“There are only two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’” C.S. Lewis
This is one of the best deep sea fishing spots off the Big Island of Hawaii. And the best way to reach these fish is by boat. There is a catch, however. The current just off this point is so strong that a boat can’t stay in the area where the fish are located.
Solution? The local fisherman tied their canoes to this rock. It allowed them to stay in the sweet spot where the best fishing was, despite the strong current.
There is a strong current running in western culture today. It’s the belief that “my truth” and “your truth” are okay, even if they are polar opposite. This current will cause many followers of Christ to drift…if they are not anchored in His Truth.
Life is not going to get easier, but harder for those who want to follow Jesus. There are simply too many other strong currents trying to tug us away the presence of the One we say we love, Jesus.
Want to stay in the sweat spot? Stay anchored to the truths Jesus gives you. His truth will set you free from all the negative consequences of my truth or your truth.
“Hope in every sphere of life is a privilege that attaches to action. No action, no hope.” Peter Levi, poet
You know the type. Those who are all talk, but no action. When they speak, they don’t inspire much confidence in you that they will actually do what they say.
Jesus was all talk and all action.
Scripture tells us that before the creation of the world, Jesus said He was coming to redeem a fallen creation. The Father heard it. The Spirit heard it.
He could have said with chest puffed out and arms back, “I’m diving in. I’m going to take on humanity in order to die and rise again for humanity.”
He could be posing as the big rescuer, “Yup, I’m going to do it. I’ll be the One to save humanity.”
It was all talk until the moment of truth showed up. Would He or wouldn’t He enter Mary’s womb?
Thankfully, Jesus was not a posturing. Praise God He was not acting like a poser. No. He said. He acted. And we have hope today because He did.
Our world needs hope, not mere words. Let’s follow Jesus by actually doing what He has told us to do, which by the way, will inspire others to do the same.
“The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in.” R.C. Sproul
The vulnerability of Christ brought about the possibility of change into your world.
The moment Jesus decided to enter Mary’s womb at the human life conception stage, He was vulnerable. Jesus had given complete control of His life to someone other than Himself.
According to biblical law, Mary could have been stoned to death for committing adultery, which, of course, she hadn’t. But from a human perspective she had. And if she was stoned, Jesus would have died right along with her.
Joseph was told in a dream to flee to Egypt in order to protect Jesus as a child. If he hadn’t, Herod’s forces would have wiped Jesus out.
Jesus understands what it means to be vulnerable. So when the Word of God asks us to be completely vulnerable/transparent with another believer in Christ in order to see our lives transformed (James 5:16), He was talking from experience.
Listen and follow Jesus into vulnerability. If you do, your world can be changed for eternity.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis
Imagine sitting naked just outside a tomb overlooking a vast body of water. You hear voices in your head, but no one is around. Thoughts telling you all kinds of horrible things about yourself.
This is the story of two, not one, but two men…until Jesus came to bring peace, order and calm to their lives.
You are not naked like them, but I can imagine the noise going on inside your head as you follow Jesus. Your enemy is most likely screaming, “You’re crazy. You’re stupid. You’re unforgivable. You’re ugly. You’re worthless. You’re inept. You’re fill in the blank.”
Our enemy knows that our lives are changed by the renewing of our minds. So, he will use all kinds of competing thoughts to distract, deceive and destroy our peace of mind and our wills to continue to follow Jesus (2 Cor. 10:1-6).
If, we let him. We cannot not hear/think those voices/thoughts. But using the FREEdom process, we can shut them down once they come.
Match what you are hearing with the truths the Spirit gives as you stay in the Scriptures. Anything that goes against them, shut ‘em down by telling the voices/thoughts to shut up in Jesus name. Then focus on and actually practice the truths the Spirit gives you. Peace will return (Is. 26:3).
Jesus was born in Bethlehem to grow up to defeat the author of our head noise. He brought peace, order and calm to those two naked men. He can do the same for you: head noise be gone and peace return!
“I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and God. It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence and self-assertiveness, and this is where the battle has to be fought.” Oswald Chambers
I spent almost two hours asking the Lord to show me what was going on inside me. Why focus there? Because sin doesn’t just happen!
According to the analogy used in James 1, temptation is merely an opportunity presenting itself for us to handle life our way or what James calls our “own evil desire”.
This desire – something we set our heart on doing – is only brought to the surface by the temptation. Then as we mull this desire over in our head, instead of eliminating it, we progress to the next step – conception.
In following James’ analogy, though, there is a gap between conception and birth. The struggle is not sin. Sin is when we act on or give birth to our desires, the “my way of handling life” wiring inside our head and heart. This is why Scripture tells us to focus our efforts on the first step of renewing our mind, not on the last step of changing our behavior.
Mom used to call this nipping the problem in the bud. You never let the flower bloom, sin in this case, because you cut it off before it does.
If you don’t deal with the inside, sin will be the result. But if you change what’s inside, you automatically remove sin before it ever happens.
We don’t need people to hold us accountable not to sin, the last step. No, we need accountability to the life-change FREEdom process that enables us to nip the problem in the bud/our thinking, the first step.
This is true biblical Christianity – people whose lives have been changed, not those who merely talk about life change.
Who is your first step accountability to life-change partner?