Hi friends, one thing I always remember is that when you are facing battles, struggles, and all kinds difficult situations, is to go down on your knees. We have been posting twice a week instead of three times a week. Well, since April I have been spending more of time in prayer and reading the Word of God, more than posting. I have decided to seek God’s face more during this time, than anything else. Some people trust in their wealth, statuses, and so on, but my help is from the Lord God; I trust in Him. The Bible says in the book of Psalms chapter 127 verse 1 that “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.” I want to involve God in my life because I don’t want to build a business, ministry, relationships, and all other things you can think of that requires building without involving God in my life. I want God to be my business Partner so that my labor won’t be in vain.
But the Bible teaches us, we need to seek God first and His righteousness, and all the things that we need we will follow us, or will be given to us. In the book of Matthew chapter 6 verses 31 to 34, The Lord Jesus said, “Do not worry. Do not keep saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘What will we wear?’ The people who do not know God are looking for all these things. Your Father in heaven knows you need all these things. First of all, look for the holy nation of God. Be right with Him. All these other things will be given to you also. Do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will have its own worries. The troubles we have in a day are enough for one day.” Another translation says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Many of us we look for things instead of God, and then we wonder why we never get anything really worthwhile. The Lord Jesus clearly said here that we need to seek God first and His righteousness, and be right with Him, and then all these things that we need shall be added and given to us. In other words, we need to follow God and be right with Him, and all these things we need and want will follow us. And all these things can be anything, including business money making ideas, better directions, door of opportunities of all kinds, deliverance, and much more.
So we will continue to post twice a week as for now. One article and one podcast episode. We will let you know of any updates from us as they come. In the meantime let’s continue with the topic of today.
I have mentioned before that when things are not working according to our expectations, we should try different approaches and do what we have never done before, in order to achieve what we never achieved before. We have got to have strategies in life especially when it comes to achieving our dreams and goals.
There is this Bible passage that talks about ‘The Cost of Being a Disciple,’ that we can learn from, in the book of Luke chapter 14 verses 25 to 34. It says “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples. “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?”
Another translation says, “Many people followed Jesus. Then He turned around and said to them, “If any man comes to Me and does not have much more love for Me than for his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be My follower. If he does not carry his cross and follow Me, he cannot be My follower. “If one of you wanted to build a large building, you would sit down first and think of how much money it would take to build it. You would see if you had enough money to finish it, or when the base of the building is finished, you might see that you do not have enough money to finish it. Then all who would see it would make fun of you. They would say, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ “What if a king is going to war with another king? Will he not sit down first and decide if he is able to go with 10,000 men against the other king who is coming with 20,000 men? Or, he will send a soldier to the other king while he is still a long way off. He will ask what can be done to have peace. In the same way, whoever does not give up all that he has, cannot be My follower. “Salt is good. But if salt has lost its taste, how can it be made to taste like salt again?”
If you can read both Bible translations of the book of Luke chapter 14 verses 25 to 34, the Lord Jesus said there is a cost on being His Disciple. And the cost is that you have got to be willing to deny yourself and give up things for His sake. You have to love Him much more than any other to be His disciple or follower. You have to love Him more and desire of godly things more than your desires for the things of this world. You have got to be willing to carry your cross and follow Him on daily basis. When it comes to choose between Him, what He said and taught, and let’s say your lusts, wicked ways, and ungodly actions, He wants you to choose Him. Basically He has to be your first priority. Whenever you are faced with a situation that you have to choose between Him and that situation, the way you carry your cross is by making Him the first priority over that situation. Let’s say an opportunity arose to steal money that is not yours, and you remember that is not what God wants you to do, and you decide not do it because of your fear for the Lord God, even though you knew you could use that money and you need, the fact that you refused to steal it and decided to deny yourself and avoid the temptation to steal, you basically have taken the cross so that you obey and please God.
You know, almost everything in life has a cross. Just like there is a cross in following Jesus, even in achieving your dreams and goals there is a cross you have to take. A cross, if we can say, it is anything that you have to go through to get the reward of something, or to actualize your goal and dream. Even when you want to have children, there is a cross to carry, in this case it will be nine months pregnancy, and all the changes, ups and downs you have to go through during those nine months, and then there is labor pain, and after that you have to raise your children, and so on. There is a cross to starting and operating a business. Until your business becomes profitable and thrive year after year, there are crosses you have to go through. There are crosses to carry in relationships; in being a parent, spouse, sibling, friend, and so on. There are crosses in maintaining a status and position, in leadership, your career and workplace, in your industry, and et cetera. There are many things you have to carry to continue to remain in your position or move to the next level. There is a cross in being a student for each level you have to study. Until you graduate you have to live under budget and go many sleepless nights when others are sleeping because you want to study hard and pass your exams. If you got a student loan, then you have to pay it later on.
The first thing that the Lord Jesus taught us is that we have got to be willing to take and carry our crosses. And the next thing He mentioned and taught us is we have to count the cost beforehand. He said “If one of you wanted to build a large building, you would sit down first and think of how much money it would take to build it. You would see if you had enough money to finish it, or when the base of the building is finished, you might see that you do not have enough money to finish it.” He also used another example and said “What if a king is going to war with another king? Will he not sit down first and decide if he is able to go with 10,000 men against the other king who is coming with 20,000 men? Or, he will send a soldier to the other king while he is still a long way off. He will ask what can be done to have peace.” We learn that it’s important to have strategies.
