God Will Never Leave You nor Forsake You, But You Have a Responsibility Too.

We read in Matthew19:26 and in Mark 10:27 that ‘with God all things are possible’.

God is the creator of all things and nothing is impossible to God, but there are things that God won’t do.

In nugget #41 of his book An Enemy Called Average, John L. Mason says “it is as important to know what God can’t do as to know what He can do”, and then he lists a number of things.

It might be a personal thing, and with no negative intent towards anybody, talking about Almighty God, I prefer to rather refer to things that God won’t do – because He is righteous – than referring to things God ‘can’t do’.

To see John Mason’s list you will have to read it in the book. What I would prefer to discuss is the fact that there are certain things that God won’t do, seeing that we have been given a responsibility too.

Take Responsibility.

Yes, God cannot lie because in the Kings James Version of Titus 1:1-4, the Bible says “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour”.

God cannot change because He says in Malachi 3:6 (NIV) “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed”.

This is where our responsibility starts. We need to read this scripture in context. Read Malachi 3:6-7 (NIV); I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, “says the Lord Almighty”.

You might say ‘yes but Malachi is in the Old Testament and we are not under the Law of Moses anymore”. That is correct, but it does not take away any responsibility on our part. We need to return to the Lord. When we return to the Lord, and abide in Him, we are no longer under the law, but under grace.

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Romans 6:14 (NIV) says “14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

(Romans 6:15-16) 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Reading Malachi 3:7 again, we see that we need to return to God. It is not God who leaves us; it is us who leave God. God cannot (and will not) break His promises and He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). But when we do not abide in Him, we are moving away from His protection.

We cannot live a life of greed and corruption, give in to fear, think we can protect ourselves when we have a healthy bank account, and then blame God if things go wrong.

We also cannot become passive, and think “if it is God’s will He will make me healthy”, or “if it is God’s will, he will get me out of this financial mess”.

The fact that we are saved by grace, and not by our works, does not take away the responsibility that we have. God’s will is made known to us in His Word. We need to pray according to His Word, then speak His Word, and then apply our faith to act in the physical according to what we believe.

Yes, we will miss the point at times, but if we repent and bring it in all honesty before the Lord, He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He will not hold it against us. The price has been paid. We have His forgiveness and we are saved.

Our Responsibility

In Mark 7 Jesus gave an explanation about the fact that it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but rather that what comes out of his mouth. Whatever enters a person from outside, goes to his stomach, not to his heart. He then continued to declare all foods clean (verse 19).

Does that mean that all foods are healthy now? No, if you continue eating junk food there will be consequences. In Leviticus 11 you can read all about clean and unclean (healthy and unhealthy) food. So, does this mean if you eat unclean food, you can’t go to heaven? No, you are saved; it has nothing to do with your salvation. But you cannot say ‘it must be God’s will’ for you to be sickly and you don’t know why, if you continue eating unhealthy foods. There will be consequences here on earth. So you have the responsibility to determine what the quality of your life will be here on earth.

The same goes for when we have sinned. There is no need to start tormenting yourself. The ultimate sacrifice has been made. Repent and sin no more. Rejoice and enjoy life.

When there is only one set of footprints in the sand, it is not because God has left you; it is because He was carrying you.

Don’t Be Passive.

Above HowtownGod created the universe by speaking His Word. The Word became flesh (John 1:1-18). If God doesn’t change, neither does His Word. We have been given dominion over this earth. Dominion is a great responsibility. When you reign over anything, it is pro-active. It is not a guessing game.

God’s will is being made known to us in His Word – the Holy Bible. We are His ambassadors here on earth. We need to speak his Word according to what is written, and then take the appropriate actions that need to be taken in the physical. After that we need to stand in faith. After you have done in the physical what you could do, then leave the rest of the results in the hands of God. But once you have prayed, do not doubt (James 1:6).

An ambassador to a country, speaks with authority. When He speaks, he represents his country and he is speaking on behalf of his country. In order to that, he must be very familiar with what his government is standing for. We are ambassadors for God and His Kingdom here on earth.

