Most of us have heroes or role models whom we consider successful. Last week we discussed the role of passion in finding our personal calling or purpose in life (Passion is in Fashion). This week we want to make it a little more practical and outline eight simple steps you can use to make your dream come true. My premise is that it is very possible for you and me to experience personal success. In fact, it is the will of God for us. A coaching module is linked to help you through the eight steps.
The Lord gave him success in everything he did. Gen 39:3 NIV
The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. Gen 39:23 NIV
Whatever he does prospers. Ps 1:3 NIV
Avoiding Success – Most of us have experienced what the Bible calls dead works, where we sincerely give ourselves to God’s plan and later find out God wasn’t really in it. The net result is that believers often retreat into the emotional space of not trying again (failure is too painful). Some go so far as to pretend that God does every good thing; it’s all Him and we don’t really do anything. These are spiritual pacifists who focus on prayer, miracles and the supernatural, but still avoid personal involvement. And there is a third camp where believers try to do the right thing out of the integrity of their heart, absent any expectation of God’s presence, guidance, or any involvement from Him.
I simply want to suggest that we can clearly understand God’s purpose for our lives, and that we can understand his will, both generally and specifically as it pertains to us. Secondly, we can expect Him to walk with us in revelation and miraculous intervention “on occasion.” The bottom line is that we can clearly know God’s direction. It is our responsibility to try as hard as we can to bring that plan to fruition. God is not retreating from the miraculous, and we are not retreating from works. “Spirit-filled” and “Spirit-led” mean we tap our own heart’s desires with diligence, determination, resolve, purpose, willpower, patience, commitment, and persistence. Success is the result of God and me each doing everything we can. Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration.”
Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. Prov 10:4 NIV
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor. Prov 12:24 NIV
The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Prov 13:4 NIV
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Prov 21:5 NIV
You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance 2 Tim 3:10 NIV
The price tag – The cost of success is trying as hard as you can with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation… with the eyes of our heart enlightened (Eph 1:17-18). You and I are the riches of God’s glorious inheritance. Our Father wants us to successfully possess our land. So, we are not just working hard, but we are wisely focused on the specifics of our unique personal calling. We all go through approximately the same progression of events, finding that sphere in the Kingdom where our anointing and success reside. Here’s the progression.
The Progression from Desire to Destiny – What makes people successful? They are really just like us. They are simply the ones who have tried to define their dream and tried to implement it in real life in a way that makes money and makes a difference in the Kingdom. We can do the same. I’ve attached a coaching module containing eight worksheet templates and references for more information on each of the following areas. Please download it for your personal use. The steps below summarize the eight topics. You will find it helpful to print each sheet, find a quiet time, and prayerfully hand write your first draft while the Lord is speaking to you.
1. Purpose and Vision – Write down your life purpose. Why are you here? What is the activity that reflects the deepest desires of your heart, your core character values, the area of your personal passion, and your talents, skills and abilities? Write it down in a paragraph.
2. Goals – with your life’s purpose in mind, what are your goals for the major areas of your life (God, family, vocation / ministry, finances, health, and play). Write them down in the past tense.
3. Heart Boundaries – Most of us have boundaries in our hearts that represent vows from our past which have cemented into ceilings for our future. Changing the beliefs in our hearts about our own identity and potential is a key step of inner healing before we can go to the next level.
4. Affirmations – If we set some lofty goal associated with our life purpose, our mind immediately starts coming up with a list of reasons why it won’t work. If we simply phrase our “affirmations” as questions, we can then meditate on the reasons why those things will come to pass. These “afformations” give our mind a constructive job that builds us up.
5. Team – People who are successful in life are very careful to surround themselves with the help they need. They find those with a similar heart’s desire and work with them to multiply the effect of their mutual dream. It’s a powerful dynamic, both spiritually and practically.
6. Cash flow – Putting our finances in a monthly cash flow format is an essential part of integrating our life plan with reality. Whether it’s personal finances or business finances doesn’t matter. We are stewards of the destiny God has given us and we all have to navigate the real world of making money and converting some of it to ministry. Creating wealth is a spiritual discipline.
7. Schedule – Most of our goals should translate to specific activities that can be put on a schedule with an end date. Planning your next months of achievements goes a long way toward making your life purpose real.
8. A Business Plan – If you treat the stewardship of your life like talents God has given you, making a written plan is an important step in getting your dream off the ground. Writing things down is also a key ingredient in moving your heart’s desires into a real life destiny.
For Kings, “failing to plan” is “planning to fail.” Success is your destiny. Failure is a life of mediocrity, living from paycheck to paycheck while your heart is yearning for something more. It really is a prison and Lord really is knocking at our door with an invitation to something great.
Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. Acts 12:6-10 NIV