Don’t Give Up On Your Vision

Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision and engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets so that the one who reads it will run. “For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time it hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, because it will certainly come; it will not delay. “Look at the proud one, his soul is not right within him, but the righteous will live by his faith [in the true God]. – Habakkuk 2:2-4 (AMP)

How has your last year been? Did you accomplish any of your goals? Regardless of how small or big, congrats! You have made progress! Therefore, be thankful and press forward ahead a bit more.

What about this year? At the start of a new year, many are filled with great ideas and create some exciting goals. For others, the idea of goal setting is overwhelming. But personally, setting goals is not just something to do at the New Year but on an ongoing basis. Why? I have seen the benefits. Goal setting keeps me focused. It helps me keep the main thing the main thing. It also helps me determine when to put off some of my plans another time. It resets me when I get off track. It helps me access my progress. It even helps me to rely and depend on the Lord Jesus more because I want my goals to be aligned to His plans or purpose for my life.

Setting goals gives you something to measure by. It gives you something to look forward to beyond the daily grind. Some goals are short term like my plan to develop a workshop within a 3-month period. Some are mid-term – 9 months to a year – while some go far beyond a year to bring to completion.

At the end of this year, my family and I experienced the unfolding of one of our long-term goals – a new house. With tired bodies but grateful hearts we spend the last part of the year preparing to and moving into our house. As I pause to ponder over this, I realized that in reality it was a long term goal which took 14 years to accomplish. Yes, we had owned house before but today, I believe we are now settled in our lifetime home. So some goals can seem to take “forever” but eventually we prayer, effort and tenacity they can become a reality.

Today, please, no matter where you are in life – don’t give up on whatever goals or dreams you would like to accomplish. In Habakkuk, God instructs that you should write down the vision. What vision? The one that He reveals to you. That means that your vision has to come from God. That means you have to seek God concerning your life plans.

Why do you have to write out the vision? God says, “And make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” In other words, in order to act on it, the vision needs to be clearly writing out. To run is an active verb. When you clearly see what you’ve got to do, you will work on it. Therefore, it is important to write your goals but more importantly to keep it in clear view. Don’t hide your goals. Post them where you can see them every day and create habits that align with those goals so that every day you are getting closer and closer to achieving them.

Then God says; “Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, because it will certainly come; it will not delay.” As I mentioned earlier, some of your goals may seem to take “forever” but wait. This requires patience. This requires faith. As the word of God says, “the righteous will live by his faith [in the true God].” No vision just drops into your lap or become reality within minutes of it being formed in your heart. It takes the process of time – “though it delays”. In the process there is work, there may be setbacks, frustrating moments, giving up thoughts, Aha moments or seasons of revelation, times of thanksgiving, and more. During the progression toward the goal, faith is paramount. It first takes faith to set the goal and believe that it will happen. As a children of God, you and I ought to live by faith in God that what He breathed into our hearts to achieve, He will do through us.

As you enter into this new season and you ask God want He would like you to accomplish is life, do so by faith in Him who is able to do exceedingly more that you can ask or imagine. God bless.

To help you start or to continue the goal setting process and accomplish great things, check out the Make Your Year a Living Success Goals Workbook. This will help you not only set the goals but work through them to bring them to reality.

Make the Most of Your Time with Goal Setting

Goal setting is a word that some don’t even want to hear. It’s a time that many dread and as a result do not even pursue. You may have tried setting goals and because you didn’t reach the goal you don’t think goals are worth pursuing. On the other hand, you think it’s time wasted and that you should just let life happen. But really, if God has plans for you you should make it your business to know what they are, pursue them and trust Him to help you see them become a reality in your life.

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Goal setting time

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 (AMP)

Goal setting does not have to be a difficult process. It can be a rewarding and yet fun time in your life. As the word of God says, there is a time for everything under the sun and yes, that includes setting goals. Consider this as a time for planting – your vision, your dream, your destiny, your purpose – where you lay out what you want to be and to do. And remember that this time of planting will become a time of reaping or harvesting once you (with the Lord) have worked towards to goal to attain the prize!

