Steps To The Future God Wants For You

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Sometime back. . .God dropped the phrase "21 Steps" in my spirit.  I felt like He was directing me to write a 21-step program to turning our lives around as we manifest the future He desires for us.

I wrote twelve of the steps and felt Him telling me to stop.  I kept looking at the title in my Possibilities folder. . .day after day. . .but I didn't get a release to finish the teaching until a few weeks later while I was flying home from a meeting.

At roughly 34,000 feet. . .I was studying the Word when I saw a sign.

If you've ever flown on a plane. . .you've seen the "Fasten Your Seat Belt" signs flash on. 

Well, that's what happened to me. . .it was like the Lord flashed NOW.

Immediately, He released me to teach on 21 Steps To The Future God Wants For You.

1.       Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  Pray the Sinner’s Prayer.

John 3:16 says:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The greatest promise ever made . . . if you accept Jesus as your Savior . . . you will not go to hell.  Trusting in Him will keep you from perishing in an eternal lake of fire.

It’s a simple fact . . .if you accept Jesus. . .you get abundant life now and eternal life forever.

John 10:10 in the New Living Translation says:

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

2.       Ask Jesus to forgive you of all unrighteousness. 

1 John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible says:

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” 

We should rejoice that He will “cleanse us from all righteousness.”

You don’t have to be perfect. . .just forgiven.

Now that’s something to shout about.  Maybe even, get up and run around the room.

3.       Make a written declaration of your determination to change.

Change . . . real change. . .lasting change. . .is not a function of a calendar or a politician no matter how well intentioned.

Change must first start in you . . .  then it will begin to flow through you.

Ephesians 4:23 in The Living Bible says:

“Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better.”

Create a written declaration. . .then confess it until it becomes a reality in your life.

I, <<your name>> this day <<date>> do solemnly and boldly proclaim my decision to change the areas of my life that needs changing and to live my life differently than it’s been in the past.  I do, hereby, commit my signature as evidence to God and others that I’m changing now.

Your Signature      _____________________________________________________

4.       Pray at least seven minutes every day.

Proverbs 8:17 tells us how to find him.  It says:

“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”

Why seven minutes?  I’m not sure. . .I just know it’s the number that came to me.

5.       Spend at least fourteen minutes reading the chapter of whatever day of the month it is in Proverbs.  Also, read a chapter in the New Testament each day.  Take notes if God reveals something to you.

Job 23:12 in the New Living Translation says:

“I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food.”

6.       Create a daily confession for a breakthrough in the area of your greatest need.

Your confession should be about who you want to become, not who you are and about the habits you want to create or change.

Romans 4:17 in the Amplified Bible says:

“As it is written, I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.”

There is a mental commitment and a spiritual dynamic that takes place when you begin to speak to those things that are not, as though they were.

7.       Do one good thing for somebody else. . .every day.

Keep a journal of who it is, what you did, their reaction as well as yours.

Romans 12:8 in the New Living Translation says:

“If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. . .”

Truthfully, I feel that every believer has the gift of encouragement.

A kind word spoken in season. . .will make the day and life sweeter for every person you meet.

And Ephesians 6:8 says whatever you do for someone else. . .God will do for you.

8.       Track your daily expenditures.

Many people who are in debt or living in lack. . .will say that it takes everything they have just to get by.

Without fail. . .I’ve discovered these folks know where the big money goes but they don’t have a clue about where the small money goes.

For over 20 years, I’ve taught people to get a spiral-ring notebook and for the next 30 days track where they’re spending every single penny of their money.

However, technology has made things easier. . .if you have an iPhone, download the free app “Easy Spending Expense Tracker.”  If you have an Android phone. . .download the free app “Expense Tracker.”

Assign a category to each entry, such as, eating out.  If you’re married, both spouses should be a part of this process.

Once you know where your money is going then you can re-direct funds to your out of debt plan.

9.       Keep a journal of your giving.

Do you keep a journal? 

Do you journal God’s blessings in your life?

Do you regularly write about the things God is showing you in His Word?

Do you keep written records of spirit-led seeds that you’ve sown?

If not, you might want to start.  The Word of God says in Numbers 33:1-2 in the New Living Translation:

“This is the route the Israelites followed as they marched out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. At the Lord’s direction, Moses kept a written record of their progress….”

When we record our breakthroughs. . .victories and miracles. . .then we can give God the glory and honor He deserves.

