It’s Not About You

This verse has become so diluted by the church community over the years. The implications here are absolutely astounding! Paul is painting a picture for the importance of loving one another!

Sadly, our world has slowly become consumed with the idea of self love. That we need to make sure we are putting ourselves first, that we love ourselves first, that we have to do things for ourselves before we do things for others blah blah blah.

What is even MORE sad is that people within the Christian community have started to live with this mindset as well. Yes, there is an aspect of self love that is needed within our lives, but not at the expense of someone else. The entire Gospel that we believe in is the COMPLETE opposite of that. Jesus came and lived a perfect life, died a terrible death, was laid in a tomb for 3 days & then was raised from the dead! Jesus did ALL of that out of love for us. He lived the perfect life because we couldn’t, died the terrible death that WE all deserved & lived His life so focused on loving people that it cost Him His life. So why in the heck would we think that we need to make sure we are loving ourselves properly & not need to love others accordingly.

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Not Out of Mind

The beauty of being saved by our faith in Jesus is that our sins are forgiven. All that is required is for us to repent of those sins & then move forward.

When we truly repent, we are back to being perfect in the eyes of God. Blameless & without sin, BUT although our sins are forgiven and out of the sight of God it does not mean we have forgiven ourselves.

That’s why the title is, “Not out of mind.” It’s sad to know & see so many believers in Christ walking around with the weight of sin on their shoulders. Jesus died to take that away! We must fight to forgive ourselves. The guilt, shame, insecurities, doubts & fears we feel are not from God, it is from ourselves. The spirit of the Lord convicts us, but once we repent we are forgiven. Cut & dry. Black & white.

The mind is where the next battle takes place. TRULY believing that we are forgiven is where the struggle is. I spent YEARS carrying around weight that God didn’t want me to carry. It was crippling, it was paralyzing, it was exactly what satan wanted.

Don’t let the enemy hold anything against you. You are forgiven. You are redeemed. Christ died to take your sins. Yesterday, today, tomorrow & forever.

Get Out of The Way

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Time and time again we let our own passions and desires get in God’s way. Things that WE want and plans that WE make often times directly counter the plans that God has for us all. When we are living in selflessness and completely sold out to God it is much easier to allow His plan for our life to happen.

Truthfully, there will still be a constant wrestling match in our hearts between our desires and His. That is part of our sinful nature that we are all born with. A desire to fulfill our own needs and desires. The good news is that God’s pursuit of us is MUCH more diligent and consistent than any amount of pursuit we have for our passions & desires.

Many times throughout my life I have passionately sought after what I felt was my passion & desire, but time and time again I ended up back at the foot of the cross surrendering all. Time and time again I would fight through the insecurities and struggles that would take root in my heart when I pursued my own passions and desires. There would be hurt, heartache, stress, worry, etc… all in pursuit of ME.

It wasn’t until I let my selfish passions and desires DIE that God was able to start moving mountains and uprooting things in my life. It was hard, it was a struggle, it still HURT, BUT I know that He is working all things for my good (Romans 8:28).

We need to do as the Prophet Isaiah did when God calls. Simply lay everything else down and say, “Here I am Lord, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). When we lay it all down, get out of His way, and let our passions & desires die there is an immense amount of freedom and breakthrough that starts to happen… Just lay it down & just be a child of God.

Walk It Out

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The biggest lie of the devil is that we have to walk in “perfection.” Nowhere in the bible does it say that we are to walk in perfection because truthfully it’s impossible. That’s the EXACT reason Jesus came to earth.

God does not require us to walk in perfection, but instead to walk in integrity. Basically, own up to your mistakes, admit them, correct them and keep walking. It truly is that simple. The Christian life can be boiled down to simply putting your best foot forward, repenting when you mess up and loving God with all your heart.

At times, we will stumble. The Bible even says this, “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again” (Proverbs 24:15 ESV). So walking with integrity clearly has NOTHING to do with perfection and never failing… The opposite is true. It’s not the stumble that defines our walks with God, it’s how we rise from them!

You see, our defining moments in faith are not when we stumble, BUT how we rise up! Time and time again we will stumble, we will fall, we will fail and time & time again, we need to rise up.

Walk in integrity today friends. Own up. Admit your wrongdoing. Repent, and turn away from those things. Right your wrongs. Be a person of integrity and face your mistakes head-on. that’s walking in integrity.

There is beauty in that freedom. Put your best foot forward today, walk in the integrity God has given you.

Little with God VS. Alot with out

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I’m sure many of us have seen and/or experienced what it feels like to have what we “desire”

Whether that is a relationship, money, success, friends, family, etc.. We think that the more of these things we have, the happier we will be. We think that if we are unhappy it is because we still need to gain these “treasures”.

I know I’ve done this many times over. I think that a certain amount of money in my account, a certain relationship, a certain PR on my Olympic movement, etc… will satisfy my heart. Sadly, it never did. I would still feel like I was missing something. I’d miss my tithe so I could have a little extra cash and end up short at the end of the pay period. I fell in love with “the girl of my dreams” only to end up still feeling like I was missing something. I hit the “personal record” in the Olympic clean & jerk or snatch only to still feel weak and inadequate.

All of those things are not “bad” to have. God doesn’t care how much is in our bank account, or if we are with the person of our dreams, or what the PR is for our Olympic movement. These things are not bad, BUT they are bad when they become our god.  When we sacrifice what God has called us to do, when we are disobedient, and when we turn from God in pursuit of these false gods is when these things become bad.

