Write Your Own Story

January 15, 2013

Everyone likes a story.  Whenever I get together with old friends, it seems like the same stories always come up.  We laugh every time we tell them.  That’s the way a lot of stories are.

Other stories aren’t told because we aren’t proud of them, yet they are part of our history.  We didn’t intend for these stories to go the way they did.  It just seemed to turn out that way.  Maybe they were caused by mistakes and poor decisions and habits on our part.  We “own” them.

The truth is, we can impact the stories that we can tell in the future by the decisions that we make today.

In essence, we write much of our own stories.

Andy Stanley said, “Direction, not intention, determines our destination.”

If we keep doing the same things that we’ve always done, most likely, we’ll get the same results that we’ve been getting.

The way we live our lives is perfectly designed to get the results that we’ve been getting.   

If you don’t like something about where you’re headed, CHANGE IT TODAY!

Think about your habits today….  “Play it forward” and try to imagine what your life will be like if you keep making the same decisions that you’ve been making. 

  • Keep nagging your husband = Unhappy marriage continues & maybe divorce.
  • Overeating and gaining too much weight = Possible heart attack down the road
  • Overspending constantly = Possible bankruptcy and loss of house
  • Read Bible Everyday = Ready for whatever comes
  • Treat your wife with respect without fail = Happier home
  • Treat church like it’s not important = Teaching your kids to do the same

I don’t’ know what your “habits” are but I know that we write much of our own stories.  The best way to do that is to allow the “Author of Life” to help and guide us.

If we live our lives and make decisions according to His Word, without compromising, our story will be fuller and more meaningful.  He won’t force us.  It’s up to us.

What story are you writing today?

 

This post was inspired by Craig Groeschel and LifeChurch.tv’s “My Story” series.  If you’re near Mt. Juliet, come hang with us at MJLifeChurch.  If not, check out LifeChurch.tv online.

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My 2.5 year old son has learned to say, “I’m sorry Daddy.”  He says it so sweet that my heart melts when he says it.  It seems that he almost has the new idea that the “I’m sorry” words are magical and it erases the thing that he did wrong.  It’s like it’s ok to do something as long as you say, “I’m sorry” after doing it.

If he dumps out the dog food and says, “I’m sorry,” he thinks there are no consequences.  That worked for about a day, but I’m starting to think that he’s taking the transgressions a little lightly now.  I’m thinking that he believes by saying “I’m sorry” he can do the deed again in ten minutes.  I’m on to him now so I’ll encourage the “I’m sorry” words but I’ll also be taking steps to curb the behavior too.   (It would be easier if he wasn’t so cute, btw!)

I think we’re like that with our heavenly Father.   We think all we have to do is say, “Sorry God” and then go about our business without making any changes.

God’s grace and forgiveness is free but it isn’t cheap.

Our sin caused the murder of the Son of God.  Murder.  He paid the ultimate price for OUR transgressions.

An attitude of repentance is what God wants from us when we sin.  He wants us to turn from our sin.  Repentance is like a U-Turn.  You’re going one way, then you turn and go the opposite direction.

It seems that Satan has notes on every believer and he knows where we are weak.  Satan knows where we will fail and that’s where he attacks us.  Many believers are stuck in a pattern of sin and fall to the SAME sins just about every day.  They issue a “Sorry God” and continue the same path.  I admit it.  I’ve been guilty of taking sin too lightly at times too.

If we continue doing the same things today that we did yesterday, the results will be the same and the sin will remain.  If we ever want to grow in Christ and be used in a greater way by Him in His mission, WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH OUR SIN.

Get brutal.

  • If it’s a relationship that brings you down, break it off!
  • If you can’t seem to stop watching shows you shouldn’t watch, cancel cable.
  • If your marriage is in trouble, be relentless in making things right.  Get counseling.  Commit to a date night.  Whatever it takes.
  • If there is a secret sin that you’ve had for years, TELL SOMEBODY you trust and deal with it TODAY!

Don’t waste another day.  Be brutal with getting rid of your sin.  We aren’t expected to be perfect but we are called to be holy because He is holy.  He will help us but he won’t force us to love Him enough to obey Him.  If we love God, we will obey what He says.  That doesn’t mean we get to pick and choose.  Sure God offers grace, but He’s serious about that holiness thing.

Don’t Even Think About It

January 13, 2012

Ever try to get backstage at a concert without a backstage pass?  It’s not easy.  There is usually a big guy named “Brutus” standing there.  Nobody gets past Brutus unless Brutus says it’s ok.  Brutus is the gatekeeper for backstage.  He opens the gate and he shuts it. One look at his biceps and you know that you don’t mess with Brutus.  He’s the gatekeeper.

You are the gatekeeper of your mind.  There isn’t much that can go there without you saying it’s ok.

What we allow to go into our minds can effect just about everything about us:

  • Our relationship with our spouse
  • Our health
  • Our relationship with God
  • Our attitude
  • How we feel
  • How long we live

As a Christ-Follower, we are told to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things.  (Colossians 3:2) 

Craig Groeschel recently taught in the “Better” series from LifeChurch.tv that there are 3 Keys to having a Better Day.  I believe they are key to setting your mind on things above.

