July, 2013

Jul 13

Powerdigm: The Cause-and-Effect That Isn’t

(This is an ongoing series on “powerful paradigms” that hold the potential to transform your life.)

Have you ever had a recurring problem in your life that just won’t go away? Maybe it was a coworker who constantly annoyed you. Before long, you started thinking thoughts like, “Every time Bob cracks a joke to his colleague when I’m on the phone, I can’t hear a word the customer is saying, and it makes me so mad!”

Or maybe you have trouble remembering people’s names, and you find yourself thinking, “Every time I meet someone new, I can’t remember their name, and I say something stupid.”

It’s easy for us to draw connections between certain situations and certain outcomes. We begin assume that Bob’s jokes are the cause of our anger, and we begin to assume that meeting someone new is the cause of our social mishaps.

But it’s not true.

The funny thing is that as long as you believe that Bob’s jokes make you angry, they probably will, because you’ve just made yourself a slave to your situation. The only way for you to stop getting angry is to find a way to change the situation–make Bob stop telling his crazy jokes when you’re on the phone! And the only way to avoid being socially awkward is to avoid meeting new people!

In short, the only way to live your life is to avoid certain situations because of the anticipated outcome. In other words, your only choice is to live a life controlled by fear.

Sometimes, breaking the power of these situations is as simple as disconnecting the cause from the effect. When we recognize that our anger is not caused by the situation, we receive the freedom to change our attitude. When we recognize that meeting new people does not cause our awkwardness, we receive the freedom to grow socially.

And if by chance we have lived our lives in fear, it is then that we have the freedom to define our lives not by the situations that surround us or by the outcomes we’ve trained ourselves to anticipate, but by the Spirit who lives within us. After all, He is a Spirit of freedom and of self-control.

So let me close off with some questions for you:

  • Can you recognize any of your personal cause-and-effect connections as actually being false?
  • What are situations that you have allowed to dictate your responses?
  • How would your perspective of these situations change if you were able to disconnect the cause from the effect?

It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, so live free!

For the King.

Jul 13

Powerdigm: You Matter!

(This is an ongoing series on “powerful paradigms” that hold the potential to transform your life.)

“You matter.”

It’s not a phrase my wife or I will forget anytime soon. This summer God gave my wife the idea of making white wristbands with the words “YOU MATTER” written boldly in red. When the carnival came to town, we went out one evening to hand them out to the people we met. We reminded them that they really do matter. Unfortunately, my plans were not big enough, and our 200 wristbands were gone in half an hour! But we were both amazed by the responses of complete strangers–some surprised to receive a gift, and others astonished to be so affirmed.

While it was an incredible experience, I didn’t see the power of this message through the strangers that we met. I saw it through the transformation in my wife as she embraced this truth.

She matters.

It’s not because she’s earned a special spot with God.

It’s not because she’s able to outperform everyone else.

It’s not because she’s managed to always feel significant.

It’s simply because two thousand years ago, before she was even born, God looked at her and said, “I’ll buy that.” And when the world asked, “At what price?” He answered with the greatest possible gift–the life of His only Son. And He did not just give His life to die on the cross; He gave His life to take up residence in her!

You see, the truth that “she matters” isn’t because she loved God or believed Him. It’s simply because the Father saw her created value. He saw everything that she can be in Him, and in His estimation, she was more than worth it!

She matters, and she believes it. And because she believes it, she is free to bring her requests to the Father. Because she believes it, she has something to offer the world. Because she believes it, she is free to believe in others–because she can see something in them that they cannot always see in themselves.

So let me turn it back to you.

“You matter!”

Stop the excuses and simply believe it–if for no other reason but that God has spoken it loudly through the cross. Until you believe it, you will not be able to engage the world that you live in. You will not have faith to ask what you will from your Father in heaven. You will not have courage to chase after the dreams God has called you to fulfill. You will not be able empower others to be everything they can be.

Don’t just think it. Don’t just feel it. Live it and believe it!


For the King!

Jul 13

Powerdigms: Introduction

From the moment you wake up to the instant you fall asleep, your life is controlled by something unseen. They dictate your choices, your actions, and your responses. They determine your attitude, your perspective, and in time, your success.

These unseen things are your beliefs. They are your beliefs about yourself, the world, those around you, and even God Himself. They are the engine that drive your life.

Many of us are unaware of the ways our mindsets affect the way we live. We try to change behaviors we don’t like, but we fail to bring lasting change. Why? We don’t recognize that certain beliefs actually keep us in our prison of old behavior. Transformation comes by overhauling the engine of life–by renewing our minds so that our thoughts line up with God’s thoughts.

And it’s not without opposition. We live in a war zone, and the enemy is fighting for our life. He wants to claim our prize, and so we fight. But we do not fight with ordinary means. As Paul wrote, “We take every thought captive to obey Christ.” How do we fight? We fight by judging our thoughts–do they empower me to fulfill God’s call and manifest Christ to the world, or do they disempower me and cause me to cower? We destroy every mindset that is not from God.

We must embrace these life-changing mindsets. I call them “powerful paradigms,” or powerdigms, because they will empower us to fulfill the destiny and call that God has placed on our life. They must become more than an idea; they must become the very heart and soul of our lives.

As you go through your day, I challenge you to consider this: What are the beliefs that drive my actions? Are these beliefs positive beliefs? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you not only places of error, but the truth that He would have you believe.

For the King.