In the Living Life Lessons column each month I'm sharing various lessons God has taught me over these last eight years. Today I want to talk about living effective lives.
Whether we recognize it or not our lives effect others. If we want to have a healthy effect on our circle of influence we need to take care how we live.
Our strategy for effective living begins with SEEKING WISDOM. Some of us were fortunate to have parents that taught us right from wrong, others maybe not. So where can we find wisdom? The Bible says that wisdom comes from fearing God. This isn't the trembling-in-your-boots kind of fear, but rather a reverential fear--appreciating God for who He is.
The second requirement in our strategy for effective living is MORAL APPLICATION. Once we have reverential fear we begin trusting in God. By allowing His Word to speak to us personally we come to place of obedience. Our heart lines up with what Scripture says, our spirit is convicted by the Holy Spirit and that makes us ready for changed actions.
The third requirement for effective living is PRACTICAL APPLICATION. Our hearts have been softened by God's Word, we've sought His wisdom and have begun to obey in our actions. These are often challenges to our daily lives. For me the only answer is to keep God's Word close to my heart and mind throughout the day. That may mean carrying a 3x5 Scripture card with me everywhere I go.
Results of practicing the above three steps is a healthy, positive and EFFECTIVE LIFE. How do we know? We will begin to actually experience what God does as He honors our obedience. It may not happen right away but we must trust, have faith and expect to see God's blessing pour out. Just like earthly parents, God loves when His children are obedient and He promises to give us a reward!
Over the last few years I've been able to put these steps into practice. There have been times when it was easy and other times, like now, were more difficult. Today God has me under His refining fire again, taking me to a higher level, which always means change and a deeper surrender to His will for my life. But as I'm working this process again, I'm going back to what I know works... pulling out my 3x5 cards and relearning some lessons.
My child, listen to me and do as I say and you will have a long, good life. I will teach you wisdom's ways and lead you in straight paths. If you live a life guided by wisdom, you won't limp or stumble as you run. Carry out my instructions; don't forsake them. Guard them, for they will lead you to a fulfilled life. ~ Proverbs 4: 10-12
Do you have a system in place that helps you make needed changes in your life?
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