Browse Category

Priorities

path

Jesus, Saul and the Truth 

The road to Damascus forever changed Saul’s life. He had lived his entire 33 years on the path that he thought was serving God. He was trying, to the best of his ability, to eliminate this new and growing group of people “belonging to the Way” (Acts 9:2b) and that was the purpose of his travel at the time of the interruption that changed his life and gave him his new name—Paul.

There are so many ways Jesus could have “scolded” Paul, but He did not. As He did so many times, Jesus posed a question.

Why?

Jesus did not need to prove He was right or explain himself. Jesus was looking upon His creation, Paul, and interrupted at the perfect time to get him on the path for which he was created.

Paul moved eagerly into the life he was created to live, writing almost half of the New Testament and planting twenty churches.

With this question — “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”— seven words brought truth into Saul’s life for the very first time and changed him forever. How beautiful!

The right question at the right time can be life changing.

When Jeff asked me “have you ever asked God what He thought you should do?” this brought truth into my own life, possibly for the first time for me as well. My life was interrupted and Jeff, just like Jesus, could have condemned me but he did not.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).

Jesus also did this with Peter (Simon) after he had denied him. “He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” (John 21:16).

I believe Jesus used Jeff to bring truth into my life just like Jesus brought truth into Paul’s life. Sometimes a perfectly timed question can propel us toward the life God created us to live. We often need a nudge to live out the calling for our lives.

What question has been asked of you that propelled you into living the life God created you to live?

push

Pushing or Praying?

“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:41-42).

I often want to get my way so badly. Being an only child, getting my way came easily. My mother totally spoiled me.

The shock to my system after I got married and all of a sudden I couldn’t get my way all the time was epic. My desperation during that time was what started my prayer life. (Isn’t it interesting the things God uses to draw us to Himself?) Slowly, very slowly, I began praying sporadically, usually when I needed something, or when I was convinced I was right about something and Nicole was wrong. I was still pushing my way through life, more than praying my way through it. I was probably trying to push God to let me get my way!

In 2011, on my 39th birthday, prayer took on a different meaning when I was convinced to make Jesus the CEO of my life and seek him every day in every area of my life. I had so much to learn, and I still do, but this was a powerful step in the right direction. Praise God.

The energy I expend praying vs. pushing is finally shifting more towards praying. Pushing is hard. Pushing my agenda, beliefs, ideas, and thoughts onto someone is not only bad for relationships, it’s pointless. I’m learning more and more to turn to God in prayer, the true power. Turning to God in prayer makes pushing look like a weak alternative. I ask more questions of my friends, family, clients, and those with whom I interact – instead of telling them what I think.

Nowadays I try to only share my agenda or opinion in specific circumstances:

  1. After much prayer.
  2. When asked directly. Even then, I usually ask questions first. Jeff, my friend and mentor, modeled this for me.
  3. With those closest to me like Nicole, Luke, and close friends or family.

Thinking about this more, when I look at how Jesus interacted with those around him, I see him praying and questioning and gently teaching, never pushing at all. If I am to be like Him, I need to totally let go of the need to push, and instead pray, ask more questions, and gently teach when it’s appropriate.

I have so much work to do here. Pushing comes naturally; prayer does not.

Where are you in this journey of praying vs. pushing?

Friday Inspiration

Your priorities in life aren’t just marginal options. They are life-determining. Your personality is molded inescapably in what  you’ve given to be a priority in your life. You become what is most important in your life.

Jerry Leachman, Teacher and Former Chaplain of the Washington Redskins

Friday Inspiration

Have We Slowed Down Like Saul?

Once Saul left Damascus and slipped into Arabia, he began taking inventory. There was no “To Do before Sundown” lists. No “Six Fast Steps to Success” or other self-help scrolls clumped under his arms. He was alone. He walked slower….He considered each new dawn a gift from the Lord, the perfect opportunity to rework his priorities and rethink his motives.

Chuck Swindoll, Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit