By Lucia M. Claborn
I’m excited about this topic and want you to know that I’m not the expert on it by any means, but I’ve learned what works for me and would like to share it with you. In Hosea 4:6, the Word tells us that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” I want to not only bring knowledge, or information; but I want to bring revelation because knowledge alone puffs up with pride, (1 Corinthians 8:1) but revelation brings change to lives.
I’m going to share some tools that will help you fulfill your dreams so you can succeed by laying the foundation of your future; getting a plan; and speaking the Word of god over your plan to create your future.
How do you do this? The first step is to lay the foundation. We do this by getting a vision. King James says in Proverbs 29:18, “God’s people perish for lack of vision.” The Message Bible reads, “If people can’t see what God is doing; they stumble all over themselves, but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed.” You may not have lost your dream or your vision, but you may have let life crowd in on you and you’ve lost your focus.
That was me a couple months ago, and if that you, I want to encourage you that your life can get back on track. If you’re not in the struggling category, simply pass this on to a friend who may be struggling, or file it for later when life catches you off guard.
Have you lost sight of your vision, purpose, goals, dreams? Are you discouraged? Has the “I can’t” or “why try any more?” mentality crept in on you? Do you have a “settle for” mentality? Are you making excuses why things aren’t working for you? Are you procrastinating or have you become complacent? All these are tools Satan uses to keep you from fulfilling God’s plan for your life.
The good news is, God has given you a new song—whether you know it or not! Psalm 96:1 says, “O sing unto the Lord a new song for He hath done marvelous things. His right hand and His holy arm hath gotten Him the victory.”
If you’re discouraged, sing a new song. If you don’t have one, ask God to give you one. Why not pull yourself up and try again? Do you know Satan loves to bring past failures and disappointments to your mind on a consistently, constant basis…especially when you want to try again and step out to reach your goals and fulfill your dreams?
As we look to renew our vision or dream, or create a new one, often times we look back to our past to get direction for our future. This is not the smartest thing to do because we can’t run into the future dragging our past behind us!
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. Imagine you have three huge pieces of luggage. I’m going to share about myself since I know me better than you. However, you can recall things from your past to fit the examples I’m giving. These bags are going to represent my past failures – wrong thoughts, wrong words, wrong actions.
When the enemy brings wrong thoughts, words or actions we have the choice to either accept them to reject them. In the past, you may have just accepted them. Up until now, you may not have known you have a choice as to what you accept from the devil, but I’m here to tell you , you have a choice!
Let’s talk about Bag Number One. It represents my wrong thoughts called lies that the enemy brings such as, no one likes me, look at what a mess I’ve made of things, I don’t like this person, she doesn’t like me, they’re talking about me, and the list goes on and on. Imagine strapping that bag onto your back.
Bag Number Two represents my wrong words; thoughts that I’ve meditated on, put in my heart and allowed to come out of my mouth (out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks) – gossip, giving someone a piece of my mind, speaking contrary to what the Word of God says about me, putting myself down in front of others, and the list goes on and on. Imagine putting this bag on your shoulder.
Bag Number Three represents my wrong actions; being rude, being offended, walking in strife, giving someone an ugly look, cutting someone off while driving, racing to a parking space, not speaking to someone, not honoring my spouse, children, or parents, entering into wrong relationships, mistakes in my finances that I think can’t be fixed, and the list goes on and on. Imagine putting this bag around your leg.
At this point you may be asking yourself, “How can I ever go forward without making a mistake again and then having more baggage pile on me?
We can’t move forward with the past holding us in bondage. We aren’t designed to carry out past failures and disappointment into our today. Philippians 3:13b and 14 reads, “but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of god in Christ Jesus.”
It’s by God’s grace we move forward, and I’ll show you how to move forward. As you get into God’s Word, find His promises for your situation, learn it, meditate on it, and make it yours. Then you can speak that word with belief and conviction. Don’t speak it until you believe it with all your heart and your very being or Satan will eat your lunch! Jesus takes our old failures, shortcomings and disappointments away. Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us that “We’re a new creation in Christ Jesus, old things are passed away.”
We have to mentally draw a line in the sand so to speak. As you are standing right where you are with these bags hanging on your body, draw a line on the floor ad say, “Father God, it’s in the authority of the Name of Jesus that I choose not to act this way any more and I ask you to help me, give me grace to walk through this situation and get it out of my life. Now, take each bag off yourself, place it on the floor, and step across the threshold into your new found victory. It’s that simple! You’re free!
Back to 2 Corinthians 5:17, let me give you another illustration. I’m a new creature in Christ Jesus. I take off my old nature – my old thoughts, actions, shortcomings, failures, and disappointments – and I put on the new nature of Jesus Christ. My past is in the past and it’s not going to destroy my today or my future.
You see, we don’t need to take the lemons the devil gives us and pet them, stroke them, baby them, and watch them grow and produce a harvest of more lemons. Instead, we need to take those lemons, add some sugar – the sweetness of God’s Word – and make lemonade. As we drink that sweet lemonade, which is renewing our minds with the Word of God, we will gain strength and we can mentally draw a line in the sand, throw off that old baggage the enemy has put on us, and put on the new self!
