to us, yet we hardly make use of it. Although we claim to be Disciples of Christ, we can find ourselves more inclined to read everything else except the Word of God or be involved other activities that occupy our time leaving us with little or no time for the word of God. But this Word is really special.

The Word of God is …

  • Alive, full of power, effective, energizing and knows the condition (thoughts and purposes) of man’s heart. Heb. 4:12
  • Everlasting. There is no time limit on it. Matt. 24:35 & Isaiah 40:8
  • Sure. God holds His Word in high regard. He stakes His integrity on it. Isaiah 55:11
  • Full of truth and life. We can live abundantly by the Word of God. John 6:63 & John 6:63 (GW)
  • To be desired more than riches and is sweeter than the sweetest thing every tasted! Furthermore, the Word rewards the one who obeys it. Psalm 19:10-11 (AMP)

The word of God is so very relevant to our present and future but yet we take light of its importance. If you need direction or guidance on anything in your life – spiritual, financial, relationships, career, health or wellness, emotional, professional – you can look in God’s word for help. There are so many ways to feed ourselves with the word that we have no excuses for not knowing what God says in about specific aspects of our lives or for not living it out daily.

  1. Read the Word daily. Read it like a book – from cover to cover – and gain insight into life through the accounts of God relating to man. I try to read it through at least once a year. If I don’t succeed the challenge of finishing it by the end of January, I try to continue until I’ve reached the end.
  2. Pray the Word. Remind God what His word (His promise) is concerning you. However, you can only do this if you know what the word says about that area of your life.
  3. Speak the Word. I am not talking about praying here but about making God’s word a part of your everyday conversation with friends, family, work colleagues, and whoever you interact with in your day.
  4. Study the Word. If you want to know how to manage your money, how to raise your child, how to related to your family and friends and about anything pertaining to your life and your relationship with God; the answers are in the word of God. You can research specific passages, people, topics, etc. You can also adopt certain methods of study like in the inductive or manuscript method and others that would help you gain a better understanding of God’s word.
  5. Teach the Word. God commands us to teach our children His word. Through family devotions and classes at church we can teach them. But of importance is to teach them through our lives – what we say and do have great impact on how they view God. Therefore we must aim to live God-honoring lives and as we do God promises that training our child in His ways will help them to remain in Him.
  6. Memorize the Word. I never really took much effort in memorizing though it is highly recommended. I realize that the more you study the Word, you will remember it and the Holy Spirit will remind you of specific scriptures when you need encouragement and guidance.
  7. Meditate on the Word. In the Hebrew language “meditate” means to speak or to mutter repeatedly. When I read and I find a scripture that stands out, I would personalize that verse or passage and speak it out. I would put it on a cue card to visualize it throughout the day or I would do further study on it and write it out in a personalize way. I recently shared Psalm 91 with you.
  8. Believe the Word. If you claim that the Bible is written by men who were inspired by God to pen this message to us, then believe it. If you choose to become a disciple of Christ, take God at His word.
  9. Share the Word. God’s word is good news that isn’t for one but for all. Share with those who believe to encourage, exhort or even reprove. Share with those who don’t believe that they might come to believe and accept Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
  10. Apply the Word to you. The Word is not just for the purpose of gaining knowledge but it’s meant to change man to become like Christ. The Word is like a mirror but searches deeper the surface. It shows you who you in your heart are and gives you the insight on how you can change. Let the word enter your heart and bring the life transformation your need.

Once during Bible reading month challenge this verse above (Deuteronomy 30:14) really stood out for me. As I thought about it I realized that when this was said to Israel the Word (then the Law) was read to them on occasionally. Yet God said the Word is in their mouths, and their hearts and they should live it out.

What about us today? We have access to the wonderful gift 24/7 in hard-copy form in various translations, on our cell phones, on e-readers, in CD or audio format, in DVD format, on television and there are even programs that would help you by sending reminders to read the Word. Check out: Bible Gateway, You Version, Faith Comes by Hearing, and The Word of Promise. We can read, we can listen, we can watch the Word anytime.

God promises that His word will bring you all-round and ongoing success when rightly applied (or lived out) – Joshua 1:8-9. I encourage you to intentionally spend time in the Word of God and apply the methods above to make it a part of your daily living.

How near is the Word of God to you? This week, make a plan to study specific areas of the Bible outside of your daily devotional time. It will bless your life.