So maybe let’s define the word strategy. One definition says ‘a strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.’ Another definition says ‘the art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle.’ Meaning that you don’t want to go to war without a strategy of how you are going to face your opponent and win the battle. But also in order to achieve your goals, especially long-term goals you have to have a strategy to do that.
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In the book of Exodus when the Lord appeared to Moses, He had a plan to deliver Israelites out from the hand of Egyptians. In Exodus chapter 3 from verse 1 to 22, it says that “Now Moses was taking care of the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the religious leader of Midian. He led the flock to the west side of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the Angel of the Lord showed Himself to Moses in a burning fire from inside a bush. Moses looked and saw that the bush was burning with fire, but it was not being burned up. So Moses said, “I must step aside and see this great thing, why the bush is not being burned up.” The Lord saw him step aside to look. And God called to him from inside the bush, saying, “Moses, Moses!” Moses answered, “Here I am.” God said, “Do not come near. Take your shoes off your feet. For the place where you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face. For he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have seen the suffering of My people in Egypt. I have heard their cry because of the men who make them work. I know how they suffer. So I have come down to save them from the power of the Egyptians. I will bring them out of that land to a good big land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now the cry of the people of Israel has come to Me. I have seen what power the Egyptians use to make it hard for them. Now come, and I will send you to Pharaoh so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God said, “But I will be with you. And this will be something special for you to see to know that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “See, I am going to the people of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they might say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What should I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Again He said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever. By this name I am to be remembered by all people for all time. Go and gather together the leaders of Israel. Say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has shown Himself to me. And He said, “I have visited you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. I promise to bring you out of the suffering of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.’” They will listen to what you say. Then you and the leaders of Israel will go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now we ask you to let us travel three days to the desert to give gifts on an altar in worship to the Lord our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go, except by a powerful hand. So I will put out My hand and trouble Egypt with all the powerful works I will do there. After that he will let you go. And I will give these people favor in the eyes of the Egyptians. When you go, you will not go empty handed. But each woman will get from her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, things made of silver and gold, and clothes that you will put on your sons and daughters. You will take the best of things from the Egyptians.”
Many of us are familiar of how the Lord God dealt with king pharaoh and the Egyptians in those days to be able to deliver Israelites from their slavery. Before even he sent Moses, the Lord God had a plan of how He was going to deliver the Israelites from Egyptians. The Lord even told Moses and said “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go, except by a powerful hand. So I will put out My hand and trouble Egypt with all the powerful works I will do there. After that he will let you go.” God knew that the king of Egypt will not let the Israelites go that easily. So He had a strategy of how He was going to bring out His people out of Egypt. And He was going to bring them out with the best of things from Egyptians, and not empty handed, and lead them to a land flowing with milk and honey. That was God’s goal and He had a strategy of how He was going to do it. And if you continue to read up to Exodus chapter 12, the Lord performed ten plagues, and surely king Pharaoh had a hardened heart, but the tenth plague made Pharaoh to surrender and let the Israelites go. In Exodus chapter 5 verse 2, when Moses and Aaron went for the first time to tell Pharaoh that they were sent by the Lord God and he needs to let the Israelites go, Pharaoh replied “Who is the Lord, that I should obey Him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord. And I will not let Israel go.” So after the tenth plague, in Exodus chapter 12 verse 31, Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron by night and said to them “Get up and go away from my people, both you and the people of Israel. Go and worship the Lord, as you have said.” By this time Pharaoh had an idea who the Lord was.
So we learn from this Biblical example that God has strategies for each of us, His people, to bring us out from those people and things that have been oppressing us, and keep us in bondage. One of His eternal strategies is through the Lord Jesus Christ. You want eternal life, the Lord Jesus is the strategy to get there and have that life. The book of John chapter 3 verse 16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” If you know that you are a slave to sin, then the Lord Jesus is the strategy that God has established to get us out of being slaves to sin. In the book of John chapter 8 verse 34 to 36, the Lord Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” But the Lord Jesus is not just that, He is also a strategy to get us out from all other bondage and oppression in our spiritual and physical realms and forms. In the book of Luke chapter 4 verses 16 to 21 it records that “The Lord Jesus went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” The Lord Jesus came to earth to set us free from kinds of situations, oppressions, and bondages that you can think of. The Lord Jesus is a way to true freedom.
So before we even come up with a strategy, we have to make up our minds and be willing to take our crosses. Remember now, everything has a cost to pay. Even bad decisions have costs to pay, so we might as well make good decisions for ourselves. Then after we make up our minds and decide this is the way to go, then we need to come up with a strategy. And if you ask me, you might as well involve God in everything because unless the Lord builds our houses, we will end up laboring in vain.
Helen Majaga is a founder of Helen Majaga International, Live to Your Full Potential Podcast & YouCount Magazine, specializing in the training and development of individuals and businesses to achieve personal and professional goals.