7 Reasons You May Never Accomplish Something Significant

Posted by Randy | Labels: , , , , , , , , | Posted On Monday, January 16, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Like most of us who blog even some, I read other people's blogs, including pastors. One of the best blogs for church leaders is one by Perry Noble. He shared the following recently that applies to all of us:

7 Reasons You May Never Accomplish Something Significant

1. Procrastination! (Remember, procrastination is assassination on the amazing future God has for you - James 1:22!)

2. You are allowing your past to identify you rather than Christ to identify you! (See 1 Chronicles 6:9-11!) You are not who you were...you are who you are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and if you don't let your past die, then it won't let you live.

3. You are more obsessed with what others think about you rather than what Christ thinks about you! (See Colossians 3:2-3, Galatians 1:10)

4. You do not understand the fact that God's Holy Spirit lives inside you (Ephesians 1:13-14) and has gifted you and is calling you to do something greater than you could ever imagine (Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 3:20)

5. You are afraid (see Isaiah 41:10) - and remember, anyone who ever accomplished anything significant for Christ had to take a significant step of faith (Hebrews 11:6!)

6. You believe the lie from hell that says you are an accident when Scripture says that God custom designed you (Psalm 139:13-16) and that you were clearly created on purpose, with a purpose and for a purpose.

7. You are obsessed with things that have ZERO significance when it comes to eternity (1 John 2:17).

Following Jesus in 2012...and Beyond!

Posted by Randy | Labels: , , , , , , , , | Posted On Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

As we begin 2012, my greatest hope and aim for you and me is to grow closer to Christ. I am absolutely convinced that he is the way to a purpose-filled abundant life. As I was reading the Life Journal readings this morning (Jan. 5), Jesus gave his invitation to Levi, the tax collector, that he gives to all of us, "'Follow me and be my disciple.'" (Luke 5:27)

I really do want to follow Jesus and be his disciple. But if I'm honest, I also realize there are times when, no matter what I say, I don't really feel like doing what it takes to follow him. Maybe I'm lazy, or tired, or distracted. Maybe I'm a little ashamed of where I'm at in that moment and really don't want to get any closer to Jesus and let him see what I've been doing (though, of course, there really is no hiding from him - but it feels like I can sometimes).

The truth is, if my spiritual journey to follow Jesus is dependent on how I feel, I'm not going very far. No matter how well-intentioned I may be, my feelings are up and down. Some folks are less driven by their feelings than others, but I'm not one of them. And the reality is, even if we're pretty strong in relying on our "thinking" over our "feeling," we all get tripped up here sooner or later.

That's why I understand that there are a couple of necessities to making changes in my behavior, changes in my practices, to help me better follow Jesus. Quite simply, they are time and accountability.

By time, I mean that it takes time to build something new into our lives. Call it a habit or a practice or a discipline or whatever, but it doesn't become an ongoing reality in my life just because I decided this morning or at the start of this new year to begin something new. Whether it's exercise or reading or a spiritual discipline, it takes time to make it a part of us.

And the time period we often see mentioned in the Bible is 40 days. Yesterday's Life Journal reading in Luke 4:2 told about Jesus going into the wilderness for 40 days. We see the number 40 all through the pages of the Bible, including 40 days it rained in the time of Noah (Genesis 7:17), 40 days Moses was on Mount Sinai with God (Exodus 24:18), 40 days the spies were in the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:25), 40 days of fasting by Moses and Elijah, 40 days of probation given to the Ninevites after Jonah's warning (Jonah 3:4), and the 40 days Christ remained on the earth after his crucifixion and before his ascension (Acts 1:3). The number 40 is also found in reference to years, as in the period of wandering by the Israelites and several other examples. The number 40 is typically related to a time of testing, probation or being tried. And at the end of that time comes a period or item of blessing.

God works through 40 days, and so my encouragement and my challenge to you is to stay with your discipline, your new practice, etc., for 40 days.

But, it's easy to let up or make an excuse for one day, that becomes two days, that then becomes three days and then a week and before you know it, you're either racked with guilt or you've moved on and chalked it up to one more "resolution" that didn't make it. That's why accountability is so critical. Unless we're accountable to someone else, many of us can come up with plenty of excuses for why we let something slip.

That's one of the reasons why I think Jesus was so specific in one of his statements: "'For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.'" (Matthew 18:20 NLT2, italics added) Why two or three? Why not 8-10? Or more? Does that mean he's not there with me all the time, or that's he's not with my family or our church? Of course he is, but the key here is that when we gather as two or three, we can't hide from each other. Two or three is the ideal setting for accountability. I don't have to talk in a group of 8-10, and certainly not in a group of 20 or more, but when there are only two or three of us, there's no hiding, no holding back, without someone noticing. And that's where accountability occurs - when I can't hide. 

It's why I believe God has led us to make our Life2Life ministry and training so important. And why I believe we need to train one thousand or more of us over three years (we're about six months into that time frame) to grow ourselves and grow our influence for Christ across the Bay Area and around the world! You can click on the link to learn more and sign up for the training or if you are new in the Christian faith, have someone come alongside you and walk with you and help you on this journey.

If we're going to get closer to Christ this year, we have to make some changes in our lives, and that takes time - like 40 days. And we need to have someone alongside us to hold us accountable, and likewise, so we can hold them accountable, too. We're in this together! See what God can do in you and through you this year!