Born to Win. By Daniel Rodes

INTRODUCTION

 This book was not written for men only. Although the word men or man is used freely, I am not referring to male, but mankind. It is my goal and prayer to stir up men and women to become all they can be in this life, to set out to get a dream, a vision and not stop until they see the vision fulfilled.

This is not a weird dream or unscriptural vision someone gets or claims to have from the Lord. Such dreams and visions have brought havoc and embarrassment to the Christian faith. The dream or vision I am talking about is when you have a desire to do something. You see yourself accomplishing it. You have a dream to achieve it. You have the mentality of a winner.

Get a vision or dream to become useful to mankind. Get a vision of becoming a winner. You can do it. Others did, so can you.

We desperately need men and women who can bring change to a world that is quickly getting out of control. We need men and women who care enough about other people that they are willing to be the person for the hour and leave a great influence on others.

Many people across the world have a defeated attitude and outlook in life. There is little incentive to get out there and get something done. I hope this book will stir you to the extent that you realize. Are Born To Win! Go for it!

CHAPTER ONE

GETTING STARTED

Anyone Can Be A Winner

Anyone can become a winner in life and be successful: young or old, weak or strong, rich or poor, known or unknown. I am not saying that you will be rich or own houses, lands, factories, and live in luxury. This book is not written to show you how to get rich. It is to show you how to become a winner. You can be a winner without being rich and owning a fortune. In fact, it wasn’t money that motivated most of the champions of the past to become successful. It was a vision.

Getting A Vision-A Dream

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18).

There are two very important statements in the above verse that you should consider before you can become a winner. The first one is you must have a vision. The second statement is you must operate in that vision God’s way. If you do not have a vision, you cannot expect to become a winner or be successful. Successful men and women have always had a vision of accomplishing something in life. If you intend to accomplish anything in life, you must get a vision. You can do it if you remember you are Born to Win.

Ask The Lord For An Idea

 If you don’t have a dream, ask the Lord to help you get a dream or a vision. Use your mind-think. That is what God gave you a mind for. Great minds conceive great ideas. Start thinking about what you would like to accomplish. Get a vision to not only help yourself, but others as well. If you keep thinking about your dream or vision, sooner or later it will become a part of you. Dream about becoming a success. Plan to become a success. See yourself prosperous. Get enthusiastic. The Lord will help you become a winner if your attitudes are right and you are motivated by the right spirit.

Train Yourself To Think Big

You may have heard people say, “If I could but keep one heart from breaking, I have not lived in vain.” That statement may sound good to the loser, but it is certainly not a goal for a winner. There is certainly more than one person we can help in a lifetime. A winner must train his mind to think big, but stay within the realms of common sense. Too many have failed in their vision because they had zeal without knowledge (Romans 10:2).

Stop thinking about how small you are. Start thinking about how big God is. Train your mind to think big. When we think success, we strive for success. When we think failure, we are apt to fail. We are what we think about. Proverbs 23:7 tells us, as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Get Faith In Your Vision

You must have faith in your vision. No dream or vision is ever manifested unless there is faith behind the vision. Faith not only speaks, it acts. Faith accomplishes something. Faith comes by obeying the Word of God and confessing it with your mouth, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17). Notice the words, “faith cometh.” The more we speak the Word, the more faith comes. Faith in your vision is a must if you plan to see your vision fulfilled. 

Nothing But Your Best

School teachers become a success when they improve their teaching skills. Successful teachers not only teach, but they influence the lives of those around them. They help others in their classroom to develop into quality men and women. If a school teacher is enthusiastic and has a winning attitude, the pupils will learn to do the same.

A prosperous farmer learns to farm. He has a vision and dream of becoming a successful farmer. He studies about the soil, livestock, tractors, and machinery. He cannot be careless about his livestock, but takes good care of them, seven days a week, 365 days a year. He is constantly learning. He learns from other successful farmers. He learns what to do and what not to do. He knows in order for him to be successful, he must sow his seed at the right time. He must harvest his fields when they are ready for harvest. If you want to be a success, you must be as the farmer. Expect a harvest. Prepare for the harvest. Learn how to reap the harvest. A dream without action is of little value. See yourself the best you can be. Expect to do great things. Expect to be a blessing to others.

A successful businessman sees himself as prosperous. He visualizes himself as a very successful person. He discovers ways to better serve his customers. He searches for ways to make his business more successful.

A good evangelist is not good because he has the ability to draw large crowds. What makes an evangelist successful is a vision of winning souls and bringing men and women to the place where they can be successful Christians.

A pastor is not a successful pastor just because he has the call of God on his life. He is a success because he has a vision to be a success. If you are a pastor, go to your church. Walk back and forth across your church building declaring, “Whatsoever I do shall prosper.” Get a vision of Psalms 1:3 working in your life. Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Get a vision of your people learning to trust God. See them obeying God and becoming men and women whom God can use. Study the Word. Meditate upon the Word. A true pastor doesn’t quit his job when the first church problem arises. He has a heart for the people God has placed under his care and leadership. He gets to the root of the problem. He finds an answer to his problem. Pastors who became very successful leaders did not become successful without a vision, a plan, a purpose, a zeal, and an enthusiasm. 

