Top 10 Biblical Principles for Success in Life and Work
PRINCIPLE # 1: SPEND TIME WITH JESUS
Nothing can be accomplished effectively in the Kingdom of God unless we are connected to Jesus Christ in an intimate and daily basis. Paul understood this better than anyone when he said, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Phil 3:10,11).
Jesus said we must abide in the vine and that we can do nothing apart from Him.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
You get to know someone by spending quality time with them. If you do not have a regular and ongoing sense of His presence, you must cultivate this by spending time in His Word, talking to Him daily throughout your day and look for Him to respond to you.
Make getting to know Christ your priority and you will begin to experience the power of God in your life.
PRINCIPLE # 2: WISDOM AND POWER IS GAINED THROUGH OBEDIENCE IN YOUR WEAKNESS, NOT YOUR STRENGTH
One of the great paradigms of the gospel is the bible's exhortation for us to depend upon God, but also use our skills for His glory (Col. 3:17). Paul understood that what really changed the world was not his persuasive words or his skills, but it was the power of God that was working through him. He ministered out of weakness, not power. Our society depends too much on the "Greek-based knowledge systems" which focus on oratory and information.
"I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power" (1 Cor 2:3-5).
Sometimes we think we must be in a place of strength to have an impact. This is wrong. It is being weak that makes us strong and allows Christ to be reflected to others.
The early Hebraic church learned that wisdom came through obedience, not knowledge or information. The power of God was reflected through their obedience. Our culture often has a Greek-centered focus on knowledge and information, instead of focusing on obedience to the voice of God in our lives.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding" (Ps 111:10).
PRINCIPLE #3: MAKE SURE YOU'RE WORKING WHERE GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO WORK
(You will discover this as you spend intimate time with Him).
Whether you are a VP of Household Affairs with four children, or a CEO of a major corporation, your work IS your ministry which is ordained by His will for your life. However, we need to make sure God has called us to the work we are doing so that we can walk in His anointing and blessing in that work.
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands" (Ps 90:17)
"In the beginning we do not train for God, we train for work, for our own aims; but as we go on with God we lose all our own aims and are trained into God's purpose. Unless practical work is appointed by God, it will prove a curse." -- Oswald Chambers.
You may not believe that the work you are doing fits your personality or skill set. This does not necessarily mean you are not where God wants you. God sometimes places us in unattractive jobs in order to develop character in us. It is the training from this work that leads us to God's "perfect" call for us. Many times these difficult jobs are mere stepping stones that will lead to other, more fulfilling work. You may have many jobs before you end up where God plans to use you most in your workplace calling.
PRINCIPLE #4: WHEN GOD GIVES A VISION, LET HIM FULFILL IT BY RESPONDING TO HIS PROMPTING, INSTEAD OF HELPING HIM MAKE IT HAPPEN
God's ways often involve God giving us a vision, (Joseph's dream), then there is often a long period between the fulfillment of that vision. In between reality and the vision being fulfilled, there is a deep valley of failure and humiliation (Joseph in prison and slavery). The vision often dies. If the vision is from God, He will raise it up (Joseph made ruler) if we don't try to help God fulfill it. Ishmael was Abraham and Sarah's attempt to help God fulfill God's vision for them. A great deal of Christian enterprise today is "Ishmael". We must learn the difference between allowing God to lead us, instead of helping God fulfill our vision.
"...and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him" (Genesis 15:12).
Maintaining a vertical dimension with God allows us to understand how God wants us to fulfill the vision He has given to us.
PRINCIPLE # 5: RECEIVE WHAT GOD GIVES YOU THROUGH OBEDIENCE INSTEAD OF SWEATING FOR OUTCOME
God called Adam and Eve to join Him in His work by working in and managing the Garden. It was a form of worship to Him. Work and worship come from the same Hebrew word, Avodah. God called the people out of Egypt where they sweated and toiled for food to eat, to a land of milk and honey so they could worship Him. He was their Jehovah Jireh - My Provider, regardless of whether there was fertile soil to work.
"So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant" (Joshua 24:13).
Whenever we begin sweating our finances, we are making a statement about our belief in God.
What is the inheritance God has for you? We are to enter our own personal Promised Land and take the land God has provided for us through obedience, not sweat and toil. "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves" (Ps 127:1-2). Each of us must come to understand God's provision for us is through our obedience, not our self-effort. This includes our physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
"To this John replied, 'A man can receive only what is given him from heaven'" (John 3:27).
John knew what his calling before God was. He knew what he was to do and what he was not to do. Each of us must walk in this understanding in order fulfill what God has planned for us.
