FRISCO, Texas -- In an age of brutal recessions and college degrees that lead to no jobs, many young people drift. They feel hopeless.
"They've been disillusioned by how their parents' marriage didn't work," Keith Craft, pastor of Elevate Life, one of Frisco, Texas' most youthful and fastest growing mega-churches, told CBN News. "They've been disillusioned by a society that doesn't seem to be working."
Craft believes everyone can shake off disillusionment and drifting, and can replace them with a powerful, transformed life.
He insists there's a reason to live because there's a God who made you for a reason.
This motivational speaker and former champion body-builder said it starts with realizing and totally accepting you are a one-of-a-kind creation of God
-- formed to perform a unique mission on the earth.
A Deposit of God's Glory
Crafts says the same God who said, "Let there be light" and created a universe also said, "Let there be you."
"I believe every person has a deposit of God's glory that nobody's ever had and nobody else ever will," he asserted.
In Craft's new book, Your Divine Fingerprint: The Force That Makes You Unstoppable, he explains this part of God's glory in you is as unique as every snowflake is, or every fingerprint.
Craft pointed to Christ's words in John 17: "In the 22nd verse, He [Jesus] says, 'God, You've given Me Your glory, and now I give it to them.'"
If you'll do what it takes to live up to your God-given potential and purpose, the world can then be blessed by that unique glory in you "because through you they'll see a part of God that nobody's ever seen," Craft explained.
But to get it out, you need positive words to communicate the glory.
"Out of your heart flow the issues of life," Craft paraphrased Proverbs 4:23, before quoting Luke 6:45: "And out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."
Your Words, Your Life
One of Craft's main points is that our life and our destiny are shaped for good or bad by our words -- both the ones we say inside our head and to others.
God with a word created worlds. And people, in a very real way, shape their world by their words.
"Our words have that much power: to form our world and to change our world!" Craft stated. "If you'll change your words, you can change your life."
As much as a judge condemns a criminal to prison, with words we can condemn our own lives, or bless them.
Craft pointed out how negative people often say so many horrible things about themselves and their opportunities and their destiny, they basically cut off their own chances at success.
"Your life sentences sentence your life," he explained.
God sends powerful positive words and sentences our way every day. But Craft tells his congregation and readers the problem is we often block them and even our divine destiny with constant negative words we think and say.
That's easy when we can "self-talk" in our head 500 words a minute, many more than we can take in from the outside.
Cancer of the Spirit
"Through our words that never come out of our mouth, we shut down the words that we could be receiving that could change our life for the better," he insisted.
"I call negativity the cancer of the spirit," Craft said, and as he writes it in his book, "Negative people negate themselves."
So, Craft insists you must learn to block the negative and speak God-given, positive sentences like the first ones he quotes to himself every morning before he gets out of bed.
"This is the day the Lord has made," he says. "I will rejoice and be glad in it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
"Our words give God something to work with or our words give the devil something to work with," Craft explained. "And that's why it's so important that we speak positive."
But there's much more to transforming your life and the world than just words. As Craft and others at Elevate Life point out, you need to be intentional about your life -- like intentionally honing your talents because they're often a sign of what God put you on earth to do.
You need to know what your core values are so you can live by a standard. You need to align yourself with people you can respect, love, and serve and who will love you back.
And it matters what you actually do day-by-day.
At Elevate Life, there's a lot of talk about servant leadership. If you serve as a lifestyle, you lead others by your example in how to live godlier, more generous lives themselves. Or as Craft might put it, you begin to elevate and transform the world around you.
He calls it transformational leadership.
"When you're living in such a way that you create follow-able excellence," Craft explained, "then people say, 'I want to go where you're going because I see it evidenced in your life.'"
Blessing Others Boomerangs
Intentional, generous serving also makes you valuable to others. And when people value you, they often throw open doors of opportunity for you.
When the economy tanked, Craft suggested Elevate Life members who lost their jobs volunteer to keep working at their workplace for free until they found a new job.
"And I'm telling you, it revolutionized some people's lives," Craft recalled. "There was one guy who did that for six months, and his boss came back to him and said, 'I'm leaving this company and starting a new company. You're my first hire.'"
Craft points out if you'll live to serve God and do good for others, they'll want to do good for you. And so will God.
"Find a need, and not fill it, but find a need and serve it," he suggested. "And if you'll do that, your greatness will be on display -- not tuned to a station WIIFN, What's In It For Me -- but you'll be doing things out of a heart to serve others"
"And you know what? God loves that and He'll put His hand on your life," he said.
Good Practices to Follow
The Elevate Life pastor said no one should try to do all he recommends in Your Divine Fingerprint alone. It takes aligning yourself with the kind of people you want in your life, and being that kind of person yourself.
Craft writes that to have great relationships you need to give up pride and become a great apologizer. You need to give up being offended and become a great forgiver.
The pastor-author recommends five daily practices:
- Practice spiritually -- open your spirit to God's spirit; pray; read His Word.
- Practice emotionally -- learn to rule your emotions; deliberately forgive.
- Practice intellectually -- read and learn from those leaders who can help you get to where you're aiming.
- Practice physically -- exercise your body -- the Temple of God as the Bible puts it -- because only you can keep your body fit and healthy.
- Practice financially - give generously because that's when you're the most like God, and the Lord promises He'll always bless your giving.
Lastly, Craft tells his congregation and readers of his book, the way you think about God will shape your whole life.
If you don't believe a conscious, all-powerful God exists, you can't believe He's put His glory in you and will do all He can to help you succeed and give that unique glory to the world around you.