Thriving Instead of Surviving Under Pressures & Distractions

Happy Monday!

Another week… it’s the fall season here in the northern hemisphere. People are starting to wear long pants and hoodies (sweatshirts)… leaves are starting to fall from some of our trees, plants are starting to shrivel up, our grass will be brown in a few more weeks.

Everyone seems to be focusing on work and education, slightly on edge but determined to succeed despite a challenging economy… a little more lively than they were during the summer months of rest and relaxation. The holidays are not to far away!

So many families seem to have their own unique set of personal challenges… epic challenges, forcing an overwhelming majority of us into some kind of very dangerous instinctive mode of survival. It’s like nothing I’ve seen at any other time during my 38 years here on earth.

Everyone appears distracted… unable to focus… unable to commit… sloppy and off their game. People known for a lifetime of showcase character… they are starting to display bizarre flashes of rottenness… even the very best people from our society… so many of them are right now reaching their breaking point. The pressure has become more than many can bare… and beautiful people are SNAPPING over the littlest things.

Luke 21:33-35 Amplified Version

The sky and the earth (the universe, the world) will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose;

For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth.

Luke warned of days like these… he encouraged people not to become OVERBURDENED and DEPRESSED… not to be WEIGHED DOWN with the GIDDINESS and HEADACHE and NAUSEA of SELF-INDULGENCE, DRUNKENNESS, and WORLDY WORRIES and CARES PERTAINING TO THE BUSINESS OF THIS LIFE… and that day come upon us suddenly like a trap or noose.

Luke was obviously talking about the end of this grace age… and he warned people 2000 years ago: to BEWARE of the dangers of times like these, when WORRIES and CARES PERTAINING TO THE BUSINESS OF THIS LIFE will try to distract us from the things that really matter.

Just ten years ago, EVERY solid follower of Jesus attended church EVERY SUNDAY (morning and evening services), EVERY MIDWEEK SERVICE, and usually a WEEKLY PRAYER MEETING. Then, due to lack of interest churches stopped having Sunday evening services… and many of them no longer have a Wednesday night service or a prayer meeting… until TODAY, those who are considered the “SOLID” followers of Jesus only attend 2-3 SUNDAY services a month.

Just ten years ago, people could be counted on when they made a COMMITMENT… today: most people will not even MAKE A COMMITMENT without the promise of great reward… and those who do commit, have very little intentions of keeping the commitments they make.

The people of this hour despise authority… will not submit themselves to the slightest accountability. When they are questioned about their performance they quit or threaten to quit… forcing management to tolerate below par performance. Incompetence has become the norm of this culture.

Financial giving to churches has PLUMMETED over the past two years. Volunteerism is at an all time low. People want to be left alone to FOCUS on their personal problems alone.

For the person who is willing to WORK HARD, and sacrifice, and appreciate accountability, and make BOLD and selfless commitments, and carry out their commitments with rare precision… there is a gigantic opportunity for THIS person in TODAYS world and a tremendous difference to be made!

Meditate on todays blog ALL DAY LONG… be honest with yourself. Take a deep breath and make the necessary changes! Dare to BE DIFFERENT! Take your personal challenges to GOD in prayer and ask him for the FAITH to TRUST that all things are and WILL CONTINUE TO WORK OUT FOR YOUR BEST. Then give your time to things that REALLY matter in the face of eternity!

I hope todays blog adds tremendous value to your amazing lives! I just finished praying for you guys… so expect a BEAUTIFUL DAY! Love you all!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “Thriving Instead of Surviving Under Pressures & Distractions

  1. Good post. Much of the lack of commitment to proper worship can be linked directly to the modern "therapy" gospel, which teaches that God and His Church exists for the benefit of solving all of our temporal problems. In that case, why go to church if your having a great week? Just wait until you need some spiritual guidance, and then show up.

    We need to learn that we exist for the glory of God, whether we are in a time of blessing or a time of trial. Worshipping God with our all is our "reasonable service".

  2. Angie: awesome compliment!
    Puritan Lad: Well spoken, short and to the point… excellent addition to this message!
    Kristin: great thoughts… challenging questions!

    Thanks for the comments… I love the interaction! I just finished re-reading todays blog… and I am SO CHALLENGED by my own writing! God, this is powerful! I thank God for speaking so many things to my own heart through these written thoughts!

    Have a super night you guys!!

  3. Hey Pastor! Exceptional Blog! It is VERY hard to trust God when life gets tough and worry creeps in… when hoarding seems the best survival plan. Self-preservation turns to self-centeredness–until we’ve kicked out the One who would rescue us in the first place!
    Priorities, priorities, priorities…
    Thank you for making me examine mine. What really DOES matter in the face of eternity? And what will I look like the day eternity looks at me?

  4. Pastor Chuck,
    I had a dream on Saturday evening before I went to work that really scared me but fits with what you are talking about. I was on my death bed and taking my last breath and crying because I didn’t want to leave behind this world, my children,grand children and just my life. I was afraid and couldn’t see past these things. Then I felt God tell me that none of the things of this world mattered anymore as I was taking my last breath, that all that mattered was HIM and if I lived for Him. The feeling of dying was so real that when I woke up it took me a long time to pull myself together. In that instance God showed me that the cares of this world are nothing and my only concern should be my walk with Him. I just pray that God will not let me forget the dream and the way I felt when taking my last breath. Pray for me please that me and my household will grow stronger and stronger in the Lord with each day. Rita

    • Amazing Rita! Thank you so much for sharing this dream with everyone! A friend recently told me about some ministry that is handing out bracelets with the phrase, “30 days”… or something like this. It’s to trigger the kind of transformations your dream brought about… with the question, “What if I only had 30 days to live?” Every time I chat with a person well into their 80s I consider the SHORTNESS of life… and how I too will blink my eye… and I will be chatting with a young man of 38 years. We have one life to live… let’s make it LEGENDARY!