Brian Houston is the founder and senior global pastor of Hillsong Church. His praise ministry is known worldwide for both the success of his songs and the multitudes of young people who are attracted to worship in every country in which this religious organization is present.
In this microbook, Houston presents a revolutionary approach to help you walk your path of faith and use Jesus' guidance to become a true leader in all your fields.
Discover in 12 minutes how to tap into the full potential God has given you to make a mark in the world. Good reading!
Often we fail because we get caught up in our understanding, entangled in our thoughts, bogged down in speculations and probabilities, working to make life work, in any way. We want to walk on water.
The problem is that we insist on walking on water according to our power. If we put our trust in something else, like technology to control the weather, money to buy a bigger boat or a lifejacket "if necessary," then perhaps we can do it.
But we can't! The moment we think we can is when we take our eyes off Jesus and begin to sink!
Life is a journey, a winding path full unknowns. It is only possible to navigate because of the power and grace of God.
If you want to live, love and lead like Jesus, then there will be no other place to live, except on the path of faith. To discover God's plan for you, you need to enter the great unknown, risking everything you have.
If you leave the boat and follow the sound of God's voice, you will take steps that you never thought possible.
You will begin a journey of mysteries, a journey to yet unspecified God's destinies. You will begin to live with the possibility of trusting God to do what seems impossible. You will be challenged, excited, experienced and tested. You will walk on water.
This is life on the path of faith!
When you live within the parameters of your special grace, then life is free and expansive. You stop to compare and start to appreciate. The abundant life that Jesus came to bring us frees each one of us from the limits of culture, competition, and comparison.
We can be generous, inclusive, and full of grace, enjoying the fulfillment of our purpose in loving others just as we are loved. When we live in the free and undeserved favor of God, we find that His grace is all-encompassing and all-sufficient.
Through the power of his grace, God can transform the most devastating sin or failure in our lives. His grace provides the answer to all problems, the way through obstacles, the power that enables us to do what we don't have the power to do.
When you are living the full, abundant, and broad life for which you have been made, everything you do will be characterized by passion, purpose, perspective, and peace.
You will be excited to wake up every morning, eager to get out of bed and carry on with the day that the Lord has made and set before you.
Hard work and unexpected obstacles will not intimidate or frustrate you for long because you know you are doing what you were meant to do, you are yourself in the most authentic way, liberated by the grace of God.
Just as Paul personalized the grace he received, you must accept the grace that God gave you.
When you live within your measure of grace, when you lose the limitations of living up to someone else's expectations, then you are comfortable with yourself and life in a similar way when you wear your favorite clothes.
God has given each of us a measure of grace. This measure is all you need to fulfill God's purpose in your life.
It may sound a bit forced or simplistic, but each of us is born with uniquely tailored skills and latent abilities tailored individually to our unique purpose in life.
To discover this fact and to live in that power is what will free you into a vast and expansive life - a life that you may only dream of, which you think is just for the lucky ones.
The key to the future you hope lies in being faithful to the measure God has given you.
This personal measure of God's grace gives you authority and stability. It is not based on who you are, what others think you are or your performance.
Whether you are a housewife, a business leader, an artist, a marketer, or some of all the above, if you are living what God has graced you to do, then you have His support, encouragement, resources, and favor.
You passed the "perhaps" portal and entered the vast wonderful dessert! God wants you to live life certain of yourself.
God is not schizophrenic. He did not create you in one way to use you in another. He knew exactly what he had in mind for the future when he formed you.
His word gives us a glimpse of the way God created each one of us individually to act in the sphere or measure with which he has exclusively entrusted us, according to Romans, chapter 12 verses 3 to 6:
"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith."
What are your strengths? Can you identify the unique gifts in your life? They exist, whether you recognize them or not.
You see, it's easy to fill your mind with what you do not have and lose sight of what God can do with what you have.
