Strive to Survive

This morning during prayer, I felt directed to read through some notes that were given to me by a long-time pastor-friend, Rev. Bill Pellum, some time ago. He was in the process of preparing a sermon called “How to Survive When You Feel Lost.” I remember being exceptionally curious about it, as the basis for his study was taken from several Field & Stream magazines. While the focal-point articles were not of a spiritual basis, they centered on actions that can be applied to the life of a Christian. I’ve applied my thoughts to the points that were put forth.

1. Leave a note. Don’t try to walk the Christian road of life alone. We all need someone to whom we can be accountable if something goes wrong. Every Christian needs a lifeline, someone who will look out for them if they get lost along the way. Submission is the key here. Yep, that’s a hard thing to do. But, if we can’t submit to a human, how can we ever expect to be able to submit to God’s will for our lives? Humans are just that – human. Shepherds aren’t infallible, and they make mistakes. But, don’t we all? We all need a go-to guy, someone we can depend on to “come and get us” if we get lost.

2. Dress for the worst. Paul provided the perfect outline for a person who was serious about their walk with God. Would you go on a vacation to a new destination without first checking the average temperature there? I doubt it! We must spiritually ‘dress’ ourselves on a daily basis. (Ephesians 6:11-17) We might pray, but if we ignore His armor, we’re really doing ourselves an injustice.

3. Hunt with a companion. Don’t go it alone! Make sure that you seek the fellowship of Christian brothers and sisters. There is safety in numbers, and it also provides a support base in times of trouble.  (Luke 10:1-3) We forsake friends and confidantes, thinking we can “just deal” on our own. We lack trust in other people which, in turn, affects our trust in God. Some might say that it’s “just their personality.” Okay, so you’re habitually a loner. Consider that the scriptures don’t mention Jesus traveling alone. He was always surrounded by other people. Granted, the disciples weren’t always the sharpest tacks in the box. But, they loved Him, and they wanted to spend time with Him. We all need somebody – outside our family – that will love and care about us.

4. Never hike at night! God is light. Our enemy loves darkness. Think about it. When do most “bad” things happen? At night, under cover of darkness, where people and actions cannot be seen. Likewise, our path cannot be hidden from us if we are seeking our direction from God, who is the light in this world. (Luke 11:33-36) We consistently do things that lead us into darkness. Whether “small” or “big,” habits can turn God’s light off in our lives. We all have issues, whether it is our mouth that runs out of control, or it’s a much bigger habit that we can’t control.

5. Establish a home base. We all need a place to call “home,” a place of safety. Belonging to a specific group of believers provides this for us. (Hebrews 10:24-25) Sometimes, it’s easy to set aside a habit of church attendance. But, we Christians need each other! We need the strength and enjoyment that comes from mingling with people who are “just like us.” Just showing up doesn’t count. We’ve got to get involved in order to feel that “we belong there!”

6. Leave a trail. Leave a mark of where you’ve been. Pastor Pellum’s notes: “Touch a life. Start a ministry. Make a friend. Leave a legacy. Create a hole that exists when you leave. Make a difference.” I think that pretty much sums up that point!

7. Find or construct a shelter. Pastor Pellum wrote “doctrine” in the margin. My interpretation? Create a doctrinal foundation in your life, then rest in it. Nourish it. Feed it. Protect yourself from the elements, meaning people and things that will put holes in your foundation, that create chinks in your spiritual armor. Know what you believe.

8. Build a fire! Pastor Pellum’s notes read, “Religion without relationship is a cold existence.” Who wants to live a Christian life without anointing? Conviction? Passion! Don’t go through the motions, but seek to warm yourself with a daily dose of God’s presence.

9. Signal for help. Please, ask for help. Don’t “just deal.” Get help. If there isn’t anyone in your life who truly cares about you, look for someone! In April, a total stranger stopped to help me after I fell from my bicycle. Not only did she pick me up off the ground (literally), she then jogged 10 minutes to get her car, took me to an urgent care, and when that wasn’t good enough, she drove me to an ER! Yep, and she was a total stranger. If someone who doesn’t know me would do that, what would someone who truly loves you do to help you out?

10. Conserve energy. My husband has drilled into our girls, “Pick your hill to die on.” Is it really so important to fight every battle with all the strength that you possess? Don’t spiritually wear yourself out! And, remember, don’t dislike the person that may be at the core of your battle. Dislike – and fight – the spirit that is motivating the issue that causes the battle.

Thank you, “Brudder Bill,” for this reminder. It’s a timely one in my life. Oh, and by the way, if you happen to live in Circleville, Ohio? Look up Cornerstone Christian Church, Pastor William Pellum. You’ll be very glad that you did.

GAlphin

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, Prayer

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