Have you ever gone white water rafting? I am a big thrill seeker and will jump at any opportunity to go river rafting.
When I’ve gone rafting almost all of my experiences have been exciting and adventurous. However, there was one time it was anything but fun. It was more like a slow and painful obstacle course.
The raft I was on kept getting stuck! It was so frustrating. Tide pools, big boulders and floating tree trunks were holding my raft back! I had a “need for speed” (Top Gun, anyone?), but instead it was constant interruption.
Our life journey is like river rafting.
And how we are living our lives, how we are aligned with God and connected to him can either decide if our ride will be full of obstacles, a slowed frustrating pace; A ride that blocks us or delays us from discovering God’s plan for our life; A ride that keeps us from achieving those longings in our soul. OR…
A ride where the river seems to open up, and you can maneuver around those obstacles more efficiently! You can start achieving all that you desire, open up to the amazing and wonderful things God has planned for you! You become aware of your earthly purpose and you go after it with confidence!
Up until a few years ago, my journey was full of frustration by obstacles everywhere in my river! I was unable to discover my sense of purpose. These obstacles blocked miracles and limited what God could do for my life.
What were my obstacles that were slowing me down?
- Criticism and judgment of myself and people around me (sometimes said out loud and sometimes in my head).
- Habitual thoughts of fear, worry, and doubt about my future plagued my thinking.
- My perspective of the world was one of “lack:” Lack of money, lack of honest people, lack of respect, lack of time, lack of willpower…etc.
Then I came upon this verse in Acts 3:19 (MSG). It’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you.
I needed to transform my ways!
My thoughts and feelings of fear, judgment, lack, criticism, and doubt were like the tree limbs on a river that interfered with my connection to God. They were like boulders that blocked me from receiving God’s guidance. They kept me from progressing in my life, from moving forward to all that God had in store for me!
So what are the conditions of YOUR river? Do you feel like you are stuck, stagnant, lost or frustrated? Here are 5 ways to getting around your obstacles, create momentum for success, and open yourself up to discover God’s purpose and start receiving the blessings he wants to shower on you.
1. Immerse yourself in God’s word to connect to his power. Not just one hour every other Sunday. DAILY study his word! Talk with Jesus, he is right next to you- say hello! Arm yourself with his promises.
2. Start making CONSCIOUS efforts to find value in every person. Christ sees the value in YOU; let’s find the value in each other. Focus on what is “right” about a person, not what’s wrong.
3. Extend kindness and generosity EVERY chance you get! God gives us so many opportunities every day to do this, but many times the devil plants a mind weed of judgment where we look to see who is worthy or unworthy of kindness. Last week’s Mental Makeover Memo was about how Jesus’ commands us to be easy on people and how that makes life easier. Not getting our Mental Makeover Memos? Click here to sign up and start receiving them!
4. Interrupt habitual thought patterns of complaint and criticism, and replace them with compliments. There are people who seem to be habitually dissatisfied with everything. I just think how tough life can seem with this destructive thought pattern. If you recognize that you tend to be a complainer, there’s good news! God’s word gives us power so we CAN overcome those thought habits! When we choose (yes, it really is a choice) to look at our life with God’s perspective, it can ABSOLUTELY transform us!
5. Move to a mindset of abundance rather than lack. The devil is hard at work on our minds. We believe the mind weed that we “don’t have enough.” Satan gives the illusion that we don’t have the patience or money or time to share with others. We believe we lack certain abilities, strength, energy, beauty to accomplish our goals. Start thinking “There is an abundance, and God will provide!”
Now friends, it’s one thing to just READ these words, but I challenge you to REALLY put into practice these strategies. Romans 2:13 says, Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes a difference.
As you shift into this way of thinking and living and “Change your ways,” HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT! The river you are on will OPEN UP, the obstacles seem to get fewer in number and smaller in size. You are on a fast track to the glorious life God intends for YOU!