Wednesday, May 26, 2010

#3 - The Enemy to Success

Enjoying cup of coffee #2. I can actually hear the boy talking a little bit. He is SO cute! What a blessing in our lives. Sometimes he will talk for a few minutes & fall back to sleep.... so we'll see what happens this morning. I know the Holy Spirit busted out with some good stuff this morning, so I am excited to share it! So, FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS we are going to jump in to some good Word this morning. You may also want to get out some shoes with a thick toe... maybe steel toe boots... some toes may be stepped on this morning. I know this information was a great reminder & wake-up call to me!

So before we get started, you may want to know, "Who is this Enemy to Success?" Well, this was quite an interesting find when I looked it up. The enemy to Success & Victory is Strife. Pull out a thesaurus & look it up. Read through the synonyms (words that are the same), and look at the antonyms (words that are the opposite). There were two antonyms listed when I looked up the word Strife. Those two words were Victory & Success. So, if you desire to have Victory in your life, which I feel pretty confident that we all do, you need to eliminate strife from your life! What were some of the synonyms you may wonder?? Equally as interesting, here are just a few: hassle, animosity, controversy, disunity. So, since those are synonyms - you also need to eliminate those "words" from your life also to experience Success! Here are a few questions to see how you are doing... Can you name things in your life that are a "hassle"? Is it a "hassle" to go here or there? Are your daily tasks such a "hassle"? Are you holding animosity or a grudge towards anyone? Who was the person that just popped in your mind? (Write them down & make a point to forgive them!) Do you lack unity with your spouse? With your employer? With your family? 
If you answered YES to any of those questions, it could very well be the reason why you may be experiencing failure in some areas of your life. 

Let's take a look into Proverbs: 
Proverbs 26: 17, 20, 21 - He who, passing by, stops to meddle with strife that is none of his business is like one who takes a dog by the ears. For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention ceases. As coals are to hot embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man to inflame strife.
Proverbs 31: 27 - She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.
Strife! What are sources of strife that may be in your life? Do YOU add fuel to "bad news"? Do you make bad news worse than what it is by putting "wood on the fire"? How about gossip? 

I remember a time being at home, and beginning to tell Tyler something. I don't even remember what it was, it must have been about someone, something that I had found out. Well, as I began to tell Tyler about it, he just stopped me and said, "That sounds like gossip to me. I don't really want to know about it." Whoa! Can you say "BOO YAH!" And you know what, he was exactly right. I KNEW it was gossip! I even had a check in my spirit telling him. Praise God for an "iron sharpens iron" husband who is able to stop things at the root, to not even allow the weeds to have a chance to survive. I know some people may say, "But, he's my husband" or "She's my wife, can't I just tell her?" Let me follow that up with a question. Gossip, strife, contention - If you DO NOT want to have SUCCESS and VICTORY, sure, bust out with the "oh so important news about so-and-so" and tell your spouse! The bottom line, it doesn't matter who you tell, it still remains to be gossip and it gossip leads to strife! - "...where there is no whisperer (aka: gossiper)contention (aka: strife) ceases..."

(Just in case you wondered, the boy did go back to sleep! He talked for a few minutes, and now he is snoozin!)

Causes of Strife:

  • Lack of peace, lack of unity
  • Busyness - Stop trying to be so busy. Are you walking around your house trying to find something to do? STOP IT! Sit down! You don't even have to have a book or the TV... you really can just sit down and think. Maybe get out a piece of paper and get things out of your head! Empty out your brain of all the CLUTTERED thoughts of T0-Do's. (GTD - Getting Things Done by David Allen - EXCELLENT, LIFE-CHANGING read!)
  • Relying on or putting too much weight on the opinions & expectancy of others! Develop a "WHO CARES" attitude! If you always live your life based upon what others think you should do, expect you to do versus what GOD is leading you to do, you will LIVE CONTINUOUSLY in strive! You can not please everyone. Grasp that fact now, and the rest of your life will be easier. 
  • Strife comes from the LACK of having a plan. Take the Proverbs 31 Woman for example. You KNOW that woman has a DAILY plan! To accomplish everything she does as a wife, mom, business owner, friend, giver to the needy, seamstress, saleswoman, real estate woman, farmer, etc, etc, etc. To get even a PORTION of those areas done, you better believe a PLAN is ESSENTIAL! Do you even know WHAT your priorities are? The direction you are headed? That would be a place to start. List out the priorities in your life & develop a DAILY plan that will point back to accomplishing what is most important to you. There is only ONE you to accomplish what only YOU can do! God has SPECIFIC things for you too accomplish. Having a plan is crucial. 
  • Strife comes from INTERNAL PRESSURE. My husband has been definitely guilty of this one. He has to CONSTANTLY remind himself that if he HAS A PLAN and is FOLLOWING THE PLAN to not allow internal strife or pressure to work it's way to the surface. - Follow your plan without pressure, and then just enjoy the process. 

A few ways to cut off Strife...turn off the:

  • NOISE! The TV, radio, CD, iPod, Cell Phone, Twitter, Facebook, Text Message, Blackberry Messenger, MySpace, Laptop, DeskTop, email, Pandora, even sometimes the baby monitor!
Try listening to the silence. Take a walk. Sit on the porch. Go for a run. Sit on the couch. Ride around in your quiet car. I guarantee, it is much easier to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit without all the clutter! If you don't have time for that, you are TOO BUSY and need to eliminate some things from your schedule. If there is no time for God, you are too busy. 

I'll leave you with two things. 

It's hard to be the man or woman God desires you to be when strife is a consistent part of your life. 

Do ONE thing today to eliminate strife in your life and begin your climb to success!


Deb Ellis said...

I have really enjoyed studying the book of Proverbs with you Amy. God has really blessed you with some wonderful insight! I read a chapter in the morning during my devotion time and can hardly wait to see what great truths you have captured. I love the way you have pulled the Proverbs 31 woman into your blogs. Today was especially awesome as we all tend to overcommit, thus creating unnecessary strife in our lives. Seeing how that strife can rob us of success and victory really puts a different emphasis on it - the need to resolve the strife at whatever the cost. Thanks for sharing! I shared this blog with my friends and family. Hope they will sign in and receive the blessing I have found.

Amy J. McCart said...

Thank you! :) I'm so glad that you are enjoying it! I am enjoying writing it. It is always so amazing what God reveals to you when you take the time to meditate on His Word! :) Thanks for the feedback! It really is encouraging... you have always been such a great encourager. Love you!

Kimberly Bestul said...

This is my favorite post so far...VERY powerful!! I also like it when you highlight and/or color certain words. :)

The bottom line, it doesn't matter who you tell, it still remains to be gossip and it gossip leads to strife!

Amy J. McCart said...

Amen sista! True!! :) And it doesn't surprise me that you like it when words are in color, since you have the color-coordinated closet. :) My closet is color-coordinated now! I love it!! :)

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