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June 25, 2012

Secret to Oprah Winfrey’s Success Discovered

I saw the video of Oprah Winfrey being interviewed on Larry King’s Show on CNN. This was one of the most fascinating interviews Oprah Winfrey ever did in her life. In that interview Oprah was discussing how she got the part of Sofia in the movie Color Purple. I was very fascinated about the interview because inside that little piece was the key to Oprah Winfrey’s success in life. Many people have been wondering about the key to Oprah Winfrey’s success. Wait no more! According to Oprah Winfrey herself, prior to starring in the movie Color Purple, she moved to Chicago. Watch the cascade of events that took place from here. Then ask yourself if this is not by divine intervention. She first read the book, Color Purple. She said, "I was obsessed with the book." When she moved to Chicago, she received a call from a casting agent asking her to audition for the movie. After her audition, she heard nothing for months. Oprah believed at that time she did not receive back a call from the audition agent because she was too fat. At that time she weighed about two hundred and twelve pounds. She went to a fat farm and was praying and crying, she wanted the part in the movie very badly. She was praying to God to let her emotional grip of the desire to be in the movie disappear. Oprah was searching for peace in the heart of the Lord.

Following her role as Sofia in the movie Color Purple in 1985 Oprah’s life changed in a dramatic way. This movie pivoted Oprah to a giant fame meeting her destiny of great achievements as she launched the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, a nationally syndicated program. There is no doubt; her role in the movie Color Purple preceded her giant success as a national talk show host. The next question is, what was the secret behind Oprah Winfrey success? I’m sure many people in the world want to know!

Discovering the Secret to Oprah Winfrey’s Success

Oprah Winfrey’s success was not by accident. Many people admired her success across the nation and in the world. But, there is a secret to her success! People might have forgotten the key to Oprah Winfrey success. From those watching Oprah on the national television talk show, it appeared as though the show was responsible for her success. This is a great error. Something else was responsible for Oprah’s success that has been over-looked for many years. When I stumbled over this video, the truth came out in the open. I was shocked! I had tried to retrieve the video; it has been removed. About three days before the video was removed the Lord led me to the video online and I was very glad I watched it. I not only watched it, I studied it. The video was titled, "The importance of getting the role of Sofia in the movie Color Purple." After reading the book, Color Purple, Oprah was so enchanted by the book, as I started to discuss earlier. When the possibility of a movie about the book came up, she started to pray everyday for a role in the movie. Such desire should be understood relative to Oprah Winfrey’s childhood as a person who survived incest. Perhaps the movie gave Oprah another perspective of a family because she said in her diary during the making of the movie that the movie Color Purple felt like love to her.

Uncovering the Secret to Oprah Winfrey’s Success

In this video, Oprah Winfrey talked about how she was so distraught after her audition for the movie Color Purple and nobody called her for months. Prior to that audition, Oprah went to the bookstore in Chicago and bought the book, Color Purple. She fell in love with the book and gave it as gift to so many people. Her audition for the movie was not by accident. Oprah Winfrey wanted the role in that movie so badly, and almost to the point of obsession. While Oprah was in lamentation that she did not get the part, she started to look for the reasons why she was not chosen for the movie. She was thinking to herself, it was because she was too fat for the role. As God tends to use what we think is our failure for his glorious purpose, it was the fatness that helped her to grab the part in the movie. Really, Oprah was not fat. It was her imagination. Perhaps she was a little healthy for a young African woman!

Oprah talked about the divine moment when she was so upset she was not going to get the part in the movie. She started to cry and sing a Christian song since Oprah came from a Christian background. Oprah started to sing in that video. Boy, she had a very beautiful singing voice. Oprah was singing, "All to Jesus, I surrender, all to him I surrender." To Oprah Winfrey, the song appeared to be that of a personal defeat, but in the heavenly realm, it was a song that ignited a supernatural action of God from above. Oprah inadvertently used that song to knock the Gates of Heaven. Needless to say, God answered! From the earthly realm, while Oprah was crying and singing that song, she received a telephone call from Steven Spielberg. Wow! Wow! Wow! How did that happen? He asked her to meet him in his office in California. She was given the part of Sofia in the movie Color Purple. This was the actual key to Oprah Winfrey success. Oprah Winfrey said in the interview, it was the moment that changed her life forever.

