Late last fall while I was working out in our garage gym I was getting frustrated with the workout that I was attempting to do that day. I was out of breath and couldn’t get my body to master the moves. As I sat on the floor feeling sorry for myself, all of a sudden the words DON’T QUIT were being pressed on my mind.
I got up, wrote the words on our white board, and started trying again. Sure, I still struggled to finish the work out, but the key was that I kept doing the work.
How often in life do we let struggles get us down?
It’s easy to quit, whine, complain, or worry about obstacles in our lives, instead of just buckling down and trusting God to help you get it done. Life has plenty of distractions that can derail your work.
Philippians 1:6 says, “And so I am sure that God who began this good work in you will carry it on until it is finished on the day of Christ Jesus.”
Did you hear that? Our God is going to carry you on as you finish your life path. Do you know what that means? That means you and I are not alone in this race.
No matter what you face in life, Jesus is right there holding us up. He is giving us the strength we need to finish strong. So just press on and do the work!
But how do we do that?
As I thought about how to Press On and stay motivated in every area of my life, I remembered the Put Off, Put On sermon that one of our previous pastors would always mention when he was preaching.
Ephesians 4:22-24 GNB “So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to — the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.”
This passage talks about putting off your old self and putting on a new self. The old self is full of negative and deceitful actions. It only thinks about its self. It’s easily distracted and full of fear.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not the life I want to live.
God wants us to shed that skin and to slip into a new self that is completely new. One that thinks of others first. One that is full of love and compassion, even in the face of adversity.Basically it comes down to two basic principles. Do and don’t. Or put off and put on.
This is such an easy way to filter out wrong emotions and wrong thinking as you live life. When you are struggling, think about the wrong action or attitude that your old self would rather do.
It can look like jealousy, crying, comparing, whining, complaining, doubting, sitting still, or giving up.
Push those negative thoughts aside!
Ask God to give you the strength to embrace a new thought life. One that includes cheering others on, smiling, having confidence, being joyful, doing your best, setting goals, and being consistent.
Basically pressing on and doing the right thing no matter what. It’s what we teach our kids when they are little, so why is it so hard to do when we get older.
My challenge from God for this year is to Press On in every area of my life. It is my goal to not let my current moods determine my present and future actions.
Each morning I’m going to start the day by eating a healthy breakfast and reading my Bible before I do anything else. Not only will I be feeding my body the right foods, but I will be feeding my soul with God’s truth.
This daily habit starts my day off with important truths and sets the tone for the day. The days that I get distracted and neglect this “food” I am moody and frazzled the entire day. By Letting the Son-Shine In each morning, I am able to face the day knowing my priorities are right.
Another area I want to Press On and do my best is in raising our children to love God and to develop areas of faith in their lives. I was reminded this fall as our oldest went to college that life with kids goes by so fast.
I want them to see me putting God first and putting on the actions and attitudes that builds others up. As they see these Godly things modeled in our lives, they are more likely to adopt those same attitudes in their daily life when they move out. (Here are more Thought’s from a Mom’s Heart if you like.)
Proverbs 22:6 NLT “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
I also want to Press On to be the best wife I can be for my husband. This year we are celebrating our 20 year anniversary. We made a choice a long time ago to put up with each other’s attitudes and bad days and love each other no matter. And this is one that we continue to make each day.
I know that I want to be a better person and live selflessly for the man God have me. Again it’s that action of putting someone ahead of yourself daily.
Philippians 2:3-4 NLT “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
Life is Full of Choices. Will you choose God and the peace that He brings or will you choose yourself? Remember, we CAN choose each day who we will serve. And though it will take a moment-by-moment reorienting of our mind throughout the day, this choice begins first thing in the morning.
So as we enter into this daily choice, trust in the One who created the new day and you. He will provide the grace we need to make each new day His.