The Cost of NOT…

Everything costs something. From buying a bottle of ketchup to getting married, every action has a cost.

But, have you considered the cost of not?

open, notepad, macbook, coffee

Decide not to exercise? There’s a cost. Choose not to do your homework? Cost. Opt not to pay your taxes? High cost. Wise Christians count the cost of doing and the cost of not doing.  So how do you know when it’s wise to do and not to do?  That’s the question.

Below are five filters for evaluating if you should do or not to do something.

  1. Will it contradict God’s command? Always obey God’s clear commands from the Bible. Align your actions, because He knows how life works best and He loves you. If you can’t find a command, then see if God has provided a principle. King David wrote that God’s word was a lamp for his feet lighting his path not because it commanded every decision he should make, but because its practical principles gave him guidance (Psalm 119:105). Chances are someone else in Scripture has faced a similar situation. See how God led them and follow suite.
  2. Is it the best time? Proverbs 27:14 says, “If you wake your friend in the early morning by shouting ‘Rise and shine!’ it will sound to him more like a curse than a blessing.” Solomon is saying, even the right action at the wrong time makes it the wrong action. So, before you begin, ask yourself if now is the best time to proceed?
  3. Will it help or hurt others? Our actions impact others. An entire generation of Israelites missed out on entering the Promised Land because 10 men did not trust God (Numbers 13). Before choosing not to do, consider if it will it help or hurt others. God often guides us by the impact to others.
  4. Will it multiply your opportunities? Unsure what to do? Follow Paul’s example. He multiplied his opportunities even in prison. That decision led to many coming to faith even within Caesar’s household (Philippians 4:22). Consider the course of action that leads to more opportunities.
  5. Will it help you fulfill God’s mission in the world? Jesus commissioned us to make disciples wherever we go (Matthew 28:19-20). That’s why we are here. So, before deciding not to do something, ask yourself if your choice will hinder or help you accomplish your God-given, disciple-making mission.

 

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Taking Your Next Steps in Prayer

prayerThis will come as no surprise, but we believe in prayer at Clear Creek. We have seen God restore marriages, heal broken bodies, and bring lost friends to faith.

Prayer is our first response, not our last resort.

Yet, there are seasons when prayer is hard.  We commit sin, face a setback, or a soul crushing loss and we can’t find the words. But these speedbumps don’t have to deflate our prayer lives.

Below are five thought-sparklers to help you pray when you don’t know what to say.

  1. Be Silent: Romans 8:26 says, “If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.” (MSG) So be silent. Let God’s Spirit pray for you. He will translate your silence into divine words handcrafted for God’s ears even when you don’t know what to say.
  2. Be Brief: More words do not mean God listens more. Jesus tells a story of a simple man with a simple prayer that God heard. “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:13) You don’t have to impress God with your prayers. Just pick a word or two such as “Help me, Jesus” or “Give wisdom, Lord” and then stop. He hears you.
  3. Be Honest: Many Christians don’t pray because they are afraid of offending God. But here’s a secret: God already knows how you feel so you might as well tell Him. King David knew this. He was the first to pray, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1) David believed God was big enough to handle the truth of his feelings. So tell God how you feel.
  4. Borrow the Prayers of Others: Jesus did. In the worst moment of Jesus’ life, he prayed David’s words to express his anguish, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:47) If Jesus did it, then so can you. The Psalms are a treasure trove of prayers. Feeling anxious? Try Psalm 31. Excited about life? Psalm 103 may be for you. Thumb through the Psalms and borrow from those who have walked the path before you.
  5. Be Persistent: Don’t give up. Keep trying. Prayer, like any muscle, gets stronger the more it is exercised. In the dry, busy, or soul-crushing seasons of life, pray. And when you don’t know what to say, revisit this list and know that God hears you.