- Discover Your God-Given Gifts, by Don and Katie Fortune
- Understanding Spiritual Gifts
- Channels of Blessing, by Dr. Bobby Mullins (in print or ebook): http://www.masterdesign.org/mullins.html
We hear the phrase victorious Christian living often but I’m not sure very many people know what it really means, much less how to achieve it.
Raising the bar: I once thought the normal Christian life involved much failure and defeat. After all to err is human. And all God expects from us is to do the best we can, because He understands our weakness. But when we die and go to Heaven then everything will be OK. Wrong! It may sound nice, and even be comforting when we consider our future. But as one man said, “how does this help me in the ugly here and now?” It doesn’t!
THE SOURCE OF VICTORY
Such a life of failure and defeat is not indicative of God’s heavenly kingdom. And it’s certainly not victory. That is why Jesus told us to pray that His kingdom would come here on Earth as it is in Heaven. Once you receive Jesus Christ, God’s kingdom is within you, because the Kingdom of Heaven is the realm of God’s presence. But it is all in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the victor, He is the conqueror, and He is the triumphant victorious king. Hallelujah!
Heaven on Earth, that’s the life and the victory that Christ offers. We can live victorious because of the Victor Jesus Christ who has conquered Satan, death and hell. Jesus is victor over all things. Thus we can be victorious over all things through Christ Jesus our Lord-our indwelling king.
WHAT IS VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING?
Consider some biblical terms that describe victory in the NT:
Strong-in the Lord-Ephesians 6:10,
And yet we are told in Isaiah 33:23 that “The lame take to prey.” 2 Corinthians 12:10, Matthew 26:41, Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
courtesy of https://www.sourceministries.net/
“But he [Elijah] himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:4).
In the pastorate, the fall is usually a busy season, which rolls into the joys and challenges of Christmas programs and activities. The holidays can also trigger some depression. Sometimes this is due to comparing our families and circumstances to the ideal, or maybe it’s due to exhaustion—physical and psychological.
Our devotional and biographical heritage reveals that burnout can also be an opportunity to discover–in a new and deeper way–how God’s strength can be perfected in our weakness. As the apostle Paul testified,
“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead…” (2 Cor. 1:8,9 emphasis added).
For more on the “not I, but Christ” illumination, see Hudson Taylor’s testimonial letter here.
For an article that gleans practical suggestions from the account of the prophet Elijah, see “When You’re a Pastor Who Suffers from Depression: What the story of Elijah (and psychological research) tells us about how to cope.” By Stephanie Dyrness Lobdell. It’s at the CT blog here:
by Chip Ingram (reposted)
You might be overworked, overwhelmed, and overcommitted if:
- You can’t remember the last time you took a nap without feeling guilty…
- You’ve bumped into someone at church and wanted to get together, but didn’t have room in your schedule for the next six months…
- Your family meals together consist of McDonald’s drive-through on the way to several activities during the week…
- You live from one “to-do list” to the next with the illusion that someday, in some way, things will slow down and then you’ll take that time to build relationships and serve God. But that someday never comes.
I used to live this way 30 years ago. Until one day, my doctor looked me in the eye and said, “Chip, you’re either going to die a young man, or you’re going to learn how to live very differently. You live at a pace and at a level that will kill you if you don’t change.”
Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we all believe in someone or something to “hold us up” inside. When that person or thing comes through for us, then life is good! But when that person or thing doesn’t come through for us, then we experience a sense of anxiety, dissatisfaction, and ultimately despair.
But the truth is, there isn’t anyone or anything that will come through for us 24/7 – except for God Himself.
by Chip Ingram (reposted from LivingontheEdge.org)
Burnout Main Reason for Pete Wilson’s Resignation
From Cross Point Church in Nashville
On Sunday morning, Wilson announced his decision to the congregation. In a video of the announcement posted to Cross Point’s website, Wilson shares, “We’ve said that this is a church where it’s okay to not be okay, and I’m not okay. I’m tired. And I’m broken and I just need some rest.”
The main reasons he shared for leaving were being tired, “leading on empty” and neglecting some things that should have been prioritized. Wilson was diligent to assure the congregation that he is for the church and wishes them to continue in the vision of “loving the unloved.”
One of the lessons about avoiding–or recovering from–burnout is to appreciate and appropriate the Rest of the Gospel.
Finding Soul Rest, By John Woodward
Friends who went camping described their enjoyable get-away. When I asked if they slept in a tent or trailer, they told me that they used hammocks. They tied the fabric between trees, suspended above the ground–a comfortable way to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
What a picture of rest. We need times of rest for our bodies, but we also long for a rest for our souls. Like the Galatian Christians, many have “begun in the Spirit” (have been saved by grace), but are trying to be “made perfect by the flesh” (Gal. 3:1-3). The result is that we serve God with self-effort and end up exhausted.
Martha lapsed into this common syndrome, however well-intentioned. You recall that Jesus and his disciples were staying with His friends, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus:
“Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her'” (Luke 10:40-42).
Stop...Trying to make it happen and get it done. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Ps. 37:7.
Stop...Focusing on yourself, your issues, your needs, your problems, your sin and “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith”. Heb. 12:2
Stop...Trying to do right and not do wrong and not sin and “Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus”. Rom. 6:11
Stop...Being anxious about your circumstance and your situation and “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. 1 Pet. 5:7
Courtesy of Freedom in Christ Ministries.