Life planning and goal setting in a time to look forward to and a time to access if you have and to make sure that you make the most of the time God has given you on this side of heaven. Goal setting is a time of:

REFLECTION
This is a time to look at the past and the present to prepare for the future. This is not a time to be negative but use this to learn from your mistakes and from the setbacks you experienced. Also make note of the what your did achieve and started to do as well as the positive things that happened in your life.

Ask yourself a few important questions:
– Where am I today?
– How and what did I do to get here?
– What made this year great or not so great?
Make sure to reflect on each of these life areas: Spiritual, Family, Financial, Health (Physical), Intellectual / Personal Development, Social, Career development, Business development. This will help you to understand why you are where you are and help you continue the work to become who you want to be and do what you desire to do.

THANKSGIVING
Oftentimes you can live with regret, frustration or disappointment because you didn’t achieve what you wanted to. However, this is not the place for you to remain. Even if you “cry over the spilled milk” don’t keep crying. Get up, clean up the mess and move on.

Learn to be thankful for what you have and what you do not yet have. Be thankful in all things at all times (1 Thess. 5:18, AMP). Thank God want did work and for what small steps you made towards your goals. Have a heart of gratitude because no matter how bad things look there is some goodness in your life and that goodness came from your Father God.

Write a love letter to God – a note of appreciation. Don’t know how to start? Start with, “Dear God thank you for…” and make a list of all His goodness in your life. Or maybe you can start by worshiping Him just because He is God and then thanking Him for all the goodness has brought into your life. Think of yourself, your family, your friends. Thank Him for life, love, good health, safety and protection, provision and whatever else you recognize as God’s handiwork in your life. But for sure, His done you good, so be thankful.

CREATIVITY
Goal setting is a time to dream. In my goal setting workbook, I have a space for dreaming, there are at least three options you can use to start your dreaming process:
1. My Dream List – is a blank sheet or a mind map type sheet – you choose the either list in short form what your life looks like in the next year or two or beyond or you use the mind map page with cloud thoughts to express your heart and God’s heart for you.
2. My Vision Board – for those who are more visually inclined, you can collect images (from the web or from books or magazines) and create a collage of your dreams.
3. My Life Story – you can write in present tense what you life looks like several years from now. You choose the time and place you want to start seeing your dream become a reality and just write that vision.

This is a time to be imaginative, to let go of your doubts or fears and not limit yourself. It’s a not the time to think that God is limited in anyway. It’s a time to remove all the stops and road blocks from your mind. It’s a time to let your spirit soar, your heart smile as you gaze into your future of infinite possibilities God has planned for you (Jer. 29:11, AMP).

Goal setting is creative planning. As a Christian you plan your life according to God’s plan for you. This will require spending time in prayer to understand God’s heart for you.

PRAYER
Goal setting is a time of asking, seeking and knocking. However, depending on the size of your goal; you may need to fast, weep, vow or wrestle in prayer. In some case yours prayer regarding a specific goal may be turned to praise even though you haven’t seen the actual goal as yet. Nevertheless, goal setting requires time in prayer.

You may need to ask God, “Lord what do you want me to do in this coming year or the next 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40 years?” or “Lord, what is your Word to me for this year?”
Seeking the Lord is a time or season of drawing closer to Him and He coming closer to you also. It’s a time to connect with Him to know His heart and His plans for you which are totally good.

This time will also require you to knock on the doors of heaven and on the heart of your Heavenly Father. Why? To accomplish whatever goals God has placed on your heart you will need open doors. In other words, you will need God to supernaturally give your favor with others, create opportunities for you in whatever area you need it most, mend relationships and establish new much needed ones. You will need God to miraculously make things happen that normally would be difficult for you to accomplish on your own. Knocking prayer is needed when your goal is FAITH-filled goals that requires much of God’s intervention at every step as you press towards your prize.

As you can see, for the Christian goal setting can bring you closer to the Father. One thing I must also mention is that when you set you goals you must apply the Word of God to them and create a prayer strategy for each of them. (I will write about this in more detail in another post.)

As you set your goals for the coming year and years ahead, remember that you are working with God to carry out His purpose in your life and to see His kingdom come here in the earth (within your sphere of influence and beyond).

Now is your time! Go ahead, set those goals and see what God is able to do through you and for you.

