'Be anxious for nothing..." ~Philippians 4:6

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Sometimes we should to revisit the mental notes and bold declarations we made as children and young adults. Remember all of those great ideas? There were no limits to what we imagined we could do, or be, or where we could, or would go! Some of the things we said we would do when we "got on our own", should be placed back on our to-do lists. God ideas, no fear, positive standards, and admirable goals are things for which to be grateful--not doubted, second-guessed, or abandoned.

The apostle John recorded the words of Jesus" “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” ~John 10:10
I used to wonder why it was necessary to have all three of those destructive words in the same sentence, and then it occurred to me. If something is stolen, it’s gone, and the likelihood of getting it back is slim to none. It you do get it back it, the fact that it was in the hands of a thief may change the way you feel about it. You may not trust it. It may have been tampered with, altered, or broken. It may have to be replaced.   
If something is killed, it’s dead—finished-- and there’s no chance of it being revived, short of a miracle
If something is destroyed, there’s no trace of it in its original form, and it can no longer be utilized the way it was intended. Maybe it could be scrapped so that parts of it can be used to help something else work. Maybe it could be converted into something else altogether, but that was never the plan.
The goal of the enemy of your soul is to so annihilate you so that there is nothing left; nothing worthy, memorable, or valuable to speak of. If he can accomplish that by using you, it’s an even greater victory. If the enemy has a strategy, you can’t afford to be without one. The good news is that you didn’t even have to craft it yourself. 

The abundant life that comes with knowing and accepting Christ provides a remedy for that “steal, kill, destroy” level of destruction-- and we have choices.  If life isn’t abundant, it’s not because it hasn’t been promised, isn’t attainable, or not for us. You’ll know what’s attainable. James 1:7 tells us “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Someone told me a long time ago, “God doesn’t show you things to tease you. He shows you what’s available to you. He shows you what you can have.”
The apostles Matthew and Luke recorded the words of Jesus: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

One of the things that social media has done is to give us a glimpse into the lives of others. People we actually know are accomplishing some wonderful and impressive things! We’re seeing the fruit of labor, and the results of concentrated effort. We can like and love what others are accomplishing all day long, but what are we doing to enhance or own lives, utilize our own skills, and exercise our own gifts and talents? Who stopped us? What event arrested us and made us lay down our passions and plans? Who said “No you can’t”? Who said the time has passed, or the time you currently have, isn’t enough? Who said your strategy to attain your goal is unrealistic, illogical, not specific enough, too hard, negative, too costly, or not a good fit for you? The person who determines all of that is YOU! 
One thing about goal setting, you simply have to be wise and discerning when you decide to run your ideas by someone else. Some people’s fears are contagious and will potentially strangle the plans and dreams of others.

Never allow anyone to sabotage the beauty you are trying to achieve, the progress you are trying to make, or the goals you are trying to reach. People may infer that you think you're better than them or others for merely trying to improve your own situation. Let them talk, and hopefully work out their own insecurities. Let them mull over their own unwise choices. We’ve all had some blunders and missteps. Today, let’s decide that forward is the way.
Don't let anyone make you think you have to wallow with them in past failures, abandon your ideals, or adopt their ways. If it is possible to do and be better, then go on with your blessed self, and let people who have confused "keeping it real" with "keeping it trifling" go on thinking they're hurting others by devaluing themselves. 

There's nothing like seeing someone rise from complacency and oblivion, and deciding that they DO want more; they DO want better, they CAN achieve, it’s NOT too late, and there IS a way. It is a happy day when you decide that living beneath that which you KNOW are able, in conditions YOU know in your heart are unacceptable, are no longer options for you. Decisions like that begin in your own mind. No one can motivate you like you can motivate yourself, but you have to make sure the voice you’re listening to is yours—that bold, confident voice that is untainted by baggage, insecurity, or unresolved issues, lies, or misinformation. Be clear. Write it down if you have to. Read it back to yourself. Make adjustments. You can repeat as many mantras, amass as many mentors, and look at as many YouTube self-help videos as possible, but until YOU decide to make a move, your dream will be just that—a fantastic, seemingly unattainable show to entertain you while you sleep. A great consolation is that you have tremendous help—if you believe it.

The Bible says, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength”.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ~Matthew 17:20
It’s not about size. It’s about what the mustard seed KNOWS. It knows just how big a tree it has the potential to be!

“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” ~Luke 18:27

Unfortunately, some people don't want to see you do better. Maybe it shines a light on their shortcomings, and forces them to take a good look at themselves and the condition of their own lives. Don't let that stop you from being and doing your best, and strategizing how to do it.

I like The Message Bible’s translation of Philippians 3:15-16:
“So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.”


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