Ever heard the expression, “Think outside the box”? It’s just another way of saying “Don’t think or act like everyone else.” In other words, don’t be a carbon copy. Take the plunge. Be different! That’s what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote in Romans 12:2, New Living Translation, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” As a believer, you’ll never be able to be an effective witness for God and lead others to Him if you’re living like the world lives—saying the same ungodly things they say and doing the same ungodly things they do. God has called you out of darkness and into the light. He has given you a new and different image—one that will help lead others out of a world of sin and darkness and point them to the light of Jesus. He has called you to be “the light of the world.”
If you’re at a place in your spiritual life where you’re thinking about giving up on your hopes, dreams and desires—you’re ready to throw in the towel because what you’ve been trusting and believing God for hasn’t come to pass, let me just encourage you that quitting is not an option! Especially when you look back and see how far you’ve come—how far God has brought you from when you first began your journey of faith. You’ve made it this far, and with God leading the way, you’ll continue and finish in victory. Just make sure you have plenty of fuel in your spiritual tank to complete the journey. If you’ve slacked off on reading the Word, praying and spending time with God, then get back to it now. Don’t let a day go by that you don’t seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). How’s your spiritual tank? Are you full, half full, or empty? If it’s time to refuel, get to your Bible filling station—your spiritual recharging station—and get the refueling you need to stay on your faith journey.
Admittedly, I’m not as knowledgeable when it comes to computers as some people I know. That’s why I can easily get a little excited when, after my computer has malfunctioned, I hit the restart button and moments later there’s a message on the screen indicating everything is back to normal. I know my files are safe, that everything has been restored, and I can get on with my work. All it took was a simple reboot—a reset or recharge of the computer system and “presto,” I was back in business. Obviously, God does not look at us the same way we view our computers. But He does have a way to restore us when our faith starts to weaken—when we start to feel weary, worn out, helpless and hopeless. He says in Matthew 11:28, The Message, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” God knows that living the Christian life is not always easy—that somewhere along the way we may get weary or get off track. That’s why He’s ready, willing and able to help us. Need to have your faith recharged? Pray and get in the Word, and let God refresh, energize and recharge you.
Nearly every day, we, as believers, face situations that might cause us to become frustrated, angry, defensive, arrogant—even complacent and lackadaisical. Not surprisingly, the stress brought on by situations can make us numb to the things of God. No longer are we faithful and fervently committed to prayer, to spending time in God’s Word, or to worship and fellowship. Just like we receive warnings when our electronic devices are running low on power and about to shut down, emotions and reactions like these serve as warnings that our faith level is dropping—that we’re slowly disconnecting from God, our Source of life. When you sense this happening in your life, don’t ignore the warning signs. Reconnect to God in worship, prayer and His Word. You’ll find that’s the best way to live stress-less!
Battery Low! Who, in this modern age of technology, has not been shaken by this stark warning when their smart phone, laptop, or some other electronic device is running low on power and about to shut down? The immediate reaction is always the same: RECHARGE! No doubt, as a believer, you’ve been hit with similar warnings when your faith starts to wane—when your spiritual battery is running low because you’re not spending the proper time in worship and prayer with God and feeding on His Word. It’s normal to become so entangled with the busyness of life that we do things like skip meals or go without sleep. But when it comes to our faith, there is never a good reason or excuse for becoming weak, hopeless and defeated. Never become so busy that you allow the concerns of daily life to rob you of spending time with God. Stay connected to Him, and keep your faith charged by making prayer, and time for reading and studying God’s Word, your top priority.
Date: Friday, July 26, 2019 | Time: 7:30PM
The Bible is filled with Scripture encouraging us to let go of the past, to disregard our mistakes and failures and not let them become a hindrance to our future. But scripture also teaches that remembering our past has its place in helping us to secure a great future. Ephesians 2, for example, tells us: “Never forget that once you were heathen and that you were called godless and “unclean” by the Jews … But now you belong to Christ Jesus, and though you once were far away from God, now you have been brought very near to him because of what Jesus Christ has done for you with his blood” (verses 11, 13, The Living Bible). Your past can play a very important role in your future. Either you can let the bad things that happened years ago become such a distraction and hindrance that they keep you from moving forward, or you can learn from them. Never have tunnel vision or be so presumptuous in looking forward so that you forget where God has brought you from and through. Remembering God’s faithfulness and goodness helps guarantee your successful future.
Voices from your past can sneak up on you at a moment’s notice, reminding you of past failures, mistakes and wrong decisions—all the things you’ve said and done that have held you back and kept you from being successful and living a prosperous, victorious life. If you give ear to those voices, they can eventually convince you that you’re not worthy of a second chance—that no matter what you say or do, you’ll never line up with what God has called you to be and do. Instead of letting any remembrance of past mistakes and failures keep you from moving forward, consider how God brought you through those things. See yourself as the overcomer He created you to be so you can keep moving toward the victorious life He has planned and purposed for you.
Face it, as a believer you will never be free from the attack of the enemy. Not in this life, anyway. But the truth is, you don’t have to give in to those attacks—not when God has given you a word of victory. What is that word? Stand! God says when the enemy comes at you, don’t get into fear. Stand and fight in faith. The devil is a deceiver. He knows that, because you’re a believer, God has great things in store for you. If the devil can get your mind off of those things, and get you over into thinking about the tests and trials you’re facing right now—then he can strike fear in your heart. And once he gets you over in the arena of fear—into his territory—it’s over. You’ve stepped out of the arena of faith, where God and all His blessings operate, and over into doubt and fear, where the devil rules and reigns. Don’t go there. Instead of letting the devil get a grip on you, stand your ground—knowing whose and who you are in Christ Jesus, and the benefits you have because you love, believe and obey Him.