There are people who are uniquely graced for business, others for Christian ministry or motherhood, and the list goes on! You may be graced with the gift of generosity or the gift of compassion, which is the heart that aches for the wounded and the needy.
What a beautiful gift to have! The Bible says in the first letter of Peter: "Let every man administer to others the gift he has received, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." Here, multiform means "multiples" or "many layers," the "multidimensional" grace of God.
Whether you are gifted with the gift of leadership, the gift of athletics or the gift of creativity, we are called to be good stewards and faithful servants of what is in our hands.
No one is exempt, and if you do not play your part, we will be losing the unique grace and individual strengths you bring to the here and now.
There is tremendous satisfaction in knowing that we are doing exactly what God created us to do and that we are obedient to his call in our lives.
It is when we discover our strengths and become more comfortable with the grace given us that we see God's promises to our vast and limitless future begin to take shape.
Who we are and how we behave matters - greatly. Think about how others' behavior and conduct positively or negatively affect you.
It may be a particular teacher at a school, who gave you words of affirmation that gave you the courage to believe in yourself. Maybe it was a pastor or mentor who walked the second mile with you to help you achieve your dream.
You may have memories of someone who spoke or acted cruelly at you, making you feel insignificant or useless. We should never underestimate the power we have over each other, especially the strength of our leadership decisions over those who seek us for guidance or support.
It's not that we have to be a perfect person to qualify ourselves in life. Not at all. But we must be honest and polite and live with authenticity and accept others. Jesus said:
"Love the Lord your God with all the passion, all the faith, and all your intelligence. This is the most important, the first of any list.
But there is a second, linked to this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' These two commandments are links of a chain: everything that is in the Law of God and the Prophets derives from them."
When we think of the word pioneer today, we immediately think of Amelia Earhart, Captain James Cook, Christopher Columbus, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and countless others who have changed history with their bold and curious spirit.
Their lives were dedicated to discovery and movement ahead. Walt Disney, one of the most imaginative pioneers of the twentieth century, said of his growing empire:
"Here, however, we do not look back for a long time. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things because we are curious and curiosity continues to lead us on new paths. "
These new paths have not always led to the success associated with the Disney name. In 1927, when Walt contacted MGM studios to distribute Mickey Mouse, they told him that the idea would never work out, that a giant mouse on the screen would cause dread in women and children.
Being a pioneer requires courage, ingenuity, and a sense of adventure. With the pioneering spirit must come the willingness to fail, but also the unwavering belief in the future long-term vision.
Pioneering doesn't occur without opposition, but the broad and vast life we are seeking undoubtedly requires that we take risks, get out of what is known and let us count the costs between the present comfort and the future reward.
No matter who you are or how many years of faith you have, we will all have difficulties and trials. But in these times you discover that the strength of your spirit and the health of your soul comes from God.
Such setbacks have their cost, and we look to God and people for comfort, but the Bible tells us not to let the world's problems destroy us: "A healthy spirit overcomes adversity, but how to cure a downcast spirit? "
Commit to completing your run with God, allowing your grace to carry you, empower you, and sustain you when you are overwhelmed and do not know what to do to proceed.
We stand in the way of the supernatural healing that God wants to give us when we are in pain. What you focus on in life determines whether or not you will experience peace of heart.
The Bible offers clear instructions on how to find and live in a place of peace, as well as showing what makes us peaceful.
Anxiety and worry work in opposition to inner peace. When you are worried or anxious about something, even though it is something that must be faced and accepted as a process, you leave little room for God's peace.
Worry is a real danger to health. The Bible says, "Anguish in a man's heart will bring him down, but a good word rejoices." Or according to another Bible translation: "Worries steal people's happiness, but kind words rejoice."
Peace will flow like a river, as long as you do not allow your heart to harden and fill up like a dam. To worry is to trust in your ability and not rest in the faith of the power and goodness of God. The Bible is undeniably clear:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but let your requests be made known in all things before God by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your feelings in Christ Jesus. "
If you want to live a wonderful, spacious and abundant life like Jesus, especially when life gets difficult, then make the daily decision to believe in God and His Word.