Be Consumed With Your Vision

 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry (Habakkuk 2:2-3).

No one ever becomes a great success until they are consumed with their vision or dream. Be so consumed with your dream and vision that it becomes a part of you day and night. Let nothing stop you. Be bold about your vision. Talk about your vision. Think about your vision. Dream about your vision. Write your vision. Nail it to the walls of your house. Paste it on the dash of your car. Get enthused about it. Get busy. Do something about your vision. Act like a winner. Talk like a winner. Think like a winner. Be positive. Talk positive about your dream. Be consumed with your vision. That is why God told Habakkuk to write the vision and make it plain. God wanted him to have a complete understanding of that vision that would burn in his bones day and night. You must win! You can win! You are Born to Win! 

Be Committed To Your Vision 

You must be committed to everything you do. Many businesses fail because of the lack of commitment. Marriages fail when there is a lack of commitment. Pastors often suffer because the people are not committed to the church. If you are not committed to God and His Word, you will likely not be committed to anything else. If you are not committed to your vision, you will quit under pressure. If you are not committed, you are doomed to fail.

Be committed to your task. Be committed to your job. Refuse to give up. Don’t turn from it to the right hand or to the left until you accomplish your vision or goal. Think commitment. Talk commitment. Dream commitment. Plan commitment. See yourself committed. Leave nothing to chance and good luck. Don’t look for success-work for it. Don’t expect your ship to come in-build one. Stay on the main road of success. Detours cause you to lose your vision. There is a lot of work to do. Let’s do it. You are Born to Win. Win, brother, WIN!

Change Your Ways To Be A Winner

 As you dream, begin to remove things out of your life that could be a hindrance to your vision. Make sure you are not dominated by the flesh. Get yourself lined up with the Word of God. Correct the wrong in your life. Repent and turn from every evil way. Sin will kill your visions and bring your dreams to a sudden stop. Let the Lord help you overcome evil, then get a vision and go for it.

Learn From Your Mistakes

 Laugh at your mistakes and learn from them. Use your failures as stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks. If something doesn’t turn out the way you expected it to turn out, recommit yourself. Go at it again. Plan to win. Plan to succeed. Be determined. Say, “I must succeed. I shall succeed. I’ve got to win.” You can do it. God will help you do it. Angels will help you do it and, under most circumstances, someone else will help you to attain that goal.

CHAPTER TWO

FACING OPPOSITION

Winners Will Face Opposition

 Sometime in life, you will face opposition if you set out to become a winner, a success, a dreamer. Opposition may come from your pastor, your school teacher, your employer, your best friend, or even a family member. They will try to stop you. They will be quick to tell you it can’t be done. They even go on and tell you about a hundred others who tried something like you are about to try and failed. They will accuse you of being proud. Others may try to make you feel like you’re going crazy. Although they may accuse you of everything in the “book,” a winner can’t be stopped.

You may ask, “You mean Christians will try to stop a Christian who is set out to do something for the Lord?” They sure will. Weak, sickly, down-trodden church people don’t want a winner around. They become jealous and are quick to let you know what they think of your enthusiasm. They feel it is their god-given duty to hinder the work of the winner. Few people can win, and they wonder what makes you think you can do it. Losers nearly always try to handcuff the winner, but WINNERS WON’T STOP!

Apostle Paul Faced Severe Opposition

 Paul faced a lot of opposition in his ministry, but he had a vision to get the gospel into all the world. People tried to stop him. Devils tried to stop him. Storms tried to stop him. He was misunderstood, lied about, rejected, and accused. Everywhere he went, he was faced with someone or something that tried to stop him. He was stoned. He was beaten. He was shipwrecked. He was thrown in jail, but he had a vision that he refused to lose. When he was in stocks and in prison, he began to sing. The prison began to shake and there was a great revival there. He was determined to be a winner in spite of backsets and opposition.

Paul exposed his determination to win when he declared, I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air (I Corinthians 9:26). He wasn’t running a race to lose. He wasn’t uncertain as to how his life would turn out. He knew life was a fight. As he came to the end of his life, he gave one of the greatest testimonies written by man. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8). He made it. He was Born to Win.

Failures Don’t Stop Winners

Many famous and successful men and women have failed time and again, but they refused to quit. Proverbs 24:16 says, For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again. Everyone faces times in life when they are tempted to quit. Just because a person fails does not make him or her a failure. No one is a failure unless they quit. It is those who keep their eye on their goal, their vision, and their dream who become a success. Remember the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

So many never have anything to give them courage. All they know is they have failed and failed and failed. They are discouraged and are sure they are born losers. If you have been a failure, get up and start out again. Let me say again; you are not a failure unless you quit.

Some fathers, mothers, and church leaders have taught their people and children to be good losers and to rejoice even if they do lose. No wonder we have so many losers. I am not saying a winner will never lose. Of course, in games, someone will lose, but what should our attitude be? “I may have lost this time, but I will try harder the next time.”

I Will Win

 You tried and tried and tried and failed

 And yet you wouldn’t quit.

You may have thought a dozen times,

 “I’m quitting, this is it.”

