Principles of Success 21 Focus!

Last time, I spoke on the power of memory and using your memory to remember the good things and not meditate on the bad. It’s so important you learn how to work your memory. Now, when I go to the gym, I don’t just work out let’s say my biceps, I will also work my triceps. I will work different muscle groups because I want all of my body to be stronger. It’s the same with your mind, do not just work on developing a good, strong, godly memory, but work on the power of focus.

It is hard to focus your mind because your body is basically an information gathering machine. As I am typing this I am in a hotel room in Albania, the chair is slightly shorter than I would like and I can feel that, it’s nearly dinner time and I feel hungry too, in front of me is a giant hotel room TV, my phone is to the right of me flashing notifications, I can see a lot. Outside I can hear people walking about, and the air con is rather noisy too. My body is an information gathering machine! That’s just my senses, that’s not me even using my memory to remember something, my mind to imagine what dinner might taste like, to think about how to solve a problem or how to bless someone or whatever. We need to learn to shut down all the streams of information coming our way and focus on one thing at a time – for me right now it is this blog.

When I started this blog today, when I go to the website to type, it’s just a big empty page and I choose what to write. Life is like that too – it’s just a big empty page, and you choose what to write. But here is the thing, if you try and write everything at once you will write nothing that is meaningful. If you try and do everything at once you will fail, if you try and dream every dream at once, you will fail, you need to develop the mind-muscle of focus. You need to learn how to concentrate. I have seen many young people who would be awesome doing something if they just learned to focus. The main reason your walk with God is not where it should be is that you do not focus. The reason your dreams do not come true is you do not focus. Focus increases power, it’s that simple.

What is the number one way to achieve a goal quicker? Focus. What is the number one way to gain energy? Focus. What is the number one way to achieve anything? Focus. When Kennedy asked von Braun “can we reach the moon”, Braun said “All it will take is the will to do it”. In other words, if we focus on getting to the moon we will get there. What you can focus on you will get to.

Learn how to focus. Learn how to spend time doing one thing and doing it well. Learn how to dismiss other things vying for your attention and do the one thing that is needful, whatever that is for the moment, be consistent in your prayer and Bible times and learn to focus.

Principles of Success 20 Do Not Forget!

Part of your soul is your memory. Your ability to remember things. Your memory is actually a superpower that every human has. You can remember good things, remember the Word, remember the truth. When our emotions overwhelm us, we can remember good times, remember God’s faithfulness, remember the Word.

But like every muscle, you need to use your memory. You need to remember good things to be a success in life. When I see someone who is struggling in their mind, I know they are not using their memory well.

When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, Moses actually tells them to remember that day (Exodus 13.3). That sounds silly – surely if you walked through the sea split in two you would never ever forget a day like that. But I know people who have forgotten their miracles, their healings, their financial provision. They have forgotten what God has done for them. They have forgotten how good God is. That kind of weakness of memory means you need a memory workout.

You need to start remembering all the good things God has done for you. You need to remember that He brought you into the kingdom, that He turned your dead spirit into a living spirit. You need to remember that you were a slave to sin and now you are free. You need to remember that the Lord is your healer and provider and helper. If you have forgotten those things – and you can tell if you are not happy today – if you are overwhelmed by depression – you have forgotten God is your joy! If you are overwhelmed with sickness, you have forgotten by His stripes you are healed. If you are overwhelmed with grief, you have forgotten that He bore your griefs! You need to remember!

One of the reasons the disciples were told they had a hard heart and struggled to belief in miracles is that they did not remember the miracles they had seen (Matthew 16.9). I believe one of the reasons I see so many miracles is that I remind myself of all the miracles I have seen. I work my memory out – not to remember the tough times and bad times, but to remember the good times. Sometimes someone will tell me about a tough situation they have been through, and I say “I have been through the same thing”, and it astounds them, they cannot believe it! Because I don’t use my memory for that, my memories do not dominate me – I dominate them, I use my memory as a tool to remember the Word and the miracles I have seen to keep my heart soft.

It is a key to success – learn to harness your memory.

Principles of Success 19 Think About It!

I was at a church in America a few years ago with Amanda, and Richard and Jacqui Waller. During the preaching, one man in the back responded regularly by crying out not “amen”, “come on”, “preach it”, or even “yee-haw” but with a loud cry of “Think About it”.