This sequence is important though:

  1. You first have to know God’s will (He made it available to us in His Word – the Bible)
  2. You have to speak His Word.
  3. You have to take action according to what you believe.
  4. Have faith in God and do not doubt.

What We Cannot Do

  1. We cannot keep the Law of Moses. We all have sinned. Jesus is the only man who is completely without sin. (Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 9:28)
  2. We cannot earn righteousness or our salvation through our own works. We are saved by Grace. It is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:7-9)

What God Won’t Do.

  1. God will never leave us and He will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
  2. God will never break His promises because He is faithful (Numbers 23:19; Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Corinthians 1:9).
  3. God made a blood covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:8-10). The fact that Abraham was willing to offer his only son, having faith in God, opened the way for God to give His only son as a sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 13:19-21). Through the sacrifice of Jesus, the devil was defeated and the blessing was restored into the earth. We now have legal right again to speak God’s Word and have dominion over the earth. But because that responsibility has been given to us, as ambassadors of the Kingdom of heaven, God will not overrule what we say in this earth. That is why it is so important to think carefully about what you say (Mark 11:22-26).
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Did You Hear From God, Or Was It Just A Thought?

I think this can often be a challenge for many people. I’ve had that experience so often in my own life. You would be convinced that you are doing the right thing and that you are within the will of God, yet shortly after you’ve made the decision and took action, it feels as if the wheels are coming off.

That brings us to nugget #39 in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average. It says “ideas go away, but direction stays”.

Was It God, Or Was It Just a Thought?listen-1257756-640x480

We often make the mistake of thinking that if your decision was in line with the will of God; everything will just fall into place. Then, when chaos breaks loose, we start tormenting ourselves with feelings of guilt and doubt.

Yes, when our lives are constantly in chaos, we should be taking stock because maybe we did get off course somewhere. But this is where I find John Mason’s nugget absolutely spot-on.

Let’s have a look at the nugget again; “ideas go away, but direction stays”. If something is meant to be and it is God’s will, it is often possible for things to “just fall in place”. But it is also possible for challenges to start appearing shortly afterwards. The test lies in this; does everything fade away? Or is there consistency in the direction?

Ideas Go Away, But Direction Stays.

If it was just an idea, chances are that it will just go away. You will start running out of ideas. Everything will come to a dead end. But if God is involved, there will be direction and consistency.

Remember, facing challenges doesn’t mean that God is not involved. The enemy would love to see you fail and he will challenge you. But when God is involved, you will stay on course.

Have you ever found that it seems as if you get challenged with every challenge you can imagine? Yet, you stay on the same course?

Just as you think it is impossible to push through, you are able to take another step, no matter how small it might be. You might even think of giving up and you try something totally different, but that doesn’t work at all and eventually, somehow, you find yourself back working at the same thing you thought is not working for you.

This might be a good time to have a look at Proverbs 19:21 (NIV), that says “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. And in Psalm 32:8 (NIV) the Lord gives us this promise; “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you”.

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The Lord is gentle, and He will never force you to do anything. As a matter of fact, He will allow you to do whatever it is you want to do. You might even be successful to a certain degree, but as long as you do it in your own power, you will have to put in a lot of effort and toiling. In spite of all the effort, it might still come to nothing, or it may start costing you in the form of your health, family life or some other area. Psalm 127:1-2 (NIV) says “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves”.

Yet, when you are fulfilling your real purpose, and God is working with you, directing you every step of the way, you will be excited about getting started in the morning. You might be busier than ever before, but it wouldn’t feel like work.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to face any challenges, but you will be able to overcome them all (John 16:33). You will stay on course and live life with a purpose.

Guaranteed Success.

We are often scared to find out what it is that God wants us to do. People tend to think that what God wants us to do, can’t be fun. Or what if I’m not able to do what He expects of me?

Believe me, it’s got nothing to do with your ability, it is about your availability. Stop relying on your own abilities and trust God to get the job done. He is much more capable than us.

