On It’s Own Sweet Time

I’ve got a wonderful pear tree in my backyard. Right now there are tons (ok, about 30) of pears hanging from it. I’ve seen them grow from the smallest blossoms to wonderfully shaped pears. They’re turning light green, but they’re still hard as a rock! They look ready to eat, but they’re not. Every few days my wife and I check to see if they’re ready by squeezing to see if they’re softening up.
One time I thought one was ready. I picked the pear, took a bite and spit it out. Nasty! My eyes were playing tricks on me. As long as the pears stay connected to the tree they will be ready when they’re ready. My wanting them to be ready now will not change that fact.
Just as pears go through a process of change to ripen into something sweet, so do believers in Jesus. It takes time to retrain yourself and your brain to live with a Biblical worldview. It takes time to replace the stinking thinking with the truths of God. The process of filtering daily life through the Word of God and then making faith choices to do what He shows you takes time. Yet we know, just like the pear, if we stay connected to the tree/Jesus, we will produce the sweet fruit of a changed life (Jn. 15:5-8).

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You Can Avoid Heartache and Pain

For my BIG reading I was in 1 Chronicles 13-15 where it tells the story of David wanting to bring the Ark to his palace in Jerusalem. David makes this statement, “Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.” Apparently neither did David.
If he had read the Word, gone to the Priests who had a copy of the Book, he would have saved himself a lot of heartache and pain. He would have learned that the Levites needed to carry the ark on poles rather than do what he did by putting it on a cart pulled by oxen. In avoiding the Book, David ended getting a man killed, which caused David to get mad at God when it was his own fault for not getting into the Book in the first place!
He finally repents by asking God how to carry the ark (i.e. listens to God) and then submitted to God’s way by getting the Levites and the poles (i.e. does what God says). This time there were sounds of joy in the music and dancing along the road to Jerusalem.
We’re just like David. We get mad at God when He doesn’t come through for us, but we’re living our way instead of His. Where’s the place to discover God’s way of living? The Word of God. Get rid of your excuses for not reading the Word, like, “I don’t have time.” Slow down and listen to Him and then do what He says to do in any and every situation (i.e. live with a Biblical worldview). And just like David, you’ll being dancing with joy before your Lord rather than getting all bent out of shape at Him.

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Focused on Your Journey

Yesterday I told you the story of a gentleman who always wanted to be race car driver. His sons gave him a chance to “race” a car as a birthday present after he had retired from his “real” job.
Here’s another lesson we can learn from this story. After experiencing tremendous discomfort from being caged in, from the heat of the car, track and equipment he had to wear, from driving without music, and from hardly being able to move, let alone shift gears, he couldn’t wait to get out of the car from which he never wanted to return! His entire life he idolized the men and women who got to race cars for a living and it only took one ride to show him he would have hated every minute of it.
Comparing yourself to someone else by envying the role God gave them will only end in disappointment and discouragement, both of which can lead to your drug(s) of choice. Discover who you are as a child of God. Be comfortable in the skin God gave you. Then make a difference right where He placed you by doing the “good works” that He prepared for you to do each day (Eph. 2:10). Keep your blinders on (see yesterday’s entry) by focusing on the journey He has for you, not for someone else, by listening to and doing what Jesus says to do right now, right where you are (i.e. a Biblical worldview). Significance and satisfaction are coming your way, both of which lead to freedom!

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Keep Your Blinders On!

I was listening to a gentleman tell me today about his dream to be a race car driver. For his birthday, after he had retired from his “real” job, his sons gave him 25 laps around racetrack with a top speed of 165 miles per hour.
He said a number of things in his story that applies to living with a Biblical worldview. He said he was strapped into what he called a cage. He had just enough room to look straight head, turn the steering wheel, shift the car and brake. Notice something here? All unnecessary movements were eliminated so he could focus on the task at hand, which was driving his car around the track as fast as he could.
Our enemy can’t keep us from winning the race as Jesus will finish the job He started (Phil. 1:6). He can, however, distract us and get us to crash (aka take our drugs of choice). He will try to put stuff in your peripheral vision so you can’t respond to the items he throws on the track, which you would have seen if you’d been focusing on the road ahead of you. Listening to Jesus throughout your day (i.e. a Biblical worldview) keeps you focused on the race, which is to become more and more like Him and do the “good works” He has prepared for you to do. Want to stay free (Gal. 5:1)? Keep your blinders on!

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Rid Yourself of Empty Calories

I read a study years ago that showed hunger pains can be the body’s way of letting you know it needs water. When I sense I’m getting hungry I’ll drink water first (note: soda has very little water content) instead of grabbing something to eat, which usually was something with almost zero nutritional content. If I’m still hungry after that I’ll get something to eat. Following this regimen, I’m not only helping my body work as it should, it’s also an excellent way to keep my weight under control!
We all have hunger pains or needs that must be met. The challenge is not our needs, but how we go about meeting them. Where we will turn when our need for love, significance or security arises or is threatened? Empty calories/our drugs of choice? Or the Source of Living Water, Jesus?
This is where Scripture memorization comes into play. It’s important to have scriptural truths at hand to fight off your enemy’s lies just like it’s good to have water around when hunger arises. As you’re reading the Word each day, the Spirit will give you the necessary truths to fight off your triggers (i.e. hunger pains) that make you want your drug of choice (empty calories). When He gives us these truths we must put them into our shield of faith that can extinguish our enemy’s darts/lies, which means our needs will be satisfied in a healthy and lasting manner.
Want to shed the unwanted pounds/baggage of your drugs of choice? It’s time to grab the Living water instead of the empty calories.

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