Friday, December 9, 2011
A friend of mine, who had been experiencing some difficulties in life posted, “Well, things just went from bad to worse. Life hates me.” I know what she was feeling; I have felt that way in the past. Sometimes it really does feel like getting ahead is impossible. But for some reason, something about that statement didn’t rest well with me. The problem with that statement is that it took all responsibility off of her and placed it on something that isn’t tangible.
Instead of looking at her life and seeing where she may have caused things to go wrong, she found solace in placing the blame elsewhere.
The danger in doing that is that we make ourselves victims.
And if we live as victims we miss out on victory.
We all do it. I think at one point or another we all have played the victim. The question is why? Why do we choose victim living over victorious living?
When you play the victim you immediately become your own worst enemy. You let go of all control and place it in the hands of things like life. Why? Because it’s easier to blame things on life than to take responsibility.
But, no matter how much you want to blame things on life, you know deep down that life has nothing to do with your situation. You are where you are today because of choices you have made. And when you leave the control in life’s hands, you find yourself stuck. If you are expecting life to get you somewhere, well good luck. Life isn’t able to do that. If you live like you have no options and no choices, then you will probably end up out of options and out of choices. Who wants that? We need to make a change. If we change our attitudes, we can change our actions. And if we change our actions, I am willing to bet we will see our circumstances change as well. But we can’t do this by letting life happen to us. We have to put on our armor and fight back.
We need to follow Christ’s example. He was born into a world that was destined to reject him. But what did he do? He overcame that world. WWJD right? What Would Jesus Do? John 16:33, that’s what! His life here was anything but easy. Life isn’t meant to be. We will always go through things because we live in a fallen world. That is why our lives are talked about as battles. Life is a fight. And unless we live this life as over comers, we will always be the one laying on the floor with stars spinning above our head at the end of each round. The bible says that in all things we are more than conquerors. Why? Because of Christ’s love alone. That is all we need to prevail.
So when your circumstances are daunting, and the world around you looks bleak, remember two things: 1) The creator of this world loves you with an unconditional love that will never disappear. 2) The creator’s son, Jesus, loves you so much that he went to the cross in your place. That and that alone is all we need.
Does that mean life won’t be tough? No.
Bit even when our choices aren’t at fault for why life is the way it is, we are still called to be like Christ! Christ lived to be victorious. So we should follow His lead.
Stop following yourself in a circle of frustration. Stop playing the pity game. (If you haven’t noticed, it doesn’t get you anywhere)
Look at life through different eyes.
Change your perspective, change your life.
And, as one of my favorite pastors says, “Have some words of victory in your mouth!”
Proclaim the goodness of the Lord and you will see it!
P.S. the friend with the status has chosen to change the way she looks at life. She is now keeping a journal of all the things she is thankful for. She is following Christ’s lead and working to overcome!
John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Romans 8: 37-39
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
You’re standing at the foot of the mountain.
Staring straight up at what seems never ending.
It didn’t look so tall from afar, but now that you are right up next to it, you begin to grasp the vertical mileage.
Thinking of climbing that mountain is exciting, but there is a small part of you that is already feeling defeated.
What kind of difficulties am I going to come across?
How long until I will reach the top?
Will I ever reach it?
What if I am not the climber I think I am? What if I end up hurting myself?
I can’t go to the top if I am wounded.
Maybe I shouldn’t even try.
God … if you love me… just place me on top.
How many of you have been in this place? How many have stared up at the mountains in your lives and just wished you could blink and be at the top? I know I have. Sometimes life gets overwhelming. Sometimes it seems like there isn’t enough time in the world for all of the things I want to do before I die. I have often wished that God would just lean over the mountain, swoop me up in His big God hands and place me on the top. But I think I know why he hasn’t.
Have you ever been to a party where everyone knows each other but you? It’s like showing up on the last day of camp. Everyone has experienced something together; everyone has this sense of comradery. Everyone has something to celebrate, except you.
Imagine being on top of that mountain with all of the people who just finished climbing. You’re standing there perfectly clean and dry while sweat is rolling down their cheeks. They are breathing heavy; their bodies are all scraped up and bruised. Each of those bruises is a story they get to tell. Each of those scrapes is a story you missed out on. Everyone is talking about their journey up the mountain. They are laughing together and crying together. And all you can do is stand there and listen because you don’t understand.
The view looks completely different to them. They don’t just see a valley below; they see the depths from which they climbed. They don’t just see hillsides; they see the moments they thought they would never make it. They aren’t just on a mountain top; they are standing on a place of victory. They’ve learned something about themselves. They’ve seen what they are made of. And as excited as you are to be on the mountain top… your heart aches because you know you will never be able to appreciate it the way that they can. Why? Because you don’t understand its value.
Sometimes you have to start at the bottom in order to appreciate the top.
There are things to be learned along the way. And no part of the journey can be left out.
You say you want something so bad, how dedicated are you? You want to be high and lifted up, but are you first capable of being humble?
f you can see your destiny waiting for you at the top of the mountain, then I suggest you start climbing. The Lord knows what you want; He wants to see if you are willing. He wants to see your faithfulness.
He is with you every step of the way. And He is waiting for you now. Stop getting distracted by your thoughts. Stop letting the enemy fill your mind with all of the possible ways you could fail. Focus on what God can and will do with you. The sooner you set out on your climb, the sooner you will reach the top.