 

Are You Eating Your Seed? Part I

Eating your seed

Eating your money

Recently after making a purchase the Holy Spirit confronted me about it? Why? I had just left home pondering over making a small but reasonable purchase in advertising that would help me spread the word about Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will. I even had the option of taking a trial period but didn’t. What did I do instead? I spent money (more than the cost of the advertising) without hesitation on something else. I convinced myself that it was good because I was celebrating a special event but at the same time it was short-lived.

I realized how easy it is to make frivolous or unplanned purchases. Those type of purchases that have no lasting value and eat away at your future. I noticed how hesitant I can be at times when it comes to investing in my future via savings, business or career building. Do you experience that sometimes? I guess what the Apostle Paul said even applies how we manage money – what we should do we don’t and what we shouldn’t do we do. Thankfully by the time I reached home, I decided to make the investment in promoting my book and trust God that it would help reach those who need it.

I think that we can all identify with making these types of unplanned purchases. It’s an ongoing battle to keep focused on our goals. The problem with these out-of-order purchases is the negative impact on our future. It’s like a farmer eating all his seed. That wouldn’t be right now, would it? But what really is your seed? To the farmer the seed has potential to do be (1) food and (2) income generation and reinvestment. So to us, the seed is money.

For us, the seed (money) carries the same potential. Whatever money we have can be divided into (1) food and consumables for our daily living and (2) investment for our future.

Generally, most of our money tends to go towards food or bread. But do you understand what bread is?

  • Bread is a by-product of the seed. It is derived from the seed
  • Bread is for instant gratification or enjoyment
  • It’s a consumable item to be used now or within a short period. If not used within a specified time it becomes of no use or value to the consumer. e.g. Bread spoils within a few days; other foods if not consumed after a specified period are not safe for consumption; electronics or cars or other items loose value with use or deteriorate or become obsolete
  • It has no long term future benefit

In summary, bread has a now benefit not a future one.

On the other hand, the seed also have another benefit if treated differently. If it is planted instead of consumed, then the gains can be far-reaching. For the farmer, a planted seed means future profit or income. What we give, save or invest is the seed we are planting for our future. When we plant our money it grows, increases in value or amount, brings a return to you or benefits you.

What you give grows. Giving doesn’t seem to have an initial benefit but it gives much needed blessings to the giver. The kind of blessings money cannot buy.

Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. –Malachi 3:10

Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you. –Luke 6:38

What you invest grows. Investing can provide streams of income that is expected or unexpected.

His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys. –Matthew 25:21

Then you should have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received what was my own with interest. –Matthew 25:27

If you give, save, invest the seed it will benefit your life. If you eat all the seed, it is consumed and gone forever and not able to provide any future benefit. You and I have a choice.

The Lord also pointed out why we so easily eat our seed, that is, waste your financial future:

(1) Fear of the unknown. In my case, I wasn’t sure of the outcome of my investment in advertising. I would pay now but would have to wait to see the results of doing this type of business – if I would gain any exposure at all, if it would convert into sales and other connections. However, with frivolous purchases the thought about our financial future often does not come until after the purchase as been made!

(2) The strong urge for instant gratification. When we buy and consume something we wanted (clothing, food, electronics, etc) we receive an immediate tangible item in exchange for our money. Although these things are short-lived, the pull for instant gratification is what compels us to spend. Unfortunately the feeling quickly dies along with the item we purchased.

This is a situation most of us find ourselves in. We are trying to balance the financial scales which often topple over to the spending side. Even though we have dreams or goals that require an initial outlay of our time, money and efforts we often spend for instant gratification or temporal gain rather than for delayed satisfaction and a better future.

Not only did the Lord bring this to light from a personal perspective but spiritually as it relates to building the kingdom of God. You see, looking at my scenario, the investment in advertising was not just about selling books but about (1) sharing the message of the good news (2) helping people in the body of Christ move from financial struggle to success and (3) encouraging others to serve God wholeheartedly with their money.

Not making such an investing in the kingdom of God displeases the Lord and negatively impacts the work of the gospel. Often times the toss-up between spending on ourselves and making an investment in our future and in God’s kingdom result in our seed being eaten. Why? We want to please ourselves more and think we are deserving of or entitled to whatever we want.

But there is a danger in this. How can we avoid eating up our seed? Next week’s post will explore this.

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?