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Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #1

Our intimacy with God – His highest priority for our lives –
determines the impact of our lives.

How have you been pursuing an intimate relationship with God in the last
week, last month, last year?

Are you allowing your relationship with God to suffer

…by not faithfully reading your Bible?

…by not communicating with Him through prayer?

…by excusing sin in your life?

…by ignoring your oneness with Him?

Is there a barrier to your intimacy with God such as pride, rebellion, or you
not taking time to devote to Him?
Requirements for an Intimate Relationship with God

A Spiritual Focus. Relate to God on an emotional & spiritual level.

Personal Involvement. The Holy Spirit lives within every believer, giving
each one the ability to develop a personal friendship with Christ.

Trust. Intimacy cannot exist without trust. If you refuse to surrender to and
obey God, you can't expect to have an intimate relationship with Him.

Love. Oneness with God must be motivated out of love, not duty.

Openness and Transparency. Confess specific sins and shortcomings to the


Lord. Be honest with Him, and intimacy will grow.

Two-way Communication. Ask the Father to show you how to hear His
guidance for your life, and set aside time to listen to Him.

Time and Effort. You must devote yourself to knowing the Lord if you want
to experience the fullness of friendship with Him.

Benefits of Intimacy with the Father

Stability: In the midst of life's storms, a solid relationship with God is your
anchor

Security: God is always with you, ready to help in any situation or


circumstance.

Serenity: Intimacy gives you quietness and peace in your spirit, no matter
what happens.

Sensitivity: God will give you greater spiritual understanding and increased
awareness.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #2
Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.

On what do you base the decisions you make in regards to the challenges in
your life? Do you involve God in your decision making process?

Are you making decisions for quick self gratification? Consider not only
materialism, but also your spiritual wellness along with relationships in your
life.

A consequence is that which naturally follows a previous action. It is always


unwise to ignore the consequences of your decisions.

Consequences can be joyful, costly, regrettable and cause suffering.

Are you considering the consequences of your decisions?

Do you trust God? If so, are you being obedient to Him?


The Requirements of Obedience:

Believe that God is sovereign—He controls all things at all times (Ps. 103:19).

Trust that He will work for our good in every situation and circumstance
(Rom. 8:28).

Love the Lord. The Bible says we show our love for Him by obeying His
commands (1 John 5:3)—and not just when they are convenient and
desirable.

Listen to Him. When you pray, make time to hear what He has to say.

Be courageous. Obeying God takes courage because following His will often
leads to conflict. You must be willing to do what is right anyway.

Fully surrender to Him.

The Results of Obedience:

You will experience personal victory if you follow His will, even if the world
does not consider you a success. (See Josh. 1:8.)

Obedience leads to supernatural peace and joy in every circumstance.

Spiritual growth and maturity results when believers continue to walk with
God in the midst of suffering.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #3
God’s Word is an immovable anchor in times of storm.

How have you been responding to the storms in your life?

What is your anchor in life?

Are you searching God’s Word during the storms of your life or are you
looking for a “bail out?”

As storms arise, do you investigate what God’s purpose may be for the
storm? God’s purposes in storms: He wants to . . .

Get our attention - Is the Lord trying to gain your focus?

Purify us from Sin - Is there an area of your life that isn’t pleasing to God?

Cause us to Surrender to Him - Is there something you aren’t


surrendering?

Conform us to His Image - Are you allowing Him to mold you into His
image?

Equip us to serve Him - Are you surrendering your heart for purification
How does the Word of God anchor us in times of storm?

It comforts us. In the middle of heartache and struggle, read the Book of
Psalms.

It reminds us of God’s promises. Scripture assures us of the Lord’s


presence, power, and provision in our lives. (See Matthew 11:28 and Joshua
1:8-9).

It is a compass for our lives (Prov. 3:5-6).

It teaches us how the Father works. Reading about the saints teaches us
how to make wise decisions; the stories of Israel’s rebellion help us avoid
similar mistakes.

It gives us God’s viewpoint. Study how He used adversity in the lives of


biblical characters for a better understanding of how He may want to use our
struggles..

How does the Bible work as an anchor?

You must read it. God’s Word can’t encourage you unless you study it.

You must meditate on it. Think about the Lord’s promises and how He
proved His faithfulness to believers in the past.

Believe what it says. Doubting God’s promises will block His blessings for
you.

Apply it to your own life first—not the life of someone else.

You must be willing to obey it.


Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #4
The awareness of God’s presence energizes us for our work.

Can you think of a time in your life where you knew without a doubt God was
present and speaking to your heart?

When was the last time you felt God’s presence in a special way?

How do you define God’s presence in your life?

Are you in a position spiritually or have you allowed yourself to surrender to


God in such a way that He is showing Himself to you in a very powerful way?

How are you blocking God’s Spirit from motivating you to live a godly life?
How does the presence of God energize us?

We are motivated to live godly lives. Being in the presence of the


universe’s awesome Creator inspires us to make righteous choices.

His presence empowers us to overcome challenges. David knew Jehovah


would defend His name and give him the victory against Goliath (1 Sam.
17:45-47).

Experiencing His presence reminds us of how He worked in the past. As


we recall biblical examples of His faithfulness, we have supernatural peace
and confidence in every situation.

We gain His perspective. God revealed to Elisha’s servant that angelic


warriors outnumbered King Aram’s army (2 Kings 6:11-17). The Lord’s
presence helps us see life from His viewpoint.

The Presence Of God

The presence of God is the revealing of God by His Spirit to our spirit for the purpose
of enabling, energizing, informing or warning us. There is a direct relationship
between the Spirit of God and the way God manifests Himself. The Holy Spirit dwells
in each believer from the moment of salvation. His purpose is to empower, teach
and reveal the meaning of Scripture. He enables us to be more Christ-like. Apart
from the Holy Spirit, we can’t fellowship with God or experience His power working
through us.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #5
God does not require us to understand His will,
just obey it, even if it seems unreasonable.

Has God ever told you to do something that looked totally unreasonable?

How did you respond? Did you decide to do whatever He said regardless or
were you disobedient and followed your own reason?

Where do you end up when you disobey God’s direction? Think of particular
situations in your life.

Think of how God has shown Himself in your life before. With this
knowledge, what makes you not follow God’s will today? List them and
present them to God in prayer for healing.

Do you argue with God and disobey His will through your actions?
How does the will of God work?

The Father has a specific plan for your life.

You may consider yourself unimportant, but no one is insignificant in


God’s eyes.

The Father has equipped you to fulfill your calling. He will never call you
to something and then not enable you to do it.

The Lord reveals His will in small areas and larger ones. When you
submit to God’s will in daily choices, it’s easy to obey Him when faced with
bigger decisions.

How can you discover the will of God?

Open His Word and start reading. The Spirit will lead you by bringing a
passage of Scripture to your attention.

Ask God to speak to your heart. You may hear an answer quickly, or it
might take time before you are ready to hear His voice.

Watch how the Lord works through circumstances. He can speak to us


through opportunities as well as obstacles.

Listen to godly counsel. Wise people will advise you with wisdom from
God’s Word.

Be patient. If the Father doesn’t answer you immediately, take it as a sign


that you don’t need to know yet. He may be setting the stage for a future
blessing.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #6
You reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow

Do you take into consideration that every choice you make in life has a
consequence?

Have you been deceiving yourself and mocking God by rebelling against Him?

Do your choices contribute to your spirit or to your flesh?

Do the people you are around (friends, co-workers, organizations) contribute


to your godliness or do they pull you away?

What kind of influence are you living to be?


Looking Deeper at Terms in Galatians 6:7-8

Flesh—The part of us that wants independence from God. Although the


Spirit dwells within each believer, a part of every person still wants to live
independently from God. We call that the flesh (Gal. 5:17, 19-21), which the
Lord heals and sanctifies as we follow Him.

Sow to the flesh—Yielding to harmful cravings and sinful desires. For


instance, people might overemphasize their appearance, focus on becoming
rich, or watch immoral movies.

Corruption—Decay, ruin, and destruction. Ultimately, sin leads to death


(Rom. 6:23). Over time, rebellion against God destroys a person, just as a
fatal disease slowly takes a life.

Sow to the Spirit—To do things that please the Lord. Obeying God
increases the Spirit’s influence in your life.

Eternal—Long-lasting; high quality. When we plant godly seeds, we will


reap quality things—such as peace, integrity, and healthy relationships—that
have permanent value..

Do not miss the opportunity . .

Sowing to the Spirit is an act of faith, and as such, it is possible only during our time
on earth. We must take advantage of the opportunity we have to serve God (Gal.
6:10).
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #7
The dark moments of our life will last only so long
as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us.

Are you in adversity at the moment? What things have you been telling
yourself about the longevity of this adversity?

