Life In Three Parts

Life Lesson #13 Realization
Looking Inward
Life Lesson # 1 Humility
Life Lesson # 2 Love
Life Lesson # 3 Presence
Life Lesson # 4 Wholeness
Life Lesson # 5 Surrender
Life Lesson # 6 Grace
Looking Outward
Life Lesson # 7 Vision
Life Lesson # 8 Empowerment
Life Lesson # 9 Character and Values
Life Lesson # 10 Taking Action
Life Lesson # 11 Servant Leadership
Looking Onward
Life Lesson # 12 Listen to be Heard
Life Lesson #13 Realization
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Discover the truth and it will set you free

Facing the truth is a hard thing to do.  When we examine our life and discover that fro years we have been deceiving ourselves into believing that life here will go and on.   Then one day you wake up and discover that is doesn’t.  That is the day that you get down on your knees and pray to God for some sign of what do with the rest of your life. 


Some people call this the time of mid life crisis I like to call it a time of opportunity.  When I look around I realize that the truth of what I have been doing with my life so far been staring me in the face all along and I don’t like it.


It’s like that old hound dog that you take out hunting with you day in and day out, it sniffs and sniffs but never finds what is in front if it’s face.  Now I am not saying that you look like an old hound dog what I am saying is that we must learn to react and use other senses than our own judgment in planning what to do with our onwards live. 


Realization is painful but necessary.  If it weren’t painful we would not have all those makeover shows to help us change our current reality so that we can hopefully change our future reality.


The problem is that no matter how much you try to change the current reality, the future still holds in a moment where you will have to stand before Jesus and state why you should be allowed into Heaven.  That is why it is important to know what you do here and now will shape later.


Remember that old saying “a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips” well the same is true of our onward life; a moment of indiscretion can bring about a lifetime of consequences.   So the next time you are about to do something try to think about the onward consequences first.


Turn around and face the future


There comes a moment in your life, well it’s longer than a moment but shorter than a couple of years, when life no longer seems to make sense to you.  This is the tumultuous time of what we call midlife crisis.  This is the time when you look back at what you have done with your life and realize that there were so many goals you had set for yourself that were never accomplished. 


Another disheartening fact about midlife is about this same time you realize that you never reached all your goals you glance at yourself in the mirror.   As you look on in shocked disbelief because for the first time you notice all those wrinkles on your face and all the gray hairs on your head you think where did my life go.  This is the age when you start to feel your mortality and the years begin to slip away.  So many people who get to this point in their lives try to turn back the clock and stop the decline; most succeed to only put off what is inevitable, old age.  I’m sorry if I scared you. 



With all the effort to turn and face the past there is one thing that is for sure, the future is going to happen no matter how hard you try and stop it. With all our fear of growing old has come a whole slew of extreme makeover shows.  You know the ones where they nip and tuck and tuck and nip until they get the participant to look like some showroom model.  There is even one where they have a beauty contest at the end to see which woman had the best makeover.  The problem is that once they leave the showroom they do not always look as good as they do on TV. 


At the end of each of those makeover shows I’ve always wished there was some way we could move ahead a coupe of years and see the person for who they are then.  It would answer a lot of questions people are thinking but are afraid to ask: Questions such as, does the person look like they did before the makeover and how much the makeover has really changed their life.


Today’s makeover shows are so popular because people look ahead to their future and see mortality.   They see what happens to those around them, as they grow old: the wrinkles and the sagging skin and the normal effects of aging.   People don’t want to age, because age brings a lot of pain and truthfulness.   So they do anything they can to look younger because they feel if they look younger they won’t have to deal as quickly with what is to come. 


As Christians we need to realize the importance of turning around and looking forward instead of holding onto to our past youthful ways.  We know we are going to grow old the important thing is to make the best use of the time you have left.   Of course by best use I mean serving the Lord because no matter who we are on the outside on the inside we have already gone through an extreme makeover that time cannot wear away.


Read Galatians 5:1

On the surface this verse does not appear to be about looking forward but if you look very closely you will see that it does.   Write down in your own words what this verse says to you.


