Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Trying Harder Is Not Enough

Stop Enough to Change Your Life.  Trying harder is not enough.  Many people lie to themselves by hearing the word of God and telling themselves they're going to try harder, but they never stop their lives enough to truly make sure that they are putting into practice what they’ve heard.  They hear the words of God in their head, but never make it a high enough priority to stop the rest of their lives if its left unchanged.  The world keeps going and they keep going with it.  Their character is less important than their goal.  Own it.  Either you are choosing to stop enough to change what matters the most, or what really matters the most for you doesn’t matter the most to you.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.  Either stop to give enough time to what matters the most or own that your living as the world does in certain areas.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 
James 1:22.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

God is a God of the Alone

Laughably Frustrating
Have you ever had one of those days where you stepped outside and wondered what the weather was thinking?  It’s somewhere between sunny and raining and you’re not sure whether it’s misting or spitting.  Or it’s between raining and snowing and you’re not sure whether to call it hailing, sleeting, or slushing?  Sometimes I’m not sure there is even a word to describe the weather outside of “temperamental”!? That’s exactly where the single twenties stage of life is outside of education. 
Right there. 
Right where you don’t know quite what to call it and what it wants to be.  It’s no man’s land.  Right where you react by smirking and shaking your head or by getting just plain upset at the weather for not making up its mind.
Stuck Alone in the Unknown
School gives you direction and a social life but what do you do once you’re out?  Culture says family and a good job answer this question.  They will fix those feelings of alone and the unknown.  They are security. 
But what if I don’t want to move back home or get married? And what if I can’t get a job or my current job definitely doesn’t make me feel more secure about enjoying life and my future success?   Does that make me stubborn and selfish?  Does that make me completely alone and lost?  No.
But these questions do leave a lot of people feeling lost and confused.  It leaves a group feeling alone like the invisible minority displaced in the confusing unknown shadows of mainstream…
God is a God of the Alone
            Sometimes you need to get alone to realize that you’re not alone.  It sounds funny but humanity can be lonely without God.  We can have people all around us and still feel like we have nowhere to turn.  Elijah is being chased after an epic stand for the Lord and complains, “I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too” (1 Kings 19:10).  God’s reply is just as epic, ““Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD… I reserve seven thousand in Israel” (1 Kings 19:11,18).  Seven Thousand Others!  And Elijah thought he was the only one.  Elijah had to go to the mountain so that his lonely soul could hear the Lord whisper what he couldn’t feel or see, “You are not alone.”
You are not alone in the unknown. 
-none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone- 
Rom 14:7