Prayer is, “about connecting to the awesome, fearsome, loving, ultimately ineffable Creator of the universe. Prayer is the periodic hopscotch to…the ultimate union. Prayer prefigures the conclusion of life and animates the path of life,” writes one rabbinical writer.
Prayer takes us beyond the realm of our challenges and drugs of choice, to the only One who can make us more like Jesus through them – the Source of Life and the Source of Power behind that Life – God Himself.
It takes us from feeling like we are alone (though in reality we are not) to the all Oneness of God. Are you not a secure child of God, made this way by faith in Jesus? Therefore, your God wants to hear from you not only today, but throughout your today. And your conversations with Him today only prepare you for when you leave this planet tomorrow. “S”et Free Nowww
As kids we used to play Four Square during recess. It’s a game where there is one person within each of four squares. As the ball is hit into any square the person in that square must hit it into another square. There are two options if they fail to do so. One, they leave the game and go to the end of the line of people waiting to get into a square. Or two, they can call, “Do over!” and stay in the game. However, you only get one “do over” per recess. It’s a second chance to stay in the game.
This illustrates the “N” principle – never give up on yourself as Jesus won’t – in our struggle to overcome our drugs of choice. Jesus gives us a “do over” if we fall. Keep in mind that just like in Four Square, you failed in front of all those playing the game. It was embarrassing; and yet, you’re still in the game with a chance to redeem yourself. And just like in the game, you can be victorious next time over your drug of choice.
As one author put it, “We are never finished with our work in this world. There is always more untapped potential. No matter how successful (my note: or unsuccessful in some cases) and busy we are, there is room for “Act Two.” … There is always more we can to do. And remember: it’s not your burden; it’s your pleasure!”
Failure or success doesn’t define you; being a secure child of God does. Jesus gave us Himself, which gives us our unlimited potential to be victorious like Him. There is always another Act to our life’s play. We don’t have to like, be comfortable with or even want failure, but it is our reality this side of heaven. And though Act One might have stunk, Act Two can be sweet.
This process is not a burden, but a pleasure because it gives you another chance to taste the sweetness of victory. Jesus’ “do overs” give you the opportunity to taste that sweetness.
Set Free “N”owww
“That sure was a waste of time and effort!” I had dug in the wrong place and I knew better. I had a leak in one of two water lines in my backyard as there was a water mark on the surface of the soil surrounding one of my fruit trees.
After eliminating one line, I saw the water start bubbling up through the gravel. So I started digging where the water exited through the gravel, forgetting that underground water finds the weakest place to surface. This doesn’t mean, however, that’s where the leak is. I was digging in the wrong place!
It took about five minutes and ten shovels of dirt to realize my mistake. This was where the water was surfacing, not where it was leaving the plastic water line. I soon dug around the closest sprinkler head and lo and behold, there was the leak. I should have dug here first. If I had, I would have saved myself a lot of time and effort.
This is a great illustration of the “T” principle – transform your behavior by changing your thinking. Our sinful behavior, drug of choice, is simply where the lies (water) find access to the surface. Your behavior is not the problem, your thinking is.
Therefore, if you want to see permanent Christ-like life change, you must start digging at the source of the problem, your thinking. Let the Spirit of God dig up the lies in your thinking and repair those leaks with the truths He gives you from the Word. Digging anywhere else is simply a waste of time and effort.
Se“T” Free Nowww
This past Saturday I heard the sickening sound of, “Watch out! Slow down!” and then crying from a frightened child. When I looked up from my yard work, I saw my next door neighbor talking to a driver who had blown the stop sign leading into our tract of homes. This driver had almost run over his son who was riding his skateboard in the street.
My neighbor took full responsibility for his son playing in the street; he simply wanted the driver to take responsibility for not stopping at the stop sign, which was there to protect the kids who play on our street.
This problem arose from another stop sign. This one is on the main street that leads up to the one that my fellow neighbors and I use to enter our housing tract. Many feel that stop sign is unnecessary as we live in a very rural area. Because of that feeling, many people blow through it almost every time they come to it.
The problem with blowing through this particular stop sign is that it trains the brain not to make the decision to stop at other stops signs, such as the one needed to protect the children on our street. Both stop signs are legal and should be obeyed, even though we all disagree with the placement of the first one. The point is that both stops are there and both should be stopped at, regardless of whether we feel one is justified and the other is not.
All Scripture is equally inspired and authoritative. Healthy believers don’t pick and choose which ones they will obey and which ones they will not. This mentality sets them up as God. And quite frankly, isn’t this our problem in the first place? My friend, if you want to live victoriously over your drug of choice, you’ll train your brain to stop at all the stop signs as they all apply to you!
S“E”t Free Nowww
I found the following in our local paper. “Thirty years ago, my husband’s sister-in-law made a pass at him. …I have forgiven her, but forgetting is something else, and every time I see her, the old anger comes back. …Any suggestions for moving past this in a positive way?”
First of all, what biblical tool would you use? If you picked the “O” for offer and get forgiveness constantly, you’d have chosen wisely. Now, comes the fun part. Using that tool, what would you tell her? This will tell me if you know how to use this tool in the real world in which you and those around you live. It’s okay to refresh your memory using your book.
Answer? You can’t forget! Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting. It has everything to do with not giving the incident any more room or time in your head. This only allows the anger to return. No, you put up your shield of faith: “I forgave that person.” Then, get back to thinking about what you were thinking or doing when that thought came back.
Forgiveness allows you to focus on the present, not the past. Forgiveness allows you to walk in joy today, not the pain from yesterday as you no longer give the incident any head time. As you do, the pain from the memory, which causes the anger, will slowly get smaller and smaller.
If the person happens to be in front of you, visualize the time you shredded the paper with their name and incident on it. Then pull out other tools, truths the Spirit has given you to focus on, so you can keep listening to and following Jesus at that moment. You can exercise the truth He’s given you, which in the end only makes you feel better about you, rather than angry towards them.
Keep practicing using your biblical tools!
Set Free N“O”www