Monday, January 10, 2011

Changing 2011? Or, Are You Stuck?

Are you spiritually stuck?

Is change more and more difficult for you to achieve? It's a new year! 2011 is here, and you have already chosen to some degree what you expect from it--and what you will become in it.

I'm a guy who has been known to spin his wheels into some pretty serious ruts. So here is some thinking I've been doing, which has positively effected my praying and my "being."

Have you been framed?
My district pastor recently wrote about a magazine article titled: “Ready to Change? Reaching your goals in 2011”.  Tim Talevich, the article's author interviews J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson, producers of the hit TV series, “The Biggest Loser”, now in its 11th season. 

The article says the series is about  “... people who have somehow found themselves off the track in life, yet tapped an inner strength to change.” 

One of the contestants, a former Viet Nam vet who injured his knees and over time had gained over two hundred pounds, told Roth and Nelson that even though he desperately wanted to lose weight, there were subtle, underlying forces not to. He said, “Most people are like a picture in a frame, never changing. You get comfortable with that picture, because it’s always the same.” 

Have you been framed? Do you look at the picture of your spiritual life and say, I've never been able to pray. I've never been faithful. I've never ________.

The "Thought--Word--Reality Maker."
I've been teaching about "logos" for the past couple of weeks. A guy named John, who was a friend of Jesus, tells the story of creation in the most poetic way. He says that the Logos, which is God, created everything.

Logos means a "word which comes from the thinking process." In reality, most of our words come from our thinking. "Out of the overflow of the mind, a man speaks," said the writer of Proverbs.

So John is saying something like this. Before there was anything, God thought it and then spoke it, and it was created. This matches Genesis' story of creation: "And God said, let there be light. And there was light..."

Does being created in God's image indicate anything regarding the power of our words?
Disclaimer: It is important to remember that we do not create in the way God does. We may fashion, or bring things about. But we cannot make something out of nothing in the way that God can.

However, what we think and speak has power. Does the plant kingdom have this capability? No. The animal kingdom? Not so much. But we, as humans created in the image of God, can think thoughts and fashion new realities. For good. Or for evil.

Like Israel's David: He thinks poetically about a shepherd, then speaks and writes the poem we call the 23rd Psalm. The image has impacted our understanding of God for thousands of years.

Or, he thinks about the beauty of another man's wife, he speaks to his peons about bringing her to the palace, and then commits adultery and murder. The world is changed.

John Kennedy thought, then spoke the space program into hyperdrive. Adolf Hitler thought and spoke hatred into the masses, and created hell on earth. And you own thoughts right now about who you are in relation to God. You're thinking, speaking and fashioning your own spiritual reality.

2011 Prescription
Focus on this for a few mornings and bedtimes, and try believing it.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:17-21 (New International Version, ©2010)

What are you thinking about?
What are you talking about?
What are you bringing about???

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