But then you heard that little voice

 Deep down within you say;

“I may have failed a thousand times,

But I will win today!”

 

 -Daniel Rodes

 © Copyright 1999

CHAPTER THREE

 GETTING A WINNING ATTITUDE

 It Takes Hard Work 

How did others become successful and remarkable winners? Many of them got an idea and worked hard to become a success. Mr. Thomas A. Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” That statement is well worth remembering. Successful people agree that to be a success is hard work. It takes sweat and tears. God said, In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Genesis 3:19). It takes a diligent, strong, and zealous person to succeed to the fullest extent.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 tells us, Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. Keep saying out loud, “Do it with thy might. I can do it. I will do it. I must do it. The Bible says that whatsoever my hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. I refuse to quit. I’m committed to the task. The Lord is with me. The Lord will help me to reach my goal.”

Lazy People Are Not Winners

 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want (Proverbs 21:5).

 Those who are careless, sloppy, unclean, and lazy will not succeed. They can’t succeed because they don’t have an incentive to win. Their life is out of control. Their mentality is wrong. Their thinking is wrong. They become frustrated because others are making a success and they are not. The first part of Proverbs 13:4 says, The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing. Then the rest of that verse says, but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. Many are hoping to get a big inheritance, win a big sweepstake, or win a lottery jackpot. They need to pay a visit to the anthill and learn what the Bible has to say, Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8). If you are to be a success, you must be diligent. You must be enthusiastic. You must be committed to your work. You must be careful not to allow anything to stop you. You must get up in the morning ready to face the challenges of another day.

People who get up late in the morning and lay around on the hammock waiting for success to knock at their door are losing what could be theirs. If you are a late riser, you should feel guilty to see others who get up early and begin their work. Train yourself not to lay around doing nothing or crying over all the troubles you face. You are Born to Win. Get ready. Get set. Go! Go! Go! WIN! 

Getting A Job Promotion

 People who have a hard time finding and keeping a job are often those who do not have a winning attitude. Your appearance makes a lot of difference to your possible employer. Better jobs call for people who are neat, clean, combed, and are dressed appropriately. An employer is not impressed with people looking for a good job who are unshaven or have an untidy beard and wearing inappropriate clothing. Most people who do not have a good paying job do not look like the kind of person an employer is looking for. When someone enters the U.S. Army, he is required to be neat, clean, and alert. They don’t want sloppy, careless looking people serving in the armed forces. They demand their soldiers to be dressed, awake, and ready to go when they are called upon.

Some people lose their job because they are not committed to do their best. When you work for an employer, you are expected to do a good job. Your employer has a right to expect the best from you. You should be committed to do your best.

CHAPTER FOUR

 THE BIBLE AND YOU

The Winner And His Bible

 The Bible is not a book of philosophy. It is not the great work of some master mind or a group of theologians. It is God’s Word to man. It is God’s message to mankind on how to conduct his life in order to be a success. The Bible is truly a book of prosperity, success, love, and joy. It is the answer to all of life’s problems. No other book has been able to accomplish what this Book has. At best, the books written by man can only be a guideline to point us to true victory. The Bible is the Book of victory. If you are to become a winner in any area of life, it must be through God’s order.

Your dreams and visions will never be fully manifested until you base them on God’s Word. God’s Word is not a reference book to refer to on occasion, but God has a message that He wants you to consume on a daily basis. God said if we are to be a success, we must meditate upon His Word day and night. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalms 1:1-3).

Unless God and His Word become a very important part of our vision, we will have sorrow and disappointment. Get full of the Word. Think the Word. Confess the Word. Meditate on the Word. Ask the Lord to help you understand the Word. Learn to live by the Word. Learn to act on the Word.

Using The Word To Win

 When you run into a problem, find a Bible verse or two to help you correct that problem. Take your Bible in your hand. Lay your finger on the verse of Scripture that covers your case and begin to boldly and clearly read the Word of God out loud. This will help to encourage your faith. The Bible tells us in Romans 10:17 why it is so important to hear the Word read or spoken, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Notice the word “hearing.” It is from hearing and hearing and hearing the Word of God that our faith grows. The more you hear the Word, the more you think on the Word. It is the Word that puts our God-given vision to work for us.

When you become discouraged, keep going back to the Word. Resist the devil. Refuse to quit. Fight the good fight of faith (I Timothy 6:12). Don’t let anything stop you. Don’t lose your dream or your vision. Remember, the more you lean on the Word, the stronger you will become.

Think about God leading each step of your way. Think about prospering because the Lord is guiding your steps according to Psalms 37:23; The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Say out loud, “I am walking in the way of the Lord. He is leading me step by step. He delights in my ways.” Make a firm decision to stay in the will and plan of God.

CHAPTER FIVE 

INTEGRITY

 Winners Must Have Integrity

 One thing that has kept people from becoming a winner is the lack of integrity. A dishonest person is not under the blessings of the Lord and never will be. Our Heavenly Father demands honesty. If we want the blessing of the Lord to rest upon us, we must have integrity every day.

The Bible tells about a man named Jephthah who was the son of an harlot. He was rejected and became an outcast. One day, some people saw he was a mighty man of valor and asked him to become their leader. Jephthah was to lead the army into war. The Bible tells us, And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering (Judges 11:30-31).

Little did he know what that vow would do to him. To his horror, his only daughter came out to meet him with dancing and joy. He remembered the vow. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back (Judges 11:35). Notice, he was of such integrity that he knew he was bound to his word. His daughter also knew how important it was for her father to keep the vow he made with the Lord. Her response was remarkable. And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon (Judges 11:36). Not only did Jephthah have integrity, but he had trained his daughter to have the same. To me, this is one of the most touching accounts in the Bible.

CHAPTER SIX

 PEACE

 The Winner Must Live In Peace

 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful (Colossians 3:15).

You must have peace if you intend to succeed in every area of life. Make a decision that you will live in peace with God, yourself, your friends, your family members, church people, and everyone you come in contact with. If you lose your peace, you lose your vision and enthusiasm and you will become discouraged and quit. Without peace, there will be contention, strife, and sure destruction. Some people are nasty and hard to live with, but make a decision now that you refuse to lose your peace. When people become victims of jealousy, envy, and disharmony, many will be affected and trouble will follow. The whole environment is disrupted and the vision will be lost. If someone expects to be a winner, they must avoid the temptation to envy or become jealous of others.

Psalms 34:14 tells us, Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. We are to seek peace. Not only seek, but pursue it. Without peace, even the Lord can’t help us. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

God said if we have love for His Word, we will have great peace. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them (Psalms 119:165). Notice the expression “nothing shall offend them.” That word “offend” is from the Hebrew word mikshowl (mik-shole’) which means “to cause to stumble or fall or to bring to ruin.” Many people are offended and quit when someone says something against them. According to this verse, the Word of God will help you to live in peace and will keep you from offenses. Remember, you are set out to be a winner and you must not quit.

 CHAPTER SEVEN

 HUMILITY

 Winners Must Be Humble

 Humility helps us remember who we are and how much we need the help of God to succeed. When we are humble, God can help us. Make a decision to have an humble spirit. When you are humble, God will promote you. Matthew 23:12 says, And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Here are the words of the Lord Jesus saying he shall be exalted. Who shall be exalted? The person who humbles himself. Peter says almost the same thing in I Peter 5:6, Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Notice, the promise is given that in due time the humble will be exalted.

A Winner Must Avoid Arrogancy

 Arrogancy and pride are a downfall to those who have a vision to accomplish something in life. The Bible clearly warns us, Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). A proud person boasts of his great accomplishments, educational status, or how successful he has become. The Bible tells us that everything we have came from God. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? (I Corinthians 4:7). All of the talent, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding we have comes from God. Therefore, it is important that you give Him the glory for your accomplishments.

A Public Speaker Should Be Humble

Sometimes people expose pride when they are used in public speaking and try to impress their listeners with sophisticated vocabulary and their great achievements. They may give a list of all their credits, accomplishments, degrees, and other important documents to satisfy their ego and cause people to see them as very eloquent and educated.

If you will be speaking in the public, it is important to check your vocabulary of words. The use of words are very important. Learn to select the right words to express what you are saying. Unnecessary words, such as slang words, should be avoided. Learn to say what you mean in an understandable way. I have heard people who used excessive “big words” to draw attention to their educational status. This may appeal to some, but for the greater part, people want to hear speakers they can understand. If you are to be a winner in the area of speaking, be humble. Give a clear, understandable speech.

 CHAPTER EIGHT

PARTNERSHIP

In Partnership With The Lord

 The Lord is not in partnership with you, you are in partnership with Him. Whether you are a janitor, a president over a large corporation, a missionary, an employee, a mother, a father, or a pastor, you need to be in partnership with the Lord. If you live alone or are single, you should be in partnership with the Lord. If you plan a fishing trip with your family or conduct a Bible study, make certain the Lord is your friend and your partner. If you have a ministry, you must have God as your partner. Even if your ministry would be a success outwardly, spiritually it would be a failure without the Lord as your partner. We have a world wide ministry, but I cannot do it alone. Although I am in partnership with the Lord, I must have others to help me. Each worker has a very important part to play in this ministry. Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, said, For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building (I Corinthians 3:9). Let Him be in control.

You must have the all-wise, all-knowing, almighty God as your partner. He makes no mistakes. He wants be your Counselor, your Guide, and your Provider. He is the great Jehovah-Jireh (Lord our Provider). When you have a need, expect God to provide it for you. He promised that He would supply our need (Philippians 4:19). He is Jehovah-Repheka (Lord our Healer). We must get a revelation of the Lord being our healer and keeping us healed. He is Jehovah-Nissi (Lord of Hosts). As you go through life and face the tests that come with each day, be aware of the fact that the Lord of Hosts is with you. If you are in partnership with Him, you can expect to be a winner in this life. You are Born to Win and the Lord will help you be a winner.

If you are not in partnership with the Lord, you will fail. You will not know how to manage. You will not make the right decisions. You will end up with the same lamentable conclusion as Solomon, All is vanity and vexation of spirit (Ecclesiastes 2:17).

Keeping Your Eyes On Jesus

 We are living in a generation of devil fighting, demon binding, spirit chasing “Christians,” who enjoy studying Spiritual warfare and listening to music that caters to demons and devils. The only problem with this crowd is they seem to always be beaten down, discouraged, perplexed, oppressed, beat up, and defeated. They walk around seeking someone to pray for them.

Let me give you some advise of what I have learned over the years that I believe can help you become a winner in life. Stop picking a fight with the devil. Avoid reading spiritual warfare books. Stop trying to figure out what demon is troubling you and get your eyes on the Lord and on Him alone. Jesus took care of the devil on Calvary and we need to get our eyes on Jesus. Talk about what Jesus is doing in the life of victorious Christians. Think about Jesus. Praise Him every day. Thank Him for what He is doing in your life and give adoration to Him for making you a winner. Go for it. You are Born to Win!

Human Wisdom Is Not Enough

The book of Proverbs is a book of good advice and wisdom. It is God speaking to man about wisdom. It is good to read and study the book of Proverbs often to rejuvenate your vision. Proverbs 4:7 says, Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. The word “principal” in the Hebrew text is re’shiyth (ray-sheeth’) which means “to be first in place or rank, or the chief thing.” In other words, we must have wisdom to be a success.

In Exodus 35:35, God speaks of giving wisdom to those He could use to decorate the tabernacle. He said, Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work. Notice the words “cunning work.” God can give you the skill to do anything that He tells you to do.

The wisdom of man is not the same as the wisdom of God. Human wisdom will fail. God’s wisdom never fails. You are Born to Win so seek the wisdom that the Lord gives out liberally.

King Solomon knew he didn’t have the wisdom needed to lead the people of God so he asked for God’s wisdom. Not only did he ask the Lord for wisdom, but he gave the Lord quality reasons why he should receive that wisdom. Because he had a vision of becoming a wise man, the Lord granted his request. According to the Bible, he became the wisest man who ever lived.

Prepare For The Unexpected

One time I was scheduled to speak at a conference. Someone failed to informed me what subject I was to speak on, so I prepared a message for the occasion. As the moderator was getting ready to introduce me, he handed me the conference schedule. I noticed what had been assigned for me to speak on for the first time. I quickly turned to the Scripture they had assigned to me as I was called to the platform. Needless to say, I needed the Lord’s help NOW. After all, I am in partnership with the Lord. I never told them I had not studied for that subject, but the Lord brought us through in victory. Hallelujah!

Sometimes we may face a situation which we were not expecting. I remember, years ago, someone was asked to speak at a meeting and he forgot his appointment. When he didn’t arrive, someone had to be responsible to find another speaker. If you are prepared for the unexpected, you won’t go into a panic when you are under pressure. If you are a minister or a speaker of some kind, be prepared to give a message at a moment’s notice.

 CHAPTER NINE

VISIONS

Learn From Others Who Had A Vision

 Throughout the history of the world, men and women have risen on the scene who had a vision of doing something. Many of them were not geniuses, intellectuals, or had brilliant minds. Some were not born in popular families and did not have parents who were brilliant or extra intelligent, but they had a dream, a plan and a purpose in mind. They were not interested in getting a name for themselves, but wanted to be a help to mankind. Hardships couldn’t stop them. Handicaps didn’t stop them. They succeeded because they had a determination to win. These champions have left a mark in time that cannot be erased. Many of these are not remembered for what they did for themselves, but what they did for others.

Fanny Crosby was blind, but she wrote many beautiful hymns that have blessed the church for years. D. L. Moody was uneducated. He was not an intellectual or brilliant man, but he set out to become a millionaire. When he saw the need of a dying world going to Hell, he changed directions and became one of the greatest evangelists known up to his time. Many thousands of lives were changed by this man’s zeal for Christ. Such men as John Wesley, Charles Finney, and R. A. Torrey brought great change to this world as they preached the unadulterated gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It wasn’t just the gospel that made them great. The vision that God had given them caused their work to be successful.

The Bible tells us of great men and women of God, Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens (Hebrews 11:33-34). They had a vision. They had a plan. They had a purpose and refused to quit until they saw their vision in full manifestation.

Many of us enjoy life more fully today because someone had a vision, a dream, a goal, or a plan, and wouldn’t quit until they saw the vision in manifestation. As great inventors, writers, builders, and world-changing champions slipped off the scene, they were replaced by others who continued with their visions and developed greater and greater results.

Today, instead of lighting a kerosene lamp, we have lights at the flip of a switch. A writer can use a computer to great advantage and store his manuscript in memory. Instead of hitching a horse to a buggy, we can get into a car and reach our destiny in a shorter time. Instead of taking a covered wagon across the country with all its perils and hardships, we can board a jet airliner and travel at exceeding speed. What would have taken weeks can now be accomplished in a few hours.

Thomas A. Edison had a vision to create an electric light bulb, phonograph, and the motion-picture camera. He was named the greatest inventor in history. He made a statement of great importance, “I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.” In his lifetime, Mr. Edison patented 1,093 inventions. What a record! Mr. Edison had a hearing problem, but it couldn’t stop him. He said his hearing problem helped him concentrate. He took advantage of his handicap. Do you suppose there would have been times that he ran into problems and felt like quitting? Everyone is faced with that temptation, but it is those who refuse to quit who become successful.

