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.


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!


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.


Principles of Success 11 It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense

Imagine God spoke to you and said get up at 4am tomorrow and pray in tongues for one hour. That will never in a million years make sense to your natural mind, but here’s the good news – it doesn’t have to, you can do it anyway. You might think “Hey, I don’t get up at 4am”, doesn’t matter, you can! You might think “I could never pray that long”, but what you think and reason and rationalize doesn’t matter. God has told me to do many things I do not have the capabilities to do. but it doesn’t matter. He has told me to do things that do not make sense, but it doesn’t matter, it does not have to make sense.

You do not have to understand, to grasp, to be comfortable with, anything God tells you to do. You can still do it. When you are being led by the Lord, you will end up in places you have never been before. What you need to work on is not making sense, but dreaming. Use your mind to imagine not to rationalize and you will walk in your dreams and have good success.

Or let me say it like this – DO NOT DREAM REASONABLE DREAMS. Dream big huge dreams that are utterly unreasonable. Your imagination is the only thing that can change your life, that can be given substance by faith and produce a new reality around you. The clothes you are wearing, the car you drive, the body you have – all are determined by your thoughts and imaginations! You want them to change, change your dreams and stop dreaming reasonable, sensible, rational dreams.

The energy of your dreams changes your world. Proverbs says it like this – as a man thinks in his heart so is he, Paul says be transformed by the renewing of your mind, John tells us that he is praying that we prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. All of this is various ways of saying the same truth – our dreams determine our reality. When God puts an image in your mind, dare to dream no matter what the circumstances say.

Your dream will bring to you everything you need – the people, the resources, the stuff, the ideas, the plans. THERE IS NO DOUBT IN GOD’s HEART – THERE NEEDS TO BE NO DOUBT IN YOUR HEART EITHER, whether it makes sense or not. Never use rationality to judge your dreams!


Principles of Success 10 You Are Who God Says You Are, But You Manifest Who You Think You Are

Nothing matters to your future success as much as your imagination.

We all have the same grace. The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. If we are born again, we all have identical spirits, that are the same nature and identity as Jesus.

But that will only manifest as we imagine we are like Jesus. The Word of God is so clear. As a man thinks (imagines) in his heart, so is he. You manifest who you think and imagine and dream you are.

Two men both get saved on the same day, they are both the same age. The one who wins in life is the one who disciplines himself to think success, to dream big, to imagine himself a success, perceives himself as happy and loving and full of faith. The one who never restrains their imagination, never chooses what to think, never renews their mind never experiences life transformation is not succeeding in life.

They both have the same salvation, the same measure of faith, the same grace, but one thought differently and that made all the difference.

The idea, the concept, that nothing matters to your future success as much as your imagination has been mocked by the church for hundreds of years. Most Christians take a que sera sera approach to life and asse anything happening is the will of God! Nothing could be more unscriptural or foolish. The truth is we must change what we dream to be a success in life.

You must take the time to find out what your God given dream and destiny is and dream it with Him! It is essential. Otherwise everything in your life will be trivial and eventually nonsensical to you, and you will become a slave to a useless monotony and eventually your mind will regress to bitterness at the success of others walking in their dreams.

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks, and I hear so many talking about things that make no difference to them or the kingdom of God. So therefore their heart is full of these things. So therefore their life will not manifest abundance and success. They will never make a difference in the world, they will never go in the direction they want.

We must get a handle on our thoughts and imaginations, fill our hearts with God’s Word, practice being grateful, pray in tongues, listen to inspiring messages and pull down small and negative thoughts. Everything, and I mean everything, depends on this.

Principles of Success 09 Learn How Gender Works

God made humanity male and female. There’s a particular male energy and a particular female energy. The way the world is pressing is to eliminate those differences but male and female are different. They are not the same! Being a good man is not precisely the same as being a good woman. God has made us male and female on purpose. I often counsel newly-weds who struggle to find out how different their spouse is, not realizing it is just gender differences.

We are not the product of random chance and millions of years of evolution we were designed by God and your manhood or womanhood was deliberately part of God’s design, something God did on purpose, with intention, and God has put you on earth with a plan that is aware of the gender you are!

The word man in Hebrew is “Adam” and we have two Adams in the Bible to learn from, the first Adam, Adam, and the second Adam, Jesus. The Adam from the book of Genesis was given the whole earth to rule – to have great adventures, to work the land, to obey God, and to care for the woman. He failed to do all of them, but that was the design. Men today are supposed to be having adventures, obey God, work and when God brings them a woman to love them. Don’t fall like Adam and be passive – men are supposed to be active, to have energy that leads and creates and produces. If you are male, be a man!

Jesus was also a man – born male. He also had a design to have adventures with God, do work, and love and care for the woman God brings to Him. He was active, strong, worked with his hands, made things with wood, and when God brought him the bride of the church, He has done nothing but love the church and care for her, no matter how badly she treated Him.

Jesus in the garden did not fail to be a man, He did not fail to step up. He allowed himself to suffer to take the place of others to help others. That is part of being a man. This is what Adam did not do – He did not want to confront satan and just stood there and let a talking snake seduce his wife. Not manly! Not working like a man! Real manliness is not passive, it is brave, bold, adventurous, it expects rewards from God in assertive and strong faith.

The energy of a woman is similar but not the same. Mary was brave, and brought Jesus into the world. When Eve ignored God’s Word, Mary said “let it be to me according to the Word”, Eve doubted the Word, Mary doubted her doubts and trusted the Word. She was confronted with a situation which is truly impossible in the natural realm, but God said. She was also prepared to be pregnant and unmarried and undergo the abuse of that. But she embraces God’s call in her life. She was not working the land and leading the same way as the Adam, but she was expecting God’s best and trusting God’s Word. A true woman embraces what God tells her, makes wise choices and expects God to come through for her.

If you understand these essential differences, you will do well.

If you are a man, you can spend time and find out how women work. If you are a woman, you can spend time and find out how men work. The male-female relationship is designed to complement each other – you are supposed to be working in a team that contains male and female. Children, both boys and girls, should be raised by mum and dad.

Men need the company of men, the mentorship of men, and male heroes. Women are the same. I’m not saying there is no overlap, that would be untrue and foolish, but I am saying that men are essential to men and vice versa, and we would do well to learn that.

If you are a leader, men and women have different energies, learn how to work with both!

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