1. Fear– It is the paralyzing culprit that derails the success of what could have been for many.  The antidote for fear is trust.  We often fear the future, but I love the Good News Translation (GNT) of Jeremiah 29:11, “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.”  Ask yourself, what are you hoping for or afraid of and which seems to occupy your mind the most.  I pay close attention to what Job said about fear and trust: First he said in Job 3:25 (NIV) What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. Secondly, he said in Job 13:15 (KJV) though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
  2. Wrong associations– too much time with those who can’t see, or don’t believe Gods plan for you- Staying with Job, I often wondered if his close friends and family contributed to any of the fear he mentioned.  Jobs friends came to comfort him, which ended with blaming Job for his distress because of sin in his life and his wife, who knew him best said to him, “You are still as faithful as ever, aren’t you? Why don’t you curse God and die?” Job 2:9 (GNT).  Who you spend time with will have a great impact on the degree of success you experience.  Proverbs 13:20 says it best, whoever walks with wise people will be wise, but whoever associate with fools will suffer. 
  3. Lack of prayer– Many have developed a nonchalant attitude toward prayer, seeing it as a mere option as opposed to a necessity. However, prayer is powerful and it changes situations and circumstances.  James 5:17 (GWT) tells us Elijah was human like us. Yet, when he prayed that it wouldn’t rain, no rain fell on the ground for three-and-a-half years.  Also, there are certain times in life when the only way one could get what they needed was through prayer.  A great example is in Mark 9:28-29 (NLT) Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.  Prayer is a life line.
  4. Not spending time reading and studying the word of God – This allows you to get to know God better.  The more you know about God the easier it will be to trust him.  Studying the word also provides instructions for day to day living.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 (GNT) says all scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.  There are many promises that God has made, and the only way to discover them for your self is by spending time in His word.  Knowing Gods word provides a level of confidence that increases your level of faith.  Deuteronomy 7:9 tells us that God keeps his promises and I love how Jeremiah 1:12 (GWT) says, I am watching to make sure that my words come true.  When you know what God has promised you, it becomes easier to expect it.

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