Make the most of your time with the 2016 Living Success Goals Workbook and Planner. As an added bonus this year, a full year planner is included for your convenience. Wishing you experience the best year ahead!

How to Fulfill Your Purpose-Driven Goals

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Every one is born with a purpose. Whether you are a stay-at-home who is called to bring up godly children who impact the world for Christ or the CEO of a large conglomerate; you have a purpose. You are called by God for a special assignment. And there is no other person on the earth like you to fulfill it. Your uniqueness (personality, gifts, education, life experiences, and sphere of influence) makes you the perfect candidate for what God purposed for you. Just where you are God can cause you to have a positive impact on your family, your community, your nation, and the world.

So your life is valuable and has purpose. There is a destiny attached to your life. However the goals you set towards your destiny may often seem impossible to attain. But not so; the Lord will make it possible. He will give you the strength to do all to fulfill destiny (Phil 4:13)

Having a vision for your life and creating purpose-driven goals that are aligned to God’s will is a great start. As you work towards what you believe God has called you to do, you will find some challenges along your journey. But there are some lessons you can learn from the word of God about how to achieve your purpose-driven goals and ultimately fulfill your destiny

1. Keep The Vision
Joseph is a classic example of a dreamer and one who fulfilled destiny. His dreams from God angered his siblings and left his father wondering what they meant. But Joseph kept the dream even when siblings opposed him so much to sell him into slavery. One thing you can do (if you haven’t already) is to write the vision God has given you (Hab. 2:2-3) and review it often. Don’t worry if it isn’t all clear, God works with you where you’re at. As time goes on, you will understand more about it.

2. Don’t Complain
When things don’t go as you planned, curb the temptation to complain about it within yourself, to others and to God. It interesting that much was said about Joseph and his hardships and his successes but no where is it said that he complained to God or others. He took the opportunity once when he interpreted the dreams of others to mention his situation but even when forgotten Joseph didn’t complain. Instead of seeing the bad and ugly, see the good, the goodness of God in your life and be thankful to Him.

3. Serve Where You Are
Joseph though sold into slavery was considered a successful man. The Lord was with him and he flourished at whatever he did (Ps. 1:3). This was a recognizable trait in Joseph both in Potiphar’s house and in prison. His service or his work ethic was commendable and God honored him for this by causing others to see it and to promote him to positions of leadership. Make every effort to work to be best of your ability – at work, in your business, in your home, in your community, in your church. View your work as service to God.

4. Fear God
This is two-fold. Have a personal relationship with Christ and honor God in all you do. Don’t yield to temptation. Don’t compromising your godly values in order to get ahead. Keep the word of God in your heart; this will keep you from sin (Ps. 119:11). Recognize that God is with you at all times and ask for the grace to overcome and walk away from any temptation. Joseph was able to do this even though he seemed to be the one at the loosing end. But in the end God lifted him even higher. Having the fear of God will not only keep your from sin but will prevent you from delaying or hindering the progress of your purpose-driven goals.

5. Obey God
Wherever God leads, follow and whatever He says to do, obey. This isn’t always easy but you can rely for God’s grace and strength. God knows your heart is willing and He will help you. Moses did not complete his mission because of disobedience (Num. 20:7-12). He was able to deliver Israel from Egypt but he did not lead them into the promise land. Why? Probably because he was angry and frustrated with the Israelites complaining and instead of doing as God instructed, he struck the rock. Please, beware of your weaknesses and rule over them. Don’t let them cause you to miss the blessings of God.

6. Be Driven
Be determined regardless of the ups and downs along the way. No one told you it would be easy. Your purpose-driven dreams are worth the effort, the risk and the challenges regardless of how long they take to come to fruition. During this time you will learn more about yourself, find your value in Christ and trust God more than ever. Like the apostle Paul did, keep pressing, keep pursuing (Phil. 3: 13-14). The prize is worth the price.

7. Believe God
I don’t know how many times I have said or will say this. But this is one reminder you need when the going get tough: Have the faith of God. Be certain of this also: Your set time will come. Remember that God is working out everything for you – He will take the good and the bad and make it all good for you (Rom. 8:28). That’s His promise to you therefore don’t forget it. Joseph was able to see this; he saw his life from God perspective and knew in his heart that God had a plan for him. It was just a matter of time. Yes, time. And your set time will come when God makes all the hard work, prayer, fasting, etc. falls into place and your purpose-driven goals will become reality. Believe God.

