I often call myself a "positive realist." I admit that I sometimes wonder if both of those things can really happen at the same time. Being realistic and being positive? At the same time? Well, in Christ Jesus I think that they can. Jesus dealt head on with the truth and reality right in front of Him. He also truly loved the folk's right in front of Him regardless of who they were. I would say that's being realistic and positive at the same time.
You will remember the story of the "Prodigal Son." The story tells us that nothing changed for the Prodigal Son until he said, "I will set out and go back to my father, and I will say to him...I have sinned." This young man's story ends well. Yours can also - but you must...
1. Decide to take control of your life before circumstances or other people do. Every solution in my life and your life begins with you & me. Well, actually it begins with God and me. A new partner, a new job, or a new house or an unexpected influx of money won't cure what's wrong in your life if the cause lies in your own attitudes and actions. Give God control right now...and don't hesitate. We often have 101 excuses & reasons for the way things are right now in our lives. But what are you willing to do to change them? In this passage, no one came looking to haul the kid home. Not even his father. The son had to do the leg work. He had to do the hard part...which was to CHANGE his life! Will you do what needs to be done in your life?
2. Face reality as it is, not as you think it should be. Do I sometimes wish things were just a little bit different? Sure I do! But that's not living in reality. The prodigal had to realize that the rules he rebelled against at home were essential to his peace and happiness, that all the fun he thought was waiting for him out there wasn't...and that he had to acknowledge his mistakes and correct them before he could get his life back on track. Isaiah 55:7 says, "Let the wicked forsake his way...and return to the Lord." God wants to intervene in our lives, but we've still got to do our part. It's often called the "H.O.W" principle – Honesty, Openness, Willingness.
3. Act now...while you still can. It's been said that The law of evolution states that things evolve and improve on their own. Maybe that's true, maybe it's not. But what we all know is this...certain things left unattended and uncorrected get worse, not better. That's absolutely true whether it's your health, your marriage, your finances, your children, and even your walk with God.
4. The journey is long...but it will end. Sooner or later. Especially as we make the right decisions and choices. Always choose God's Will and Way. You can't go wrong that way. God is always right...and He is never wrong. Think about all the struggles in so many lives of so many folks simply because they refuse to heed the Word of God and the Holy Spirit's work in and around their lives. With God we can & will endure.
5. Even when you live right...there will be those that don't agree with you. Some of the unhappiest people on the planet are those that are trying to govern their lives around what other people think; always trying to make other people happy. That didn't' work in the past and it won't work today. Govern your life around what God thinks and says in His Word. If I'm making God happy...then that's really all that matters. The prodigal's older brother didn't like his brother's life , actions, and choices. But the young man was making things right. That's what matters. Remember that God always knows our heart and sees our motivations. Honor God and don't worry about all the rest!
Let's always face the reality in front of us and honor God in our actions while we can.
God bless each of you. I'll see you in the halls at church.