Looking down at my cell phone for the third time in about five minutes, I saw a local telephone number popup on my screen. I didn’t recognize it, plus I was in the middle of a busy day; so I ignored it. Little did I know that the number was from my neighbor’s land-line phone, and it was my wife trying to get a hold of me.
As we retold the story later, we laughed, and realized it was all because she went rushing out the door, leaving both her keys and her phone inside the house.
That tiny little piece of metal called a key meant the difference between a smooth, uninterrupted day and something that caused the rest of the day to be rearranged.
When it comes to having victory in our daily life, the key is found in a powerful little verse. As a preacher friend once told me, let this verse get a hold of your life and it will make a huge difference in your Christian life!
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7)
We fail every single time if we are doing it in our own strength.
The key is to depend on CHRIST.
I really enjoy hiking! One thing that I’ve realized as I’ve been hiking around on a number of different trails is that is important to keep your eye on the ground in front of you as well as the scenery around you! There are sticks, rocks, holes, and various “trip hazards” that you will (literally) stumble across. It’s exactly the same in your Christian walk. The Devil is hard at work and would love nothing better than to see you stumble and fall. But remember our key verse! The promise of Scripture is clear. As you allow the words of Christ to fill your life, you’ll see answers to prayer, and you’ll ultimately see victory as Christ gives you the strength to stand.
Here’s where it gets real. The tongue. It reveals what’s really in our heart, and unfortunately, we find that it’s an unkind word, a short response, or a harsh comment revealing a selfish attitude. Yes,these are all the normal “human” responses, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right! James 3:5 reminds us “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” It’s a challenging task, but yielding to the Lord will help us gain control over our tongue!
In addition to the things I mentioned already, our ability to impact the world for Jesus Christ is tied to our testimony. There are many little things that we can let slide: our dress, our music, our friends, our entertainment, our attitude. All of these combined either reflect a life that’s been transformed by the Gospel, or they reflect a life that’s tainted by sin.
Think about your testimony? Is it one of pride or humility? Pride says “no one can tell me what to do.” Pride says “a little rock music is ok.” Pride says “no one will ever know if I disobey.” But it’s all a lie. God knows, and eventually others will as well, because you can’t hide your testimony. What seems like a tiny issue will grow, and grow until it’s a ungly monster that you can’t control. Paul warned the Corinthian Christians, and we do well to pay attention to his warning. “Your glorying [pride] is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Corinthians 5:6)
In my office, I have a note on my bulletin board that says “Be a Paul: Stand for the Truth; Be a Barnabas: Be known for your encouragement.” As I read the Bible, these two characters stood out to me based on a single characteristic of their life. Now it’s not to say that Paul didn’t encourage anyone and that Barnabas didn’t stand for the truth, but their testimony was specifically linked to one characteristic. It’s the little things that will cause you to be known as a Paul or a Barnabas!
Let me encourage you to make some important little habits a priority in your life. Daily time in the Word, quality fellowship with Christians, personal accountability, diligence in prayer… these are all habits that you need to build into your life. Guess what? You don’t need to wait until tomorrow. Today! Right now, right here is the best place to start! Let’s circle back to our key verse for a second. Ask the Lord for strength and power to do right and He’ll give it to you! Victory in the Christian life is accomplished by taking small steps in the right direction and depending fully on Christ. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness…” (2 Peter 1:5-6)
To wrap it all up, there’s a lot at stake when it comes to the little areas of our life. Be a teen that’s attentive to the Lord, and be yielded to His desires for your life. When you’re old and gray, you’ll be glad you did!