Updated: Apr 20
Whether you’re a parent, educator, student, artist,
entrepreneur, black, white, young, or old – one factor impacts every facet of life. And, if you don’t grasp how it works, you’ll
stumble – I did. However, once you learn the principles you’ll
never go back. Today, you’re invited to choose – success entails making the right choices consistently. Keep stumbling or keep reading.
I sat at my desk prepared to write about something else when a message flashed in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, "Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Home. Minutes later another heartwarming message appeared in the upper right-hand corner, "We are with you."
The revelation hit me like a ton of bricks: Stay safe, stay healthy, stay in faith - God is with us!
Without hesitating I shifted gears - extending hope was my charge. There’s nothing new under the sun. So, reminding you that this too shall pass supersedes all other communication. However, I'm not just referencing the current crisis.
Many have been living with one type of hardship or other (financial, health, relationship, business, etc.) far too long- and if drastic measures are not taken, it will outlast COVID-19.
Now's the perfect time - craft your new beginning. Take the first step.
No one strives to lose.
Everyone desires to win. I’ve worked with people in different capacities and in diverse settings. One thing resonates with us all regardless of race, gender, age, or religion; everyone craves success.
The person struggling with any addiction wants to overcome it.
A business person seeks a profit from rendering services and/or products .
Parents aim to raise children who are responsible and productive.
Teachers aspire to transform students.
Artists create with the hope of being compensated for their gift. They don't relish starving.
In any event, the grueling realities of life weigh heavy pushing us to give in or worse give up.
Regardless of who you are or where you are…
You’re designed to win.
We are made in God’s image. He created everything in the earth and everything that’s in Him resides in us. "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it." (Genesis 1:27-28). After God created man and woman, he blessed them. The blessing empowers you to excel. Remind yourself that the blessing of God is upon you, working in you, and working through you.
I watched Long Walk to Freedom, a movie based on the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Because his children could not visit him in prison until age 16, years passed before he saw his daughters. On the first visit, Mandela sat glowing awed by the eldest's inner and outer beauty. He smiled as she responded to the prison guard's instruction to avoid political discussions. Without missing a beat she spoke with clarity and conviction, possessing lion like strength.
The little girl was now a young woman speaking like her mother. With her head held high she looked in Mandela's eyes and told him, “I am your daughter.” In other words, what do you expect? I am of you, and everything that’s in you dwells within me. Whether you were around when I group up doesn’t matter. I know you and I am your daughter.
What's more, Mandela’s daughter knew who she was and what she was working with. That’s powerful! I felt like running around the room.
Do you know who you are? Aside from this, do you know what you’re working with? For those who don’t and others who forgot, I'll tell you. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the word (1 John 4:4).
Furthermore, you have a Lord and Savior named Jesus. The same spirit that raised Him from the dead, lives in you. How can you fail? You are more than a conqueror!
Understand the adversary and his tactics.
Our military leaders invest significant time studying and acquiring knowledge about their adversaries before sending soldiers into battle. In short, they expect to win. According to the late Admiral Hal Moore, as soon as you think you cannot, you’re dead. The movie We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson portrays the leadership of Colonel Moore during one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War. Outgunned and out-manned, Hal Moore refused to let the enemy penetrate his thinking.
Similarly, you must scrutinize the enemy gunning to wreck your life. Although certain people give you the blues, they’re not the real enemy. Deception is part of the scheme. Satan is the enemy and he comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). You must remember the master deceiver is, how he works, and most important, how to render him helpless.
Thoughts, Ideas, and Suggestions (TIS)
The acronym TIS accurately explain Satan's mode of operation. Your mind is the battlefield, and He persistently overwhelms you with heavy artillery - thoughts of doubt, fear, and failure. This assault usually begins early in the morning catching you off guard.
You're bombarded from sun up to sun down with lies. Before long you strengthen the attack by speaking the wrong words.
I'll never find a good job.
My children are a lost cause.
I can't go to college.
No one will marry me.
We'll never have enough money.
I can't stop drinking.
This disease is going to kill me.
I'll never reach my goals.
At length, you're trapped by words. As you know, you will have what you say. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).
Select the right weapon.
Due to advances in technology, fighting war has changed. Today the military relies on sophisticated weaponry (long range missiles, drones, etc.)
Unlike natural warfare, the primary weapon for fighting a spiritual battle remains unchanged. Yet, people forget to deploy faith – or they use it incorrectly. And thus they give up, insisting faith does not work.
Conversely, faith works. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4)
All in all, nothing happens without faith.
I learned this first-hand enduring one of the toughest battles of my life. The sudden loss of a spouse turns your world upside down. Anyone having experienced this can relate to feeling empty with a looming heavy darkness - a part of you dies.
Even so, working out became part of the daily regiment. By developing my faith muscles, I noticed that passion replaced the pain. The refreshing triggered a shift changing my thoughts, words, and actions.
We serve a God who responds to faith. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
Read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and you’ll note how Jesus was moved by faith. Those having faith got healed and delivered. Moreover, Jesus labeled the various levels of faith – no faith, little faith, great faith. The fundamentals are so basic they boggle the minds of most.
