Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The gift of today and value systems

Every breath we breathe is a gift from God. Now is a gift. Tomorrow never comes for anyone. Yesterday is a memory. It's always a perpetual state of today. We can choose how to spend today. We can waste it, complaining and bickering about and pursuing what we don't have. Or we can be grateful for the gift of today. We can come at today with a grateful heart and joyfully unwrap the present God has given us. ;)

Let us choose today to be grateful for what we have and live from the over flow to reach out to those who need help around us. There are thousands that died yesterday that never got to see today. All of them are looking at their lives with new eyes and seeing how they could have better spent their time on the earth. I had an experience a few months ago that brought that kind of perspective to me and it has changed the way I view life. It is one of my most precious gifts from God to date after the blood of Jesus and my wife.

I had been in a season where I felt the Lord "drawing me away to the wilderness" to speak to me about some things that are on His heart. After getting back from a ministry trip to Reno, NV, I found a retreat center in the middle of nowhere and I set out to encounter Jesus and hear what He had to say to me. So a few days after my wife and I's 6th anniversary (and my 29th birthday) I borrowed a car and set out to a rural area in southern Kansas.

I was driving down the highway praying as the Lord reminded me about the dreams of our heart as it relate to how we want to live and raise our family and I began to see I needed to be really intentional about pursuing that vision for our lives and not get distracted by other good things. I got to my exit and began to apply my brakes and to my absolute horror, the brake pedal went straight to the floor with almost no stopping power. (I had left the e-brake on from when I had gotten gas and drove 50+ miles on it. Don't do that. It makes your brakes stop working fyi. ;) I went to reach for the e-brake and it was already all the way up! My life flashed before my eyes as I thought I was going to die!

There was no phone signal, my gps thought I was in the forest and the brakes on the car were failing! I was freaking out and suddenly I saw my life with new eyes.

Well the car did stop somehow (evidence that God is real and my deliverer.) and I somehow made it out to the retreat center. I met the care keeper at the front of the property. I called my wife and told her what had happened and I was lead into the cabin I was to stay in while I was there. The property was close to 100 acres. It was huge and in the middle of nowhere. No cell signal, no internet, nothing to save me from encountering God and no one to talk to about what had just happened minutes prior but God. I was freaked out with adrenaline pumping through my veins and my heart beating a mile a minute, my life flashing before my eyes and then, the next thing I know, I'm alone in a room in the middle of nowhere surrounded by forest and darkness with no one to talk to but God. Being along with God sounds really romantic and holy and spiritual and all that but under the right circumstances, it is quite unnerving.

I was alone. With God. My life flashing before my eyes. The only question that was resounding within my mind was "What's important to you right now?" Had I been the one to judge my life had I died that night, I would have called it wasted. I spent all my time on building my ministry and seeking out some kind of destiny. I spent most of my time for things like MacBooks, iPhones, guitars and things while I neglected my family. My value system was so backwards and I was living according to my true value system. I had valued, my career and things more than my wife and my kids. I've spent my life building on a faulty foundation. Had I actually died that day, I would have called my life a waste based on that one point.

It was clear what the Lord was bringing to my attention. My value system was (and still is) in great need of serious reformation.

All that to say today, let us evaluate our value systems today. What do we really value? What takes up most of our hours in the day? We can tell what we really value when we look at the way spend the hours in our days. What takes up our time? How we answer that question will tell us what really matters to us. Today, let us be honest with ourselves and ask; Are we really living for what's really important to us? Are we willing to stand by our value systems with no regret if we were to die today and stand before the Lord? If we were to die today, would we be happy with the way we spent this life? Would we have regret choices that we have made?

Today, let us take some time, a few minutes if that's what you've got and longer if you can and let's ask God to give us a view of our lives. Let's ask Him to give us eyes to see our value systems for what they truly and to give us grace to make the necessary changes that we might live with no regrets on the day we stand before Him. That day is coming sooner than all of us think. It's coming today for all of us. The day we die will be today. Tomorrow never comes. It's always today. Let's be grateful today for the gift that the present moment is and not waste it with worthless whining and chasing frivolous vanity. You are going to die today. How are you going to live the rest of your life? You made it!!! Your alive! Now live this day like it's your last. One day, it will be.

Bless y'all,

Some tools to help ya:

- Take hold of a few minutes of your life and get alone with God, a piece of paper and a pen. (Or an open, blank TextEdit (notepad for y'all pc users) doc if your like myself.)

- Picture yourself at the end of your life and you are standing before God, your maker, sustainer, redeemer and everlasting Father.

- Then write out what you want Him to say about your life and the way you spent it. Take your time and write until your lil hearts content.

- Then take an honest look at your life and the way you spent your time. What are some practical ways you can order your life according to the testimony you want over your life when it's said and done.

- Write those things down and DO IT!!!!!!!!! You are going to fail. Over and over and over again. I call that kinda stuff education. Every time you get up and sit yourself off, God call that faithfulness and He will reward you for it. You'll back when it's all said and done and you'll have way less regret if you just keep reforming your value systems to what's really important to you and never give up.

Bless y'all!

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