The Four Rules of Success for a Prosperous Soul: Part 1


I grew up with an orphan mindset that told me I was worthless and without value. Rough times in my life influenced how I saw myself and the world around me.

Well, I thought, I don’t have a lot of value, but I am an awesome servant. So I served like a ninja. I did everything I could and pushed myself relentlessly, but my service didn’t come from a healthy place; it came from a place of weakness. I was hemorrhaging out and eventually realized how dead I felt.

It’s like we have a little pilot light in our hearts, and when it goes out, we lose our ability to dream. John 10:10 says Jesus came to bring us abundant life. That means a life that is beyond what we could ask or imagine.

Do you feel you’re living that kind of life? Something that is beyond what you could ask for or even imagine?

How does the promise of John 10:10 reconcile with this internal sense of deadness many of us wrestle with? God brought me out of my “dead zone” using four steps. I’ll cover the first two in this article.

(I recently spoke on this topic at Zion Church in Columbus, Ohio. You can watch the full video here.)

Step 1: If You Can’t Dream It, You Can’t Have It

God built us to dream and imagine. He made us for abundant life. So if we can’t dream, that is an indication something needs to be fixed.

As I realized something was broken inside me, God gave me an unexpected solution. He told me to start keeping His Sabbath.

What? I had no grid for what “Sabbath” meant. I grew up on a farm where I learned how to work. Every day you got up and you worked, and I carried that mindset into my life and my walk with God.

When I first started trying to keep a Sabbath, I was terrible at it. My whole week was off because I didn’t work on Saturday. But on the following Saturday, I started thinking about what I enjoyed doing, and by the third Saturday, I got up excited that it was my day off. My two young sons and I watched Saturday morning cartoons together. Then we wrestled. Then we went out and chased lizards. It was great.

Keeping the Sabbath caused my heart to begin to wake up. When I paused the world one day a week, the little pilot light inside me came back on. I started dreaming and imagining and hoping again.

Step 2: Employ the Long Arm of Reality

I learned this next step from my good friend Bob Perry. He says that once you start to dream and imagine, you need to employ the long arm of reality.

That means you reach out into the big, crazy idea—this wild dream God has given you—and you pull it back into today. The idea breaks down into a bunch of little tasks, which allows you to start stewarding this incredible thing God has put on your heart. One step at a time, you begin to move forward, inching closer and closer to the idea’s realization.

The long arm of reality helps you take hold of a huge idea and turn it into a series of steps you can faithfully steward on the journey to accomplishing your goal.  

Get Ready to Dream

If you are struggling with a sense of “deadness” in your heart, perhaps you need to do the same thing I did—perhaps you need to start keeping the Sabbath. Once your pilot light comes back on, you’ll begin to dream and imagine what is possible. Your heart will come alive, and you’ll be able to use the long arm of reality and walk out the dream God has given you.

I’ll talk about steps 3 and 4 in the coming weeks. In the meantime, God bless your Prosperous Soul.

Lauren Stinton