But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Like a lot of young people, I grew up without giving the future much thought.  I had no defined long-term goals; I just did what seemed most advantageous to me at the time. Upon finishing high school, I went on to the university where I studied architectural engineering, and when I graduated from the university, I served a two year obligation in the U.S. Army.  When I was discharged from the Army, I went to work for a large design-build construction firm.  Eight years later I accepted a partnership in a small architectural firm and found myself in business for myself. I made these decisions not because they fulfilled my career goals—I didn’t have any—but because these opportunities became available.

I found that being in business for myself was quite different than working for a salary; now my livelihood depended not so much on my ability to complete the work, but on my resourcefulness in selling myself and my firm’s services.  For the first time in my life, I realized that I needed to establish some goals for my business and my personal life, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it.  I began to search out and read a number of popular secular success motivation books in an effort to produce prosperity in my business and find purpose and direction in my personal life. I sought these success principles because I thought that they would bring fulfillment to my life.  These books generally offered a series of steps on how to develop self-discipline and establish specific financial goals for one’s life.

Having been encouraged to do so by these success motivation books, I set a series of goals for my business and my personal finances. At the time I thought that if my company designed bigger projects, or perhaps if I had more people working for me, or if my firm produced bigger profits that it would satisfy the emptiness I sensed within me. But each year as we achieved our sales and profit goals, the satisfaction and fulfillment I had anticipated seemed to elude me.  I reasoned that perhaps if I were to set more difficult goals, eventually I would find the promised satisfaction in life.  In the eyes of others, I was successful; but inwardly I was empty.

Then, as I pointed out in an earlier chapter, when I was forty-three years old, I became a born- again Christian and began to read the Bible, the “Creator’s Handbook.”  Immediately, I began to recognize that the authors of the secular success books had obtained many of their “success principles” from the Bible.  In fact some of these authors had actually quoted Jesus and used various biblical passages as the source of the principles which they taught. I believe it is important for you the reader to understand that if secular success motivation teachers (henceforth I refer to these teachers as SSMT) can use the spiritual principles contained in the Creator’s Handbook to produce tremendous financial success in their followers, how much more should a Christian be able to use these same biblical principles to produce financial success in their lives when they have the Creator of the universe backing them? 

The “curse of the law” which came upon mankind when Satan became the god of this world includes poverty, sickness and death.  Mankind seems to have inherited a universal fear of this unholy trio.  Every human being has suffered at one time or another from devastating effects of one or more of these three basic fears; we are fortunate if we do not suffer from all three.  These fears attack our minds and cause our souls to become oppressed with a myriad of negative emotions that hinder our success in life.

Few of us emerge from childhood without the effects of some of these devastating emotions being imparted to our soul.  Perhaps your parents were financially insecure, money was always a problem with them, and they told you over and over how bad things were. Perhaps your parents divorced or one of them died while you were quite young, or perhaps you grew up in a home where there was physical, emotional or sexual abuse, and therefore you perceive of yourself as having no value. The criticism of parents, teachers and friends, even well- meaning criticism, often leaves us with a low self-esteem and a poor personal image.  Unless we initiate action to eliminate these negative emotions by changing the way we think, they will not only affect our success in the financial world, but our health and our social life as well.  This is true because the dominating thoughts that we allow to inhabit our conscious minds will eventually manifest themselves in our lives.

The Creator’s Handbook reveals a fascinating truth concerning the makeup of man that is unacceptable to the secular atheist world.  The truth is that man is an “eternal spirit” who has a soul and lives in a mortal, physical body (1Thessalonians 5:23).  It further reveals that before a man is born again he is spiritually dead (his “spirit” is separated from the Spirit of God), but he is still a “spirit being.” It is because a man is a spirit being that he is capable of developing faith (natural human faith) in his ability to accomplish certain goals in life. Once we realize that man is a spirit, and that his spirit can develop faith, it opens up a whole new understanding of how to become successful in life. 

The SSMT, on the other hand, have generally accepted the evolutionist view that man is a mortal being, and the Freudian view that man has a conscious and a subconscious mind. The secular world refers to man’s soul (the thinking and reasoning part of man) as the conscious mind; it refers to man’s spirit as the subconscious mind.  They describe the conscious mind as the captain that sends commands to the subconscious mind, and the subconscious mind as the central operating system that stores and retrieves data much like the operating system of a computer.  In their view, the subconscious mind (the spirit of man) does not think or reason; it merely obeys the commands it receives from the conscious mind and sets about to translate these commands into their physical equivalent.

