This past weekend I spent at the Wild at Heart Boot Camp near the town of Fraser, Colorado. John Eldredge, through his writings, has played a huge part in my quest to become the man God has created me to be, and so it was a thrill to be able to attend this event. The message of Wild at Heart is how it is possible restore the masculine heart in men. I believe that God has been using John and his team at Ransomed Heart to bring freedom, hope, and healing to a generation of men who desperately need to hear it.
The nature of Boot Camp is very personal as men invite God; the Father, Son, and Spirit; into their lives and hearts in order to discover healing and hear truth. I came away from the weekend with a renewed hope that I can experience the life God created me to live. To be honest I have been growing increasingly resigned to the belief that true life is something I would never experience. Satan is great at robbing us of hope and the result is that many of us live in silent resignation that God’s best isn’t available for us.
One way we can battle this resignation (which is also a piece of advice John gave us on Sunday morning) is to stand firm in the truth. That means we have to take God at His word. If He has made a promise we need to believe it and live as if it is true. Many times, because Satan is liar, these promises don’t FEEL real or true, so we have to trust God’s Word against our feeling and emotions. Remember, our feelings are not always accurate and are able to lead us astray, so we have to commit to believing and living out God’s promises in spite of our feelings.
What are some of the promises that we need to trust in order for us to grow into the people God created us to be? Let me share with you three essential promises that are often over looked.
1. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10; ESV). We often grab a hold of the second part of this verse, though we tend to spiritualize and say that the abundant life is in heaven, the part that is often overlooked is the first part of the verse. We live our lives without recognizing the fact that there is an enemy. Satan exists opposes God’s will. He doesn’t want us to experience life because God wants give us life.
This reality explains, in part, why life is difficult and seldom turns out the way we plan. It is very important that we do what we can to resist Satan. Consider what Peter writes: Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world (1 Peter 5:8, 9; ESV). We can resist Satan, but it will only happen if we stand firm in faith.
2. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18; ESV). Wow! So often I live my life as if I am alone. Jesus promises us that we are not alone, we are a part of a great family. Through the Holy Spirit we have God with us, guiding us through life. Through the Church we have a great number of people on our side. It is so essential that we seek God’s guidance through scripture, prayer, and the input of other Christ Followers. It is also essential that we become a part of a fellowship, a group of people who will love us, encourage us, pray for us, and fight with us. We are not alone so we need to quit acting like we are.
3. “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:7; ESV). Jesus is returning! It will be at that time that He will make everything right. Therefore don’t lose heart. It is easy to believe that evil, suffering, and death are going to win the day, and because of that we become discouraged and don’t risk or struggle against the forces of evil. The hope from this promise should give us the courage to step out and fight for what is right. Jesus is coming back, and nothing Satan does will stop Him, so let us live our lives in the light of this wonderful hope.
So many of us miss out on the transforming power of God because we don’t trust Him and live our lives in the reality of His promises. My encouragement to you today is to trust God by living as if His promises were true, even when they feel to be false. How else will we ever learn to trust God with our lives?