How have you been responding to the adversity? Are you keeping your focus
on God? Are you rebelling against God?

One of God’s purposes to allowing dark moments in our lives is to conform us


to the likeness of Christ. Are your choices and actions in line with the likeness
of Christ?

Romans 8:28 tells us that ALL things work for the good of those who love
Him and are called according to His purpose. Are you searching for God’s
purpose in this time of darkness? Ask God: “How are You using this adversity
for Your glory and my good?”
God’s Purpose for Dark Times

The Father’s primary purpose for adversity is to conform us to the


likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:29). He desires to mold you and me so that our
character mirrors the nature of Jesus: the way He thinks, loves, and forgives.
Through hardship, the Lord teaches us to depend on His presence instead of
relying on our own strength. God’s love for us does not eliminate pain,
suffering, and heartache. But it does guarantee that He will use it for His
glory and our good (Rom. 8:28).

The Lord uses suffering to teach us to keep our focus on Him. We learn to
trust that He will bring good out of our difficulty, and that rebellion only
lengthens the duration of our trials. In the middle of a dark time, it may look
as if the adversity will never end. But God loves you and will complete His
plan for your life somehow—if you trust and obey Him.

How can you survive the dark moments of life?

Trust God. Unless you rely on Him, you will not overcome difficulty.

Read His Word and allow the Lord to speak to you. As you meditate on
the Scriptures, you will be training your mind to think as God does. The more
you think Christ-like thoughts, the more you will act in a holy manner. That
means you must dedicate time to reading and studying His Word. If you set
aside time for listening to Him, He will lead you through every situation you
encounter.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #8
Fight all your battles on your knees and you win every time.

What are the battles you have been dealing with in your life lately?

How do you fight your battles?

We are going to fight many battles. With each ask yourself,

Do I want to win or lose the battle?

Do I want to fight the battle in vain or do I want it to be profitable to the


kingdom of God?

Am I going to engage God, Who is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient,


so He can execute all His power by spending time on my knees before
Him?

Am I going to fight my battle God’s way so He can bring about His purpose
for my life.
Why should we fight our battles on our knees?

It is the biblical pattern. Throughout Scripture, God's servants fall on their


faces before the Lord.

When we turn to the Lord, we are no longer battling on our own. No one
can help you more than the Sovereign of the universe (Ps. 103:19). He acts on
behalf of those who trust in Him (Isa. 40:31).

Prayer connects us with the Holy Spirit and His power. The Holy Spirit
dwells within Christians. We can accomplish nothing for God apart from the
Spirit's power.

How can you fight your battles on your knees?

Set aside time to be alone with God.

Listen quietly. You will never know Him better unless you listen for His
voice.

Expect Him to bring up other issues in your life. Until you repent and
surrender to the Lord, sin will keep you from experiencing God's best and
enjoying a close relationship with Him.

Remember that in a battle, there can only be one general. Freely express
your desires, but don't expect God to take orders from you.

Know that battles are God's tools. Don’t put your trust in yourself and
pursue relationships, accomplishments, or possessions instead of a
relationship with the Father.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #9
Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees.

What giants (big problems) are you facing in your life today?

How have you been demonstrating your trust in God in regards to this giant
in your life?

What level of faith have you been declaring?

“I know the Lord can do this.”

“I know that He will do it – at least for some people.”

“It's as good as done.”

Are you asking God for something in your life and continue to worry about it?
If so, then you are not fully trusting God. Your way to recover from this cycle
of worry:

Stop asking and start thanking Him.


What is required for life-changing faith?

Purify your heart. Even a small amount of sin—such as bitterness,


unforgiveness, or pride—will hinder your fellowship with the Lord.

Renew your mind. After your heart is cleansed, you will be able to see when
and where God is at work.

Make sure your motives are pure. Is your intention righteous or selfish?

Focus on the Lord. Often when we approach the Lord in prayer, our
concentration isn’t on Him. We dwell on our emotions, the facts, and the
opinions of others. All three are enemies to effective faith.

Visualize the answer to your prayer. The world has taken the term
“visualize” and twisted it. But it can actually be a God-given tool to
strengthen your faith. For example, I could visualize being pastor of First
Baptist Atlanta long before they called me to lead the congregation.

