7 Ways To Finish 2013 Strong And Successful

. .

We can’t control the global monetary system and economic policies of foreign capitals.

 

We can’t control what happens on Wall Street but we can control what happens on our street.

 

We can’t control what happens in the White House but we can control what happens in our house and in our hearts.

 

Every day for remainder of 2013. . .we’ve got a choice to make.

 

John 16:33 in the Amplified Bible says:

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

 

We will choose whether we will have perfect peace and confidence in every adversity and opportunity. . .or whether to live with tribulations, trials, distress and frustration.

 

Let me say it again. . .we can choose. . .you choose. . .I choose.

 

Tribulations (not being able to pay your bills). . .

 

Trials (being laid off on your job). . .

 

Distress (wondering how you’re going to provide for your family). . .

 

Frustration (feeling like nobody will help you or give you a break). . .

 

If life were a game show and you were offered those choices, you would say thanks, but no thanks. . . yet way too many believers are buying into TTDF (tribulations, trials, distress and frustration) every day through the choices they make.

 

You may feel like Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, who was going to get Elisha’s morning vanilla Frappuccino but stopped in his tracks because he saw their hotel rooms at the Israeli Hilton were surrounded by a vast multitude of Syrian soldiers and chariots (2 Kings 6:15 the Harold version).

 

As Gehazi stared at the circumstances filled with what he could only imagine would be tribulation, trial, distress, and frustration… this is how Elisha handled the situation:

 

And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”

 

You may feel like your home is surrounded by bill collectors, repo agents and other folks who brought along all the “D” words. . .despair, depression, doubt, disappointment, despondency, distress, discouragement and yes, debt BUT. . .

 

Yes, BUT, none, NADA, not a single one of these “D” words can come near you or enter into your mental thought processes unless you extend them an invitation.

 

My prayer for you during the remainder of 2013. . .is for God to open your eyes so that you can see with the eyes of the spirit the same way Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, did when He saw the host of heaven encamped round about them.

 

Child of God, you have a protector, a peace-maker and provider who wants, yes earnestly desires, to give you perfect peace and His confidence in the midst of every attack and battle you’re facing. He’s like the battery, EVEREADY, to equip you not only for battle but victory.

 

Once again let’s look at John 16:33 in the Amplified Bible which says:

 

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”

 

In Him, you and I may have. . .(it’s a choice). . .the ability to have perfect peace and confidence.

 

Confidence. . .that nothing or nobody can rob you of your divine destiny or keep you from manifesting the promises of God in your life.

 

Debt cannot. . .Depression cannot. . .Disappointment cannot. . .Discouragement cannot. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can keep you from having perfect peace and His confidence in every situation unless you choose otherwise.

 

We choose . . .every day. . . whether we will serve the world with all its tribulation, trials, distress and frustration or whether we will serve the God of perfect peace.

 

I think it’s also important to notice that the scripture says “be of good cheer.” That means not to mope around with a “oh- woe- is- me attitude.”

 

Try this. . .the next time the enemy attacks you, your family, finances or health, laugh at him or the circumstances. Tell him that you are wise to his tricks and they’re not going to work on you anymore and go back to keeping your eyes on the Lord.

 

But “Brother Harold, how can I be of good cheer with what I’m going through?”

 

You choose . . . because you are a creature of free will. . .you can choose to be cheerful (that’s what the Word says we’re to do when we stand on His Word) or you can choose the “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” mentality.

 

Here are two scriptures that confirm the success of God’s way over the world’s way:

 

Psalm 25:15 in the Amplified Bible says:

 

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.”

 

If your eyes are on the Lord … then they can’t be focused on your circumstances.

 

Isaiah 26:3 says:

 

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

 

I believe the smart choice is to do what the Word says. . . choose the right door to walk through … but it’s your choice.

 

And let me emphasize that the choice has nothing to do with your circumstances at the moment . . . what we do today will determine how good or bad things will be in the remainder of 2013. . .as well as the rest of our life..

 

Here are seven ways to finish 2013 strong and successful.

 

1. Encourage yourself.

 

You must recognize that you may be the only person who will encourage you in the midst of adversity and yes, even opportunities.

 

1 Samuel 30:6 says:

 

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”

 

David and his men returned home from battle to find their families had been kidnapped, their valuable possessions stolen and everything else burned to the ground.

 

Needless to say, he was already having a bad day but when things went from bad to worst. His men were now talking of stoning him to death. For there to exist that kind of anger against David, their beloved leader, you know things had to be pretty bad.

