How to Get Your Life Together…Without Selling Out Your Faith
Okay, guys, I have to confess something, a frustration that I have, that I’ve had for a good portion of my adult life. And it’s one that I think you have too.
The church and our faith, as we know it in our American culture, is irrelevant and powerless in the nitty-gritty of our everyday lives.
Bold statement, I know. But if you’re honest, something in it resonates with something in you. Let me explain.
You have two general arenas in your life: Your faith on the one hand, and your reality on the other.
Your Faith Arena
In your faith arena, you have all of the beliefs, experiences, doctrines, Bible verses that you have come to know and love over the years…or weeks, months, etc.
Jesus died and rose for you. He lives today and wants to know you.
He loves you.
He transforms you.
He gives you his Holy Spirit and empowers you.
He has good thoughts, good plans, good things to say about you.
Maybe he’s at times spoken directly to you in dreams, in visions, in prophetic words from others. Maybe you’ve seen healing, financial, freedom-from-bondage miracles. Maybe you haven’t and you’re desperate for one.
Or maybe it’s been so long since you felt his reality, since you experienced him in an undeniable, jolt to the heart, defibrillator kind of way that you wonder if it’s all still worth it anymore.
Regardless, this is your faith arena.
Now, Your Reality Arena
Here is where your everyday life happens. You wake up to the same normal thoughts that typically run through your mind on awaking:
“I hope today is a good day.”
“Maybe today I’ll finally make some headway on that project I’m meaning to start.”
“How could I have lost my temper again last night?”
“How does my wife still love me.”
“Ouch, this disc in my back is ALREADY hurting. Great.”
“How are we going to make our house payment?”
“My life isn’t going anywhere. What happened?”
“What’s my deal? Why can’t I change?”
“Where’s God when I need him? I believe it all, but it sure doesn’t seem real.”
“DO I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE IT?”
Here, as you can see, is where the rubber of your beliefs, your mindset, your inner life, actually meets the road of your everyday life. This is where you get up and go to work. You make breakfast for the kids. You bring your wife her coffee. You report to work, do your time, talk to your colleagues.
You fight the ache in your heart that you can’t get to go away. “I’m not present with my wife. I’m not connecting with her. She’s not present with ME. She doesn’t want me anymore. Why doesn’t she love or respect or desire or adore me like she used to?”
You feel incompetent and impotent as a dad. “I’m not present or connecting with my kids. I’m there and I love them, but am I really…I don’t know…influencing them in power? Am I creating a legacy in them?”
You avoid your boss, because you’re so dang tired of fighting for approval. Or even more, of avoiding disapproval. You underperform…or at least you feel like it. You have next to no confidence. And you can’t ever just CHANGE!
Then there’s church where you go and sit and worship and cry out. Or you don’t worship and you don’t cry out, but at least you’re there. And even if God doesn’t show up…again…at least you’ll see a couple friends.
Or maybe God WILL show up, he’ll speak to you right where you need to hear it. But you’re pretty sure that life itself isn’t going to change much and you’ll go back into your same routine, your same patterns. Your same sin.
Your same powerless, so-so, just getting through, where’s the power like in the book of Acts?, type of living.
In short, this reality arena is where our bodies, our hearts, our wallets, and our homes…just kind of hurt.
And the two, your faith and your reality, just don’t collide.
The Blood-Brain Barrier of Your Life
In the human body (I know this because I’ve spent a good deal of my life on a pretty dang serious and often painful health journey), there’s something called the blood-brain barrier.
And I don’t know a ton about it, but I know that there are many many types of nutrients and substances that simply cannot pass from your bloodstream into your brain because of this frustratingly small and strong barrier. It has to do with fat-solubility, I think. But that’s not the point.
The point is, all of these nutrients can be passing within infinitesimal distances of the brain—even bumping right up against it—without your brain ever knowing the difference. Without your brain ever experiencing the benefits.
This is often how we feel about our faith and our reality.
The faith is all good. We know, believe, love, and are committed to Jesus and to life in his kingdom, being led by his Spirit. But for some reason, all of that stays frustratingly separate from the places in our lives where we really need some freaking LIFE CHANGE.
So then here’s the next problem: We settle for the separation, the compartmentalization.
Our Go-to “Solution”…get ready to crumble
Because the church, or our beliefs, or God, or whatever it is, has not provided the tools and the power that we need in order to change the things in our lives that are broken, that don’t reflect the kingdom of heaven—because of this, we start looking for help elsewhere.
Which is fine.
I’m not faulting anyone for this. I’ve found some of the most powerful marriage help in non-Christian sources. Sad…but very true.
I’ve also found some of the most powerful role-modeling in how to actually be a man from non-Christian sources as well. VERY SAD and VERY TRUE.
But the problem is that we start to create a Dis-Integrated Life.
We hold 110% onto our till-the-day-we-die faith in Jesus and commitment to seeing his kingdom come on earth. And at the same time, he’s not doing what we ourselves ACTUALLY need him to do in our home-life (or our body, or our finances, or our confidence and self-worth, or our emotions), so we look outside of him in order to see his kingdom come…in our everyday lives.
Now we live split between our love for him, and this nagging sense that, at the same time, “He’s just not cutting it for me.” And we start to incorporate these new principles we’re learning from men out in the world who are kicking butt every day. Rocking their respective worlds.
Until now, you’ve just been surviving, needing, hurting, struggling.
Whatever they’ve got looks pretty dang good. Right?
So what do you do?
Do you continue to live Dis-Integrated?
The only thing is that if you do, and you begin to rebuild all of the broken symptoms of your life. They’re going to crack again if they’re on top of this dis-integration.