The more I think about “think about it”, the more I realize that thinking about it is the most powerful tool we have for walking in success. Thinking about things is the only way to success. You can develop your mind, your power to think and dream, to change your whole reality, to move mountains, to walk in victory and health and abundance. Every problem can be solved by good thinking.

Yet very few people think. And very very very very very few people think about thinking. When was the last time you thought about how you think. Are you thinking great big thoughts? Are your thoughts pure? Are they even right? Are they true? Are you thinking about what you think and how you think? Are you hitting the same problems every single day because you do not think about it beforehand?

We all sense everyday – we see things, we hear things, we smell things, we taste things and we touch things every day. Our senses are part of our body and part of how we interact with the world. That is right and correct, but we need to then think about what we sense. But most people are far more aware of what they heard than their thoughts about what they heard. They are far more aware about their feelings than how to think about them. If something makes you sad, or glad, or mad, you are supposed to think about why, consider and use your mind to analyse that feeling. If you are going to walk in success, you are going to have to think about it – think about what you desire in life, think about the words you use, think about who you are spending time with, think about your habits, think about your feelings, you are going to have to do a lot of thinking.

Remember your spirit is perfect, it does not need to change or be altered or improved. Your spirit is a mirror of Jesus Christ’s spirit. You are made in the image of God Himself. You have His power and life inside you.

What needs to change is NOT YOUR SPIRIT if you are born again. What needs to change is what you think about when you think about yourself. Do you think of yourself as unlimited spiritual power? Do you think of yourself as holy, kind, true, pure? Or do you see yourself as only human? Are you the victim in life, or the champion of God? Are you the head or the tail? What you think determines where you end up – so open your Bible, learn some things and think about it!

You go to school for years, and you learn things, but you are never really taught to think about things. Yet spritual power flows into your body and your cupboards and your driveway and your life and your friends through your mind – through your thoughts, your dreams, your ideas and imagination! You need to think big thoughts because as you think – that is who you are! You use your mind to create pictures and they start to appear outside our mind in our lives!

Your spirit provides the desire, it wants you to win, to love, to walk in health and wealth, to be a success, to have good friends, to forgive, to submit to your husband, to love your wife – and if you get quiet enough you will feel that desire. Jesus say “what things you desire, when you pray”. Spend time in prayer until godly, spiritual, full of life and energy and power desires rise up inside you and let those desire paint a picture in your mind! Think About it!

By dreaming consistently, speaking your dream, dreaming your dream, sowing finances to people walking in your dream, acting on your dream, believing you have received the dream, living the dream – then the dream manifests from your spirit to your life through the pipe of your thoughts. Think about it!

As you start to think like this, you start to become a genius. Think about it. I think most Christians would rather die than think though, I really do. You need to become a thinker.

I have had many people come to me with a problem, and I always ask “What do you want to happen?” – most people will not tell me, either through shyness or embarassment of sharing a dream, but mostly because they have never prayed or thought about it. I think everyone who comes to me for help is really smart, because coming to me is a smart thing to do. So what you tell you me your dream is is not going to make me thing you are dumb, I already think you are smart because you came to me. I think you are a genius, but I want to help you express that spiritual life on the outside, and to do that I need to provoke you to think. Think about what you want your life to be like, how you want to life, what you want to do, what you want to change, what battles you want to win. THINK ABOUT IT!

Henry Ford once said “Thinking is the hardest thing to do in the universe, which is why so few people do it”. I agree with Henry Ford, I hear people talking about things and I think “Why are you even talking about that? Why are you letting that be in your heart? Why are you becoming that? Why would you let that dominate your heart?” I know why – they are not thinking. They are not realizing what the Bible say about thinking and speaking.

Principles of Success 18 Develop a Sense of Grace-Entitlement

A sense of self-entitlement is ugly. I deserve this because I am more awesome than others is an arrogant and divisive attitude. But we cannot replace a sense of self-entitlement with a sense of self-unworthiness – that is just as ugly. We need to stop thinking about self entirely and think about grace. When you think about grace, you are entitled to things, not because you are good but because God is good. You can have health and wealth, because God is good. You are entitled to wisdom and peace, because God is good.

