7 Keys for a Successful Year in 2018

Unlock Your Success!

 

1)   Look back

Do you journal? Have some record of what’s been going on in your life other than your memory? I hope you do. I keep several journals (writing, devotional and, more recently, personal development).

Looking back enables you to see patterns. From reading entries of previous years, I can see not only my successes but issues I’ve struggled with again and again. They show me which areas of my life, I have yet to achieve self-mastery.

Without the ability to look back, to see the evidence of my short-comings, these habitual failings could easily be overlooked, or remain unchallenged. Noticing meant I had a choice—do something about it, or make excuses and remain in a place of stagnancy.

 

 

2)   Look forward

Where do you want to go in terms of your spiritual life, your relationship with God and others, your health, or career? When you decide to look ahead, you are creating a focus for your life. By deciding what results you would like to achieve this year and setting realistic goals, you are effectively creating a positive vision for your life.

So ask yourself some searching questions – what would you like to see? Who would you like to be? What do you want to do? Where are you falling short when it comes to God’s Word?

When I looked back through my journals and realised that I was spending year after year lamenting the fact that I wanted to be a writer yet not actively doing anything to make this a reality, I decided to use my constant failure in this area, to set out a vision that I could look forward to and use as a form of motivation.

In a nutshell, one of my visions is to become a skilful writer, to write with such beauty of thought and intensity of passion that my words will be like apples of gold, in settings of silver. I created a vision in my heart to become a writer of  intrinsic quality and dynamic influence, so that my readers will be highly encouraged and perhaps even motivated afresh to take hold of God’s Word and allow themselves to become supernaturally transformed.

 

3)   Plan

Now that you have your vision, decide what steps you need to take in order to move towards that vision. Decide how you are going to get there.

Having realised my dream of becoming a prolific and published writer was not going to happen by mere wishful thinking, I came up with a strategy for making this goal a reality.

I created two blogs, which forced me to write regularly. This enabled me to see myself as an authentic writer (since a writer writes!), plus fulfil a long-held desire for God to use my writing to teach and encourage others. Result!

 

4)   Pray

Creflo Dollar  says that every failure is a prayer failure! I’m inclined to agree with him.

I know from experience that if I’ve gone into an endeavour without seeking God’s wisdom, guidance and enabling power, either my efforts will fail, or else the full potential of what I’m trying to accomplish will not be realised.

When we look to God for supernatural assistance, we will obtain supernatural results.

 

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 37:5 (NKJV)

 

5)   Take Action

So you have your goal(s). You’ve devised a plan and you’ve committed your dream or desire into God’s hands. Now what?

Well, dear reader, don’t kid yourself that God’s going to go Kerpow! and suddenly you will have lost that weight, landed that new job, or levitated yourself from a position of obscurity to “overnight success”. Whatever you wish to achieve, you are going to have to work, work, work at it. You are going to have to apply yourself diligently.

When I decided I’d had enough of being a victim of the Enemy and of the people whom he used to undermine my self-esteem, I took action by renewing my mind through biblical meditation, studying God’s Word, writing out several affirmations and speaking these to and over myself regularly. I read relevant books, watched motivational videos and sought to apply whatever truths I learned, which aligned with my Christian principles.

Work out what you need to do in order to accomplish your dream and then, as the Nike advert demands, just do it!

 

6)   Embrace Discipline

What is discipline?

It is training yourself to behave in a diligent and controlled way, in order to achieve a particular result.

Now, if you are like most people (myself included), discipline is where you fall down. The New Year arrives with its promise of new opportunities. You get excited. You set goals. You plan. You even start to take action. But then for some reason, you lose your enthusiasm and you lose momentum, or else, something happens to knock you off track.

There’s a saying that wisely observes: “to be forewarned is to be forearmed”. So let me forewarn you today—something or someone, somewhere down the road will cause you to lose hope, lose focus and perhaps ultimately lose your dream. Is there something you can do in advance to prepare yourself against this eventuality?

How about making a pre-commitment to not let weeks and weeks go by before you decide to get back on track with your goals or personal development plan? How about making a solid decision that come what may, you are not letting go of that dream?

