What Does it Really Mean to Be ‘Successful’?

OBEDIENCE is success.

As you step out and do what God is calling you to do, you already have your success story.

Any and all ‘results‘ are HIS success.

God truly is the only One Who can change a heart or bring about any type of change.

So our question needs to be,

“Lord, what are You calling me to do?”


And then our responsibility is simply to obey,
following Jesus’ example Who said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34).

Be faithful to do the work
and faithful to leave the results up to Him,
The Change Maker.


Where then is boasting? It is excluded (Romans 3:27).

Where is ‘worry’ and despair about the lack of results? It is taken to prayer (Phil. 4:6).




Listen to these words from Daily with the King by W. Glyn Evans as it expresses this very same thought beautifully:


“I must learn what Jesus learned: ‘to be obedient unto death’ (Philippians 2:8, KJV). All true obedience is unto death. That is a reversal of the world’s standard. ‘I will obey if’ is what the world says. The if means there must be a happy ending. Anyone will meet conditions, even drastic ones, if he gets his own way in the end. But that is not the obedience of Christ. His example was, ‘I will obey regardless.‘ For Him the ‘regardless’ was not a heavenly deliverance but a cross.

True obedience is always successful. It always accomplishes God’s will. It is immaterial to me whether my cancer is cured, my promotion achieved, or my loved one saved. If I have obeyed, that is enough. I am successful. Beyond that, it is God’s business. If I insist on a happy, selfish outcome, then I am meddling. The instant I obey, success is automatic–God’s success, not mine. Therefore, obedience carries in itself its burst of praise. I am jubilant, not because my ship has come in, but because it has gone out. Maybe I will never see it again, but that is beside the point. The point is, I have launched it unto God and now He is responsible. So I praise God because He is working and I rest in His activity.

I must be careful to obey for obedience’s sake, and to love obedience for the Lord’s sake. What a level to live on, loving it for His sake! In this I have the example of my Master, who said, ‘I delight to do your will, my God’ (Psalm 40:8, TLB).”    (January 9th’s entry)


Follow Him and have success everywhere you go.

He will lead you.


And walk in moment by moment obedience.

If you would like to read more on this topic, check out this excellent article by Sharon Hodde Miller entitled  Obedience Over Outcome.

This is such a great reminder. I pray that this encouragement meets you right where you are in your today circumstances.


(updated and originally posted 4/6/17)

And if you are currently discouraged by a lack of ‘fruit’ from your hard work, click here for more encouragement.

5 Practices to Encourage a Successful Year of Bible Reading

We all need encouragement to press on in anything that is of value.

And daily partaking of the living and active Word of God is one of our greatest privileges. So let’s put to use all the help we can get to encourage that consistent pursuit. In my last post, I shared 5 needs we have that are met in the Word. If you missed it, please check that out here for even more encouragement to press on.


But for now, here are 5 suggestions that I have found helpful to persevere in diligence (2 Tim. 2:15).


1) Have a plan.

Plan how and when. Decide and stick to a reading plan and decide where is will fit into your daily schedule.  And just keep showing up.

On a busy day or if you need to catch up, there are great resources online that enable you to listen to the Word. Biblegateway.com has many versions to choose from.


2) Pray.

Before you begin reading, ask God to open your eyes to see the truth and treasure that He has for you for that day.

Pray to love it, for the discipline to stick with it, and for a daily longing for that time with your Heavenly Father.


 3) Engage the battle.

Having a reading plan to mark off and a goal to daily be in His Word may seem very straightforward and like a simple and even benign plan.  Therefore, it is easy to start the year off with a “just do it every day” attitude.

But in regards to daily exposing yourself to the living and active word of God and its power (Hebrews 4:12), along with the reminders of the authority you have and the instructions on how to walk in that authority over the enemy and in this present evil age (Gal. 1:4), it is an understatement to say that you will experience some spiritual resistance. (If you missed this post on the battle, click here.)


We are in a battle.  And it is against the rulers, authorities, powers, world forces of darkness, spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).


The enemy is happy to keep us ignorant of this and therefore inept to handle it. Unfortunately he understands the power of the Word of God even more than God’s children do at times, so he fights to keep us from it and

we oblige in our busyness with lesser things.


Resolve today that this will no longer be true of you. Be aware and refuse to give into any “I don’t want to”s.  Just keep moving forward in faith and as a result, be built up in the truth to stand.  Put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6) and stand firm.


Do not obey your feelings. Battle them. Do not allow this treasure to be stolen away from you.