Faith is a way of life – not a one-time event. The majority of faith failures occurred when I misplaced faith or practiced selective faith. For example, I’d experience a breakthrough in one area – celebrate – and then return to my old ways forgetting the author and finisher of my faith. Instead I approached circumstances in my own strength obtaining less than favorable results. By contrast, my husband lived by faith.
Now the just shall live by faith. (Hebrews 11:38)
Jesus said, Have faith in God. (Mark 11:22)
Recently I learned that according to the Greed language Nike means victory. The founder of the company named it what he wanted to experience. Would you agree that Nike has attained colossal success? That's a lesson for parents: Think long and hard about naming your children.
Faith speaks victory – by calling things the way you want them to be. Faith doesn't tell it like it is!
As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations, before God whom he believed, and who raises the dead, and calls things that do not exist as though they did. (Romans 4:17)
God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
Every word following anyone mentioned in the Faith Hall of Fame is a verb - an action word. For instance, By faith Abel offered, By faith Noah moved, By faith Abraham obeyed, By faith Sarah received, By faith Isaac blessed, By faith Joseph mad mention, and so on (Hebrews 11:4-22) I encourage you to read the entire chapter. You'll be encouraged.
Likewise you must act. Stop wavering. For instance, if you're believing for the right career opportunity spruce up your resume and send it out. If you're believing for a prosperous business get a website and business cards. If you're believing for the right house, start looking.
You don't get a victory standing still. Faith moves not having all the answers. What if it's not exactly right? God - the Master Strategist - will maneuver to get you on track.
So, faith by itself, it has no works is dead. (James 2:17)
How to Stay in Faith Mode
Focus on the desired result- not the problem.
I'm not suggesting you deny the dilemma. I'm suggesting you shift the focus. For example, many are currently laid off. Worrying is useless. Instead brainstorm creative ways to generate income. Maybe it's time to turn the hobby into a second income.
Focusing on a problem increases anxiety, stress, and blood pressure. You become a hostage - magnifying terror through your thoughts. You can't think, sleep, or eat. Or, you do the opposite -eat, drink and think too much of the wrong thing.
Whatever you think upon grows - good or bad. Why not choose the good!
Faith is not moved by what it sees or hears. Faith is not rattled by a bad report. The Word is the highest truth. Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)
Find the scriptures relating to your situation.
If you’re wrestling with a financial problem, locate the money scriptures. If it’s a problem with your children, locate the scriptures about children. If the problem is health, locate the scriptures about healing. In short, the Bible contains promises about diverse topics. Go the back of the concordance where you’ll see the listing. The word of God behind your words make it happen. Review them daily.
Take it when you pray.
Therefore, I say to you, “Whatever things you ask when you pray believe that you will receive them, and you’ll have them. (Mark 11:24)
Here’s a quick vocabulary lesson. Ask in the Greek means demand, receive means take, and possess means claim it. Therefore, don’t pray in circles and never take it. Did you take it or talk about it? You must believe you have it, before you have it in order to get it. (Kenneth Hagin)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is now- not tomorrow, next week, or next year. Indeed, if you are waiting to believe, you’re not in faith.
Speak faith filled words.
The Word is the evidence which creates the substance. Again, God said, “Light be”. Imagine what would have happened if He said nothing. We’d be in darkness. Nothing will happen without speaking. You make faith commands via the Word.
Recall how Jesus resisted Satan. He repeated what was written. You do the same. When frustrated, angry, or discouraged, I don't speak. Similarly a farmer does not dig up the seeds planted when he doesn't see the crop sprout. He knows that a harvesting a bumper crop takes patience. Do not bend to the pressure of time.
Walk in love.
Faith works by love. And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13) Hence, a clog in the drain will block your flow. At the same time, Jesus directed us to forgive whenever we stand in prayer (And when ye stand praying, forgive. If ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (Mark 11:25).
Dismiss all unbelief.
Why do you think Jesus removed all unbelievers from the house before he raised Peter’s mother-in-law or the little girl from the dead? Jesus only took three disciples into the house with him. Meditate on that.
Stay on the wagon.
Faith remains consistent. Faith puts pressure on the problem until it changes. The bulldog that bites down not letting go. You can’t yank a bone from a dog’s mouth. He seizes it and won’t let go.
A sure-fire success strategy
Hear the Word
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing, and hearing. Don’t just limit your hearing to the message given by the pastor Sunday morning. Listen to CD’s, podcasts, and teaching throughout the week. The more you hear – the more your faith will increase. While you're working on a faith project eliminate the unnecessary stuff.
Read the Word
Make reading the Word the first thing you do daily until it's a habit. It will makes your day! And, you will notice the difference if you neglect it. My son attend to my words; incline you ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their body. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:20-23)
Meditate on the Word
This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night so that you may act carefully according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way successful, and you will be wise. (Joshua 1:8)
Meditating the Word produces phenomenal results. Meditate when everything is going well. When trouble comes, you’ll be ready. In fact, you’ll gain the inside track.
At it's core, you can hit the bulls-eye every time instead of sporadically. God does not discriminate. He gifted everyone to win.