Walk in the light of the finished product. Live as if it’s only a matter of
time before your prayer is answered. Your part is to discover God’s will,
surrender, and wait on His timing. When you walk in this level of faith, you
will have an awesome sense of peace and contentment (Phil. 4:6-7).
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #10
If necessary, God will move heaven and earth to show us His will.

How can you know for sure that you’ve heard Him correctly? Ask yourself
these questions:

Is it consistent with the Word of God?

Is it a wise decision?

Can I honestly ask the Lord to help me achieve this?

Do I have genuine peace about it?

Does this decision fit who I am as a follower of Jesus?

Does it fit the Lord’s overall plan for my life?

Will this decision honor God?


How can you discover God’s plan for you?

The Bible: Apply scriptural truth so you won’t drift away from God’s will (Ps.
119:105).

Prayer: The Lord promises to guide us when we pray according to His will (1
John 5:14-15).

Circumstances: For a child of God, there is no such thing as coincidence. .

Godly counsel: Before taking advice, make sure the person counseling you
leads a righteous life. Ask, “What do you think the Word of God says I should
do?”

Your conscience: It is the moral filter of your life. Develop a godly


conscience by saturating your mind with the Word of God, and your
decisions will become more Christ-like over time.

Restless spirit: Dr. Stanley has always felt restless before major life changes.
When this happens, it’s wise to ask God, “What are You saying to me?”

What are some hindrances to discovering God’s will?

Self-will: If you have already made up your mind, it will be difficult to hear
what the Lord wants you to do.

The influence of others: Others may comment that God wouldn’t expect you
to make such a large sacrifice—and thereby discourage you from obeying.

Ignorance of God’s Word

Doubt

Unworthiness

Busyness

Fear

Known Sin
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #11
God assumes full responsibility for our needs when we obey Him. .

What self dependency habits do you have which keep you from resting in the
truth that God will supply all your needs? Write those habits down below.

Review the Possible Causes of Unmet Needs listed on the other side of this
card. Are any of these causes prevalent in your life?
Possible Causes of Unmet Needs

We confuse needs with wants. We should evaluate whether our request is a


longing or a necessity. Ask the Father to help you discern between desires
and essentials. Remember that He knows what we lack, even before we tell
Him (Matt. 6:8).

We claim Scripture - but out of context. Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will
supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” This
promise doesn’t apply to those who live in rebellion against Him. Sometimes
the Lord will postpone answering our prayers until He can deal with an area
of sin in our life.

We don’t ask. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find” (Matt.
7:7). Do you go to the Lord with your requests? If not, you can’t expect to
receive those things from Him. But be sure your motives are pure, because
the Father will not reward selfishness (James 4:3).

We fail to do our part. God will not do what you are equipped to accomplish
yourself. For example, you should work - unless a disability prevents you
from holding a job (2 Thess. 3:7-10).

We neglect to wait on God’s timing. Don’t rush into something or try to


pressure the Lord. We miss out on wonderful gifts because we refuse to wait
on God.

We aren’t open to the Lord’s methods. Don’t tell Him how to meet your
need. Sometimes God will provide through people you don’t know or in ways
you least expect.

We lose focus. When you constantly think about your need, it becomes
larger in your mind, and as a result, God seems smaller. Jesus told His
followers to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these
things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). This means our primary goal should
be to honor the Lord.

We don’t trust God. Our Savior promised, “All things for which you pray and
ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you”
(Mark 11:24). If God has confirmed He’ll meet your need, then you can be
confident that He will do it.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #12
Peace with God is the fruit of oneness with God

Do you regularly experience disturbed sleep or quiet time with troubled


thoughts? Does your soul need rest from these thoughts? If so, then it’s time
to evaluate your oneness with God. Begin by rejoicing in the strength,
wisdom and love of God. Reflect upon how He has been there for you in the
past and renew yourself in His Scriptures.

We experience calmness beyond human comprehension when we submit to


God’s will and trust Him to provide for our needs. Are you submitting to
God’s will and trusting in Him?

Peace in God is supernatural and depends of God’s unchanging


characteristics. Are you allowing yourself to wonder away from trusting the
true characteristics of God?

True peace comes from God even in the midst of our circumstances. Are you
waiting on God to change the circumstances or are you claiming His true
peace regardless the circumstances?
The Peace of God

Regardless of the situation, any believer can find inner calm. Jesus told
His disciples, “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). Claim
Jesus’ gift!

The peace of God depends not on circumstances but on a personal


relationship with Jesus. He said, “In Me you may have peace” (John 16:33).
Transcendent peace rests on our agreement with God. When you submit your
daily choices to the Lord, you are in harmony with His Spirit, and you will
experience peace.

