Friday, May 26, 2023

When Goals Become Gods

I’m about to say some things that you’ve probably heard before. But I am also going to say some things I’m not so sure that you’ve heard before. I pray that God will use this to help you find a lasting, satisfying, peace.  

I want to talk to you about why you can’t seem to get ahead. Or maybe why you seem stuck in a pattern of sin. Or how you seem to do good for a while, maybe a long while, but then you do it again, you go back to that old thing. And perhaps you need to see how this is all related.

You know that you need to get out of that bad thing. You can’t keep going the way you do, or going back to that way again, and think that this short-term coping mechanism is not going to have long term consequences. Sin isn’t going to lead you to spiritual success. You might know that by now. But you don’t know why you keep falling for the same old sins. Just when you think your going to win, you go right back to that old sin. But why?

It’s because what you define as winning, can actually be sinning. It’s because you have the wrong goals. And they might be good goals. But they are getting in the way of God. You might not think so. But let me show you how.  

Having goals can be a very good thing. Or a very bad thing. For example, you might start out with a good goal, like getting sober. And yes, Jesus will help you get sober. But here is the thing about that. You might wind up thinking that if Jesus helped me get sober, now I need to get my life back, or go for those things I know I want, or need. As if Jesus is your ladder to whatever you define as success. And as long as I have Jesus, I can get my other goals met as well.

You say, well, what wrong with that?! And I say thank you, because you have just proven my point. You don’t need to get your life back. You need to live a new life. On God’s terms, not your terms.

Those other goals may not be what Jesus wants for you right now. In fact, I know they aren’t, whatever they may be. What Jesus wants for you, is for you to want him, without having your other goals met. It’s not about getting just enough Jesus to move ahead to the next thing. And then, when I really have enough Jesus, I’ll be able to have what I want. No friend, that is a wrong pursuit. And it isn’t that Jesus doesn’t have good goals for you. But truly knowing Jesus as your lasting, all satisfying peace, this is the one goal above all else, regardless of all else. Even if you never get to have anything else.  

You might really love Jesus. But Jesus doesn’t want you to have any idols. An idol is something you feel like you must have, something that you can’t live without. It is more than just something you want, something you wish you had. It is something that you won’t have peace if you cannot get. And if you do get it, you think you will finally have peace. But sometimes it’s something you had before, and yet you still had no real peace. An idol always asks for more. Think carefully about that.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy that some people think of God as a means of gain. That godliness is simply a means to getting what we want, or that getting what we want is somehow the mark of godliness. And that kind of thinking will get in the way of your knowing Jesus.

Sin is like a chameleon. You desire one thing, and then it turns into another, and another, and you never have what you really want. True peace. And idolatry is what keeps moving the goalposts. You turn that around by making your goal to have Jesus become your true, lasting, all satisfying peace. It can happen. You need a new goal.

Sometimes our goals become our gods. Idols have the power to hypnotize and deceive you. They guide you away from God and towards the goal itself. Even as you think that you’re moving with God. And then you wonder why hasn't God blessed you? Or why isn’t God blessing you? Well, maybe God has blessed you, just not in ways that people normally measure. Or in ways you aren’t counting. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Pouring Out Your Frustration

Don't pour your frustration out on other people. Pour it out to God. He can take it. As a matter fact, he did. All your failure, all your fear, all your frustration, all your sinful anger, bitterness, and contempt, he took it all. Don’t take it back and put it on someone else. And when people pour it out on you, it’s the same answer, pour it out to God.   

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Thursday, May 18, 2023

The Emotional Rollercoaster

Two months of incredible ups, downs, and all arounds

In just 58 days, the disciples went through a whirlwind of events

Sunday – Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Friday – The Crucifixion of Jesus

Sunday – The Resurrection of Jesus

40 days later – The Ascension of Jesus, 40 days of “infallible proofs”, then “poof”

10 days later – Pentecost

58 days from the Triumphal Entry to Pentecost, with the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension along the way – what an adventure of ups and downs and all arounds 

Then – The Great Commission    

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©