Whatever your dream is, whatever your goal is – if it is in the realm of holy and good – you can have it, because God is good and God has shown you grace.

“I can do all things” is ugly talk. “I am nothing” is ugly talk. “I can do all things through Christ” and “I am nothing without Christ” is truth talk. Tie everything to Christ, not self, and dream accordingly.

Principles of Success 17 Money is Useful

I don’t want more money to have more things – I want more money to do more things. I don’t want a pile of money to sleep on or cuddle. I want it so I can change the United Kingdom.

In the modern world, money is the single medium of exchange for products or services. Want to hire a hall? Money. Want to heat that hall? Money. Want a projector to put some words up on the wall of that hall? Money. Want a laptop to have some nice words and pictures? Money. Want to play a guitar? Money. Want to put a poster up to let people know you are there? Money.

We no longer live in a barter system – with a few rare exceptions. It’s not like you don’t like hunting and I do your hunting if you make my arrows or whatever, we use money to exchange goods and services.

The more money I have, the more churches I can plant, the more TV I can on, the more people I can reach, the more materials I can produce. Money gives me power to do God’s will. I want more money because I am alive and I want my life to impact the world in the biggest way possible.

Money has no character, it is not good or bad, it is useful. For an evil person, more money could help them be more evil and sin more, they could buy more drugs, they could pay a prostitute, they could buy all sorts of selfish things. But for a good person, money is useful in being good.

Every goal or vision you have, it needs some money. Take time to deal with the poverty mentality and learn how to handle money and how to generate it, save it, spend it, invest it and sow it. You will never regret learning how to master money. Selah.

Principles of Success 16 God’s Will is Increase!

You have to eliminate and remove and assault and attack any idea tht God wants you poor or sick, or that His purpose for your life is in anyway served by your poverty.

God loves you and wants you to live in prosperity, abundance and wealth. God wants you to have a life of good things.

God is big and huge and is not afraid of plenty. Everything God makes grows. Tiny little seeds become corn. Tiny little acorns become huge oaks. Tiny little sperm and eggs become 6′ 4″ humans. Baby crocodiles hatch at eight inches long, then grow to as large as 20 feet. Everything God makes grows. The whole universe is expanding. Your bank account should be growing, Your assets should be growing. Your life and influence and reputation and abundance should be growing. Life is increase because life comes from God and God is all about increase.

Look at nature – it grows. The only time nature is not growing is when people are in charge of it. You have to work hard to stop nature growing and taking over your house and garden!

A seed becomes hundreds of seeds! Each of those seeds becomes hundreds of seeds. Dave Duell, my spiritual father, used to say “I can count the seeds in an apple, anyone can, but no one can count the number of apples contained in a seed”. LIFE IN ABUNDANCE! INCREASE IS GOD’S WILL.

If you want to keep living, you need to grow. People die when they stop growing. Retirement is a terrible idea, people travel less, move less, think less, learn less – and they stop living. Then they stop living. No – keep growing.

I was a school teacher for many years and one of the main topics of conversations was how many years or even decades people had until retirement. They wanted the retirement age for teachers to be lowered. They wanted to do nothing, learn nothing and grow nothing. I cannot understand why anyone would want to retire – I love doing what I do, and I love it even when it challenges me. Days away from the single largest (and most expensive) meeting I have ever held, I feel some things on my back, but I am being stretched which means I am growing. I never want to stop that. I want to grow, to increase, to do more, to be more.

Imagination either slows you down or speeds you up. It either stops you advancing or leads you into new places. If you want to be more, you need to do more, if you want to do more, you need to know more. The more things you have, the more money you have, the easier it is to grow. So many people when there is a problem want to retreat – they want to regress, but we are designed by God to life – to grow – to advance – to learn the new technology – to understand the new culture – to embrace the new generation. Money and riches are not there to pile up – they are there to invest in dreams, to learn more, to life more, to do more, to change, to grow.

Principles of Success 15 Disciplines only Work With a Dream

Let’s say you try to start a new habit in your life. It’s New Year’s Eve, so you decide to go to the gym. You decide to lose 20lb. You decide to pray every day for twenty minutes. Whatever it is – you have a new habit to make your life better. You start day 1 awesomely, maybe day 2 or 3 too, but suddenly, and faster than you thought, your discipline fades, and you are back in the same place, totally stuck and you hate yourself for it. There is no success there, just failure, and it leaves you frustrates and annoyed.

