Stop Doing This...If You Want That

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If you want to be debt free. . .you must think debt free.

If you want to be rich. . .you must be a rich thinker.

If you want to be successful. . .you must think success.

If you want to be healthy. . .you must think about having divine health.

Proverbs 23:7 says:

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. . .”

We’ll need to break some habits even though we may have had them for a while. 

There are seven things we must stop doing and seven things we must start doing if we want to be a debt free, rich, successful and healthy thinker.

First, stop looking back. . .and start planning for tomorrow.

Luke 9:62 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“Jesus answered, "Anyone who starts plowing and keeps looking back isn't worth a thing to God's kingdom!"

If you want a better tomorrow then you must let go of your desire for a better yesterday.

You cannot continually think about what was or what could have been if you want to create a new reality of what will be.

Ask yourself. . .

Do you spend more time thinking about the past or planning for the future?

What are you doing today to ensure you’ll have the kind of life you want tomorrow?

Do you know how to get from where you are to where you want to be?

Your future will never be found in the past.  It is determined by what you do today as seeds for tomorrow’s harvests.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 in The Living Bible says:

“If you wait for perfect conditions you’ll never get anything done.”

Second, stop making excuses. . .start looking for opportunities.

Stop blaming someone else for your troubles . . .

And worse … stop blaming yourself.

Take your eyes off your failures and put them squarely on Christ Jesus.

1 John 2:28 in the Message Bible says:

 “And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we'll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.”

If you’re good at making excuses. . .that’s all you’ll ever be good at. 

Don’t make excuses. . .make a difference.

Ask God to reveal opportunities to you beyond your natural eye or normal thought process.

If you feel you are dragged down because of a mistake in your past…  make a conscious choice to get passed it!  Determine to forgive it and forget it. 

It’s over…and done…think of it as an event and not who you are. Use it to spring forward instead of hold you back.  Mistakes are learning tools that teach us what not to do next time.

Ephesians 5:15-16 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.”

When opportunity comes knocking, you still have to get up and go answer the door.  Don’t let fear paralyze you … get up and get going.

 Thomas Edison said:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”   

Third, stop complaining about what you don’t have. . .start praising God for what you do have.

Feeling sorry for yourself will not allow you any time to feel anything else.

You must develop an attitude of gratitude in every situation you face.

“Well, I got a flat tire out here on the freeway.  I didn’t have a jack. I can’t afford to buy a new tire right now.  I just can’t seem to catch a break.”

Let’s look at your situation from a different perspective.

First, thank God that no one was hurt when you got that flat tire.

Second, thank God that you were able to pull off onto a shoulder of the highway out of traffic and harm’s way.

Third, thank God you have a car.

Fourth, thank God only one of your tires went flat.

Fifth, thank God you have three other tires that still work.

Sixth, thank God somehow your flat got fixed.

Seventh, thank God you or someone else knew how to change a tire.

Eight, thank God you had a spare tire in the trunk.

Ninth, thank God that spare tire was properly inflated.

Tenth, thank God that no matter what the circumstance there is always something to thank God for.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says:

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”                                                       

Fourth, stop thinking about your financial mess. . .start helping someone else get out of their mess.

When worrying about your problems, STOP and shift your focus to being used of God to help someone else solve theirs. . . and it will become a key to your financial and personal success.

Dr. Karl Menninger, a leader in the field of mental health, was once asked, “What would you advise a person to do if he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown?”

The person asking the questions expected Dr. Menninger to come out with some profound psychological insight.  However, he looked his questioner straight in the eye and said:

“Leave your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need and do something to help that person.”

The thing that helps every believer in the midst of a crisis is to get our eyes off our problem. . .start helping someone else.  There is always someone worse off than you are if you stop and look around.

Remember the principle of Ephesians 6:8.

I vividly remember just a couple of months after we moved to Texas to work with Brother John Avanzini. . .we were still drowning in a sea of red ink.

I came home from work one day and my fine wife, Bev, told me she felt the Lord told her we should pay off the debts of our former babysitter..  Being the deep man of God that I was. . .I asked her if she was sure … reminding her of our own financial debt.

Bev was confident about what God spoke to her and in her wisdom. . .she said, “all I ask is that you pray and see if God tells you what He told me.”  So I prayed and He did.

It wasn’t easy. . .but we paid off her debts with six months.  The moment we paid off her last debt. . .there was an explosion in our finances and we were able to immediately begin paying off all our debts except the mortgage.

That is the first time we realized the powerful truth behind Ephesians 6:8:

“Knowing that for whatever good anyone does, he will receive his reward from the Lord, whether he is slave or free.”