Remember that if you are a born-again believer, the Holy Spirit lives
within you to make a godly life possible. The Helper produces all kinds of
good fruit within believers, including peace (Galatians 5:22).

The Father doesn’t promise us a trouble-free life. If we cultivate an


intimate relationship with Him, we can possess a quietness that gives us
strength to withstand adversity.

Our Responsibility

When we face situations that could cause turmoil, we must hold on to


our identity: children of God. His Spirit will bring us quietness,
contentment, security, and courage.

We must stop dwelling on negative circumstances and renew our focus


on the Father. Since we are His beloved sons and daughters, God will cause
all things to work together for our good (Romans 8:28). Get your eyes off the
source of disappointment and onto Him, and you will know supernatural
peace.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #13
Listening to God is essential to walking with God.

What type of listener are you? Do you purposefully listen to God or passively
listen to God?

Purposeful listener expects God to speak and applies what they have
learned.

Passive listener may enjoy a sermon, but has no intention on applying.

During your quiet prayer time with the Lord do you dominate the
conversation or do you listen to Him?

Do you find yourself constantly unsettled about a particular area of your life;
always praying about the situation but never feeling God’s guidance or His
peace? If so, are you expectantly listening for God’s guidance; applying it to
your life and being steadfast?

Is there a true desire in your heart for guidance from the Lord? Or are you
desiring to participate in the grace of God without experiencing the sacrifices
He may be guiding you to make in obedience to Him?
How do we listen to God?

Read the Bible. He will never tell you something that contradicts His Word.

Listen to the Holy Spirit. One of His jobs is to guide you by speaking to your
spirit.

Pray. Prayer is talking and listening to God. Read at least a small portion of
Scripture each day, and ask God to speak through it.

Be watchful. Look for the Lord to reveal Himself to you through


circumstances. When life takes you by surprise, ask Him what He is doing.
Watch for Him to guide you through open and closed doors.

Expect Him to guide you through others. He will use pastors, parents,
friends, family members, and at times even strangers to lead you. Just be
careful to evaluate everything in the light of Scripture.

What’s the appropriate “posture” of listening to God?

Reflective - Meditate on biblical passages. Slowly and thoughtfully read a


section over and over.

Prayerful - As you read God’s Word, ask for His help in applying it.

Submissive - Be willing to obey whatever the Lord tells you to do.

Expectant - God promises to speak to us; anticipate Him speaking to you


personally.

Patient - On important decisions, it’s sometimes necessary to pray for weeks


before understanding what the Lord is saying.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #14
God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

One of the hardest things for us to surrender is our own timing allowing
God’s timing - not our own agenda - to guide our lives. What are ways that
you get ahead of God’s work in your life?

Do you find yourself on a regular basis manipulating circumstances around


you to get your own way?

Are you calmly accepting the Lord’s work in your life?

Do you feel like you are outside of God’s will and have missed out on His
best? Has hurt, pressure and suffering been prevalent in your life? If so,
consider the disappointment and hurt in your life. Are they prevalent
because of impatient actions you have taken instead of waiting on the Lord?

Do you trust that God will accomplish what He promises?


What does it mean to wait on God?

Resting in the Lord requires patience, which is simply the will to wait.

We must listen for further instruction, instead of rushing ahead with our
solution.

Waiting requires that we calmly accept the Lord’s work in our lives.

Some of us may have to surrender what seems like an immediate need and
resist the temptation to set our own timeline.

Waiting on Him is purposeful anticipation that God will accomplish what He


promises.

Why do we have to wait? God is…

Arranging circumstances

Purifying our motives. Rather than act out of lust, greed, or pride, we
should be stirred by love, service, and obedience.

Teaching us to rely on Him. If every prayer were answered immediately,


we might never learn to trust God.

Protecting us from unseen danger. Those who rush ahead of the Father
run into unexpected difficulties.

Preparing us to impact others. When you wait on God’s timing, you can be
an awesome testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness.

It’s your choice. You can manipulate circumstances; walk away from God;
or wait on Him, watch Him work, and reap the reward

.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #15
Brokenness is God’s requirement for maximum usefulness.

What does God keep targeting in your life? Is it your self-reliance?

In what ways have you acted independent from God?

Is there are area of your life that you have not brought into submission to
God’s will?