Psalm 118:21 says:

“I thank You for answering my prayer and giving me victory!”

You can compile your list on index cards, or a journal or in your electronic toy.  It’s important you have easy access to your giving journal.

10.     Keep a journal of how God has blessed you each day.

You should also faithfully keep a blessing journal detailing the great things that happened to you during the day.  Regardless of how your day went. . .you have something to rejoice over.  If nothing else and I mean nothing else. . .you have the ability to hear or read the words I’m speaking to you.

This listing of your daily blessings should also be recorded in the same manner as your giving journal.

Frankly, I recommend this be the last thing you do every night before you go to bed.

I GUARANTEE … you’ll sleep better at night if you end your day by Praising God.

Not only will the journal give you a better night’s rest. . .it’s a key to overcoming and winning over attack of the enemy is found in Revelation 12:11:

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death”

11.     Write down one quote, statement or scripture that motivated you today and share it with seven friends.

First, make your list of the seven friends.

Second, decide how you will communicate the quote, statement or scripture.

Third, decide the timing and frequency.  For instance, I recommend you pick a certain time each day. . .so it will be something your friends look forward to.  I also recommend that you only send one message of encouragement each day.

Fourth, post the quote, statement or scripture on your social media outlets, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.  If you can add a photo on the social media sites it will increase your likes.

Social media will allow you to share it with even more people but always….ALWAYS send the message to your friends before posting in online.

Fifth, don’t send messages to change your friends. . .send a message that changed you.

Sixth, keep a log of what you’ve sent. . .when. . .and what, if any, feedback you received.

Seventh, allow your friends to compliment you for your messages without your asking for it.  Remember, you’re doing this as unto the Lord and not as unto yourself.

12.     Clearly identify and plan your action timeline for the things on your goal list each day..

 Proverbs 21:5 in the New Living Translation says:

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” 

  1. Do you have God-given goals for your life?  If yes, what are your goals and are they written out?  If not, seek God in prayer for He is anxious to talk with you.
  1. Have you shared your goals with your spouse, or if you are single, with your prayer partner or pastor?
  1. What would you like to accomplish in the next twelve months.
  1. Do your goals each have a specific timetable on how you can achieve them?
  1. What would you like to accomplish in the next five years in each of the six major areas of your life?
  1. What additional skills, abilities, and information will you need to achieve these plans?
  1. Do you have a list of the places you could go, the people you could see, and the sources you could use to help gain the new information, skills, and abilities you need to achieve your goals?
  1. What is the first step you will take this week toward achieving each of your immediate goals?

13.     What hindrances and obstacles will you have to overcome today?

What’s the hold up?  What’s the hindrance?  Increased prosperity and good health hinge on your soul prospering and that involves the Word of God.

One of the main hindrances is a lack of knowledge about what the Word of God says about the world and the Word economy.

There is nothing wrong with lacking financial knowledge unless you have no motivation to increase your understanding.

James 1:5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”

The Message Bible translation of James 1:5 ends by saying:

“. . . Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.”

Without a second thought. . .no doubts.  As the old saying goes, doubt … and do without.

14.     What one thing can you do to better qualify yourself for a job/promotion or an increase in sales or retirement income?

It would be goofy for you to go to your boss and say, “if you give me a raise, you’ll get a better job performance from me.”  It doesn’t work that way.

You want a promotion, a raise in pay or a better job?  Go to work early and don’t hurry out when the clock strikes the hour at closing time.  Forty hours is for people who just want to get by.

If you want to get ahead, turn the television and internet off and prepare your mind.  Read books, listen to CDs and prepare yourself mentally for the promotion awaiting you.

Don’t think you have time?  If you spend 30 minutes a day (Monday through Friday) browsing the web that equals 130 hours a year or over 16 work days.  That’s more time most people get for annual vacation.

Everyone in the world has the same amount of time.  It’s how you choose to use it that separates the men from the boys … the women from the girls.

15.     Anytime you make a negative or self-defeating statement write it on a sheet of paper. . .then write down one or more scriptures stating why it isn’t true.

Memorize and confess that scripture for the next week.

I’m going to read Ephesians 1:3-6 in the Message Bible where we find seven reasons why God wants you to feel loved, appreciated and highly valued.

 “How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.”

We should never confuse who we are with what we can do. . .or what we’ve done.

