The Bible uses the term heart to describe the bundle of desires, hopes, interests, ambitions, dreams, and affections you have. Your heart represents the source of all your motivations–what you love to do and what you are about most. … Don’t ignore your interests. Consider how they might be used for God’s glory. There is a reason that you love to do these things. … How do you know when you are serving God from your heart? The first telltale sign is enthusiasm. When you are doing what you love to do, no one has to motivate you or challenge you or check up on you. … The second characteristic of serving God from your heart is effectiveness. Whenever you do what God wired you to love to do, you get good at it. … Figure out what you love to do–what God gave you a heart to do–and then do it for his glory. … What I’m able to do, God wants me to do”
Did you know that God uses a very predictable process to build your character? Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life) calls it the ”Six Phases of Faith.” The. The process was also described by Chip Ingram in his book Holy Ambition”
If you don’t understand the process, you’ll get discouraged when problems arise. You’ll wonder, “Why is this happening to me?” But if you understand and cooperate with what God is doing—in your life and with your faith—you’ll develop great strength. It’s like stretching a muscle to make it stronger.
PHASE 1: A DREAM
God gives you a dream: an idea, goal or ambition. Every great accomplishment first begins as a God-given dream in someone’s mind. “God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes” Eph. 3:20 (LB).
PHASE 2: DECISION
A dream is worthless until you decide to do something about it. For every 10 dreamers, there’s only one decision-maker. This is the moment of truth where you decide to invest your time, money, energy and reputation—and to let go of security. If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat! “You must believe and not doubt … a double-minded man is unstable in all he does” James 1:6 and 8 (GN).
PHASE 3: DELAY
There is ALWAYS a time-lapse before your dream becomes reality. God uses this waiting period to teach you to trust Him. Remember: A delay is not a denial. Maturity is understanding the difference between “no” and “not yet.”God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” Hab. 2:3 (LB)
PHASE 4: DIFFICULTY
Now the problems start popping up. The two most common types: critics and circumstances. Don’t worry! It’s all a part of God’s plan. “At the present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold” 1 Pet. 1:6-7
PHASE 5: DEAD-END!
Your situation will deteriorate from difficult to IMPOSSIBLE! You’ll find yourself backed into a corner; you reach the end of your rope. The situation looks hopeless. Congratulations! You’re on the edge of a miracle. Trust God.“At that time we were completely overwhelmed … in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet, we now believe we had this sense of impending disaster so that we might learn to trust—not in ourselves—but in God who can raise the dead” 2 Cor. 1:8-9
Why would God tell me to do something so impossible? Because impossible is where God starts, and miracles are what God does.
PHASE 6: DELIVERANCE!
God provides a supernatural answer. Miraculously, things fall into place! God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections so you can see His greatness. “I expect the Lord to deliver me once again so I will see his goodness to me” Ps. 27:13.
Do you want to know more?