Most of us pray “God bless me and make me prosperous,” but God told Joshua “you are to make yourself prosperous!”  “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).  God told Joshua to reprogram his mind by meditating on (thinking upon and confessing) the Word of God day and night, and do everything that is required by it…for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

The SSMT have adopted success principles similar to those God gave to Joshua some 3500 years ago. They instruct their students to reprogram their minds by writing out a clear concise statement of the goals they wish to attain in life, addressing as a minimum the following: 1) the thing that they desire in life, 2) the date that they intend to possess the thing they desire, 3) a brief statement of the plan they intend to use to fulfill the thing they desire. Then they are instructed to confess these goals in the morning when they arise and in the evening before they retire; and as they confess these goals they are encouraged to visualize themselves already in possession of the thing they desire. They are to meditate on (think upon and confess) the thing that they desire in life day and night.  The SSMT even suggest securing a copy of their goal statement to the bathroom mirror so that they will be forced to read and confess it when they arise in the morning and when they retire in the evening.  They do this because they have found that successful people have a clear mental vision of what they want in life.  Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, are unsure of what they want to accomplish in life.

Both secular and biblical success motivation principles involve the reprogramming of the mind. Secular success techniques reprogram the students’ minds with positive success oriented thoughts so that they habitually think in terms of success rather than failure.

Biblical success motivation teaching involves the reprogramming of our minds with the “Word of God” so that we think the way God thinks.  Remember, He always thinks success and victory, and so should you.

As we have pointed out, many of the principles taught by the SSMT are actually taught in the Bible, and they often reference these biblical precepts in their books and teaching tapes. They have rightly concluded that there is a hidden part of man, which can cause mankind to become either a success or failure; however, they have wrongly concluded that this hidden part of man is a subconscious mind. The Creator’s Handbook describes this hidden part of man as the spirit of man (the real man).  Peter calls him “the hidden person of the heart” (1 Peter 3:4).

The SSMT have also rightly concluded that they can program this hidden man to either success or failure, by controlling the dominant thoughts he allows to occupy his conscious mind and the verbal affirmations that he speaks from mouth. One well-known SSMT states that the “repetition of positive affirmations to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith.” In fact they use many of the same principles that we Christians use and they make many confessions that are similar to those we Christians make.
But faith’s confession is not a formula for getting things from God.  It is not a secular indulgence in new age, mind science activity. The SSMT may use some of the same scriptures we use, and make similar confessions to those we make, but they make their confessions based on their own desires and the ability of their subconscious mind to bring those desires into reality. 

We Christians make our confessions based upon God’s promises and His ability to bring His promises to pass. Theirs is an exercise of natural faith; ours is an exercise of the “God kind of faith” based on God’s creative Word of promise.  We humbly take our stand in a spirit of faith in God’s person and His promise. God’s Word is already established in heaven; but it’s up to you to establish it upon the earth! (Psalms 119:89)

Let me make something clear:  when applying God’s principles for success, heart motivation is extremely important, and you need to stay in the middle of the road. On the one side of the road is a hyper-prosperity teaching in which we become motivated by “a desire for riches,” forgetting that the real issue is stewarding God’s resources for God’s purposes rather than “getting rich.” On the other side of the road is a pseudo spirituality which rejects financial prosperity, considering it as worldly pursuit detrimental to one’s spiritual life.   God is your Heavenly Father and it is his desire to give you good things, but He desires that you seek him for who He is, not for what you can get from Him. Jesus said it this way: “But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

The Creator’s Handbook teaches that there is an unseen spiritual world which is inhabited by a myriad of spiritual beings or angels which have the ability to influence our minds and affect the way we think.  Some of these angels, which are under the authority of God, have the ability to influence people for good, while others, which are under the authority of Satan, have the ability to influence people for evil.  These spirits influence us by impressing their thoughts upon our minds, in order to get us to accept them as our own and to yield to either good or evil.  God has given mankind absolute control over their will, but unfortunately only a small percentage of men or women actually exercise that control.  By exercising your will you have the ability to govern and control the thoughts which you allow to dominate your conscious mind.  Therefore your success or failure in life depends on the exercise of your will.