Man, I Needed This!

Slowing down doesn’t mean stopping.
I enjoy walking the hills around my house. The trails through these hills, however, are shrinking due to fewer hikers using them.
This lower usage is allowing the plants to grow back, effectively making the trails much harder to use.
As you walk the path Jesus has for you through meditating and acting upon the truths He gives from His Word, you’re laying down and strengthening new neural pathways (“trails”) on your brain or what Scripture calls “renewing your mind.”
And though hard at first, the more you keep walking on this trail, the easier it will be to walk on it in the days ahead.
Yet if you stop walking on this trail, the vegetation of your old unfulfilled life will creep back.
So, when Scripture says to slow down and know that Jesus is God, it does not mean to stop and do nothing!
All it means is to keep walking on the trail He’s laid out for you at the pace He wants for you at the moment. He’s in no hurry, so why should you? Enjoy the journey. He’s walking with you!
Man, I needed to hear this!

Keeping it Real

Unmet expectations lead to frustration, so what are your expectations?
Understand that God never promises to meet our expectations, only His.
Thus, if our expectations don’t match God’s Word, we are going to be frustrated much of the time. And Jesus didn’t come to frustrate us, but to give us life – now and forever.
Think about this expectation: If I just get through this task, life will be good and I can slow down. Sounds good doesn’t it?
But it isn’t true in at least two ways. First, there is always another task at the end of the one I’m finishing! Right?
Second, we love an eternal God. And with each character quality God has, He wants to transform our lives into that quality as only Christlike character makes it from this life to the next.
Therefore, this side of heaven, there will always be another hill to climb and a valley to walk through. The Spirit uses these hills and valleys to shave off our temporal character and replace it with Christ’s eternal character.
This is real life, whether we like it or not. So slow down and enjoy Jesus today, in the moment. The next hill will come soon enough.

Excuses or Praises

Don’t look back, you’ll miss the road ahead.
I was taught a golden rule from the very beginning of my mountain biking experience: where your eyes go, so goes your front wheel. The bike will go where you’re looking – either into the ditch you want to avoid or the trail you want to take.
So keep your eyes on the trail if you want to enjoy the ride!
In one area of my life, the Lord has been making huge progress in changing me. Yet, I found myself saying, “I can’t go back!” I knew where I had come from and didn’t want to go back there.
I was enjoying the ride of Spirit empowered life-change. Yet where were my eyes? Looking back!
I needed to make an attitude adjustment. Instead of focusing on where I’d been, I should’ve been focusing on where Jesus was taking me – toward Himself.
Excuses. We make them. But guess where excuses focus us? Backward to where we’ve been, not to where we want to go.
Learn to exchange those backward excuses with forward looking praises. Focus on wherever Jesus is leading you by focusing on the truth about Him that will get you there. Then praise Him for it even if you land in the ditch!
Praises keep you focused on where you want to be – more like Jesus, all of Who you want to be and all of what you want out of life.

Sometimes Less is More

You become what you focus on; and, what you focus on only gets bigger.
Jesus is the First and the Last. This truth goes along with what Jesus has been showing me: slow down, so I can experience more of Him.
I’ve been training hard for a program in which I sense the Lord wants me to take part. Yet, at almost every turn, I’ve been injuring myself.
After talking with a physical therapist, I’ve learned that by exercising less, I will in fact be able to do more. By alternating hard days with slow days, I will greatly reduce my injuries and still reach my target goals. It’s working.
This same principle works for our walks with Jesus.
Sometimes we believe that we have to do more for Jesus. But in reality, Jesus has already done it all. He is the first, meaning He’s at the head of the line. There is no one who’s done, doing or will do more than Him. In fact, He said on the cross, “It is finished!” He is the author and the finisher of our faith, not us.
But, you might ask, “What happens when I slow down?” Jesus is there too, as He is the Last.
You know that Jesus is always with you, no matter what you’re doing. But do you believe or practice it? You can’t do more to get more of Jesus. You can’t do less and have less of Jesus.
You have all of Jesus, right now! He doesn’t need you to do anything for Him, but everything He’s asked you to do with Him.
If we focus on doing more, we can get so distracted that we can’t hear His voice and follow where He’d have us go to experience what He wants us to know about Him.
He is the First and the Last. Practice listening to and then following Him. And sometimes this will mean doing less, which will actually mean doing more with a whole lot less injuries to yourself and others!