This year focus on God regardless of the challenges and how much there is to do. There is more than enough of God’s grace to fulfill the purposes of God in you.

What do you do to help fulfill your purpose-driven goals?

7 Quick Tips to Make the Best of Goal Setting

wirting goals_16732976_s“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” – Habakkuk 2:2-3

I like December, not only because it’s Christmas – the time we celebrate Jesus – but because it marks the end of a season. December to me is like to ending of an old chapter and the start of a new one.

I usually take the time during this month not only to celebrate with family but to plan the year ahead. As I start to think ahead, I spend time praying and seeking God’s direction for the New Year.

In my excitement to get going this year, I started search for what I could find to help me do a better job at goal setting. I found information in abundance but it would take time to compile a process that would work for me. I found paid products but they didn’t have a Christian worldview. I believe that if you are a Christian, any goal setting you do should always lead you to seek the Lord’s will for your life.

Here are some tips you can use to make the best of goal setting and experience a great year:

1. Seek God’s Will through Prayer
Start your goal setting process with prayer. Ask the Lord what His will is for you in the coming year. Listen to hear His plans. You may already know where God is leading you. Your dreams or desires, the things you love to do, the things that you are eager to change are all pointers to your purpose.

2. Take Time Out to Plan
It’s okay to think about planning but you need to actually do it. Make an appointment with yourself and God. Set aside a few hours, half a day or two days, whatever you think you need to get your goals down on paper.

3. Reflect On The Past
Don’t hold onto the past but embrace it. Review the year with the aim of learning form it. What did you accomplish? What didn’t work well for you? What can you do differently in the New Year? What do you have to be thankful to God for? At the end of this exercise make sure to let go of the past and get ready to embrace the future.

4. Dream, Dream, Dream
Yes, it’s time to dream, not a little but a lot. Making your goals does not need be so rigid that you kill your dreams. I often write a dream list first before actually setting my goals. Get a blank sheet and write down what your heart’s desire is. Do this before making any of your goals concrete.

5. Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals
I don’t think most people like to hear about S.M.A.R.T. goals but the truth of the matter is that this process makes your dreams become goals that would bring them into reality. You don’t have to set big goals and a lot of goals; but you need to write what works for you. That could be 12 goals or 3 goals but write them down anyways.

6. Find Your Why
Why do you want to accomplish the goals you’ve outlined? Why are they so important to you? It’s important to know your “Why” because when the going get tough, the reason behind what you are doing will keep you moving forward.

7. Be Accountable
Ever noticed how much you get done when you have deadlines and someone else to report to. Why? Accountability results in performance. Get the support of a friend or two or join a group of likeminded people who hold each other accountable for their goals. You will reap great success from such support.

8. Simplicity Is Necessary
Yes, this is tip No. 8 but this is important. Goal setting takes effort and many are often deterred from starting or completing the process. Another reason for not setting goals is that you may not know how to set goals and make them happen. The key is to keep goal setting simple and I have created a workbook just to help you do that.

As I mention earlier in this post, I was on a search for a simple goal setting process with a Christian world view but found none. As I thought about it I realized that I already had a process I was practicing for more that 10 years, but I had never compiled into one simple format. So I decided to do just that.

Now available in ebook format (pdf) is my goal setting workbook – the Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner.

If you are looking for a step-by-step guided process to goal setting, I’d encourage you to download the Living Success Goals Workbook.

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.

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.

A Few Ways to Deal with Setbacks

A few days before a much-anticipated vacation, I hurt my back. I didn’t realize how much this mishap could affect me and my last day of work – because I ignored what was happening – I was in excruciating pain with every step I took. So my vacation was not vacation. The plans I had to finish set my goals for the year, to learn about and improve my blog and to decide my strategy for my personal finance book were put on hold. Since sitting for an extended period proved to be painful, it was frustrating not be able to do most of what I had planned.

However, thank God, I soon came to realize that I needed to deal with this setback by working on getting better so I could more forward sooner rather than later.  As the days passed, I adopted a few ways handle this setback. I hope as I share with you, you will pick one or two to help you through your personal challenges.