What part of your attitude has the Lord convicted you about lately - self-
righteousness, self-reliance, self-centeredness?

Are you allowing any of the following to get in the way of the Lord teaching
you to rely more on Him?

Pride

Ignorance

Fear

Worldly entanglements

unhealthy relationships

rebelliousness

strongholds of Satan

Ask the Lord to reveal to you how you are blocking Him using you to the
fullest.
Why We Resist Brokenness

Pride

Ignorance

Fear

Unhealthy relationships

Rebelliousness

Strongholds of Satan.

Worldly entanglements

Consequences of Resisting Brokenness

We hinder our relationship with the Lord.

We delay the fulfillment of God’s will in our lives.

We hurt those who are closest to us.

We limit what the Father can do through our gifts and talents.

We are “put on the shelf”—unused by the Lord and prevented from


experiencing His blessings and future rewards.

We are only as useful to God as we are obedient to Him.


Whether He allows difficulties to arise in our family, finances, or health,
He does so out of love.
His ultimate purpose is that we become spiritually mature
and effective for His kingdom.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #16
Whatever you acquire outside of God’s will eventually turns to ashes.

What do you desire?

Are these desires for things that bring only momentary fulfillment and
immediate gratification?

Are you rebelling against God to fulfill this desire? Even if the desire is
pure, sometimes we rebel to obtain the desire.For example, we desire
companionship. So we participate in sinful acts with others because we
want their companionship.

Is the immediate gratification of your transgression against God so enjoyable


that you have no desire to obey God?

Has your life been reduced to ashes? Perhaps the devastation is obvious to
everyone. Or maybe the fires of sin have burned in a less visible way, leaving
mostly internal damage. Our heavenly Father can bring restoration, no
matter how severe the destruction is. Come to your senses, admit you have
wandered away from His will, and turn back to God. Let Him demonstrate His
amazing mercy in a personal way.
God may allow us to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a little while.

Why is rebellion enjoyable?

It momentarily fulfills a desire.

The fact that sin is forbidden can increase its appeal.

Transgression typically offers immediate gratification.

Disobedience is pleasurable in some ways, for a short time (Heb. 11:25).

Why do we disobey God’s will for our lives?

Satan encourages us to focus on immediate desires.

We forget about the blessings we already enjoy.

We fail to consider the consequences of wrong choices.

God warns us that what we acquire outside of His will turns to ashes.

When a house burns down, nothing is left but ashes—insubstantial


fragments of what was. Spiritually speaking, ashes are the remains of
disobedience and rebellion.

Sin may look appealing, but it leads to destruction (see Numbers 32:23).
People may be able to cover up the external consequences of sin. But unless
they turn from it, their wrongdoings will eventually destroy them.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #17
We stand tallest and strongest on our knees.

Take a moment to evaluate the following:

How active is your prayer life?

When conflicts come into our life, do you find yourself turning to prayer or
are you relying on yourself?

Review the back of this card then ask yourself:

Do my actions and application of God’s Word show that I recognize God as


sovereign of the universe?

Am I hindering my prayers by not confessing sin in my life?

Am I still relying on myself instead of God’s awesome power?

Do I make myself available for God to use?

Have I acquired God’s vision or am I trying to make my own vision work in


my life?
How should we pray?

Recognize that God is the Sovereign of the Universe. Psalm 103:19 says,
“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty
rules over all.” Our heavenly Father never ceases to be ruler & master of the
universe.

Recognize that God is holy. As humans, we all fall short of His absolute
holiness. We should approach Him with reverence and awe.

Confess sin. Scripture teaches that the Lord won’t hear our prayers if we’re
holding onto un-confessed sin (Ps. 66:18). Purity of heart and the power of
God are connected.

Recognize your inadequacy. When the Lord tells you to do something, He


hasn’t made a mistake. He will never call you to do something that you can’t
accomplish through His power and strength. In fact, God delights in using
your weaknesses to teach you how to rely on Him.

Be available for God to use you. Some prayers will never be answered
unless we take an active role in their fulfillment.

Experience the Holy Spirit’s enabling power. God wants you to look at
your- self as He does—as someone with potential. In the power of the Spirit,
you have the ability to do whatever He asks.

Acquire God’s vision and direction. What’s on your heart? Surrender every
dream/goal to the heavenly Father, & watch what He will do in & through
you.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #18
As children of a sovereign God, we are never victims of our circumstances.

