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Choose to be different!

I have always been rebellious.  I didn’t realize it until recently, but I have always hated going with what everyone else was doing.  I grew up in an environment where there were few good moral examples.   I saw laws being broken constantly.  I was surrounded by drug dealers, drug addicts, thieves, liars, prostitutes, murderers, adulterers, wife beaters, devil worshipers, gang bangers and many other lifestyles that were not the example of how to live a productive life.  There was a period of time that I tried to be like them to fit in, but I never got away with it.  I got caught almost every time.  It is pretty obvious looking back that I had a calling on my life.  It all came to a screeching halt when I was 15.   I got arrested and sent to Juvenile Detention Center.   They only made me stay 3 days but the humiliation of being arrested in the middle of math class, being walked out in handcuffs and shackles, put in a paddy wagon and sent to jail in my cheerleading outfit woke me up.  I spent the weekend in that juvenile detention center with my freedom taken away from me and I made up my mind that I had to do differently than I was taught.

I didn’t realize it at the time but I was really rebellious.  I was labeled a “goodie 2 shoes” because I was a rule follower but deep inside I chose to do good because I saw what the effects of doing wrong did in people’s lives.  I was more influenced by the people in my live that had such a light that shined in them that it rubbed off on those around them.  They went to church, did nice things for people like me and lived an honest life.  They seemed to be so at peace, they had nice houses, nice things and never had to look over their shoulders.  They got me through some of the most difficult times in my childhood.

I would like to encourage you to stand strong in the Lord.  There is more freedom in following the directions of the bible then there is in living a life doing whatever we think to do from day to day.  I have been kept in a lot of dangerous situations by the Lord.  As I get older I realize that those “rules” in the bible are not there to tell us everything we can’t do and be mean.  They are there to keep us from heartache, unecessary hurts, to keep our bodies strong and healthy and to minimize trauma in our lives.  Our lives will not be perfect until that day that Jesus comes back or we meet him in heaven, but we can make our lives on this earth much more enjoyable by looking deeply into the word of God.

Here are 3 reminders that the scriptures give us to be different, set apart, rebellious to the ways of the world.

  1. Renew Your mind ALWAYS

We must always be searching the word of God to make our lives line up with what it says.  It is easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to win God’s approval by works.  But that is not what I am saying.  I am saying that there is so much freedom in living the way our Creator created us to be.  If we are not careful we will get wound up in wrong thinking that will trap us.  It is very evident in people who are stuck in a poverty mind set.  They never get out of the situation.  They die wrapped up in their painful situation.  Its so hard to see someone trapped in agony but it happens when we stop renewing our minds.

     2.  Don’t go back to the darkness!

It is a trap from the enemy that drags us back into darkness after we have been delivered.  It is done very sneakily.  Satan knows that we are too smart to fall easily so he patiently and slowly puts traps before you that if you are not aware will wear you down until you look up and you have fallen back into the same trap.  You wonder how you got there.  You must stay aware that you are royalty.  Don’t let anything take your crown!

3.  Expect opposition!

 

Don’t be surprised when you are met with a resistance.  The devil is the author of confusion.  He loves to stir up strife and disagreements in order to get people so wound up that they can’t hear the truth.  You can’t go around starting strife, but don’t be the least bit surprised when you are going happily along and you are met with hatred.  Respond with love.  God is good and will give you a group of people that you can feel safe around.  People who are hearing God’s voice as well.  1 great and loyal friend is better than 10 disloyal friends.  When you look at the example of Jesus, you will see that he was met with opposition if not daily, almost daily.  He never responded with hatred but He stood his ground.  He knew the truth, and so do we.  We can speak the truth in love and still be met with indifference.

I am so glad that I got to a point in my life where I stopped caring so much about other people’s opinion and started caring about God’s opinion of me.  It can get very tiring when you are working toward a cause.  Day in and day out you work toward the calling on your life.   Often times it seems to be in vain.  You see no reward in sight for your actions.  But everytime you go to quit God sends a reminder that you are on the right track.  Everytime you get discouraged, something seemingly random happens and you get the boost that you need to make it through another round.  If I hadn’t made up my mind at a young age that I was going to strive for God’s calling on my life I can honestly say that I would be dead by now or in prison, or in a miserable lifestyle. CHOOSE TO BE DIFFERENT!