Archive for February, 2013

Let’s Get Practical!

Haven’t you learned a lot of things in life that you have never used? Doesn’t that frustrate you sometimes? For example, I have never used calculus outside of a classroom. How frustrating since it took so much time and energy to learn it. I am sure you have learned a lot that you makes you wonder what good was learning that?

The Bible teaches that when it comes to growing spiritually that learning the Bible without getting practical is stupid (James 1:22). Yet, some churches seem to park on Bible knowledge and keeping it abstract on purpose. I wonder if they fear the messy world of getting practical where routines and being comfortable get threatened.

I would rather learn an ounce of truth and apply a pound of application, than learn a pound of truth with an ounce of application. Yet, this does not seem to be the pattern in many churches. Perhaps, this is because of how pervasive intellectualism has gripped our society. We think that if we know, we will be. We skip getting practical.

Paul says get practical like him, as he gets practical like Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1). Observing Paul living out of his knowledge in daily life imitating Jesus is how to get practical and become godly. We are not to stop at sermons and bible studies. If we refuse to get practical, we have missed the mark in living life in God’s power (Deuteronomy 5:29).

The source of getting practical is our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). We cannot get practical without God changing them. Out of who we are determines how practical we are in living like Jesus. May I encourage you to get practical by allowing God to take your knowledge and make it real in your heart. Your journey begins and continues with this prayer.

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Stop Worrying!

“Stop worrying!” This really is good advice. The Bible says to stop it (Ecclesiastes 11:10). Doctors tell us to stop it. And our own common sense tells us to stop it. But how do we stop it?

A couple of days ago I had a periodic trip to the doctor to be checked over. As usual, I got anxious beforehand and worried that all might not be right. Even though I pegged my chances that all was right at 93%, I was still worried about that pesky 7% chance that all was not right.

I ask God to help me understand what I was thinking and believing about the upcoming doctor’s visit that was causing me worry. As usual, it was the same habit of putting my faith in getting good results. Instead, God impressed upon me to rely on him and his truth. Truth like he loves me, he is with me, he will support me regardless of results, and that he will work whatever happens to his and my good.

So, I clung to these truths, repeating them over and over to myself as I went to the doctor’s office. I ignored my fears within and kept my mind focused on the above truths. The result – I sensed his presence and I received a clean bill of health!

Many of us are skilled worriers. We have lifelong habits of relying on lies that trigger fear and worry within us. One of these common lies is that there is no God and that we have to be adequate in conquering all the challenges we face. Even when we believe that there is a God, we often prefer to handle the problems ourselves.

So, we worry and try to be God. We fail to realize that God did not make us to go it alone. “For man was born for trouble” (Job 5:7). We were made to need God’s help. That is why we feel peace when we bring God into our problems when we pray (Philippians 4:6-7).

We need to work with God in taking captive to the truth the lies that cause us to worry (2 Corinthians 10:5). Lies like we need to be perfect to be loved, we need to impress others to be an acceptable person, and that we must run from our pain instead of face it. All these are lies and when we rely on them, we often fear and worry.

So, to stop worrying, we need to develop some new thinking habits. When we start to worry, we need to stop and pray. When we start to indulge in a lie, we need to think about what is true, right, honorable, lovely, reputable, excellent and the praiseworthy as commanded by God (Philippians 4:8). And we need to rely on God to change our hearts so that we have the ability to stay focused on God to enable us to stop worrying! (Isaiah 26:3).

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