When I was in high school. . .I was asked to speak at our local Rotary Club because I was actively involved in politics.
For those who are not familiar with the Rotary Club. . .it’s a service organization like the Lions, the Kiwanis, the Civitans, the Moose, Goose and got loose. Just kidding about the last two.
Most of these service organizations meet once a week for lunch…hear a speaker and interact with each other. Before social media…it was a great way to meet leaders in a local community and be involved in local projects.
My visit to the LaGrange, North Carolina Rotary Club was a wonderful experience. I was given a book which I still have today. . .somewhere in my collection.
The title was I Dare You written by William H. Danforth of the Nestle Purina fortune. It helped to stir me outside my comfort zone. . .long before I knew what a comfort zone was.
By the way, I Dare You, was listed by the Christian Science Monitor as one of the top ten best self-help books of all times. The list is similar to a NY Times Best Sellers recommendation.
In writing this teaching. . .I Dare You came to my remembrance.
Years ago, I wrote down one excerpt from I Dare You. Here’s what it says:
“I am daring you to think bigger, to act bigger and to be bigger.
I dare you to think creatively.
I dare you to . . . lead and inspire others.
I dare you to build character.
I dare you to share.
I am promising you a richer life and more exciting life if you do.”
When it comes to doing something you’ve never done. . . there are seven dares we need to focus on.
First, I Dare you to dream big.
Years ago, my fine wife Bev and I had the pleasure of meeting George Foreman. As a former heavyweight champion and entrepreneur . . .he is a delightful man.
Foreman once said:
“If you don’t dream you might as well be dead.”
If you don’t have a dream. . .I don’t think you should be dead. . .However … you need to be taught how to become a dreamer.
What was your first dream? Do you remember what you wanted to be or what you wanted to do?
Are you living your dream? If not, why not and more importantly, what are you going to do about it?
If you don’t dare to dream. . .you’ll still get the same old, same old ….day in and day out.
If you keep doing what you’ve been doing. . .then you’ll continue getting what you’ve been getting.
When you begin to dream . . .things begin to change. . .and the first change is within you.
Remember, nothing will change until either you or someone else changes.
If you change, you will follow your dreams. . .creating your own destiny. If they change. . .you will follow their dreams helping them create their destiny.
When you have a dream. . .your “want to” turns into your “have to.”
Here’s an acronym for the word DREAM.
D. . .Develop specific goals with a daily timeline to make your dreams come true.
The difference between having a dream and not having one is like the difference between a treadmill and taking the stairs. You can work up a sweat on the treadmill but it’s not taking you anywhere.
However, a dream without a plan is just a wish. You need to write that down so you’ll remember it.
Philippians 3:13-14 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.”
R. . .Recognize and remove obstacles you need to overcome.
1 John 5:4-5 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]?”
Recognize the absolute necessity of having God direct your path in overcoming all the roadblocks of life.
Accept temporary mistakes, detours and disappointments as just that, temporary. Learn from every mistake and move forward, no looking back or blaming anyone.
How do you overcome obstacles?
Psalm 34:19 in the New Century Version says:
“People who do what is right may have many problems, but the LORD will solve them all.”
E. . .Empower your efforts by feeding your mind a proper diet of inspiration,
information and motivation.
How do you get wisdom, knowledge, understanding and skill as a dreamer?
The same way everybody else does. . .you ask for it. . .you seek it. . .then you shall find it.
Matthew 7:7 says:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
A. . .Activate Ephesians 6:8 by blessing others so God will bless you.
Ephesians 6:8 says:
“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
If you want your dreams to come true. . .start by asking God to use you to help others make their dreams come true.
M. . Move into strategic alliances with people who motivate you to move beyond
your comfort zone.
Who motivates you to think in possibilities instead of problems?
Who provokes you to look for opportunities instead of reasons to fail?
Who exhorts, encourages and edifies you to be more and do more than you previously thought possible?
These are the folks who should form your strategic alliance.
Exodus 18:21 in the Message Bible says:
“And then you need to keep a sharp eye out for competent men—men who fear God, men of integrity, men who are incorruptible—and appoint them as leaders over groups organized by the thousand, by the hundred, by fifty, and by ten.”
