2 Kings 2:9-10 “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me. And Elijah said, What you have asked is a hard thing.”
It doesn’t matter what arena of life you want success in, there is a price to be paid. The price comes back to are you willing to do the hours, develop the knowledge, acquire the skills and practice delayed gratification. If your goal is to grow closer to God, then put in the hours of prayer, bible reading and worship. If your goal is to build wealth, get control of your spending, save diligently and invest wisely. If your goal is to be fit and healthy, develop more consistent sleep patterns, exercise daily and improve your nutrition. Anything worth achieving in life requires an investment on your part. If you’re dissatisfied with your current results, change your approach and make the commitment to become the best you can be with whatever resources and opportunities are currently in front of you. Success in anything is a hard thing but the reward is worth it. Pay the price now, so you can play later!
Song of Solomon 2:15 Catch the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyard. I ran from Sydney to Melbourne and raised $160k for my local church in 2008. It was a monumental challenge and was not helped by my little toe on my left foot turning black and getting pancaked for 1,172km. It didn’t matter how fit I was, the tiniest thing became my biggest issue. The same principle applies in life. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference and if you don’t pay attention to them, they will take you out. The challenge is many of us think we can take shortcuts with the little things and get away with it, however, you ignore them at your own peril. What are the little foxes in your world stealing the fruitfulness from your vineyard of life, work and health? Identify them and catch them before they spoil your vineyard.
Matthew 6:6 And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Our culture conditions us to look for outward signs of success, whether that be money, possessions or achievement. But these things are only one measurement of what it might look like for you to be successful. What success might look like to one person could look different to someone else. That’s why we need to come to our own conclusions about it is we are actually aiming for in life. God gives us another definition of success and that is “obedience” to the call he has given us to fulfill. Obedience is not a popular concept in a world of free will and personal autonomy but it’s an eternal concept that bears upon our future reality when we die. Our current choices have consequences both in this life and the next. Whilst people may applaud our external accomplishments the true secret to success is found in what we do away from the eyes of the world around us. No champion boxer was made in the ring but in the gym. No superstar musician was made on the stage but in the studio. From Gods perspective, it’s what we do behind the scenes, where nobody can see us, that defines who we are and what we are rewarded with. Elevate your view of success and find purpose in a relationship with God. Ultimately, we receive what we achieve based on Gods grace and our willingness to do what’s required in the secret place, when nobody is looking.
Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Many of us want to increase ‘much by much’ but for the majority of us, this isn’t the reality of how we grow. Most of us experience increase in life one increment at a time. It’s the day in and day out of pursuing the basics that brings ultimate increase and fruitfulness to our lives. Little by little may not be sexy but it works. As the old adage says, “you eat an elephant one bite at a time.” Break your big goals down into small steps and tackle them little by little. Whether it be a financial goal, like purchasing your first house or a fitness goal, like running a marathon, you have to begin with the end in mind and then work backwards, tackling your goal, little by little. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish by doing little by little, day in and day out. You will build momentum and what may seem slow at the start will eventually become an avalanche. Don’t be hasty and don’t be impatient. Focus your energy on building your life little by little!
We are a culture enamored with changing the external, thinking if we change our jobs, image and relationships that our lives will be happier. We have TV shows that promote this ideology and the web is saturated with images and stories of people who proclaim to be happier because they lost weight, made a million dollars or bought their dream car. Whilst being healthy, prospering and achieving life goals are admirable and meaningful pursuits by themselves, they might only make you 10% happier at best. Real change happens from the inside out. Romans 12:2 exhorts us to not be conformed to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. As we meditate upon those things that are godly, excellent and life giving, our minds are renewed to think like our creator and our spirits come into alignment with Gods perspective on our lives. If you desire an extreme makeover in 2016, begin with renewing your mind with the truth of Gods Word and you will discover you’ll be happier far beyond anything this world can offer you.
“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7)
Everything in God’s creation, He created by the words of his mouth with the only exception being us. He created us by reaching down into the dirt of the earth and forming us in his image. Thus, every one of us have God’s fingerprints all over us. Dirt doesn’t seem very appealing but when you plant a seed in it, that seed will eventually produce life. God has planted seeds of blessing in every one of us. You may not be able to see the blessings God has planted on the inside of you but the seed within you has potential within it to produce life. It’s just buried at the moment. You need to water it, nurture it and have the courage to let God bring the seed forth out of the dirt of your life.