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In case you missed the last call, here’s a replay of Prayer and Obedience.
As a child I had an imaginary friend. We often read books, played school, and even had tea parties. Not surprisingly, all the same things I love doing today. What I didn’t know then was that this relationship was training me in the faithful practice of living by faith.
Although Kimberly could not be seen by anyone but me, I was never content with simply giving her imaginary paper and crayons. When we colored or had tea, I would always put things out for her. Her presence was so real that it compelled me to act accordingly.
Faith always demands an active response. What you believe should translate to real, observable action. If there is faith, but no corresponding action, you may intellectually agree with a doctrine or teaching, but you might not believe it… yet.
Faith in God always brings along with it the desire and courage to obey His word. The actions of your life are the clearest display of what you believe.
Today’s challenge is to increase the connection between the activity in your life and the faith you possess.
I invite you to consider what you believe about an issue important to you. Then ask yourself, “Do my belief, words, and actions line up with faith in God?”
Here are a few thoughts to get to started: You believe prayer works…do you do it consistently? You believe God has forgiven your sins…do you live life unashamed? You believe God knows the plan for your life…do you consult him? Do you trust him? And while there are a million other questions I could write, I think you get it.
Remember that the Kingdom of God must be expanded, and your life lived by faith is critical to accomplishing the mission. You are a part of God’s plan. Your faith keeps you in the fight. God is always pleased with the demonstration of true faith in Him, so live like you believe every day.
Blessings to you,
If you’ve ever tried to accomplish a goal you’re probably intimately acquainted with people saying:
How are you going to do that?
You didn’t go to school for that.
You don’t know the right people.
You’re too old or too young.
Where are you going to get the money for that?
What’s taking so long?
People often try to understand and talk to you about your vision through their filter. They tend to define your future by the things they can see or have experienced.
But don’t let that stop you. Don’t let their questions become a stumbling block to you. God’s plan supersedes all of man’s intentions.
Let their words be a challenge to a life of greater faith and commitment to the plan of God for your life. Let them encourage you to walk according to your faith in God.
Walking by faith requires you to be courageous, fearless, and really persistent.
It doesn’t mean that you get it right every time, but you always keep going.
It means you see what appears to be a challenge and still say, “Yes.”
It means you are confident that God is competent and capable. You find hope, strength, and courage knowing that He is with you, leading you, and providing for you.
As you consider a few of my random thoughts, I challenge you to:
Pursue the goal. Run after the vision. Pursue your extraordinary.
Always remember that with God nothing is impossible.
Blessings to you,
Living an extraordinary life begins with understanding your purpose, and having the courage to live it every day.
Extraordinary living requires a commitment to authenticity.
Extraordinary living allows you to take risks in pursuit of worthwhile change.
Extraordinary living gives you the courage to do things differently.
Extraordinary living prepares you to embrace new experiences and opportunities.
The most important lesson about extraordinary living is this: If you spend too much time not understanding and living your purpose you’ll miss your God-given opportunity to experience an incredible life of success and fulfillment.
Years ago I posted a blog titled, “I Love Rainbows.” It was a glimpse at the joy that fills me when I see rainbows. I remember sharing in that post, that my husband called my office and simply said, “Go outside.” I got up from my desk and walked to the front door of RUACH Life Training Center – Italy, and saw the most brilliant rainbow ever. I smiled as I thought about how each rainbow reminds me of the plan and promises of God. I laughed at how well my husband knew (and still knows) what brings me immense joy. I was moved by the fact that he didn’t want me to miss an opportunity to smile. I’ve never forgotten that moment.
Recently, I was sitting in my office and I got a text message from my daughter, “Mommy, there is a rainbow outside…did you see it?” I got up and went outside and immediately saw a beautiful rainbow. I was again reminded that God is a promise keeper. Now what makes this really interesting is that I was working through the details of the launch of RUACH Life Training Center – Texas. (See the connection?) As I gazed at the rainbow with gratitude, I was moved by the fact that she knows how significant rainbows are and didn’t want me to miss it. As I bowed my head and offered thanks to the Lord for that moment, I heard the Spirit of the Lord say, “The promise remains.” I am sure I will never forget that moment.
Today, I share that story to remind you that every one of God’s promises for your life remains. I want to encourage you to continue to pursue them. Continue to believe. There is more in store for you. He wants you to experience everything his word declares. I’ve been sharing with our congregation how important it is to embrace God’s promises. Don’t leave any promise on the table. Know that God wants you to experience an extraordinary life.
