Challenges. Well, we’ve got a few of those don’t we. Recently, I saw a sermon by Pastor Brian Houston from Hillsong Church in Australia, addressing purposeful living. I know for me, if I am going to face, and overcome, these challenges I am going to need to be purposeful. Here are his points, and my two cents, because you weren’t getting out of here without that.
1. I will not be limited by my perception & beliefs. I will let God mold those. One of the greatest battles I have when facing my current, and ongoing it seems, challenges is believing they are always going to be there. I am always going to be this or that. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Those are beliefs and perceptions. They box me in. They trap me. They enslave me to the challenge. God’s word brings freedom.
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (NKJV)
2. I refuse to accuse to excuse. My challenges are just that – mine. Whether they are the consequences of decisions I made, decisions someone else made, or they just showed up, as a Christian, I believe that they passed before the eyes of God first. He has seen them. He is watching me to see how I handle them. I could blame people all day long. I could even accuse God Himself of being unfair in handing these to me. Doesn’t change a thing. I am still accountable for how I deal with them. I am the one called to be purposeful in humbling myself before Christ Jesus in them.
Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (NKJV)
3. I am not looking for exception clauses. It’s easier for her. She doesn’t have to … Well, if I had that then sure I could…. Comparison. Get’s me every time. How ’bout you? How often do I look at the snapshot of someone’s life and think how easy it is for them, completely forgetting that I often Photoshop my own picture to make it look carefree. Bottom line, scripture tells all have sinned (Rom. 3:23), even the girl that looks like she hasn’t. God desires for us all to come repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Forgiveness in Christ is available to all men (Rom. 5:18). God is able to handle, and enable us through the power of the Holy Spirit to handle, all of our challenges.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (NKJV)
4. I will not be guided by my fears. I will not. I will choose faith. I will choose to listen to my Heavenly Father. I will choose to push on, perhaps not knowing the outcome, but trusting Jesus with it. I will not make decisions out of fear. I will seek godly council. I will not be tossed to and fro by my challenges. I will take God at His word.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)
Valid points, don’t you think? Now look, I know (and pray) many of us will read this and have an immediate shift in our attitude. Not because of what I said, or he said, but because of what the Spirit of God is doing within us. I also know that many of us will have to be deliberate about putting these promises before our eyes and into our hearts every day.
God is faithful in both.
May we be found faithful in both.
Committed in the contending.
For we don’t contend alone.