Second, I dare you to never accept things the way they are.
It’s called a comfort zone. . .where you settle into a nice little routine.
You never feel threatened nor do you ever feel challenged.
Yes, you know what’s expected of you. . .and you do just that…no more and no less.
You’re viewed as an ordinary person who does ordinary things and you’re okay with that.
You like things the way they are because achieving more things would demand more faith or effort than you’re willing to give them.
And, of course, your rationale is. . .if my family is comfortable why should we want to do more?
What does the Word say?
Colossians 3:17in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.”
Does that sound like God just wants you to get by as an average Joe or Jane? I don’t think so.
“Lord, I may be average. . .but I’m doing it in your name.”
Probably not a wise thing to say or even think.
Colossians 3:23-24 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, 24 Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah).”
What does the Lord want from you? Your best!
Romans 2:7-8 in the Message Bible says:
“Make no mistake: In the end you get what’s coming to you—Real Life for those who work on God’s side, but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!”
Maybe it’s time for you to get fired up. . .before He fires you up for eternity.
Third, I dare you to ignore limitations.
If you’ve ever made any of the following three statements. . God wants you to know you have no limitations.
“Yes, but Brother Harold. . .
“This is a large organization, and one person can’t make a difference.
“Ideas and suggestions are valued only from higher levels in the organization than mine.
“I don’t know everything and I am sometimes wrong.”
That all sounds well and good until you hear the store of Johnny the grocery bagger. A woman named Barbara Glanz was traveling around to a number of grocery stores trying to encourage employees to build customer loyalty. She told the staff to look for something you can do to make your mark on a customer who comes in the store.
After she left, a Down’s Syndrome bagger named Johnny got to thinking. At first he didn’t feel he had anything he could contribute but after some thought, he got his father to type up his ‘thought for the day.’ They made multiple copies and Johnny carefully cut each one and began taking them to work each day.
After about a month, the store manager couldn’t understand why people didn’t go to the shortest line at the checkout even when it was pointed out to them. There were 3 times as many people in Johnny’s line than anyone else’s.
One elderly woman, “I now come in every day instead of once a week because I want to get Johnny’s message for the day.”
As time passed others picked up on Johnny’s kindness … the florist began to give broken flowers to little girls and pin corsages that weren’t picked up on the elderly ladies visiting the store. Kindness broke out everywhere and more people came in bringing their friends with them.
All because one 19 year old with Down’s Syndrome got the idea he could do something to make a difference.
The only limitations we have are what we impose on ourselves.
Proverbs 4:23 says:
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the Hebrew word for issues is (tote sa uff) tō·tsä·ä (H8444) is a real estate term and it means:
“borders, the parameters”
Your heart sets the borders of your life.
The outside circumstances don’t set the borders of your life; it’s what’s in your heart that sets the boundaries or determines the course of your life.
The New Living Translation of Proverbs 4:23 says:
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Consider this thought. . .when you are meditating on a rhema revelation from the Word of God. . . you are expanding the borders of your life.
On the other hand. . .if you’re not meditating in the Word daily. . .then your borders are staying where you are. . .and doing what you’re doing is likely where you’ll stay.
When you start talking about the promises of God. . .His promises. . .what the Word offers you. . .the possibilities of your life. . .the things you desire will soon become a reality. . .you will live a life without limitations.
Fourth, I dare you to reject the fear of failure.
Some people never take risks because they have a fear of failure.
“And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up….”
Here are seven keys to overcoming failure.
First, accept your mistakes.
Second, stop trying too hard.
Third, ask Him for help in overcoming your fear of failure.
Fourth, ask ‘them’ for help in overcoming your fear of failure. This would include your pastor or other mentors in your life.
Fifth, learn to say “no.” You don’t have to accept every assignment. . .use wisdom.
Sixth, if you know you need to say “yes” do it even when you feel afraid.
Seventh, remember, fear is the devil’s anointing for failure.
The only way to change your mind about failure so you can overcome it. . .is simply to change your mind on how you view it.
Ephesians 3:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).”
When our confidence is born in faith. . .it gives us a boldness in knowing we can achieve anything regardless of the obstacles.