Oprah said, "The way you think creates reality for yourself." Another person already echoed a similar statement thousands of years ago.

King Solomon said, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverb 23:7).

It is very important to note here that without the blessings from God, no matter how you draw anything to yourself, you will be drawing blanks. This Oprah Winfrey story should be a lesson to all non-believers in the Lord Jesus. The secret Oprah Winfrey might have been keeping from people all these years has been discovered! The secret that opened the door for her is her faith in Christ! If Oprah did not have faith in Christ, she would not have been weeping and singing that song at the moment she was troubled. What Oprah Winfrey did during her crisis moment when she was distraught is the same thing all Christians are supposed to do. Oprah surrendered everything in Jesus’ hand. In response, Jesus not only responded, he opened the giant Gates of Heaven. The result was an outpour of blessings beyond human imagination. Today, the world can see how a simple song of faith led to Oprah’s giant success in life as God opened the flood gates of blessings for her. In everybody blessed by God, there is always this divine moment. The key was not because Oprah drew success to herself. That may be part of it because she was able to capture the critical moment. The positioning was done by the Lord because Oprah recognized the critical moment when God was going to make a deposit in her life and gave her an earthly crown of glory. The critical key was the timing the Lord helped Oprah to captivate. Sadly, many people who are unable to recognize this divine moment ended up missing their blessings. Oprah Winfrey was able to capture that moment in life when the windows of Heaven opened before her, and the Lord initiated a massive outpouring rain of blessings on her. The whole world can now witness her magnificent success in life.

Bashing Oprah Winfrey did not Help Christians

The greatest disservice some of us Christian leaders have done was to not only attack but demonize Oprah Winfrey’s theology and started making mockery of her. In the process we missed the real secret to Oprah Winfrey’s success, which we should have been preaching in the church all over the nation about our reliance of Jesus. I do not agree with Oprah’s theology of the New Age that "self" determines man’s success in life. From my Christian experience in life there is no self without God who created the blue print of our life’s journey even before we were born. I also believe despite God’s original plan for each person, men choices will determine the final outcome in most of the cases, not all. Similarly, I disagree with the theology of Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Muslims, and Buddhists. I believe those Christian leaders should have invited Oprah for a dialogue instead of throwing all these angry rhetoric at her from the airways.

Personal Encounter with Oprah Winfrey

One of Oprah Winfrey’s stories has a personal connection to me. I was in Chicago on the final day of the Book Expo in June 2001 covering the event as a reporter for the OUTCRY Magazine. In my prayer that morning prior to leaving the hotel, the Holy Spirit prompted me to be ready for a surprise. I did not know what it was going to be. As I entered the door with other reporters covering the event, I sat down at my table. All of a sudden, I saw this attractive African American woman with a beautiful hat coming towards me. I started to wonder who she was. She was accompanied by a tall man and a bodyguard. There was also a camera person following her. She finally sat about three tables from me. Vera, one of the ladies sitting next to me at the breakfast said quietly that it was Oprah. Vera must have gone berserk! I was trying to remain calm because I had covered national events many times and met many celebrities including reporting from the White House in Washington DC. Vera must have gone crazy with excitement when she saw Oprah. Tina Jordan, the media coordinator for the Book Expo for that year told me that she was telling all the press agents to give Oprah her privacy and not overwhelm her. So, I sat very patiently on my table about to eat my breakfast in peace waiting for the event to start. At this time, Vera went straight to Oprah’s table. She told me she wanted to take pictures with Oprah. I knew that was going to be very impossible because Oprah was sitting next to Stedman her boyfriend. So, when Vera went to Oprah’s table, I turned my face in another direction because I did not want to see her weeping when Oprah would say "No." Just by human instinct, I turned her direction perhaps out of curiosity to find out what happened. I was expecting to see Vera weeping under the table with great embarrassment, because I was sure Oprah was going to turn her down. I was planning to be embarrassed for her. Suddenly, I was surprised when Oprah made sign to me to come and take her picture with Vera sitting next to her with a simile. I grabbed my camera, and ran to Oprah’s table with great excitement. At that time, Stedman had momentarily left Oprah’s side and went somewhere. After taking the pictures of Vera and Oprah, I asked Oprah if she would allow me to take picture with her. Nicely she obliged. I took my own picture with Oprah too by another photographer. I was about to get up from sitting next to Oprah when Stedman came and claimed his seat next to Oprah. I thanked him for sharing Oprah with us. He responded with a smile. Later, during the program, I realized that Oprah came to support Quincy Jones at the Book Expo who was getting ready to release his new book; The Biography of Quincy Jones in 2001.

