A few weeks ago, I taught “How To Live In Significance and Opulence” on Rich Thoughts for Breakfast. As I was teaching during the call. . .I was stirred to write “seven keys to significance.”
James 4:10 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].”
It’s not what you do. . .that builds a life of significance. . .it’s who you serve.
What does it mean to live a life that is significant?
According to dictionary.com the word significant means “important; of consequence.”
In order to achieve significance in this life. . .we must first. . .manifest humility in our everyday life.
I’m going to believe. . .that your life is characterized by scriptural humility thus positioning you for the seven keys to significance.
1. Change The Way We Think
Have you ever heard someone say: “I’m never going to change my mind about that” or “It doesn’t matter what anyone says, that’s how I feel.”
An unwillingness to change one’s opinion might also be known as rigor mortis of the mind.
A mind that’s unwilling to change. . .will never experience what could be.
“But Brother Harold, don’t you have strong opinions?
There is a difference between opinions and values.
An opinion is just that. . .an opinion is based on the available facts and/or information at any given time. These opinions can even be based on tradition or what others close to us think.
Acts 3:19 in The Living Bible says:
“Now change your mind and attitude to God and turn to him so he can cleanse away your sins and send you wonderful times of refreshment from the presence of the Lord.”
What does it take to change a mind and an attitude? Turning to Jesus. . .so He will cleanse us of any and all unrighteousness.
Romans 12:2 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”
A significant part of Romans 12:2 says it like this in the New Living Translation:
“. . . but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. . .”
Many young people have gone off to college including some Christian colleges only to have their minds changed by professors.
I went to a so-called Christian college. . .I will always remember the first day in my Old Testament class during the fall semester of my freshman year. And this mind you … was over 40 years ago.
The professor, an ordained pastor in his denomination, walked into class and the first question he asked was “how many of you are theocentric. . .meaning you believe God is the center of everything?”
In a classroom of about 40 students all but three or four raised their hands. . .he smiled and said. . .you won’t feel that way by the time this course is over.
Over that semester the professor proceeded to change the way many of those unsuspecting students felt about God being the center of their lives.
He and I frequently agreed to disagree agreeably.
“Change your mind and attitude, or else I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
It’s important that we allow God to change the way we think and not fall subject to the world and its many varied belief systems.
Ignorance most often produces an unwillingness to change your mind about anything whereas a willingness to change. . .will lead to a life of significance.
2. Increase Your Energy Management
Many secular life coaches (motivational speakers, Bible teachers) are now teaching that time management is a waste of time. . .they’re now encouraging people to be more concerned about energy management.
No matter what you call it. . .when you put first things first. . .you’re going to become energized. New revelation causes excitement and excitement is an energy source.
First, Proverbs 8:17 says:
“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”
Second, Jeremiah 29:12-14 in the Amplified Bible 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. . .”
Third, 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."
When it comes to the workplace or the marketplace. . .perform your most essential tasks first. If you wake up to find 200 emails. . .as I often do. . .don’t necessarily answer them first.
Complete your most important tasks first. . .the ones with the highest priority. . .and you can handle other tasks later.
Schedule your focus early on key projects. . .when you’re the freshest.
Fourth, Ecclesiastes 7:11-12 in the Message Bible says:
“Wisdom is better when it’s paired with money, Especially if you get both while you’re still living. Double protection: wisdom and wealth! Plus this bonus: Wisdom energizes its owner.”
Fifth, Proverbs 3:21 in The Living Bible says:
“Have two goals: wisdom—that is, knowing and doing right—and common sense. Don’t let them slip away, for they fill you with living energy and bring you honor and respect.”
Sixth, Colossians 1:29 in the New International Version says:
“To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”
Seventh, 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.”
Discover whatever energizes your faith and motivates you toward greater success. There are certain songs that make my spirit soar.
Think about and visualize the things you want to accomplish. . .this will sharpen your focus as you manage your energy. . .toward greater success.
