Comfortable in Uncomfortable Situations

If you don’t get seasick, picture yourself in a small boat on a huge lake. It’s a nice sunny day, when all of a sudden you notice storm clouds rolling in that will soon block the sun. You think, “No big deal. I can handle this. They’re just clouds.” Next, you start to feel the wind picking up and blowing across your skin. Again, no big deal as you put on your sweatshirt.
The clouds get darker and the winds start whipping up good sized waves on the lake’s surface. The boat begins to rock every which way and the waves start coming over the sides of the boat. What was a leisurely and enjoyable boat ride that you could easily handle turned into an uncomfortable roller coaster ride that’s making you doubt your safety. Even the other passengers have begun to freak out.
In the front of the boat, where the action is the worst, one of the passengers is fast asleep! How could they possibly sleep like a baby in such weather? You wake him up asking, “How in the world can you sleep at a time like this?” He answers, “I can sleep so soundly because my focus is on the One who holds me in His hands. He controls my outcome, not this storm. I’m at peace so long as I keep my eyes on Him.”
I realize that I’m reading in to the story when Jesus slept in the midst of a storm (Matt. 8:23-27). I believe that I’m not too far off the mark, though. Jesus could be comfortably asleep on a boat with his head on a pillow in the midst of a very uncomfortable storm because He trusted His Father to take care of any and all outcomes.
We too can be at ease in unsettling circumstances when we realize that we are weak and trust in Him who is strong. When we come to act and focus on the biblical truth that Jesus is in control of our life’s outcomes, and not us, we too can be at peace in stressful times.

Set Free No“W”ww

Cut the Wires to Your Buttons!

We all have “buttons” that those around us love to push in order to get a reaction out of us, especially our enemy. These buttons can be words, attitudes, smells, body languages, anything that triggers us to head to our drug of choice, or respond in a sinful manner.
Some try to guard or keep people from pushing their buttons. The problem with these solutions is that it takes so much emotional and mental work, especially for something that doesn’t work! Keep in mind a simple truth: Control is an illusion. You can’t keep people from pushing your buttons. The only effective solution is to cut the wires connected to the buttons.
Since the light switch is connected to a wire that is attached to the source of electricity, you expect the light to come on when you push the button. If the wire is cut, however, you can push the button all you want with nothing happening as the button is no longer attached to a power source.
It’s the same with your drugs of choice. If pain is driving you to your drug of choice, cut the wire by dealing with the pain, not hiding from it. If someone knows what words to use to get you down, cut the wires with your shield of faith in specific biblical truths that counteract those words. Whatever your buttons are that lead you to your drugs of choice, deal with them at their source! When you do this, no matter how many times the enemy pushes your buttons, you will be free. Walk in freedom today by choosing to cut the wires!

Set “FREE” Nowww

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide

I listened to a lot different music styles growing up. When I became a believer, though, Christian radio pretty much played only hymnal music. These songs and style might have been contemporary in their day, but not mine. Because of this, what was I going to listen to? It was either not listen to music at all or I had a lot of filtering to do. I chose the latter. I listened to the lyrics. If they lined up with the Bible I kept the record. If they didn’t, I didn’t.
I remember the lyrics to one particular song: “You can run but you cannot hide/This is widely known/And what do you plan to do with your foolish pride/When you’re all by yourself alone.”
People are going to hurt us. We have two options when they do. We can run away from the hurt or process it through our biblically-based truth filter. If we physically run, we still go with us. If we emotionally run, we still go with us. We can’t run from the thoughts in our heads!
I’ll bet you have a third option in mind. You’ll try to push those thoughts down and pretend they don’t exist. The problem with this option is that those thoughts eventually will squeeze out in your behavior, often in a negative way, and may even cause physical problems.
Running away from a challenge is no more effective than trying to run away from what’s in your head. You may run and you may live, but you will never run and be free! If you want to be free from the pain and the disappointment, process them using the FREEdom principles. Yes, it may hurt, but only temporarily. In the long run, you win as you replace that hurt with a closer walk with Jesus.

Set “FREE” Nowww

When Push Comes…Shove!

In its simplest form, living with a Biblical worldview means to listen to and do what Jesus says in every situation. He asked me to accomplish a certain task (it doesn’t matter what it was as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that even eating is to be done His way) and this past weekend that’s exactly what I did. It felt great…until the enemy started pushing.
I was relieved the task was over. I felt a strong sense of accomplishment. Frankly, I felt good! Then, what seemed from like out of nowhere, I started to feel agitated. If I had just stopped to think about it (FREEdom principles), I knew it would be coming. Jesus said in Matthew 26:41 that we should “watch and pray” so we don’t fall. The moment you step out on faith in doing what Jesus tells you to do, your enemy will want to start pushing you toward your drugs of choice.
My filter, however, was in the “off” position. Not a smart thing to do and that is why there was no Monday post. It took me longer than it should have to process this agitation. What in the world did I have to be angry about? I did what Jesus said to do!
The enemy loves to attack right after a victory, so expect it (“watch and pray”)! Put up your shield of your faith and shove right back in the Spirit’s power.

Set Free No“W”ww

No Pills to Pop or Quick Fixes

We’ve come to the end of another work week. Hopefully, your week has been like mine. I’ve experienced a lot of victories. I’ve walked in Jesus’ presence. I’ve seen Him guide me in some tough decisions. I’ve past some life-tests. It’s been fun walking with my God.
In the midst of this wonderful Jesus story, I’ve also experience a few defeats. I’ve stumbled and taken His hand to get up and walk again. I don’t like to fall, but learning to live with a Biblical worldview is a process. It’s not a quick fix. We live in hostile territory where our enemy wants to trip us up at every step. He wants to rob us of our freedom, not ensure we have it.
Living with a Biblical worldview is a tool to make the choice to walk with Jesus throughout our day. Living this way will not happen over night, or in a week. It’s a day by day renewal.
This week we’ve talked about going a new direction by becoming more selfless. The scriptural process to make this happen takes time. I would love to say otherwise. The truth is, however, there are no easy fixes or pills to pop to solve our problems or remove our drugs of choice.
Don’t let your enemy beat you up over the process God made. Relax. Becoming like Jesus is not easy, but it’s certainly worth it.

Set Free “N”owww