How about making spiritual preparation in advance, by way of specific and persistent prayer and/or fasting, so that you have the inner strength and resolve required to soldier on regardless?

 

7)   Seek help from the Holy Spirit

How successful could you be in life if you had your own personal-achievement coach, spiritual cheerleader and perpetual mentor?

If you are a born-again Christian, if you have declared Jesus as Lord of your life, then my dear reader, you have! The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as our Helper. So don’t ignore this valuable and highly effective resource – ask for his help!

Ask him to help you set your goals in line with God’s will for your life. Ask him to remind you of your vows and commitments. Ask him to help you maintain discipline in your life. Ask him to empower you and show you how to achieve your heart’s desire.

Dear reader, dear aspiring woman of God, make 2018 a year in which you achieve, succeed and excel in the plans and purpose of God for your life.

May 2018 be a year where your spiritual growth and development enables you to experience the miraculous power of God at work in your life, to the extent that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask, think, desire and dream.

With best wishes,

Carol

 

 CREDIT: the above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com

Yes – We Can!

 

Dear WoW follower/visitor,

Dear fellow-believer,

Dear woman of God,

How are you?

Now this is not a flippant question, politely asked yet not genuinely concerned about or expectant of an answer.

This is a genuine desire to come alongside you, to discover what your dreams or problems are, what your achievements or struggles have been. This is a question asked from a genuine desire to know you, to encourage you, to weep or rejoice with you, to be your friend.

…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother – Proverbs 18:24

And so I ask again, how are you?

As 2017 moves to a close, are you satisfied about where you are in life, in your relationship with God? Are you content?

I decided to look back in my writing journal to see where I was at around this time last year. I found an entry which I’d written on the last day of 2016. As a part of this post‘s message, I include an edited version of the journal extract below:

It’s been a while dear diary. It’s been a while. And what brings me back to this journal?  Well, War Room. The movie. Wow! I watched it last night.  And I also started reading the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer (a main character in War Room). 

Am I glad that I purchased these items! Am I glad that God (or the Holy Spirit) prompted me to do so! Am I glad for the inspirational contribution to my life from the author and writers/producers of these works.

Wow! I feel challenged. Stirred up. I feel a new sense of determination to pray and intercede like never before. I feel challenged and able to take on the task that God gave me years ago, to pray for my family, for my loved ones… to intercede for those issues he lays upon my heart. 

Mum did it faithfully for so many years.  However, there came a time when she was not able to carry on because of the Alzheimer’s disease. How I wish I was as consistent and faithful in prayer as dear mum had been. Don’t get me wrong I pray. And if there are serious things happening, I’d most certainly tackle the situation with prayer.  But I’ve not been as persistent as I believe I should and need to be.  

But I want that to change.  I want to be a doer of God’s Word, an executor of his will.  I want to please him.  I want to glorify him. I want to emulate Christ. Be a faithful follower.  Disciple.  He deserves that.  He so, so, so, deserves it.  Deserves my loyalty.  My faithfulness. My 100 per cent commitment. My instant and total obedience. 

After all he has done for me.  After all he has done for the entire world.  After all that he has made available to me, so that I can walk victoriously in life, so that I can use the power of attorney with which he has entrusted me, to help make the lives of my near and dear ones divinely protected, safe, secure.

He is worthy.  So very worthy.  And I have spent too much time wallowing in self-pity. Sulking because I didn’t get the life I desired and thought I deserved.  What could be more precious, of higher quality than the Zoe life, the God-ordained destiny, the glorious future of a blood-bought child of God, who has been redeemed from the hand of the Enemy? Redeemed from the curse of the law? A life where I’ve been made an heir of God and joint-heir (i.e. equal heir) with Christ?

What could be better than knowing WHATEVER happens to me, God is able to cause all things to work together for my good? That has to mean for my utmost welfare, my personal development, and my eventual success—right?

So why, would I act as if there is no hope? Why would I live on a low spiritual plane—as if I’m in the same boat as those who do not know God, who do not revere God, who do not acknowledge or believe in him? Why?