Capture this historic moment in pictures at www.outcrybookreview.com/outcry14.htm

The lesson I learned from Oprah Winfrey’s success is that, this life is a journey. When God created each person, he gave blessings to all those people he created even before they were born. Those blessings are accessible at certain point in life. Sadly, many would miss their blessings because they might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because of the promptings of the Holy Spirit, Oprah was positioned to be in the right place at the right time because she surrendered all to Jesus, according to the song she was singing while weeping.

Remember to Give Glory to God

All of us Christians should be careful about our success in the secular world. God appealed to us as a loving Father, not to forget the source of our divine blessings. This appeal is well stated through the mouth of God Himself as recorded by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy:

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase, and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery" (Deut. 8:10-14).

There is nothing that hurts God more than giving his glory to another person or thing. Many of us have done this by placing ourselves on the throne instead of God. I am guilty of this too. Our success in life did not come from people, or any situation. Without the blessings of God, our actions will be another wasted endeavor. Why is it so difficult for us to give glory to God for what he has done for us?

I remember one time I played a dirty April Fool joke on my mother. This was the last time I played April Fool joke on anybody. I just graduated from high school; I was working in a hospital laboratory for about a few months. My father had just died less than a year. So, I was saving my money ready to leave for the U.S. for studies at the university. On the first day of April, I played a prank on my mother. I told my younger brother to go and tell my mother downstairs that I had lost my job. Very quietly and solemnly, my mother sent a message back to me through my younger brother saying, "The Lord God will provide." When my younger brother left my room I was so broken by what my mother said in response to my fake loss of job. I did not lose my job. I was only playing pranks on my mother. Today, Oprah Winfrey’s story about her surrender to Jesus pricked my heart and reminded me about this statement my mother made. My mother was speaking out of faith, just like Oprah was singing out of her faith in Jesus. Within my heart, I was wondering what a powerful faith in God expressed by my mother, just like Oprah. Quickly, I had to go tell my mother I was just joking. Escaping from my mother was necessary because she was about to hit me upside the head. I believe I deserved it. I knew when my mother sent me that message, she was probably weeping on the inside. My mother’s statement was more than a message of inspiration, it also reminded me the source of my blessings. Remember the old church song after the collection of offerings on Sunday, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." Who else can bless you besides God?

This incident of playing pranks on my mother also reminded me earlier this year 2012, when I tried for the past couple of years to reach this well-known celebrity television evangelist. I wrote letters upon letters and faxed some to him and his wife. I even sent presents to both of them. I received no response, except a call one day from his office giving me his fax number. After this nothing happened. I was sitting down very distraught wondering what I needed to do next to get this person’s attention. I shared my frustration with another preacher. I would never forget what that preacher told me. His statement was responsible for bringing me joy and peace. The preacher responded to my relentless attempt to contact celebrity preachers and said, "You might have lost your true sense of the source of your blessings, when you are busy chasing after what seemingly appears to be the evidence of a blessing instead of going straight to the giver of the blessings." That statement blew the blanket of confusion off my face and I was able to see clearly. If you are working in the ministry and God did not plant the tree, he will uproot it.

