Let's get this whole thing about making observations vs. judgements straight. Making an observation is simply describing what you see. For example, if I see you steal something, then yes, I could make the observation that you are a thief right now. I'm not judging you. But I'd be judging you if I said, "A thief is all you're ever going to be." Now that would be wrong for me to say. I would be making the wrong assumption that you cannot change. But people can truly change for the better. Look at the Apostle Paul: he went from killing Christians to having a special encounter with Jesus and being converted. Then he went on to write about 2/3 of the New Testament. Yes, God can change hearts and minds. When we judge and are critical of others, we are forfeiting an opportunity to start a relationship, or build on an existing one with them. That forfeited relationship could have been the relationship in which we lead them to the love of Christ. Much love!
"If you only move based on data, you will only regurgitate old ideas." -- Bishop T. D. Jakes
Research and data have their place, but most new great discoveries and inventions can be traced back to someone tapping into their God-given instincts. Research and data bring out ideas that were good for a time, but they don't always necessarily bring up new, fresh ideas. There is something to be said for those with fresh ideas and good instinctive courses of actions that help change certain spheres of influence for the better. When you have a good, instinctive idea, surround yourself with a team of people with diverse perspectives and levels of influence. Surround yourself with those who are willing and able to contribute to what you are trying to accomplish. It has often been my experience that when my creative instincts have emerged, the resources to help me bring my ideas to life have eventually caught up.
It says in Proverbs 16:7, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
The ones that were always giving you a hard time for no apparent reason but to spite you, will have to admit that because you have made up in your mind that you are going to live right for God because He truly is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6), that this God we serve is worth serving. He is worth chasing after. He is worth the suffering for a Kingom cause because our treasure is in the things of God. Oh, He is worth it! In fact, after a while, if your enemies come to their right senses, they will want to be like you. They will begin to realize that you, as a child of the living God, are so blessed because you have chosen to do the Lord’s will; no matter how messed up things have gotten in your life. You have chosen to stay with the Lord because you know that the God that you serve is able and is willing to bring you up to where you ought to be. Your enemies will not want to be your enemies anymore because they will want to be as blessed as you are! Be encouraged!
If you are a leader of a team of people, empower the members, don't make them feel like they are lower or less than you. Help them see how they can make smart decisions on their own. You get more out of a team if they see how you empower and encourage them than if they feel forced to do certain things if you're micromanaging.
I'm seeing more and more how the management of people is really about the management of various kinds of potential and ideas and concepts and resources. It goes deeper than just telling people what to do. Anyone can do that. But can your team understand WHY you are asking them to do what you've asked them to do?
Moreover, does your team feel like they can come to you with their concerns, or do they feel afraid of being bashed and attacked and micromanaged by you? Also, does your team follow your direction because "they have to" or do they follow you because they truly respect where you are trying to lead them because you actually know where you want to take them, which I hope is towards greatness and success?
Worrying about things you cannot control is a waste of time.
Feeling guilty and beating yourself down for messing up is a waste of time.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1).
Trying to change what only God can change is a waste of time.
Complaining is a waste of time.
Being fearful is a waste of time.
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
Playing the blame game is a waste of time.
Comparing yourself to others and wishing you could have whatever they have is a waste of time. You probably could not handle having some of the things other people have anyway.
Don't waste time. Use it wisely.
You don't achieve salvation, you simply receive it. You receive it when you believe in Christ and trust Him to be your Savior and Lord. (Eph. 2:8,9). No amount of our own "good works" alone can make us good enough to get to enjoy spending eternity with our Creator, for we are sinful. But when we are born again in Christ, God does not see our sin, but He sees His Son [our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)]. Good deeds have their place, but they do not impress God. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We need to have the righteousness of Christ imputed unto us (Romans 4). When we have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, we are then pleasing to God.
We might mess up at times and sin as we deal with our flesh, but we should not condemn ourselves nor beat ourselves down. Moreover, we should not condemn others if we witness them falling short of the glory of God. If we truly have been made into new creations by God, then we are Christ's and He is ours. Nothing can change that and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:31-39).