Connect with God more.

Pray more; read more and listen more. I take this advice from a friend who broke her ankle and had to stay indoors for weeks. As she shared with me her experience I felt her joy because she took to opportunity to grow closer to God during this time.

You may not pray with the same energy or vigor that you normally do but pray anyway. Let God know how you feel, ask for His blessing on your situation whatever it be and trust Him to come through for you. Read more of the Bible and of other books that would encourage you and help you deal with your setback. Read that stash of books that you have promised to get to you a while. Be sure to read what builds your faith. Watch more or listen more to the word of God or to Christ centered programs whether via TV, the internet, DVDs, CDs. Just take every opportunity to get the word of God in you.

Laugh at life and yourself too.

One of my friends who had cancer had an amazing attitude towards life. She enjoyed and appreciated the little things. Some days she was felt stronger than others. On those good days she would tell you that she could move a mountain. What was her mountain? She would go outside, pick up a stone and tell you that that’s her mountain and smile about it. Although her situation was very serious she found something to laugh and be thankful for.

Although the situation may be serious you still need to smile. We have a saying that if you don’t laugh you will cry and it’s true. Sometimes you need to remove heavy weights with some laughter. Laughter makes the setbacks and frustrations we face more bearable (Proverbs 17:22).

Appreciate everything.

Keep a prayer and praise journal. This practice will help you stay thankful. Consider taking ten minutes every day to write down at least three things you are most thankful for. Send a thank you note to someone with a small gift or call and let them know how much you appreciate them.

The day-to-day activities of life plus the challenge of dealing with an unexpected setback could cause you to become a complainer. Take time during the difficult season to appreciate what God has done and is doing. Even though you may not see the changes you want now, praising God in advance of receiving them will bring you peace of mind.

Don’t worry.

It is so much easier said that done. But try not to worry about how much your current situation has made your life more difficult or challenging. Don’t worry about how much you have to do or how much you haven’t done. Worry does nothing but elevate your problem and causes you further emotional damage.

God remedy for worry is prayer and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7). Ask God to help you through the rough spots and to help you make far more progress when you are again in a position to move forward on your goals and the vision He has given to you. Thankful prayer will release His peace into your heart and protect your mind so you can deal with where you are effectively.

Keep dreaming.

A setback has a way of making you think negatively about your life and the goals you have set. But please keep dreaming and don’t allow any situation to mar your vision.

On a sick-bed, in financial difficult, at the lost of a loved one, when there’s no income, when children are being rebellious, when plans go array – God is still in control. When you are asleep, He is at work. When you are ill and unable to do much, He is at work. He is able to act when you can’t. So dream on and give your dreams to God. When you commit your ways to Him, He will establish your thoughts (Proverbs 16:3). That is, He will give you direction. He will help you, strengthen you and give you success.

Remember, although the enemy meant it for evil, God has the power to change every situation around for your good. God can turn every set back, frustration, every device of the enemy around to good for you and for others.

As the saying goes behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining. Therefore, look at every setback, negative circumstance with excitement and anticipation. Begin to wonder in your heart what good the Lord allow to come out of it as a blessing to you and others.

What do you do when face with an unexpected and unpleasant situation?

Think Prosperously

God's plan to prosper you

What kind of thoughts normally enter into your mind? Are they good or bad? When someone compliments you, do you counter it with words like, “Really, I don’t think so,” or “That’s nice to say but I am not really like that.”? When you are pursuing your goals do you often think that you are going to fail?

Prevailing negative, demeaning, limiting, unhealthy and sinful thoughts have a way of entering into our minds quite easily:

The world system: We are bombarded daily with negativity via television, radio, newspapers, internet, organizations and people.

Our sinful nature: We have an uncanny yet natural tendency to think and act negatively too. Even when we have accepted Christ our negative thoughts and ways can continue to prevail unless we constantly renew our minds.

Our immediate environment: Have you realized that when you were younger, you believed you could do anything and actually did most of the time? But as you grew into adulthood, your mindset shifted. Our family, friends, work colleagues and other people have shaped our belief system. The sad thing is we have learned from most of them to simply let life happen and don’t seek to change. Or someone told us not dream too big or try too hard at anything because they don’t want us to get disappointed if we fail.

