Avoiding the Mediocre Life – part 1.

20 09 2011

“So King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.” (Acts 26:19)

This was said by Paul later in his ministry. The vision he was referring to was given in Acts 9. God tells Ananias, “This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Fast forward to chapter 26 and Paul is before a Gentile king. He was living out the incredible life God had envisioned for him.

One of my mentors connected the dots for me on this story. He pointed out that while we often look at our current circumstances or dwell on the past, God is looking to the future and sees how we will be. In Acts 9 Paul was a persecutor of the church. Ananias tried to remind God of Paul’s past and why Paul was on his way to Damascus in the first place. God understood who Paul was but God was looking at Paul faithfully standing before King Agrippa in the future.
How does this apply to you and me? We don’t have to let our past or our current circumstances derail the plan God has for us. God has a vision of us being a great friend, a faithful spouse, a terrific parent and for some leaders in the church. Our part is to trust in God’s vision.

The first step in trusting God’s vision is to remember God is more concerned with who we are than what we do. Often times we bog ourselves down with creating a huge “to do” list for God hoping that if we finish all the items on the list then God will be happy with us. This is a part of our accomplishment driven culture. We naturally define success by what we have done. Now if we apply this logic to a one year old child, it falls apart. What can a one year old accomplish other than looking cute and making all the people in the room talk funny? We don’t hold the child accountable for what the child has done instead we enjoy the child for who he or she is. Compared to God we are at best one year old children.

I want to dig into this idea a little deeper. Think about the last time you were with a child. What was your focus? First, if you are like me, you want to check out their toys. Kids give us a great excuse to play and some of their toys are pretty cool. What was your focus when they did something wrong? For the most part you focused on their character. You guided them on how to share or play fairly. You taught them cheating is wrong and pulling hair is not an effective conflict resolution strategy.

If we can see that God is focused on our character and who we are as a person, then we start to focus on the right things.

This week I encourage you to spend some time in prayer and ask God about your character. What are those areas you can celebrate because you are strong in them and what are areas you need to work on? Working on those areas is a matter of praying, reading the bible to get God’s perspective and often times having someone holding us accountable to help us change.

Now you might be wondering how this ties in with my title “avoiding the mediocre life.” I am glad you asked. This sets the stage for what we will talk about next week. As we see God molding who we are, the stage is set for us to have an incredible impact on the world around us and have a life that is anything but mediocre.

God Bless,
Chaps


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