Conversation with my 93-year-old aunt:
ME: Do you have your list for Walgreens?
AUNT: Yes, but you’ll just have to be patient as I get in the car. It takes me a while.
ME: I won’t close the door until you’re in.
AUNT: I have to walk slowly because of my asthma.
ME: You mean your arthritis?
AUNT: No, my asthma.
ME: Are you having trouble breathing?
ME: It’s not asthma. It’s arthritis. You’re having trouble walking.
AUNT: That’s why I should be driving.
Once in a while all of us get our words mixed up.
Is it asthma or arthritis?
Is it behoove or bemean?
Accept or except?
You’re or your?
When I can’t think of the right word, I just make up a new one and keep going.
Unfortunately, many have forgotten the word Christian and what it truly means.
If we’re temporarily “taking a break from Jesus” can we still call ourselves Christian?
If we’re not striving to live as Christ lived, is it right to call ourselves Christian?
What IS a Christian?
Isn’t a Christian one who is a Christ-follower?
One who takes on the name of Christ?
One who surrenders his or her life to the authority of Christ?
One who begins to live like . . . act like . . . look like . . .
even smell like Christ?
Ephesians 5:2 tells us that Christ is a fragrant aroma.
And 2 Corinthians 2:15 explains that WE are the aroma of Christ to the world.
I want to start looking like my heavenly Daddy.
Years ago, Alexander the Great ruled most of the known world. The story is told, one night he was walking the guard duty because he couldn’t sleep.
The Roman guards were told that if they had guard duty and they fell asleep while on duty, it was punishable by death. As the leader of the whole Roman Empire walked around that night because he couldn’t sleep, he found a guard who had become so exhausted—and thinking that nobody would ever know—he had fallen asleep.
Alexander the Great kicked the guy in the side and the young Roman solider looked up, petrified. He recognized the face of who he was looking at, and he knew there was no hope. He would be dead within 24 hours.
Alexander the Great looked at him and said furiously, “Solider, what’s your name?”
Terrified, the young man whispered, “My name is Alexander, Sir.”
Alexander the Great looked at him and history reports that he said, “Then solider, either change your conduct or change your name.”
Do you think God could be saying the same thing to us?
“Christian! Change your conduct, or change your NAME.”
Change your lifestyle . . . or change your name.
Change your habits . . . or change your name.
Jesus, I want to act like You—
REACT like You . . .
Live like You
Smell like You.
I often fall so short.
Please help me never to forget what the word Christian means
and how much it cost You to give me Your name.
Thoughts to this blog post?
I went to physical therapy today because my back has been hurting. Too much hauling heavy luggage around the country. So I thought some good ol’ P.T. might help. (Please remind me never to use “good ol’ and P.T. in the same sentence again.)
Did it help?
It’s too early to tell.
This is normal, right? To be unable to move 10 hours after therapy?
She smashed my lower back and kneaded it like dough then pounded, punched, pulled, plied.
As I lay wincing on the table, I realized the pain she was inflicting on me was much greater than the pain I had walked in with. She was hurting me more! Since I don’t curse, I loudly repeated the alphabet over and over. I thought perhaps yelling something would take my mind off of the pain.
Now, 10 hours later . . . I’m still sore. And actually bruised.
There are bruises on my back now.
I know. I know. I know. I’ve heard it a zillion times:
“It’s going to hurt worse before it can get better.”
I don’t want to be a baby, so I’m trying to look at life’s trials this way. Isn’t it true that most of the time stuff has to hurt a little before it gets better?
Wah. Wah. Wah.
There are some things, however, that only Mexican food can fix.
Last week we began chatting about finding God’s will for our lives.
#1. First, God’s will has a lot to do with our desires.
(See last week’s blog for this part.)
Let’s look at a couple more ways to know His will.
#2. God’s will is found in God’s Word.
Simply put: God often speaks to you through the Bible. Are you reading the Bible consistently? My pastor mentioned in a recent sermon that most Christians aren’t reading the Bible. He said the majority of Christians who come to church read the Bible when it’s flashed on the screen with the morning’s message.
If you’re NOT reading the Bible, why not? Let me give you an easy challenge: Start reading the Bible one minute every day. You’ll be surprised at the difference even one minute each day will make. And really, anyone can do that. So start there. Just one minute a day. Begin with the Gospel of John. After you’re finished with John, read Proverbs. It has 31 chapters—that’s one for each day of the month.
#3. God’s will never contradicts God’s Word.
He’s pretty clear about saving sexual intimacy until marriage. So for someone to say, “I realize that, but I’ve prayed about it, and I feel it’s OK”—that person isn’t hearing the voice of God. He or she is hearing Satan who’s disguising himself as God’s voice. Yes, he can do that. The Bible tells us he disguises himself as an angel of light. (See 2 Corinthians 11:14.)
God’s will is NOT a feeling.
Feelings come and go. They’re often unreliable, and they’re not a sound source for guidance.
Feelings can also lie. Have you ever made a decision that felt right . . . but later it proved to be the wrong thing?
Our hearts can be flakey. Even Scripture says so:
“Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful” (Jeremiah 17:9 TEV).
In other words, our feelings can lie to us; they play tricks on us. Satan can create feelings. So just because you had a feeling about something doesn’t mean it’s God’s will.
Next week: Something totally different
When I was 9 years old, I asked my dad to make me a podium so I could speak. He did. It was about three feet tall—just my size.
I used that little podium a lot. The neighborhood kids gathered in our garage, and I’d tell them stories and try different things to keep their attention.
I can’t help but laugh when I think I about that little podium—and me speaking to the neighborhood. Ha!
I wish I still had it. It would be something fun to show that Dad created just for me. But I think we ended up using it for firewood one winter.
Most Christians are obsessed with finding God’s will for their lives.
“I just wish I knew what God wanted me to do,” many college students say.
“Why can’t I discover His plan for my life?”
I’d love to share a few things I’ve learned about God’s will:
#1. First, God’s will has a lot to do with our desires.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires” (Psalm 37:4 NLT).
Wonderful. I desire a new Jeep.
No. Keep it in context.
FIRST put your delight in the Lord. Let Him saturate you!
When we’re living in obedience to Him, He works through our desires. He puts the desires in our heart!
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed” (Psalm 20:4 NIV).
God puts the desires in your heart. He then uses those desires to direct you on the path He wants you to go.
Chances are good that God isn’t going to direct you to do something you hate. He’s not going to call me into accounting. Nor will He lead me to be a math teacher. Or an astronaut. Too many numbers.
This is not where I’m gifted.
He does, however, often call us to something bigger than ourselves.
And if He does? He’ll equip us with everything we need.
But because the Lord has gifted me in communication skills, He DOES ask me to use those gifts to communicate Him through speaking and writing.
Flashback: I’m 9 years old. I can’t articulate why I want a podium. I just know there’s something inside that wants to get out. I want to speak to others in a controlled setting. I want to bring something to life to them. I want to take material and communicate it to others.
The neighborhood kids.
Whether it was fairy tales, Bible stories or vacation memories, God planted the desire in my young heart to speak.
I smile today.
My heart praises Him.
I’m so grateful I get to live out my heart’s desires by speaking fulltime.
God is so faithful.
Feel free to comment on this blog. Share your thoughts. Let’s get the communication lines open. And next week, let’s look at a few more ways to discern God’s will.
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