 

In the midst of such adversity and personal grief. . .David knew there was only one thing to do. . .one way to shake this off. . .one thing to sharpen his perspective. . .one course that would bring victory in a desperate, distressing and depressing situation. . .he knew it was time to encourage himself in the Lord by speaking what he knew to be true in God’s promises.

 

When you’re going through hell. . .the only source of peace and deliverance is through encouraging yourself in the One who can turn things around. . .just like that.

 

So here’s the question. . .When was the last time you encouraged yourself?

 

What’s the best way to encourage yourself?

 

Reading the right books is important.

 

Making the right confessions is very helpful.

 

Memorizing the right quotations will stir your faith is very good.

 

Listening to the right CDs and MP3s will empower you.

 

But the bottom line is this: your faith and trust must be rooted and grounded in knowing God is your source in every situation of life. s

 

Once last thing. . .you may be the only person who will encourage you about a new opportunity. . .a new door God has opened for you.

 

These same principles apply to get you through an adversity or to soar into a God-given opportunity for your future.

 

2. Know where you want to go.

 

If you don’t know where you want to go. . .what you want to do with your life during the remainder of 2013. . .how can you get there?

 

Your destination is your goal.

 

If you goal is to be a millionaire. . .you have an empty goal. Becoming a millionaire is serendipity to fulfilling your vision, your dreams and your goals.

 

Stephen Covey in his book “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” defines the second habit as “begin with the end in mind.”

 

It’s also important to always keep the end in mind. . .never lose sight of your destination.

 

It might surprise you to know that many Christians. . .not only don’t know where they are in life. . .they don’t have a clue where they want to be.

 

How do you determine your destination? By answering the right questions and dreaming.

 

It’s okay to dream.

 

Sadly, many teachers stop their students from day dreaming. Correcting, criticizing and even sometimes, embarrassing a student for doing what should come natural to every child … it is born of God. . . and that is dreaming.

 

So let’s dream a little bit. . .to help us determine your ultimate destination.

 

Before answering the questions that I’m about to pose . . .here are seven keys to setting the proper mood and moment.

 

1. Find a quiet place.

 

2. Find a quiet time.

 

3. Turn off all electronic equipment.

 

4. Have something to write with and something to write on.

 

5. Personally, I like soothing instrumental music.

 

6. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.

 

7. Begin praising God for who He is and what He’s done.

 

In His presence begin to answer the following questions. This is a process every person who wants to succeed. . .who wants to be a Spiritual Entrepreneur or operate in the end-time office of the Giver needs to ask themselves.

 

Passion

 

What is my secret ambition?

 

What activities give me satisfaction?

 

What excites me about life?

 

What are my hobbies? What you love to do for pleasure will usually reveal your God-given gifts.

 

Talent

 

What do I get complimented on?

 

Where have I excelled in the past?

 

Where have I been successful?

 

What are some of my strengths?

 

Values

 

What is important to me?

 

What do I stand for?

 

What won't I stand for?

 

What would I risk my life for?

 

Destiny

 

What was I born to do?

 

What does God want me to do?

 

What are my unique opportunities?

 

Where can I make a difference?

 

When you ask God. . .He will begin to unfold each answer to your questions about direction and your purpose for being here on planet earth. . .then you will know your destination. It is process but well worth the effort.

 

If you don’t get an answer the first time. . .continue the process until you do.

 

3. Stop looking at your circumstances. Create the circumstances you want instead of the ones you’ve got.

 

But, Brother Harold you don’t know my circumstances.”

 

Remember Psalm 25:15 and Isaiah 26:3 I just read … if you focus on the “why-nots,” you are feeding why you want to die. But if your eyes and mind stay focused on God, you will begin to see the victory that lies ahead.

 

Over the years, I’ve heard that excuse more than there are days in a year.

 

My typical response is “you’re right, I don’t and I don’t want to know. Circumstance can be defined as the circle you’re standing in. Why should I want to hear what you ought to be leaving behind. . .as we move from glory unto glory.”

 

Most of the time. . .not all the time. . .but most of the time. . .those who want to talk about circumstances. . .are just looking for someone to commiserate with. . .I’m not that person.

 

Dictionary.com defines circumstances as:

 

a condition, detail, part, or attribute, with respect to time, place, manner, agent, etc., that accompanies, determines, or modifies a fact or event; a modifying or influencing factor:”

 

Let me tell you one fact that can’t be modified or changed.