Do you want to have fun? Allow God to take control and you’ll have more fun than you can dream of. And the best of all, the fun won’t stop, because God’s fun won’t harm you, it will actually make you stronger.

The Creator has not given you a longing to do that which you have no ability to do. – Orison Swett Marden

Have you given the reigns over to God? Or are you still holding on for dear life, staying in control of your own life? Tell me about it, I will love to hear from you.

What does God’s Names Reveal About His Character?

“Stop every day and look at the size of God”, is nugget #38 as it appear in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average. With that in mind I’ve decided to have a look at the character of God.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts

While still here on earth, we will not be able to comprehend everything about God in full. What we do know is that there is no one like God. As the heavens are higher than the earth, God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). No man knows the things of God, but the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:11).

So it is best to see what the Spirit of God will reveal about God, which is why we go to the Word of God. Let us have a look at the names of God as they are known to us and see what the Bible says about them, and what it means to us.

The Redemptive Names of God

  • Jehovah Shammah
  • Jehovah Shalom
  • Jehovah Jireh
  • Jehovah Nissi
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu
  • Jehovah Rapha
  • Jehovah Raah

Let’s have a look at these names one by one to see what they teach us about God’s character.

  1. Jehovah Shammah

Jehovah Shammah means – The Lord is there.

God is always with us. In Matthew 28:20 (NIV) Jesus said “….And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) God says “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”[a]  

God never leaves us or forsake us. We are the ones who leave and forsake God.

  1. Jehovah Shalom

Jehovah Shalom means – The Lord of our peace.

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) says; “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed”.

That means that not only did Jesus go to the cross for our salvation, but also that we could have peace. That is why in John 14:27 (NIV), Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.

Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you”.

The problem is that so many people put their trust in riches, in circumstances, or in lust of other things, but not in God’s Word. When we completely trust in Jesus – the Word – our minds become totally focused on God. When our minds are totally focused on God and His Word, He will keep us in perfect peace.

In the New Testament the words ‘peace’ and ‘rest’ are interchangeable.

In Matthew 11:28 (NIV) Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) says Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. But how many times do we cast our cares on the Lord and immediately take them back again. You might be facing a problem at work. You come before the Lord in prayer and you cast the problem on him, standing on 1 Peter 5:7. Yet, as soon as you say amen, you start thinking about what you are going to do about the problem and your stress levels are going through the roof again.

To experience the peace of God; do what Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV) says:” Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.

  1. Jehovah Jireh

Jehovah Jireh means – The Lord will provide.

God is our provider. Whenever the Israelites said “Jehovah Jireh”, they were saying, “The Lord will provide”.

As already mention in point 2, many people put their trust in riches, in circumstances, or in lust of other things.

Your job is not your source; God is your source. There is nothing secure about your job or your business. Trusting in the economy of the world, the company you work for might decide to make your position redundant tomorrow. Or your business might not be able to withstand the bad economy.

But God’s economy cannot go bankrupt. Trust in God, because the Lord will provide. God will provide in every need, whether it is for your business, for finances, healing, food…..no matter what the need, God will provide.

Philippians 4:19 (NIV) says: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”.

  1. Jehovah Nissi

Jehovah Nissi means – The Lord our Victor.

Jesus Christ is no longer on the cross. Neither is He in the grave. He is alive and he is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Mark 16:19).

Colossians 2:15 (NIV) says “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross”.[e]

Jesus made a public spectacle of the devil and his demons. If you believe with your heart and confess with your mouth, you will be saved (Romans 10:4-13) and that same victory belongs to you (Romans 8:17).

Through the Holy Spirit He is also living in and through us. 1 John 4:4 (NIV) says “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”.

Jesus is making intercession for us. In Christ we have His authority and His name – he is our Victor.

  1. Jehovah Tsidkenu

Jehovah Tsidkenu means – The Lord our Righteousness.