Believe that the promise He has for you is a success as you sow the seeds of faith and patience. Ask God to help you be patient as you go through the pain process and wait for the promises He has for you.
Ask Him to fill you with hope and trust, believing that He is a good God who wants good things for you. And ask Him also to grant you the peace promised in His Word.
You must realize the victory that God gives you over shame and learn to walk upright in the Good News of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He gives you every reason to keep your head up, to walk with your head held high, and to refuse shame to be placed upon you. Live Freely.
We can't get rid of the shame that seeks to keep us in self-restriction. Christ broke the power of shame for us: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit."
Notice the distinction this verse makes. He does not say that you will not suffer temptations nor say that things can't get ugly. He says there is no condemnation!
Condemnation has no claim upon you and your wonderful and abundant life of freedom in Christ. God wants to break the power of shame over your life. How about you?
Do you believe that you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of because of what Jesus did for you? Are you still condemning yourself? Perhaps you believe God forgave you.
Perhaps you accept that people want to forgive you for what you have done to them. But are you willing to allow the grace of God to permeate you to the bone?
Life's path is hard as it is; we don't have to make it harder. Don't allow the enemy to provoke you with your past's mistakes. God doesn't remember them. Why do you?
Justice is your gift. Live in this gift, plunge into it and flourish like the palm tree:
As you walk the hard path with others as you rely on their strength, stay focused on moving forward. Learning from the past, yes, especially if there were other choices you could have made - this is basic wisdom.
But you must also accept the present and understand that you can't change the past. You must move forward with courage, not rushing into things, but also not get obsessed with past traumas.
One of the best ways to go ahead according to God's time is to focus on His kindness. The Bible says:
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. "
When we are torturing ourselves about what might have happened or what might have been, we lose what God wants to give us as we move on and we also lose what He wants to teach us in the present.
When we are suffering from incessant pain, it is tempting to follow the exact opposite of this exhortation. It is good to focus on positive reports when you are surrounded by negative data.
Do not say that you are focused on God's point of view, when in fact you are looking over your shoulder or looking at your feet. Look forward! Look up!
Walk your path of faith with people who will recalibrate your spiritual compass if it loses true north. Go through crises with courage and authority that directs others to the One who has the answers, not the one who has the problems.
Don't forget that God helps you through tribulations. He will deliver you from the present circumstances and redeem you from suffering. One of the best ways in which He accomplishes both results is through His people.
When the path gets dark, and you feel like giving up, turn to your brothers and sisters, your fellow believers, your local church, and lean on their strength. Let them come into your pain and allow them to share a little of what you are going through.
This is how we go through the difficult parts of life. This is how we grow. And this is how we lead:
Sometimes we have no choice but to stand and let the "waves" of life, unpredictable circumstances such as illness, death, financial hardship and unexpected loss break upon us.
But then we have to assess the damage, fix it, and work it out as much as we can, and so we focus our attention and energies on the goal we're going.
We have to check whether the configuration of our heart is the way God wants us, what He instilled in us and what He wants to develop in our lives.
When considering taking the next step and the next when the path gets difficult, you find that you have to take a break to restart the course.
When life gets tough, and the waves are breaking up, you can't stick your head in the sand and pretend nothing is happening.
You also can't allow life's storms to turn you upside down permanently. It can be tempting to stop, make excuses, and continue to slow down instead of starting over.
The temptation to get caught up in fear and self-pity reinforces the reason why we have to pause to regain our vision. Often the external obstacles in our path are not as heavy as the internal ones.
When we are struggling with the challenges of life, the greatest limitation we face may come from the issues of the heart. If we are not guarding or protecting what God has placed in our heart, then we will lose sight and find it difficult to persevere.
The vision you have for life needs to be protected in your heart. When you find a difficult path, it is imperative to keep your eyes on the prize.
