Your Outlook Will Depend on Three Things
About 20 years ago I tried starting a business. It didn’t work out. I thought I was doing all the right things, but ultimately it just didn’t take off. But in analyzing why it didn’t work out, I discovered something about myself. At the time, I had a short-term outlook instead of a long-term outlook.
Most business do not thrive right away. It usually takes at least three years for an ultimately successful business to go from nothing to profitable. But it depends on your threshold for risk: Are you in it for the long haul, or will you get out if it doesn’t seem to work out? Do you have a short-term outlook or a long-term outlook?
You will need to have three things settled in your mind in order to have a long-term outlook instead of a short-term outlook.
Everything will start with what you believe about yourself. Do you believe that you can make this thing work? or do you deep down think you don’t have what it takes? Either way, you’ll likely be right.
But belief ought not be focused on you. You are not the source of all wisdom. But you know who is. God can inspire you with the ideas you need to have when you need to have them. Don’t think that you have to figure everything out on your own. You just have to believe that God knows what you will have to deal with before you will have to deal with it. Do you trust God enough to believe that He will provide what you need when you need it?
If you feel God is prompting you to step out in faith and start something, then He wants you to experience Him in a new and fresh way. He wants you to have that daily trust in Him. If you are willing to step out and trust in Him, then He will fill in the rest. Be willing to grow in your faith in God. Accept this challenge as the adventure that it is. Have faith in the one who made you because He knows you better than you know yourself. But if you do not respond in faith to His prompting, that is not wisdom. That is disobedience.
Once you start moving in the direction that He wants you to go, then it’s about maintaining the course. But that doesn’t mean that you just keep doing the same thing. It means that you maintain the course that God has set for you, wherever it takes you.
Commitment is not about being stupid. God gave you a brain and He wants you to use it. But He doesn’t want you to use it to rationalize why you shouldn’t do something He wants you to do. It’s about daily and continually listening for His direction and having the courage to follow His leading.
Don’t go into whatever you do half-heartedly (Colossians 3:23; Ecclesiastes 9:10). God won’t quit on you, so don’t quit on Him. Trust that He can do more than you can ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Remember: your life is an adventure. Living the adventure requires courage and commitment.
Jesus is standing on the water and He is calling for you to get out of the boat. If you respond in faith, have the commitment to continue to believe. Do not lose your faith in the middle of walking to Jesus. Remember: Jesus rebuked Peter for not believing that he could do the impossible. Jesus will do the same with you.
When things don’t go the way you expected, do not lose heart. Learn how to adjust. Remember: your life is an adventure. Expect it to be one.
Recognize that misfortune is not a sign that God has abandoned you. God wants to bless you, but God is more interested in having you trust Him. God may well remove the supports that you have trusted in the past, just so that you will lean on Him.
God is less interested in your financial success than he is in your spiritual success. He wants you to run the race and win. He will use the adventure of your business endeavor to strengthen your faith.
Just like in lifting weights, you have to tear your muscles in order for them to rebuild bigger and stronger. When lifting weights, you have to be pushed to your limits and experience some pain in order to get the results you want. It works the same way with faith. You must be willing to be pushed to and past your limits in order for you to grow in your relationship with God. If you are afraid to deal with something in your life, then that will hold you back. God wants you to push past it and gain the freedom of trusting in Him more than your circumstances.
God wants to integrate your spiritual life and your professional life so that you are the same person all the time. He wants you to trust Him in every part of your life. He wants you to expect Him to show up in every area of your life. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). But you need to have the belief, commitment, and resilience to develop a long-term outlook. And He will take care of the rest.
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