When we are born again, we are made in right standing with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. We can say “I am a son/daughter of the living God, I am a joint heir with Jesus Christ according to Romans 8:17”.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) says “God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

  1. Jehovah Rapha

Jehova Rapha means – The Lord that healeth thee.

Healing is just as much part of our salvation as eternal life with God the Father in heaven. Many people think that sickness is just something we have to accept. It even goes as far as people saying “maybe God is trying to teach me something through this sickness”. No, no, no. God is not trying to teach you anything through sickness.

Adam was given dominion over this earth, but he gave that authority to the devil with the fall of man. 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us that Satan is the god of this world. In John 10:10 (KJV) Jesus says “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”.

Matthew 8:17 (NIV) says “This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”[b]

1 Peter 2:24 says “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

This is why it so important to feed our spirit with the Word of God, so that we can know how to respond in an emergency. That is why Proverbs 4:20-23 (NIV) says “20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”.

  1. Jehovah Raahfile6671253072530

Jehovah Raah means – The Lord is our Shepherd.

Psalm 23:1 (KJV) says “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”.

The original text as it appears in Hebrew reads “The Lord my Shepherd”. It doesn’t show the word ‘is’. So we cannot separate the shepherd from the Lord or the Lord from the shepherd. The Lord is my Shepherd and my Shepherd is the Lord. We also need to realize in what context this scripture is referring to the Shepard. It is not just a silent, passive, man standing around watching over his herd of sheep (as often portrayed in nativity scenes).

The Shepherd is actively looking after us. He is the One that defeated the devil 2000 years ago.

I think a more realistic image comes to mind when we think of David. When he was looking after his father’s sheep as a young boy, he fought lions and bears and killed them to ensure the safety of his father’s sheep (1 Samuel 17:34-36).

Psalm 23:2 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters”.

This does not mean we will never have to face persecution or affliction, but the Shepherd will uphold us and lead us out of it. Jesus defeated Satan and we share in that victory (Romans 8:17)

Psalm 23:3 “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake”.

When we come to Jesus Christ, God will restore our minds and emotions. Jesus became sin for us, so that we might be made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”.

Whatever situation you might find yourself in, you are not stuck in there to stay there. You are moving through it. And when faced with physical death, we die physically but we step into eternity. Death has been defeated by Jesus Christ and has no more power over us.

We don’t have to fear evil. The Holy Spirit is with us and enables us to resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7).

Psalm 23:5 “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over”.

You are protected and you can live in peace. When facing problems, you can cast your care on Him (1 Peter 5:7). God says He prepares a table for you in the presence of your enemy. There are no enemies in heaven. God is talking about here and now.

Anointing with oil is symbolizing the filling with the Holy Spirit. The Shepherd is the One that fills you with the Holy Spirit.

When you cup runs over, it means that your needs would be met at any given time. It doesn’t mean that you are going to be a millionaire. But ‘running over’ means your needs (whatever they are) will be met in abundance, so that you can also be a blessing to those around you.

Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”.

If we made Jesus the Lord of our life, we are made new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). That means that we have received eternal life and will spend eternity with Jesus.

So How Does All This Help Me In Everyday Life?

‘Stop every day and look at the size of God’. When we put our trust in God, there is nothing in this life that we cannot overcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can We Really Live a Life of Peace and Tranquility?

This is a question on the lips of many people around the world. And many people have lost hope of ever enjoying any peace or tranquility in this life. “Not in this life” many would say.  Not in a world full of violence, hate and envy. But that is exactly what I am talking about – the here and now – and it is possible.

Psalm 23:5 (NIV) says “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me Peacebeside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a]I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows”.

That means here and now, in this life. You won’t have any enemies when you are in heaven.

In John 14:27 (NIV), Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. Then in Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) it says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.

Yet, nothing will happen automatically. We have our part to play. We must make a decision. Who will have the final say in your life? Who has final authority? Colossians 3:15 (NIV) says “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” That little word “let”, indicates that we need to make the decision for the peace of Christ to rule in our lives. God is not forcing himself on anyone. You have to make the decision.