Through all of my times of turning to things, I was left disappointed, broken-hearted, broke, and sometimes physically hurt (trying to PR). Through all of my times turning to God I have found nothing but peace, love, joy, hope, and freedom… Time and time again I can sit back and think about all that I have gone through in life with a big ol’ smile because I know who my Father is….

And let me tell you… He is a good good Father…

Instinctively

There will be many times in our lives where we will have to make a choice. Often times, the choice will ultimately lead to a certain outcome. Whether that outcome is desired or not is always promised, but for the Godly it is.

Running towards God is a guarantee. We do not have to worry about what will happen when we run to God in our times of need. He is reliable & faithful to keep His promises. People will fail us. People will disappoint us. No matter how amazing you are towards someone there is no guarantee they will return it. God on the other hand is faithful & trustworthy.

Running towards God is a constant that can be relied on. Things will never fully satisfy. Many people run towards an addiction or things to try and ease the pain. They run towards anything that will numb the pain, but sadly it never lasts. Shortly after they finish we are back to feeling empty and alone.

You see, our instincts are to solve whatever problem has risen in our life. We instinctively want to feel better & there is NOTHING wrong with that. God programmed that in us all, but often times we try to fix it our own ways. When we are stressed, worried, hurting, afraid, confused, etc… we always turn to things, people or addictions. At times, they satisfy & temporarily make us feel better BUT shortly after it’s back.

People, things & addictions WILL fail you. They will disappoint you. They will ask for me & give less. Often times that’s how an addiction works. It starts small & innocent but as time goes on that addiction requires more and more to give that temporary fix. Ultimately destroying anything good God has for us.

As people of God we need to fight off the fleshly instincts & focus on our spiritual instincts. Thinking Godly thoughts, praying, worship, studying His word, allowing Him to change us, etc… I will say that at times it is not ALWAYS going to be an instant feeling of peace BUT we can hold onto the promise.

Time & time again I would go through the same cycle of running from the pain & doing whatever I could to make it go away. Time & time again I would run towards an addiction and do whatever I could to feel that MOMENT of sweet relief. Only to be right back to running & hurting.

Stop running towards the wrong things. We need to instinctively run towards Him. He is reliable. He is always there. He will NEVER fail. That is a fact. It may not be at that VERY moment because He is working something greater. Great things take time. The longer we invest in things, the better they are & the better they become.

I promise you, He can satisfy you like no one can. People will fail you. People will disappoint you. He won’t. Addictions won’t satisfy. Addictions want more & more and give less & less. God does satisfy & it requires nothing but surrender.

He is faithful. He is our safe refuge in times of extreme hurt & pain. He is there, arms open wide. Offering you all of Himself.

Power to Speak

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I have been doing CrossFit for about two years now give or take. In the sport of CrossFit, it is normal for a person to go that extra mile to be even 1% better. Whether that be a double day, staying after class for accessory/technique work, reading books on efficiency, taking classes for gymnastics or Olympic lifting, asking the coach for advice and tips on a daily basis, going to bed early to wake up early, saying no to unhealthy foods, prepping meals for the week to stay on track, etc… You get the point right? SO much time, effort, energy, and money get poured out to get even 1% better.

Seems like some serious dedication right?! The sad truth is that all of that dedication and time is getting put into something that can be taken within a few moments. I know this from experience. I was WAY overdoing it. Doing CalStrength Olympic programming, Misfits Crossfit Programming, AND a Russian squat program. To make it worse I wasn’t taking the proper recovery time with my training, wasn’t eating right, was getting 4 or so hours of sleep, etc… During some strict Hand Stand Push Ups, I tweaked my shoulder and BAM… During a set of squats, my hip got SUPER tight. To the point of not being able to do an air squat without pain. Set me back 6+ months. I couldn’t bench the bar, couldn’t fully extend my arm overhead, could hardly Power Clean, etc… It was bad. Thank the Lord it was nothing serious, but it still set me back.

During this time of having to take steps back, God really started to work on my heart. I was putting SO much effort into something that doesn’t make a difference. Training anywhere from 90-120 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. I really felt the Lord calling me to ask the question about where my spiritual fitness was and if I was putting in that same amount of effort into growing as a man of God. That was a HARD no. I definitely was NOT putting in the time I need to grow in something that has ETERNAL benefits.

I sat back and started thinking about how deep my knowledge of God and my security in Him could have been VASTLY changed if I put the effort I was putting into CrossFit into Him. If I went the extra mile to be even 1% stronger in Him, to save just ONE more person, to have just ONE more conversation with someone, give just ONE more percent to the church, etc…

Where this is all leading to is the point of a coach. For a vast majority of my walk with God, I have not had a coach, and I have not had any athletes to coach. In Christian terms it goes like this, I have had no one mentoring/disciplining me and I have not been disciplining anyone. Jesus was very clear when He gave us all the great commission. You see, the verse today is about testing who we are letting pour knowledge into our lives. To test if they have the spirit of God in their words. We SHOULD have people in our lives that test POSITIVE for the spirit of God in there lives, and they pouring it out into our lives. How can we know if the words they are speaking are Godly words if we don’t know what the Word of God says?!

WHICH leads me to express the simple fact that until we KNOW what the spirit of God sounds like in a person life, we will be VERY vulnerable to false prophets speaking into our lives. We will be gullible to whatever tickles our ears and fits our lifestyle.

Take the time today to see where you are going that extra mile to grow. Is it in something that will last into eternity? Or is it into something that can be taken at a moments notice? At the end of the day, none of us want to wholly and fully devote ourselves to something that can be taken without notice.