Psychological Procrastination

We’re all familiar with procrastination. “I know I should do it today, but… I’ll do it next week.” But as I was praying, I came up with a term that described the way I feel many times: “psychological procrastination”. This is where you’re at church, or at home, and you begin to think about getting closer to the Lord, or you’re wanting to have a more passionate faith. But then you think within yourself, “I’m not really feeling it right now. I will get closer to the Lord, but just not today. Maybe next week I’ll get something out of church or the sermon.”

And it goes on week after week – a whole year goes by and you’re thinking, “Where has the time gone? My life needs to go to another level!” Here’s the kicker though. We get excited for a day, or week at most, but then gradually decline into our typical ‘mode’, whatever that happens to be for you. But there needs to be a way to really break free from this “psychological procrastination”, so that a change can really take place, and that fruit would follow.

Maybe it’s just being aware that psychological procrastination is taking place, is the first step to change.

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Playing it Safe?

If God promises you something big, never settle for less.

“And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: “Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here?” (Numbers 32:6, NKJV)

This verse, literally jumped out at me this week. The significance of the original language, in this text, is absolutely eye-opening. The tribe of Ruben (which means, “to see” ), and Gad (which means, “a fortune” ), these two tribes saw the incredible land that they wanted to be theirs. The only problem is that it was on the wrong side of the Jordan. The whole deliverance from Egypt was for the purpose of getting them across the Jordan River, and into their very own “Promised Land”. But these two tribes were content to stay right where they were at. What did they see? Num. 32:1 says they saw the land of Jazer (which means, “help & protection” ), and Gilead, (which means: “to be exposed” and “arguments” ). Here’s the thing: Sometimes what looks good on the surface, ends up leaving you exposed, and causes a lot of arguments, shouting matches, and family feuds. When we begin playing it safe, it ends up biting us in the end! Matthew Henry says it like this: “They consulted their own private convenience more than the public good.”

Stop sitting around twiddling your thumbs

To sum it up, let me share this: If God promises you something big, never settle for less. If He’s spoken to you about being a Pastor, don’t lower yourself by taking a management position just because the job looks good, and you know that you’ll be able to afford a house & car payment. If He’s spoken to you to start a business, why are you settling in the land that looks safe, and that you’re protected? You know you’re not happy. You’re arguing with your spouse, your spiritual-walk is constantly being attacked. Why? Because you’re not strapping on your boots and dealing with the issues at hand. Get in there and possess your land! Stop sitting around twiddling your thumbs, while others are excited to be in the promised land. Go get yours!

Evangelize or Fossilize

So many people get bored in Church. Why? Well, here’s one hypothesis: Because we never invite anyone to Church! Isn’t that true? We think the problem is with the preacher, with the people, with the uncomfortable pew we’re sitting on, but noooooooo… “the problem couldn’t be with us.” But it is. We’ve become a fossil, and the Church has become our “museum”. The only person we’re concerned about is ourselves. [Ouch]. But if we’d take a pro-active stance to evangelize and hand out invites for our Church when we’re at the grocery store, gas station then maybe “Church” wouldn’t be so “boring”.

How about inviting that co-worker to Church? I know, I know… you asked them before, right? But that was a year ago! No doubt the Holy Spirit has been working in their life, so it’s time to ask them again. Go for it, and see if it doesn’t make “Church” more exciting. Because when your friend finally comes, and find the Lord, you will be ecstatic!

Get Off The Criminal Road!

This week I was at the Illinois African-American Economic and Social Empowerment Summit in Springfield, IL with my Pastor. Now, as a ”white guy”, sure I felt a little out of place, but there was something that the representative of the Department of Corrections said about “Re-offenders” that really got me thinking. He said… “You gotta get ‘em off the criminal road!” It got me thinking about the parallels of the sinner who gives his heart to Christ, but that’s merely the beginning.

What is “The Criminal Road”? And how do you know you’re on that road? Sure, you repented of your sins, or asked God to forgive you of some sin you committed, but are you about to “re-offend”?

Matt 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”

Here’s some of the warning signs that you may in fact be on The Criminal Road:

1. YOU HAVE A POLLUTED SOCIAL NETWORK.
I see this all the time with young people. Their close friends are using profanity on their MySpace page, they’re still trying to “be cool” at school and fit in at Church, It just doesn’t work. “Who you hang with is who you’ll HANG with!” The noose is ready, the executioner is wearing his black hood! Why? Because you’re friends are bent on sin. They eat it up like a hungry pig in a garbage dump. Your social network has got to change. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” [1Cor. 15:33]

2. YOU HAVE STINKIN’ THINKIN’.
Sure Jesus is in your heart, but the Devil is still controlling your thoughts. If you’re thinking about dope, Hennessy, or getting down at the Club, where do you think you are? You’re not on the Highway of Holiness, you’re on the Criminal Road, and you’re about to re-offend and get locked-up! Isaiah 35:8 says, “And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein”.