The reality is this; we kill our dreams within before we even get started. We believe more in lie that in truth. We think we will fail more than succeed. We expect to struggle and not to prosper. But the truth is God wants the best for us. Recently, the Lord really impressed on my heart to diligently counter every negative thought of frustration, setback, failure, and lack with His Word. His Word is filled with promises of positive outcomes, success, prosperity, abundance, good health, strong families, great relationships and more. Regardless of the negativity around us, God actively works to bring everything in alignment to His will and for our benefit (Gen. 50:20). As a child of God, your focus should be on succeeding or prospering in whatever you are doing.

A few weeks ago, I was sharing with a friend about my book and the effort I need to put into marketing and promoting this work. As I was outlining the industry suggested time lines to begin seeing a certain level of success with the book, she stopped me in my tracks. She reminded me that although it is good to learn the market and how it works, I must view this all from God’s perspective. I should do the work and trust God to prosper what I am doing. I should always put God in the midst of everything I am doing to have good success.

Psalm 1:1-3 says that if we don’t do evil but find or have pleasure in God and His word, He will make us prosperous in what we do. He will bring our work to maturity or cause it to be successful. Other scriptures like Joshua 1:8, Jeremiah 29:11, 3 John 1:2 remind us to connect with God, know His word intimately (eat, drink and sleep His word), live out loud His word and He will cause our lives to prosper.

God’s Word says you can succeed in life but do you believe this truth? You can say all the right words. You can do all the right things. But what you believe determines what you will achieve and receive. Remember, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Furthermore, God blesses you based on and above what you ask or think.

Therefore approach everything you do believing that God will help you to succeed. Rearrange your thoughts to accept that whatever you do shall prosper. Think prosperously.

How do you counter thoughts of failure? What helps you to keep thinking in line with God’s good will for you?

5 Qualities of a Different Spirit

But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.

Numbers 14:24 (NKJV)

What kind of spirit do you have? Would God say that you have a different spirit to other people? Would your family say that you have a good spirit?

God described Caleb as one who had a different spirit. He was compared his character to the ten men who went with Joshua and Caleb to spy out the Promised Land. Other translations interpret the words “different spirit” as different attitude (NLT, GW) or another spirit (KJV). Whichever way you look at it, Caleb and Joshua because of this spirit or attitude they had were able to receive the promise of God.

In Numbers 13 and 14, we can learn from Joshua’s and Caleb’s actions what it means to have a different spirit. Some of the qualities they expressed were:

A Conquering Attitude – These two were courageous warriors. They were willing and ready to fight.

“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”    Numbers 13:30

A Positive Outlook – Caleb and Joshua saw the possibilities or the opportunities that were ahead of them instead of focusing on the negative.

But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land.”  —Numbers 14:6-7

Faith in God – They had complete trust in God to help them succeed. They believed God would do as He had promised.

“If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’”        —Numbers 14:8

An Awareness of God’s Presence – Joshua and Caleb knew that the Lord was with them and therefore consider their enemies as already defeated. They recognized that with the presence of God any battle was already won.

“Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”              —Numbers 14:9

Wholeheartedly Serve the Lord – An attitude or a spirit such as theirs comes with this very important quality (Numbers 14:24). No measure of success can be gained without this attribute. It is on account of their different spirit and their full service to God that both Joshua and Caleb not only survived 40 years of wandering in the wilderness but received their inheritance in the Promised Land (Joshua 14:6-15).

The spirit of Joshua and Caleb wasn’t negative in any way. They weren’t fearful of their enemies. They didn’t speak negatively and transfer the spirit of fear to the people of Israel. Instead they spoke with confidence and tried to encourage others not to fear but to believe they could make it with God’s help. What an attitude!

Their attitude is one to imitate if we want to receive the promises that God has for us. If we want to succeed in our Christian walk and experience God’s best then we must work on our attitude.

We must ask God to impart such a spirit in us. This type of spirit has staying power to make it through the tough times. When we carry what God called a different spirit in us, we are likely to overcome all and live victoriously.

Aim for a different spirit.