Have you ever tried to get something done, but kept getting distracted? The distractions weren’t there until you decided to start. The moment you engage the project, it seems that the whole world falls apart. Someone calls and needs something right away. You realize you forgot to do something else that you were supposed to do. What you’re using to complete the project breaks or quits working. It gets pretty frustrating doesn’t it?
I gotta say, it happens to all of us and I’m not sure why. Then there’s the whole procrastination thing. When you’ve got a big project you need to be working on, sometimes starting it is the hardest thing to do. Where do I begin? What if I get into this and the distractions start? How long is this going to take? Do I have time to complete it? Why do today what I can put off till tomorrow? We question ourselves and talk ourselves out if starting. It’s easy to do, and I’m pretty sure I’m the king of it.
As Solomon was becoming king himself, his father David handed him the blueprints for the Temple. It was a daunting project that would require years to complete with thousands of moving parts. Combine that with trying to run a country and you’ve got both distractions and procrastination creeping at your door. In I Chronicles 28:20, David encouraged him by saying, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you” (NLT).
Let that be an encouragement to you today. Do the work that you’re called to do. Push past the procrastination and stay focused through the distractions. Don’t be afraid of the outcome or discouraged by what others may say. You are uniquely qualified to do what God has called you to do. If He didn’t think you could do it, He wouldn’t have called you to it. Be strong, courageous and confident. Take your next step today and trust that God is with you and will be faithful to help you complete it.
One of the cool things I got to do this year was to be a part of YWAM’s Houston Street Church. After we set up all the chairs, the homeless and street walkers started showing up. They were fed a meal and then given a church service. There was a booth set up called Kuts for Christ. They offered free hair cuts in exchange for the ability to pray for them. After the service, those still in attendance were able to stop by some tables and pick out some clothes. Every bit of it was free and designed to help this team build relationships to win them to Christ.
As I drove away that night, I couldn’t help but reflect on what I had just witnessed and been a part of. I saw society’s outcasts waiting to hug the couple that leads this church. I saw them lining up almost two hours before the event to get help physically and spiritually. I watched a team of volunteers and full time mission workers org together to do something special for people the rest of us look away from. I witnessed ministry taking place in an unexpected place.
It reminded me of Proverbs 19:17 that says, “If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord- and He will repay you!” (NLT) I know that these ministers aren’t doing this to get paid back by the Lord. They’re doing it as an expression of love. When I saw their faces light up as much as the people on the street, I knew this was more than a feeding and clothing program. Real relationships had been built. Real help was being given. Real ministry was being done.
One thing I’ve learned in life is that there’s always someone who has it worse than me. No matter what financial, emotional or physical state I’m in, I have the ability to help others less fortunate. In Matthew 25, Jesus said that when we do things for the poor and outcasts, we’ve done it to Him. The least of these are all around us every day. Take some time to look for them instead of away from them, and do something to help them. It doesn’t matter what they do with your help as long as you’re doing it unto the Lord.
We’ve all played Hide and Go Seek when we were little. It’s a rite of passage for kids. With my son being an only child, he played it mainly with his grandmother. When He would seek her, she would make noises so he could find her. To this day, he thinks the object of the game is to be found instead of staying hidden. When he plays with other kids, he makes sure that they can find him in his hiding spot.
Sometimes it feels like we are playing Hide and Go Seek with God. The good news is that He plays it like my son. He wants to be found! It does take some effort on our part to leave where we are to go seeking after Him. His desire is to continuously pull us closer to Him and further away from where we were. It’s up to us to continually seek Him and His strength for our lives. We should live in constant pursuit of God.
In I Chronicles 16. King David had just moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He gave a song to the priests to sing. My favorite line comes from verse 11. It says, “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually [longing to be in His presence]” (AMP). You and I were created to Seek God. There is a longing in us to be in His presence, but are we making the effort to do so? Are we taking the time to seek Him daily?
In Matthew 7:7 Jesus famously told us that if we ask, it will be given to us. If we seek, we will find. If we knock, it will be opened. If we will seek Him, His strength and His face we will find Him. He’s not trying to stay hidden. He’s making noises and giving us clues as to where He is. He wants to be found, but we’ve got to get off base and go find Him. That continuous pursuit is what creates growth in us as Christians. If you never stop seeking God, you’ll never stop finding Him.
Recently, my son asked me what my favorite thing was. After I understood what he was asking, I replied, “Space.” He wanted to know why. I explained that space shows off God’s handiwork. It reminds me of all He can do with just His spoken word. When I look into space, I see my impossibilities becoming possible. I realize just how small I am in comparison to the universe, yet my significance to God is far greater than the reaches of space.
God created everything beyond earth for more than our enjoyment and education. He put it there to point us to Him. He wants to be found by us, to be searched out and sought after the way He seeks us. Space was His way to remind us to look up and beyond ourselves. It’s His daily reminder that He is there and cares deeply for us. If He is greater than the universe, then He is greater than anything we will ever face.
Here are some Bible verses about space.
