Have you been working on reaching your new goals? Your 2017 goals?
It’s always good to make goals. I suppose that most of us did make some goals.
Here’s one of mine: read a book a month. This is one goal I’ll be proud to accomplish.
So before 2017 hit, I asked my Facebook friends for recommendations. I was looking for good Christian non-fiction titles. By the next day, I had over a hundred awesome choices.
I downloaded my first book: In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. Already my head is swimming and my heart is moved. The book references an inconspicuous story tucked in the Old Testament:
2 Samuel 23:20-21. This is the story of a heroic man, Benaiah, who chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it.
Imagine that! I’m wondering if the Bible records the weather conditions (snowy day) because it makes the outcome even more incredible. Benaiah didn’t just chase a lion into a pit and kill it, but he was slipping and sliding through the ordeal. I’m not sure any of us would attempt that feat even in the summer months.
The author calls people like Benaiah lion chasers. Here are a few quotes from the book…
Lion chasers are always on the lookout for God-ordained opportunities.
Lion chasers don’t let their fears or doubts keep them from doing what God has called them to do.
Lion chasers know God is bigger and more powerful than any problem they face in the world.
Lion chasers know that impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles.
Lion chasers defy the odds – and make their Father proud.
Lion chasers don’t back down.
And here’s one more…
Lion chasers don’t hide from the things they fear.
This last one comes from Chapter 3 – a chapter on fear. Oh how I can relate since I once was riddled with fear and panic attacks.
We often let our past issues affect our future actions. What does this look like? Here are a few scenarios:
- We failed in a business venture, so we won’t attempt it again.
- We got knocked over by a mammoth wave, so we won’t go in the water.
- We were hurt in a relationship, so we won’t let people close.
- We had a panic attack on the freeway, so we only drive on side roads.
- We were rejected by a publishing house, so we gave up our dream of being a published author.
- We were passed over for a promotion, so we quit trying.
- We were in a car accident, so we won’t get behind the wheel.
- We shook profusely last time we spoke publicly, so we now turn down opportunities to speak.
Now it’s your turn. I want you to write down your past experience and your current scenario on a piece of paper.
Imagine what we are missing if we let our fears dictate our actions. Imagine the limitations our fears put on us.
But here’s the good news: you and I can overcome! This is called chasing lions.
Friends, our past doesn’t have to rule our future.
When we overcome fears that stem from our past, God is the One truly glorified. And then He opens up more opportunities for us.
Benaiah went from chasing and killing a lion to being chosen as the captain of David’s bodyguards (2 Samuel 23:23). Something tells me that his experience in that pit, and the fearlessness he exhibited, helped him attain such a powerful job.
Let me remind you that it’s really a mind problem. Our thinking.
People coming out of a cult have been brainwashed so they need to be re-programmed. The same is true of our minds. Our thoughts of past experiences can be detrimental to our well-being and our successes.
So, how can we reprogram ourselves?
Mark Batterson says, “The way to upgrade our minds is to download Scripture.”
Listen to an excerpt from his book:
When we read Scripture, we are recruiting new nerve cells and rewiring neuronal connections.
In a sense, we are downloading a new operating system that reconfigures the mind.
We stop thinking human thoughts and start thinking God thoughts.
These words seem to bring new meaning to this verse: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).
I know that I wake up with more peace if I read Scripture just before I doze off for the night. I don’t always do this, but I try to. Scripture is the BEST re-programmer.
If you want to learn more about chasing lions, then I would suggest getting Mark’s book. I don’t want to miss any opportunity simply because I let my not-so-good experiences in the past hinder me.
How about you?
I will re-program my thoughts with Scripture. Will you join me?