Get a Movin’

If you don’t like where you are, change.
God told the nation of Israel He would give them a homeland from the Mediterranean Sea in the west all the way to the Euphrates River in the east (i.e. parts of modern Jordan and Iraq).
They saw what He did in the desert (meat from the sky, water from rocks, bread from dew) and in taking out two giant led nations.
God promised them Land. God provided all the means to take the Land. God had proven faithful in getting them to the Land. Now what?
They had to act. God told Joshua, “I will give you every place where you set your foot.” This meant they had to do something while believing God would continue to provide and to prove faithful.
If you don’t like what you have become or where you are at the moment; you don’t have to stay there!
We often wait for God to do all the work. It doesn’t work that way. He chooses to enjoy the walk with us as He does the changing.
If He wants you to walk on water, you’ve got to start moving toward the water! Walk or not, it’s up to you.

Choose Significance over Success

Success is not the same as significance.
The latest estimate of those currently living on Earth is 7.8 billion. Now, how many of them have you heard about? Not many, right?
Did you know there once lived a woman who saved an entire race of people from annihilation, but her name is never recorded in human history?
She came to this position through circumstances we all would deem ghastly. Her life and future were under the total control of men. And yet, she made a choice that would enrich the futures of billions.
Her name, in English, was Esther or Hadassah, in Hebrew. She was a queen of the Medo-Persian Empire, but her name is only recorded in Scripture.
As so few know of her outside those pages, some might not consider her very successful. Yet, she was extremely significant.
She chose to use her position to save an entire nation, who would eventually return to Israel; and, give birth to the Savior of those living on the planet for generations to come.
Some are “successful” and are known by millions, if not billions; but are not that significant. Choose to be significant. Do what Jesus tells you to do regardless of who ever knows about your choices.
A little unknown drop of water on a dried out leaf will be immensely significant to a person dying of thirst.

Shaken not Stirred

“There is a difference between believing in God and trusting in God.” Terry Norton
What would you do if you saw your son lying face down on a football field unable to move? What would you trust God for knowing that your son would only have a 3% chance of ever moving anything below his collarbone again?
Those were the thoughts running through Terry Norton’s mind the day he was told by doctors that his son, Chris, would never walk anywhere again, let alone walk down the aisle with his bride, Emily, on their wedding day (pictured).
Terry thought his faith was pretty strong, but his faith hadn’t really been tested like this before.
He said, “When things were at their darkest, I sat there with my eyes closed and thought about every wasted night, every wasted minute I had spent worrying about things that didn’t matter. Stress at work, drama with friends or a youth sport, you name it, I thought, what a waste. When you finally face a real “challenge” you realize how much time we spend worrying about insignificant things.”
Terry’s faith had been stirred from time to time, but never shaken to the point where he had to trust in someone bigger than himself.
Biblical faith is not stated. It’s seen. Believing things about God are not the same as doing what He says to do because you trust Him. Knowing about God and knowing Him from experience are two completely different things.
Do you merely believe Jesus? Or, are you trusting Him? Your choices in the present, not your words, will reveal whether your faith can withstand a good shaking in the future.
Take a page from God’s playbook for Ken. Move on to trust. You’re going to need it in the coming days.

Freedom Realities

“We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.” Elisabeth Elliot
Take up your cross. Love those who are hard to love anyways. Forgive others or your Father won’t forgive you. Be okay when people insult you. Do it right…every time. If you want to be perfect, sell everything and give it away.
Jesus said those words, not me. Pretty tough stuff, right? Yet, the reality is that Jesus knew who He was talking to in each case; and, it was exactly what they needed to hear if they wanted to find life today, tomorrow and on into eternity.
Jesus tells it to us straight, out of love. It is the only way to set us free from what hinders us from becoming more like Him.
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but there have been times when I’ve shut my Bible or didn’t even open it because I didn’t want to hear what I knew I was about to read.
Yet, to grow closer to Jesus, I needed those tough words spoken to me so He could expose what was in the way of my loving Him.
Jesus says what needs to be said in a loving and appropriate manner, even when the words are tough. It’s the only way to live in freedom. If you are not hearing those types of words from time to time, you’re probably listening to the wrong god.

Be Honest with Yourself

Lying to yourself hurts you the most.
One symbol in this picture stands for being honest with oneself. The other tries to hide behind an unworkable ideal where one can live anyway they want.
In the upper left hand corner is a cross. Jesus says by looking to Him when He was on the cross, one would find salvation. This act of dying, which would lead to a resurrection, would prove that He is God; and, the only One who can give life real and lasting meaning and fulfillment.
The one in the lower right is the anarchist symbol, which stands for “no gods, no masters”. However nice the sound of living free of outward authority might be, it doesn’t work in the real world.
Scripture repeatedly exposes the reality of this philosophy – personal and societal chaos. Read Romans 1 or the end of Judges. See the types of behaviors that result when there is no higher authority than humanity itself.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Someone or something will always fill that authority vacuum – you or someone else.
Please remember two truths here. One, you, I and the rest of humanity are broken. And two, government is broken people making broken decisions, no matter how noble their ideals may sound.
A better life and a better society start with being honest with ourselves. You and I reek at being our own authority. If you have not yet grasped this truth, be patient. You will. Need help? Read the history of mankind.
Jesus submitted to a higher authority – His Father. He only did and said what His Father said. Yes, this led to His death. But that was not the end of the story. He rose again!
Only Jesus can bring dead things, like your personal life, career, marriage, family, city, country, etc., to life again.
If you claim to be a Jesus follower, be honest with yourself. Are you submitting to Jesus’ authority in your life? Be honest. Before you say or do anything, are you listening to Him first and then doing what He says?
Want change? It starts with being honest with yourself.