The Bible makes it clear that even demons must recognize the power of Jesus' name. His name makes all knees bend, and all tongues tell the truth of who He is.
In Jewish culture, the name Jesus means "Jehovah is salvation," which we often translate as "savior." The name came from God himself when He sent the angel to visit Mary with the surprising news that she would be the mother of the Son of God.
The angel said to her:
"Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God, and behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will call him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most Hight, and the Lord God shall give him the throne of David, his father, and he shall reign forever in the house of Jacob, and his kingdom shall have no end. "
How much meaning, power, history, and authority contained in a name! Your name has limitations. If we live according to our authority and influence, then we will always come up against our limitations.
That is why the only hope we have comes from the name of Jesus. His name is the open door, and we have the right to live and work under that great name that is above all names.
This is the best possible news, especially regarding the problems for which we have no answers. We face obstacles in life and we feel pressured to leave the faithful path of following Christ.
We have come close to what the future holds for us, but we have no access. We don't find the path that leads us to the place that God calls us to reach, nor are we sure of what steps to take next. This is when the power of the holy name of Jesus becomes our key.
The name of Jesus is strong and yet gentle. Fierce and, at the same time, gentle. He is trustworthy, sincere, powerful and merciful, and the declaration of his unlimited capacity continues throughout eternity.
The best news of all is that we inherit him as joint heirs, brothers, and sisters of Jesus. We have a legacy of power, purpose, and possibilities that we ignore.
The door may be narrow, but Jesus always opens the way for those who live under his oath of salvation under his promise to those who travel by his unchanging and unshakable name.
Do you want to know the way to go through the narrow door? It is the name of Jesus. There is no other way, and there is no other name!
To resist the temptation to settle, we must live life so that the fruits of our labor will remain much longer after our physical body perishes.
To build the eternal Kingdom of God and leave this kind of legacy, we must remain pioneers supplied by grace, committed to exploring the inhospitable territory to which God calls us, whatever our specific field of action.
Each field has its pioneers who dedicated life and career to innovation and experimentation. It can be in a lab or with a notebook, in the field or inside an office.
It is committing to be the best you can be in what you have been called to do. It is to identify your passions and to seek them with a lifelong curiosity. It is leading when it would be easier to follow someone and follow God when you want to go your way.
Pioneers take risks and take the first steps toward a new, often unknown, discovery. They invent what they need while using the resources that God offers and not concentrating on what they do not have.
They enter into something new and believe that God will fulfill what He has promised and will provide the resources needed to realize the possibilities of reaching the greatness of their lives.
Innovating, not conforming to less, means allowing God to expand your imagination, increase your wisdom, and multiply your resources so that your energies are sustained and expanded.
Not for your glory, but for the glory of God. When you serve God and live a meaningful life, this condition not only blesses you but also offers opportunities for others to be blessed as well.
The best of God's mission is that we satisfy the deep thirst and the continuing need in the human soul.
It leads us to a meaningful life, not for our fame and fulfillment, but rather so that we can lead others home - the house that is God's house, the church here on earth, and the house that is the eternal home that waits for us in heaven.
As you follow the God's call for your life and remain faithful to the wonderful pioneering of the Holy Spirit, your life will overflow with joy, meaning and also the best of God.
Individual success is an illusion. Everyone who claims exclusive credit for the successes of life allows pride to deceive them.
Behind even, the most seemingly individual triumphs are coaches, teachers, speakers, family, friends, mentors, an opportunity created by the other. Reliability drives us toward the community and does not push us away from it.
It is in the community that we discover the needs of others and responds by being safe and reliable stewards of what we have been given, good stewards of our holy calling.
The result is actions of grace and fellowship with God. When we have a relationship with the heavenly Father, He gives us His Spirit to empower and equip us to do what He would do.
The fact is that our God is All-sovereign, Almighty and able to do absolutely everything. Nonetheless, He still chooses to use us and depend on us.
