September

The Prescription for Success - by Nancy Dufresne

A few months ago, I wrote about how on one particular occasion, I had been talking to God, repenting about some things — not things I had done wrong, but things I had failed to do — things I could have done better. Afterwards, I began to study, and while studying, I had the sense to get on my knees. When I did, Jesus stood in front of me. I didn’t see Him, but by the word of knowledge, I knew He was there. Jesus said to me, “You have failed many, many times, but I NEVER have. So, I share My success with you.”

     As new creatures in Christ, the life of God, the power of God, and the ability of God are in us. But also, the success of God is in us. We share in His success because we are made in His image, and God has never failed at anything!

     The success of God is in us, so we don’t have to try to achieve success on our own with our natural ability, but we can draw on the divine success that is within us. 

     The Word instructs us how to draw on that success and put it to work for us. “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success” (Joshua 1:8, AMP). 

     This verse gives us the three-step prescription for success:

        1. This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth. We must have a lifestyle of speaking the Word, no matter what the circumstances look like.

        2. Meditate on the Word day and night. Meditating on the Word deals with our thought lives and what we are holding our attention on every day. Meditation is also how we drive the Word down into our spirits, and it’s when the Word flows from our spirits that it becomes effective.

        3. We are to DO according to the Word — act on the Word. We are not to endeavor to act on the Word until we have taken time to do steps 1 & 2 — that’s when we will get results.

     One of the best ways to illustrate these three steps that we are to take is by looking at how an old-time musket rifle works. To make one of those rifles work, the first step is to pour gun powder down the barrel, load it with a bullet, and then put in a wad of paper. The second step to take is to pack it all down with a long rod. By packing it down, you improve the musket’s accuracy. The third step is to fire the musket.

     When we speak the Word, that’s like loading the rifle with gunpowder, the bullet, and the paper wad. To meditate on the Word day and night is like packing it all down, which ensures accuracy. To act on the Word is like firing the rifle. It won’t do any good to pull the trigger until it’s been loaded and packed down. 

     It won’t do any good to try to act on the Word without taking the time to speak the Word and meditate on it — that would be like pulling the trigger on a rifle that hasn’t been loaded. This is where many misunderstand faith. They think if they take actions of faith that it will work, but actions of faith must be backed up by words of faith and thoughts of faith. That’s how we arrive at success. 

     Success belongs to us, but it won’t automatically show up — we have to take the steps prescribed in the Word. That’s what will activate the success of God in us. 

The Jackpot of Life Part 2 - by Nancy Dufresne

    In last month’s teaching, I wrote of what Jesus stated in Matthew 6:31-33. He told us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things that others are dying to get will be ADDED to you. This is the “jackpot” of life. It’s a key scripture that tells us that when we seek God first, then all these things this scripture contains will be added to us.

     Seeking first His Kingdom and His way of operating will put us in command of all other things that others are dying to get. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its diverse interests, and all these things shall be added to you.

     Put your love for God and His Kingdom first, without anything else competing for that first and highest place. You can’t put your business, your own plans, and your natural interests alongside God and His Kingdom and then say He’s first. 

     You cannot give God a “shared” first position. Anything else that is put in that position of “first” will fail you. Nothing else in this world or life is worthy of or able to successfully occupy the position of being first. That is a position that only God and His Kingdom can successfully occupy and fulfill.

     Matthew 6:33 doesn’t say, “Seek ye ONLY.” It says, “Seek ye FIRST....” Yes, we can have other interests, but they can’t be first; we aren’t to put anything above Him.

     Revelation 2:4 & 5 warns us, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy FIRST LOVE. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
     If we leave our first love, nothing else we may do matters.

 

Love God With All...

     Let’s see what loving God first looks like. Mark 12:28-30 (Amplified) reads, “Then one of the scribes...asked Him (Jesus), Which commandment is first and most important of all [in its nature]? Jesus answered, The first and principal one of all commands is: Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the FIRST and principal commandment.”
     To love God with all our being — this is the FIRST commandment (vs. 30). Jesus said, “HEAR, O Israel....” God’s people — HEAR THIS. This is where many of God’s people miss it. Family isn’t first, your plans aren’t first, your business isn’t first, your income isn’t first, what men call important isn’t first — loving God with all our being is FIRST.

     Jesus tells us HOW we are to love God. Verse 30 — “And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart....” Notice the word “with” — “And you shall love the Lord your God WITH....” We can only love God WITH something — we can’t love Him WITHOUT something. To love Him properly, we can’t demonstrate our love to Him without something.

     God wants something more from us than natural things — He wants things of greater value — that which you can’t put a price on — He wants that which flows out of man’s being — man’s heart, his soul, his mind, and his strength — that which is above price. He wants ALL of you — the WHOLE of you.

     Love has to be in two places: the heart and the actions. We aren’t just to have actions without the heart involved, and we aren’t to have the heart without any actions to prove it.

     Jesus said that there are 4 things that must be involved in our love for God — all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength.

     First, with all our heart. This is where the life stems from — our hearts. If our hearts aren’t involved, why would His heart be involved? Our hearts have to be involved for it to matter. Our hearts are to be an unshared seat. God is first and foremost in our hearts, and we are not assuming to seat something else alongside Him. He alone occupies the foremost seat in our hearts.

     Second, with all our souls (AMP — our life). Our daily lives are a picture of what’s in our souls — they demonstrate the way we think, what we set our will on, and what we set our affections on. Our way of thinking, our will, and affections flow out into our daily lives. To love God with all our souls, we come into harmony with God’s will for our daily lives. We are to think right toward God and His Kingdom interests. We are not to be self-willed. We are to hold our affections on God and His Kingdom. We have no room in our thinking and in our lives for anything contrary to God and His Word.

     We do not permit in our thinking and in our lives what others may permit. Worry, fear, doubt, strife, unforgiveness, offense, ill will toward others — none of these things are to be permitted, and there is no room for them in us if we are loving God with all our souls.

     Third, with all our minds. It’s the renewed mind that thinks right toward God and His kingdom. The renewed mind takes its rightful place in Him. The renewed mind comes into the understanding and revelation of the Word and takes the thoughts of God as its own. 

     Fourth, with all our strength. We are to exert and spend our strength in loving, obeying, and serving Him. This involves works that demonstrate love. We are saved by grace, not by works, but once we’re saved, works matter! That’s called fruit, and Jesus said we would know someone by their fruit. 

     We are to use all our strength in obedience to carry out His will for our lives. Obedience is the action of a heart submitted to and loving God. We demonstrate our love for God with our strength. 

     Paul said that he labored more abundantly than all others; that was the fruit of his love for God. We are to love Him with all our strength.

     Seeking first the Kingdom of God and His way of doing things will deliver to you and your family the best life — it will add to you what you could never achieve for yourself.