Satan cannot stop what God has started unless you let him; he will try to stop you. Jesus said:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” John 10:10 NKJV
Many people do not recognize when they are being attacked because they are focused on what people may or may not be doing. But the thief, Satan, comes to stop you from fulfilling your goals (kill), take away your peace and joy (steal), and sabotage your relationships (destroy). Directly with attacks on your finances, health, emotional well being or indirectly by attacking your loved ones if it means stopping you from moving forward he will do it.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation of shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV
The bad stuff is not from God, it is Satan doing his best to stop you from reaching the blessings God has for you. However, if you don’t quit you will have what God has assigned to you. Yes, it is hard particularly when you are in the middle of a health or financial crisis.
As Christians we must remember to keep our eyes on Jesus. We must know and subsequently remember God’s words and His promises. It is because of Jesus that Satan cannot stop you.
“Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
There are over 1 thousand reasons why you can’t do something but only one reason why you can: because it is what you were meant to do. When a person says “I can’t” it should be because they don’t have time: “I can’t go to the movies with you I am doing some research and a movie would delay my progress.”
One of the things I have to do when I am motivating myself is to stay away from discouraging people. For every five minutes of conversation I have with one of these personality types I spend a half a day reminding myself that they do not know everything. It is a problem because I know a lot of negative speaking people, they do not do it intentionally but they do it.
Many of the people I speak to have a victim attitude in which they believe “they won’t let” them accomplish a goal. This popular theme associated with lack of success is supported by the large number of organization designed to validate victimhood: American Civil Liberties Union (though they occasionally do right a wrong), Rainbow Coalition, NAACP, National Organization for Women and any other program that is designed to remind people of their gender, skin color or lifestyle. Far to many people have grown up hearing about how one culture keeps another culture down; if you are the suppressor you are suppose to feel guilty, if you are the suppressed you are a victim and will not be able to succeed. The good news is there are numerous people who ignored “they” and became successful despite their words, behaviors and ideologies.
I don’t know anyone who does not put off doing what they dream of doing it is called procrastination. There are lots of reasons why we procrastinate: “I can’t,” “they won’t let me,” or “now is not a good time.” The truth is people are afraid and do not want to face their fear.
Fear is at the basis of many peoples inactivity. In order to fulfill your God given talent and maximize your potential you have to step out of your comfort zone and live. You must share your identity, often with people who do not know you but will judge you without the foundation of a loving relationship, and face possible rejection. All do not think you are so great and your ideas, in their opinion, may suck! Failure is the foundation for success fear stops you from failing.
You destroy yourself by giving into the opinions of the world. By allowing the media and various organizations tell you that you are a victim because you are: female, African-American, Latino, Hispanic, or whatever you set yourself up for failure. Victims must become victors in order to live victoriously. It is amazing the number of Bible quoting Christians who fall victim of the same mindset and avoid success with self destructive words and activities.
Failing is a part of success, you will not know what works until you discover what does not work. If your first marriage was a disaster- you know what does not work in a relationship. I was in six different multi-level marketing businesses that did not work however I knew that I wanted to own my own business so despite the opinions of others I started my own business- those failures taught me: 1) what I did not know 2) what I do not want to do and 3)gave me excellent experience.
There really is no such thing as an overnight success, you have to be willing to dedicate time and energy into doing what it is you want to do. Not everyone wins the lottery, you will not be an instant millionaire chances are if you are starting a business you will be in the negative for a year a two.
As a writer the quarterly royalty checks are barely enough to put gas in my tank. This is the reality of competing with thousands of other writers in a market in which there are very few people who want to read “clean” fiction or non-fiction that stimulates thought. Five years after my first novel was published: THE TRUTH ABOUT VASHTAI, I am not discouraged. I am a writer even if other people see me as the woman who sells soy candles, homemade soap and quilts.
My message to you: Just do what you do and stop listening to people who have yet to reach their own potential. No matter who you are, where you started, or how you got to where you are now as a child of God you can do all things THROUGH Christ if you keep your eyes on Him. This is what I am doing- SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
You have to be able to imagine yourself achieving – doubt is a motivational killer. You should not depend on anyone to encourage you, support you or even be there when you really need him; I am not saying friends will not be there- just don’t depend on them. We can all motivate ourselves when things are going at least OK but when difficulties arise and the words of that best friend become cliche’ doubt can lead to discouragement which may lead to quitting.
I stopped making budgets years ago, everyone I ever made was a failure, now I develop spending plans. Budgets tell me what I cannot do whereas spending plans tell me what I should do.
Goals to me are like mandates: in 3 weeks you have to do this, in 6 weeks you have to do that. I suck at goals! I tried, I really tried when I was part of a business venture that had goals. I just could not do what was expected according to the time frame given.
I think people write goals according to what “they” say. When I was an Independent Sells Representative for a company that focused on things women were interested in I was my best customer. I did not achieve the next level in a year, which is what I was told was possible if I achieved specific goals. I did not sell the specific number of products which would allow me to bring in a comfortable income and I only had one party which was a flop! I was lousy at selling and knowing what I know now I understand why; I never SAW MYSELF as a sells person.