How often do we hear people say, "Money is the root of all evil"? But that is not true. That is not biblical. The Bible lets us know that "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil..." (1 Timothy 6:10). Money itself is neutral. It can be used for good purposes or bad purposes. But it's the love of it that gets us into big trouble. Honor God with your money by tithing (bringing Him a tenth of each financial gain), giving it in offerings, and simply helping others. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10). The storehouse was the temple to the Jews and that translates to the local churches for us today. And notice, we are to BRING God the tithe, not give it to Him. You can't give to someone whatever is already theirs. So since the money already belongs to God, we are to simply be good stewards over it, like managers in a sense.
The world "arubbah" in the Hebrew, from which we get "windows" in "windows of heaven" in Malachi 3:10 translates as "floodgates." So God wants to bless us by pouring out blessings from heavenly floodgates! Who wouldn't want that?? (But let's be careful and make sure that we are not trying to leverage our prayers or use God to get more money. Our focus should be on chasing after God and He will then provide Himself to meet our needs.)
And bringing the tithes and offerings to a local church is not about giving money "to the pastor" per se' ... it's about our hearts. Jesus has more parables in the Gospels about money and possessions than about anything else because He knows those things concern us. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Jesus addressed mammon in Matthew 6:24 because mammon is a spirit that causes people to desire money and material possessions instead of God. Tithing and giving cheerfully are acts of worship to God because you are honoring Him and not giving in to mammon. So the question is: Does God have your heart? ... Do you have money or does money have you?
#Affirmation I do not love money and use God. Instead, I love God and use money to honor Him.
You can change your exterior layers but it doesn't really matter if you haven't been transformed in your core. It's interesting that many of us pay a great deal of attention to the exterior layers of others, and yet we sometimes fail to see what's under "everything." What's under all the material possessions? What's under all the money? What's under all the make-up and nice clothes? ... And isn't it funny how some people can seem to know all about everyone else, yet they hardly know themselves? They think the outside is the only thing worth focusing on, but they have all these issues on the inside. They don't know what they want in life and somehow believe that getting more things is the best way to express who they are to others.
But getting more and more material things does not help with you knowing what God created you to do and be. Know who you are at your core so you can be the expression of your best self God created you to be. When you begin to explore the inner layers of yourself, you'll see things you like and things you don't like that might be hard to change in your own strength (so give it to God). If you focus too much on what's "wrong" with you, you can end up discouraged. But Bishop Jakes put it this way: "Don't focus so much on fighting what's wrong in you, but work on developing what's right in you." Develop the gifts and talents God gave you for fulfilling His purpose for your life. For you are not supposed to be here in vain.
When you are really transformed you are changed from the inside out, not the other way around. When you are transformed for the better, your walk improves, your talk improves, the way you carry yourself improves. When you are transformed you begin to run with people who have also been transformed. When you are transformed, you don't want to spend too much time around people who are stuck and who actually don't want to move forward. So who are you spending time with? What kind of information are you taking in on a daily basis? Challenge yourself with these questions and you might be surprised about what you come to realize.
As a freelance graphic designer, I wish I could say I designed that cover for Bishop T.D. Jakes' new book, Instinct, which is in stores now. But I can say that I really do want to get my hands on a version of this (i.e. for Kindle or a hardcover). And I encourage everyone else to get a copy of this book as well! I have watched different messages by and interviews with Bishop Jakes about instinct and I've really been inspired. One thing he's been saying is this: "It's good to have intellect, but don't forget about instinct. Intellect loads the gun, and instinct pulls the trigger. You might have a lot of bullets, but what's the point if you don't know when to pull the trigger?"
Instinct is that little nudge you feel to go ahead and embrace that new opportunity. You might have great intellect, but without good instincts, you just might miss a prime opportunity for success. ... You might know a lot about something, but knowing about that thing and knowing how and when to use it are two different things. The timing of what you do is so crucial when stepping into your purpose, when stepping into destiny.
You are not a mistake or a mishap. God created you on purpose for a purpose. So seek God's purpose for your life. God gave you everything you need for every environment He ordained you to be in. Moreover, you can have all these accomplishments and look successful in the eyes of the world, but still not be fulfilled and satisfied. You might have five degrees and a good job, but if you don't know what God ultimately created you to do, it doesn't really matter. Bishop Jakes said while preaching at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas on one occasion, "People might tell you you're doing good and you've come a long way, but it's not about doing good, it's about being fulfilled." That is a powerful statement!
