To Be or Not To Be Can Be Dangerous

to be or not to beThe English verb “to be” can be a dangerous verb for the believer in Jesus. Most of the time we don’t even realize we’re using it. Yet, how we define ourselves and whether or not that definition lines up with Scripture goes to the core of why we take our drug of choice.
We’ll never truly be at peace with Him, ourselves or the world, if we choose to view our lives in any other way than being a child of God. The reason for this is that God created us to be and live in relationship with Him. Thus to define ourselves in any other way is not only rebellion, but is destructive as well because it can lead us to self-medicate (lying, buying, exercising, etc. I bet you thought I was going to say drugs and alcohol didn’t you?) to feel good about ourselves.
Here is a simple test. Ask the Spirit to help you Freeze frame every thought. What are you putting after the words, “I am….” If it’s a behavior, it’s wrong. If it’s a negative word, it will drag you down. The Father poured out His love on you by calling you His child (1 Jn. 3:1). You are a secure child of God. Now that “to be” is worth being.
“S”et Free Nowww

The “Duh” Moments of Life

duhTonight a group of us were discussing the man who was healed at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5. Jesus asked this guy a great question, “Do you want to be healed?” Sounds like a “duh” moment. Yet it wasn’t. Not all people want to be healed or to change.
As I reflected on this, I remembered back to an incident last week. I was having a great time walking the hills with Jesus. I was still enjoying our time together as I came home, finished some tasks, and then got into my car to head off to my next appointment.
Then the choice came. Would I turn on the radio or continue having a great time with Jesus? Another “duh” moment, right? It should have been, but it wasn’t. I turned on the radio! I went from having a great time with Jesus to listening to sports radio.
Don’t get me wrong. Sports radio is not sin. At that moment, however, it was for me. I took a drug of choice – sounds over silence. I chose listening to useless sports talk over staying in the presence of Jesus. I loved my routine more than Jesus at the moment. I chose not to change.
Had one of those “duh” moments yourself this week? Learn from me. Change is good, being like Jesus is even better.
Set Free Now“W”w

View Reality Rightly

reality-checkOne of the reasons we turn to our drugs of choice is that life doesn’t turn out how we think it should. So here’s the $1,000,000 question, “How are you defining life?”
The reality is that we live in a fallen world. What part of fallen don’t we understand? Fallen means broken. Broken is the potential to be hurt or disappointed. On top of that is the fact that we have an adversary who constantly attacks our peace and joy.
Jesus came to bring us life. He didn’t mean that life would be without pain, crushed dreams or hurt feelings. He asked the Father not to take us out of the reality we live in, but to protect us from our enemy in the midst of it (Jn. 17:15). We are in relationship with The God who can and will use our challenges – self inflicted or otherwise – to draw us closer to Him, which is exactly where we should want to be.
Retrain your brain to view reality rightly. Jesus told us to watch for the coming challenges and pray for the faith to Exercise the truth when they come. Challenges should not surprise us, be expected; thus reducing our need for our drugs of choice.
Set Free No“W”ww

Stay in the Moment

stay in the momentAn NFL quarterback passes on an important lesson about mistakes. “It had been my mistake. Instead of kicking myself or replaying the interception (not a good thing!), I focused on the task at hand. One thing you learn quickly is that great quarterbacks must have short-term memories when it comes to things like this. Good or bad, you have to be able finish a play, push it aside, and move on to the next one. You can never let a play from the past affect the present. Your job is stay in the moment.”
Jesus has taken care of our past – it’s forgiven. Jesus has taken care of our future – we’ll be like Him. Our job is to stay focused on Him in the present. We’ll make mistakes on our journey to allow the Spirit to replace our sin-stained character with the purity of Jesus’. When this happens we can either waste time beating ourselves up, which means will continue to make mistakes (i.e. take our drugs of choice). Or, we can “fail forward,” which means to learn from our mistakes so we can get up and experience victory right now by Exercising the truth by faith.
Practice today having a very short-term memory. Let go of your mistakes by learning from them so you can stay in His presence and experience victory in the moment.
Set Free “N”owww

Praise God for Challenges!

praise GodI received one of the best compliments I person could ever receive. “Chris, you’ve changed. Before you would have been ancy and frustrated. This time, however, you handled it much calmer.”
This comment came from my wife. The challenge was that my blog’s been down for a month. Since January 14, I was given the “wonderful” opportunity to practice what I’ve been preaching. God can change your life if you use the tools He’s given you.
Each day I couldn’t write I focused on the truths the Spirit gave me. God would fulfill His purpose for my life, not me. Jesus was in control of my future, I wasn’t. The Spirit knew what was behind the delay, I couldn’t. The Father is on the throne, I could never be. I could go on, but the challenge presented an opportunity to let the Spirit replace my “type A” behavior with Jesus. It feels so good!
What’s interesting is that I didn’t even know the change had taken place. In my case, those around me would have had to deal with the “old Chris’” reaction to the situation. It took someone else to see Jesus in me, which is what we want right?
The Word and Spirit of God work! I ask you to praise God for what He’s done in my life, which He can do in yours as well. If you’re currently going through a challenge stop and praise God for it. If you put the tools into the Spirit’s hand, Jesus will shine through you too.
Set Free Now“W”w