You don’t have to be in high school to discern whether or not you belong. Based upon your personality and the people you encounter, conversations and friendships can quickly turn into tug of wars, seeking control. My own defense mechanism causes me to begin cautiously, often listening more than talking before opening up. However, once I feel comfortable in a certain setting or group of individuals, my true identity shines through.
However, there are many things which wage war against your soul in this life, making victory elusive, 1 Peter 2:11. Depending upon your motivation or degree or perseverance, many give up, throwing in the towel before they taste success. When you add this factor to the excess baggage people carry from their past, reaching the summit of John 10:10 seems unrealistic. Spirits of doubt, failure and pessimism imprint a loser mentality upon the souls of many. Instead of claiming the promise of Philippians 4:13, a lack of faith prohibits these bystanders from obtaining joy.
So how can someone establish a foundation for victory? What must one do to turn their fortune from failure to celebration? A Calvinist will say you don’t have a prayer; you’re either chosen or not. The Arminian will disagree, claiming everyone has a shot. While God’s grace does play a major role in victory, Ephesians 2:8, there is more as acts of contrition and penitence demonstrate whether or not someone is on the right track, James 2:26. From my own journey, below are essential ingredients which have put me into position to achieve victory.
1) Like Jesus, you need to find a quiet place, seeking solitude daily to get your heart and mind in the right place, Luke 4:42.
2) You need to find and or develop friendships which elevate your self-esteem and spiritual hunger, Acts 2:42-47.
3) Fill your idle time listening to uplifting music whether through Pandora, Radio Stations or You Tubes that will get you through each day, filling your mind with wholesome lyrics and thoughts, 1 Samuel 16:23.
4) Try to read a chapter of the Bible daily which will enhance your faith while transforming your mind, Romans 10:17.
5) Spend time each day in some form of recreation, whether running, working out and investing in a hobby which makes you happy, providing a sense of accomplishment daily, 1 Timothy 4:8.
6) Once a week, write down, preferably in a journal, goals that you want to fulfill before the day, week or month is over. This exercise provides needed vision for the future, Hosea 4:6.
7) Devote time once a month either helping, serving and volunteering within your church or community. It’s better to give than receive.
May these ideas inspire you develop your own daily/weekly disciplines and practices which will lead you toward a foundation for victory. May God honor the commitments you make to better yourself in 2014!
by Jay Mankus