Alexander Graham Bell had a vision to make a telephone. His invention became a reality in 1875. It didn’t happen overnight, but he stayed committed to his vision. Today, such communication circles the globe. Millions of people use telephones every day because of Mr. Bell’s vision.

Henry Ford had a vision to make a car. He was committed to seeing that dream come true. In the midst of hardships, reverses, and times of failure, he wouldn’t quit. He was determined to have a car to drive. Nothing could stop him. Today, the highways are filled with people driving cars that bear his name.

The Wright brothers had a vision to make the first successful airplane flight. People didn’t believe it could be done, but they had a vision and refused to be discouraged or sidetracked from that vision until they had the plane in the sky.

Someone else had a vision of building bigger and better airplanes. So, over the years, air traffic dramatically increased. Then Boeing got a vision of building a jumbo 747 passenger jet that could travel over 600 miles per hour and could hold 400 people plus the crew. Someone else got a vision of producing a faster jet and they developed and successfully produced the Concord which can break the speed of sound.

None of these men would have accomplished their goal if they had not kept sight of their vision. Their vision came true when they kept on and kept on through hardship and struggle. They had disappointments. They had hard times, but they kept their vision in view. Opposition didn’t stop them. Failure didn’t stop them. Winners often face situations that look impossible to accomplish. When they remember they are Born to Win, they will rise up with new zeal and enthusiasm to fulfill their vision.

 Abraham Had A Vision

 The Lord made a Covenant with Abraham and told him he would become the father of many nations. The Lord told him that all the families of the earth would be blessed because of him. Although God told him that he would be blessed, Abraham had to get a vision of that promise. Abraham could not look at his wife as being barren or too old to have children. All he remembered was he had a vision to become the father of many nations. Abraham had faith in that vision and refused to give up until he saw the fulfillment of his vision. People may have made fun of him. They may have laughed at his vision, but he held to the vision God gave him. Abraham’s faith didn’t waver, even when he was about one hundred years old and his wife, Sarah, was ninety. Sure enough, one day, Abraham and his wife had the privilege of holding the promised son in their arms. Today, all of us are affected in one way or another because of Abraham’s vision.

Nehemiah Had A Vision

 Nehemiah had a vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down. He saw new, strong walls around the city. Some critics tried to stop him. They made fun of him, but he never lost sight of his vision. He was committed to accomplish this vision. God helped him until the vision became a reality.

A Vision That Caused a Man To Be Healed

 In Mark 2:1-5, we are told of a man, sick of the palsy, who was brought to Jesus. His friends had a vision to see him healed. Because of the crowd, they were unable to bring him into the house where Jesus was. That didn’t stop them. They were so determined to see their friend healed that they ripped off the roof to let the man down to where Jesus was. What a vision! What a plan! What perseverance! Do you suppose that Jesus said, “I don’t have time for this man”? Verse 5 says, When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. In other words, “You can go home now. Your sins are forgiven and you are healed.”

Would you have the faith and perseverance to help someone in need? A winner is not only concerned about his vision, he is also concerned about others.

Jephthah Had A Vision

According to the Bible, Jephthah was rejected by his own people because his mother was an harlot (Judges 11:1-2), yet he became a mighty man of valour. In spite of rejection from his family, God mightily used him and he won a great battle for the children of Israel. People like Jephthah may have faced opposition, failure, ridicule, and many backsets, but somehow they had a vision that they were Born to Win. They refused to give up or have a “pity party” mentality because of their rejection. If you remember you are Born To Win, you won’t quit either.

 CHAPTER TEN

ON THE BATTLEFIELD

David and Goliath

 In the book of Samuel, we are given an account of David, a young man who was mightily used of God to rid Israel of a giant who had defied the armies of the living God. God knew the day would come that this giant Philistine would challenge the armies of Israel by saying, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together (I Samuel 17:10). God heard the challenge and needed a man for the hour. No, God didn’t find the man He needed in the army of Israel, but he found a young shepherd boy looking after his father’s sheep. In the eyes of the people, David didn’t look like the man God needed, Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance (I Samuel 16:12), but God said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will (Acts 13:22). David didn’t know that the Lord would use him in such a mighty way when he came to the army of Israel that day. While David was there, he heard this blasphemous giant proclaim, “Give me a man.”

The Winner Is Stirred

 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spoke according to the same words [Give me a man]: and David heard them (I Samuel 17:23).

When David heard those words, “Give me a man,” the anointing within him was stirred. A determination rose up in him to take the challenge given by the giant. Too many people are ready to back out or quit when someone comes against the people of God and tries to hinder or stop the work. Not this man. When Goliath started spouting off and belittling David’s God and His people, David had all he was going to take. He started to develop a vision of ridding Israel of this giant forever.

The Winner Is Accused

 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle (I Samuel 17:28).

David’s own brother, Eliab, tried to intimidate him. He tried to make David feel like he was neglecting his father’s sheep. Eliab also accused David of coming to see the army with pride in his heart. David didn’t allow himself to be intimidated and stopped from his vision of getting that “big mouth” Goliath moved out of the way.  

The Winner Faces Another Challenge

 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth (I Samuel 17:32-33).

