Thursday, January 17, 2013

Be Bold. Be Strong. Step Out.

Today's post takes a leap from I'm Going All The Way posted last week. It is a rewrite of the message shared by email - Enriching Lives in January 2012.

Are there promises founded on the God's Word, which you want fulfilled in your life?

Do you have divinely inspired dreams?

Dreams conceived at those moments when you allow your inner eyes to look beyond what your physical eyes can perceive and you see yourself apprehending what God has promised you. Dreams borne and nurtured in the place of prayer.

The beginning of a new year offers an opportunity to revisit these dreams.

Be Bold.
There is an old song derived from Joshua 1:6, which I have personalized to buttress my outlook for 2013.

I am bold. I am strong.
I am not discouraged.
I am not afraid.
Because I am walking in faith and victory.
The Lord, my God is with me.

At the time God commanded Joshua saying, “Arise, go over Jordan”, River Jordan was overflowing its bank; there were no bridges on which to walk over and cross the swollen river.  There were no boats that could carry the multitude across. Yet God said to him, “Go over Jordan.”

Does this sound familiar to you? Has God given you a dream, a promise or a word that sounds ridiculous when you consider your circumstance? It may not make sense in human terms. There may be no logic to it.

If we want to possess the promise and go all the way to the finish line, we may be required us to do something that defies logic, something bold and daring but by faith in God.

When God gives a promise and a command, He makes a way for it to be carried out if we trust Him and take the step of faith. We need to trust God to open a way for us this year. We need boldness to take the step of faith forward.

Here are some steps to consider as we prepare to take the step of faith forward.

Make it plain:
When you have a vision or a dream, it floats in your head for weeks or months. We ruminate on it, and carry it around. There comes a time we must articulate the dream or vision, and make it plain—put it in two or perhaps three dimension. When it becomes visible to us then we can begin to take steps towards achieving it.

Now is the time to define clear and specific goals we desire to accomplish in key areas of our lives as the Holy Spirit gives inspiration and direction. This is not a shopping list of resolutions but goals borne out of prayers and a desire to walk in the purpose and will of God.

For example, I have specific goals which I desire fulfilled in the following spheres of my life:
  • Spiritual: A closer walk with God and to consciously dwell in His presence.
  • Emotional: Maintain a vibrant relationship with my husband, children and significant others.
  • Physical: My health and strength fully restored.
  • My Writing: Completion of three writing projects.

Small Concrete Steps:
The next step is to break the goals down to doable small chunks.

What can I do each day to take me towards my dream and goals? This will involve defining concrete and consistent actions I can take each day.

For example:
  • Spend time in the presence of God in praise and prayer every morning before I get out of bed. Study my Bible after completing my morning routines. End each day in thanksgiving.  
  • Devote 3 - 4 hours in the afternoon on my writing projects.

Be organized and focussed:
It is important for me to get organized right from the beginning. Running around in circles and hopping from task to task dissipates energy and other useful but often limited resources like time. I have done my fair share of that. I want to start this year right by ensuring that I get myself organized quite early in the year.

When there is much to do, then it is time to prioritize. Making a list of things to do each day is helpful in visualizing what needs to be done and to focus on the things that are important and urgent.

Look out for tools that can help you to accomplish your goal and for opportunities to enhance the skills you need. I found using Bible Study Plans useful. There are a number of these available on YouVersion.

I found a software that got my writing projects organized. It was amazing how much work I got done on two of my work-in-progress within 48 hours of installing Scrivener. Even more amazing about this experience is that these are projects I have had in the cooler for over six months. I am so elated at the rekindled zeal to get the work going—I am fired up and so grateful to God for that.

Be Relentless:
Get rid of the doubt, cowardice, vacillation, shyness, timidity, and fear. These will hinder you from going forward. Refuse to be deterred, refuse to be put off and refuse to give up. Do not let your circumstances say "No" to you or set a limit to what God can do in your life.

Though the giants may be on our way to hinder, God has surely given us victory.

It is the will of God for us to possess the things He has promised us according to His Word. But you have to be relentless, adamant and determined to go all the way.

Be Expectant:
There is a reason why a pregnant woman is referred to as an expectant mother. She has an expectation of seeing the child she is carrying come forth. Let there be an earnest expectation in your heart to see your dreams and goals brought forth.

Have an expectation that God will act on your behalf far beyond what you are able to imagine—beyond what your human mind can conceive. It will require looking beyond our trials and afflictions to see God do those things that will put His glory on display in our lives.

No one can question God's willingness to put His glory on display in my life by doing a jaw-dropping, awe striking act of wonder in my life. In His sovereign right, He can make is glory manifest in my life to the extent that all will see and marvel, and declare that this is surely the hand of God at work in my life—this is my expectation!

Stay Tuned:
My part is to align my desires with His will, be submitted to Him and be guided by His word. I will not set limits for God and I will not let my circumstance set limit for what God can do in my life.

We will only be able to possess our promise if we stay right with God by obeying His Word. God’s power is made manifest through His Word. God charged Joshua to talk about it, think about it, and act by it so that he can obey it fully (Josh. 1:8). That charge is relevant for us today. It takes a greater strength of character to obey God’s word faithfully than to fight battles.

Commit your plans to God:
Beyond all the preparations, commit each step to God. Pray about it. Start everything you do with prayer, nurture and sustain it with prayer (Prov. 16:3).

There is something God want to do in you and through you. There is a promised land for you to possess. God has a purpose for your life. He wants your life to reflect His goodness and unfailing love. He wants to touch lives with your life.   

Step Out In Faith.
Be bold. Be strong. Step out in faith. Take a chance. Begin the race towards the finish line.

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