7 Ways To Know If It's A Winning Idea

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Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States, once said:

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; and small minds discuss people.”

If you’ve got a great mind. . .focused on ideas. . .raise your hand.

Yes, I know we can’t see you but. . .God can.

And He’s the One that counts.

People who think about and act on ideas. . .are the ones who become winners in life.

Henry Ward Beecher once said:

“The ability to convert ideas to things is the secret of outward success.”

Some years ago, I read where ideas go through three stages.

First, it can’t be done.

Second, it might be done but it’s not worth doing.

Third, I knew it was a good idea all along.

You’ve gotta love the thought processes of some folks.

We should live each day. . .expecting to receive God ideas.

Proverbs 18:15 in The Living Bible says:

“The intelligent man is always open to new ideas.  In fact, he looks for them.”

Are you looking for new ideas?  Here are seven ways to know if you have a winning idea.

First, if you feel peaceful. . .it’s a God idea.

One of the most amazing facts about my fine wife, Bev. . .and believe me. . .there are many . . . is her peace factor.

When the enemy starts slinging fiery darts our way. . .in every instant that I can remember when she felt peace. . .the attack ended and everything was all right.

The key to developing a peace factor in your life is to know the Word and pray it.   If you don’t have confidence in the Word of God. . .you will never have peace.

Why worry about situations when you can pray the Word and give it all to God?  Let Him deal with it.

Worry is prayer in reverse.  Praying with confidence in the Word is the antibiotic for the disease of a worried mind.  And as I’ve said for years, if you worry about situations . . . it means you don’t trust God.

Gain strength, comfort and yes, peace with John 14:27 in the Amplified Bible which says:

“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

Notice the last sentence in the verse . . . it’s the bottom line on how we act and react to adversity.

“[Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

Isaiah 26:3 in the Amplified Bible says:

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”

The way to keep your mind focused on Him is through prayer and the Word.

Second, does the idea line up with the Word?

God will never give you an idea, a directive, a ‘new’ thing or any ‘Word from Him’ that conflicts with His Word.  It won’t ever happen.

How can I be so sure?

Mark 3:24 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And if a kingdom is divided and rebelling against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”

God will never lead you to do something that doesn’t line up with His Word. You will never receive an unction from the Holy Spirit that is outside God’s Word.

If there’s misdirection involved. . .you can rest assured it’s not God.

I remember a woman asking me to join in agreement with her that a specific man would ask her to marry him.  I asked his name and if he was a Christian.  Then I felt stirred to ask if he’d ever been married.

You can imagine my surprise when she told me he was currently married.

I told her in no uncertain terms that I could not and would not pray for this man to marry her because he was already married.

She said, “That’s okay, God told me he would be my husband.”

I can tell you she was not a happy camper when I told her God would never tell her that because such a promise would contradict His Word and He never does that.

Sometimes God gets credit for things He would have nothing to do with.

One more thing I feel stirred to say.  I call it a 1-2 punch to know if your idea lines up with the Word.

Number one, don’t think as the world thinks.

Proverbs 4:23 in the New Century Version says:

“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”

Bev once saw a Maxine quote… you know the old gal from Hallmark cards… “Never believe everything you think.”  That sounds funny but there is a lot of truth in it.  All of us have labored under the illusion of something being true only to find out … there was no truth in it. 

If you want to know if your idea is a God idea. . .live the words of Romans 12:2 in the New Living Translation.

“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

Number two, when you think like He thinks. . .you’ll always know if you have a God idea.

Third, does the new idea help complete your God-given vision?

First, if you don’t have a God-given vision for your future. . .keep pursuing God until you realize the one He’s been trying to give you. 

God is not hiding His vision for your future from you. . .playing some sort of spiritual hide and seek.

If you don’t have a vision, somewhere you’ve lost or are ignoring the revelatory insight God is trying to give youAdhering to His instructions for the divine vision for your life. . .will make you happy and blessed.                   

Habakkuk 2:2 came clearly into my mind.  It is the scripture the Lord gave me for you.

"And the Lord... said, Write the vision, and make it plain... that he may run that readeth it.  For the vision . . . shall speak ...it will surely come, it will not tarry."

The Contemporary English Version (CEV) says:

Then the LORD told me:  ‘I will give you my message in the form of a vision.  Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance.’”

Your vision must be written down very clearly.

If you are asking yourself what your vision should be, then ask yourself this: what lives passionately in my heart?

Whatever you love God has placed in your heart for a reason.  Keep reviewing your vision until you have made it as clear and precise as you can.

Second, if you don’t have a vision. . .you are ready for God ideas.

In Proverbs 29:18 King Solomon said:

"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Fourth, is your spouse in agreement with the new idea?

One of the dumbest things any Christian could ever do. . .is to not be in agreement with their spouse about a God-idea.

Genesis 2:24 says:

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

The Contemporary English Version of Genesis 2:24 says:

“That's why a man will leave his own father and mother. He marries a woman, and the two of them become like one person.”

Please notice that the Scripture says the husband and wife “. . .become like one person.”

If you’re one person and you don’t agree. . .it’s a spiritual house divided against itself.

Let’s go down a rabbit trail for a moment.

It’s really ignorant for a husband to put down his wife in front of friends, relatives or even total strangers for that matter.  When he puts her down. . .he is, in effect, putting himself down.  And the same thing is true for wives as well.