 

Jesus saves. Jesus heals. Jesus delivers. Jesus changes things which the world thinks can’t be changed.

Why should I worry about circumstances. . .when I have the authority, wisdom and access to change any and every circumstance.

 

Your circumstances don’t determine your destiny. . .they just reflect your current location . . . and what you’re doing or not doing at the moment.

 

Here seven Rich Thoughts about circumstances and one scripture that brings it all into perspective.

 

First, circumstances and facts change. . .truth doesn’t (the Word is truth). You decide what you want to believe.

 

Second, your attitude will determine your tolerance of the circumstances you’re facing.

 

Third, talking about your circumstances won’t change them. . .but action based on God’s Word will.

 

Fourth, your character. . .not your circumstances. . .will determine your destiny. Take time to meditate on that one.

 

Fifth, your peace factor should never be affected by your circumstances.

 

Sixth, your response to less than desirable circumstances will determine your future success.

 

Seventh, adverse circumstances are from hell. . .opportunities are from heaven. Where do you want to spend your time?

 

There is only one scripture you need to know about circumstances and it’s found in 2 Corinthians 9:8 in the Amplified Bible which says:

 

And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].”

 

Enough said on that for now.

 

4. Make Sure Your Friends Are Headed In The Same Direction You Are.

 

If all your friends talk about is people. . .celebrity or otherwise. . .you need to find new friends.”

 

If you have a clearly defined vision of your life. . .with identifiable and manageable goals you need to hang around people who are after the same things you are. You will motivate them and they will motivate you to achieve greater destiny.

 

Is your financial future affected by who wins the Grammys, Emmys, Tonys or Oscars or the Espys?

 

Is your success in life dependent upon what celebrities wear, where they party at or who they’re in a relationship with?

 

Is your personal growth and development determined by who gets featured on TMZ. Entertainment Today or Inside Edition?

 

Is your God-inspired destiny achieved by who makes the highlights on ESPN’s Sports Center?

 

Do your friends encourage, discourage and/or ignore your dreams, hopes and plans for the future?

 

Remember, the game of life is not really a game . . . it’s for real with real consequences. You need no one around you who is holding you back from the progress you want to be making.

 

Job 12:4 in the New Living Translation says:

 

Yet my friends laugh at me, for I call on God and expect an answer. I am a just and blameless man, yet they laugh at me.”

 

Make no mistake if your friends are talking about and laughing at others. . .they will be making fun of you as well.

 

If you’re friends aren’t empowering and encouraging you on your journey to success you need to find friends who will.

 

5. The details in a daily “to do” list will make God. . .happy happy happy.

 

2 Corinthians 6:1-3 in the Message Bible says:

 

Companions, as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don't squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. God reminds us, I heard your call in the nick of time; The day you needed me, I was there to help.

 

Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don't put it off; don't frustrate God's work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we're doing. Our work as God's servants gets validated—or not—in the details. . .”

 

Details in a daily “to do” list. . .will define and determine your destiny for not only the remainder of 2013 but for the rest of your life.

 

Before you go to sleep at night. . .create a daily “to-do” list for tomorrow. If you don’t have a plan for your days. . .someone else will.

 

Your daily “to do” list should be a divine reflection of the things God has called you to accomplish with your life.

A “to do” list brings your future into your present.

Your “to do” list should include these five keys:

First, this may seem simple but recognize. . .your daily “to do” list as a roadmap to your future success. Treat it as if it were a treasure map revealing your financial destiny. . .because it is.

Second, your “to do” list should reflect daily tasks in accomplishing your goals in the six major areas of your life. (Spiritual, family, financial, physical, mental and social.)

Third, your “to do” list should ALWAYS include tasks for your personal spiritual growth (prayer and Bible reading) and family development (special time with your spouse and/or children).

Fourth, your “to do” list should be satisfying because of the things it will allow you to accomplish or eliminate from your priorities and goals.

Fifth and finally, review your list frequently during the day and mark off tasks that have been accomplished and add new ones as they occur to you.

Proverbs 6:4 in the New Living Translation says:

Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.”

The most difficult part of any assignment or journey is the first step. Don’t let the enemy of your success keep you from organizing your priorities and your life.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 in The Living Bible says:

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

Never go to bed at night before preparing your “to do” list for tomorrow.

