Eliminating Distractions – Day 74

I’ve obviously been distracted lately. I haven’t posted in nearly a month and I have no excuse. I’ve simply allowed distractions to get the best of me and the result is that I’ve cheated myself from pursuing my goals and accomplishing my priorities. No self loathing, however. Today is a new day and I move forward.

Rather than allowing disappointment to be yet another distraction, I read this amazing article from Carey Nieuwhof this morning, 7 Stupid Distractions Every Leader Should Eliminate. Go ahead and give it a read…unless of course you want to live in distraction instead of living on purpose.

Help – Day 51

Have you ever had one of those moments when you really need help but you just can’t bring yourself to ask for it? Maybe you’re just determined to do it on your own. Perhaps pride is holding you back. Maybe, just maybe, you really don’t want to succeed? I’ve learned the hard way that more times than not, I just need to suck it up and ask someone for help – namely God! Life becomes so much easier when I do.

Commit everything you do (your ways) to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you (He will do it). (Psalm 37:5, NLT)

Committing your ways, your everything, refers to your whole course of life. That includes your struggles, cares, family, business endeavors, financial burdens, relationships, and even your physical health. God will HELP those who trust in Him. He will do it, that is, He will accomplish what we cannot do and will bring it to a good end. Imagine living without anxiety? Imagine trusting God enough to ask Him for help and actually letting Him?

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3)

Solomon, in similar fashion to the Psalmist, reveals that when we commit to and trust in God, He will HELP us. The word “establish” means to arrange, direct, put right, and correct. Commitment and trust go hand in hand. We cannot say that we are committed to God if we cannot trust Him with our lives. We must believe that He has our best interests in mind. He will not only help us, but He will arrange and direct our lives in such a way that success becomes the norm. Granted, it may not always look as we expected, but our faith grows most when we keep trusting him anyway.

1. Read James 1:5. What do you learn from that verse?
2. Make a list of the areas in your life where you need help? Not in your head silly! Write it down.
3. In addition to asking God for help, who are some key people in your life that you can ask for HELP?
4. What’s holding you back?


Two Chairs – Day 43

Have you ever read something and just thought to yourself, “That’s the best explanation that I have ever heard.” That is exactly what I thought after reading the book 2 Chairs by Bob Beaudine. Prayer might be easily defined as communication between man and his creator, but it seems to be much harder to practice until a crisis moment arises. Prayer can often seem like a difficult discipline to make a habit because we simply don’t understand the dynamics and power behind it.

“Next time you are alone, working through the issues of life, pull up another chair and invite God to join you. Listen. 2 Chairs changes everything. One chair is not enough.” –  Tom Ziglar

The subtitle to his book is The Secret That Changes Everything. Let me ask you a question. If you knew a secret that would change your everyday life – from the ordinary to the extraordinary – would you act on it? Sounds like a dumb questions right? But how often have we heard it said that PRAYER changes everything and yet we wait until the crisis moments to try it out? Who knows, maybe if we were praying the whole time, some of our crisis moments would have never veered their ugly heads.

I think every believer needs to read this book and hear this simple illustration that will change how they see prayer in a practical and tangible sense. Here is what is written on the inside jacket of the book.

It might be something small or something big, but you know you don’t have an answer. You’ve come to the realization there is a limit to what you can do alone. For such times as these, 2 Chairs asks three vital questions:

Does God know your situation?
Is it too hard for Him to handle?
Does He have a good plan for you?

Following these questions, Bob offers seven practical steps to walk courageously, faithfully, and cheerfully through your trouble whether it is a minor issue or a major crisis.

Simple question…do you want to know the secret to not just surviving what life brings your way, but actually thriving through it? If you answer yes, then I would suggest that you get a copy of 2 Chairs and give it a read. If you would like to read it as a group let me know!

Get your copy HERE.

The Chase – Day 34

Today in my devotion time I was reminded of a book that I had read years ago that really impacted my life. It was called God Chasers by Tommy Tenney. The premise of the book comes from Paul’s writing to the church in Philippi when he says,

“I press on (chase) so that I may lay hold of (apprehend) that for which also I was laid hold of (apprehended) by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12, NASV)

In case you didn’t already know, God expects us to chase Him. It’s actually a raw emotional instinct that He’s created inside of us when He made us in His likeness. If we aren’t chasing God we are merely chasing the wind and missing out on our most basic yet primary reason for being.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

We can all probably look at ourselves in the mirror and realize the truth that what we chase is what we become. Money, power, attention, possessions, they will not relieve the anxieties of life nor will they satisfy. Jesus made it clear that the object of our pursuit needs to be Him. These three imperatives – ask, seek & knock – indicate an ongoing lifestyle of pursuit. They are a perfect balance of human persistence and Godly character.

When we are chasing something in life, a relationship, a job, an accomplishment, people notice. Internally we are saying: I want to marry her, I want that promotion, I am pursuing this goal. Even when we are trying to keep it under wraps, those in our circle of influence can read our tells. They can see it on our face, read it in our body language, and here it in our voice. On some occasions we even come right out and admit it to those closest to us. Shouldn’t the same be true for our pursuit of God?

1. Do the things you are “asking” God for line up with his character and will for your life?
2. What are you missing in life that you are seeking God for?
3. How does Jeremiah 29:13 add to what we’ve just discussed?
4. What are you banging on the doors of heaven about?
5. In what ways can those in your circle see that you are chasing after God?

We ask for what we wish; we seek for what we miss; we knock for that from which we feel ourselves shut out.1

1 Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 30). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Hitting The Right Target – Day 25

I started a growth track group last night called Chazown: Discover God’s Dream for Your Life. It’s based off of the book by Craig Groeschel. One of the key Scriptures for the night was from Acts 20:24.  “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” After reading that verse the question for me to consider is what task has the Lord given me? How would I complete that sentence as Paul did?

My life is worth nothing to me… if only I may ___________________

To really bring this point to life, here is one of my favorite stories from the Chazown book.

“Did you watch the 2004 Summer Olympics? If you did, you might have seen an American athlete named Matthew Emmons. He was solidly on track for the gold in the fifty-meter three-position rifle final.

Emmons was up for his final shot. He was so far ahead of the other competitors that all he had to do was send a bullet anywhere through the inner ring of the target. That would seal his gold medal. 

He prepared himself mentally. He paused his breathing. He took his aim. Then he fired.

The bullet passed right through the bull’s-eye.

But he was puzzled when the tone indicating a hit didn’t sound. Emmons then realized that the bull’s-eye he had hit was on the wrong target. He dropped from first place, and a virtually guaranteed gold medal, to eighth. 

The right shot hit the wrong target.

One day you will stand before a greater Judge than any who ever officiated at the Olympics. What will you say if He tells you that, in your life, you hit the wrong target?” (Chazown, Craig Groeschel, pg 37)

1. Have you ever hit the wrong target in life? What was the result?
2. Where are you going in life? Are you going there on purpose?
3. What are some steps that you can take this week in order to start aiming at the right target?