“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,..”     2 Cor. 10:3-5


Be intolerant of your thoughts that do not line up with His truth, and take them captive. Know the truth of His Word so that you are able to quickly recognize them.



4) Write it down.


-Write down your plan, put it on your calendar, and make it non-negotiable. We are not going to make it victoriously in these difficult times without standing on the truth and contending earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3,4).  We all need to know how to stand and to actually stand on truth. We need each other.


-Write/journal what God is showing you.


Invite the Holy Spirit to unpack truth for your life out of the text and listen and get it down in writing, that you may be reminded to put it into action and live it out.


Write in your bible (check out this helpful bible study tool). Mark instructions, lists, and what you learn about God and what that truth means for your life.


Write your own cross-references as you read and the Holy Spirit links it back to another truth.


Write out verses that stand out to you in your time in the Word, that you may go back and meditate on them and use them to pray scripture in your prayer time.


All of this will help you incorporate the Word into your daily life, which will always encourage you to press on as you see change happen in and through you.



5) Worship God.


When you come up against the resistance to continue on, put on some worship music and press through it. Thank Him for Who He is, what He has done, and what He will do. Tell Him you want to know Him more.


Take what you have written down from your daily time with Him, turn it into worship, and allow it to make you hunger and thirst for more.


And just do it. Keep showing up.


Present your body as “a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1,2).



A short recap:

  • Have a plan.
  • Pray.
  • Engage the battle.
  • Write.
  • Worship.


“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8


Meditating on the Word and doing what it says has promises for success already built into it.


Go succeed. Keep showing up.

And allow Him to fill your hunger and thirst and create an even deeper hunger.

Go deeper, and deeper still.

“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4


If you still need a plan, check out my favorite bible reading plan here.







Encouragement for Your Commitment to the Word of God


“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4


We all need instruction, encouragement, and hope.

The Word is where this will be found. May we resolve (decide firmly on this course of action) to be in the Word daily, that we may have the truth not only for our own lives, but also for those that we come in contact with each day who need hope.


We need the big picture.

Not only is the in-depth study of God’s Word and meditating upon it essential so that it becomes an integral part of who we are and how we live, but we must also constantly be exposing ourselves to the big picture, the truth of the Bible in its entirety.

This is helpful in our interpretation of scripture as we study, and it builds our faith as we are daily reminded of Who God is, what He does, and how He works.


We need our faith to grow.

“So faith come from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.”

When we know, believe, and are convinced of how powerfully He works, it is hard to consider our circumstances too hard for Him and not to trust Him. We need this daily reminder of how big and miraculous the God we love and serve is.


-We need the revelation.

And as we read through the whole Word of God each year, we are exposed to passages in His Living Word that we would not otherwise have that moment to engage with. The Holy Spirit then unpacks them and makes them come alive, teaching us valuable truths. Let’s determine to put ourselves in that receiving position and not miss those opportunities.


-We need to be equipped.

All scripture is profitable to teach, reprove, correct, and train us in righteousness so that we are equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16,17).


May we not neglect this equipping and then use ‘I am not equipped’ as an excuse for any area of disobedience.



“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thess. 1:11,12 ESV


-Would you resolve right now that you will be diligent to accurately handle the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15), that you will seek out and plan for ways to meditate on, read, and study the whole counsel of God?

Then follow a plan to actually do it. And follow Him, obey what He shows you (transformation).  May we be more and more transformed into His image this year as we expose ourselves to His truth and listen for and obey His voice.


Do you need a Bible reading plan? You can read about and print out my favorite here.

Thanks for stopping by.   I would LOVE to hear from you.
Click on this post and leave a comment or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com.

If you would like to receive new posts in your inbox, simply subscribe here. I will also send you a copy of my 6 Week Prayer Strategy with devotionals. Yes, keep me in the loop!

The Real Reason We Struggle to Be Consistent


“…. he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6



“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8a



Today, as His children, we get to initiate with the King of Kings.


And we are called to do so.


This is amazing! So why would it not be our first priority?


Whatever today’s answer to that question may be, here is the real reason we neglect our set aside, quiet time with the Lord and His Word on any given day:


there is a spiritual battle going on.



And rather than waging this warfare, that we have been equipped for, and standing firm against it, we succumb. We allow the enemy, who is a thief, a liar, and a destroyer to steal something that is not only precious, but is also POWERFUL.


