Sometimes the subject Rick tackles could fill magazines or even books, but he is able to get to the heart of the matter quickly.
When we keep the main thing...THE MAIN THING, we are setting ourselves up for the opposite of failure...we're setting ourselves up for rousing SUCCESS.
And with that in mind, here's the "rest of the story." (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
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The most successful investment strategy is buy low, sell high. Would you like to buy a stock that could not go down, and is guaranteed to keep increasing in value forever? The Kingdom of God is guaranteed to do this. Even the greatest empires of men have been short-lived when considered in the span of history. The Kingdom of God will not only last forever, it will keep expanding forever as we are told in Isaiah 9:7: "There will be no end to the increase of His Kingdom, [or] of peace..."
So why are so many Christians more devoted to temporal pursuits? It is an obvious lack of vision, wisdom, and understanding. Some have let their devotion to their jobs or professions eclipse their devotion to the Lord and His commandment to seek His Kingdom first. Many would protest that they must work to provide for themselves and their families, but that is not in conflict with seeking the Kingdom first. Neither is trying to do our jobs with excellence. The answer is not to spend less time at work, but to turn work into worship, doing all that we do as unto the Lord.
We should see our jobs and all other responsibilities as gardens that the Lord has put us in to cultivate. As most jobs have many trials, we should see them all as opportunities to grow in the fruit of the Spirit—in peace, patience, love, etc.—resolving not to waste any trial but to use it as discipline to help us grow in the Lord. We should see the people we work with as those the Lord has put in our life to be a witness to and serve. (Photo via Snappy Goat)
The Basic Purposes for the Creation of Man
Man was created for basic purposes as we see in Genesis. The first, and most important, was to walk with God and have fellowship with Him. This should likewise be our main pursuit every day. He does not just want to be someone we spend a little time praying to or studying about each day, but He created us for His pleasure and fellowship. We are called to abide in Him as He abides in us and walks with us to be a part of all that we do.
Because this is the most important reason we were created, the number one factor that determines if we are successful in this life is how close to Him we have lived. The Lord said that the most important commandment was to love God, so to grow in our love for Him should be our highest priority in life.
The next thing man was created for was to cultivate the garden. Growing things is a basic part of our nature, which is why so many are devoted to growing plants and get so much satisfaction from seeing them grow. However, cultivating the spiritual is even more fulfilling and more important.
How to Cultivate Your Spiritual Garden
We should see every place we are compelled to spend time as fields we have been given to cultivate and bring forth life. As we are told in James 5:7, "...The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains." As a farmer must be patient to sow the seed at the proper time, we too must be patient to wait for the right time to sow the seed of truth, not forcing them where they do not fit.
Cultivation requires more than just sowing the seed. First the ground must be prepared for it. There are things we can say and do that will gradually capture people's interest and open their hearts if we, like the farmer, are patient with how we do it. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, so things done in impatience cannot be expected to bear His fruit. With patience we must wait for the right time to sow the seed, and then the right time to water them, etc. (Photo via Snappy Goat)
As the Lord taught in the Parable of the Sower, we must also watch for how the birds, which He said represented the devil, will try to steal the seed. We must pray over our gardens for protection, and at times be ready to counter the attacks of the devil on what we are cultivating, as always with patience.
Then we need to keep the weeds out, the "cares and worries" of this world that would choke the seed. We are told in Philippians 4:6: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Anxiety is the opposite of faith. Faith is the nutrition of the fruit of the Spirit, and therefore anxiety can starve what we are cultivating to prevent its growth. So, when we see fear, anxiety, or discord attack our garden we must be ready to counter this with the peace of God, faith in Him, and words that promote these. If we do this with anxiety, it will likely cause us to overreact and also cause damage to what we have been cultivating.
As we read in Philippians 4:6, we counter anxiety with prayer and thanksgiving to God. When we are being thankful to God it is hard to be fearful or anxious. We are told in Psalm 100 that we enter the Lord's gates with thanksgiving, so to be a continually thankful person is how we abide in His presence. As we are told in Psalm 16:11, in His presence is fullness of joy. It is not possible to abide in the presence of the Lord and not be full of joy. As we are told in Nehemiah 8:10, "...the joy of the Lord is your strength." With all of the fear and anxiety growing in the world as it is, nothing counters this more than the joy and peace of the Lord.
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Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Final Quest, A Prophetic History, and Church History. He is also the president of The OAK Initiative, an interdenominational movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christians to be engaged in the great issues of our times, being the salt and light that they are called to be. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben, and Sam.
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