With confidence in his heart, David asked to be brought before the king. David assured King Saul that the Lord would use him to rid Israel of their enemies. Saul wasn’t convinced. As if the nasty words and insults from Eliab weren’t enough, David was now challenged by the head authority. Saul was looking at this ruddy looking fellow standing before him. He didn’t look like a fighter. He saw a young man. He said to David, “thou art but a youth.” In other words, “You are not old enough. You don’t have enough experience. You can’t beat him. He’s too big for you to kill. This Philistine has been trained to fight. You are not trained. You’re too weak.” That negative talk didn’t stop David. No, David wasn’t trained in the army of Israel, but he had much training in the Army of the Lord. No, he wasn’t as strong as the Philistine, but he was strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10).

The Winner Proves His Authority

 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God (I Samuel 17:34-36).

 David had to prove himself to the king. He had to convince the king he was the man of the hour. He needed credentials, and he had them. He explained how he boldly killed a lion and a bear, then added that Goliath would be next on his list. David knew he had a Covenant of promise with the God of Israel. Talk about bold faith! No, he wasn’t boasting when he gave his report. Neither was he hoping and trusting God would do something by his hand-he knew.

The Winner Rejects The Carnal Way 

And Saul armed David with his armor, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine (I Samuel 17:38-40).

We can easily be sidetracked from our vision by trying to accomplish it man’s way. King Saul advised David to put on the armor of flesh. David rejected the king’s armor and chose rather to go fully in the name of the Lord. David simply said to Saul, I cannot go with these. David knew if he were to bring down this giant before him, he would have to depend on the armor of God. Although it was a physical fight, there was a spirit behind it. Some of our battles in life may appear to be on the natural side, but there is an evil spirit behind it. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).

The Winner Meets The Enemy

 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field (I Samuel 17:44).

 Goliath declared he would feed David’s flesh to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field. David did not fear the threat or the size of this Philistine. He considered this giant a big bluff. He knew the Lord was with him and he would win. He had a plan in mind-to rid Israel of Goliath. 

The Winner Answers The Enemy

 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands (I Samuel 17:45-47).

David wanted the Philistine to know up front that he was not fighting the battle in his name or by his power, but by the Lord God Almighty. The words of living faith were pouring out of David’s mouth as he reversed the curse the Philistine was trying to put on him. “YOUR flesh will be given to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field.” David’s step of faith proved fatal as the stone sizzed through the air to hit its mark. That big, boastful, blasphemous, uncircumcised Philistine fell down dead. David proved his faith by his actions (James 2:17-18).

The Winner Proclaims Victory

 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled (I Samuel 17:50-51).

As Goliath fell to the ground, David ran and took the sword from Goliath’s sheath and beheaded the enemy. David’s vision was then fully manifested. The enemy was dead and Israel was delivered because someone had a vision to do something for the Lord. God, give us more men like David.

The Winner Is Not Hoping For a Lucky Shot

 As we look back over the account of David killing Goliath, we observe that David wasn’t looking for luck to come to him. A winner is not lucky. He knows he must have a vision and a strong determination to win. David was a winner because he refused to be sidetracked when everyone seemed to be against his zeal to kill Goliath. He wasn’t fantasizing. He had a vision. He knew God had given him that vision, but he had to do his part to make it come to pass. His faith in God made his vision become a reality. Many great victories could have been won in life if someone would have stepped out in faith and put their God-given vision to work.

David Gets a Vision To Build A Temple

 Years later, David had another vision. David not only had a vision, but he had a plan, a purpose and an expectation. He wanted to build his wonderful Lord a lovely temple. He had a dream of it being the most magnificent building in all the world. He had a vision of what it would take to adorn this temple in splendor and beauty. The Lord told him his son, Solomon, was to build the temple, but he helped supply the money and materials for this project. David’s dream became a reality in the days of Solomon.

 CHAPTER ELEVEN 

THE WINNER IN HARD TIMES

 God Is Not Limited To Good Times

The Bible tells us that Joseph had a vision. He received that vision from God. He wouldn’t give up. He kept that vision before his eyes. He told his vision to his family. They didn’t like it one bit. His brothers hated him for it. (Sometimes it’s best not to tell your family what your visions are.) One day his jealous brothers tried to get rid of him and sold him to the Ishmeelites. He was brought to Egypt where he was to serve Potiphar. There he had a vision of serving his master well. Because of his winning attitude, Potiphar gave him charge over the whole house. He was faithful. One day Potiphar’s wicked wife made sexual advances toward him. When he refused her, she lied about him and had him put into prison. In the prison, he developed a vision of being a top successful prisoner. I am sure he had many hard times. He missed his family, but he kept doing his best.

God gave him favor in the eyes of the keeper because he refused to sit around in self-pity. It looked like his dreams were all gone. No doubt, he wondered why he was treated as a criminal when he was innocent. He may have wondered at times Where is God? Doesn’t He see what my brothers did to me? One day his dream became a reality and he was the savior of many people. He went from the prison to being set over Pharaoh’s kingdom in one day because he was true to his dream and vision.