3. Activate Ephesians 6:8
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. . .”
Over the years I’ve had many people ask me how I can always be so happy even in the midst of difficult circumstances. It’s because I sow happiness.
Driving down the highway with my father growing up, I noticed my Dad waved at everyone. It wasn’t because he knew everyone, he just loved people.
Have you ever had someone wave at you in a passing car that you didn’t recognize? I’m sure it made you feel good. In fact, you probably thought, who was that? I didn’t know they knew me.
Bottom line. . .if you want happiness in your life. . .then sow happiness into the lives of others.
Sadly, there are people who want happiness. . .but have never sown the first seed of happiness.
If you want your dreams to come true. . .ask God to use you to help others make their dreams come true.
God will do for you what you’ve done for them. That’s Ephesians 6:8.
The New International Version of Ephesians 6:8 says:
“The Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does. . .”
If you want to be rewarded. . .paid and blessed. . .then make it your business. . .your mission. . .your passion to help other people achieve significance in their lives.
4. Be an original not a copy
I’m going to state the obvious.
I’m not Kenneth Copeland. . .though I have great admiration for him.
I’m not Creflo Dollar. . .though I recognize his powerful anointing.
I’m not Jesse DuPlantis. . .though I do have a pretty good sense of humor.
I’m not Joel Osteen. . .though I one of the most positive people you’ll ever meet.
I’m not Joyce Meyer…though I do offer practical insight into daily living.
I’m not Dr. Mike Murdock. . .though I am wise through the wisdom of the Word.
I’m not Brother John Avanzini. . .though I’m anointed to teach people how to live debt free.
I’m not any of these men or women . .nor do I want to be. . .I just want to be me and a better me every day.
God didn’t create me to be a clone or a copy. . .He created me to be an original. . . to be significant in His kingdom. . .as who He created me to be.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary the word original means:
“the source or cause from which something arises.”
What makes you an original. . .is your source of origination.
Genesis 1:26 says:
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
As an original. . .your were created in His image, after His likeness. . .and that, Child of God, makes you significant in His eyes.
5. Living a balanced life
IS IT POSSIBLE to live a life where all the pieces fit together in harmony?
According to Webster’s New Intercollegiate Dictionary, the word balance is defined as:
“a harmonious or satisfying arrangement of parts in a design.”
Draw a circle with six spokes leading out from the center designate your six major life areas: spiritual, family, financial, mental, physical and social.
God has given toevery one of us the desire to live a life that is satisfying and successful in every way. So how can we arrange the elements of our lives into a satisfying design so our wheel rolls down the road of life as smoothly as possible?
Throughout our lives, it’s easy to think the “bumps” we hit are part of the road; when in reality, our “wheel” might be out of alignment. Stop and think about it: Change comes into everyone’s life. How we deal with change often determines whether we remain balanced. That is why we must constantly assess the parts and make adjustments.
Using a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, how do you think you would score on each spoke of your wheel? Would your life be in balance?
It’s time for an honest assessment of where you are in your life’s journey.
First, ask God to give you wisdom to honestly reflect where you are today, not where you’d like to be in the future.
Now go back and mark the wheel representing your life, rating where you are in terms of achieving your life’s goals.
When you’re finished marking the spokes, draw a circle connecting all of the marks above the numbers at their highest point on each line….make sure they are connected.
How is your life rolling along?The rounder your wheel, the smoother your ride!
When you’ve succeeded in each area of your life. . .you’ll succeed in bringing your whole life into better balance. . .and that will lead to a life of significance.
6. Never Give Up
When I began to search the Word. . .I was led to 2 Corinthians 4:8 CEV:
“We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up.”
You may be under attack. . .but the Lord is saying to you. . .regardless of your current adversity, whether it’s relatively new or has been around for a long time. . .you are to never give up.
In your present situation, you may not know what to do next. . .but the Word of God says that you’re to never give up. . . pray about the next step you should take.