Consider God’s promises concerning your life. Remember that every promise is ultimately tied to the fulfillment of His plan. You and all that your life has to offer are part of the Kingdom plan. Trust that the promises of God are “yea and Amen.” If for some reason you thought the promise was forgotten or it was too late, I suggest a change in perspective. Don’t worry about what you don’t have or didn’t do. Determine to move forward. Remind yourself of the word God has spoken and take a step of faith towards it. Your renewed commitment to pursuing God’s plan will inspire faith-filled action. When you get into action you will be reminded that the promise remains.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6
Blessings to you!
It takes wisdom to live an extraordinary life; and, that kind of wisdom begins with an undeniable reverence for God. Reverence for the Lord produces wisdom that creates the momentum for living a life that continually glorifies God. It causes you to live more authentically. It guides you into living your purpose continually. You will consistently use your gifts, talents, and abilities to positively impact the Kingdom. Ultimately, you will live the life God designed for you. A life of consistent and intimate fellowship with him. A life that gives way to consistently accomplishing your purpose. It is an extraordinary life.
The proof of reverence for God is not simply found in a verbal affirmation or even lifting up the hands towards heaven, but in the actual attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors of your life. Beloved, reverence is the product of respect, submission, and obedience to God. The synergy of these three leads to a life full of righteous action.
This week, my challenge to you is to seek to elevate your understanding and application of reverence. That’s right, I want you to make it a personal mission to respect, submit to, and obey God more. You can start by asking yourself, “Does every area of my life truly reveal my reverence for God?” Be transparent and courageous in your answer. You’ve got nothing to lose, but there is so much more of God to gain. Here are a few points to ponder until next time.
1. Is reverence reflected in my attitude? Your attitude can influence your behavior. Attitudes are determined ways of thinking or feeling about something. It is your mental position on something. Believers should base their attitudes on the facts of faith and not circumstances. When your mind truly agrees with the facts of faith and the word of God, you will maintain a proper attitude. You will not complain or vainly question a situation, but always recognize that God is with you. You will have confidence that God’s ways are perfect. Attitudes are a little tricky, because when things are going according to our desires our attitudes tend to be good. Yet, when things go awry it can turn into quite a different story. For example, you have to wait a little longer for your dream to materialize. Maybe your life is a little off the schedule you have written. So you find that your attitude towards others who seem to be moving forward gets a little rough. God is not surprised at where you are currently standing; he wants you to learn to keep a faith-filled attitude no matter what. Remember that your attitude in any situation should be based on the truth of what God has declared not in your circumstances or even your feelings.
2. Is reverence declared through my words? How and what we speak is important to life and death. Remember, Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. God has given us the power and ability to speak. Your speech can be filled with faith and reverence. Your words actually have the power to block the move of God in your life. Consider the person in pain who fears acknowledging the truth because it might be a negative confession. The fact is they have a headache, to say so is not a negative confession. But, if they deny the situation choosing to ignore it they can actually prevent God from healing. God requires transparency and trust. To have a need and ask for help reveals that your respect and trust in the Lord. Be sure your words are in line with the will of God and you will walk in power.
3. Is reverence revealed by my actions? I mention actions last because those things that are revealed through the body are really only a demonstration of what we have already believed and spoken. Actions are not independent of belief. When you respect God your actions are in sync with the word and will of God. Your actions reveal how much you respect God. Let there be no gap between what you say you believe and what you actually do. If there is, you are free to confess the error and allow the Holy Spirit to refocus you. Always remember God loves you.
Reverence the Lord and you will get wiser.
Blessings to you,
Here is the final portion. If you haven’t read Part I & II you may want to go back and catch up.
4. Rely on God’s strength
Humility is the critical component of relying on God’s strength. Humility is not self-confessed modesty or an abrogation of personal power. It is acknowledging another’s authority and yielding to it. Philippians 2 provides an excellent example of Jesus’ humility. All in all we are to be dependent upon God and not ourselves. Our words express where we believe our strength comes from. Words like, “I can take it,” or “I can do “or even “I can handle it…” can sometimes unwittingly undermine your success by causing you to focus on your strength instead of God’s. Speaking based on your own ability blocks the release of God’s power. While it is true, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” often our words are not filled with reliance on Christ, but on our own will. It is God’s desire that you rely on him and his strength. That means knowing and depending on his word and trusting his ability to make the word true. Many times we move in our own strength when we are tired of waiting.
Apply this truth: If you find that you have been speaking from your own strength, confess that to God and set your heart to depend on him. Surrender to the Lord’s plans and purpose. Remember to give thanks in all things. When struggles or conflicts arise be deliberate in your obedience. Trust the word of the Lord and wait on God instead of launching out to fight your own battles.
You must speak in line with your faith. Always speak according to the vision that God has set for your life. Learn to speak strategically: in line with your faith, the vision God has set, and the perfect timing of your life. Soon you will begin to eat the fruit of your labor.
Ultimately, what you say is critical to your life and success; therefore, speak skillfully and strategically.
Finally, be assured that God’s plan for your life is well within reach. Your extraordinary life of success and fulfillment is attainable…you must speak it!
Blessings to you!
As I promised on Sunday, here is the second installment of Powerful Words. It is important that we recognize our words have power, but knowing how to harness the power of your words leads you to extraordinary living. If you haven’t read Part I, reading it first might help Part II make more sense. If you are all caught up, meditate on this for a few days and I’ll post the final installment later this week.
2. Understand when to speak life
This one might be a little easier than number one, but it is just as important to be able to differentiate between your desires and the will of God. If they are one and the same, that is great. If not, surrender to what he says.
For example, when facing a challenging situation you might be tempted to declare that it is over, done irreparable; however, the Lord declares that he is a very present help. He declares that you will be victorious and prevail over the situation. Instead of cursing the situation, you must declare that He will never give you more than you can handle. In every temptation there is a way of escape. When you begin to speak these types of life-giving words they will inspire you to perform actions that correspond to words of faith. Speaking life isn’t just about speaking what you want, but about knowing what God wants and declaring that over a situation. You were created to produce good fruit in great abundance. Don’t settle for a little life, but speak according to the abundant life God has promised. Remember God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all you can think or imagine.
Apply these two truths: Begin to understand when to speak life and when to speak death. This can be accomplished by engaging in prayer, studying the Scriptures, and through the guidance and advice of spiritual leaders. When you have a done those things make decisions and be confident in the actions you must take. Speak ending to things that have served their purpose or are no longer fruitful and speak life into things that need inspiration.
3. Eliminate words of doubt
Faith-filled speech is essential to the unlocking the power of God. God moves in our lives first, according to his plan and then our needs. Speaking words of doubt emanate from fear. Fear does not come from God and can be combated by exercising your ability to do something; remembering that you are loved by God; and finally, realizing you have been trained to walk by faith and not by sight. Always speak and act based on your confidence in God. Words of doubt steal your faith and make it impossible to do that which pleases God.
Apply this truth: Understand that words are an outward expression of your inward belief. Stop and listen to the words that you say. What are they really saying you believe? Take some time to build your faith and speak accordingly.
Your words are powerful and full of purpose. Every word you speak stands as a catalyst for your success or a snare that keep you from accomplishing your goals. Proverbs 16:11 stays, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” This means the words you speak will shape your experiences. You shall have what you speak. With so much riding on what you say, it is critical to understand how your words might inadvertently be sabotaging your success.
The words you speak are literally an expression of your faith. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” What you say reflects what you believe. Recall that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Believers are called to live by faith; subsequently, they should speak according to their faith. Sounds simple, but if it were as easy to apply as to say everybody would be doing it.
Lining your words up with the will of God requires a little wisdom and lot of understanding. It is more than mental agreement. Most Christians have heard they can “speak those things that be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). It’s probably not even a stretch to say that many have even said something like “I will have what I say.” Yet for most the words that come from these thoughts continue to be statements not realized experience. Having what you speak is more than simply being led by your own desires. It is intrinsically tied to knowing the will of God. Knowing the will of God allows you to speak with confidence and assurance. There is an additional spiritual truth to touch here; that is, God watches over his word to perform it. What you speak literally, unleashes activity in your life. Remember also, that “God’s word will not return unto him void, but it shall accomplish what he sent it out to do and prosper in the thing to which he sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). In order to rightly apply this principle you must understand the spiritual truth, discerning the will of God in the situation, and then speak in accordance with God’s revealed truth.
God wants you to succeed. He has given you the power through your words to make that happen. You must commit to leveraging the power of your words. You can change your life and you can live a life of unparalleled success and fulfillment. Over the next four days, I’ll share strategies that will help you understand how to use the power of your words more effectively in order to experience life the way God intended.
1: Understand when to speak death.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” but you must know when to do which. There are times in your life when you need to speak life and there are times when you must speak death. This truth may be difficult to grasp because often believers are trained in a spiritual atmosphere that inadvertently promotes a fear of using the word death. The word is often equated with negativity and doubt. Yet, Jesus spoke death to the fig tree because it was not producing the fruit it was intended to produce even though it looked pretty. Jesus didn’t want to simply see a beautiful fig tree. He wanted to eat. The unfruitful tree was not producing fruit so he got rid of it. The lesson to be learned from the Master is this, be alert to those things in your life that should be producing something and are not. You need not be afraid to bring things to an end. As you pursue your purpose and live the life God ordained for you, get comfortable with endings. Recognize a lack of productivity and cut it off. You must recognize that these things will only take up space in your life and not add any value. Don’t be afraid to speak death. Not randomly, but with skill and precision.
