HOW TO GET AHEAD IN YOUR WORLD
The fundamental desire of God is that we represent Him on this earth. As Christians, we practise the ways of God, live the life of God and as such, we should shining lights as God is. I believe that God takes no pleasure in seeing His children extol His name only in words but not in actions and positive results.
In the story of creation, God’s obvious intention was to make His replica on the earth and rule the world by him. A substantial part of His capacity was however lost when man sinned. This is what God meant when He told man he would die if he ate the fruit he was not permitted to eat – Gen 2:17.
This problem was however rectified by the coming of Jesus Christ through which man –upon repentance and by grace- receives God’s life and can assume His position on this earth. It is therefore a sad thing to God when He sees a child of His living a life short of the one He has planned for us through redemption.
In the coming editions, I will be writing on some of the ingredients necessary to get and stay ahead in this world. The first focus is KNOWLEDGE.
There three basic knowledge areas that are critical if anyone will enjoy lasting success on this earth. The first one is:
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
The survival and success of any entity depends largely to its knowledge of and association with its source. Regardless of whatever theories science has propounded, the intrinsic value and make up of man is not physical. Man is essentially a spirit because it was the breathe of God (not just oxygen) that brought him life. Gen 2:7.
Being a Christian is more than being morally upright; it is being in sync with the provider of the new life you now live. Many Christians struggle because they do not know the God they serve nor do they know His word -Matthew 22:29. The lack of this knowledge makes it difficult to see things like He would (which is what we call faith) and act accordingly. The knowledge of God brings wisdom, faith, power, and authority without which no one can enjoy a dominant life.
In Hosea 4:6, God regrettably revealed that His people were perishing because of a lack of knowledge. He further threatened to reject them because they rejected knowledge. This shows how much value God places on knowledge that He is not even willing to preserve His own people who lack it. There are too many church-goers who speak in tongues and dress in a solemn fashion but do not have a personal revelation of the God they serve. Such people therefore struggle to do the things of God and to stand above their peers as they are already missing out on a powerful leverage. A deep knowledge of God puts us in a position of authority and power which is where a Christian ought to always be; instead, there are many running from church to church being chased by demons. I imagine how sad God feels about this.
KNOWLEDGE OF OUR ENVIRONMENT
Growing up in Christendom, I often heard the phrase ‘heavenly minded and earthly useless’. This was supposed to be about religious people who claimed to be focused so much on heaven that they practically do not lift a finger to do anything meaningful on earth. As I grew older, I began to realize that it is not possible for you to be haven bound if you do not affect your world first – Matthew 5:13-16. By God’s design, anyone that is a Christian must make an impact here on earth, be looked up to by others, and lead them to God.
In my few years as a pastor and counsellor, I have met many Christians who refuse to be professional at anything. If you are a Christian lawyer, I believe you should be better than other lawyers and make them look up to you. Same goes for any other field of human endeavour that a Christian is in. All through the scriptures, I have noted that God only does for man what He has not empowered man to do. A man of God once said “God gave us brains so we can give Him rest”.
Proverbs 11:9, bible says the righteous person will only be delivered through knowledge. Speaking in tongues does not give you the right to do a shoddy job. I will not engage you to work for me simply because you are born again. I have seen Christians gather to pray in their churches from Monday to Friday, asking God to bless them, give them jobs, and make them rich; the question for me is “How do you want Him to do that if you do not have the required skill, knowledge and expertise required for your desired job. All you have amassed instead is lots of hours in prayer”.
For Christians who are struggling financially, I remind them that resources come to you when you meet peoples’ needs. Know your environment, pick the needs around and meet them. The more you this, the more valuable you get to people around you and the more power you have to negotiate. Knowing your God is not enough, knowing where He has put you is very important as well.
KNOWLEDGE OF YOURSELF
The pitiable outcome of the first man and woman in the bible is very instructive. In Genesis 1;26, God made them in His image and after His likeness; They were God in every way. However, in Genesis 3, Satan played on their lack of self-knowledge to deceive them. He said to the woman “eat the fruit and you will be like God” thereby offering the woman what she already had but didn’t know.
So many times, we have settled for less, struggled for what we are entitled to and in fact chase the things that should chase us. I find that the average person only knows is what is not good about them and nothing more. In my years of counselling, I have discovered that the most difficult questions for people are: who are you? What is special about you? How best can you describe yourself? What do you want? And why do you want it?
Knowing who you are helps you know why you are. It also helps you know who you are Not. This is very important because most of the sadness and depression that we face is because we compare ourselves to other people. God has wired strengths and weaknesses into everyone! The strengths are for us to take charge and be unique while the weaknesses are for us to depend on Him. When we understand this, we will learn how to use our strengths and stop crying about our weaknesses but instead tossing them to God and accepting His help.
If I say Bill Gates doesn’t know how to make jokes, it would not matter to anyone because the things we know he can make, he has made very well. Know yourself – your strengths and weakness, your purpose and the grace available to you.
Do not compare yourself to other people. Find out what you are good at, read books on discovery of purpose, pray to God to reveal purpose to you, ask yourself some important questions about yourself and tell yourself the truth. Also do online personality tests and read books on temperament. There is a world waiting to be conquered by you as long as you have not wandered into some other world and gotten lost there.
God is counting on you!