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The First Step to Experiencing All God Has For You

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

The average life span is believed to be 25,550 days.1 Nonetheless, multiple times in Scripture, God changes the course of people’s 25,000+ days with only small sections of intense focus. For instance, as Rick Warren reveals in The Purpose Driven Life, “The Bible is clear that God considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period. Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for His purposes, He took 40 days…”2

  • Noah – 40 days of rain

  • Moses – 40 days on Mt. Sinai

  • The Spies – 40 days in the Promised Land

  • David – Goliath’s 40 days of taunting

  • Elijah – 40 days of strength from a single meal

  • Ninevah – 40 days to repent

  • Jesus – 40 days in the wilderness

  • The Disciples – 40 days with Jesus after His resurrection3

It's Summer! It's a time of transition. It's a time when people make significant life changes. It is also a time when rhythms can change or even experience transformation.


Imagine what might be possible six weeks from now…40 days from now, if we decided to go all-in with God and fully devote our lives to His plan and purpose! I can guarantee everything will be different!


But before we can start the journey down this road of transformation, we must first ask ourselves one question:


What is my life devoted to right now?


The answer to this question is important because Eugene Peterson translates Solomon’s words to say this:


Proverbs 11:28 (MSG) A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.


Trees and vines never consume their own fruit. They produce fruit for the benefit of others. To live a flourishing life, we must not devote ourselves to material things. Instead, we should understand that God's blessings are never just for us. They are meant to help us serve others!


So, why are we so self-centered when trying to find purpose?4


When it comes to seeking out our purpose, we often ask ourselves all the wrong questions:


What do I want to be?

What should I do with my life?

What are my goals, ambitions, my dreams for my future?5


We fall pray to the false trinity of me, myself, and I!


Romans 8:6–8 (MSG) says, “Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end…Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.”


Focusing on ourselves will always lead us to a dead end!


Jesus further instructs on this front in Luke 9 and Matthew 16:


Luke 9:23–25 (NKJV) “ Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”


Matthew 16:25–26 (MSG) Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?


Jesus is teaching us that in His Kingdom, the path He leads us on prioritizes self-sacrifice over self-help. If we want to help ourselves, we must choose to self-sacrifice. We cannot follow both Jesus and our desires. Therefore, we must commit to daily self-denial.


Over the next few weeks, our church will embark on a ROAD TRIP through scripture to explore how we can follow Jesus on the path of life. As we begin this journey together, it is important to recognize that to fully devote ourselves to Jesus, we must first surrender our own wants, wills, and desires to embrace all He has in store for us!


 

We want to connect with you and help you take your next steps!


  1. Do you have a relationship with Jesus? This decision is the first step in receiving peace in your life. If you are ready to give your life to Jesus, we would love to celebrate with you at 3trees.com.

  2. Do you need to rededicate your life to Jesus? If yes, please connect with us at 3trees.com.

  3. Do you feel God prompting you to take your next steps? If yes, BEGIN is waiting for you! You can walk through our ONLINE BEGIN class at 3trees.com/begin

  4. Would you like to make a difference in our community? Join our captivate team! Visit 3trees.com to find out how you can participate in community outreach opportunities.

  5. Subscribe to EricGilbert.org using this link:https://www.ericgilbert.org/subscribe. You'll be able to receive updates directly to your email inbox as we post blogs every Monday, Thursday, and Friday morning.

 

1Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 11.

2IIbid.

3Ibid., 12.

4Ibid., 21.

5Ibid.

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