By giving the Word of God final authority in your life, also means that you need to trust His Word. If God says that He will protect you (Psalm 91), you should resist the devil, by refusing to fear (John14:27) and refuse being anxious about your future (Philippians 4:6).

There is one more crucial ingredient that you need to experience total freedom and peace in your life, and that is to forgive. Living in un-forgiveness will steal your peace from you and it will even rob you from your health. And through un-forgiveness, you are robbing yourself from getting your prayers answered. Many people love to quote Mark 11:23-24 about having faith and you will have what you say. But it is important to read the rest of that scripture too. Verse 25-26 (KJV) goes on to say “25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses”.

We cannot manipulate God by thinking that we can just “name it and claim it”. God always knows what’s best, and we also have responsibilities that goes beyond ourselves.

You might think it is impossible to forgive that person after what he/she has done to you. What you think and what you feel is not important, and that is actually good news. If you want to forgive based on how you feel, that means you want to do it in your own power and it becomes impossible. But if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13; Colossians 3:17).

A Chip on the Shoulder Weighs a Ton

This brings us to the nugget for this week. In John L. Mason’s Book An Enemy Called Average, nugget #30 says “a chip on the shoulder weighs a ton”.

The weight of un-forgiveness is a terrible weight to carry and will only drag you down. “But no one knows what that person did to me!” yet, as John Mason says in his book; “That may be true, but the question is do you know what un-forgiveness will do to you?”

What really matters is what happens in us not to us – John Mason.

Un-forgiveness leads to great bitterness and that is a deadly misuse of the creative flow from above. Great amounts of mental energy and brain power are used up in pondering over a negative situation and plotting how to “get even”.

“That’s easy to say, but you don’t know my situation”, you might say. Yes, maybe I don’t know your situation, but I do know what it’s like. People who know me personally will know what I am talking about, and I also have to fight the temptation of un-forgiveness. But by the grace of God, I have learned to forgive and I refuse to meditate on what happened. When those thoughts come, I take them captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Peace and Tranquility is Within Your Reach

Yes, we do live in a world full of violence and hate. The question is; how do you perceive all this in your own mind. The good news is that you can learn how to respond to things by taking control of your mind.

In Matthew 24 Jesus gave a description of the end times to His disciples, and he told them not to be troubled as these things must come.

What we are facing today is the results of mankind, but God is not caught by surprise, and He is still in control.

How do you perceive what is happening around you? Are you able to remain positive about your future? Tell me about your expectations in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.

On 12 October 2015 I am launching a new site – yourmindrenewed.com – where I will discuss the impact of your thinking and the effect it has on your life. Join me on this exciting journey and tell me about your experiences and how you deal with your thought life.

When You Refuse To Change, You End Up In Chains.

Nobody can argue the fact that we are living in a constantly changing world. Some people thrive on change. They see it as parade-in-south-beach-miamia challenge, an opportunity for growth. For others the idea of change is less exciting. They fear change. It brings an element of uncertainty. And then we find a third group of people that are set in their ways, believing “this is how it always has been done”, and they see no reason to change it.

This week’s nugget is about change. John L. Mason shares his nugget #28 in his book An Enemy Called Average as: “When you refuse to change, you end up in chains”.

The Challenges of Change

For many people, change goes hand-in-hand with uncertainty. And that uncertainty often causes fear. Granted, change will always have an element of uncertainty that goes with it. That is unavoidable. But does that mean we have to live in fear?

Let’s have a look at some practical examples. Back in the era of the late 1700’s nobody knew if a person could withstand the rigors of being up in the air. But man started dreaming about flying and on October 15, 1783, the Montgolfiers brothers launched a balloon, with Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier as the passenger. In 1852 followed Henri Giffard’s steam-powered airship flight, and in 1890 the Wright brothers made history with their “first manned, powered, heavier-than-air and (to some degree) controlled” flight.