1.    Constant Communication With God

The Bible tells us that we are to “pray without ceasing.”    As we go about our day, concentrate on seeing things though the eyes of God and the lens of Scripture.

Even if we have a quiet time in the morning, which is VERY important, sometimes we walk away from that time and forget what you learned from God during that time.

As you see people and experience situations, pray on the go as you drive, walk, and go about your day.  Stay in constant communication with Him about EVERYTHING that happens during the day.

2.    Instant Obedience to God  (Galatians 5:25)

As my daughter, Rebecca said in yesterday’s blog, it’s crazy to think about what we miss out on because we get distracted during the day.  If we stay in contact with Him, we will begin to see opportunities to serve Him.

Sometimes we may get an urge that we believe is from God.  Take a chance!  If you feel an urging to give someone $10, do it.  If you feel like you’re supposed to go and talk to a stranger, start a conversation.  If you think God wants you to go take a hamburger away from “Brutus,” you might want to pray a bit more about that one.  lol

Could the idea in your mind that you think may be God speaking to you ever be simply a case of bad pizza from the night before?  Yes, but you could also miss out on the leading of God if you don’t act.  If you think he may be leading you, take the risk!  You’ll get better at it as you walk with Him over time.

3.    Daily Desperation for God

If we begin to realize how desperately we need God on a daily basis,  we will draw closer to Him.

It’s easy to go about our daily life with the attitude of, “I’ve got this one God.  I’ll let you know if I need you.”  The Bible talks about how we should passionately desire God the way a thirsty deer longs for a drink.  Passionately pursue God every day and realize your need for a relationship with Him

Finally, when negative thoughts come in your mind, take them captive.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT TO MAKE IT OBEDIENT TO CHRIST.”  2 Corinthians 10:5

Stopping negative thoughts at the door is the work of the gatekeeper too.  Work on putting the above 3 habits into your mind but reject anything negative that will bring you down.    Maybe you need to limit certain tv shows, contact with certain people, or maybe even your thoughts when you daydream.

When something negative tries to enter, don’t let it.  Tell the negative thought trying to get into the gate of your mind, “Don’t even think about it!”  

You are the one who decides what goes in. 

What’s one thing that distracts you from thinking the way God wants you to think on a daily basis?

Burn The Ships

January 2, 2011

The 21 day Daniel Fast starts tomorrow. I went out and destroyed a few chicken wings in preparation today since there will be no meat for 21 days.  That’s scary just writing it to me.  I could easily live without veggies or fruit, but without meat is going to be tough for me. I’m far from a Vegetarian!  LOL

I was reading in Daniel in preparation for the fast and this struck me.  I thought I’d share it with you and get your thoughts.

Daniel 1:8 says:

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”

 

Daniel decided, IN ADVANCE, that he would not go against the convictions that God had put in his heart about eating from the King’s table. He didn’t wait until the food was set before him. That’s basically what I’m doing. I’m deciding in advance that I won’t eat anything for the next 21 days except fruit, veggies, or nuts. I will not be drinking anything but water.

This reminds me of certain sins that seem to plague us. Satan knows our weaknesses and he knows where and when to hit us. It seems to me that the key is to decide IN ADVANCE that you will stand up, in Christ, to the temptation. Don’t wait until the temptation that plagues you is looking you in the face. Pray about it, confess your weakness to a trusted believer friend, and if possible, remove the stumbling block completely when you are strong.

When Cortez landed in Mexico, he feared that his men would grow tired of the journey and want to return home. Maybe they would turn against his leadership and force a return. As soon as they set foot on Mexican soil, he ordered then to “Burn the ships!” There would be no way to turn back now.

Regarding the fast, there’s no turning back either. If twinkies are your weakness, feed them to your dog. Give them to your neighbor. Throw them away. Whatever it takes, just get them out of the house. Don’t make it easy for you to eat one in a moment of weakness.

The same principle with sin applies. If you are prone to a specific sin, the time to “burn the ships” is when you are strong. Do whatever it takes to remove the barrier that is harming your relationship with God. When you “burn the ships,” God can speak to you because you are more prone to listen to Him. Maybe that means confessing to a brother or sister. Maybe you have to get rid of something that no one knows about except you and God. Maybe there is a relationship that you need to end. You know what it is that God wants you to do if you belong to Him.

Remember, John 8:47 says, “He who belongs to God hears what God says.” If you belong to God and there is something between you and Him in your life, there may be only one thing that He has been saying to you for some time. You ask Him things like, “God, what’s your will for my life?” “God, where should I work?” Whatever you ask Him, He keeps pointing to that one thing, saying “Burn The Ships.” It’s time to light the fire. Once you do, perhaps through this fast, God will then tell you something else. Decide NOW to

Burn it to the Ground, then go for it. Let’s do this!

Have you ever felt God telling you to “Burn The Ships”?