(a prophetic word for Ukraine)
Never in your lifetime have you had the opportunity that is before you today. Ukraine is standing at the threshold of a new day; opportunity, prosperity and blessing is beginning to fall from heaven like rain. Some of you have experienced the shower of blessings, but there is more to come. God's goodness and blessing is coming upon Ukraine like the storm clouds, a hard rain of blessing that soaks the land is near. For those who prepare themselves, this rain of blessing will cause them to rise to a new level of prosperity and influence for the Kingdom of God.
Success does not come easy. There are many who have started on the road to success, but after a little while find themselves in the ditch at the side of the road. Discouraged and defeated, they have given up and settled for less.
Hard work is not enough to make you successful. Yes, it is essential, but there is more to it than just working harder and longer. You must learn to work smart. You must sharpen your business skills like a very sharp knife. You must be willing to learn new skills, new ways of doing business. You must change.
In January of this year, the influential newspaper, The Washington Post, said this about Ukraine, "After 8 years of steep economic decline in economic output, sometimes rampant inflation and deterioration of the living standards, which shrunk the size of the Ukrainian economy by half in comparison with the Soviet period, Ukraine for the last two years is experiencing true economic revival".
Look around you. Can you see Ukraine is changing? New buildings, new streets, new businesses, new styles. Most things are different today than they were 15 years ago. I wonder what the old grandmother thinks when she leaves her flat to go the market? She probably wonders where are the old ways. All around her, everything is different. It is a fact, societies and cultures evolve. If your business and skills do not grow with the changes, you will be left behind. You will wake up one day and find yourself at the side of the road in the ditch, unable to continue on the road to success.
But I have wonderful news for you! The God of Heaven is for you. He delights in your prosperity and desires you to be successful and prosperous. He wants you to know your purpose in life. His plan for you is that each day as you rise from bed, the purpose of your life is throbbing in your being like the engine on a powerful tractor. Nothing can stop you, you press forward through difficulties and problems. Your purpose drives you to your destiny. In His written Word are secrets, golden nuggets of truth that once found will make you wealthy in wisdom and understanding.
This God of Heaven has declared, "I am going to bless you." Not maybe, but, "I will". God's will for your life is to be experiencing the blessings of God here on earth. This sounds foriegn to some of you, but it is the truth. Religious tradition has robbed us of so much. Even in America, there are still some who think that prosperity is a sin. They think it is wrong to teach that God desires from the depths of His heart to bless His own people. But God says, "I will bless you". Nothing can prevent the will of God from coming to pass, His will shall prevail!
My friend, our God declares to the father of the Faith, Abraham, "I am going to bless you and you will be a blessing." There it is! We are blessed for a purpose. Everything God does has eternal purpose behind it. We are blessed so we can be a blessing to others. I know as well as you that Satan has perverted and twisted everything he can, to keep us from the Truth. But Truth prevails, just like light over darkness. There is no room for selfishness, greed and self ambition in the Kingdom of God.
We want His blessings flowing through us so we can bless others. This is our purpose, its very simple, to bless others. Perhaps it is to bless the poor. Or to bless orphans. Or young mothers, unmarried with children. I don't know exactly who the Spirit will lead you to bless, but be assured, He will. We are blessed for a specific reason, to bless someone else.
I started my own business in 1991. The desire had been in my heart for many years to own my own company. My father is an entreprenuer, he has personally owned and operated 5 different businesses in his life. When he was 60 years old, he learned how to build and repair computers. Most American men at that age are thinking about slowing down, but not my dad. He was starting a new business, learning a new skill.
I tell you this so you will understand the kind of home I was raised in. When I was young, I remember my dad working hard and long hours. He set a good example for me. The blessings do not come to the lazy man. I am not afraid of hard work. If you are going to be successful, you must be willing to pay the price. And most of the time, that means hard work. Maybe not with your back, but with your mind.
I was working for another company when I started my business. It just so happened that my hours were such that I would leave in the early hours of the morning and finish in the early afternoon. This gave me time to make sales calls for my new business I was starting. Those first 18 months, I averaged over 80 working hours every week. Perhaps in Ukraine that is not unusual, but in America, 40 to 50 hours a week is normal.
There is always a price to pay. Jesus said that a man should count the cost before starting a project. You need to ask yourself, am I willing to do what it takes to be successful? That is the first step to success, being willing to do whatever is necessary to reach success. I had to learn how to use a computer. Before I started my own company, I barely knew how to turn a computer on, much less earn a living using one. But I was willing to learn a new skill. I'm glad I did. In year 2001, we had the greatest year in sales we had ever had. Even with the September 11th tragedy and the resulting economic dive, we still finished the year at the top.
There are several Biblical principles you must know and practice that will lead you to success. I go into them in depth in my soon to be published book, explaining in detail how they worked in my life. I list them here but I encourage you to invest in the book when it is released. It will be a blessing to your business life. Here are the 7 principles:
1. Principle of Blessing
I also talk about the important subject of marketing. This is one of the areas of need in Ukraine. As I see it, as your economy leaves the old Soviet way for the free market system, marketing becomes more and more important. Have you noticed the rise in competition? More businesses competing for the same customers? If you are to be successful, you will have to learn marketing skills that will give you the edge over your competitors. In America, marketing is a science. Billions of dollars are spent every year studying the consumer, how and why he spends his money.
Ukrainian businessmen are going to have to rise to a new level of marketing. The old ways simply will not work. I am often approached about the possibilities of Ukrainians and Americans forming business partnerships. Yes, it will happen. But you are going to have to learn to do business better, with new skills and new understanding.
Many Ukrainians marvel at the American economic system. You shouldn't. Look at it and learn. We have been practicing free enterprise for 300 years in the west, we have it down to a science. Doing business the same way year after year in America is a recipe for disaster. You simply cannot if you intend to continue to grow and prosper.
God is raising up a new generation of Ukrainian businessman. Ukraine is going to rise from the ashes of her past and be a leader among nations. Our purpose is to raise up the new generation of business people with the skills to shape a new economy for Ukraine, based on the principles of God's Kingdom and not of this world. For too long, business people have been influenced with greed and selfishness by the god of this world, satan. Now is the time to take back the economic kingdom for the Kingdom of God. It is ours to possess, God has given it to us. It belongs to us, it is our inheritance.
David Tinney, May, 2002