Ephesians 5:31 says:

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

You’re ONE FLESH. . .you become like one person.

Amos 3:3 in the New Living Translation says:

“Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? “

I know. . .I know. . .someone is thinking “But Brother Harold, my spouse is a heathen and not interested in the things of God or achieving the success He ordained for us.”

This is often an unfortunate situation but God can and will direct you.  It may take some dedication on your part about what you say and how you act but God will give you the godly response to your situation.  He will forgive your mistakes and you’re bound to make some along the way.  God will also ALWAYS be there for you.

Bottom line. . .your spouse needs to be in agreement with you as much as possible.

If you’re single. . .follow the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Fifth, God ideas will never cause confusion.

Our Heavenly Father is a God of order.  Confusion is the devil’s anointing.

Peace encourages where confusion drives.  If you feel driven . . . STOP because the enemy is in your camp.

Throughout the scriptures. . .God brings order out of chaos and confusion.

Genesis 1:1-3 in the Amplified Bible says:

“1  In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth.

“2 The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.

“3  And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.

“4  And God saw that the light was good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it; and God separated the light from the darkness.”

From the first scripture until the last. . .God brought order.

Where you find sin . . .you find confusion.

2 Chronicles 15:5 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“There was so much confusion in those days that it wasn't safe to go anywhere in Israel.”

James 3:16 says:

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

Bottom line. . .God will give you ideas to bring order but He will never give you an idea to create what He hates. . .confusion.

Sixth, how will your inner circle respond to your new idea?

Who forms your inner circle?

Is it your best friend at work. . .people in your neighborhood. . .somebody you grew up with. . .those you play pick-up basketball with. . .someone at your Pilates class or maybe even, somebody you met at church?

Name the people you consider in your inner circle.  How many are there?  One, two, five, seven or more?

What qualifies the person to be in your inner circle other than familiarity?

What do you talk about when you’re together?

What do the people in your inner circle talk about most. . .people, events or ideas.

If your inner circle only talks about people and/or events. . .there’s no need to solicit their opinion on your ideas and whether or not they’re God ideas. . .because they won’t understand.

I’ve heard it said over the years. . .that you can’t have faith for what you don’t have knowledge of.  If someone. . .anyone doesn’t talk about ideas. . .the value of their perspective is, in my opinion, limited.

What does the Word of God say about your inner circle?

Jeremiah 23:18 in God’s WORD Translation says:

“Who is in the Lord’s inner circle and sees and hears his word? Who pays attention and listens to his word?”

If your inner circle is comprised of people who listen, pay attention to and act on the Word. . .then you have a group with which to share your ideas.

Let me share a basic medical fact. . .everybody has a brain. . .whether or not you choose to use that brain is another matter. . .but you have one.

It’s great to follow your heart … only take your brain with you.

Every born-again believer has the mind of Christ. 

1 Corinthians 2:16 in the Amplified Bible says:

“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”

As the possessors of the mind of Christ we are to have His thoughts, feelings and purposes.

If that attitude or perspective is reflected by the members of your inner circle. . .then ask their opinion of your idea. . .as to whether or not it’s a God idea.

Yes, every believer has the mind of Christ. . .but whether or not they use it. . .is a totally different matter.

Before moving on. . .let me share one other scripture about whether or not a person is in God’s inner circle for you.

Jeremiah 23:22 in God’s WORD Translation says:

“If they had been in my inner circle, they would have announced my words to my people. They would have turned back from their evil ways and the evil they have done.”

Now. . .that’s something to think about.

Wait. . .He just brought one other scripture to my remembrance.

Proverbs 13:20 in The Living Bible says:

“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.”

Seventh, God expects us to ACT on His ideas.

God gave you one of His ideas. . .not just for you to play with it. . .tell your friends about.  Know God gave you a creative idea for you to do something with it.

I’m not sure who said this next quote. . .wish I did but nevertheless it’s powerful.

“God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies.”

It up to you to provide daily nourishment for your idea. . .you’re the one for whom it will grow and multiply.  How do you provide the nourishment?  Seven words.


When God gives you an idea. . .He expects you to do something with it.

God doesn’t mind if you to ponder, consider, reflect, pray or meditate as long as you then get up and do it.  And He’s not looking for excuses from you or for you to blame someone else as to why you cannot do what He asked you to do.

It’s critically important to understand what I’m about to say about Godly ideas and His timing.

Timing is important in every decision you make.

You can have a God idea. . .but it must be in God’s timing or it will not get off  the ground.

The root, the reason, the decision that started King David’s greatest sin didn’t begin with the adultery, murder, pride or cover-up. . .it all started because he choose to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

2 Samuel 11:1 in the Amplified Bible says:

“IN THE spring, when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab with his servants and all Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites [country] and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.”

The King James Version says that David “tarried in Jerusalem.”

2 Samuel 11:2 in the Amplified Bible says:

“One evening David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, when from there he saw a woman bathing; and she was very lovely to behold.”

David wasn’t supposed to be in Jerusalem.  The scripture clearly says: “In the spring, when kings go forth to battle….”

King David’s place was at the battlefront. He would have never seen Bathsheba if he’d been where he was supposed to be in the first place.

In life, timing is critical. . .you need to understand God’s timing in fulfilling your destiny.