Jesus said, "Every plant that my Heavenly Father has not planted will be up rooted" (St. Matthew 15:13).

In conclusion, the secret to Oprah Winfrey’s blessings comes from God through the Lord Jesus. I believe Oprah herself has acknowledged this fact many times. Oprah was led by the Holy Spirit to capture a divine moment in life when the Gates of Heaven opened before her. Whatever your life direction may take, whether you follow the sun, or the moon, or the wind, always remember whose you are. Your life’s journey may take you to great heights, and sometimes it may walk you through the painful wilderness of life for so many years. Remember, whether you have encountered many painful moments in life, or whether you have experienced many great achievements with audience cheers, one thing is common to every person’s journey on earth. What have you done with the lessons you learned or the riches entrusted into your hands? Those achievements, or seemingly failures are the earthly gateways to your purpose in life. Never be satisfied with great achievements with empty influences on the negative conditions of humanity. Wherever your journey may take you, no matter how you achievements make you feel good within, always remember that God is the author of life. One day he will send an angel to reclaim that life. This soul does not belong to us, but to God the Creator of life. What matters is what we are able to do with those things entrusted into our hands to glorify God. He will also ask us that question as we stand before the Gates of Heaven, "Have you accomplished your assignments with what I have given you?"

A few years ago, I met a very hard working man, Larry. Despite his hard work on the job, Larry was bypassed many times for promotions on his job. He came to a situation after working with the company for over forty years that a young man, Albert old enough to be his son became his boss. Albert was said to have had a bad relationship with his father. He took his anger off on Larry, the older guy. Albert started to give this older man a lot of headaches in the department. Instead of fighting with this young man, Larry used wisdom and transferred to another department. He was relocated to another city. I asked Larry how angry he should have been for not being promoted on the job despite his education and good work over the years. With a smile on his face he said, "God has promoted me many times in my life. I do not need any validation from any earthly person to feel good about myself." This older guy was one of the very few minorities working with this company, and none of them was ever promoted. One day after Larry’s relocation, he was given an assignment to train a new employee. Larry treated this young man very well. The new employee was shocked as to how he was treated during his training. Later it was discovered that the new worker was the younger brother of the boss that used to give Larry headache in another branch of the company. The new employee called and told his older brother how this older guy trained and helped him. Albert started to weep on the phone, when his brother mentioned the older guy’s name. Albert told his younger brother that he used to give Larry, the older guy a lot of headache; that was why he left for another branch. Albert came from out of town to apologize to Larry for all the problems he caused him while they were working together. God works in mysterious ways!

Do not Allow the Enemy to Make Mockery of God’s Gift

Who knows where destiny will take us in life or who would be influenced by our kindness? Wherever destiny may take you far from home, or lost in the storm, always remember to return back home to the Father. This is the beauty of the story of the Prodigal Son in the Bible. In spite of his wrong choices, he came to himself and was able to return home to the Father. I have seen many celebrities on Christian television programs making confessions that despite all their achievements, joy and peace become elusive. People should be careful about the anointing God gave to them. There are people who received the anointing and never received the love of God. If they are not careful, the devil will make mockery of the anointing God has given to them in order to blaspheme God.