The only reason is because of deception. Deception by the Enemy and even of myself. Because if you are a hearer of God’s Word and not a doer you are deceiving yourself!  It says so quite plainly in the Bible! (See James 1:22)

And… because of immaturity.  Yes! Despite being a woman with several decades clocked up, I’m still acting as if life owes me a gold-plated, everything-in-the-garden-rosy, pain-free and problem-free life—especially since I became a child of God and consider myself to be a prayer warrior!

But Jesus didn’t have life easy.  Even God does not have things easy.

Don’t believe me?

What about that time when Satan tried to overthrow him in heaven? What about the two-thirds of angels that mounted an insurrection? And now that they’ve all been thrown out of heaven, what about the havoc they wreak on this earth, defiling hearts and motives, causing people (God’s created masterpieces), to blaspheme and blame him for demonic atrocities?

So if Christ did not have it easy, and if God doesn’t have it easy why on earth should I be any different?

I blame the children’s fairy tales. I blame Hollywood.  Make-belief fantasies which make us feel that there’s an unadulterated and perpetual happy-ever-after that we deserve. And if we don’t have it, if we aren’t living it, then we feel cheated.

Get real Carol! Go LIVE the life that God has blessed you with when you gave your heart to Christ. Go LIVE the life he ordained for you to enjoy—the abundant, victorious life he has graciously and generously made provision for you to freely partake and enjoy.

Go LIVE that life with the realisation that an abundant, God-glorifying life does not guarantee you a problem-free, or pain-free future.

***** 

Does the above resonate with you in any way?

It’s amazing how quickly one can forget your vows and intentions.

It can also be discouraging to realise that once again another year has passed and those cherished dreams have not materialised, those troubling situations remain virtually unchanged.

So, where are you dear friend in terms of being a victorious overcomer?

Have you taken stock? Have you evaluated? Or have you given up?

Whilst writing the last sentence, a verse of scripture came to mind. It’s from Philippians 4:13 and says:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Perhaps this verse is a pertinent message from God for someone who is reading this post right now.

If so, then to God’s Word let me add the following encouragement:

  • You can do it!
  • You can move from a place of defeat, despair or disappointment to a position of personal strength and empowerment.
  • You can walk in life with your head held high and with God-confidence.
  • You can change your status from victim to victor!

I don’t have to know your circumstances. I don’t have to know what negative and overwhelming odds you’ve faced or what difficult situations are currently challenging you.

I don’t have to know the specifics of your life, yet whatever you may have experienced, I believe you can move forward into the New Year with faith, determination and purpose. In fact, I’m absolutely convinced that you can emerge a conqueror.

And what makes me so sure?

  • Because I know and believe God’s Word
  • Because I’ve experienced the integrity of God’s Word for myself
  • Because, before I released this post for publication, I’ve prayed for you.

Granted I don’t know who you are and of course I don’t know what you’ve been going through, or what lies ahead of you BUT I know a man who does. I know a God (a living, breathing, AWESOME God), who cares enough for you and me to number the hairs of our heads—not just count them but number them!

So stop and consider that for a moment. Can you imagine such incredible depth of detail regarding someone’s love for you? Do you know anyone who cares about you that much?

God loves you dear reader and the above detail mentioned is only ONE of many ways in which God has revealed his unconditional love, concern and commitment for you.

Now sometimes Satan, or circumstances, succeed in distracting us from acknowledging this fact. And sometimes Satan and/or situations rob us of our faith and seeks to displace our trust in God and stir up irrational fears.

FEAR!

False Evidence Appearing Real.

Dear reader, dear precious woman of God, we’ve just celebrated the fact that God sent his only Son (Jesus Christ) into the world to make a difference in our lives. Are you utilising the strength of Christ, the power of prayer, the anointing of the Holy Spirit to enforce and enjoy that difference?

As we pass from this year into the next, I pray that you and I will go into it with the strength and confidence of Christ. I pray you and I will go into the New Year with a hope that acts as a stabilising anchor for our souls. I pray that you and I will pass over into the New Year with a peace that surpasses normal understanding.

Dear reader, my prayer is that God blesses us with true heart-felt and immeasurable joy. Furthermore, I pray that we will experience an unshakeable inner knowing that God is in control and is able to do exceedingly abundantly above our highest hopes, thoughts, desires and dreams.

Women of Warfare followers and visitors – have a great, God-glorifying New Year in 2018!

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com