Now that we have a new, clean foundation, you may ask yourself what’s the next step? The answer is easy, know what you want. The dictionary defines a goal as the purpose toward which an endeavor is directed, an end or an objective. Dream is defined as an aspiration or ambition. Before we can speak to our goals and dreams, we have to know what they are. On a side note, I like what Benjamin Mays says…”The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”
Just because your goals and dreams don’t match up with someone else’s doesn’t make them wrong, it simply means god has given you different goals and dreams specifically for you to fulfill. We all have different goals and dreams and we shouldn’t criticize someone else because they don’t have the same goals and dreams as we do. We need to encourage them to set their own goals and dreams, and pursue them.
Back to the question, “Where do I begin, how do I start or restart my dream?” It’s simple, get a plan. My solution to everything situation is “GET A PLAN OF ACTION!” The Four Step Plan of Success will work for you if you will stay focused. The first step is to know what you want. Get God’s promise – His Word, a specific verse – to base your success on and write it down. Two of my favorite verses are Habakkuk 2:2-3, “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets, then he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” The Message Bible reads, “And then God answered: “Write this: Write what you see. Write it out in big, black letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming: it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on it’s way. It will come right on time.”
If you don’t know what you want, write down what you don’t want, determine the opposite and write it down!
The second step is to know what you are willing to give up temporarily – write it down. Deny the lesser to achieve the greater goal and know that when you give something up temporarily you will have more of it once you have reached your goal.
Step three will help you put the wheels in motion. Create a plan. Pray; ask God to help you create the plan to get what you want. Write it down! Now that you have a plan, work your plan. Speak the Word over your plan and speak life over your plan.
Step four is to associate with people who are where you want to be in life. Step out of your comfort zone and talk to those people who know what you want to know and are where you want to be in life. You can do it! Be bold!
Once you get you plan, get focused! Focus on the prize – your goals and dreams. Begin each new day with a quiet time with the Holy Spirit who knows God’s game plan for that day. Write down what He tells you to do, and how he wants you to do it. Write it all down; clear your mind, use a daily to-do list, surround yourself with great (focused) people, and get rid of the hindrances in your life. You’ll want to check your list, your instructions, and then go back and re-read it, meditate on it, put action to your plan, and watch it come to pass.
Along with being focused, determine your self-discipline habits. It’s easy to do what you need to do when someone is watching over you, however, what do you do when no one is watching? That the real test of self-discipline and it goes hand in hand with creating habits.
Sow a thought and you will reap an act. Sow an act and you’ll reap a habit. Sow a habit and you’ll reap character. Sow character and you’ll reap a destiny.
To this point, I’ve talked about laying a foundation – laying aside past failure and disappointments to enable you to rekindle your vision, dreams and goals; I’ve talked about establishing a plan of action and getting focused. Now, I’m going to talk about the creative power of speaking the Word of God over your dreams and goals to create your future.
I said earlier that up until now, you may not have known you have a choice as to what you accept from the devil. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to accept anything from him. Ask yourself, “How do I know if this is from the devil?” I’m glad you asked! Here’s a simple test, run your thoughts or situations through John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; but Jesus come to give us life and life more abundantly.”
Genesis Chapter One tells us God spoke a word and the world came into existence. In Genesis 1:28 God gives us the Law of Six when he blessed us, told us to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and rule over the earth. This is the authority God has given to us.
In Deuteronomy 30:19 God tells us to choose life. “I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today; I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live.” This is your instruction to speak words of life!
In Mark 4:3-8 Jesus teaches about the Parable of the Sower. “Listen. What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled among the weeds and nothing came of it. Some fell on good earth and came up with a flourish, producing a harvest exceeding his wildest dreams.” This parable teaches about sowing and the principal is true for the Word of God, money, time, kindness, whatever you sow you will have a harvest according to the soil you plant the seeds into.
If you have ever doubted the power of your words, read Mark 4:3. “Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing n it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.” Just as Jesus’ words had power over the fig tree, our words have power over our situations because Jesus has given us that authority.
In Mark 11:22-24, Jesus tells us we can have what we say. “Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. The mountain for instance: Just say, “Go jump in the lake; – no shuffling or shilly-shallying – and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking.”
If you are facing situations that make you struggle or are contrary to God’s Word you can “call those things which are not as thought they are.” (Romans 4:17) And finally, “Hold fast your confession of faith” as Hebrews 10:35 tells us to do, until you see your dreams and goals come to pass.
The final step is to walk in faith. Water your seed with your praising, rejoicing, and singing of His power and mighty deeds until it manifests in your life. You see the importance of words in our lives. Just act like the Bible is true and take Him at his Word.
Now, let’s put this information into action! Take a few minutes to get quiet before God. Repent, take off your old self, put on the new you! You are a winner in God’s eyes. Ask God to give you a new or renewed vision, dreams, and goals so you can work toward them. Make it bigger than you so you can see God do above and beyond what you think you can do in and of yourself. This gets God’s anointing into your life! Write it down! According to a Harvard study, 95% of the things you write down come to pass.
You are a winner! You can create your desired future and make your dreams come true by the power of speaking the right words – faith-filled words! Start now and fulfill the destiny God is calling you into.