Living Each Day Like God Exists

I recently read that “being a Christian is about choosing Jesus and deciding to do something incredibly daring with your life.” This statement, however, is completely based in your ability to trust Him.
For those who see God change their lives, they first had to come to grips with the fact they couldn’t change their own lives; and second, were willing to trust that Jesus could. Have you come to this realization yet?
Once they realized this, they then had to enlarge their view of who Jesus is and what He could do for them. This meant spending time in the Word listening to Jesus, and then each day practicing what they learned in the situations they encountered. As they did, they saw God do incredible things in and through their lives. Are you at this point yet?
The reason, however, so few Christians have and are is that most Christians leave God behind when they exit the doors of their church each Sunday. I lovingly refer to them as Christian atheists. They live every day but Sunday as if God doesn’t exist. Oh, if they only were willing to let go of the reigns of their lives.
Hopefully, as you look back over your week, that doesn’t describe your life. Instead, you kept a running conversation going with and drawn closer to Jesus. As you continue to keep talking, your ability to trust Jesus will increase, which means you’ll be able to decide to be a little more daring with each passing day. Keep those conversations going because your God does indeed exist. In fact, He’s living inside you!

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The Reason for Bringing Up the Past

It’s been said, “Those who don’t learn from the past are destined to repeat it.” This is a scripturally sound statement. The Bible tells us to remember what our God has done (e.g. Deut. 7:18) because He knows we have such short memories!
When a new challenge comes, or the same challenge wrapped in a new situation, we freak out. “Why am I here looking at this same drug once more? Oh God why?” Calm down, stop and listen to Jesus, and then do what He says, which is to remember how He gave you victory in the past (maybe just yesterday?). He’s asking you to remember what He did yesterday so you will trust Him today. His peace will come when you do.
He is also asking us to remember the consequences of our bad choices (e.g. Deut. 9:7-8) as we tend to forget those as well. We must burn into our memories the negative aspects of taking our drugs of choice: how we felt when we blew it, what the physical results were when we took our drug of choice, and what we were thinking about minutes, days and weeks before we fell (you don’t just fall!). Again, Jesus is asking us to do this because He knows we have very short memories.
When our drug presents itself again, which we all know it will, all we can think about is how good it made us feel…as we took it! The Word of God says sin is pleasurable for a season. The consequences, however, can last days, weeks and years. Jesus is asking us to remember both how good victory felt and how terrible defeat felt. This gives us the kind of information we need to make a faith choice when our drug pops up. And hopefully this time, we’ll make a faith choice to listen to Jesus, do what He says and experience victory.
The only reason to bring up the past is to learn from it. Those who fail to remember are more than likely to fail again. Remember, learn from the past to live victoriously in the present.

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Whichever Father is Bigger Wins!

Oh the playground banter that goes on between children. Ever remember hearing this one, “My dad can beat up your dad?” We just knew our dads would come to our rescue.
As a child of God, how big is your Father? How you view Him has a lot to do with whether you’ll have that running conversation with Him and experience victory over your drugs of choice. The bigger your view of God is the smaller your challenges become.
Whether you like or not, you have another father looming large in your world – Satan, the father of lies. Whoever is bigger is the one you will run to when challenges come, and will be the one you’ll listen to for solutions. There is a battle going on for your mind. Victory over your drugs of choice depends on the one you spend time with throughout your day – the lie-based messages or the truth-based messages in your head.
You received a new Father when you placed your faith in Jesus. How big is your new Daddy? The Bible records that we have a God so big that words will never be quite adequate to describe Him. We also have a Father who loves to blow up our boxes about who we think He is. He wants to loom larger than life in your mind so you will run to Him as your refuge, and be comfortable enough to have that running conversation with Him.
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Get a larger view of your Heavenly Father by daily getting into the Word of God and listening to Him. Come near God today and He will come nearer to you (James 5:8). Peace is just a conversation away.
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Stop Praying and Continue Talking!

Here is a Biblical worldview question. Ready? As a way to end a prayer, where in the Bible does it teach a believer to say, “Amen”? It doesn’t. In fact, where does the Bible instruct us to end our prayer at all? It doesn’t.
The fact that we do both comes from a Christian worldview, not a biblical one. The Bible states in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray continually. When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray (see Matt. 6:5-15; Lk. 11:1-4), He never tells them to stop talking!
As children of God through faith in Jesus we are now in a relationship with a personal God, who wants a running conversation with His children. Our walks with God will not become an unsatisfying mechanical religion if we are in constant connection with our Father. Because Jesus keeps the communication lines open, we can stay in God’s presence wherever we go throughout our day. It’s as we stay in His presence that we can be satisfied and at peace.
The world in general has had enough of mechanical religion. What they crave is a God who actually cares about them and their everyday lives. Will they see Him in you and me?

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Go Forward with Shields Up

I enjoy the sci-fi genre. I love how the various shows’ creators can imagine what might be possible in the future. One of the devices they’ve dreamed up is a shield for the spaceships. As a ship is about to encounter an uncertain situation or head into battle, the captain barks out, “Shields up!” These shields protect the ship from the coming danger. We have such a shield. It is called the shield of faith – faith in the truths of God’s Word.
You already know that challenges are coming in the new week that awaits you. Jesus said to watch and pray (“Shields up!”) for the events that will attempt to rob you of your peace in the midst of those challenges.
Are your shields at maximum strength through adding specific truths you need to fight off your drugs of choice (i.e. truths to defeat the lie-based messages your enemy uses on you)? Have you put those truths away in your memory so you can defeat the coming attacks? You know from experience that some weeks are harder than others, will this be a particularly hard one? If so, are you ready to go victoriously forward? Be prepared, “Shields up!”
A shield has many uses, but its main purpose is to protect you as you move forward. Don’t be caught with your shield down. Be spiritually ready to go forward in the truths God has given you to be victorious this week.
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