In one of the battle scenes in the movie Avengers, Hulk is battling Thor’s brother, Loki. Loki says, “I’m a god.” Then Hulk proceeds to toss Loki around like a rag doll and says, “Puny god.” The audience roared with laughter, as did I.
Then I processed this scene through my BWV. The Bible says in Jeremiah 2:5, “They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.” Think about this for a second. You become what you worship. Egypt worshiped over 1,500 gods, one of which was a dung beetle. You become what you worship. Picture yourself as a dung beetle doing what dung beetles do. You get the picture.
But you might say, “I’m not worshiping dung beetles.” True, but our gods are who or what we turn to in order to meet our needs. Who are your gods (drugs of choice) that you turn to in order to make yourself feel good about yourself? If you don’t turn to Jesus and His Word, picture what you’re becoming, anything like a dung beetle? If we want to be free from our drugs of choice, we must first stop seeing them as “not so bad.” Until we see all sin, all drugs of choice, as destroying our lives, we are lowering ourselves to becoming a dung beetle.
If you’ve placed your faith in Jesus, however, you are a child of God. You have a Loving Father, a Kingly Brother – Jesus, and a Heavenly Helper – the Spirit. Why lower yourself to some dung beetle or whatever else you choose to worship? You are a child of God, worship the king. And guess what? You become what you worship. Picture that One! Oh, how great freedom looks!
“S”et Free Nowww
A good buddy of mine and I were surfing one day. As I was getting a little frustrated with some of my rides, he said something that I’ve never forgotten. “Chris, you need to relax and enjoy your time in the water. There will always be better surfers than you. And there will always be others who are not as good. You can learn from those who are better, so watch. And others will be watching you, so have fun.”
I hated to think that people were watching me fall off my board! What he said was very profound, though, especially for believers. On our journey’s to be like Jesus, some will be further down the road than us; so learn from them. And there will be others not as far along, so let them watch and learn.
Jesus can use every one of us to make healthy disciples (Matt. 28:18-20; Hebrews 5:13-15), even the newest of believers. The Spirit can also use others in our lives to help us experience victory each day. Hopefully, you have someone to whom you acknowledge your drugs of choice and who is praying for your victory over them. If so, enjoy your time together! If not, I strongly urge you to ask the Spirit to bring at least one person into your life to form a Bible Impact Group.
Set Free Noww“W”
I love what a friend told me today, “Don’t judge your insides by other’s outsides.” We need other believers to help us practice processing our daily lives through God’s Word to find love and peace today.
Yet, we often avoid others because of our own insecurities. We see their outside of what appears to be a happy, well-adjusted, going places person. Compared to that, what can you do? You’re fighting to process your disappointments and/or failures. Your insides are telling you to hide because you don’t measure up to their outsides.
This is a lie-based message that must be filtered out. Satan wants you to think that your challenges are unique and that those around you are doing just fine. Maybe. The Bibles says every one of us has areas in our lives that the Spirit wants to change into Christ-like character (1 Cor. 3:10-15).
Some people hide their insides behind a false outside; while other’s outsides are quite real. The person you’re looking could be in a fruit bearing season. I have a grapevine in my backyard. This winter it looked dead. It had no green leaves or juicy fruit. Yet it was alive alright. In fact, right now it has quite a few grape clusters!
Some are in grape bearing season, while others are in dead of winter. Don’t judge your insides with other’s outsides. You need them to pull you forward; because one day, you’ll be pulling them forward. Hiding hurts both of you. So let’s be real with other believers so they can pray for our lives to produce juicy fruit!
Set Free Noww“w”
This picture would be funny, if it weren’t so sad. Those who don’t know Jesus are being repulsed by the very vessel God created to carry His message of love and salvation – the Church, an organization that is both insane and a stroke of genius at the same time.
God formed a new family from people of all social, economic, educational and cultural backgrounds. He even threw in natural enemies! He the asked this new family, who under normal circumstances couldn’t stand to be in the same room with each other, to love each other. It’s so insane that it could change the world! From a human perspective, God is asking the impossible. Yet that is the stroke of genius. From a divine perspective, it was entirely possible.
This coming Saturday is the Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost. On this day, two yeast filled loaves of bread were waved before God. They were a symbol for two very different groups of people brought together to form one group (Ephesians 2:11-22). This group was to pull in the same direction together as unit. That is the impossible task.
Also on this day, the Holy Spirit came to live inside every believer. We all have challenges (i.e. bread with yeast a symbol of sin) and we all need each other to overcome those challenges. It will take an act of God to make this happen, which is exactly what God was counting on. As we walk in the Spirit’s power together towards Jesus, the world will know it is a supernatural act.
Let’s be real. We all have problems. We all need each other to overcome them. Let’s count on the Spirit to help us love each other in such a way that those around us will see Jesus. Remember, we don’t come to church perfect, we come to church to become perfect.
Prayer is one of our tools to live in freedom throughout our day. Yet, Jesus gives us a warning when it comes to our key communication device: don’t play on the phone!
Jesus said, “Don’t talk just to hear your voice.” He actually said, “When you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matt. 6:7-8) Are you talking just to talk, thinking God will be impressed with you? If you want to taste and see that the LORD is good, you must stop playing on the phone.
Talk with God from your heart. Formula and repetitive prayers can lead to dryness when you’re only saying words, not expressing your heart. If your friends said the same thing to you over and over again, what would you do? Truthfully, you’d probably tune them out. Yet, you’d be all ears if they were opening up!
God doesn’t tune us out, but He can’t help us if we don’t open up with Him either. He can tell if it’s show, a Sunday morning-only expression, or a heart-felt desire to communicate with the only One who can give us victory over our drugs of choice. So the next time you talk with Jesus, open up. Be real. He knows everything anyways and still says, “I love you!”