Have you felt like a victim of the circumstances in your life? If so, write down
or ponder your true feelings of how you have felt like a victim. Think about
how these feelings have caused you to have an uneasy spirit. Then think
about the following: Have I allowed these feelings to interfere with my trusting
God and my relationship with Him?

Take a moment to look up the word sovereign and write down in your own
words what it means to you to have a sovereign God as the Lord of your life.

Read Paul’s pep talk to all Christians in Romans 8:31-39. Write down how
you can begin claiming these truths in your life so that you may live as a
conqueror instead of a victim of your circumstances. How are you going to
submit to the Holy Spirit to allow Jesus’ strength to help you conquer your
circumstances?
What rewarding truths are connected with the sovereignty of God?

We can:

Live with greater trust in the Lord. He is the Sovereign of the universe. You
and I are able to face difficulty because we know and can rely on the One who
is in charge.

Experience freedom from worry. Our heavenly Father promises to provide


for our basic needs (Matt. 6:25-33). That means when we lack something,
God must be working good through that situation.

Have an increased sense of gratitude. Because the sovereign Lord is our


provider, we can have confidence that every need will be satisfied. Our
requests are not met simply by chance, but according to His goodness and
fatherly care.

Be more patient in times of adversity. We can be confident that suffering


will end one way or another - He will either bring us through the adversity or
take us home to be with Him. He promised never to leave or forsake us (Heb.
13:5).

Anticipate God’s work in our lives. We can have confidence that the Lord
will work through adversity.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #19
Anything you hold too tightly, you will lose.

If you are wondering how you can tell if you are holding on to someone or
something too tightly, then ask yourself the following questions in regards to the
person or item you cherish:

Am I being disobedient to the Lord?

Am I rejecting the Lord's commands for my life?

Am I seeking this relationship or item in my life on a regular basis,


sometimes causing me to deny time, money or service to the Lord?

Do most of the decisions I make in my life revolve around this person or


item?

Do I feel the Holy Spirit convicting me at this moment that I am serving this
person or item instead of serving the Lord?
What do people hold too tightly?

Relationships

Goals and dreams

The past

Wrong ideas and perceptions

Timing

Possessions

Old hurts

How can you release your grip?

1. Begin by recognizing that God is not first in your life.

2. Then ask Him, “How much of my time, thoughts, or energy do I put towards
this item, position, or person?”

3. Acknowledge that you devote more time and energy to something other than
the Lord.

4. Decide to put everything in its proper place. Let Jesus be first, and He will
help you arrange all other priorities.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #20
Disappointments are inevitable, discouragement is a choice.

Has God's answer to a prayer in your life been something that you did not
hope for?

In what way have you responded to this disappointment in your life?

Do you feel like this response is one that shows you trust God?

Write down ways that you can reorganize your life (time, energy and other
resources) so that you will not allow discouragement to overcome you.
Commit to these ways during your prayer life and walk with Christ.
The Consequences of Discouragement

Divided attention

Placing blame

Anger and depression

Estrangement

Loss of confidence

Negative spirit

Unwise decisions

Spiritual drift

The Cure for Discouragement

Pursue a relationship with the Father.

Look within yourself. Ask, Why am I discouraged?

Look up. God has the ability to rescue you from harmful attitudes.

Look back. Don’t dwell on hurtful things in the past. Instead, think about
God’s faithfulness to deliver you.

Look ahead. Focus on what the Lord is doing now in your life. Be
encouraged by what He has planned for the future.

Responding correctly to discouragement involves several things.

Reorganize your life. In other words, evaluate your use of time, energy,
and other resources. Make sure you’re doing the right things in the right
way.

Resolve to trust God. Believe that He is in control (Ps. 103:19), loves you,
and will never leave you (Heb. 13:5). He can turn adversity into
something good.

Rest. Physical and emotional exhaustion often lead to discouragement.

Resist discouragement. Ask God to reveal the best response to difficulty.


You will be amazed at the difference a positive attitude makes.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #21
Obedience always brings blessing.

How would you describe a blessing in your life?

In what ways has God blessed you through your obedience?

In what ways have you been struggling to be obedient to God?

Do you recognize missed blessings from your disobedience?