Fear flees when confidence in God’s Word shows up.
Fifth, I Dare you to do what you’ve never done.
I Dare you to color outside the lines.
I Dare you to explore previously unknown opportunities
I Dare you to think outside the box.
I Dare you to dream bigger. . .by go deeper into the promises of the Word.
I Dare you to consider the best case scenario.
What’s the best case scenario you can hope for? If every decision you make is the right one. . .what will be the end result?
As you visualize the reality of success. . .is it what you desire it to be?
You must see how it is. . .before it ever will be.
Determine if the worst case scenario is worth the risk.
This thought process is not so easy for most people. . .because unless they’ve trained their mind to think positively … they typically think of the worst case scenario of every decision … first.
As you think about the worst things that could happen. . .it’s important to keep this mental exercise in a scriptural perspective.
Just momentarily think about. . .but don’t dwell on the worst thing that could happen.
Give minimal thought to the negative things that might happen. Think instead on ways you can avoid them happening.
Even if things go wrong. . .you have the assurance that God will help you. . .no matter what. But that doesn’t mean jumping into something foolishly.
Matthew 6:34 in the Message Bible says:
“God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
God will help YOU. . .are you getting this? Say it out loud. . .GOD WILL HELP ME.
“God will help <<YourName>> deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Sixth, I Dare you to never give up.
Ephesians 6:18 in the New Century Version says:
“Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God's people.”
When you try something and it doesn’t work. . .that doesn’t automatically make you a failure. It just means you get a chance to try something else that may well work.
Do you know why the first assembly line automobile produced in this country was called a Model T? Because Models A through S didn’t work. Would you call Henry Ford a failure? Absolutely not because he didn’t give up.
Have you ever used the household cleaner 409? Can you guess why it’s call 409…because 408 previous attempts didn’t work.
What about WD40. . .you guessed it again. It was the 40th attempt by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company who were trying to create a water displacement compound. Hence, WD40.
And the list goes on.
Someone once said:
“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”
Never internalize your lack of success or condemn yourself for trying something that didn’t work.
But most of all. . .never give up.
Romans 12:11 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord.”
Personalize this verse. . .
As you pray . . .get out in front of your battle. . .begin praising God for victory in the areas of your life that have been under the greatest demonic assault even before you see the victory or experience its manifestation.
Seventh, I Dare you to inspire others.
If you’re going to be successful. . .you will naturally in the course of events make those around you successful.
Effective leadership is always duplicateable.
Exodus 18:20 in the Message Bible says:
“Your job is to teach them the rules and instructions, to show them how to live, what to do.”
In order to be successful in life you must have a successor . . .which means you must train those who work with you to effectively handle the things you need help in achieving.
Our youngest son is a server at an upscale Mexican eatery. He’s been asked to train new servers because his techniques are so successful.
If you’re learning a new occupation . . .you want to learn from people who have already proven themselves successful.
An effective leader should always be trying to work themselves out of a job . . .by training and developing new leaders who can assume even greater areas of responsibility.
You’d be amazed or maybe not . . .at the number of people who do everything themselves because they illogically figure that if someone else becomes good at their job. . .they may lose it to them.
Not only is that faulty logic . . .it’s scripturally unsound. Consider the success principle E68 (Ephesians 6:8).
“Whatever good thing you cause to happen to someone else. . .God will do for you.”
If you’re good at developing successful leaders . . .you’ll never be out of a job even if management chose to replace you with someone else.
And, one more thing, you’ll never be broke again because good leaders are in demand.
Life is not a game of Truth Or Dare. I’ve heard of the silliness of that game as well as the sinfulness. . .depending on who and how it is played.
Yes, life is not a game but I dare you to embrace its possibilities … think bigger than you’ve ever thought before.
There are two powerful scriptures in Ephesians which should be a personal guide to your destiny.
I dare you to read, memorize, personalize and confess these two scriptures often.
First, Ephesians 3:12 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).”
When we put our faith in Him. . .we’re free to say what needs to be said. . .bold enough to go wherever we need to go. . .do whatever we need to do. If this confidence and faith in Him we can dare to achieve what some might consider the impossible dream.
Ephesians 3:20 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].”
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