YOU CANNOT MOTIVATE YOURSELF TO DO SOMETHING YOU DON’T SEE YOURSELF DOING!
There is something about following your God given dreams that will keep your going during the worst of times. It is hard to motivate yourself when you hate what you are doing; God will never tell you to do something you hate. You may, however, have to do something that you don’t like for a season.
I was an LPN for over 20 years and I did not like it but I always knew that I would not always be a nurse and that was my motivation. I discovered many years ago my purpose according to God’s plan for me even when I was not doing what I knew I was destined to do the idea of it was my motivating factor.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
To many people settle for “good enough” because they do not know how to motivate themselves to get to where they once dreamed of going. Years of failed life budgets have resulted in self positioned obstacles that block the vision. The obstacles are excuses:
We lock ourselves in ideas of methodology that prevent the ability to make course corrections. It is important to develop a plan of action it is equally important to admit when a plan is not working.
We allow distractions to take us off our path. There will always be something else that needs attention- that’s life. Opportunities to do something different will occur. Friends, family, television, telephone calls, social media and invitations to special events can take us off task.
We seek validation from people who don’t share the dream. It is unfair and a waste of time to expect other people to fully participate in our dream.
Listening to the experts. Seeking professional advice is a good thing however it is important to tailor plans to reflect individual uniqueness. Not being able to do something exactly like the expert suggested can lead to discouragement.
We become too consumed with the goal and get out of balance. Neglecting our health, putting off family time, and not spending time to rest and reflect will lead to frustration.
Not enjoying the journey. Quitting is easier when your goals do not support your vision.
“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 NKJV
Expecting instant gratification is a vision killer. I Knew in 1996 that I was going to be a writer but because I was taking Ministry classes I thought I would be writing non-Fiction. My first book was fiction: THE TRUTH ABOUT VASHTAI published in 2010. In 1996 I did not know: what a blog was, I did not have a laptop, I knew nothing about self publishing nor did I know how to incorporate what I do into a how-to book. It took time to develop the vision and it I am seeing more detail everyday.
A final observation regarding finding your motivation:
YOU CANNOT MOTIVATE YOURSELF WITHOUT REMEMBERING GOD’S PROMISES
Faith is the life plan glasses that will give you the 20/20 vision needed. There is a set time, an appointed time as to when you will reach your destiny. If you cannot enjoy the journey then you might be on the wrong path.
The Bible says: Whom the Lord chastens He loves. I remember back in my “I’m really really really Christian” days I and my sisters in Christ would brag about how “God” was straightening us out! We thought God would take us to the shed and get us! We even prayed that God would go “get” so-and-so! But then I learned that God’s love was not like man’s love and so I had to rethink Hebrews 12:6: “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (NKJV)
The Voice translation is a bit more palatable: “For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He corrects each one He takes as His own.” (Hebrews 12:6 The Voice) I can understand discipline better than chastening and correcting better than scourging! Father God is not an abuser He is love. He will allow us to suffer the consequences of our actions and teach us the right way through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16). Good thing I am a follower of Christ and not a follower of the church.
RAMBLING #2 MOTIVATION
I changed churches not because it was not a wonderful place- it is, I just needed, really really really needed, a deeper study of God’s word. I have been going through some serious stuff and 10 in 10 was not going to cut it FOR ME. (Notice I said for me.) I use to be a regular participant in Les Browns Monday evening motivational calls it was encouraging but…. My Facebook friends post very encouraging phrases, Bible verses and quotes and I really like them; they are like temporary boost. I record Joel Olsteen on Sunday mornings, his messages are laced with biblical truths and very encouraging. I have not watched the past three Sunday messages- I just don’t have time for jokes. (I love your jokes Joel!) The question is: How motivating is all of this?
Motivational words, messages, can be like a cup of coffee, something to jump start your day but it will not sustain you.
I still listen to Andrew Wommack Ministries, I can listen to the same message over and over and over and over again and still learn something. Last night I attended Vision 101 which would be the equivalent of the New Members class in most churches. I was reminded of the importance of vision: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18 KJV
The problem with motivational messages: you have to be motivated to do something. If your life is a mess you need to ask: Are you being motivated to stay in your mess? Les Brown is very good at encouraging people to keep going despite the circumstances BUT his messages are based on people knowing where they are going. Many people think they have a vision but they are perishing.
“Where there is no vision from God, the people run wild, but those who adhere to God’s instruction know genuine happiness. Proverbs 29:18 The Voice
You can sit in a church Sunday after Sunday, attend Bible study classes, listen to all the motivational speakers you want it will not help if you are not headed in the direction God wants you to go in.
RAMBLING #3 MOVING ON
Moving on is easier said than done especially if there is emotion invested. It is hard to leave a job that you have been working at for years if you loved what you do. It is exciting yet sad when you move out of your childhood home into your own home for the first time. Divorce, death and other life events can force change. But there are other times when you need to move on but you feel it is optional.
I often tell a woman who is mistreated / abused by her husband that she can love him from afar. If you are married to a man who hurts you (emotionally or physically) then he has it backwards. He is supposed to love you “…just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her”( Ephesians 5:25 NKJV). Jesus loved us before we were born, while we are here on this earth and He will continue to love us- He does not have a bad day. You have got to move on- hard as it is to make that first step you can.
At some point a child is suppose to grow up and get out, unfortunately, children have become a part of many parents life plan. We are suppose to raise (train) our children in the way that he (or she) should go (Proverbs 22:6 KJV)- the operative word being “GO.” Far to many parents have dedicated their lives to their children and do not encourage their children to leave the nest. To be a responsible adult you have to have responsibility.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NIV
Sometimes you can rebuild but you have to know if where you are now is where you need to stay. Other times you have to know when enough is enough.
God is not punishing you so don’t stay in a mess. Motivational speeches are good but when you are doing what God called you to do there is no need to listen to those early morning calls.
Develop a vision for your life, know what God wants you to do and do it. This will mean that you have to move on but it is OK. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NKJV) RAMBLINGS COMPLETE!
We start out in life full of enthusiasm and ideas and then we fail. Those of us who have big ideas fail and fail and fail and fail again. The reason we fail so much is because we are in unfamiliar territory that is outside of our comfort zone.
Achieving is a personal journey do not expect the support or company of friends or loved one. Often it is the very people you know who will be the ones who are trying to talk you out of pursuing your goals. If you began this journey with faith in God through Jesus you will discover an internal motivation that keeps you going despite the nay-sayers. Success comes if you go after the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Jesus will never leave you and the Holy Spirit will help you.
As a follower of Jesus you are not alone yet you must believe in yourself. Are you determined enough to move forward despite the discomfort of being in unfamiliar territory? Continuing to go after your goals is difficult particularly when those around you advise you to quit. When the people who you thought were going to be there for you are no longer there are you willing to keep moving? When those you trust stop believing in you, though they may not put it in those words, quitting becomes easier than moving on. The longer it takes to achieve the less support you will receive.
There is a difference between dreaming and going after a dream. Children dream dreams; people who want to be successful establish plans inspired by a dream. Your big ideas are not bigger than God. You are limited only by what you believe. You will never fail if you just dream.
Many people I know, myself included, have spent 2014 being busy. As I think of those individuals I know the works they have done have been good works. Unfortunately, some of the activity I have done as well as those others have done, as purposeful and good as they may have been, were not God works.
– God will not keep your agenda so full that you neglect your health.
– God will not keep you so busy that you neglect your spouse.
– God will not have you traveling so much that you neglect your family.
– God will never call you to do something that will prevent you from spending time with Him.
A few months ago I found myself forgetting little things, neglecting some things and not feeling like doing other things, my plate was too full. I took a few days of doing nothing but spending time with Father God and made a list of all the things I do. Slowly but surely with the help of the Holy Spirit I began to see why some of my works, though good, were not things I did not need to do.
Today I still have a full schedule but it is a manageable one. I changed the agencies I work for so that I could focus on a specific market, those who need Final Expense Planning. Freeing up work hours without decreasing my income has allowed me to dedicate more time to writing and serving. The result of tweaking my schedule is free time, time to do absolutely nothing and not be worried about what was not done.
Beginning today it is important to evaluate ALL of your activities. I am sure the things you do have great value and you do it because no one else will; if God does not tell you to do it don’t do it. There are times when an opportunity to do something exciting comes up and you cancel one activity to do the other; stop! Playing catch-up is how you get overwhelmed; honor your commitments but do not commit to anything new until you give yourself that needed down time.
Finally, a lot of your activities are not God works and but good works. It is import to examine your motives. Know why you volunteered for that activity. Is it because of the recognition you will receive? Understand why you are busy from sunrise to sunset. Are you afraid to be alone? Are you lonely and want to fill the time? Are you avoiding a relational issue? Good works are bad works if they prevent you from doing God works. In 2015 dedicate yourself to stop doing good works and start doing God works.
December is the month I start reading my Bible, if I am going to read it from Genesis to Revelation. I started reading the Expanded Bible in its’ entirety December 20011 and I am still reading it, I am not in a hurry. In the past I am usually finished sometime in the summer.
December is also the time when I start working on my goals for the upcoming year. This year in addition to finishing my books: Sister Sharon and Disappointing Hope I am working on my Series 6 licence. Thus I have gone through my 2014 calendar and given myself deadlines. The first week of January I will be taking the exam for my investment license and Sister Sharon should be ready for publication by March 1.
New for my December list is changing the way I eat and exercise. Basically I have been eating what I want and exercising very little. Last month I started physical therapy for a hip problem and I have been obediently exercising at home twice a year which has motivated me to pay attention to the foods I eat.
This may seem like a lot but it is not. I have a plan, a five year plan in fact. This is how I make sure that I do not settle for yesterday’s good news. Some of my goals are flexible, which is why I am still reading the Expanded Bible. Some of my goals have a definite end date: I must get my series 6 license sooner rather than later. Some of my goals are unending, getting healthier and writing. All of my goals are directly related to my purpose in life.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What are you going to do to make in happen? Why are you waiting for January 1 to start?