3. YOU’VE GOT BOOGERS IN YOUR NOSE
Have you ever talked to someone and noticed they had a booger in their nose? They didn’t check themselves in the mirror beforehand. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” [Matt. 7:3] Many times the person on The Criminal Road has got his nose in everybody’s business but his own. He’s lost his focus on getting his own live on track, and somehow validates himself by correcting others.

4. YOU HAVE DIRTY HABBITS
Habits are something that you do day-in and day-out. A habit can make you or break you depending on what kind of habits you have. Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No!” campaign didn’t work, because there was nothing to say “Yes” to! If you take away the Alcohol you’ve got to replace it by drinking the New Wine. If you take away the Marijuana or Crack pipe you’ve got to replace it with a passion for prayer and praise. You’ve got to exchange those dirty habits.

5. YOU’VE GOT BAD BREATH
I’m almost aghast at how many “Christians” these days use profanity or take the Lord’s Name in vain. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45. Cuss on, my friend – you’re on the Criminal Road and the Holy Spirit is about incarcerate you if you don’t take a detour – quick!

6. YOU’VE GOT A SMELLY SCHEDULE
The person who’s on the Criminal Road is consistently lazy with fulfilling their priorities. They say things like, “Yeah, I’ve been busy lately”, “I just haven’t had time”, or “I know I should have but…” My Pastor once said, “Excuses are like buttholes – everyone’s got one.” I tell my young people, in regards to homework, etc. “Do the worst first.” We must set our priorities, and then everything else is secondary. The Criminal Road is filled with a smelly schedule. Get it cleaned-up and the fragrance of Christ [2 Cor. 2:14] will go before you!

Feeling like a “spiritual-slacker”?

If you feel like you have been a “spiritual-slacker” lately then I’ve got just the thing that will revitalize your relationship with God!!

Starting this Friday we’re going on a 21-Day “DANIEL FAST”

JOIN THE 21-DAY FAST!!

A “Daniel Fast” is when you abstain from “Pleasant Food” [Daniel 10:3], and eat only fruit, vegetables, nuts, etc. [Just click on the link above and you’ll see a Bulletin at the bottom of the page with alot more info]. But someone once said…

“Drastic times require drastic measures.”

You don’t have to go the full 21 days. You can do a meal here and there, and perhaps the 2 week you can go a couple days. The point is to do something. “…deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus!”

You and I are living in a time where this world is literally collapsing around us, and if your heart isn’t strengthened, and if you aren’t as close to God as you think you are…. you won’t be able to make it. You say, “how absurd!?” Really? Jesus Christ, Himself – fully God, fully man went on a 40-Day Fast because He knew the severity of living in this sin-soaked world. If you & I don’t stand strong for Christ in the day-and-age that we’re living in we’re going to be swept off our feet with the ever-increasing tide of sin.

The time to stop it is now! It’s time for a change! Join our 21-Day Fast today!

Pastor Robb

Don’t Bury Your Talents!

On Wednesday nite we had our first Talent Show at United Youth! Afterwards we talked about “Don’t Bury Your Talents!” out of Matt. 25:14-30 . At the root of all of it is a mis-understanding of who God really is. In this parable the last servant said, [speaking to the Lord], “Well, I knew you to be harsh, strict and ruthless, and so THAT’s why I buried my talent.” The Lord snapped-off and called him “wicked” and threw him into outer darkness.

No matter where you’re at with your relationship with God, could it be that you’re not seeing the Lord 100% clearly? Are you going to trust your emotions and think that “God” is for old people and continue to have a “who cares” mentality? Be careful, because one day you will stand before Him to give an account of your life.

On the other hand… the first 2 servants used what gifts and talents they had received, and when it came time to stand before God, listen to what the Lord said, “You’ve been faithful over a few things, now I will make you ruler of much, enter into the joy of your Lord!” [In other words… “you lived your life with eternity in-view… now that you’re life on earth is finished you can enjoy Heaven forever!”]

Don’t bury your talents – USE THEM for GOD!!

Faithful Prison Thugs

I just got done watching Lockup. You know, that show where they go inside maximum security prisons. Call me strange, but those shows are just so interesting to me. There was a certain man in there who belonged to a gang. They asked him why he would commit such violent acts – even right there in prison, and he said, “I’m a good soldier”. As I sat there sitting with my “Christian Self” I thought, “how can this criminal have such faithfulness and loyalty to his gang, and yet for most “Christians”… we don’t understand these terms of allegience to God?”

And yet I get the feeling from most believers that they are yawning their way through life… “Jesus is Lord, I’m bored, and who on the Olympics scored?”

Do we have a “Burger King Christianity” where we have to have it our way, and that without our “Happy Meal” of nice ear-scratching on Sunday morning we’re going to pout and backslide from the Faith? What kind of fantasy world are we living in? Daniel of old was faithful, innocent, bold, and courageous. He turned the tide of an entire empire by the character he obtained in his prayer closet.

We could learn a lesson from Daniel and these rugged, milltant prisoners who are willing to lay their life on the line at any given time.

“Lord, help us.”