These people were scoffed at and made out to be crazy, but today air travel is part of life. You can’t imagine the world without it. Many people still avoid flying due to fear. But when looking at statistics, it might be safer to fly than driving to the shopping mall. Yet, we hardly even give it a second thought when getting into the car.

Then it went further and people started talking about going to outer space. This was considered to be ridiculous by many and there were even people saying “that’s from the devil”. Yet, in 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first man to journey into outer space. The rest is history. Many people have been in space since, and various projects in outer space are playing a major part in our everyday living today.

When You Refuse To Change, You End Up In Chains

Change is an unavoidable part of life today. There is no doubt about it, when you refuse to change, you end up in chains. It would be impossible to keep up with the rest of the world if we refuse to accept positive change.

“But how do we have to cope with change on a personal level?” you ask. Ecclesiastes 8:1 (NIV) says “Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance”. In Matthew 18:3 (NIV) Jesus says “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”.

Isaiah 42:9 (NIV) says “See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”

John Mason says it very well when he says that “we should choose not allow “the way we’ve always done it” to cause us to miss opportunities God is providing for us today”

He further says “even the most precious of all gems needs to be chiseled and faceted to achieve its best luster. There is nothing that remains so constant as change. Don’t end up like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set”.

Allow Change to Allow Growth

So there’s no need to live in fear of change. But there are many reasons why we should welcome change and embrace it. Change allows for growth.

Do you welcome change? Do you enjoy the challenges that come with change? Do you resist change?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section. I am looking forward to hear from you.

How to Take Control of Your Life

One of the biggest problems we are facing in today’s society is the fact that people don’t want to take responsibility. Whatever goes wrong, it is always someone else’s fault.

Parents get blamed for all kinds of addictions. When people have problems with alcohol addiction, it is “because my dad was a heavy drinker, that’s just how I grew up”. Battling with violence, it is because they grew up in a violent home, or the neighbourhood was to blame.

When turning to crime, it is because of the bad economy, and they just can’t afford to make an honest living. I’ve even heard the devil getting credit for this when people say things like…”I don’t know why I’ve done it, the devil made me do it”.

I think they are giving the devil more credit than he deserves. The devil can’t force you to do anything, unless you are willing to do it.

This brings me to nugget #18 from John L. Mason’s book, An Enemy Called Average. The nugget as he gives it to us is: Found_855293808_2036549“The best helping hand you will ever find is at the end of your own arm”.

Take Responsibility for Your Own Actions

If you grew up in a bad neighbourhood or with violence in your home or with parents who had some addictions, it is still no excuse for not taking responsibility for your own actions. It should actually serve as additional motivation not to repeat their mistakes, or to make the world a better place for everybody to live in. The well-known John D. Rockefeller was a classical example of this. He didn’t exactly have an easy life as a child, with his father only being marginally employed and his mother struggling to keep them going, despite the lack of finances. Yet, he turned out to become the wealthiest man in the world.

In Deuteronomy 28, God sets before us all the blessings and curses. Then in Deuteronomy 30:19, we are given the responsibility to make our own choice.

Each one of us has a choice. There is not one single person in this world that has been created without the ability to make choices. Granted, we sometimes make the wrong choices, but that doesn’t mean we have to stick to them. Once you realise that you have made the wrong choice, take responsibility, change your course and make it right.

Nobody said that taking responsibility is going to be easy either. You most probably will get much resistance for making the right decisions. But pray about it and ask for wisdom and guidance from God (James 1:5). Once you have peace about your decision and you are convinced that you are on the right track, don’t back down, persevere and press on. Don’t give up at the first sign of failure.

Then, once your course has been set, keep on keeping on. Never lose momentum.

Success is not final, and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Who or What Do You Put Your Trust In?

It is amazing how many people are desperately seeking for help from other people, while – between them and God – they have everything they need.

People tend to always look horizontally, and end up seeking help only from other people, such as business people, financial institutions, life coaches, motivational speakers, etc.