“[Parable of the Persistent Widow] One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” Luke 18:1NLT
Our Heavenly Father even gives us specific direction about how we’re to pray.
“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.” Ephesians 6:18NCV
Not only are we to persevere . . .never give up. . .but we’re to pray for one another.
Once you begin praying for others who may be experiencing your same trials and tribulations . . .something supernatural begins to happen.
The Holy Spirit will stir you . . .direct you. . .to the one you should be praying for. You may not know the specifics involved in their situation but God does. Just follow the promptings of the spirit.
“Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord.” Romans 12:11CEV
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.
Praise precipitates hope which reinforces your commitment to never give up or quit.
“I will never give up hope or stop praising you.” Psalm 71:14CEV
I regularly receive mail from folks who’ve grown weary of living with physical pain and agony . . .feeling there is no hope. . .they question, whether or not they should give up.
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 NLT
Satchel Paige, the legendary baseball player who endured racism and pain, never gave up. He once said:
“Never let your head hang down. NEVER GIVE UP AND SIT DOWN AND GRIEVE.
Find another way.”
When we grow weary . . .when we think about giving up. . .we have the comfort in knowing that God’s infinite love and mercy knows no limitations.
“Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up.”
2 Corinthians 4:1 NLT
Rejoice that His grace (unmerited favor) and mercy are fresh and new every day.
The Bible is the greatest success book ever written. It’s filled with stories of people who’ve overcome the most difficult adversities to achieve the greatest victories. Read, embrace, devour and immerse yourself in the Word of God. . .follow its principles, percepts and promises and never give up.
“[Obey the Teachings ] But you have followed what I teach, the way I live, my goal, faith, patience, and love. You know I never give up.” 2 Timothy 3:10 NCV
7. Find the niche for you
According to dictionary.com the word niche is defined as:
“a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing; a distinct segment of a market.”
To live in significance you must find and master your niche. Cast aside for the moment. . .how you see yourself. . .and focus on how God sees you.
How do you find your niche? The same way you find anything else.
Matthew 7:7-8 says:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
The last part of Matthew 7:8 in The Living Bible says:
“. . . If only you will knock, the door will open.”
How is the door opened. . .when we knock. . .we take action.
Here are seven ways to find your niche.
First, get out of your comfort zone.
Your comfort zone is an enemy of your future. . .a hindrance to your success. . .a stumbling block instead of a stepping stone..
If you stay in your comfort zone. . .you will never leave nor surpass your current reality nor find your niche in life.
Second, what are you good at and what do you enjoy?
A month or so ago, I posed a series of questions. . .which I’m listing again. . .as they will help you find your niche in life.
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.]
What do I get complimented on?
Where have I excelled in the past?
Where have I been successful?
What are some of my strengths?
What was I born to do?
What does God want me to do?
What are my unique opportunities?
Where can I make a difference?
Third, don’t over think it.
Some people overthink every situation to the point they never make a decision. It’s what the world calls the paralysis of analysis.
Proverbs 3:4-6 in The Living Bible says:
“If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.”
Fourth, the biggest chance you’ll ever take. . .is not taking a chance at all.
1 Corinthians 7:21 in the New Living Translation says:
“Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it.”
There are moments when you need to take a chance. . .to seize the moment or that opportunity will be gone. . .perhaps, forever.
Fifth, today is the perfect day to start.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 in The Living Bible says:
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
Sixth, free your mind from fear of failure.
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 your confidence is born in faith. . .it gives you a boldness. . .in knowing you can achieve anything. . .regardless of the obstacles.
Fear flees when confidence in God’s Word shows up.
Seventh, forward march.
Once you’ve found your niche. . .stop talking about what you’re going to do and just start doing it.
Exodus 14:15 in The Living Bible says:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march!”
A few final thoughts. . .once you and I recognize who we are in Him. . .a life of significance. . .of consequence. . .is within our grasp. It will become our new reality and allow our dreams to come true.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS