Today's article was contributed by Vaughn Edmeade, pastor, motivational speaker and author of Average Is Failure.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20 NIV
Wow! It is 2016 and with this new year will come new opportunities for us all.
But, what will be different this year from last year?
If there's one thing that MUST be different, it is this...; You've got to BELIEVE!
It's amazing how much God puts up with in our daily lives. We fail Him continually and yet He's still so patient and long suffering.
However, a short while ago, while on a Prayer Line, one of the participants said something that hit the rest of us right in the gut. It was this...: "God will often put up and work with our foolishness, but if there's ONE THING that seems to get on His nerves it is when we DO NOT BELIEVE.
All over the Bible, especially in the New Testament, God is continually challenging His people not merely to change their behaviors but rather to believe.
Jesus Christ told us that anything is possible to those that believe. But He even goes one step further to tell us that blessed is the person who believes even without physically seeing it yet.
So, in 2016, YOU'VE GOT TO BELIEVE. In one sense we know that we must believe in Christ Jesus. But here us what we often miss...: "We know we truly believe something based on our actions in response to that belief!"
I often use the example of a chair. When I see a chair I believe that it will hold me up. I go and sit down on it without asking the chair questions. The problem that many of us suffer from in our relationships, finances, spirituality, education, careers, and businesses, is that we don't really believe that God can hold us up like the chair if we sit at His feet, and do what He tells us to do.
God's plan often seems not to make sense. The rich young ruler suffered from unbelief when Jesus told him to "follow Me." We don't believe God's plan even though we say He can exceed abundantly all that we could ever ask or think!
But listen, some of us can't afford to have a year like last year. Your relationships suffered last year. Your health, your finances and other areas of your life disintegrated because you thought your way was better than God's.
Let me encourage you to be intentional about believing and then acting upon what you believe this year.
People have been telling me since 2003 that I should be a pastor. At the age of 19 years old I laughed at this. I had no desire to be a pastor. I thought I had a better plan. My own plans ended up making it near impossible to get a good job, it got me kicked out of law school, it racked up debt, it caused me to go through a divorce, and live separately from my children.
In 2012 I began to accept that maybe I should've believed what God had been trying to tell me through so many people. Once I believed God's way was better and then aligned my actions with His plan He allowed me to graduate with my Masters in Pastoral Studies in 2015 with a 3.8 gpa!
There's more. I still didn't fully believe though and avoided seeking a pastoral position. After some encouragement from some new mentors I decided to send out my pastoral resume to various conferences. I never received an invitation or interview from any of them. But, 2 days after sending them out God introduced me to a pastor at a barbershop who had been looking for help with his two churches. Long story short, by the end of 2015 I became a pastor, and God has allowed me to do all the other things I had been trying even better once I chose to believe the vision He laid out for my life.
What should your next moves be?!
1. Believe the vision that God has been showing you for your life.
2. Respond to that belief with the evidence of your action.
3. Stop trying to control your own life in 2016. Let God do it.
While God laid out the vision I still had to do the hard work of carrying out the vision. However, God has done the harder part of handling the results. I do not have the traditional background of most pastors in my circle. But it wasn't my job to worry about the end result, it was simply my job to believe.
Abraham had no idea what the end result would be. God told him to leave his native land to begin life in a place he did not know. But Abraham BELIEVED God, and His belief was rewarded with great increase in every area if his life.
So, in 2016, whatever you do, begin with the belief that what may seem impossible is possible for you because there is nothing impossible to God. And He is able to do much more than you can even imagine!
Peace, Success, & Love,
You can keep up with him at www.AverageIsFailure.com