The thing is, how do we know when we are walking in fulfillment? How do we know we are fulfilling the right things God wants us to do in life? We know when we come to flow in our right element. Some people are struggling because they are not operating in their proper element, doing what everyone else is telling them to do. When you know what God's called you to do, you can flow in the right element and it won't be a struggle as you live for an audience of One.
Do you see a fish or a shark struggling in the water? Do you see an eagle struggling in the air? No. It's because they instinctively know what their elements are. You've got to find your zone. You've got to find your proper element. When you do that, you'll be better off. And getting into that right zone might mean leaving some things and people behind. As hard as it might be, sometimes it must be done. When God called Abram (who later became Abraham), He told him to leave all that he knew to go to a new place. Imagine if Abram had not obeyed God? Then he wouldn't have become the father of many nations. There are going to be some people who are going to be mad because you left them behind to do what God's called you to do, but so be it! God has something new for you that is going to blow your mind and it will blow the minds of your supporters and haters alike.
You've got to have courage to move forward when people are trying to hold you back. Whether you know it or not, some people around you can sense the greatness in you for your future. They might be quiet about it, but they can sense it. People can do either one of two things when they sense the greatness God put in you for your future: they can try to help you because of your future or try to hurt you in spite of your future. Watch out and be careful about who is in your circle(s).
As you step out as a new leader, some people might try to set some things up for you to do, but that doesn't mean it is in you to do it because God might not have put it in you to do it. Some people have good intentions, but they can miss it if they don't know exactly what you need when you need it. But be careful, some people are right on point in their efforts to help you. Are you gracefully receiving the help or are you in the way?
When you are flowing in what you know God wants you to do, no devil in hell can prevent your ultimate progress! If God called you to it, He will bring you through it. Be encouraged, God will perfect that which concerns you (Psalm 138:8)!
Bishop Jakes once said in a sermon, "God wouldn't ask it of you if He didn't put it in you." If God put an gift/ability in you, He has a right to ask you to deliver because He knows He put it in you to do so Himself. If I give you $500.00 and then I ask you for $100.00 for something, I should expect that you have that $100.00 because I gave it to you. We are kind of like deposit boxes for God. He can get His will accomplished in the Earth by using what He put in you and me. Maybe God gave you the gift of leadership, or the gift of administration, or the gift of singing, or something else. Whatever your gift is, use it to give God glory.
Do you notice when you do certain things and you get excited and passionate and you're winning? And do you also notice when you do other things and you're not excited or passionate and it seems laborious and you're losing? When you follow your God-given instincts, your instincts are a pretty decent indicator of what you should be doing with your life, and as you seek God first, you can come out winning. Do you naturally find yourself wanting to serve others in various ways? Do you naturally find yourself in athletic affairs? Do you naturally find yourself planning and organizing things and leading people? You might want to do those things for God that make you excited and passionate and help you to be a blessing to others.
Life's circumstances cannot ask more of you than what God has put inside of you. To whom much is given, much is required. God would not have given you what He gave you if He did not trust you with it. God ordained you to do certain things before time began. So when time passes in your life, you are simply gravitating towards that which eternity invested in you. Don't worry about eternity (especially if you trust Christ to be your Savior and Lord). God has that taken care of. If you're not careful, you can focus so much on eternity that you'll forget to maximize who you are to be in this present life. Don't forget that God wants to use you in this life. Your family needs you in this life. Your friends and loved ones need you in this life. Let's not be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.
If God put seeds of greatness in us, why do we see so many people settling for "good enough," or even bad and harmful things? We need to invest time, energy, and resources into identifying what God would have us to do. I think we'd see fewer and fewer news reports of kids killing kids, we’d see less people struggling with defeat, we’d see greater leadership from people, if every single one of them is inspired and knows who they are in God.
Have you thought about what makes you great? It's not about what you can do in your own strength. It's about what you allow God to do in you and through you. When God designed you, He made no mistakes. Our mistake is in thinking He "missed something" with us. Everything God does and creates is for a purpose. We don't understand everything clearly now, but when we see Jesus face to face, we will (1 Corinthians 13:12). In this life, don't complain about what you are not. Thank God for what you are. Your purpose is in who you are. Your destiny is in who you are. Your capacity to help others is in who you are.
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.