PRINCIPLE #6: EMBRACE TIMES OF ADVERSITY AS OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW IN WISDOM, CHARACTER AND OBEDIENCE
Adversity and trials are a byproduct of a life fully committed to Christ. It is part of our calling as sons.
"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons" (Heb 12:7-8).
The question we need to answer is whether our adversity is due to our righteousness in Christ or unrighteousness due to sin. Or, it can simply be a result of a fallen world.
God uses adversity to frame our lives for the message He wishes to speak through us. The depth and width of our adversity and/or faith experiences is proportional to the call upon our lives. If you experience major difficulties for righteous reasons, He will use those to impact more people.
"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." -- C.S. Lewis
God uses adversity to develop character, wisdom and obedience in our lives. Jesus learned obedience from the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Almost every leader God uses in a significant way is taken through the fire of testing to refine their character and deepen their call. Avoid becoming a victim to your circumstances. Instead, see adversity as a place to experience the victory we have in Christ.
PRINCIPLE # 7: IDENTIFY AND RENOUNCE THE INFLUENCE OF ANY GENERATIONAL STRONGHOLD THAT MAY HAVE CAUSED YOU TO DEVELOP A COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR
Satan wants to prevent every person from experiencing the love of God in their lives. He has made us to have seven basic needs as described in Genesis 1 and 2.
These needs are 1) Security, 2) Blessing and Provision, 3) Love and Companionship, 4) Freedom and Boundaries, 5) Dignity, 6) Authority, and 7) Purpose and Meaning.
Satan encourages us to meet needs outside God's design by bringing about pressure situations in which people seek to meet their needs in their own way. When this happens a spiritual stronghold is developed. This encourages the person to meet their needs by serving the stronghold, rather than responding to the grace of God. This stronghold often develops throughout a family line and is passed down from one generation to another.
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:3-5).
"I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations, of those who love me and keep my commandments" (Exodus 20:5,6).
In order to fully experience the love of God we must renounce the influence of spiritual strongholds that have kept us from allowing God to meet our needs.
(To learn more this topic order our workbook, Demolishing Strongholds, $15 at http://www.marketplaceleaders.org/productcatalog)
PRINCIPLE #8: BE ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD AND OTHERS FOR YOUR DECISIONS
The road is lined with broken dreams and disappointments because people have failed to follow God's guidelines for making decisions. What protects you from the deceit of your own heart? Jeremiah 17:9 says: "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"
Once we believe we have heard God speak through the Holy Spirit or His Word about a given situation, seek confirmation. Our first wave of defense against poor decisions is confirmation through our spouses or others in whom we are accountable. God will protect you from poor decisions if you truly want to find God's will for a decision. However, we must learn to give up our rights to have our own way in the process.
"Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed" (Prov 15:22).
"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established" (Romans 13:1).
(To learn more this topic,order Os Hillman's book, Making Godly Decisions, How to Know and Do the Will of God.$7 at http://www.marketplaceleaders.org/productcatalog/)
PRINCIPLE # 9: SPEND TIME IN PRAYER WITH GOD AND INVITE OTHERS TO PARTNER WITH YOU TO PRAY FOR YOU
God desires to communicate with His children. Intercessory prayer is the method He has provided for us to communicate with Him.
We must have a life that includes intercessory prayer for ourselves and from others who will intercede for us. If we are truly in a battle, then we must have those in the body who are front-line scouts who can warn us against impending attacks and minefields. Intercessors are those people. Intercession is not a spiritual gift, but a calling for each believer. Some are called to greater degrees of intercession and often appropriate the gift of prophecy at times. Intercessory prayer is:
1. Intense prayer for others. (Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:12).
2. The priestly calling of all believers. (1Peter 2:5; Exodus 19:6).
3. The Holy Spirit praying in us. (Romans 8:26,27).
"Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured" (Colossians 4:12).
God is calling many men and women in the workplace to pull together intercessory prayer teams to support them in their marketplace calling. To learn more about this join our email subscriber list that focuses on prayer in the workplace. It's free. (http://godatwork.injesus.com). You will learn what God is doing through prayer in the workplace.
PRINCIPLE #10: SEEK GOD FOR STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN YOUR WORK LIFE
God wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives, including our work lives. He wants to provide strategy for accomplishing the purposes of your life. God gave David specific instructions about how to win a battle.
"Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the LORD, and he answered, 'Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.' So David did as the LORD commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer" (2 Sam 5:22-25).
God gave others strategy to accomplish His will in their lives. He gave Jacob a dream which showed him how to fund his family enterprise. He told Jeremiah to make a land purchase to demonstrate God's faithfulness to the nation of Israel. God wants to guide you in your work life and make you successful. However, it requires total dependence and obedience to Him.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Prov 3:5-6).
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