Victorious Insights For Living: July 2007

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Choosing God's Best For Your Life

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God." -Philippians 1: 9 - 11

Part of codependent behavior is it tends to settle for "good" rather then the "best". Settling for "good" usually has it's roots in fear of hurting people, i.e. the fear of man, which has it's roots in the fear of death - abandoment, being left alone, feeling rejected, "getting hurt again".

Good vs The Best
When you are in the middle of settling for "good" over the "best", there is usually an "unease" that comes with it. You find yourself acting out previous programing of "rationalizing" your decision for fear of hurting peoples feelings or having your own feelings hurt. But deep down you are crying out.

Don't ignore the heart cry of your spirit! Something isn't right. You could be choosing "good" over "the best". When you are violating your own conscience: "good" is actually not "good" at all. "Good" comes with a price!

Choose The Best
Make a quality decision to choose the best. You'll find it will liberate your spirit (your inner being) to start looking for God's best in your life. Decree and declare: "I choose the best. I choose God's best. God's best is mine. " The book of Job says:

"You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the light [of God's favor] shall shine upon your ways" (Job 22: 28)

When you decide and decree that you will choose God's best for your life, the light of God's favor will shine on the path of God's best for your life. Opportunites, ideas, insights, relationships, serendipous events, and resources will begin to emerge. Situations will begin to accomodate themselves on your behalf. You will still have to make decisions and perservere on that path, but the path will begin to open up.

The Path To The Best
Will there be confrontations along the path to the best? Possibly. Your decision to go from "good to great" and "better to best" will not only shake up your own comfort zone, but peoples comfort zones around you.

Obviously, be wise and treat people with love and respect and don't in haste "throw out the baby with the bathwater". Keep a balanced perspective on this quest for the best. Look for underlying patterns, themes, root causes and 'key issues' while being decisive. Read the lines and read between the lines. As the scripture says:

"The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty"
(Proverbs 21:5)

Let peace be your guide. As the late Edwin Louise Cole so wisely put it:
  • Children feel, act and then think
  • Men feel, think, and then act.
  • Leaders think, act and then feel...Feelings follow action."
Great advice and worth meditating on: think...act....feel. I might add that along with doing your 'due diligence', let peace be the 'umpire' of your heart . (Colossians 3:15)

Be Cerebral and Spiritual
This is a picture of a person who is living a pro-active, intentional life. They 'think it through' with the intent of 'following through', while listening to their gut. They are cerebral and spiritual with an intent of taking some kind of action - even if their decision is to take action now, take no action, or take action at a later time. They are a blend of being both sharp-minded and soft-hearted. They are focused and determined, yet flexible and open to a better approach. They are what John C. Maxwell calls: 'velvet covered bricks': having the capacity to be 'tough, but tender'. A person who functions this way tends to end up 'calling the shots', because most people don't like to have to think, don't want the risks that are associated with being a decision maker, and don't have the patience to quite down to listen to their intuition. As Hitler said:

"How lucky it is for rulers that men do not think!" - Adolf Hitler

Wow! Motivates you to start thinking!

When a person engages in this type of intentional, creative thinking and allows time for the Holy Spirit to start to clarify the plan of God for their lives, it opens the door for Divine direction, strategies, plans and "divinely directed decisions". When a person develops the habit of being an intentional thinker, while developing their 'leadership intuition' and capacity for 'divinely directed decisions', it produces higher results! They tend to be highly effective people rather then just busy, and major on high leverage activities that produce high leverage results. They make genuine progress...

Methods of Operation: Tranquility
You might be thinking at this point: "I like what you are saying, but how do I go about this process of 'intentional think'?" Great question! One method of engaging in this process of thinking, is to find a good 'thinking spot' that brings you peace and stirs up your creativity. The place could be a favorite 'thinking chair', a home office, or even a place like a coffee shop. Whatever place stimulates you and gives you a sense of peace and tranquility is a good 'spot'. It can literally be anywhere, so long as it's your place to get stirred up again.

I tend to like Starbucks. Usually when I'm reading a stimulating book and taking notes and meditating on new ideas, my creativity gets stirred up and I start to get a sense of 'direction' or a way to improve upon something I'm currently doing. I also start to sense things that don't fit into the overall vision for my life and are worth 'moving on' from. Alot of the 'why's' of why I should do something or 'why' I should move on from something are brought to the surface. In other cases, I may not always be able to intellectually put my finger on exactly why I should do something or why I should stop doing something, but I sense it at an etheral level.

This process can also come through prayer or spending time in Scriptures to sharpen your mind, refresh your spirit, and expand your vision.

When you find your 'spot', it's wise to bring a pad of paper and pen to jot down notes and ideas. There is power in the written word and putting your ideas down on paper is great method of forming direction, fleshing out ideas and committing to some kind of action.

Let Go Of The Lesser To Embrace The Best
That said, determine to choose God's best for your life - being aware that there may be some boundry setting excercizes and 'executive decisions' along the way. There will be occassions when, after honestly analyzing a situation and seeking wisdom, you will have to let go of the 'lesser' to embrace the 'best'.

