May 17, 2013 Comments Off on Set Sail
After many years of college, I have come to a very valuable conclusion that I wish I could tell myself many many years ago.
I realized that I was living in a critical fallacy that I believe thousands, if not millions, of people still believe to this day.
It’s sort of a long and complicated problem, but bare with me as I explain it.
For many years of my life, I truly was living under the belief that I can attain friends in my life by simply succumbing to their interests. It was a subconscious habit that I didn’t even realize I was actually living out until recently. I saw all the “popular” people, the ones that everybody knew their name, doing something or being at a certain place. I believed that’s what I needed to do or be at that place doing those things to have their kind of attention attention. I believed that in order to attain the amount of friends or social standing they had, I simply needed to copy and paste what they did into my life and I could get to that same place.
I truly don’t believe it’s a conscious thing or decision you make, but it’s something that you might find yourself doing everyday if you simply analyze your own life.
So, am I merely saying the 100 year old question “If someone jumps off a cliff, are you going to do it too?” No.
It’s time to pause your life, think about where you’re headed, and either continue or set sail for a new destination.
To truly reach your God-given purpose and maximum impact on your world it requires a lot of thought and sacrifice.
Setting sail for a new era in your life requires that you head to sea alone, with no crew. It requires that you may not know exactly how to get where you want to go, but you’re going to trust God to fill your boat with the crew you need to succeed on your journey and fill your sails with the energy needed to reach your destination.
True and meaningful relationships always abide by the rule “like attracts like.”
Plain and simply, actually live out who you want to be and God will provide the people along side your life. Don’t be afraid to walk alone, know that the trail in your life is very long and has many opportunities for God to put someone(s) next to you.
Don’t be afraid to start by yourself, know that you won’t end alone.
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
April 16, 2012 Comments Off on Box Builder, Box Cutter
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” -Matthew 19:26
A box is a box, no matter any way you look at it or build it- it will always be a box. One of the most practical uses for boxes is being able to label them to notify you what’s inside for a later time. We write “house goods” and only put house goods in the box, but anything else has to go in a separate place and we won’t allow it in that particular box.
This is the exact manner that we so often times approach God, we put God’s ability to move and use our life in a box. We label our life (or box) and tell God this is what you can use me for today- that is it, nothing else. I am only capable of taking on this task or speaking to these certain people and that is it. We build a box.
Another way we use our box against God is we tell Him our capabilities. We tell God that we aren’t good enough to speak, to sing, to be a witness, to do the right thing- we tell God we are worthless and have nothing to offer. We build another box.
So I have a question to ask: are you a box builder or a box cutter?
I have already laid out the characteristics of the box builder, the one that tries to tell God their capabilities and limits. But the box cutter is someone special.
The box cutter is someone that admits his limits, but acknowledges that with God all things are possible. The box cutter makes a conscious decision every day to trust God, no matter the cirucmstances. The box cutter approaches God on their face asking God to use them in any way and to remove any boxes in any areas of their life. Fully stepping out of their box, cutting their way out.
So who are you going to be today? Are you going to continue to box yourself in your life and rely on your human abilities? Or are you going to step out boldly, in faith knowing whom you serve? The only name under heaven with the power to save, the only one that took a beating so that you could live in freedom and let the past go.
April 13, 2012 Comments Off on Vertical or Horizontal?
As we continue to grow into our lives, we have new objectives and new goals each and every day. As we continue to grow in our relationship with others, we get deeper and deeper with our feelings. And as we continue to grow in our relationship with God we continue to grow closer in our communication with Him.
However, sometimes we focus too much on our horizontal life and forget about our vertical one.
Jesus says in Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Notice that Jesus did not say that we should put our treasures where our own hearts lead us to. So often times we allow our emotions and feelings to lead us into action, whether in a relationship, investment, or decision.
Prayer is our pathway to growing our vertical relationship with God. Becoming closer to Gods heart allows us to follow His perfect plan for our life better by having a better understanding of His will.
Spending too much time in our horizontal relationships trains us to lean on our own understanding; therefore, forgetting about God in general and only seeking what our flesh desires.
Spending too much time in our vertical relationships keeps us from being effective on others. You can never spend too much time with God, but it is possible to neglect the people in our daily lives that need Jesus the most.
Through it all, we serve a God that loves us and created us to spend time with Him- it’s why He created Adam. God wants us to be with Him, God wants us to have a relationship with Him, but a relationship is a two-way street and you have to be willing to make an effort to see your relationship grow with your Heavenly Father.
November 9, 2011 Comments Off on Pursing: What Am I, Why Am I?
How many of you have ever heard or said this statement: “He/She is such a great person and I love everything about them, but I just wish they were more attractive…Then I’d want to date them”? But why do we say that?
The truth of the matter is, they really are a great person and are precisely the person you need to be dating. Why?
Our society has become obsessed with attractiveness to physical qualities and even popularity. Our eyes are poisoned and drawn to tan skin, toned muscles, and big curves.
The problem: We are drawn to wanting to pursue sin with these people without even knowing it. We are allowing ourself to pursue their physical nature, something that isn’t constant, rather than the things that we need to be. We want attractive significant others to enjoy our physical pleasure- now I am not meaning just sex, but anything of physical pleasure for the only reason of just experiencing the pleasure.
