1. YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE COLOUR SHOULD BE BEIGE
Never try to defend your present position and situation. Choose to be a person who is on the offensive, not the defensive. People who live defensively never rise above being average. We’re called, as Christians, to be on the offensive, to take the initiative. A lukewarm, indecisive person is never secure regardless of his wealth, education or position.
Don’t ever let your quest for balance become an excuse for not taking the unique, radical, move that God has directed you to take. Many times the attempt to maintain balance in life is really just an excuse for being lukewarm. In Joshua 1:6,7,9 the Lord says three times to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.” I believe that He is saying the same thing to all believers today.
When you choose to be on the offensive, the atmosphere of your life will begin to change. So, if you don’t like the atmosphere of your life, choose to take the offensive position.
Take control of your life
When you do choose to be on the offensive, keep all your conflicts impersonal. Fight the issue, not the person. Speak about what God in you can do, not what others cannot do. You will find that when all of your reasons are defensive, your cause almost never succeeds. Being on the offensive and taking the initiative is a master key which opens the door to opportunity in your life. Learn to create a habit of taking the initiatives and don’t ever start your day in neutral. Every morning when your feet hit the floor, you should be thinking on the offensive, reacting like an invader, taking control of your day and your life.
Don’t blend in
By pulling back and being defensive, you usually enhance the problem. Intimidation always precedes defeat. If you are not sure which way to go, try and move towards the situation in confident trust. Be like the two fishermen who got trapped in a storm in the middle of the lake.
One turned to the other and asked, “Should we pray, or should we row?” His wise companion responded, “Let’s do both!”
Let’s start taking the offensive. Stand out, don’t blend in. Rise up and go!
2. YOU NEED PERSISTENCE
Persistent people begin their success where most others quit. We Christians need to be known as people of persistence and endurance. One person with commitment, persistence and endurance will accomplish more than a thousand people with interest alone. In Hebrews 12:1 we read: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” The more diligently we work, the harder it is to quit. Persistence is a habit, so is quitting.
Don’t give up
Never worry about how much money, ability or equipment you are starting with. Just begin with a million dollars worth of determination. Remember: it’s not what you have; it’s what you do with what you have that makes all the difference. Many people begin ‘the good fight of faith’, but they forget to add patience, persistence and endurance to their enthusiasm.
Josh Billings said: “Consider the postage stamp. Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to something until it gets there.” You and I should be known as ‘postage stamp’ Christians.
Make diligence and commitment a habit in your life
In 1 Corinthians 15:58, the Apostle Paul writes: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Peter tells us: “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” 2 Pet 3:14. And wise Solomon points out: “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings...” Prov 22:29.
Stick to the vision God gave you
In the Far East the people plant a tree called the Chinese bamboo. During the first four years they water and fertilise the plant with seemingly little or no results.
Then the fifth year they again apply water and fertiliser and in five weeks time the tree grows 27 metres in height! The obvious question is: did the Chinese bamboo tree grow 27 metres in five weeks, or did it grow 27 metres in five years?
The answer is: it grew 27 metres in five years. Because if any time during those five years the people had stopped watering and fertilising the tree, it would have died.
You will reap a harvest soon
Many times our dreams and plans appear not to be succeeding. We are tempted to give up and quit trying. Instead, we need to continue to water and fertilise those dreams and plans, nurturing the seeds of the vision God has placed within us.
Because we know that if we do not quit, if we display perseverance and endurance, we will also reap a harvest. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” We need to be like that snail.
3. GROWTH COMES FROM BUILDING ON TALENTS, GIFTS AND STRENGTHS
One of the most neglected areas in many people’s lives is the area of gifts that God has placed within them. It is amazing how some people can devote their entire lives to a field of endeavour or a profession that has nothing to do with their inherent talents. In fact, the opposite is also true. Many people spend their whole lifetime trying to change who God has made them. They ignore their God-given blessings while continually seeking to change their natural makeup. As children of God, we need to recognise our innate gifts, talents and strengths and do everything in our power to build on them.
Choose to step into your destiny
One good thing about God’s gifts and callings is that they are permanent and enduring. Romans 11:29 tells us: “...the gifts and callings of God are without repentance”. The Greek word translated repentance in this verse means ‘irrevocable’. God cannot take away His gifts and calling in your life.
Even if you’ve never done anything with them, even if you’ve failed time and time again, God’s gifts and calling are still resident within you. They are there on this very day, and you can choose to do something with them, beginning right now.
Put your talents to use
Gifts and talents are really God’s deposits in our personal accounts, but we determine the interest on them. The greater the amount of interest and attention we give to them, the greater their value becomes. God’s gifts are never loans, they are always deposits. As such, they are never used up or depleted. In fact, the more they are used, the greater, stronger and more valuable they become.
When they are put to good use, they provide information, insight and revelation which cannot be received any other way or from any other source. As a Christian, we need to make full use of all the gifts and talents which God has bestowed upon us so that we do not abound in one area while becoming bankrupt in another. Don’t make that mistake, use all of the gifts God has given you.
Discover your gifts, fulfil your goals
Someone has said, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything like a nail.” If you choose not to step out and make maximum use of the gifts and talents in your life, you will spend your days on this earth helping someone else reach his goals. Most people let others control their destiny. Don’t allow anyone to take over the driver’s seat in your life. Fulfil your own dreams and determine your own life’s course.
Never underestimate the power of the gifts that are within you. Gifts and talents are given to us not only so we can fulfil to the maximum the call on our own lives, but also so we can reach the souls who are attached to those gifts. There are people whose lives are waiting to be affected by what God has placed within you. So evaluate yourself.
Define your gifts, talents and strengths.
Choose today to look for opportunities to exercise your unique, God-endowed, God-ordained gifts and calling.