I have encountered some people with great anointing of the Holy Spirit yet; they inadvertently opened the door for the enemy of God. We should recognize that the devil is a thief. The same gift of the anointing God has given to a person can be used by the devil to do evil. Take for example if God has given a person the anointed tongue in words to come true. If the person speak bad things, because the person is angry, bad things will come true. This happens because the person has the gift of "speaking the words come true." This was exactly what was about to happen in the case of Balaam when he was asked to place a curse on the Children of Israel by Balak, the King of Moab. Balaam was a Gentile prophet whom God used to prophesy to the Children of Israel (Number 22:1-35). The enemy knew Balaam had a gift of the tongue in speaking words to come true. He had a gift of prophecy. But, Balaam was using the gift to gain worldly wealth like some preachers are doing today. Such people should be careful what they say about themselves or about others. People who do not know they have such gift have been manipulated by the devil for demonic purposes. The devil will speak to their human spirits. They should immediately rebuke the devil without repeating what the devil said to their spirits. If they repeat what the devil says, then the words come true. The devil knows about the power of the tongue. This is why he is playing tricks because we open the door to let him inside and oppress us. The next thing is to rebuke the devil, cast him out, and pray for ministering spirits to take positions around human spirits. Then, we close the door of our soul and do not let the devil inside anymore.

One of the devil’s tools is to find a way to make mockery of God through His creations. He uses the principle of manipulation through mind control. That was what he tried to do with Job, and he failed. In Job’s case he inflicted material damage to bring Job to submission. The devil will also insert selfish notions in human’s heart making him a god. Other times, the devil will give people the impression that a particular person in a god because of the impressive events that happened through the person. Many times, the devil will create a false notion through cognitive deception. He will give man the false impression that, man is smarter than God. This was exactly what happened in the Garden of Eden. The devil called God a liar, but the lies were being told by the devil. We tend to forget that human knowledge is unable to decipher the glory and knowledge of God.

Many successful people today are wasting away in the wilderness of despair because they allow the devil to deceive them that they are smarter than God. We cannot define God through the human perception of God. The devil wants man to define God on his term thereby leading many astray. Sadly, such people’s life will end in tragedy.

The unseen worlds have more power to influence human behavior than we can imagine. Many people are being victimized today because they do not understand the realities of the unseen world of the spirit. The devil is a master deceiver and a liar! We become victims because of pride and arrogance of human nature since we choose to listen to the lies of the devil than the truth of God. Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life. Nobody comes to the Father but by me" (St. John 14:16). The devil’s plot is to convince us that he is the truth because his greatest desire is worship. Consequently, many people are worshipping the devil because they choose to surrender to him, and believe in his lies, instead of surrendering to the Lord.

Accept God’s Gift and His Love

People who never received and accepted the love of the Father through Jesus, no matter how many years they have been going to church always suffer from depression, despair and anxiety. Only the love of God can give us joy, peace and serenity. God’s love is the only thing that makes life meaningful. Without the love of the Father, life is meaningless. Our earthly achievements can never replace the void for the love of God. Many people suffer from depression because they are in search for the love of the Father. This is not about God holding back his love from us. It is us holding back to receive and accept the love of the Father. Most of people’s illicit lifestyles are based on the hunger for the love of the Father. Until we empty our soul before him, we cannot fully experience his love. God’s love is unconditional, but we have to receive and accept it, otherwise, we try to fill the void with earthly things. Try to fill you car’s gas tank with water. It does not work! Truly, our source of blessings comes from God the Father. He therefore deserves our adoration and praise in worship, and not to give him more headaches, or give his glory to somebody else. I have talked to husbands who were at the verge of committing murder when they found out somebody was sleeping with their wife. If man can be deeply hurt by such betrayal, how do we expect God to feel when we give his glory to somebody else?

"I will not give my glory to anyone, nor share my praise with carved idols" (Isaiah 42:8).

"My glory I will not give to another" (Isaiah 48:11).

To God be the glory! God is a very patient and loving Father. At times, he will allow people to insult him even while he is still blessing them. What a loving Father! One day his patience may run out. Our opinion about God no matter how crazy does not change who he is. He is a sovereign God and a loving Father. No matter how successful, the end of those who refuse to give glory to God for their achievements, and place themselves on the throne turn out to be very ugly. Today, you have to make your choice who you will serve. You can serve your money, and it will lead you to the wilderness of despair. You can serve God and praise him, and he will lead you to the paradise of eternal salvation. But, you have to make a choice.

By Yinka Vidal, author, Closer Walk With Jesus.