Not only have I heard that story or variations of it as a pastor for years, more times than I care to admit it’s been my story as well! We presume that discipline is the key – that if we just grit our teeth and try hard enough, we can change, and so we try again and again until we are disgusted at ourself by failing.

What you need to do is actually not discipline yourself more, but start by changing your desire and dream. You need to change at the idea-level, at the imagination level to walk into success. Then when you cultivate the new dream, then – although you will still have to discipline yourself – but it will be possible, even easy.

You start to see yourself as a godly man. You have an idea – you are holy. You start searching the Scriptures and you find out that the Word of God itself calls you holy and righteous and pure and blameless. You start to let that image dominate you. You start to see yourself as a righteous man, as a man of God, as a spiritual success. That image is painted in your mind by the Word and you accepting and meditating on that.

Then when the alarm goes off at 5.30am for you to pray in tongues for an hour, you spring out of bed and pray – not to become a man of prayer, a holy man, but because you deep down, at a heart level, see yourself as you truly are – a holy man.

You do not pray to become holy, you pray because you have finally realized you are holy. You do not stop stuffing your face with cake because you are trying to be healthy, you stop because you are healthy. You do not discipline to get disciplined, you discipline because you are disciplined.

You need to be more like Martin Luther King – “I have a dream”. You need a dream, then go for it. To try and go for it without the dream will not lead to success. When Jesus taught about moving mountains, His first instruction was “what things you desire”. the Greek word is aiteo, which means to crave or ask for something. Seeing results starts with desire, with a craving, with a dream of success. Start there and you will get to the right place!

Principles of Success 14 Don’t Let the Outside Influence the Inside

Living by faith is tbe process of letting the image inside you transform the outside. You desire something because there is an image inside you, you fill your heart with that image, you believe you receive it, you command mountains to move and you will have what you say.

If you say your dreams and you will have what you say, then you will have what you dream.

The tricky bit in doing that is this: to enable what is inside you to transform what is outside you, you must refuse and deny what is outside you the right to change what is inside you.

In other words, do not let your circumstances intrude inside your dreams. You get your dreams from the Word and the Spirit, and that is all. You do not get your dreams from anything you can sense – anything you can see, hear, taste, smell or touch.

You do not let the amount of money in your pocket affect your dreams. You let your dreams affect the amount of money in your pocket. You do not let what the doctor says to you affect your image of health, you let your image of health affect what the doctor says.

You do not let your life transform your mind. You renew your mind and let your mind transform your life.

You must create the image of what you desire in your mind, and then refuse to let the world tell you to change it. You dream in the darkness and let your dream illuminate and transform the darkness.

Stop looking at your bank account and letting it decide what you do next. Imagine what you want to do then imagine what your bank account needs to be to do that. See what you want on the inside.

God designed you as a dreaming machine, you were not designed to let this world influence your thoughts, you were designed to dominate this world by what you think.

If you renew your dreaming, your life will be transformed. It’s that simple. Everything the Father can do you can do, if you dream and if you refuse to let the world decide what you think.

Selah.

Principles of Success 13 Do Whatever You Can To Provoke Yourself to Dream

I recently heard of a man who as a young man in his twenties cut up pieces of paper the same size as $100 bills. He would get two $100 dollar bills, and put his paper inside. He only had $200 but he looked at his wallet and it looked like he had thousands. You may think that is silly, but when you find out the man is today worth over $100 million, you realize he was working something that works!

If you develop a dream, you will walk in your dream. If you dream of health and wealth, you will walk in health and wealth. Religion hates success, it hates health and it really hates wealth, but how can you do what God tells you to do if you have neither the energy or financial means to do what He says? Jim Baker says more dreams are crippled by sickness and poverty in the church than anything else – that more people fail to walk in their destiny because of those two things.

If you have more money – guess what? You can give away more money. It’s really simple maths. Every time you give, you are feeding the dream that you are prosperous and generous. You cannot outgive God, I have tried, and I have failed. He is bigger, more generous and kinder than any of us have imagined – but the more we give, the more we can imagine it.