When we depend on and benefit others, when we open our hands and lives, God smiles. Because He sees that we learn something about who He is and what His intentions are.
Success and effectiveness in life, love, and leadership depend on your ability to partner with strategically placed people on your side for the adventure, people who want and can carry the vision, run the race, and serve Jesus together.
For the faith to endure during the long journey and amidst setbacks and challenges, we must exercise and strengthen it. The kind of faith necessary to withstand the hardest blows of life must be strong, muscular, robust, and resilient.
The word robust means "strong and healthy; resistant and vigorous." Once we decide to follow Jesus and live the Christian life, we neglect the permanent need to exercise and practice what we believe.
But our spiritual muscles are very much like the physical muscles, which need development to regularly grow and be strong and healthy.
Without regular exercise, muscles atrophy, shrink and weaken until they no longer function properly. If we don't daily exercise our faith, it will become weak, flaccid, and unable to withstand the trials and temptations we will inevitably face.
Those who strengthen faith and grow in love and trust in God know that we need to have the right focus. They know that we have to keep our faith in Jesus, not in other people, or material goods, or even in the church.
Grounded in your relationship with Christ, faith increases over time with every new challenge, battle or obstacle you face. You learn to trust God above what you can see, feel, know or imagine.
Especially when the unthinkable happens, you have to trust God to provide something equally unimaginable, something greater than you can see from your current perspective.
Why would we be called winners if there was nothing to overcome? If life had no obstacles or challenges, faith would have no effect. Don't be discouraged when you encounter difficulties.
The Holy Scriptures say that the power of God is perfected in our weakness and that fire will test our faith.
God does not disappoint us. Our limited perceptions and expectations disappoint us. No, it is not He who disappoints us; it is He who points us to a glorious future.
He has a designated plan for your life, a purpose for your time here on earth. The difference between our personal disappointment and our God-given designation may be great, and it is in this gap that we see Thomas's relationship with Jesus being tried.
As a follower of Christ, he will hear the Master speak all the words we know and others we don't know. Thomas had witnessed miracles, healings, transformations and striking encounters.
Suddenly everything went downhill - the mighty pursuers, Jesus' arrest, his crucifixion, and burial. It seemed more like a beautiful dream that suddenly evaporated in the cruel light of day.
Then, there is a rumor circulating that says that the body of Jesus is not in the grave, that He has risen. Thomas, however, like the other disciples, must have felt suspended in the space between human disappointment and the divine appointment.
There is nothing such as disappointment and disorientation to reveal to what extent we are firmly attached to the power of Christ, the appointment of God, and surrendering every part of our life to Him.
Whether you admit it or not, the seeds for your glorious future have already been sown. Your diverse life experiences, relationships, and even mistakes contribute to fertilizing the seeds of purpose.
The challenge for most is to make the difference between what is at hand and what is at heart.
It seems an insurmountable distance between the workroom and the luxury office, between painting walls and painting portraits, copywriting, and autographing copies of your bestseller.
The distance is not as big as it seems. God's route to your glorious future draws on God's unique sense of direction, not the logical and direct route you can envision.
Don't ignore what is familiar and even tedious. You are already expert in many fields and methods, whether you realize it or not. Channel your frustration by working at the fast-food counter thinking of new and better customer service methods.
Consider the limitations of your preferred source on social media and improve them. Identify what you like best in managing your team and see if you can specialize in it.
Show joy and satisfaction with the smooth running of your home and be generous with the resources you have. There are innumerable ways to turn the staff that is in your hand into a lightning rod for the power and purpose of God.
Unfortunately, when we try to align our call with our purpose, a sense of entitlement invades. We cling to the greater prize to the detriment of our current talents.
The Word of God is consistent with the principle of stewardship: "He who is faithful in the least is also faithful in much." If you are not willing to start small and grow from what you were given, then you will remain frustrated.
Your vision of global organization begins at the grassroots level. Your international business venture begins with the way you conduct your independent start.