16.     What do you do on a daily basis to prepare for the goals/tasks you need to accomplish tomorrow?

The first thing you need to do before you go to sleep at night is. . .create a to-do list of the things you plan to accomplish tomorrow.

List them by priorities based on your goals.

1 Timothy 4:15 in the New International Version says:

“Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.” 

17.     For at least one hour every day read a book which motivates you to even greater accomplishments in your daily life.  Make it a specific time. . .every day.

If you purpose in your heart to read at least one hour a day. . .you will be able to read a book a week.  Of course, I’m not talking about books the size of “The Bible” . . . but the size of an average book sold today.

To deal with any who may doubt what I’ve just said. . .let’s say it takes you two weeks at an hour a day to read a book.  By following such a schedule you will still read 26 books in a year.

How many books did you read last year?

According to an Associated Press poll. . .over 27% of Americans did not read a single book last year.  Half of the people surveyed read four books or less last year.  The survey also revealed that over 25% of those surveyed had read 15 books or more. And that may include a lot of students.

When you read a book every two weeks or 26 per year, that number will put you in the upper 75% of all people in the United States.  Think about your preparation for a job compared to others for a few minutes.

If you are currently unemployed, then truthfully you should spend even more time reading. . .learning. . .preparing.  It is like sowing seed for a much richer future.

If you want to be blessed, you will be a reader. . .if you want to obey God’s command to study. . .then you will be a reader.

18.     For at least one hour each day write on the book you’ve always wanted to publish.

If your heart’s desire is to write a book. . .you need to set aside at least one hour every day. . .seven days a week to work on the project.

You need to select a specific time each day. . .and stick to it.  If for any reason, you can’t write at the designated time. . .then have a backup scheduled time the same day.

If you follow this schedule for twenty one days. . .it will become a habit.  Around that 21st day. . .something supernatural will happen. . .and you’ll find an increased desire to finish your book.

Job 22:26 in the Amplified Bible says:

“You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the light [of God's favor] shall shine upon your ways.” 

19.     Send either a written note or an audio/video message (one minute or less) to your spouse, children, grandchildren or closest friends. . .speaking what’s on your heart that will make their day better.

The best way to start every day is with the Lord. . .more about that latter.

However, one of my favorite things each day. . .after my time with the Lord is to making one-minute or so videos for my fine wife Bev and my children.  Occasionally, I’ll send the same video to the entire family. . .but I like and prefer the individual messages.

My children. . .have all saved the videos on their phones or in iTunes.

Sometimes I give them a scripture. . .or some quote that moved me. . .and sometimes, it’s just Daddy loving on his babies.

If you have a smart phone. . .it’s easy to do.  One reminder, KEEP IT SHORT.

If you don’t have a phone that does video. . .then I suggest you write them a short note.  Not more than two paragraphs. . .it needs to be something they can read at a glance.

How will your children have the wisdom, foresight, or knowledge to properly choose what is best for them in life. . .if you don’t impart to them what you know to be truth?

Proverbs 22:6 says:

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

20.     Purpose in your heart to experience a healthier lifestyle through exercise and minimize foods that are unhealthy for you.

Find an exercise program that works for you. . .whether it’s walking  or being part of a regular program such as a gym membership or Pilates.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 in The Living Bible says:

“Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. 20 For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it.”

One more verse.  1 Corinthians 10:31 in The Living Bible says:

Well, I’ll tell you why. It is because you must do everything for the glory of God, even your eating and drinking.”

21.     Seek God early every day. . .making Him your primary advisor.

Have you been looking for God. . .longing for Him. . .His direction. . .His presence?

Proverbs 8:17 tells us how to find him.  It says:

“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

It’s clear that God wants to be first. . .that He wants us to seek Him early.

God is not hiding from us.  He is not playing spiritual hide and go seek.  If we seek Him. . .we will find Him.

Seeking God is simple. . .but it’s not something that we can do half-heartedly.

Jeremiah 29:13 says:

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

We’re given a very powerful promise in the Amplified Bible translation of Jeremiah 29:12-14 which says:

Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.   Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity. . .”

Are you hearing this?  When we seek Him . . .when we commune with Him. . .He will release us from that which the enemy has used to keep us bound.

Every day is a learning day.  Every day we get closer to becoming what God wants for us but it is also a fine-tuning process. 

Are we doing what we need to be doing to get better … to get closer to Him?  That is a question we have to ask ourselves daily.