But we have to not just dream of giving, but receiving too. Givers gain – that is how God designed the universe. Become aware of sowing and reaping, and start to sow into other’s dreams. People sometimes tell me I should give less to successful ministries and more to the poor (often not realizing I keep my giving to the poor quiet like Jesus told us) but I like to give to big dreamers who dream big dreams because then my giving and receiving inspires me to dream bigger.

Jesus told us birds do not sow or reap – they cannot, they cannot invest in their future. Birds are living as animals – fight or flight, live for today, respond to nothing, react to everything. Sadly, many humans are exacly the same, they have never tithed, given, received, or believed. They are at a low level. They make snap judgments and run away when money is talked about, and they never think about things or consider things. Being able to consider and imagine a better world is part of maturing and being a true human.

A baby thinks like an animal, it has no dreams or plans. Then a child thinks like the crowd. Children are terrible when it comes to peer pressure, they want the same shoes as every other child, the same hair, the same experiences. Sadly, many grow up and that doesn’t change either – they cannot originate ideas. I see churches that are clones of other churches with no originality, no purpose, no life. I see people who are clones of other people. I have been in rooms where an original thought is expressed and everyone looks to everyone to see how to react rather than be genuine. Listen – the crowd always walks the wrong way, it’s that simple. Find your feet, your voice, your lane – find your dream by investing time with the Lord, and dream your dream.

You need to believe there is something greater for you. You need a dream bigger than yourself. Being able to not fly off, or charge at something, but to stop, think, dream and imagine is a superpower every human has but very few use. But you are unique. Your personality is not mine because I could never do what God has called you to do. You have a unique spiritual DNA, find out your dream, dream it and live it. Desire something greater than yourself and without fail, you will find out what it is. Cut up pieces of paper if you have to. I have written cheques that I have had no money to give to someone, but it forces me to dream. I have a board of thing I believe are manifesting in my life above my bedside cabinet. I have a whole host of things in my office that force me to dream.

The Hebrews took 12 stones out of the middle of the Jordan river when God stopped it so they could cross over. Looking at those stones forced them to remember what God did for them, and forced them to confront the truth that God loved them and would keep doing that for them. Find your 12 stones and put them somewhere you see them.

Set up an environment in your house that forces you to dream! That provokes you to dream!

Selah.

Principles of Success 12 Be Prepared to Be Misunderstood

I reckon roughly 95% of people have no idea about the kingdom of God. I reckon 95% of Christians have no idea that God even wants them successful let alone that the Bible teaches us principles of Success. I reckon 95% of pastors are not living their best life in the slightest and therefore cannot communicate that life or wisdom to their people, or impart to them what confuses them!

Therefore when you start speaking and dreaming big, you will be misunderstood. I have been assaulted, lied about, spat at, ignored, dismissed, spoke about, cursed, blogged about… You name it. And that sometimes surprises people, but if you want to win you stand out. If you stand out you don’t fit in. Even small steps towards a big dream mark you out in a crowd of mediocre, despairing, conference hopping, dreamless people.

You will lose friends. You won’t stop being friendly to them, but they will turn on you. People will lie about you. They cannot imagine you successful AND honest, so they see your success and assume you are doing something wrong. Your success will expose their small dreams and negate their excuses.

I know more than a few English pastors who love successful American ministers, but when a successful English pastor turns up that rips out their excuse that it just doesn’t work in the UK. That’s a lie, because the principles of Success didn’t come from America, they came from Heaven, and were penned in the middle East. They will most definitely work here. To say otherwise is an excuse from people who don’t know any better.

Nobody carnal cares how much Tree of Life gives to world mission, they only care what kind of car I drive because that is their level. Their inability to see more causes them to misunderstand me.

When I remove someone from the church and exercise Biblical church discipline, I am misunderstood as unloving. When I take an offering and teach on giving, I am misunderstood as money grabbing. When I preach on healing, I am misunderstood as giving false hope. When I teach on grace, I am misunderstood as not understanding discipleship. When I teach on discipleship, I am told I don’t get grace.

People misunderstand because they are where they are not where you are. You have to accept that and not let it stop you growing, learning, dreaming and advancing. Don’t stop to answer your critics, go and do what the Lord has birthed in your heart.

Selah.