Fifth, stop accepting things the way they are. . .start raising your level of expectation.

Senator Robert F. Kennedy used this quote as a theme for his 1968 bid for the presidency:

"Some men see things as they are and say why.  I dream things that never were and say why not."

No born-again believer was designed for a complacent or “settle for” kind of attitude.  The only way we ever develop is through embracing change.

Anyone who sees their lot in life as always the same is denying the power of personal change and supernatural promises found in the Word of God.

Numbers 23:19 in the New Living Translation says:

“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?”

Feeling you will never be able to fulfill the things God has stirred in your spirit or the dreams that He has given you. . .only means that you have given up and settled for less than His best.

Proverbs 19:21 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand.”

What is God’s plan for you?  What is it that God sees in your future that you don’t?

3 John 2:1 says:

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.”

If God wants you to prosper in every area of your life. . .that doesn’t seem to me like He wants everything to remain the same.

Deuteronomy 8:18 in the Amplified Bible says:

“But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

If God has given you the power to get wealth. . .to be successful. . .that should forever establish that He wants you to be an agent of change. . .to create a better you and a better world around you.

Sixth, stop thinking about just getting by. . .start thinking about getting out of debt so you can be used by God.

If you want to avoid becoming financial road kill, you have to stop allowing the world’s financial system to control your life.

When you’re in debt. . .your life is not your own.

When you’re burdened down with payments all you can focus on is having enough money to make your payments.

When your living day to day, week to week or even month to month. . .you will never be able to help yourself, let alone other people.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.  Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.”

God wants you positioned financially so you’re able to bless other folks who will in turn thank God for His loving kindness.

Your ability to give to others will have a direct effect on whether or not they praise God.

This can’t happen when you’re in debt. . .when you’re a slave to the moneylenders and barely able to help yourself. . .let alone anybody else.

Philemon 1:6-7 in the Message Bible says:

“And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it. Friend, you have no idea how good your love makes me feel, doubly so when I see your hospitality to fellow believers.”

Remember the old military recruiting poster that says “Uncle Sam Wants You.”  According to the scripture “God Wants You” to be used as a generous, debt-free believer who is bringing glory and honor to His name.

Seventh, stop seeking your personal happiness. . .start seeking the joy of the Lord.

Happiness is situational . . .it’s external. . .it depends on what happens to you.

If you get a raise. . .you’re happy.

If you’re favorite sports team wins. . .you’re happy.

If your children do well in school. . .your happy.

Happiness is the realization of something that brings you momentary pleasure based on your personal perspective and experiences..

If someone in your office gets a raise they’re happy. . .but if you don’t get a raise, chances are you’re not happy.

Happiness is situational and dependent upon the course of human events as well as your likes and dislikes

The only exception and it’s a big one. . .is when your happiness is in the Lord.

Matthew 5:4 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!”

Before continuing, I should also point out that the word happiness does not appear at all in the King James Version of the Bible.

However, there is a word that appears 187 times.  It’s joy.  Where happiness is shallow, joy runs deep.

Joy is internal. . .it’s resilient. . .it does not come and go based on circumstances or situations.  God gives you peace and joy in the midst of every situation. 

Why? Because when you know you are the child of the King, you are assured He will not leave or forsake you…even when things looks bleak.

As we’ve stated many times … one of our favorite old gospel songs goes like this:

“This joy that I have … the world didn’t give it to me and the world can’t take it away.”

If you’re passed over for a promotion at work. . .the joy of the Lord is still your strength.

God’s joy gives you the ability to look beyond today’s circumstances to a better tomorrow…based on God’s promises.

Nehemiah 8:10 in the Amplified Bible says:

“. . .And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.”

Your joy is not dependent on what you have or what you or anyone close to you has accomplished . . . your assurance is firmly planted in the Lord.

Isaiah 29:19 says:

“The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”

I rather like the Contemporary English Version of Isaiah 29:19 which says:

“The poor and the needy will celebrate and shout because of the LORD, the holy God of Israel.”

When you are poor and needy. . .you can still have the joy of the Lord.

Joy is an external manifestation of an internal work and word the Lord is performing in your life. . .every day.  Joy has its roots deep within God’s Word.

God’s desire for you can also be found in Psalm 35:27 which:

“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.”

One final note, I encourage you to meditate on the scriptures in this teaching so that you can fully grasp the seven things you must stop doing so the manifestation of His blessings in your life can be accomplished through the seven things you start doing.

These seven keys are critical to experiencing the debt free life.