So often our dreams are about us—what we want for our life or what’s good for us. But Jesus, our example of how to live, gave His life not for His benefit but for ours. Shortly before He was crucified, He was in a garden praying and said, “Not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22 NIV). He came to earth to do the will of God the Father. He eagerly did what God wanted Him to do.
In the same way Jesus did, ask God to give you His vision and His dreams for your life. “God … is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes” (Ephesians 3:20b TLB).
To really live this dream God has for us, we need to let go of selfishness—or die to self. There are things we must die to, for example: our plans, our timing, our way, our reputation, getting credit for what we do, the need to be in control and the need to be right. Sometimes when things don’t happen according to our timetable, we tend to run ahead of God and try to make it happen. We become fearful and stressful. But wait on God; he knows what you are going through and hasn’t forgotten about you. Habakkuk 2:3 NIV says, ”For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” And if you ever get stuck, look back to the last thing you remember God telling you and then do it. God can’t lead you if you won’t follow.
Give your life to God, just like Christ laid down His life for you, God will do amazing things in you and through you. It’s not easy but the reward on the other side is so worth it.
Your life is a sermon… an unspoken testimony. You have what it takes to live successfully and to be a person that God can use to change people’s lives. So what kind of life creates an effective message that can be heard?
We need to be willing to go through the process of growth. Growth increases our capacity, and gets us over our insecurities. We can’t do it in our own strength though. It requires faith.
Hebrews chapter 11 tells us about the legacies that the Heroes of Faith left. Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David and many others overcame great challenges. They weren’t Marvel super heroes with supernatural power but rather normal men and women with fears and faults like you and me. Clearly, it wasn’t their own strength that caused their victories. It was faith in God that enabled them to do amazing feats: conquer kingdoms, overcome lions, quench fires, and win battles when overwhelmingly outnumbered (Heb. 11:33–34).
It is easy to have faith when everything is going well. And it is also easy to doubt and be distracted by your insecurities when things aren’t going well. The key to living large is to walk in faith all the time… through the good and bad. We don’t need to try and live up to other peoples’ expectations or put pressure on ourselves to be someone we’re not. But instead we can live with faith, believing that what God said in His Word is true.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2 MSG)
Walking in this level of faith will cause you to grow in your spiritual life and influence. And when your life is growing for the good, people will begin to notice. Your life’s testimony will share about the goodness and faithfulness of God.
We can live fearlessly and uncompromisingly because of what God has done for us. Sometimes God places us in situations where we’re uncomfortable just so we stretch ourselves a little bit more. But be determined! It is an opportunity for us to use our faith and grow. You will only fail if you quit. God will always be there for us when we step out in faith and obey what he says in the Bible.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5 NIV)
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”(James 3:17 NIV)
Every choice we make will bring either a blessing…or a consequence. Our choices become our greatest assets…or our greatest liabilities.
Some choices bring about loss for a season…while other choices bring loss that will last a lifetime.
This is why wisdom is so very important. God says He will give wisdom to all who ask Him for it. You may not be able to go back in time to save yourself or others from a foolish decision you made in the past…but you do have the opportunity starting today to begin learning how to live a wise life.
Ask God for wisdom and discernment. Consider the choices you make from this day forward and make the commitment to strive to make wise choices.
Life is too short to waste time. As Christians, God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us in the life we should live. On the flip-side, the Devil is trying to distract us from focusing on our purpose in life.
As you’re reading this you may find yourself in a personal struggle. You want to be effective in the things God has for you, but you feel like there is something hindering you. Fear not! There are four critical areas that cause people to waste time and get nowhere in life. Make sure that you stay away from these:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Instead of worrying, learn to rely on God. He doesn’t expect you to have your own solution to every problem you encounter: where to live, what job to take, which university to attend, how to step into ministry… Instead, bring things before God in prayer. Ask God to help you. Use the brain God put in your head too. It’s the combination of you doing your part and also choosing not to worry by praying and spending time with God. Because when you worry, you’re placing a heavy weight on your life that will slow you down tremendously.
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26 (NIV)
When you gossip, you are revealing embarrassing details about other people’s lives. It negatively affects how others view the person you’re talking about. It doesn’t matter if you do it intentionally or unintentionally, it’s never uplifting or encouraging. It is damaging. As Brother Kenneth E. Hagin (the founder of RHEMA USA) put it… “Snuffing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours any brighter.” The Bibles says to not judge or you will be judged. Judging others and then gossiping about them will hinder you from being effective in your life.
3. Comparing Yourself to Others
“Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect.” Hebrews 12:2a (NLV)
God will give YOU grace to do what YOU need to do. Instead of constantly looking at other people for answers and validation, fix your eyes upon Jesus. As you live to please God and make him first in your life, He promises to bless your life and make you prosper. You and God can do anything together! You can’t finish the “race” God has for you when you’re constantly looking at the other runners!
4. Forcing Things
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trusting God requires patience. God gives you hopes and dreams for certain things to happen in your life, but He doesn’t always allow you to see the exact timing of His plan. It can be frustrating not knowing all the details or how long it’s going to take before you see it. But you must truly surrender and submit to Him. It’s not enough to ask God to just “bless” your plans. He must be in control of the plans. When you reach this level of trust, you can live in peace and enjoy your life with God directing your steps.
The narrow road of living for God and not conforming to the ways of the world is often lonely. But the trade-off of succeeding in God’s purpose for you is far worth it.