Our environment (everyday life habits and routines) many times sets us up for
being disobedient to God, how has your environment done this? Ponder ways you
can change your environment so that you may be more productive and obedient to
God? Ask God to reveal to you ways of changing.
Suffering before Blessing

Often, the first effect of obedience is not blessing, but suffering. Sometimes, what
God requires of us will initially lead to pain and sadness. We shouldn’t assume that
difficulty means we’ve made a mistake or that He has abandoned us. Take into
consideration Moses and Paul who both followed God and encountered suffering.
However, they have been blessed by being recognized as important leaders. Paul
recognized in his “fight” that his faith allowed him to “finish the race.” (2 Tim. 4:7)
.Certainly he was blessed to do so.

God’s Purposes for Our Suffering

To bring us to the end of ourselves so we rely on Him.

To prevent pride.

To remove idols from our lives.

To deepen our understanding of His ways.

To demonstrate His faithfulness to His children.

If you obey God, can you expect His blessings? Yes. But remember that His choice of
blessing may be different from yours. Perhaps He will use suffering to draw you
closer to Himself. Or He may use it to remove from your life those things that hinder
fruitfulness for Him. No matter what, if you walk in His will, He will bless you in
surprising ways.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #22
To walk in the Spirit is to obey the initial promptings of the Spirit.

Are you trying to live the Christian life in your own strength and wisdom,
rather than by following the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit?

When was the last time you felt the Holy Spirit’s promptings?

How did you respond? Did you ignore Him because you were unsure about
where He was directing you?

Did He challenge your beliefs or was He moving you to change your course?

We must stay yielded to the Holy Spirit and trust that He will guide us. Think
about your answers to the above questions. Do you feel a peace in your heart
about the way you have responded to the Spirit’s promptings. If not, pray
about how you can yield.
What does the Holy Spirit do in our lives?

Teaches and reminds us of what we’ve learned (John 14:26)

Seeks to testify about Jesus rather than Himself (John 15:26)

Convicts us of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-13)

Guides us into all truth (John 16:13)

Glorifies Christ (John 16:14)

Dwells within every believer (Rom. 8:11)

Reveals the Lord’s plans for us (Rom. 8:14)

Assures us that we are children of God (Rom. 8:15-16)

Equips us with spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4, 7-8)

Gives power, especially for evangelism (Acts 1:7-8)

Intercedes for us (Rom. 8:26)

Seals our salvation (Eph. 1:13)

What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?

This phrase means to live each moment dependent on the Holy Spirit, sensitive to
His voice, and obedient to Him. When the Spirit speaks to your heart, obey
immediately. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Sometimes it will become clear
why the Holy Spirit directs us one way and not another. Other times, we may never
know why. However, the wise man or woman will obey the Spirit’s voice - He knows
all things, including the future, and His guidance is always for our benefit.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #23
You can never out give God

How do you make financial decisions in your life?

Are your financial decisions based on your balance sheet or on your


obedience to God?

Are you eager to receive God’s blessings, but hesitant to obey Him with the
gifts He has given to you?

The way we handle our finances displays how we trust God. How would you
describe your trust in God based off of this fact?
Why should we give?

To provide for His work: giving supports the work of the gospel, not only
locally but also around the world.

To prove His faithfulness: when we are generous givers, God promises to


provide for us.

To provide for the needs of others: we should share food and clothing with
the needy but above all, we are to remember that humanity’s biggest need is
for the gospel.

To honor God: as we give to others, we demonstrate His kindness to the


world.

What is God’s plan for giving to us?

God’s greatest blessings come to those who live obediently before Him.
In other words, disobedience has consequences, which can include financial
struggles (see Hag. 1:5-7).

God provides for His children. So if Christians don’t have the basic things
they need, they should prayerfully evaluate their lives.
Reflecting the Principle through Self Evaluation Life Principle #24
To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us.

Are you worried that you are not doing enough to deserve a relationship with
God?

What is distracting you from following God?

What would you say is creating a yoke of bondage on you that shouldn’t be
there?

The God who saved you can teach you how to live for Him. Ask Him to teach
you how to allow Jesus to live His life through you.
How will you live out Life Principle 24?

Everything that concerns you is Christ’s responsibility to care for rather than
yours. Your job is to simply obey Him.

What is troubling your heart today?

What concern is consuming you with fear and doubt?

Think of the distractions that have been troubling you and keeping you from
allowing Jesus to live His life through you.

Submit these distractions to God and ask Him to show you how to overcome
them in your life.

It is important that you realize the following . . .

If you don’t allow Jesus to take care of the concerns of your life,
then you’ll continue being distracted by issues that were never yours to worry
about,
and you will miss the blessings of the abundant life that God planned for you.