"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." (John 15:2)

This can come in the form of a bold new course or simply some kind of 'adjustment' that will help you improve from 'good to great' and 'better to best' in some area of your life. It will be worth the decision, however, because it comes with the most valuable asset you can have....peace.

You are the best.


Click here for additional "Freedom to Choose God's Best" meditations.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Your Inner Leader and Rapid Progress

One things I've notice of late is that there is a difference between "leadership" and "management". You need both to be successful. I've found that leadership tends to be about "direction" and "vision", whereas management tends to be about "implementing" that direction. Leadership tends to deal with 'intagibles' - people, progress, improvement, timing, atmosphere, momentem, etc. Management tends to major on tangibles - maintenance of systems and structures.

An example of the difference between the two could be found in the operation of a ship. In the operation of a ship, the leader sets the course for the ships direction, while the manager steers the ship based on the coordinates set by the leader. The manager "manages the decision" set by the leader. They both play vital roles of the success of an organization and an individuals life.

Leadership: The Magnetic Stone That Guides
As Eric Garnerx, a management consultant, stated:

"The word ‘leadership’ comes from the Old English word ‘lad’ for a ‘course’. A ‘lode’ is a vein that leads or guides to ore; a lodestone is a magnetic stone that guides; the lode-star is the name for the star that guides sailors, the Pole star. The word ‘management’ comes from the Latin word ‘manus’, the hand, from which we also get ‘maintenance’ and ‘mainstay’. Leadership guides by setting a ship’s course. Management keeps a hand on the tiller."

I found a lot of times I would try using management techniques to answer leadership questions and wonder why I wasn't making the kind of progress I knew was available to me. I would find myself just "working harder", trying to make it work...doing the same things over and over and wondering why things hadn't changed.

I found that as I got in touch with my inner leader, then the direction would come and I would make wiser, savvier choices. After that I would implement the direction using "management by object" - i.e. breaking the project down into smaller parts until the objective was met - and then I would make better progress. That combination of Divine Direction (leadership) and Diligent Application of the Direction (management by objective) in God's timing would produce "rapid progress". (Ezra 5:8)

"The work is being carried on with diligence and is making rapid progress under their direction. " Ezra 5:8

The Ladder of Success
I was reading in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that the manager excels at "climbing the ladder of success", where as the leader determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. Sometimes, the direction comes as an "adjustment".

An example of that in the bible, was when Peter went out fishing and was working all day and didn't catch anything. Jesus was standing at the shore and told him to "throw your net on the right side of the boat".

"He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"

"No," they answered.

He said, "Throw your net on the RIGHT SIDE of the boat and you will find some."

When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."
John 21:5-7

When Peter made the adjustment, he went from catching nothing all day to having a "net-breaking, boat-sinking load". He experienced a huge breakthrough! Peter was in the right place, doing all the right things, he just needed "Direction" through the form of an 'adjustment'. The 'direction' he received set him up for great success. I think in these last days, we will need to get in touch with our inner leader, even more to receive Direction from Jesus and promptly obeying.

Our Inner Leader
Our inner leader is our spirit man whom God speaks with "Face to face". The bible calls our spirits, "the candle of the Lord".

"The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly." -Proverbs 20:27

Another way of putting it, is our spirit's are the Lord's "lightbulb".

Ever had a situation where something just "dawned on you" and suddenly the answer came to you? The path got clear when before it was hazy. Your "lightbulb" turned on. :) In other cases, it may come:
  1. As form of a "knowing" or a settled peace...You sense an inner warmth about going in a particular direction or a "A velvet glow" in your spirit.
  2. In other cases, it just 'clicked'.
  3. You may even sense an "urging" to go in a particular direction or, in other cases, a lack of peace when you think about doing some endevour.
  4. You may get a 'check in your spirit' when you are going in the wrong direction which can range from a feeling of 'deadness' in your spirit or even 'alarm bells'.
  5. "Something about it just didn't feel right...something was stopping me" People may have asked you "how did you know?". You may have found yourself saying, "I don't know...I just knew".

The "knower" was your inner leader at work in contact with the influence of the Ultimate Leader...The Spirit of Jesus. You made a decision under the right kind of influence. :)

In these these last days, we will have to honor our inner leader more and more, in order get proper "direction" and make whatever 'adjustments' we need to make in order to achieve all that God has for us.

"He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." - Mark 4:21-23

Whether the direction comes in the form of an adjustment or a settled peace to 'keep on keeping on', when we follow that direction, we will eat the "good of the land". (Isaiah 1:19)

As it says in the scriptures:

"In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success." - Proverbs 3:6

Here is a confession you can make along those lines:

"Holy Spirit I ask You to lead and guide me on the path You have for me and into all truth. Thank You for showing me things to come. I am a magnet for God's Divine Direction, which I know will lead to great success."

You are the best.