3 Ways to Evaluate and Act
by Dr. Dave Coryell, Executive Director of Christian Endeavor USA
My kids have endured learning various leadership and life lessons from me. The one I call my second Leadership Law is, “If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space!” Translation: look to God for His leading and go after it with all your might. Here are 3 ways to evaluate where you are and act!
#1 See a Better Future
While recently on an equipping trip to Nepal, I was able to hear stories about people who have trekked the Himalayas, the world’s largest mountain range. No one wants to be the person who dies or experiences “extremis”, a condition where the body is taken to extreme circumstances and flirts with death. However, this is a distinct possibility for people who choose to make the climb to Mount Everest or the world’s other highest peaks. I learned that people in extremis have a far greater chance of survival when their horizons are formed of projected images that their mind can envision, instead of being limited by what they can physically see. By believing that a better future is possible, a person can be pulled through their current challenging circumstances. Now, before people write me off as a “self-help” guru, pause and realize what we know as Christians. The future that we can envision is promised. We are promised eternity with God in heaven with the inexpressible love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are even told by God in Ephesians 3 that He will do more than we can hope or imagine through the Holy Spirit’s power. This requires us to imagine a better future for God’s glory. Are you living a life on this kind of “edge” or are you taking up space with everyone else? People taking up space are seldom encouraging. The negative news causes them to be swept along towards doom and gloom instead of remembering the promises of God and the calling we have as believers in Christ. Live on the edge!
#2 Life’s events do not surprise God.
Whether it’s news of deteriorating health for yourself or those close to you, job loss, relationship challenges or financial woes, God is not surprised. Natural disasters, political turmoil, shortages of important resources: God is not caught off guard! The question is how will you react to the news? You can shriek and cry out in woe. You can also join the people who will line up to blame or complain about the situation. However, you can also trust that God is in control with full knowledge of the situation. The way to the edge is through trusting God and that He is in control.
#3 God brings good out of challenging circumstances.
Across the pages of the Bible, in worldwide events and even in the simple day to day, we can see God’s power working. As humans we grieve with discouraging news. Remember, in John 11:35, even Jesus wept when he heard his good friend Lazarus died! However, the God that grieved for Lazarus . . . ALSO BROUGHT HIM BACK FROM THE DEAD! God can heal the lame, bring sight to the blind, rain down manna from heaven, and you better believe that He can take your challenges and turn them into blessings. Moving from taking up too much space to living on the edge does not ignore your emotions. Living on the edge means being real with your emotions while maintaining an expectancy that God is going to work.
Has complacency crept into your life? Evaluate and Act! Into the lives of those you love or those you serve? Evaluate and Act! See a better future, know that your situation does not surprise God, and expect Him to bring good out of your challenging circumstances. Peace!