Robert Frost wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood. I chose the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” I believe we are at a crossroads as Christians today. Too many signs are pointing to what seems to be God beginning to gather His people. It’s time to stop warming benches, and get in the trenches. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” We need to start walking in the “good way.” George Barna wrote in Revolution, “You either stand for Jesus, or you stand for all that He died to repudiate.”
You say, ‘well sure I believe in Jesus.’ That’s not enough. You believe that there is one God? “Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder.” (James 2:19) You say you attend church regularly, pay your tithe, and serve on the usher team. That’s good. But are you walking with God? Or are you “holding to a form of godliness, although you have denied it’s power?” (II Timothy 3:5)
The road to righteous Godliness is less traveled. Jesus said, “For the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14) The bottom line is, you have to make a choice. There is no middle ground. Barna wrote, “All are combatants who declare their side in the conflict through their words and actions. No gray area exists: you are either aligned with God, the champion of holiness and freedom, or Satan, the challenger promoting evil and enslavement.” There’s a line in an old Rush song called “Freewill,” that says, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” If you don’t pick up your sword and shield and march into this life in the Kingdom, then the enemy wins by default. If the Spirit of the Lord is not in you, and not leading your life, you’re a sitting duck. And worse, you’re of no use to the Kingdom at the moment. Jesus said, “so because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16)
That’s a pretty hard line isn’t it? Maybe. The point is this, I believe a season of God is moving upon the Church like we’ve not seen in a long time. And it is possible to sit there and miss the whole thing. True, God is tremendously patient with us. Paul said, “I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience.” (I Timothy 1:16) But what a joy it is to be free in Christ, now. Really free! Freedom from all the garbage. And that is a joy and freedom you can have, now. But you have to choose. You have to decide to pick up your mat and walk. I rather like this narrow road. Tough, yes. But it’s an adventure. And it’s pretty darn exciting when you get right down to it. And it has made all the difference in my life.
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I see it over and over again.
Men wanting to live an authentic life. Waiting. And waiting.
Wanting the life they hear about, read about; life to the full … but it eludes them. Life seems more about managing and maintaining.
Jesus came to “heal the broken hearted,” he said. Restore and liberate. So let him.
The Heavenly life is available. Now.
The difficulty is that we don’t appreciate the fact that it takes a process.
A potentially long process.
Oswald Chambers says, “The curse with most of us is that we won’t.” It just feels too overwhelming. And where would we start anyway?
We’ve spent a lifetime getting to this place … it’s just going to take a while getting out of this place. One prayer doesn’t fix it. Neither does a bunch of religious activity.
Jesus invites us on a journey; a lifelong journey. One that takes us within our own soul, to the core of our life, our desires, our authenticity; our hearts.
His central mission as publicly stated in Luke 4:18 was to “… heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, (and) to set at liberty them that are bruised.” And He offers this to us.
He calls us to a journey into our own souls where we must enter the cavern of our lives with all it’s dark and scary places … all it’s wounds, fears, demons, and monsters … and asks us to open the lock we guard so tightly around our heart so He can come in and restore it. We must do it. He knocks at the door, but we must open it.
Imagine yourself as Indiana Jones – on a quest to the bowels of your own soul … “for behold,” Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is within you.” Journey there with Him – for you hold the keys. Take Him there and let Him in. Let Him do His work. Surrender. Surrender to His healing, delivering, sight restoring, liberating work. Go get your freedom. Loose the Kingdom inside. From there you can begin to live; live the authentic life. Healed, delivered, restored, and free.
Greg Tutwiler, www.ChristianCoachingForMen.com
The Masculine Journey Trail Guide
Release date; tentative late Fall 2014
Shoulda, coulda, woulda … I hate that saying. There’s nothing positive about it, at all. I think it should be listed as the definition of the word regret. What rings in your mind when you rattle those words?
Okay, so here’s the good part. It doesn’t have to end that way. Not yet. Don’t let shoulda, coulda, woulda become your epitaph. Seriously. Make a list right now. What are the things you’re thinking you should have done, could have done, or would have done? Perhaps it is too late for a few of them, but not all. As long as there’s breath, there’s hope. If you should have said you’re sorry, maybe you still can. If you could have taken your child to that movie, maybe you still can. If you would have … (fill in the blank).
Shoulda, coulda, woulda is past tense living. What can you do differently today? Choose the now, not yesterday. And realize that tomorrow hasn’t happened yet. Make it your goal to arrive at your final days with those three cruddy words nowhere in site.