How often do we find ourselves waiting and longing and feeling far away from God and longing for intimacy, and yet we continue on in the busyness of life, failing to accept the invitation to ‘draw near’ [(1448) to worship God with a pious heart1]?


The instruction to draw near follows these words:

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”v.7


May we no longer let ourselves off the hook with any excuse that steals something so valuable from us.



Decide today that you will “be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15a) because we must.



For us to walk victoriously in these days of confusion and misinformation and to recognize when someone “…advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness,…”(1 Tim. 6:3), we must grow in a true knowledge of Him and know the power and Truth of His Word.


May our love abound still more and more
in real knowledge and all discernment,
so that we may approve the things that are excellent,
in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
having been filled with the fruit of righteousness
which comes through Jesus Christ,
to the glory and praise of God.
(from Phil. 1:9-11)


“When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to you,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” Ps. 27:8


He has promised never to leave us (Heb. 13:5 ESV). He is always here. Draw near.




1Zodiates. The Complete Word Study Dictionary.


For more encouragement on this bible reading venture, click here to see how the being in the Word helps us with these 5 important needs.



Thanks for stopping by.   I would LOVE to hear from you.
Click on this post and leave a comment or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com.

If you would like to receive new posts in your inbox, simply subscribe here. I will also send you a copy of my 6 Week Prayer Strategy with devotionals. Yes, keep me in the loop!

My Favorite Bible Reading Plan

As we enter into a New Year, I have an offer that I believe will be helpful for you.

And if you are reading this after the start of 2018, I extend the offer to you as well.

I would like to share my favorite bible reading plan: click here for page 1 and here for the other side to print your own copy. It is a chronological reading plan that leads you through the Bible in a year.

What I love about it is that you can easily read ahead if you have time and the Psalms are peppered throughout and can be used as easy catch up days if you get behind.

It is one that has been the easiest for me to keep up with over the years, and I love that it can be used as a bookmark and can be checked off day by day as I read.

Would you print it off, fold it, place it as a bookmark in your bible, and start? If you are reading this after January 1, join in and start on today’s date. It is best to start where you are. We have all experienced the failure of “I’ll wait until the conditions are perfect to….”, and it just never happens.

If a year reading plan/goal feels too daunting, make it a ‘90 day trial’ and fall in love with the power of His truth and His presence.



“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17


As we seek the Lord’s direction for goals and for the best plan to organize our time and days this coming year so that we may make the most of the days we have been given (Eph. 5:16), here is a little reminder.

We all want ‘more’ and to be more productive and effective. This is good. We never want to become complacent.

And ‘wanting more’ will eventually lead to ‘doing’ more, but may we not allow the drive to ‘do’ (and our to-do lists) steal from the receiving. (See this post from the 2017 new year)

This is more important than all the goal setting and the seeking to fulfill our calling and the answer to the ‘what to do next’ questions.

The secret to our success is the ‘being’.

If we don’t take the time to ‘be (to sit with the Lord, to partake of the Living Water, to abide in Him) then we won’t have the power to DO more of anything that will truly last.

(check out more on this idea here)

So, may daily time with the Lord and His Word be at the top of our list of goals for this year and in our daily schedule: time with the Creator of the Universe, our All-Knowing, All-Sufficient Creator and Lord, in His Word and prayer, listening and obeying.

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” James 4:7,8a. Why would we neglect such an invitation and opportunity?


Pray about joining me this year. And let me know. I would love to hear from you!


This encouragement is continued here as we explore the real reason behind why it is just so difficult to be consistent.


Click on this post and leave a comment or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com.

If you would like to be notified about new posts, simply subscribe here. And I will also send you a copy of my 6 Week Prayer Strategy with a week of free devotionals. Yes, please!

No More ‘Little Life’ Living

Do we serve a Big God, but live a little life?

Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah Lord God!  Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm!  Nothing is too difficult for You..”

And then ten verses later Jeremiah 32:27 says,“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”


But in between these two great faith inspiring verses sits this sobering thought: Jeremiah 32:21-23 “You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror; and gave them this land, which You swore to their forefathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey. They came in and took possession of it, but they did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law; they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do; ……”

What a sad commentary.


He blessed them abundantly; how could they not, in thankfulness to God, commit to serve and obey Him?


Yet, what about us?  God has brought us, as His children, out of our pits and out of our bondage with His great miraculous power, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, and has placed us in a land of plenty:

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus..” Ephesians 2:1-6

He has taken us out of our ‘Egypt’.
He has given us a new heart, a new life.
We are new creatures in Christ.
We have such a great salvation and the power of the Holy Spirit within us, along with everything we need for life and godliness.
He has blessed us abundantly with spiritual gifts so that we can live abundantly and do the good works that He has planned beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10).

