I was 46 when I attended my first Wild at Heart Boot Camp in CO in 2003. I didn’t know what a mess I was…I had an inkling, but I thought I was ok, sort of. You know what I am talking about, right?
At the time I was a full time Young Life Area Director with over 20 years of youth ministry under my belt. Even though I had a raging anger, was critical of others, and I had a secret addiction to pornography and masturbation…I appeared on the outside to be a pretty normal Christian man. I attended church, read my Bible, had a pretty consistent QT (quiet time), and was passionate about leading kids to Jesus.
I had been a Christian for nearly 25 years at that point, and while Jesus had indeed saved me, there were levels of my internal life that had never been transformed by Jesus.
Like so many men I know, I was taught at a very young age that if I performed a certain way, I would be rewarded. If I didn’t perform the way I was expected to, I would receive some kind of punishment, usually with a heaping helping of shame on the side.
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Trained to Perform
It isn’t hard to imagine then, how when we surrender our lives to Jesus and begin to follow Him, that we transfer our performance mentality over onto how we perceive that God looks at you and I. You know the drill…attend church, join a small group, read your Bible, pray, journal, volunteer in the church, tithe the exact right amount, and then just try not to blow it. How many of you have done some or all of those things in an effort to fit in, or do the right thing in an attempt to please God? Go ahead, raise your hand. And let me ask you…how is that working for you? Obviously those are all good and important things, but what is your motive? Checking those boxes off daily or weekly is just not enough.
Far too many of us live our lives in the shadows…only revealing a portion of who we really are. We are persuaded by the constant voice of the Accuser that we are seemingly the only one that struggles…I mean just look around on a Sunday morning, do you see anyone who remotely resembles how you feel on the inside? Not if we are honest. So what would it look like for you to live in freedom? To live with no regrets, no shame, no darting eyes, or looking over your shoulder…no more fear that at any moment you are going to be found out? Do you even believe that this kind of freedom is available to guys like you?
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Listen to how Jesus announced his mission in Luke 4:18-19…“God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!” The Message
The good news is that Jesus came so that you and I could be set free, and to receive the healing that we so desperately need and desire. If that is true, how come we feel just the opposite most days? Could it be that we have greatly misinterpreted what it is that Jesus wants for us? If we are convinced that because of our brokenness, Jesus isn’t interested in being with us, then we will never experience His deep love for us and His desire to see us live in freedom. Not just freedom from separation at the end of your life, but
There is More
Friends, there is more…more life, more healing, more intimacy with Jesus than you have ever imagined. He desires to walk intimately with you as your friend…to be invited into your fears, your shame, your addictions, your mistakes, and your relationships. His promise is to heal you and to set you free. Remember, you have an enemy that hates you. He knows who you can be and fears it. He is relentless in his attempt to keep you hidden, and fearful. And, as followers of Jesus Christ we have been given His authority to overcome every attempt of the enemy to keep us pinned down.
Is this God’s year act for you?
As the title states…God is always on time. He is never early, and He is never late…so no matter where you are in your life, God’s timing in perfect. He is asking…will you let me come to you, today? Will you surrender your attempts to make life work on your own and let me show you all that I have for you?
What will your answer be?
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