You must be solid.
You must be in inner unity in your heart and mind. You must be 100% all-in convicted of your path, of your values, of your source of strength…otherwise you set yourself up to crash again.
So What the Heck Are You Supposed to Do?
None of us want that. And you know what. Jesus doesn’t want it either.
So the question is, how the heck to you get your faith to cross that blood-brain barrier?
How do you get unstuck?
What is the key to real, true, powerful, kingdom-driven LIFE CHANGE?
I have an answer that might piss you off.
What?! I know that’s the “right” answer. But haven’t you heard anything you’ve been saying so far? I’ve been with Jesus and my life is still stuck and messed up. Come on!
Hear me out for one second…I’m going somewhere.
The truth is, you know this already. You know Jesus is the answer. Of course you do. You’re not throwing in the towel on him. You’re not giving up. You’re not that man. Otherwise you wouldn’t even be here.
Jesus is the answer.
He is enough and way freaking more than enough for everything that you face.
He both equips you to fight AND fights on your behalf.
He is your trainer AND your champion.
He does miracles—I mean real, actual supernatural miracles—AND he gives you his same power and Spirit so that you can do them too.
But the question again is HOW?
What’s the key to having this kind of vibrant, life-changing experience of him? So that we, men of the kingdom, become the envy of the men out there in the world. So that we start to kick butt and own our lives and be awesome and have passion and fire and families that adore us and are safe under our covering. So that we have health inside and out. So that we do amazing things that no one else can because we walk in supernatural power and authority.
I have a verse for you.
In John, when Jesus is talking to the woman at the well, she asks about where it’s best to worship at, in Samaria or in Jerusalem. Jesus answers her with this:
John 4:23-24 “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
A few weeks ago, the Lord hit me with this verse when he and I were dialoguing together about what exactly it is that has led to my own life change. If I’m wanting to replicate my own victory in the lives of other men, then what exactly is the process that I can give them that they can grab ahold of.
Because you need more than good sounding concepts with no course of action. You need to know what to do. ‘Cause you’re ready. God knows you’re ready.
The verse says that those who worship God must worship him in spirit and truth.
God showed me, and is telling you right now, “Son, you’re living a life of greater and greater victory because you walk in this duel pathway of spirit and truth. See, the only way to really truly worship me, to offer to me the life that you have dreamed of is to fully embrace both the power of the Holy Spirit and and my chain-shattering Truth.”
“In the Spirit, you are spending time with me around the campfire before tomorrow’s battle. You bare your heart and soul before me and spend time in my presence—praying, reading my word, hiking and listening to me—and you get to know me while allowing me to know you.”
“In this place you receive my miraculous power flowing into you so that you become changed. Your mind, your emotions, you perspective, your motives, the things you desire all change because you’re becoming like me: strong, confident, loving, fierce, joyful, unshakeable.”
“In this place your my Spirit melts your discipline into passion, and the change is effortless.”
“In Truth, you stand to your feet with the grit and resolve of the mighty warrior that I have made you to be, and you go to war in your mind and words.”
“See, if you only ever spend time looking for me to change you, you’re missing a whole half of this partnership.”
“Because, you and me, our relationship is a partnership.”
“I will indeed do awesome wonders on your behalf…but I want you to cultivate a heart in yourself that is loyal to me and my ways. I want you to engage your own strength and CHOOSE me in your thoughts and mind. What that looks like is you embracing, dwelling on, reciting, and battling with my truth.”
“Whatever situation is in front of you—your health, your marriage, your finances—I have truth that I declare over it. Will you agree with me or will you agree with hell and get lost in toxic thinking?”
This toxic thinking is what keeps life-change at bay. My Spirit can open the flow of the water through the river, but unless you allow my truth to set you free in your mind and you tear down the dam, that water will go nowhere.
“In the same way, if you only ever rely on your own strength, gritting your teeth to believe believe believe harder harder harder without any connection with me…then you’re going to be an open river with no dam…but with no water flowing through.”
“You must spend time with me around the campfire and on the battleground.”
Do you see what’s happening here? Do you see how God has designed your life in the kingdom? You cannot walk in complete unshakeable victory without both rising to the occasion to be the man you were meant to be AND ALSO humbly laying it all down before him, walking in dependence on your Captain to go before you, to empower you, and to do miracles on your behalf.
If those guys out there in the world can be awesome without Jesus, then what should you be capable of with Jesus? If one can take down 1,000 enemies on his own, then two, according to the Bible, are able to annihilate 10,000.
Getting it Done
We can do this, gentlemen. We can rise above the “just surviving” form of Christianity we’re used to, and we can step into the unshakeable overcoming that we’re promised. But I understand that you may have no idea literally HOW to put into practice this spirit and truth framework.
You’ve never seen it done. You’ve never seen another man living this kind of life, so you have no model.
Take a first step. Take action. Don’t sit on your butt and settle anymore. Go ahead and grab the Spirit and Truth Life-Change Field Guide below.
In it, I take you deeper into the actual mechanics of how you can do things in your day to begin walking on this path. Actions you can take, decisions you can make, behaviors you can engage in that will cultivate loyalty to, connection with, and a powerful life-changing, circumstance- healing experience of God. As you follow the process in the Field Guide, you’ll begin to see transformation in yourself.
Depression will fall away.
Self-deprecation will fall away.
Low confidence will rise.
And as you get whole and strong and powerful you’ll become the thermostat for your environment rather than being the thermometer anymore.
You’ll set a new tone of strength, health, and intimacy in your marriage.
You’ll lead your body into wellness.
You’ll be able to confidently be your whole authentic self and bring the kingdom into your work, your neighborhood, wherever.