Are You Winning? Practical Advice for Winning at Life

David was looking to me for guidance regarding direction for his life. He had struggled with what path to take for career and personal success. We talked about time management, personal discipline and learning from other successful people. Finally, I just asked, “Why does God have you on the planet? I continued, “You are here at God’s behest, for his purposes, what are those?” David, paused and said, “I’m not so sure of that.” “I see people prospering and successful that don’t know God.”

When pursuing success, (not a bad goal in and of itself) one must first define your win. What is success? Perhaps a bigger question is who determines success? Is it us? When learning to play a game one must first decide how the score is kept.

David is living his life like so many others. They fail to consider how the ultimate scorekeeper keeps life’s scores. God keeps the time and the score. He is the final judge and rewarder. He hands out the trophies. Many wealthy people look at their bank accounts as scorecards. Yet God keeps score differently, and it’s his card that matters.

He looked at a widow’s pennies and proclaimed them more than the big dollars that were put in the offering. He told a man that life doesn’t consist of material possessions. Jesus counseled people to store their treasure in heaven.

Far too many people are living like they are captain of their destiny, but they exist because God wants them here. God created you for him. If you gained the whole world and lost your soul, you made a bad trade. You may have “won” for eighty years but you lost for eighty billion.

Three Questions

I coach people to ask three questions for clues to why they exist. 1. Where do they feel God’s pleasure? In what activities do you experience endurance with joy? A friend of mine loves tax law. If you ask him a question about taxes he lights up like a Christmas tree and could go on for hours. He feels God’s pleasure when he surrounds himself with the IRS’s legal code. This is a clue. God wired us with certain gifts and passions.

Question 2: Where do you feel God’s partnership? The Holy Spirit is a helper. God anoints us to use our gifts for his glory. The first mention of anointing wasn’t for a preacher but artists and carpenters.

Then Moses told the people of Israel, “The Lord has specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.  The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts.  He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze.  He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft.  And the Lord has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their skills to others.  The Lord has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers. (Exodus 35:30-35)

Where do you find yourself excelling beyond your peers?

Discipline and Anointing

God may have given you a gift and He may have anointed you to accomplish great things, but anointing does not replace discipline, it only comes along side of it. The Holy Spirit is a helper, you are the doer.  It is the process that brings the prize. The road to greatness is paved with the asphalt of the ordinary. Your capacity for greatness will be measured by your ability to handle repetition while maintaining mental focus. Talent is no substitute for consistency.

God may have given you a gift and He may have anointed you to accomplish great things, but anointing does not replace discipline, it only comes along side of it. The Holy Spirit is a helper, you are the doer.

Johann Sebastian Bach was arguably the greatest worship leader to ever live. He worked tirelessly and demanded equal commitment from those he worked with. Few people matched his industry. At the end of his career, his works filled sixty huge volumes.  When asked the secret of his genius, he answered simply, “I was made to work; if you are equally industrious you will be equally successful.”

What About God’s Dreams?

Question 3: Where do you feel God’s passion? God’s heart beats for three things, the lost to hear the gospel, the Christians to grow to maturity and his kingdom to show up on earth as it is in heaven. These are God’s dreams. We are here to make God’s dreams come true. Don’t expect his guidance for your dreams if they have nothing to do with his dreams.

If you find yourself using your gifts and talents for his glory, you cannot lose in life, no matter how the culture keeps score, God keeps the one that matters.

For more on finding your place in God’s story see the Christian’s Guide to Wealth Creation where we devote multiple lessons to personal success in a way that will matter forever!



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