Friday, February 1, 2013

.Stand for Something or Fall for Anything.

I don't know about you, but to me, taking a walk in the morning is quite refreshing. It allows me time to clear my mind and consider the three aspects of my life that I am truly blessed for - my relationship with an awesome God, my family and my friends. As my walk began this morning, my mother pointed out to me what I considered to be "just a pair of ducks". It wasn't until she explained what made their relationship unique, that my opinion completely changed. She told me that one of the ducks had a missing leg but as they walked together, the healthy duck always remained side-by-side guiding the other, making sure it never fell. What makes this picture special is that the same loyalty that these ducks shared is exactly the type of relationship God wants to have with us. The times in our lives when we it seems like everyone has walked out on us and we have no one to lean on, God wants us to know that He is watching our every move, guiding us step-by-step. Now, I thought I'd throw this quote in there because I found it quite coincidental. Two summers ago while I was on vacation in Michigan I came across a reading that fits God's obedience word for word; it reads, "A friend is the one who walks in when the rest of the world is walking out." You see, no matter what your going through, no matter what is surrounding your life, He will never abandon you, He will never forsake you even when it seems like everyone else has! The question is are you willing to return the favor?

Recently, I received a notification on twitter that said I had a new follower by the name of "Sports Almighty" (and I can't speak for you but when I get a new follower I'm happy as can be). As I was lurking this unknown "person", I realized it was a sports-related website for Christian athletes, in which I immediately took interest. After reading through various articles, I found a story that truly touched my heart; one in which I think we should all take note of. His name is Blake Koch and he is not just a professional NASCAR driver but he is also a bold proclaimer of Christ. What makes Blake's story unique is that he risked his career, his livelihood for the sake of his relationship with God - simply put he was dropped from his contract because of statements of faith that he posted on his personal website. I think Blake is a perfect example of what Peter told Jesus in Matthew 26:33 (NLV) when he said, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you." In the midst of a world that seems to be spiritually declining and putting their trusts in perishable goods, Peter is indirectly telling us exactly what we need to do - we need to remain true to Him, even when the rest of the world walks out (see quote above). Quite honestly Blake's willingness to stand for something greater than the world is pretty awesome, but I think (and speaking for myself I know) this type of obedience in the midst of what the world is telling us to do is an area where we like to live complacent; it's an area where it's hard to break free our comfort zone - but once we break our barrier, there's no telling how strong our faith may become!

Jesus defines loyalty to Him clearly in Luke 9:23 (NIV) when He says, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." You see, obedience to Christ isn't just a one-time deal (in which we can become comfortable with Christ) but rather each day is filled with the challenge to set aside our personal wants and to glorify Him in all we do. This is exactly how far Blake Koch was willing to go! Instead of listening to what the world tells us to do and keep our faith trapped up in our selves, he followed his heart and took up his cross by glorifying God in what he said. The best part is his faith, his trust, his obedience to the Lord granted him a second chance! Fortunately for Blake, another NASCAR corporation saw what had happened to him and offered him a new racing contract! Blake showed us the answer to our question above and that is when we decided to return the favor and remain obedient to the Lord, God is able to do miraculous things in our lives! Maybe it's a second chance at a job or a relationship, maybe it's a new opportunity or promotion, maybe it's a complete change in your outlook of life. No matter what the difference is, God will always remain loyal to you no matter, regardless if the world does. What I ultimately want you to take from this post is that rather than hiding (like I used to) from glorifying Him in all you do and living within our comfort zone barriers, we must be willing to strap Him to our shoulders and take Him out with us into the real world! Simply put, people should notice that you're not ordinary. They should not notice that there is that "something" that makes you different from the rest of the world. We must be willing to remain obedient to Him even when the rest of the world chooses to walk away.

- Madison Franek