Your loving, cohesive family begins with small decisions, such as being home early to eat meals together. You cannot expect to be at the top of your business and get the results you want if you don't get to work.
God wants you to be fully involved with the resources and skills that He has entrusted to you. He wants you to invest them and produce a greater return to the Kingdom, not that you bury or use them for your purposes.
Now is the time to make the difference between where you are in the present and where God is calling you to be in the future. The gateway to your glorious future must already be open.
The only thing missing is you pushing the door and entering. If you are frustrated by unrealized dreams and continual disappointments, then ask God to reveal the next steps.
Ask Him to turn the staff that is in your hand into the key to unlock your future. Do not try to jump too far too soon. Ask God to show you today's step, the priority to keep you moving forward.
Think about where you currently are. Maybe a dream has faded or a once-promising time has ended in disappointment. Perhaps you have missed the person or the most precious possibility.
You feel like giving up, unable and unwilling to believe that the future can be joyful again. These are the moments in which we must seek the God's peace.
When you are faced with an impossible situation, remember that you serve a God to whom all things are possible. Ask Him to give you peace and security, the kind that "exceeds all understanding," the kind that does not make sense given the circumstances.
When you feel as though you are being held captive by fear, pray for peace where you are and for what you are facing. Retain the confidence with which you became a participant of the best gospel, persevering to the end, believing the future will be better.
Choose to see the here and now as the place where God placed you and will bless it, just as He did with the Israelites. Your gift, as well as your future, is not unknown to God.
In the midst of our final points, we can't always see, but God has this incredible way of making things work his way.
Just because something is over it is not the end! When Jesus said that he was finished, his sacrifice was finished, but we know that it was not the end. Something may have ended in your life today, but Jesus' work in your life is far from over.
Last, but certainly not least, living in spacious and abundant places or navigating the narrow path, living, loving and leading as Jesus intended is not about us. It is about giving glory to the Father.
Regardless of what hi was doing, Jesus always reflected the Father's power, honor, goodness, grace, and holiness. In recruiting fishermen to be His followers, He gave glory to God. In healing a blind man, he gave glory to God.
In teaching in the synagogue, he gave glory to God. In life and death, he gave glory to God in all things and in turn revealed how God uses all things to accomplish his good purpose.
We are instructed to do the same, revealing the light that is in us by the way we conduct life.
"If any man speaks, let him speak according to the word of God; if any man administers, administer according to the power which God gives, that in all things Jesus Christ may glorify God, to whom belongs the glory and the power forever and ever. "
When things are going wonderfully well, let us not forget to give glory to God, and when things are going terribly wrong, let us also not forget to give glory to God.
This is because it is incredible how God finds glory in the worst circumstances, as long as we trust in Him and put Him first.
If you are searching for your call or pursuing with all your heart the purpose of your life, if you find yourself wrapped in the loving arms of your heavenly Father or on your knees in despair, remember that He is the omniscient, omnipotent God and always gracious.
Keep that way. Follow Jesus, and the Lord will crown you with His goodness. You have an incredible heritage in the name of Jesus, a mountain to climb and a path to pioneer.
You have a path of faith that is all yours, a zone of grace that waits for you to occupy. The hard way and the shame of your past are no match for the name of Jesus, for His healing power and His holy calling.
The unique gifts and talents that you have were duly carved out to work God's purpose in this generation, and your vast, spacious, God-ordained life is waiting for you to participate in right now!
Live, love, and lead like Jesus, and your life on earth and in heaven will reflect the continued glory of God in all things! There is no doubt that your best is yet to come!
Also read "Its Ok to Be a Boss" and learn to see leadership not as a burden or an exhausting obligation, but as a valuable opportunity to be helpful, contribute to increase the productivity of your team and help your subordinates achieve what they want!
Brian Houston is an Australian pastor, evangelist, and author. He founded the Hillsong Church, based in Sydney, and is an executive producer of Hillsong Music Australia. He wrote many books, but is best known for... (Read more)
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