Archive for February, 2014

Decisions3“There can come a time in the process of God leading you out of your life of sin and rebellion and into his perfect plan and purpose for your life when you look up and see something that you thought you had already defeated closing in on you with more force than ever before. It makes you question whether you ever should have left the place you were to begin with.  If you have never experienced that then you have never done anything by faith.  And if you have never experienced that then maybe it is because the enemy doesn’t need to chase you….because he has you right where he wants you. It is actually easier to live, in some senses, in the predictability of slavery than in the uncertainty of freedom.”

Think about what is being said in the above quote by Steven Furtick. There are moments in life where you can feel God tugging at your heart and trying to lead you down the right path. But it is never as simple as just following that feeling of what you know is right. When God is trying to lead you down His path there are so many things that try to pull you back. Maybe in college you partied, drank, and were living a life you wouldn’t be too proud to tell your parents about. Maybe that is the life you are living right now. You want to change, but your friends still expect the “old” you. So when you are with them you continue to act like your old self because of those expectations. Maybe you are taking things too far with your girlfriend and you feel like it’s a one-way street you can’t turn around on. Be upfront with her about the life you want to live. Think about the big picture of life and where you want to be in the future. Are the decisions you are making right now lining up with the future expectations of your life?

Where are you looking to find your identity? Maybe you are looking in two different places depending on your current situation. When you are at church or at home with your family you are pleasing God, but when you hang out with certain friends you choose to please man. One important thing to know is…you cannot please both man and God…so you need to make a decision. If you continue to straddle the fence then the enemy has you right where he wants you.

Sometimes just thinking about having those conversations with your friends causes you to continue down the same path. Be upfront with your friends about who you are and what you believe in. Stand for something! If you do not stand for anything, you will fall for everything. Yes…there will be tough conversations, but that is part of growing as a man or women. You can’t keep avoiding what you know is right…that usually has a rough ending and the conversations will be even tougher at that point. Start living a life that you can be proud to tell people about. Having these conversations with your friends and girlfriends will only make your friendships stronger and more meaningful. It is one thing to have a drinking buddy, but it is a whole other story when someone is willing to take on life with you. The road is not going to be easy. You will continually be tempted to go back to things you were doing before. You will wonder if it was even worth it to give up those things. “You already messed up once…what will one more time do?” Thoughts like that will test your faith every single day. That is why it is important to have friends who are with you on this journey…through the good and the bad.

My grandfather once told me this, “When you look back on the journey of life it all comes down to decision making. There are plenty of very smart people that make poor decisions and it negatively impacts their life and many times dilutes or completely negates years of diligence and effort leading up to that point.” In a nutshell, good decision making is a tough and critical component of life. A lot of you reading this are at an age where you will have more and more life choices to make—and they just keep coming. When you come to these points in your life and you have a decision to make…know that good, thought-out, Christ centered decision making builds on itself.

God doesn’t need you to clean up before you present yourself to Him. He wants you just as you are.

What is the biggest decision you have made in your life?

Jump!

Posted: February 3, 2014 in Faith

I wake to a dark room all by myself with this surreal feeling of overwhelming guilt and overall amazement of what just happened. I sit upright there in bed in utter disbelief and contemplate on whether or not it was real. I lay awake staring at the dark ceiling watching the fan blades monotonously turn and finally come up with the conclusion it was just a dream, but was it?

This dream has been over 2 years from now but still reverberates chills down my spine every time I think about it. Some of the details have begun to lose their clarity but the overarching theme could not be any clearer if I was still in the dream. JUMP!Jump!

I enter what seems to be a hotel room with a bunch of people that I know, but I could not tell you who they were now. I am not sure how I got to this hotel room, but there seems to be a party going on and people are socializing. This is where I met Jesus. He came to me in my dream. In the bible you here about God visiting biblical people in their dreams, but that could never happen to me right? Oh, but it did happen! As I am in this hotel room it all gets blurry and Jesus is standing in front of me. Of course the skeptic human part of me did not believe it was actually Him, just the quintessential disciple Thomas looking back on it. He then proceeds to hold out his hands to show me the wounds. I place my hands on His and physically feel the wounds on His hands. I immediately collapse to the ground at His feet with the most unbearable guilt, humiliation, and unworthiness that words will never be able to accurately describe. He then lifts me up to where I am now, standing with Him, and begins to walk me to the balcony and leads me to stand on the balcony railing. I begin to look down and get scared of going over, I turn to Him and He says “Jump”. I hesitated. It felt like forever. I kept turning back to Him and looking at the drop, turning back to Him and looking at the drop, until He said, “Trust me”. I jumped. I went falling down whoever knows how tall of a drop and landed softly in a pool where He was waiting on the edge with this smile that had “I told you” written all over it. I jolt awake to the dark room with the fan blowing cool air on my face.

Although this was a dream, it could not have been anymore real to me. Now when I think back upon it I still can feel the emotions and guilt that went through me and still makes me want to collapse and cry, but I know what my lesson was. It was not that I did not believe in Jesus it was just that I was too scared to jump. I had gone long enough not trusting Him. So what did I do? I jumped!