I Think I Can

In him I live, I move, and I have my being. Acts 17:28 is one of my favorite scriptures. It is the foundation scripture for The Tailored Life concept. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being in him. Even when you make mistakes, even if you stumble, fall, or take a dive, do it, in him. His strength is made perfect in our weakness, not in our perfection. What a wonderful life it must be, what an amazing feeling it must be to live life inside of God’s will. How do we get there? How do we stay there?

I have a plan for you. Will you try it? It is a widely accepted view that it takes 21 days to start or break a habit. The best way to break a habit is to start a new one. So I encourage you to participate in my 21 for 21 challenge. What’s that, you ask? It’s committing to working productively toward living in God’s will and working on one of your goals for a minimum of 21 minutes a day for 21 days. Use the #21for21 and #TailoredDreams hashtags to allow us to see your progress and so we can support you on your journey. Post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and I will be watching and cheering you on. I want you to join me in living this Tailored Life.

When it gets hard along this 21-day journey, just remember the children’s story about the little engine that could. That engine hauled a load that should’ve broken him, but he kept repeating an affirmation. He kept saying “I think I can, I think I can,” and he did. He did the impossible by training his thoughts, by repeatedly saying I can do this. You are the little dreamer that could. Just keep saying “I think I can, I know God Can.” Repeat that repeatedly. When fear creeps in, say “I think I can, I know God Can.”

Finally, I encourage you to purchase a surrogate for your goal. For example, buy a plant, a beautiful plant, but you only get to provide proper care for that beautiful plant when you follow through on completing action items for your goals. So if you watered your dream, you can water your plant. If you starve your dream, then starve your plant of something like sunlight.

We need to begin to view our dreams as living things. You need to know the answer to the great question “what happens to a dream differed.” You need to see that illustrated by how you impact the health of that beautiful plant of yours, because really your dreams need the same things that plants do: water (commitment), sunlight (hard work), and good soil (faith in God).

Remember, you are not a prisoner of your past, because God is the architect of your future.

Prayer Starter: Lord, today we ask you to allow us to dwell in your presence forever. Help us to rest in the shadow of the almighty and to live out our lives inside your will. Keep us from things that will deter us from completing your will for our lives. Over the next 21 days, help me to break habits that keep me from being totally committed to you and to create habits that bring me closer to you. Help us to take every thought captive in the Holy Spirit and to remember that you can do anything but fail. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Go to http://www.danielchristianbradley.com to purchase your copy of Tailored Dreams or to subscribe to The Tailored Life blog.

Face Your Lions

The first week of my life, I didn’t have a name. The card above my head read “baby boy Bradley.” My mom and I both stopped breathing several times during labor and she was initially too sick to name me. After she regained her strength, she prayed and really thought long and hard about what to name me. Finally, she came up with Daniel Christian Bradley. My middle name obliviously is because I’m a P.K. (Preacher’s Kid) and she wanted to make sure I would always know that Christ needed to stay at the center of my life, but Daniel was because she felt like he was a great example of how she wanted me to be.

Daniel of the Bible was an avid prayer warrior; it was written that he prayed to his God three times a day. He was an interpreter of dreams, and found favor with the king even while he and his people were captive. But he is most famous for the story found in the 6th chapter of Daniel, when he was thrown into a den of lions because he refused to compromise his faith.

While reading this story recently, I thought about how we all have lions or lions’ den experiences, places, people, and positions that scare us. We will at times stay at the threshold of being blessed because the step before the blessing is seemingly blocked by lions. Fear is natural but it’s an illusion. It’s literally false evidence appearing real. Now, don’t get me wrong. In Daniel’s case, the lions in his path were very real, but he didn’t allow fear of the lion to supersede his faith in God.

It’s ok to be afraid of the future, but use the fear as fuel to push you into a place of faith. Faith is believing in God enough to stand still when it makes perfect sense to run. No one would’ve blamed Daniel if he decided to just bow down to what the king requested, but Daniel knew that his God could deliver him, even from the face of lions.

If your life is not yet what you want it to be, sometimes the best thing to do is to do a “faith check,” like ask yourself if you desire an incredible life and are you activating incredible faith. Incredible faith is moving toward your goals no matter what. Don’t let the lions stop you. Face your lion.

Whatever your lion is, whether it’s a conversation with your supervisor about a promotion, or whether it’s finally sitting down and writing that book, or enrolling in school even though you may think you are too old, maybe you are your own lion, and it’s facing a lack of confidence in yourself. Whatever that barrier is, convert the barrier to a hurdle and leap over it, or break through it, because on the other side of that den of lions is greatness. We only really know who Daniel is thousands of years after he lived because he had enough faith in God to face his lions.

Prayer Starter: God, help me to replace my fear with faith. Let me overcome evil with good, and continue to do good knowing in due season I will reap if I do not faint. Help me to be confident as I am placed in situations that feel like I am surrounded by hungry lions. At those times remind me that it is you that is protecting me, all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

From YouVersion

The Importance Of Faith

The Bible tells us three things about the importance of faith.

1. God is looking for faithful people.

God is physically, visibly, actively, taking the initiative to look for faithful people that he can bless.

2 Chronicles 16:9 has been one of my life verses, and I’ve learned that if you make yourself usable, God will wear you out. If you get blessable, he will bless your socks off! (That’s why I don’t wear socks.) God is looking for faithful people that he can use.

2. Faithful people are hard to find.

A lot of people talk the talk, but they don’t really trust God. They trust their credit card instead. They say they believe in God, but they don’t really trust him when it comes to their finances, health, or job. (See Proverbs 20:6)

Psalm 53:2-3 says this: “God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!” (NLT)

3. Faithfulness is the key to blessing and victory.

1 John 5:4-5 says, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”

The Bible says in Proverbs 28:20, “A faithful man will have many blessings” (HCSB). I want your life to have many blessings. But in order for you to have that blessing, you’re going to have to learn faithfulness. God tests your faithfulness in different ways. Will you let him grow you in this area so that you can be a man or woman of faith?

This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

God Bless you.

Later,

Pat.