Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...Who is in charge?

We have all seen athletes on television getting all pumped up before competing against their opponents. In fact, some athletes carry their "greatness" alittle too far. To stir up excitement they pound on their chest or bounce up and down. All of this is to get the adrenaline of the fans going and to psych themselves up for a winning match!

Recently, I read a story about a boxer who was doing all of that, but got alittle too "psyched" up as he punched himself in the face. The self-inflicted blow cracked the boxer's jaw and the second blow broke his nose and put him down for the count. How unfortunate for this athlete, that he was carried away on a stretcher before his opponent ever stepped foot in the ring.

Many of us go through life doing exactly what this athlete did. Often times it is the self inflicted pain that we cause ourselves that creates the most damage. The biggest self-inflicted blow that strikes us the feeling of fear...

"For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me."  -JOB (Job 3:25)

We all have the capability of sabotaging our own lives if we allow our fears to determine our destiny. Fear can lead to self-inflicted blows that we may never be able to recover from. Fear can also leave us feeling discontented or restless with life.

RESTLESSNESS IS THINKING... "I am not in charge!"
Worry often comes from the fear of not being in control, it leaves us feeling restless. Restlessness is perhaps one of the best words I can think of to describe our generation. Looking around at our culture, it appears that we are a nation that is bored, restless and desiring to be in control of every aspect of our lives.

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "What brings you contentment?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 91% voted and said that knowing God is in control brings contentment.
2. 41% responded and said having a loving family brings contentment.
3. 33% voted that knowing their kids were being taken care of brought them contentment.

I was so pleased that the majority of votes declared that contentment comes from God! I read a poll in a NEWSWEEK edition asking Christian teens this question:

"Can a good person who does not share your religious beliefs attain salvation or go to heaven?"

68% of the voting Christian teens said YES they can!
Let that set in for a minute...2/3 of teenagers being raised in church believe that there is NO significant difference between their own faith and other religions. What has happened in our world that "what we believe" and "what we do" is now two separate worlds? I would guess that it goes back to that boxer who caused self-inflicted wounds to himself, like him, we all want to be in control. We want to be in control of what we do, what we say and what we believe.

If we let someone else get into the ring with us, somehow, we surrender our control. But the truth of it is, without God in the ring with us, we cannot win. We are already defeated.

MATTHEW 11:30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

God will require some things of us when we surrender our lives over to Him. He may require us to give some things up and He may require us to step out of our comfort zone. But when we submit everything to Him and place our lives under His control, we are no longer restless athletes but content ones.

"Jesus did not come to earth to teach Christianity, He is Christianity. Remove Jesus from the equation and Christianity collapses." -Josh McDowell
Who is in control of your fight ... You or God? Make sure He is in the ring with you!