6. Wake up every day expecting the irresistible charm of Jesus to flow through you.

 

Here seven keys to igniting favor in your life for the remainder of 2013 and beyond.

 

First, by believing in and expecting continual supernatural moves of God in your daily life.

 

Psalm 86:10 in The Living Bible says:

 

For you are great, and do great miracles. You alone are God.”


You must raise your level of expectation of you want to experience supernatural manifestation.

 

Psalm 77:14 in The Living Bible says:

 

You are the God of miracles and wonders! You still demonstrate your awesome power.”

 

Second, by doing what you say you're going to do. . .when you say you’re going to do it.

 

There are two things God wants from you according to Psalm 50:14 in the Contemporary English Version which says:

 

I am God Most High! The only sacrifice I want is for you to be thankful and to keep your word.”

 

Numbers 30:2 in the Contemporary English Version says:

 

When one of you men makes a promise to the LORD, you must keep your word.”

 

Ecclesiastes 5:5 in the New Living Translation says:


It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.”

 

Third, being a person of integrity even when no one else is around.

 

James 1:8 in the Amplified Bible says:

 

[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].”

 

Don’t be double-minded. C.S. Lewis, the renowned theologian said:

 

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”

 

Fourth, being a person of character instead of being a character

 

John Wooden, the great basketball coach said:

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Psalm 89:16-18 in The Living Bible says:

They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation and in your perfect righteousness. You are their strength. What glory! Our power is based on your favor!”

A person with a good reputation. . .is most often a person of character. . .who will enjoy supernatural favor.

Fifth, live an Ephesians 6:8 lifestyle.

 

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.”

 

The Message Bible translates Ephesians 6:8 like this:

 

Good work will get you good pay from the Master. . .”

 

Favor will always be manifested in your life. . .as a result of what you do for others.

 

Sixth, treat people the way you want to be treated.

 

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

 

The Golden Rule is one of the first things I remember being taught in grammar school.

 

Matthew 7:12 in the Amplified Bible says it this way.

 

So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.”

 

I like the Message Bible translation of Matthew 7:12:

 

Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get.”

 

Seventh, position yourself for His favor to flow through you to others.

 

Even in the midst of difficult circumstances. . .the supernatural favor of God will flow through you.

Genesis 39:21 says:

But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

While most believers will never find themselves confined in a prison with guards and tungsten steel wire fences. . .they may feel incarcerated by their surroundings. . .feeling that freedom. . .financial and otherwise. . .is just an elusive dream.

No matter what circumstances you’re facing. . .God can move you from the prison to the palace. . .through His supernatural favor.

7. The Voice you ought to be watching for and listening to.

 

Every Monday and Tuesday night. . .millions of people tune into a television program called The Voice. . .to see who will be accepted, rejected and ultimately succeed.

 

The Voice that we should be waiting, watching and listening for. . .isn’t a television show. . .but a Voice which will ensure your success in the battle rounds.

 

This Voice makes every person a winner. . .He doesn’t reject anyone who confesses their sins. .and He declares everyone who asks in faith believing. . .a winner in life.

 

The Voice. . .of the Holy Spirit. . .is one that will direct us through every adversity as we embrace every opportunity using previously untried potential for greater success.

 

Here are seven questions that will determine your destiny.

 

First, what’s the first thing you do in the morning?

 

Proverbs 8:17 says:

 

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

 

Second, what’s the first thing you should do as you encounter The Voice?

 

Psalm 5:3 in the New International Version says:

 

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."

 

Third, what happens when you listen to The Voice?

 

Exodus 23:22 in the Amplified Bible says:

 

But if you will indeed listen to and obey His voice … I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.”

 

Fourth, what’s the result of your spending time with The Voice?

 

Joshua 21:45 in the New Living Translations says:

 

Not a single one of all the good promises the LORD had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.”

 

Fifth, what’s one of the major benefits of listening to The Voice?

 

Psalm 32:8 in the English Standard Version (ESV) says:

 

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

 

Sixth, what will happen as a result of your time with The Voice?

 

Romans 12:2 in the New Living Translation it says:

 

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

 

Seventh, what should you do as a result of your time with The Voice?

 

Deuteronomy12:16 in the Message Bible:

 

“…You are to celebrate in the Presence of God, your God, all the things you've been able to accomplish.”

 

One last thought on this teaching. . .there is only one person who can determine whether the remainder of 2013 and the time thereafter brings you success or “I wish I had.”

 

You decide.

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