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 are on the right track, let’s stay on it.” ~MSG
Attending the U.S. Army’s Boot Camp in April of 1993 was an experience. I endured a lot of physical training. But most of the training was mental. One of the greatest challenges was remaining focused. It started with physical training. The Drill Sergeants would surround us after giving us orders to do push ups, sit ups, planks or any other physical activity. We would have to concentrate on the exercise while enduring the constant yelling and chaos of noise around us.
When our muscles started burning, and our bodies began to ache from the physical conditioning, The chaos began to frustrate us and make us angry. This led some of my fellow soldiers wanting to quit and give up. But then we found the key. We had to try very hard to stay focused on our mission, our goal, more than the distractions. After we learned to stick with the count of our repetitions, the noise began to die down.
The strength of that training would mentally prepare us when we began our training on the firing range. If we had not learned to concentrate on what was important in the midst of all the chaos going on, then we would not be able to concentrate on handling dangerous weapons and ammunition. Which could result in tragedy.
God wants us to stay focused in life the same way. Those who love Him and accept His Son’s sacrifice, know that He has called us for His purpose. In our stages of spiritual training He wants us to learn to stay focused on that mission instead of getting frustrated with the happenings of the world. As we endure the trials of ‘distraction’, the text says, “...God will clear your blurred vision…you’ll see it yet!” His purpose will be revealed to you. So hang in there!
When we learn to stay focused and tune out what is not important, then we will be prepared when the time comes for the huge miracle He will perform through us. So prepared, that we will not waive in its completion! Work hard to quiet the noise in your mind. Reach that goal where God’s intent is clear inside you and know that victory is just ahead.
May God bless and keep you in His peace in Jesus’ name.
1 Peter 5:10 “The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.” CSB
If you look at an ordinary wire hanger, you normally don’t think much of it. Its main function is to hang up shirts and keep them from being wrinkled. Day in and day out, it just performs one function. Some of us become depressed or feel like we are not worth anything because we see our lives similar to the hanger. We find ourselves doing the same thing, day in and day out.
Now when I was younger, my dad taught me a trick with the wire hanger. One time a member of our family locked their keys in their car. My dad took a wire hanger, untwisted it making it sort of straight. Made the end into a small loop and forced it between the rubber and the glass of the driver’s side window. I watched as that loop he made, attached itself to the door’s locking mechanism and with a quick pull, my dad had unlocked the door of the car.
We may go on with our daily lives and feel that we have no significance but God has truly created us for something great. You see after my dad used the hanger, it could not be used to hang shirts anymore. There will come a time in all our lives where we will not be able to do some of the things we have done, and that may make us sad or depressed as we dwell on those memories.
But fear not, God is not finished with us yet. When we pray to God and tell Him, “I am here Lord! Just as I am, use me for Your will!” This is when God will “...restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while…” Just like the hanger, God will take what the world has done to you, reshape and prepare you to unlock a door that could not be unlocked by anyone else!
Trust in the Lord and tell Him you are ready to be used by Him! So that you will do His will on earth, as it is in Heaven! May God bless and keep you under the umbrella of His peace in Jesus’ name.
Psalm 19:4 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” ~NLT
All of us at one time or another have something on our minds that we want to say. Some of us say it, no matter what it is and regardless of who it hurts. There are those of us who do not because of a valuable lesson learned. They have reaped the negative benefit of the repercussions of saying something we cannot take back.
Family members hold grudges for years because of something that was said and cannot be forgiven or forgotten. There are those of us who have lost good jobs because they could not hold back from saying what was on their minds at that moment. Regrettably, this causes more harm than good. Think about it, would we talk to God like that?
This is why we pray the scripture above and ask God to guard us from speaking anything that is not of Him. First of all, the text describes God as our ‘Rock’ and our ‘Redeemer’. If we lean on His strength and remember He has blessed us with forgiveness, then we owe others that same gift. This gift was born from the sacrifice of His Son.
So, in prayer ask God to allow your words to be helpful and necessary to others you speak to, no matter how they treat you. In spite of how you may feel about the situation or the person, ask God to allow your words to be His words to those He places in your path. Because, when it is all said and done, it should only be the words God would allow to be seeded in His children for His purpose alone.
May God bless and keep you under His umbrella of peace and protection in Jesus’s name.
1 Thessalonians 4:1,3 “Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. 3 God’s will is for you to be holy...” ~NLT
Those of us that participated in sports know what it’s like to train to be the best. Best as a team in football, basketball, baseball, etc. And sometimes as an individual in track and field. But during these training sessions I have never met a coach that trained his athletes to come in second place. In fact, I don’t know any athletes I’ve trained with that wanted second place.
Did you know that second place is what we claim almost every day as believers? We know what pleases God, yet when we purposely fall short, we say, “I’m just human.” That is ‘Second Place.’ Can we really live with being in ‘second place'?
Well I’m here to tell you that I can’t. Not anymore and you shouldn’t either. In the text above Paul is pleading to the Thessalonians to, “...live in a way that pleases God.” Paul doesn’t have to guide them much because He continues, “...You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.” Continue to work hard at being the best Christian you can be.
Listen, if we love God, then we know we owe God. So let us take the wisdom He has given us, take every day one day at a time and live our lives pleasing Him. Pick an issue we may have that is not of God and pray for His strength and wisdom to rebuke, and get rid of that issue. When we do this, we will find He will give us the strength, through the Holy Spirit, to come in first place in conquering that issue!
Let us get rid of that “I’m only human” mentality and train to be a ‘Supernatural Servant’ of God. Let us all strive for that 1st place spot in that godly position. May God give you the strength, wisdom, and determination to achieve His will for your life in Jesus’ name.
Authors Billy & Yolanda
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