Life At Its Best: A God of second chances
Everyone likes second chances. Most of us can remember times as kids when we'd drop to our knees begging for "just one more chance."
Then, our pleas were for something pretty simple. We wanted another opportunity to get that prize or to steer clear of a spanking; however, as adults, things are a bit different.
We still desire second chances. But the potential outcomes we're seeking are much bigger than a toy or avoiding a little punishment. Now, it's an opportunity to rebuild our family, career or finances. We want a chance to get past our difficulties and pursue a better life.
The Israelites understood the value of second chances. For years they would disobey God's commands and, as a result, had missed out on the promised life He had for them. They spent 40 years wandering around in the wilderness.
Finally, after nearly half a century, they were on the brink of entering the Promise Land. This was their chance - their opportunity to leave the wilderness behind and begin a better life.
While they were moving toward the land, Moses, their leader, read out the laws the Lord had given them and commanded them to obey. He encouraged them that, in order to enter the new land, they'd have to focus not on the current situations they faced in the desert but on God's covenant.
He also told them of the enemy tribes they'd encounter. He warned them not to listen to their instruction but to continue to follow the voice of God and of the leaders He'd appointed.
Like the Israelites, we all have seasons when we feel stuck in a "wilderness," so to speak. We're unsure of how to get through the difficulties we're facing. In those times, it's easy to settle for something short of God's best. But we can't give up.
Instead, we must decide that simply living on the edge of God's blessing isn't enough. We must make choices that will move us out of our desert and into the destiny He has for us.
One of the choices we must make is to set the right focus. Whatever we focus on becomes bigger, so we must learn to shift our eyes from our problems to God's promises. We must live convinced that He can help us overcome the difficult seasons of life.
That doesn't mean we're not real to the things we're going through. Recognizing the challenges we face is necessary in overcoming them; however, we must remember that our reality is not God's reality and that even in the midst of our difficulty, He has a definite plan.
We must listen to the right voices. Be intentional about who you let speak into your life during tough seasons. Get in God's Word and allow Him to speak to you.
Surround yourself with Godly friends and mentors who will encourage you and keep you moving in the right direction. When you do, you'll find yourself moving out of the difficulties and into God's absolute best.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.