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As you know, you cannot change the quality of your life without first accepting responsibility for your life. You are not where you are because of the color of your skin or because you were born to a poor family or into a compromised socioeconomic condition.

The quality of the life you are experiencing isn't less than it could be because your boss does not like you, because you do not have a degree or because you have never had an opportunity to be mentored.

These are all things which may give another person an edge in the natural, but as far as God is concerned, they make absolutely no difference. Why? Because the way He has prepared for us to experience success relies upon none of these things.

The first thing you have to do is stop saying, "I'm like I am because of my color, because of where I was born, because of my background or because I don't have the education." That has to stop right now.

If you're not where you want to be, you have to learn to say, "I am where I am because I have not applied very well the principles which govern prosperity. God has provided the direction I need to experience success. That direction is found in His laws of prosperity. I'll just have to dig deeper until I find the key."

When God says in 3 John 2, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth," He is not only talking about your physical health; He is referring to every aspect of your life. He wants you to prosper spiritually, of course. Soulishly, in your mind, your will and your emotions, physically and financially. God wants you totally blessed.

God's Will For Your Life
If Adam had not sinned, we would still be living in a blessed paradise. That was God's will then, and it is God's will for your life in Jesus now. The Bible is God's instruction manual for living that blessed, higher quality of life. That kind of life is called zoe life.

When Jesus said, I am…the life (John 14:6), He was referring to this zoe life—the God kind of life—a quality of life that makes no room for sickness, disease, poverty or any other accursed thing. Then why don't you have it? Well, God is not a liar, so it must be that you do not completely understand how His laws work.

But change comes only when people realize they can have a positive effect on their own lives. As long as they are finding excuses for why they are like they are, they will never change.

It's the same in business. Don't tell anyone, "Well, I haven't experienced the success I want because of these people. This is such a small town. They're just knotheads. They won't get committed."

Let me tell you something, friend. The laws work for you and your business just as well as they work for any individual. If you are not prospering, increasing or growing in the way that you want to prosper, increase or grow, the problem is sitting right in your chair.

You have to face that. I am not trying to be offensive, but if you do not change, your results will not change. If you do not address the truth of your own shortcomings, God cannot do anything to correct them.

The Application
If that has jolted you awake a little bit, good. God not only wants you restored to Him spiritually, He wants you to be healed physically. He wants you to have good relationships. He wants your light to shine. He wants you to have something that is attractive to the rest of the world. They don't need poverty or sickness; they need to see the light of your health and prosperity.

God wants the same for your career, business or ministry. You are going to attract people when you are successfully applying the laws that govern the blessings of God. Those blessings will be reflected in an increasingly successful life. So if it's not happening, you are not correctly applying the laws.

Start With Faith
The most basic and fundamental element required for change in our lives is faith. Jesus said, "All things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23). Interestingly, He didn't say, "All things are certain to him that believeth," did He? Or, "All things are definitely going to work out if you believe." He said, "All things are possible."

What that tells me is that things will be impossible if we don't believe. You see, there is another element involved. It also begins with faith. By faith, you have to believe in your call. You have to believe you are equipped. You have to believe God has given you everything you need to accomplish what He has given you to do.

It does not matter how inadequate you feel or how inappropriate your background may seem. None of those things matter. You have to believe in your call, in your equipping, and in the validity of the vocation God has called you to. You have to receive it all by faith.

The Beginning Point
Your faith is where the power source really is. You cannot doubt your call. You cannot wonder if this is really God. If you are continually wondering if you are supposed to be doing what you're doing, it will only produce a lot of heartache. Stop wasting your time and God's.

Go out and get a different job. But if you know that you are called to what you are doing, you have to believe that you are equipped. By faith you must trust that God has empowered you to take the entire city, if that is His plan. You have what it takes to do that.

Now, that is not a commentary on how cool you are. We all know how flawed each of us is. It is a commentary on God's faithfulness to perform what He said He would perform. But He cannot do it if you do not believe it. So the first thing you have to do is believe in the call on your life. But that is just the beginning.

The Action Step
Here is where we add what James shows us: "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead" (James 2:17). You can believe until you are blue in the face, but if your behavior does not reflect your heart of faith, then that faith will die unborn on the inside of you.

Paul says something we can all say a hearty amen to: "I delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Rom. 7:22). The law of God, of course, is His Word-not only the written Word of the Scriptures but also the revealed word He has spoken to your heart.

The law of God is also referred to as spiritual seed that is sown and, if properly cultivated, produces a harvest (Mark 4). But it is sown in the inward man, in the heart. That is where the seed of God's Word is sown to produce fruit.

In Romans 7:23 Paul continues, I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. So there is another law at work in our carnal being. It's called the law of sin and death.

The law of sin works through our unregenerated nature and the flesh, the members Paul refers to, and it is in opposition to the law of God that operates from the inward man, where the Word is sown.

The deciding factor is something called "the law of the mind." Understanding and applying the law of the mind determines whether the law of God from your inward man is going to have preeminence in your life or if the law of sin will operate through your members.

Now, these two laws relate to behavior. The mind is between the inward man, which is where the law of God operates, and the members of the flesh, which is where the law of sin operates. When your behavior conforms to the things you believe in your heart, then your faith comes alive.

The Tongue-Twister Trap
The apostle Paul himself felt caught between the law of sin and the law of God: "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I" (Rom. 7:15). That is a tongue twister, but he is saying, "I know better than to do a lot of the things I do, but I do them anyway."

He continues in verse 19, "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." He is not necessarily talking about some great evil, like murder or adultery. It could be a matter of insufficient personal devotional time in the morning. It could be a matter of avoiding gossip at work.

He knows what he has to do, but oftentimes he doesn't do it. Why? He loses out to the law of sin working through his members.

Many people think behavior demonstrates what a person really believes in his heart. I have heard preachers say, "Well, you can always tell what people really believe because they are going to do what they believe." That is not always true.

If it were, James would not have wasted space in the Bible pointing out the fact that our faith is dead without corresponding action. If behavior automatically followed heart belief, it would not have been necessary to say that. But it doesn't.

We do many things counter to our beliefs for a lot of reasons. For example, we are often reluctant to share our faith because we might be persecuted or rejected. Rejection is a painful thing for the human spirit, so to avoid it, we may shy away from telling someone about Jesus.

Fear of persecution, fear of rejection, fear of bodily harm or fear of financial consequences are all reasons we do not behave in a way that allows our faith to work for us.

So behavior is critical, and the controlling factor is not what you believe. The controlling factor is not what you have disciplined your flesh to do. The controlling factor is something Paul calls, "the law of the mind." Now go see what the Word of God has to say about it.

Copyright © Mac Hammond Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area and can also be viewed at winnersminute.com. He is also the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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