There is nothing wrong in itself with any of the abovementioned people or institutions. Proverbs 15:22 (NIV) says “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed”. It is wise to seek knowledge from people who are well informed where it concerns the situations you need to make decisions about.

The danger is when you are not careful about:

  1. Who you approach.
  2. Putting your trust in these people instead of God.
  3. When you become willing to give up control of your vision in exchange for money or sometimes even companionship.

Proverbs 16:1-3 (NIV) says “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans”, and Psalm 118:8 (NIV) says “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes”.

The Best Helping Hand You Will Ever Find Is At The End Of Your Own Arm.

So, it is wise to get the counsel of the appropriate people and to get constructive advice. But your trust should be in the Lord.

Dare to dream your own dreams, receive your own vision from the Lord. Then take the responsibility of taking control of your own vision. You will need to apply faith (and lots of it), but when your priorities are straightened out, you will succeed.

We all have been blessed with the ability to choose. So you choose. Do not allow someone else to choose for you. Then put your hand to it, and do what you need to do. If you want to take control of your life, accept responsibility for your actions.

How do you overcome obstacles in your life? How do you cope with the challenges coming your way? I would love to hear from you.

The Danger of Failure After Victory.

We always hear people telling us to never quit. “Never give up”, they say. Keep on keeping on. This is all meant to file2291276515266encourage us when the going gets tough or we had to face defeat and we need some motivation.

But did you know that not only do many people quit after defeat, but many people also quit after a victory.

This brings us to today’s nugget which is nugget # 17 in John L. Mason’s book An Enemy Called Average. It says; “Don’t quit after a victory”.

Don’t Quit After a Victory

It is so ironical (even sad), that often after a victory, many people tend to quit. At first it doesn’t seem to be quitting. They don’t believe they are quitting either. There is often much excitement and hype. But the trap is in the fact that they get so caught up in their victory and in celebrating, that they lose momentum. They spend too much time admiring the results of their victory or in celebration, and by the time they realise that they need to continue on their victorious journey, they have lost momentum and have to start all over again.

Don’t cash in, cast into deeper water – Robert Schuller

Sometimes people want to just have a break after that great victory and also lose their momentum. When they realise they need to start all over again they are often not up to the challenge and just quit.

Does this mean that we are not even allowed to celebrate our victories or take a break sometimes? No, by all means you can celebrate and take a break. But there is a time and a place for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Ecclesiastes 3:8). When you can see that you are heading for victory, don’t stop planning (Proverbs 15:22). Set out a time for celebration as part of your victory and keep moving on…..keep your momentum. This will lead to the next victory, and the next…..and the next…..and the next.

Plan your time to take a break (it is essential to get rest), but schedule your time and stick to it. If you have everything under control, you should be able to plan your time for resting without losing your momentum. You might have to take shorter breaks during your early victories and then you can start increasing your times of rest as you become stronger and achieve bigger victories.

Momentum Can Make You Unstoppable.

John Mason also uses the example of a large boulder at the top of a hill. It is true that it will take a lot of effort to initially get that boulder moving. But by continuously rocking it, eventually it will start moving. Once it starts moving while you are still on a flat surface, you will have to keep pushing and rolling to maintain the momentum, but the more momentum you gain, the easier it becomes to maintain it. The moment you stop, you will have to start all over again. Then, when you reach the downhill, that boulder starts rolling by itself and becomes almost unstoppable.

The same is true for us when achieving success in life.

John Mason gives five ways to have divine momentum in your life:

  1. Be fruitful. (2 Cor. 9:10)
  2. Speak the truth (Eph. 4:15)
  3. Be spiritually mature (Heb. 6:1)
  4. Crave the Word of God (1 Pet. 2:2)
  5. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Pet. 3:18)

The definition of spiritual momentum as God defines it can be found in 2 Peter 1:3-8 (NIV): His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Maintain Your Momentum

Don’t allow one victory to break your momentum. Stay focused, stay calm and continue on your journey of continuous victory.

Over to you now. Do you get side-tracked easily? What do you do you stay focused? I look forward to hearing from you.