On Changing 2023 for the Better
I am continuing with my list of 10 words that will help you make the rest of your year the best of your year. First of all, be reminded that everything that happens to you is not God’s will. What will be will be is not a true statement. Our decisions determine where we’re going. Our choices matter.
However, no matter what has happened during the first half of 2023, now is the time to redirect, revive, and recommit. You can't go back and start over again but you can start from now and make a brand new end.
For a quick review from last week’s message, the first four words that can make a difference for you in the rest of this year are:
Go back to last week’s message to learn more about these concepts. If you apply them, they will change your year for the better. So let’s move on to the fifth word:
In Deuteronomy 4:10 God commands Moses to “Gather the people together to Me and I will make them hear My words.” There are many things you should listen to. But there may be some things you should listen to that you don’t particularly like. I like surveys. You will get negative comments and constructive criticisms and that’s OK. You can learn a lot from unhappy voices. They are a good place for ideas. You can’t correct what you don’t know. You also need to listen to your mentors and proteges, your parents and children. Learn from your mentor’s pain so you don’t have to go through the same. Listen to proteges who offer new perspectives. Most of all, listen to the Word of God. I love to listen to the audio Bible while I am getting ready for the day or in my car driving. We need to listen to more Word and less world. A clean life starts with a clean mind and a clean mind comes from being washed in the Word.
Write down scriptures and put them on your wall, on your mirror, or in your phone. You can set phone alarms for the day and write the scripture in the alarm description so that the scripture pops up when the alarm goes off. Write the vision (God’s Word) and make it plain. Write down God’s blessings, journal your journey of miracles. Document the miracles that God does for you the rest of this year from the little things to the big things. Whatever you recognize, you become thankful for. Pick up my book, The Force of Favor to help you recognize the little things that God does. Write down your goals. Put pictures on the wall of what you want to do and accomplish. Recognize, give thanks, and see increase. As God blesses you, be aware that He’s got a lot more than you in mind and write those things down too. We are blessed to be a blessing. He will bless you in order to get blessings to others and honestly, that is thrilling to me.
Commit to pray more the rest of this year. Take time to spend with God. Find time everyday to pray. Setting a specific time each day helps as well as praying in a certain place. Schedule it, even if you can just get a few minutes. Ask God to show you what to pray and who to pray for. When you pray for people it’s hard to be critical of them. Take a notepad and water so you are settled. Be ready to write down what scriptures God leads you to or prayers He directs you to pray. Pray for your family and for your coworkers and friends. Pray for your enemies. Pray for the lost. Be prepared for distractions. Have another place to jot down things you think of during prayer that you don’t want to forget. That way you allow brain space to focus on what God is doing in that moment.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. It’s respect for his Word. And God’s Word is hard in places. He is a great and terrible God who keeps covenant and mercy for those who love and obey Him. Charles Finney was a well known Bible teacher who was a lawyer by training. When he preached, he presented the case for Jesus. His teaching was direct and strong. There are two kinds of motivation … gain… and pain. You can put hay in front of the donkey, or you can beat it on the rear. The Pharisees could not get excited over mansions in heaven, so Jesus told them about the reality of hell. Even though Finney taught hard truth, it was determined statistically that 90% of those who received Christ during his meetings were still serving God 10 years after their conversions. Fear of loss can be the necessary key for someone over and above their desire for gain and teaching the whole Word of God includes this truth. Think of it in daily terms. You don’t go to work just because you’re anxious to get money. You go to work because you don’t want to get kicked out of your house for not paying your mortgage. Pain can be motivating and fear of God is healthy.
In Deuteronomy 7:12 Moses writes, “If you listen to these regulations and faithfully obey them, the Lord your God will keep his covenant of unfailing love with you, as he promised with an oath to your ancestors.” Listen and obey and God will keep his covenant. Obedience sets you in the right place at the right time. Obedience precedes multiplication and fruit in your life. The moment you obey, a parade of miracles are standing ready to be imparted. Obedience is the currency of heaven and blessings are a reward for obedience. There is no need to avoid obedience because God never gives us anything impossible to do. Each small act of obedience is a little hinge that opens the big door for blessings to flow. Start doing what God told you to do and stop doing what He told you to stop. Do you believe the Bible? Live by the Bible. Do what God says.
I have one more word that will make a difference in the rest of your year. It is Expectation. However, it is a full message on its own. Join me next week for the conclusion of “Make the Rest of Your Year, the Best of Your Year”.