It’s January and everybody is embarking on some great new adventure. Many of my clients ended last year talking about new ideas, new goals, and big dreams. It is exciting to coach women on the road to extraordinary living; yet, I find that I spend just about as much time coaching them on developing a correct faith perspective as I do on reaching their goals. Biblically speaking, what you think governs what you say and what you say determines what you will do and have.
Extraordinary living requires that your actions flow from the outworking of pure faith. But here’s the catch, you can’t actually live an extraordinary life without aligning your thoughts with the word of God. So in the spirit of the New Year, here are a few resolutions you can declare to get you on your way to aligning your faith, words and actions. Let’s make 2014 your best year yet.
Resolution 1: I will be willing to change. It is okay to change. Your life right now is the sum total of decisions that you have made. Regardless of what has or has not been done for you, you have the power to make a choice. You can’t always control your situation, but you can control how you respond. If something isn’t working, be willing to make a change. You have the power to change and the permission to do it. If things are not going as you want them to go, take responsibility and start making some different choices. Forget about yesterday and start fresh today. Living an extraordinary life doesn’t just happen, it takes deliberate action. “Brethren I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13 -14
Resolution 2: I will choose my advisors wisely. Well meaning people will always offer you advice, but you must learn to keep it in perspective. Sometimes their advice isn’t based on experience, but good intentions. Recognize that sometimes your dream is bigger than their experience and imagination. Listen and heed the advice of those who have traveled the road you’re on successfully. Learn to separate encouragement from strategy. If you want to live an extraordinary life seek advice, guidance, and counsel from those who live one. If you want to develop a powerful prayer life take counsel from someone who prays and gets results. The truth is you might need a coach, mentor, or trusted advisor. Decide now to invest in yourself and your future by connecting to those who can truly help you move from ordinary to extraordinary. Seek help, advice, coaching and mentorship from those who can help you rise to the next level. “Counsel in the heart man is life deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Proverbs 20:5
Resolution 3: I will take care of myself. This is not a narcissistic forget everybody else in the world mentality, but the reality that you serve others best when you are rested, focused, and refreshed. As a mom of four, I can attest to the fact that my children were somehow much more beautiful after I had spent a day at the spa or having quiet time in the library. Take time out for yourself without guilt. Let it be your time to recharge and realign yourself with the Father. It’s not so much what you do; but that you do it intentionally and that the activity refreshes you. “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Resolution 4: I will be positive. Positivity gives you a wider perspective and opens your mind up to opportunities. Negativity has devastating effects on you. It creates anxiety, fear, and doubt. Not only that, but negative people have a huge impact on your energy, joy, and most of all your momentum. So be deliberate in the guarding of your thoughts as well as the company you keep. Extraordinary living doesn’t come without enduring some level of hardship, but choosing to be positive pays big dividends. Life doesn’t always seem perfect, but you have a perfect God on your side. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Resolution 5: I will take incredible action towards my dreams and goals. Faith without works is dead. That just about says it all, but this year resolve to take action. Do something more than talk about it. My clients will often say, I ‘m not sure if I should do this… or if I should do that. I remind them that work produces purpose. Your deliberate action shows a commitment which gains the attention of heaven. You must believe God will help you. You must understand that you don’t have to be perfect, but that you can continue to improve over the course of time. It is the fear of not being perfect that often keeps us from even starting, but don’t let the desire to be perfect keep you stuck. This year resolve to start. Start small. Start knowing that you can change, refine or even refocus as you gain wisdom. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase. Job 8:7.
Resolution 6: I will accept help. This is a special one because women often have a lot on their plates and want get it all done. The tendency to set incredible standards and then try to accomplish it all alone can lead to frustration, disappointment and discouragement; not to mention exhaustion. The truth is you don’t have to do it all or all by yourself. Learn to graciously accept help from others. Remember that God cares enough to send people to help you. You’ve prayed about it now embrace it. Over the years, I’ve also learned that accepting help truly expands your influence. So whether its help in your home, help with a project at work or help with the kids remember that your ability to expand your influence is multiplied when there is someone else on your team. “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9
Resolution 7: I will share my gifts, talents, and resources with others. God has tied tremendous blessings to giving. Although the principle is simple: give and you will receive; here’s a paradigm shift, it‘s not just your giving in church that God blesses. Giving to others, organizations and worthy causes is important. So, decide this year to give. Take a step of faith and give outside of your normal circle. Don’t worry about the amount you give just do it from the heart. In fact you may find that in addition to monetary gifts, there is a need for the gift of your time and talent. All giving has value and adds value to the lives of others. People need what you have and the world waits for you to release the fruit of your extraordinary life. Remember you are blessed to be a blessing. “Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38
So, which of these resolutions will you choose for the New Year as you embark on extraordinary living? I’d love to hear your comments.