Saturday, October 26, 2013

Business of Belief ... having faith in God's Power

by Dale Shumaker

The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker is about understanding belief, what it is and how it is created.

Those who inspire and move others practice the business of belief. Here are some key thoughts in the Business of Belief. It is much like a compilation of proverbs on belief and what you can do.

 What They Know
Belief starts with our choices. We believe so then we choose. They are many times no more than our assumptions. Belief is opinion, so our opinion becomes our reality. Our beliefs make the work convincingly real to us. Our unique perspective on things form our belief about what is around us; it drives our decisions.

 Everything is inherently without meaning. Except for the meaning we create. We think in stories and stories steer our lives. We ultimately expect to find meaning in our lives by editing our stories, by freely mixing and  matching our decisions to create a narrative authentic to us.and others. Our minds crave control, so we direct our stories so we can feel safe. We want guided control along with freedom to create our own meaning, our own story; we want the illusion of control. 

People believe in things as long as there's a reason and evidence to  believe them. For entrepreneurs and other risk takers desire fuels belief, especially in their ability to control their destiny, and through thoughtful and determined action. Desire drives belief which motivates people to seek out information and act in certain ways that help them attain those desires. What we believe is what we desire, and what we desire is ultimately what we do. 

What They Do
The essential first step to changing people's behavior is to understand their perspectives and embrace their dreams and beliefs. Everything else flows naturally from there. It takes having an intuitive sense for the reality in which people live. Great designers design new beliefs. 
People are drawn across the bridge to belief by their anticipation of a better experience and a better life.  

Effective leaders ignite people's imaginations. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more you are a leader. Simplify the belief process by eliminating difficulties and competing options on our attention. 

Belief is a result of experience and repetition, both within and without, which makes our actions feel familiar and safe. We teach belief by believing in others, and they in turn increase belief themselves. It's behavior rather than understanding that best influences our beliefs. We must not only know we are on the right path in life, but we must feel and be affected by it. Your best argument is always yourself, your exuberance, your vitality, your passion, your belief. The person most confident in himself gains the confidence of others. Be willing to express confidence with boldness and passion. 

Learn to control emotional impulses, when to speak or not, when to respond to an email or not. Conceal the how, and keep that a mystery.  People despise reality, but love what appears to be true. Make us feel comfortable, invested, and in complete control... a blend of passion, creativity, self-awareness and impulse control. So when the task is accomplished people will say, we did it ourselves. 

What You Can Do
We must believe everything we think, and question the validity of our lazy assumptions. We must break the happy trance of our present beliefs and create new thinking. Insanity may be doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results. If it ain't broke yet, it may be time to fix it. Watch and really wonder. Question and fully explore. Be driven by curiosity and passion. Have the wisdom and courage to follow your heart. You are not your history. Forget what you have done; forget what others are doing. What are you passionate about, now go do that. That's who you are. 

We are moved by our perceptions, by our immediate concerns and desires.
Made the choice first and allow that choice to direct your thoughts, inform your instincts, your feelings, your perceptions. Those who surpass a reality, begin with belief. Driven by a sense of purpose.

 In baseball the batters response to seeing a pitch and his physical response is about 450 milliseconds. Whereas, a major league pitcher's throw from hand to catcher is about 400 milliseconds. So how can a batter hit a ball as the speed exceeds the batters ability to see(perception), feel, think(cognition) and swing(decision and action). Instead of allowing perception, their present reality, to drive their actions, they begin with belief. Belief surpasses natural ability.

Breakthrough thinking is about belief, then a person's perception. Conviction then action, heart then head. Seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing. Act as if you already have it. Your actions will convince your mind. Influence your attitude by controlling your actions. Change your behavior and your behavior will change your mind.

 You never change things by fighting your existing reality. To change something build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. To change your beliefs change your behavior. Comfort is an illusion, a fantasy that imagines freedom from pain and suffering if only we stay still and avoid change. Say no to short-term comforting activities and say yes to fear, passion and leadership.  A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities. Reality is for wimps.

More from Tom Asacker: 

The Scriptures tell us to put our faith and trust in God. We can believe the promises He has for us in the Bible and put our hope and trust in His Promises
By making this the basis of our belief we rely on God's Power beyond our own. So our faith combined with faith in God and counting on His Spirit at work, we can live very hope-filled lives. We can expect results beyond our own abilities and skills.

When we combine our faith with the faith of others, it compounds again. In Leviticus is says five will chase a hundred and a hundred will chase ten thousand (Leviticus 26:8). Jesus said where two or three agree or work in unity of minds and Spirit, we can expect what we believe for and agreeing together it will happen (Matthew 18:19).

So then no matter how bleak our circumstances may be, or how big the vision is we have, God can turn the most difficult circumstance around or make the biggest dream come true. It's believing in the One who makes everything, the One whose power is unmatchable by anything.  God tells Isaiah that you will not be called the city of desolation, but the city of God's Delight (Isaiah 62:4). The city will change from desolation to joy and laughter in the streets.

God is faithful and you can count on Him and He will turn ruins into prosperity. The Lord is Good and His faithfulness endures forever (Jeremiah 33:10-12).

