Be Undefined

There is a trap in which we as individuals place ourselves, and it is closer to home than we imagine; it’s your other half, or in other words, your alter ego. Who is it that you portray yourself as being to the world? I have certain friends who will only post about financial success, political inclination, about body building, techie stuff, or the like. Sometimes this behavior is obvious, other times it’s much more subtle, but in both cases, a person’s alter ego can limit their behavior, speech, and even thoughts.

I remember going to watch a few people running to be the representative of a local district, one of whom was a libertarian. Every time this person answered, he said, “well, as a libertarian, I beleive…” Really? Do you have any opinions of your own, or have you limited your own thoughts to that the libertarian party?  It’s difficult to believe that this person does not have one opinion that contradicts with the general party to which he subscribes, yet his answers proved otherwise.

Too often, I see people limited by the way they portray themselves to others (their alter-ego). It’s pretty easy to read in people. This is demonstrated in the way they have to live a life consistent with the way they believe others view them (whether accurate or not). If they think people view them as a party animal, they do everything they can to get credit for being one. People go as far as to define themselves in ideologies in which at first they know nothing about. This person is called “the poser.” -A person seeking to be justified by a particular behavior, even if they know very little about that particular subject. And there are people throughout the entire spectrum.

The problem is that whether we know little or a lot about a subject, we should be cautious not to allow a subject to limit who we are, and what we possibly believe. For non-christians, this would call them to be open to understanding about God by having an empty cup that is genuinely interested in learning and experiencing something in a way they haven’t in the past. For Christians, this is more a call to make sure we’re not putting God in a box. The only thing we should subscribe to as complete truth (regardless of your interpretation) is the bible, and realize that one person’s commentary or mindset even in regards to our faith, may not be what God truly wants for a person’s own life.

Christ called us to freedom! He didn’t call us to limit ourselves, but to freedom. “It is for freedom that Christ set us free” (Galatians 5:1). He called us to be free from a yoke of slavery (a spirit of religion), to be free from fear, and to be free in general, again not to put God in a box, but to be led by the spirit, wherever that may lead.

Willing to Endure

As victory is in Christ, we in Christ never ever are to be defeated.

Though, in the heat of a battle, in the midst of a storm, how do we stay in Christ and not give in to sin.  How do we stay victors while suffering for Christ.

This question is a pressing concern.  First, understand there are compounding processes taking place at the front lines of the battle field(… our mind).  First, we are attacked in the depths of, not our firm beliefs, but in our unsolved theories.  We are not attacked on the basis of what we firmly know as true, but the concerns of our mind that still are under investigation.  We do not have all the answers but we are still hunting.  Double that with a generous grace we give upon our own lives.  When we say things like, “You got to have a weak point… your HUMAN”, “Your parents were victims”, “I never faced so much difficulty before”. The enemy wants us to believe that if we can’t stand strong everywhere, we are weak.  By one mistake we are not worthy.  We should not even bother.

But God relinquished our shame, He overtook our sin and yes now we are no longer subjected to sin and death but are revived – raised from the dead – into eternal life.  Trust that God is equipping you to overcome struggles, bad relationships, and obstacles.  That being so, when the going gets tough, the battle seems lost, the encouragement seems bone dry… Praise.

Praise is the deviation from losing to winning.  Praise, not because you feel it is time to praise, but when you need an answer to your enemies. When finances are tight and the bills do not have any way of being covered, when your marriage seems to be at its last thread before it falls apart, when your life seems to be so busy yet you do not understand your purpose, Praise God!

Why?…  God intercedes in the midst of our praise as our warrior to battle any devil trying to take a stronghold upon your life.  Psalm 18:3 declares to praise God and He will save you from your enemies.  Praise God that He is providing for your rent, Praise God that He is restoring your marriage, praise God that He is casting new vision upon your life to be stronger, more able, and effective than ever before.

Again, in the heat of the battle, Praise.  When you praise God, you are saying, God this problem is huge, but you are bigger.  God my situation looks impossible, but you are able. God is ready to rescue you, get into his presence, allow God to do a mighty work that will thrust you into a new season of your life.  Do not give yourself away to the little schemes of the devil.  Circle around the devil looking down at him and tell him you are not going to overtake me because my God has overcome the world.

Understand, God might send you into the lions den to teach you what you carry. Do not be over come: Press forward, keep the vision alive, refresh your hope, stand on His promises to build your faith. He is ready to move forward, are you?

“When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.” 2 Corinthians 1:6-7 MSG

 

Keep Reaching


reachin
In February of 2013 I was inspired to write letters for my community, describing in a few words my experience and relationship with God. My intention was, and is simple–to write to people on the basis of which my heart was won: love.

In the Bible one of my favorite collection of verses is 1 Corinthians 4-8 (NIV):

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails…”

With this in mind, please read this. My prayer is that it will open your heart, mind, and soul to the extraordinary, endless, and scandalous love of our God, who is with you always.

Dear Neighbor,

Hello, my name is Taylor. I never used to be this guy but I want to tell you, you are loved. You are loved by our creator, our father, our savior.

I know a lot of you may disagree and it’s ok if you do but please, consider this: He’s waiting with open arms… waiting for you to come home. It’s easy to say He’s not real, to blame Him for everything wrong in this world; I know this because I did it. I think that being fearful about something you don’t fully understand is a natural tendency, it’s human nature. Hiding behind drugs, alcohol, sex, wealth, fame, pride, anger, deception–it’s all so empty. They won’t lead to answers; they won’t heal your hurting. Again, I know this through experience, through crashing and burning time and time again. Living a life without a purpose is a rudderless ship, aimless, destructive, and going nowhere. It’s a never-ending egg hunt to fill a void in hopes that it will lead us to a measure of peace and fulfillment that seems just out of reach.

I didn’t write this to start an argument, I wrote this to urge you to keep reaching, keep moving, keep hope alive. I wrote this to ultimately remind you that you are loved.

Please, have a blessed day, remind your family and friends that you love them, pour words of encouragement, integrity and honor into them. Light up their hearts. Remember that this life is a vapor, here for one moment and gone the next… so live the life you always dreamed of. It’s never too late to remove the stone and live again. Please know that I will be praying for you, I love you and most of all, God loves you.

God Bless,
Taylor