Now you have a basic idea of what it means to turn around and look the other way.  You also have some idea why the Bible tells us to not dwell on what has been but to look on the glory to come.  Now you need to decide for yourself if you will no longer procrastinate in getting things done in your onward life or if you will continue down the same path you are on..



Realizing means keeping your eyes on the Big Picture 


Once you realize that life is not about here and not about now you will finally see the big picture.


What is the Big Picture?  In you own words describe what you feel the bib picture is.


The Big Picture is described by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.


Paul understood that this life is a race.  Now the big picture is this when you run a race you have to remember a few things.


  1. Don’t look back: By looking back you stand a chance of stumbling and falling.  As Paul says keep the course by looking ahead to the finish line and the prize that waits there.
  2. Don’t worry about coming in first, you won’t Jesus already went ahead and finished in first place.  So just keep focused and finish the race.   Too many well meaning Christians have thought they could wander off the course to enjoy what they viewed as a better race.   The problem in leaving the course is not that you might not finish the race, once saved always saved idea but how much harm it will do to your witness.
  3.  Remember the race is a marathon not a sprint and as such you must pace yourself never trying to run faster then you are able. Run the race using your best abilities.



Once you have the picture set in your mind never deviate from it.   Never set your foot on a different racecourse.  Jesus said that there are two ways known to man the course that is wide that leads to destruction and the narrow course that leads to life  


Take a moment to think about the course your are on and write down any changes you feel need to take place in your life to get you back on the narrow course that leads to life.



Don’t believe so as to deceive yourself.


Another misconception about running the race is that you can keep one foot in the narrow lane and another foot on the wide lane.  This way you can have the best of both worlds.  I don’t run many races but I do watch a lot of track and field events on TV.  I know you don’t get the same watching the race as you do if you actually run the race, but I still learn a lot from the runners.


I realized that they stay in their own lanes because they know that the lane gives them guidance and a place to focus on.  If you start changing lanes you loose your focus because you are trying to concentrate on where your focus is at that moment.  Your eyes are no longer looking to the finish line but at a particular place in the race, down at your feet.  This means the runner loses focus and stands a greater chance of falling.


When we try to straddle the lanes we loose focus of where we are going and start to think about where we are.  We begin to run the human race.  The human race is where we are always looking back and trying to justify what we are doing know based on what happened then.  We start to make decisions based on past ideas and failures or start to puff ourselves up based on past success. 


This is the try of justification.  We justify what we are doing now based on what we did then. For instance we have an affair based on the idea that in the past a wife or husband has not been responsive to you.   A murder is committed and the murdered claims to be just a victim of society and the bad environment they grew up in.


Realization calls sin what it is, sin not some product of being raised badly.  In life we have choices and Paul said that he ran the race by keeping the faith.  That is what we need to do to realize keep the faith and run the race focused on the finish line. 


Read Philippians 2:6 and in your own words describe how ea re to run the race and if we don’t what our live are to be considered.


Read Hebrews 12:1-2

Why do we need to realize that running the correct race is important?  The answer is in verse one.


Verse 1B and Verse 2 describe what you now realize about the race you are running?



Realization is never easy.


Realization means as Romans 2:6-8 says that when we view our life we know that God “will repay each one according to his works : eternal life to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;  but wrath and indignation to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth, but are obeying unrighteousness;


The race is about God not us.  Our life is about God not us, Our faith is in God not us.  Realizing that is one of the hardest thing to do, because it means we must give up control and for lack of a better way to saying “let go, let God”.


Read the following verses.  Do they relate to your present life?


Psalm 39:6

Luke 11:17

1 Corinthians 15:58

Philippians 3:8

Hebrews 11:8


All of these verses are about realizing what life is rally about.  The last verse in Hebrews is about Abraham and his faith.  In the last sentence it talks about Abraham not knowing where he was going but he went anyway because of that faith?  My question to you is that if you realize at this moment where you are going why are you not running the correct race. 


If you are running the race as if to finish help someone in the faith whom you see struggling to finish the race.  It is up to us to lead those around in the right direction and insure that they stay the course.


One final thought.  The disciples knew where there race was going to end in martyrdom, but still they ran until their appointed time to reach the finish line.  Even with a horrible death looming they ran.  Think about it.  

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