“It’s Just A Test, I Will Move Forward”

It's Just A Test

I remember watching a documentary on the special forces, I forget their actual real world name but they were a military group that accepted very few people each year. In order to be accepted you had to pass several tests and trials over, I believe what was, a six week period.

This morning I got up really early after a decently late night. I jumped into the shower and something became very clear to me… I wasn’t wearing clothes?!? No, what became clear to me was that my ability to feel good and function to my full ability was decreased due to the lack of sleep.

Back to the documentary, one of the first tests these potential soldiers had to pass was a series of sleep deprivation exercises followed by different mental tests. They would have to try and fall asleep to heavy metal music being blasted out of speakers surrounding the camp. However, the speakers wouldn’t always be on, they would shut off just long enough for the soldiers to start to fall asleep and then suddenly would be turned on again. On top of that, on random occasions they would have to get up at all hours of the night and go do drills outside. From running long distances to crossing ice cold rivers all while deprived of sleep. As this was happening the drill sergeants would taunt them, they would try to get inside their heads with thoughts of doubt and discouragement.

This went on for awhile, and quickly the number of recruits dropped further and further. Some time went on and test after test, after test, after test, the camera started to follow around this one man. He wasn’t someone that  showed to be a leader at the beginning or even someone that stood out. He wasn’t the strongest or the fastest, however, after weeks of drills people started to pay attention to him. As people around him were falling he would go to them and tell them that it was just a test, and would encourage them to keep going. You see he didn’t see them as random drills or as mean people trying to tear him down. He saw them as necessary training to be able to prepare him for the reality of the battlefield. He knew that the sergeants were not attacking him personally and he knew the drills were not trying to ruin his life. He saw them for what they were. That is why every time he was faced with something he would be able to overcome.

Let me encourage you in what you are going through, what I have been through and what we will all go through in the future. It is, and will be a test, keep moving forward. Does that mean that they are not legitimate attacks from the enemy, no. However, the test comes when you are pushed beyond your capabilities, will you push into God’s grace or will you give up? Will you choose to keep the faith and believe that God is good to fulfill his promises, or will you look at the calendar and say, “it’s been too long God has forgotten?” Will you look at your finances and say, “I don’t have enough for this and this and this?” Or will you choose to realize that God was serious when He said in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has an amazing plan for your life?

You see, it’s always a test, sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s not. Regardless, keep moving forward.

It’s just a test, I will move forward. 

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“It’s Just A Test, I Will Move Forward”

It’s A Lie

It's all a lie

It’s a lie.

I know many people, if not everyone that I have come in contact with, that struggle with one thing or another. I know people who are addicted to drugs, to alcohol, to sex, to smoking, to pornography, to food, to a vast number of things. What makes me sad, is that they are all “good people”. Sure a few of them don’t really want to change, they are more comfortable in their addictions, but there are also many who want freedom. I have fought battle after battle for my freedom from things. I have learned over time how to completely over come the things that I once struggled with and today walk in freedom, but it was a massive battle that spanned over a decade. Today I was reminded of something that helped me near the breakthrough point when I was struggling with something.

I remember there was a time in my life where I was tired, a time where I had almost like the perfect storm of situations, a time where it would be extremely easy to just give in. I remember exactly where I was standing when I was contemplating giving up my progress, as I stood there, it just hit me. It’s a lie. Giving in, has never made anyone a better person. Ever. We do the things that we do usually out of impulse and eventually habit, when we are caught up in the moment we almost try to convince ourselves that it is right, that it’s what we want. Let me encourage you, you don’t want addiction to anything, you don’t want slavery, you want freedom. It’s all a lie. Going back to my story for a second, as I stood there ready to throw away the things I worked for, I just said those words,”It’s a lie”.  I stopped myself, thought about what I was doing, I thought about the implications, then that prompting to go through with it came back. Instead of going through with it though, I literally just stood their and spoke out, “It’s a lie”. Those words gave me the strength to see what I was dealing with in the right light, and gave me to opportunity to walk away.

The next time you are faced with these things that have taken too much of you and given nothing in return, don’t give in, obviously it’s not enough to just step away, but it may be the first step to your freedom. So when temptation comes for you, whether it be through movies, pornography, drugs, alcohol, over eating, physical abuse or whatever. Step back, give it a hard look, see where it has brought you, see where you want to be, and realize that it’s all a lie, and that you will be better on the other side of it.

Psalm 54:7 “For He has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.”

It’s A Lie

If You’re Going Through Hell…Keep Going

Perseverance 

steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc.,especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement

 

Recently I spoke to a youth group, if you have ever heard me speak odds are that you haven’t heard me speak on the same thing more then once.  Before I go and speak, I pray about what God wants me to bring to each individual church because how well do you know that everyone is not going through the same thing. Another thing that I have noticed when I speak is literally every single time I give a message I’m tested in that area, it doesn’t matter what the topic is, that is just how it happens!

Recently as I spoke I was led to speak on perseverance. Perseverance is probably one of the most frustrating things. You see it’s easy to set a goal and work towards it and hit it, but perseverance is what is needed when your goal is so far away, so far out of reach that you can’t even see it. Regardless you just keep moving forward slowly but surely paying no attention to the progress or lack there of around you. Perseverance has no expiry date. Well I ended up speaking last Friday, it went great, and true to form this week there was a day where I was hit pretty hard. I mean everything that would usually have been able to take me out I was hit with. Everything that could go wrong seemed like it did go wrong, and the thing that was tried the most was my perseverance. You see it’s one thing to just speak on something, anyone can do that, but it’s a whole other thing to walk through it, and come out on the other side.

However, what happens when perseverance is not something that is coming easy to you? What happens when you have been beaten down time after time after time? What happens when you are in the thick of things and everything seems to be going wrong and you start to feel like the only option you have is to give up? This is the state I was in awhile ago. I work really hard, every day. I’m usually working in the mornings before I actually go to my job at life 100.3 and that can become tiring. Throw some situations that are stressful in and some people giving me a hard time and it’s difficult. However, as I was feeling this pressure, I turned to God and just asked for help. Now that all is said and done I can look back and see that He is good to partner with those who partner with Him and pull them through. It’s funny how you can’t see the help always when you are going through something, but when all is said and done you realize how much it was there. When I was going through a hard time, God sent three people. Minutes after I prayed someone texted me with just a word of encouragement, and a confirmation that what I was doing was the right thing. Then a few hours after that a different person texted me about this new worship artist that I needed to listen too! So I did, I put it on and that changed the atmosphere. Then near the end of my day, two really good friends invited me over to just hang out and relax.

Sure they could all be coincidences, but they were all exactly what I needed at the right time. Let me encourage you, if you call yourself a child of God, you are not alone. There is a God who does partner with those who partner with Him regardless of what it looks like around them. So keep standing strong, keep persevering, God sees your work, He sees your effort, and even though you sometimes can’t, He sees your eminent victory!

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If You’re Going Through Hell…Keep Going