“They tried to go…but the Spirit did not permit them.” Ac 16.7 NKJV
We’ve all been given individual gifts and goals in life, and God is the giver of both. Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (Jn 3:6 NKJ\/). When you have a desire that’s “born of the flesh,” don’t expect God to fulfill it. It’s okay to admire and learn from gifted, successful people, as long as you don’t try to duplicate them. It’s okay to emulate their good character qualities and seek their input as long as you go to God, the architect of each of our lives, and ask Him to show you His blueprint for your life. Even though David’s desire was to build the temple, God told him his son, Solomon, would ultimately build it. David’s job was to raise the money and materials for the project. If you’re a “make-it-happen” sort of person, that kind of thinking will go against your grain. So read this and think about it: “they were forbidden by the… Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynla, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia… pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Ac 16:6 – 10 NKJV). So let God set your goals and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
“Before you were born I set you apart.” Jer 1:5 NIV
(1) Ask God to tell you who you are. Bookstore shelves are lined with volumes of books telling us that we can be anything we make up our minds to be. And while there’s some truth to that, it’s not the whole truth! A dog may believe it can fly, but if it tries to, it will go ‘splat.’ A fish may believe it can bark, but it’s not going to happen. Bottom line: Dogs and fish may pray, believe, claim, confess, and try all they want, but they won’t succeed. Why? Because God will only empower you to be what He called and equipped you to be. He told Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’ ‘Alas, Sovereign Lord,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am too young.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, I am too young. You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ‘I have put my words in your mouth’” (vv. 5 – 9 N l\/). When God equips you with one talent, He doesn’t give you a five-taIent assignment, and vice versa (See Mt 25:14 – 15). And here’s the great thing: The one-talent person and the five-talent person will one day stand before Him and hear the commendation: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:21 NKJV).
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Pr 3:5 NIV
(2) Trust in God more than in yourself. That doesn’t mean you should go through life doubting and second-guessing yourself, or being afraid to move in case you make a mistake. When you recognize and embrace God’s plan for your life, you tap into the power you need to fulfill it. False humility will handicap you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, and keep you from moving forward. When God called Jeremiah to be a prophet, he protested, “I am a child” (Jer 1:6). But listen to what God told him: “Say not, ‘I am a child’” (v.7). As surely as “the tongue can bring death or life” (Pr 18:21 NLT), you must learn to speak God’s Word over the vision He has given you. Yes, it’s a mistake to think you can play God’s role or that He will play yours. But once you understand your personal assignment and tap into His power, you can start believing for success, regardless of what obstacles may stand in your way. When you know you’re in the will of God, doing what He told you to do, you can stand confidently on these Scriptures: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zec 4:6 NKJV). “One man… shal| chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised” (Jos 23:10 NKJV). “ln the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul” (Ps 138:3 NKJV). You’re not alone today-God is with you!
“I will give men for you, and people for your life.” Isa 43:4 NKJV
(3) Depend on God more than on others. That doesn’t mean you don’t need other people. You do. When God calls someone to do a job, He calls others to stand alongside them. God’s promise is: “I will give men for you, and people for your life.” So ask Him who belongs in your life. In Exodus chapter 17, as long as Moses held his hands up, Israel’s armies prevailed in battle, but when his hands grew tired the battle went the other way. So Aaron and Hur stood by Moses and held up his hands until victory over the Amalekites was complete. You need people who know how to hold up your hands and strengthen you. Paul wrote, “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves… but… Timothy has proved himself” (Php 2:20 – 22 NLT). In fact, Paul took an entire chapter of the Bible to acknowledge and thank all those who made it possible for him to succeed in his calling. He writes about people “who risked their own necks for my life, to whom I not only give thanks, but also all the churches” (Ro 16:4 NKJV). Some of us are stubborn and self-centered; we subscribe to the philosophy, “It’s my way or the highway.” We burn through people, leaving wreckage in our wake. Don’t do it! When God sends gifted people into your life, acknowledge them, respect them, train them, motivate them, and reward them. When you do that, not only will you fulfill your goal, you will create a win/win for everybody.
“My relatives stand afar off.” Ps 38:11 NKJV
(4) Discern who belongs in your life and who doesn’t. One of the toughest parts about reaching your goal is discovering that some of the people closest to you don’t share it or want to be part of it. You can spend years trying to convince them. You may even be able to buy their short-term loyalty, but eventually they’ll leave you, often breaking your heart in the process. Paul wrote, “All those in Asia have turned away from me” (2Ti 1:15 NKJV). “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2Ti 4:10 NKJV). Can’t you hear the heartache and disappointment in his words? And when God gives you a great goal, you may experience the same thing. Somebody said, ‘In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.” How true! When disaster blindsided Job, he said, “All my close friends abhor me, and those whom I love have turned against me” (Job 19:19 NKJV). David’s experience caused him to say, ‘My relatives stand afar off.’ Solomon in his wisdom sums it all up: “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth” (Pr 25:19 NKJV). The truth is that people who don’t respect your goal will detract from it. You can minister to them and try to encourage them with words that strengthen and bless, but if you insist on holding on to them, like an infected tooth, they will end up hurting you. Jesus told His disciples, “if anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet” (Mt 10:14 NIV). In order to reach your God-given goal, sometimes you have to do that.
“Write down the revelation and make it plain.” Hab 2:2 NIV
(5) Put your goals in writing. God told the prophet Habakkuk, “Write down the revelation and make it plain…so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time…Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (vv. 2 – 3 NIV). Note the word “delay,” because it’s not one we particularly like. God can give you a vision overnight, but usually it won’t be fulfilled overnight. You’ll face disappointments, discouragements, and delays. Because your vision always costs more than you estimated, and takes longer than you planned, it can become “blurred” by your circumstances and emotions. That’s why it’s so important to write it down and keep it in front of you! Why did God tell Abraham that his children would be as numerous as the stars in heaven? Because stars are something you can physically look at and count. “Where there is no vision, the people perish [languish and waste away]” (Pr 29:18). The word perish suggests something that’s slowly decaying, and that’s what happens when you don’t keep your God-given vision in front of you. If you’ve dreamed of losing weight, — post a picture that inspires you on your refrigerator. if you dream of one day owning your own home, stick a picture of it on your bulletin board. And if your goal is to give a certain amount to God’s work, write a check for that amount and place it where you’ll see it every day. With a clear-cut written goal, you’ll always know where you are and remember what God has called you to do.
Source: The Word For You Today – SupperChannel55, Orlando, FL, published on October 12 – 17.