The Bible tells us of three young men who came through some very hard times. These young men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were carried away captive by the enemy. They had a vision to serve the Lord even in trying times. When they refused to bow down and worship the king’s idol, they were cast into a burning fiery furnace. The Lord delivered them because they wouldn’t give up serving the Lord. They had a winning attitude even in trying times.

Daniel was a young man who was carried away captive with the Jews because they had sinned against God. He had a vision of serving the Lord when he knew he could lose his life. One day he was cast into a den of lions. The lions didn’t hurt him because he had a vision of serving the Lord regardless of what it would cost him. He knew he was a winner and could not be stopped.

The book of Esther tells us of young girl who was carried away captive by the enemy. She was faithful to the Lord and was placed in the position of queen. One day Queen Esther stood before the king to make intercession for her people who were about to be killed by a madman (Haman). She knew she could lose her life, but she had a vision of seeing her people delivered. Her bold faith brought a great deliverance and her people were saved. What courage!

Elijah was a faithful prophet of the Lord and had to flee for his life. He was fed by ravens and drank water from the brook. God took care of him in hard times. Later, God sent him to a widow’s house. Elijah appeared on the scene at the most critical time in her life. She and her son were facing starvation. She was gathering sticks to make her last meal. Because the man of God had a vision from the Lord, the oil never stopped and the meal never ceased during those hard times.

All of us will face some hard times during our lifetime, but we can learn from the lives of other great men and women who came through tough situations with a shout of victory. The Lord proved His exceeding great power and manifested supernatural help and provision in difficult circumstances. As we face an uncertain future, one thing is certain-our God has never changed. He has never come against a problem He could not settle. As He cared for His people in the past, He will care for His people in the future. Let’s get a vision of being a winner. You are Born To Win! 

 CHAPTER TWELVE

LIVING IN JOY

 Get Joy In Your Heart

 If you want your vision to be fulfilled, start praising the Lord for giving you a vision. Be cheerful. Grumpy, sad, and gloomy people choose to be that way.

Rejoice that the Lord is helping you. Praise Him for helping you to become a success. In Psalms 35:27 we are told, Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

Get up in the morning with joy. Expect great things to happen. If you expect something good to come your way, sooner or later it will become a reality. Expect the Lord to help you solve the problems you face. When you praise the Lord, it helps you keep your joy. If you are not a joyful person, you will become discouraged when things go wrong. If you look ahead and start building up your faith that you are a winner, you will stir yourself to joy. There is great joy in winning.

 CHAPTER THIRTEEN

WINNING SOULS

The Soul Winner

The greatest winner in this life is the soul winner. He that winneth souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30). When someone is winning souls, they are about the Father’s business. A soul winner is concerned about the destiny of others. Soul winning is near to the heart of God. In the busy schedules of life, let’s not be too busy to take care of the work of God. The Lord will bless those who win souls.

A business person should be as much of a soul winner as a pastor. Train yourself to be a WINNER in wining soul as in any other area of life. In the book of Daniel, there is a lovely promise to those who turn the souls of men to the Lord. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12:3). Get yourself a vision to win souls. Ask the Lord to show you how you can reach more people for Him.

From Born To Reborn

 Have you ever heard any one say they were a born loser? If you feel like that, I have good news for you. If you were not born right the first time, you can be born again. Jesus said, Ye must be born again (John 3:7). When you are born again, you are Born to Win. This doesn’t make sense to the natural mind, but Jesus explained the new birth is on a spiritual level. If you feel like you were born to fail, become born again.

The Sinner’s Prayer

If you are not a Christian or if you are not certain Jesus Christ is Lord of your life, I would like to suggest that you start all over again. Some people are not aware of what is required of them to become a Christian. Romans 10:9-10 tells us, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. If you want to receive Jesus Christ into your heart, you may pray your own prayer or pray the following prayer.

“Heavenly Father, I confess I am a sinner and in need of a Saviour. I believe Jesus died to save me from my sins. I believe He rose from the dead. I repent and renounce all my sins and transgressions and ask you to forgive me. I ask Jesus to come into my heart and become the Lord of my life. I promise by the grace of God to live a righteous, holy, and separated life. Thank you for saving my soul. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

The Winner’s Prayer

 If you want to become a winner, ask the Lord to help you become all you can be. You may want to pray a prayer similar to this or you may pray this prayer.

“Dear Lord, I want to be a winner in life. I want to accomplish what you have for me to do. Give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to become a winner and successful in all I do. I ask for Your guidance and direction each step of the way. Help me to be a vessel You can use to help others. Help me to praise You for all that I accomplish and let my life bring glory to Your great, high, and holy name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Always remember, you can win because you are Born to Win!

The Key to Happiness

Are we but living lumps of clay,

Our span of life but a few years;

And we so quickly slip away,

And leave our friends behind in tears?

 

Is sorrow meant to be our end

As we rush onward to the tomb?

Must pain and anguish but descend

And leave us in a fog of gloom?

 

What makes our life so cruel and dull

As we drag on each weary mile,

When there are those who after all

Can still face struggles with a smile?

 

It’s those who set their heart to win

With faith and zeal and fortitude

Who will not falter, will not stop,

But keep a winning attitude.

 

 -Daniel Rodes