With belief in God, who's goodness lasts always, His Spirit can take complete failure and loss and transform it into a joy, happiness, and abundance of every kind.

 His Spirit will open our graves and take what was dead and dried up, and turn it into life. He will take where hope has vanished, and rebirth new life of greater proportions than ever before. The Spirit of God will come alive in us and we will have a whole new, a completely whole life. Then you will know the Lord has done this and He has done what He said (Ezekiel 37:11-14).

When His Spirit resides in us, and we believe as teams, we can see big dreams fulfilled. What others see as pipe dreams, God's Inspired vision of grand ideas are possible for those who believe.

 It centers around our faith, unbending belief in God's Spirit at work in our lives. He constantly watches over us and everything He says in the Bible is true.

 We can count on every promise He has made in His Word. Every day read the Bible until you find a promise that seems to leap out at you... note it and recite it to yourself throughout the day. Do this everyday.  Faith, belief as solid as steel will encompass you.

Jesus summed it up, "Anything is possible if a person believes." (Mark 9:23) "Where two or three agree, what you ask will be done for you." (Matt. 18:19) Nothing is too big, too hard, too complicated for God.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

When You Pray.... always pray before decisions

by Dale Shumaker

When in a business venture of any kind, prayer will add an additional substantial dimension to your business decision making and power to resolve critical situations
Isaiah said to Hezekiah that because he prayed to the Lord of Heavens Armies, God will respond with His might to come against his enemies (Isaiah 37). This is the lesson for all of us when faced with a decision. Ask God first, and He will respond to our requests. How do you pray... here's how to make prayer work in all we do, and see His Power at work in our efforts. 
When You Pray by Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft is a great fundamental study on learning the art of prayer. It is easy to follow and practical in how he explains it. It is a teaching manual intended to train the reader in the skill of prayer, and live in the prayer experience as a working part of life, and seeing results actualized in your life, business, career, relationships. 
 In this summary, be sure to note the last couple chapters on group prayer and the Power of the Holy Spirit in prayer. 

1. Think about God when you pray.
God will teach you to pray. It starts by doing it. God is good and he wants to answer your prayers and wants you to come to Him in prayer. God loves you and responds as a Father. God can do anything, and wants to help you regardless how difficult of a situation you may be in.
2. Come to God the right way.
Pray in Jesus' Name. Jesus tells us to use His authority in prayer. We should hold an attitude of respect, thankfulness, confidence, humility and repentance, forgiving and loving others, sincerity and earnestness. We can pray anywhere and in any position... kneeling, standing, laying down. A pattern to follow is the Lord's prayer using it as an outline for addressing current conditions of your life.

3. Listen to God when you pray.
God wants to talk to you. He speaks through life experiences, people, circumstances, visions, dreams and messages by others. Especially listen for God when you read the Bible. And when you feel God is speaking to you through people, places or events, always go back to the Bible to make sure it is consistent with the Bible.
4. Use God's Word when you pray.
Use the Bible as a guide. Many times when reading a verse it will come alive as meant for you. This is a way God speaks to you. Use the Bible to strengthen your faith, so you believe He will answer you. Use Bible verses when you pray and make them personal by using your name in them. God's promises are like a promissory note or bank check from Heaven... pay to the order of (every believer) the sum of (your needs). Act in faith as you believe He is answering your prayer, and keep on believing it is so.

5. Think about others when you pray.
Look at the needs of others. Pray for your family and others. He tells us what to do, tells others what to do, tells angels what to do, He works in nature, circumstances, in us and defeats evil powers. He works miracles.

6.Join with others when you pray.
Pray with a friend. Pray with you family.

Pray in a group. When praying in a group keep this in mind.
--Begin by singing together or listing to worship music.
--Have a brief time of reading the Scriptures, especially that encourage faith.
--Have some share testimonies of how God has answered a prayer in their life. This encourages us to pray for the needs of others.
--Encourage those with special needs to share them with the group.
--Then encourage everyone to take part in praying for needs and praying for others as the Lord may lead.

Small groups of around 10 or less work well so everyone can participate. These groups can be held at home, an office, or any place where there is privacy and people feel comfortable.  Many find a small group has great benefits for prayer as needs can be shared, prayed for, and faith is enlarged to see miracles in lives.  
 7. Let the Holy Spirit help you.
Listen to the Spirit's voice. The Spirit speaks to us in a two-way conversation. When in Spirit we can trust our thoughts to be of Spirit as we converse. Of course, Scriptures come alive too as if talking just to us. 
 In many cases we may let the Spirit speak through us. Some call this a prayer language as we feel a language moving through our lips. When your Spirit prays, it many times is this expression. "Speaking in Tongues" is what the Bible calls this. Let the Spirit pray through you in this way. Then as you get mental impressions, act through God's power. 
 Live by the Spirit and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. Seek His will in all matters. The Holy Spirit will give you victory over Satan. Know The Spirit demolishes all earthly strongholds, so be obedient to what the Spirit is telling you. Jude 1:20 says to build yourself up in your holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 
When Your Pray is a publication of Global University. 
and available as part of their Christian Life series.