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I have never shared a message quite like this before, but I really felt compelled to talk to you about it as you reach for your dreams.

You know I'm passionate about teaching you to plan, to set goals, trust God, and to hold on to a vision for your life. However, this single attribute is the advantage to accelerate (or absolutely destroy) your potential for success. It's... your integrity.

Your integrity is your biggest asset to bring increase or biggest expense that could cost you your future. 

You've seen the headlines when there's been a lack of integrity. Consider athletes like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong who were once highly regarded. They've lost hundreds of millions of dollars, and so much more, due to issues of integrity.

Do you remember the musical artists Milli Vanilli? They won a Grammy Award for "Best New Artist" in 1990. Shortly after, their cover was blown when it was discovered they didn't actually sing on their album! The Grammy was taken from them. The shame from a lack of integrity began to take its toll on the performers and, eventually, one of them overdosed on alcohol and pills.

Integrity means that what we say and what we do match. It's being the same in front of people and when nobody's looking, knowing that God's always watching.

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The topic of hardship is a stumbling block for many believers. When we face difficulty or pain, we wonder if God is behind it. Left unaddressed, this question can undermine our faith in God and His goodness. So let’s tackle it today.

I’ll put it simply:

God is not the source of tribulation. Hardship comes from the forces of our fallen world.

You may be thinking, Sure, that sounds nice. But is it always true? We must pose this question because if you have the slightest notion that God is the author or instigator of a particular hardship you’re facing, then you may not fight to overcome it as you should.

A soldier who is going to war is well aware of whom he’s fighting. If he’s wise, he’ll also know his enemy’s tactics. There’s never a question in the warrior’s mind as to who his enemy is.

However, in my thirty-plus years of ministry, I’ve encountered far too many believers who aren’t certain who’s behind the hardships they face. Sadly, they’re unaware of their enemy’s strategies and activities even though we are told to be wise “in order to keep Satan from getting the upper hand over us; for we know what his plans are.” (2 Cor. 2:11)

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…it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)

Once as a young child, I came across a shrub with gorgeous flowers. When I discovered a budding flower among the fully opened ones, I thought that it would be a great idea to help it blossom.

So I tried to peel open the petals one by one…and bit by bit, the flower became undone as the petals were torn off in my little hands. I had begun with good intentions, but killed the poor flower in the end!

My friend, when it comes to our areas of concern, our human efforts to solve our problems, despite the best of intentions, cannot produce results that are as beautiful as if we were to allow God’s wisdom and timing to do it.

It’s when we rest from our self-efforts and struggles to solve our problems, and allow God to work in us and through us, that we see divine results.

I’ve often said this: If God wants all the glory, then allow Him to do all the work. God loves it when you look to and lean on Him alone. In heaven, it’s, “Worthy is the Lamb,” and not, “Worthy is the Lamb…and me.

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

At cfaith, you can strengthen your faith and deepen your understanding of the Word of God by digging into the vast collection of teaching articles, streaming audio and video messages, and daily devotionals. No other website offers such a unique and extensive collection of spiritual-growth resources aimed at helping you grow in your knowledge of the Word.

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