And we come into this new life with Christ and take possession of it and just expect to live off the milk and honey of this ‘land’.  We come in and take possession and then decide to walk our own way, sowing seeds to the flesh and indulgences, instead of obeying His voice and laying down our lives as a living sacrifice and living out all that He has put in.


This simply should not be.


We take possession of the home, neighborhood, community in which He has placed us and enjoy it, but do not fully obey all that He has for us to do here and, therefore, never fully possess our possession.

Let it NOT be said of us, “They came in and took possession of it, but they did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law; they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do; ……”

“He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21

What about us?
Are we living off the spoil of the land and yet walking our own way?

Or are we daily taking up our cross and choosing real life
by loving the Lord our God,
obeying His voice,
and holding fast to Him:
the God of the impossible!

(Deuteronomy 30:19,20; Matthew 19:26)

May we determine to fully possess our possessions and all our inheritance as children of God. And put it all to use.


Because He is ‘big’ and ‘more than able’,

may we live big, extraordinary lives FOR HIS GLORY!




Thanks for stopping by.   I would LOVE to hear from you.
Click on this post and leave a comment or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com.

If you would like to receive new posts in your inbox, simply subscribe here. I will also send you a copy of my 6 Week Prayer Strategy with devotionals. Yes, keep me in the loop!


All or Nothing?

Lay down the all or nothing.

Peter had no expectation of having his whole life under control and holy before he could successfully step out upon the water in faith and obedience to Jesus (Matt. 1:27-29).

But for us, the list that goes through our head (the checklist of GOOD things) can easily be so overwhelming that it immobilizes. Then we do not obey the command, the invitation, “Come!”


Our Heavenly Father’s commands are invitations to powerful experiences of His enabling grace, and how many times do we say no out of fear or a sense of inability or unworthiness?

May we learn that we do not have to get ourselves together so that we can do what He is calling us to do.


He is with us, with all the ABILITY that we need in the moment.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”


So may we therefore proclaim,

I will not despise or try to hide my weaknesses, but rather I will boast in them so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. And I will CHOOSE to be well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:9,10).

I will not allow my perceived weaknesses to thwart me from stepping ‘out of the boat’ and into Jesus’ miraculous working power in My life.


I will obey and trust Him to make me ABLE. And in that, He will make me more and more fit to be used and more holy as He leads me and draws me closer and closer, making me more and more like Him.



Thanks for stopping by.   I would LOVE to hear from you.
Click on this post and leave a comment or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com.

If you would like to be notified about new posts, simply subscribe here. And I will also send you a copy of my 6 Week Prayer Strategy with a week of devotionals. Yes, please!

Whose Approval Are We Seeking?

We tend to long for people’s approval, don’t we?

And that approval can become our measurement of success, our measurement of worth, and a roadmap for where to strive next.


We begin to look for clues from the world to confirm to us that we are on the right track.

But honestly, when will the ‘world’ really ever confirm that to us? The right track is a foreign path to the world. We realize this, and yet still want to meet their measurements of worldly success.


It is a trap that is so easy for us to fall into without even realizing that we’ve been caught, taking our focus off of God (Heb. 12:2a) and pleasing Him in all respects (Col. 1:10) and then as a result, fixing our eyes on man.

But thankfully He won’t allow us to sit comfortably in that condition.

Because He has a higher standard than the world’s and knows what He has truly called us to, not only to do but also what He has called us to be, it is impossible for the world to ‘measure’ that success.

And if we are looking to this mixed up, upside down world, “who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is. 5:20) for the clues for our next steps of success, well, just with common sense, we should realize that we need to pause that thought and reconsider.


Questions to consider:

-Where are you looking to ‘the world’ and for the approval of man to affirm that you are on ‘the right path’?

-Is there something that you know the Lord has called you to do that you also know people (the world) will never ‘approve of’? Who will you serve? God or man? Serving God in holy obedience will have you serving man in the most helpful way.

It is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” Luke 4:8 (written about here).


Next time we will talk about whose definition of success we are chasing.


Thanks for stopping by.   I would LOVE to hear from you.
Click on this post and leave a comment or email me at traci@tracishinnick.com.

If you would like to be notified about new posts, simply subscribe here. And I will also send you a copy of my 6 Week Prayer Strategy with a week of devotionals. Yes, please!