What is the greatest nation on Earth? Since the beginning of time, the greatest nation – the one with the most power, the greatest amount of influence, the most incredible ability to effect change throughout this world and beyond – is the IMAGI-nation.
George Bernard Shaw said, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them."
Did you catch that? “They make them,” he said. They start with the seed of a thought planted in their imagination – some call it a dream - and nurture that thought until it bears fruit, all the while fending off the doubters, the nay-sayers and the dream-stealers.
For the Follower of Christ, a seemingly crazy notion should be watered with counsel and nurtured with prayer, all the while beseeching the Lord NOT to allow the thing to manifest if it’s NOT part of the Master’s Plan.
Radio legend, Earl Nightingale, said, “The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn't care what we plant... success... or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal...or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety and so on. But what we plant it must return to us. You see, the human mind is the last great unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.”
Many citizens of the Earth will blame race, parents, finances, even the government, for their current lowly status, rarely realizing that, more often than not, it is by their own actions that a plan is being sabotaged. Money is being foolishly spent. They seek counsel from people who have never tasted success, money leaks through their hands like water as their own nasty habits steal from them – drinking, smoking, drugs, even Pay-Per-view, gambling, porn and prostitution.
More often than not, they haven’t bathed the plan with prayer.
The Scripture tells us HOW to make our plans. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 tells us, “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established. See, contrary to that famous Frank Sinatra song, the key is to “Do it HIS way!”
It’s been said that “Nobody plans to fail; they fail to plan.” The Bible says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (Jer 29;11). Throughout the Psalms we read things like, “the Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples,” Ps 33:10). Making plans? Plan on making GOD part of what you’re planning.
A country/western song includes the phrase, “If you wanna hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.” Likewise, Proverbs 19:21 tells us, “Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.”
I was given a book called “God’s Plan A (and there’s no Plan B).” I love that little book and I’m inclined to believe that our Sovereign God is using the tough stuff of life in order to test and train us. Just like resistance training with barbells, tough stuff won’t kill you, but it WILL make you stronger. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tested by the devil, (Matt 4:1). If Jesus was tested, why wouldn’t WE be tested? Don’t worry; if we FAIL the tests, God will allow us to take them AGAIN…and again until we pass them.
So, get it right the FIRST time.
Planning on getting married? Do it God’s way. Already married and having a tough time getting along? If the marriage fails, you WILL have that same test next time. So, do whatever it takes THIS time (especially if there are kids involved). Addictions, job hopping, poor health, bad relationships, poor spending and eating habits? Repent! That means “change your mind” and start doing things according to “The Book” – God’s Word. It’s been said that “B-I-B-L-E” stands for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” It only makes sense that the Creator would leave an instruction manual for the Created.
That’s you and me, folks.
So, read it and reap! “Be transformed by renewing your mind,” (Rom 12:2). The things you read there will run contrary to much of what the culture says we must do to succeed and get ahead. The power you receive will enable you to “cast down vain imaginations” – those things that appear so much more important than the things of God in your life.
1 Corinthians 10:5 of The Message puts it this way, “The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.”
Are you making plans? Wedding plans? Business plans? Building plans? Plans for your future after high school, college, retirement plans, financial plans…ANY kind of plans? Take my advice: Include God. Ask Him for wisdom and he will give it to you liberally (James 1:5).
By the way, if you answered that “The Greatest Nation on Earth” was the USA, apply these Biblical principles to you life, your business, your community and, frankly, we’ll be unstoppable.
Founder, The Church @ Work