At the heart of the matter, we have subconsciously trained ourselves to believe that we are only going to find love, happiness, and joy in a relationship if he is muscular, chizled, and she has toned legs and a incredible face. We want all our friends to be jealous of how attractive our boyfriend/girlfriend is.
ASK YOURSELF a question: How many attractive people do you know? Probably a lot. You can pull up tons of them on your facebook page if you made yourself, but ask yourself another question….How many people do you know that if you merely observed from a far without knowing anything about them you would see God’s love and joy in their life? Probably almost none.
Sure physique, smarts, and knowledge are may seem what matters and have been things I have pursued my entire life until last year, but the most beautiful and pure thing you will find in someone is their ability to pursue God. Not their belief in God, but pursue God on a daily basis with so much passion. A immense desire to please God and nobody else.
It is this writers opinion that attraction can be built and sustained at a level far greater than physical desire if you find someone that you enjoy being around rather than staring at like a trophy on a shelf. A love can grow that will not fluctuate based on aging, based on their mood, based on if their hair falls out…
Pursue a body and you will be let down every time, pursue God in them and you will never be dissatisfied.
October 24, 2011 Comments Off on Opportunity Earned, Virtue Not Given
Have you ever said the words “God give me patience?”,”God give me strength”,”Make me closer with my family”, or any other virtue you have asked God for lately?
We have a critical error in our thought process of what we expect God to give us as an answer to those requests. We believe that God is going to move in our heart and give us patience when that certain someone is around. We believe that God is going to give us strength as soon as we get off our knees from praying to deal with our situation.
While God may choose to give you that, I believe He is going to do something else instead…
Instead of adding that quality or attribute you seek, God is going to give you an opportunity to have patience or strength.
Instead of waking up the next day with a patience mindset, God is going to put that annoying someone in your life that day to see if you can be patient. Instead of giving you strength over night, God is going to remind you to lean on His strength rather than yours when a similar situation arises the next day at the office. Instead of giving you love for your seemingly unlovable family member, He will give you more opportunities to spend time with that person.
Virtues are never given freely, but are presented through opportunities God gives us throughout our day.
Stop thinking God isn’t hearing your prayer or is giving you cruel and unusual punishment when He is giving you exactly what you’ve been asking for all along.
October 11, 2011 Comments Off on No More Aquariums
What does an aquarium really do for a fish? It provides a safe, secure, clean, and effortless place to thrive and live amongst the other fish. Providing no predators, no uncharted areas to explore, or concern to the fish – besides swimming around and looking pretty for everyone watching them.
For so many people today, you manage your own aquarium of your faith. You surround yourself with the same people, same small group, same weekly routine of showing up. You like the idea of keeping things the way they are, just trying to keep the aquarium running, and playing a game of religion rather than faith in Christ.
Jesus called us to be fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium.
Our faith can only grow to a certain extent when all we do is surround ourself with like-minded people. Think about Jesus, our leader, He put himself out into the streets with the common people. Jesus had so much compassion for anyone that was willing to hear and receive the truth. There was no qualification to hear Jesus speak or to have a conversation with Him.
Yes, it is important to have a good core, supporting group of people around you. But it is not biblical to thrive only in that group and only encourage and build up those members. That’s called being selfish. Church world likes to tell us that the church is the only place we can thrive, only place that we should invest in. We are called to have our part in the body of believers, but to advance the kingdom and pour out our heart on those that are the exact opposite.
The truth of the matter is: the people that you judge and think are bellow you because they don’t go to the same church as you, same campus ministry, or even same religion are the people you should be spending the most time around.
To be a true fisher of man, you must allow yourself to be vulnerable to the people that need to hear the truth and love that Jesus has in store for their life. Jesus invested in the most diseased and social outcasts of his time, not just his disciples. Jesus spent time around his disciples to empower them to go out and be fishers of men, not be an exclusive judging group of men.
You have to be willing to elevate them above yourself: Jesus never condemned anyone, rather offered them something greater than what they had – eternal life and love.
October 9, 2011 Comments Off on Time to Fill Up
Did you know that if you sit on an incline long enough your gas meter will magically go to empty without even going anywhere? The gas in the tank shifts to the empty part of the tank where the meter cannot read it. It’s true and it happened to me this past week.
Truth is, this is more than just a gas problem- it’s a spiritual one. We sit in a difficult place for long enough and we feel like God has abandoned us, feel like we’re empty inside, and that God has forsaken us.
You’ve got to realize that you’re just on a hill, not in danger of losing your faith. More times than not, we begin to believe that God has left us because we can’t see over the hill we’re on. We’re on “E” and can’t make it any further.
We let the elevation of our situation determine how far we think we’re going to go, rather than letting the elevation of our God take us to where we need to go.
Here’s the point: When you’re half full your are in danger of truly believing that you’re empty when you’re on a hill. However, when your tank is full, the gravity of the situation cannot manipulate the meter- full is full, no matter the incline.
It’s time to stop filling your life with everything but God- it’s time for you to receive the fullness of Gods love, mercy, joy, kindness, and peace. God never said He wasn’t going to put you in a in-climate situation, but He did promise He would never put you somewhere He couldn’t overcome for you.
It’s time to fill up, it’s time to embrace who you are and take on the vision God wants to give you for your life. It’s time to fill up on Gods joy and leave in a way that glorifies our King. You are chosen for more, chosen for greater -all you have to do is fill up on the right thing, God.