1. When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?
Psalms 8:3-4 NLT
2. And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; the beauty that belongs to heavenly bodies is different from the beauty that belongs to earthly bodies. The sun has its own beauty, the moon another beauty, and the stars a different beauty; and even among stars there are different kinds of beauty.
1 Corinthians 15:40-41 GNT
3. Be glad, earth and sky! Tell the nations that the Lord is king.
1 Chronicles 16:31 GNT
4. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory.
Psalms 97:6 NLT
5. The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
Psalms 19:1-2 NLT
One thing I’ve learned is that every sin lives within me, and I’m capable of committing any of them. The sins living within each one of us is just waiting for the right circumstances to show up and it will give us the opportunity to commit them. I learned this one night while I was very angry and bitterness was growing in me. The thought and desire to murder was so strong in me that it frightened me. I never believed I was capable of such a thing until that moment. Like Joseph in Potiphar’s house, I ran and didn’t look back.
Anger is a powerful emotion that can tempt us to do the unthinkable. It is a dangerous emotion that desires to control us. It is like a furnace burning within us that continuously heats up the more we feed it. It begins to consume our mind, our thoughts and eventually our lives. I was at the point that I couldn’t sleep. My anger was burning so strongly that every time I closed my eyes to sleep, all I could imagine was the situation that created my pain and my heart would begin to race. I began to be consumed with how I could get revenge.
Let me be clear, anger in and of itself is not a sin. It is an emotion that God has given each one of us. I believe it becomes sin when it begins to control us. Psalms 4:4 says, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent” (NLT). Too many times we have a knee jerk reaction of retaliation when we get angry. We scream, we curse, we throw things, we fight or do something else. The Psalmist here suggests that instead of reacting, we should proactively step away, remain silent and think about it.
Many times in my life, my anger hasn’t frightened me away from sinning. Instead it has lead me right into it. As Christians, we need to understand that uncontrolled anger leads to sin. Instead of letting it have its way, we need to step away, think about it overnight and remain silent. In many cases, our anger will dissipate and we will be kept from sinning. It is possible to be angry and sin not as the scripture says. We just need to learn to be proactive with our anger instead of reacting with it.
I used to think that God’s plan for my life would simply happen. I believed that when He was ready, He would intervene in my life, things would line up and then I would walk in my calling. Then God started dealing with my heart. If He had a mission for my life, why wasn’t I doing anything to prepare? I was challenged to begin being faithful to do the little things so that later He could do big things. As I began to do them, my mission and purpose became more clear. I started to understand more of what His plan for my life is.
I know that God has a plan for each one of us (Jeremiah 29:11), but plans don’t become realities until there’s some action to them. Each one of us have to start small and become faithful at doing the little things before God can entrust greater things to us. We need to start somewhere and that’s usually on our knees. Becoming a person who faithfully prays and spends time with God is a great way to prepare for your mission. As God’s plan for you becomes more clear, add in things that move you in the direction of making it a reality.
The apostle Paul was a person who had a mission from God and worked daily to accomplish it. He didn’t let being threatened, tired or beaten keep him from doing things daily that helped him fulfill that mission. Towards the end of his life, in Acts 20:24, he said, “I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God.” His desire was to complete what God gave him to do no matter what came his way.
What mission has God given you? What are you doing daily to accomplish it? Your life has a purpose and God’s desire is that you fulfill what He created you to do. You are uniquely qualified through your past to accomplish the mission God has given you. The time to start doing something is now. If you will be faithful in the little things right now, He will give you the greater things later. His plan for your life won’t simply happen. It requires some effort from you. Don’t despise the small beginnings for in doing them, your mission and purpose will become more clear.
Every one of us fall down in life at some point. Some of us need some help getting back up. There are times when we say, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” None of us are promised an easy life. While some people may appear to have an easy life, the truth is that we all get hit hard enough in life that it knocks the wind out if us. None of us are exempt from that. The question is, who is around to help you back up?
Proverbs 24:16 says, “No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don’t stay down long” (MSG). There’s something God put in us that compels us to get back up. However, I can attest that you can be knocked down so many times that you begin to question whether or not you should get back up. If I’m going to be knocked down again, what’s the point of getting back up? It’s easier to stay down.
There are times in life where we feel like Rocky Balboa. We’re bloodied up from taking so many hits. We’ve been knocked down over and over again, but there’s something in us that drives us to get back up. Our friends may think it’s time to throw in the towel, but God doesn’t want that. He knows that if we will endure, we will grow stronger and that strength will develop character in our lives. When we go through struggles, especially the most difficult ones, God us there with us cheering us on to get back up.
Psalm 145:14 says, “God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.” We’ve got to remember we’ve got God in our corner. He’s there to make sure we don’t give up or stay down. He’s cheering us on to get back up and try again. We are promised victory if we will just get back up and keep going. I’ve had God have to give me a hand more times than I can count. He’s been faithful to give me a fresh start, and I’ll know He’ll do it for you. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Get back up and keep fighting.