One of the scariest things about change is the chaos that happens along the way. Like starting a remodel or building a new home, things always look worse before they get better.
Remember that time when you said you trusted God? The time when you told Him to take the wheel and lead your life. Or maybe the time when you finally acknowledged that despite your roller coaster of emotions - He has never failed you. Do you remember saying you trust Him?
Did you mean it?
With surging gas prices and the threat of World War III, we are living through yet another season of reasons to ride the roller coaster of fear and doubt.
Will you ride it?
The most common command in the Bible is some variation of “Fear not.”
Will you obey it?
Obedience may seem like a strange word to use, but it’s accurate. God has given each of us free will. We have a choice. We can make the choice to trust God, which should be the easiest choice any of us could ever make.
Why does it make more sense to fear an unknown future rather than trust a proven past?
The fears of the future are full of hypotheticals. Our pasts are filled with indisputable evidence of God’s protection, provision, and goodness.
Faith is a beautiful and powerful gift from God, but it doesn’t take faith to believe God is for you. It doesn’t take faith to believe your future will work out well. Why? Because faith is the evidence of things unseen, but we’ve already seen it.
We don’t need more faith to overcome fear. We need to choose to trust and rest in what has already been proven true.
God is not only good; He is good to us. He not only provides, but He also provides for us. We know it because we’ve seen it over and over again.
So, did you mean it when you said you trust Him? If you meant it, like I did, now is the time to rest in that decision. Don’t wear yourself out rehashing what’s already been settled. Make a choice and rest in the reality of God’s proven care and provision in your life.
This crisis will pass. Then a new one will come. Riding the roller coaster of fear is a terrible way to live. Looking for peace in your circumstances is like finding water in a mirage. It’s always close but never obtainable. Put your trust in God. His peace and goodness are real, and the only place you have to look to find them is in your memories. The evidence is there if you’ll take the time to look back and remind yourself. He has never left you or forsaken you, and He isn’t about to start now.
The question isn't whether He will be faithful. The real question is, "Did you mean it." Do you trust Him? If you do trust Him it's time to live like you mean it.
When 12-Steps Leave You Empty
Have you ever felt tired of going to your 12-step recovery group? You're not alone. Over the last twenty years, I have worked with many people who have attended a variety of 12-step programs. Again and again, I hear the same story, "At first it was really helping me but after awhile it just felt empty. Going to the meetings was depressing and I wasn't leaving with vision for my future." If you've ever felt the same feelings, maybe there's nothing wrong with you after all. Maybe you're finally awake enough to seek a better way. With that in mind, let me introduce you to, L3 Recover, a community where you can focus on your future instead of your past.
L3 Is Not a Program
There is no staircase of prepackaged steps to climb to freedom. There are no coins or ribbons to achieve. We'll never ask you to identify yourself with your label of past struggles. There's no wagon to fall off because we don't have one for you to ride. Instead, we invite you into a community committed to living an interdependent lifestyle of mutual encouragement, accountability, and authentic love.
Areas We Offer Recovery and Support
We are not professional counselors or psychologists. We are a faith-based recovery community offering support for all aspects of recovery including; drug and alcohol abuse, pornography addiction, anger, grief, depression, anxiety, sexual abuse, self-harm, domestic violence, divorce, abandonment, abortion recovery, and unspeakable traumas.
We Promote Interdependence Because Victory Comes In Community
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NASB
The L3 Lifestyle
L1: Love God
Fear is a major contributor to feelings of grief, shame, anger, and bitterness which lead to all types of bondages. When we love God and allow Him to love us, we are freed from fear and in the process we experience freedom of mind, body, and spirit.
L2: Love People
Jesus modeled love for others as the easy yoke, the life of rest, peace, joy, and fulfillment. As we invest our lives in loving others God rewards us by pouring authentic love back into our lives.
L3: Live Like We Mean It
Talk is cheap, broken promises hurt ourselves and others, and a false life is always filled with emptiness and pain. Through Jesus, we can do all things. His death and resurrection has made it possible for us to live the L3 life of authentic love.
In 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible tells what love is and what it means to “live like we mean it”:
No, but you will learn about the life changing teachings of Jesus and hear testimonies from people living in the reality of those changes. If you are interested in stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new, come join us. You can learn more including dates and times at https://www.thebeatchurch.com/l3-recovery
Day 6 - Healthy Heart Challenge
Have you ever been falsely accused? Do you know what it feels like to have your name unjustly maligned and your reputation shredded?
If you have, then you know your first instinct is to fight for yourself. Tell your side of the story and set the record straight. You would also know this doesn't always work out. Once false accusations are swirling through the rumor mill, anything you say or do can add fuel to the fire. In your attempts to put it out, you can find yourself further engulfed in flames. It's a difficult situation to go through, and David went through it often.
He faced false accusations from King Saul, who accused him of plotting to kill him and overthrow the throne. Later in his life, he faced an assault on his character from someone much closer, his son Absalom. The stress of these situations can take a toll on our hearts leading to stress, anxiety, discouragement, and even deep depression.
But it doesn't have to be that way. David showed us the way to a healthy heart. He realized there are accusations and opinions of others that can't be changed or overcome by his efforts. Instead of struggling against his accusers, David found a better solution. He turned to God for vindication. David trusted God with his reputation and allowed God to be his defender. The process took years before David's name would be made right, but in the midst of it all, he found peace in knowing God had his back.
If you are struggling with the pain of false accusations, it's the perfect time to join us with today's reading. Follow this link and see how David kept a healthy heart amid an assault on his reputation and character https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2026-30&version=ESV
You may have heard many people say, "God says, He will never give you more than you can handle." So why does it seem like the trials or temptations you face ARE more than you can handle? Is God a liar, or are you too mentally weak to realize your potential?
The fact is the Bible never actually teaches us that God said, "He would never give you more than you can handle." The confusion comes because well-meaning people take a verse out of context. They hoped to hand you a shovel to move your mountains, but instead, it was a shovel to dig your own grave of failure and deeper discouragement.
The verse they use to make the statement is 1 Corinthians 10:13, but it's taken entirely out of context to use it that way.
Here's what they're missing.
First, let's look at the verse:
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Now let's look at the verse in context with the ones in front of it:
8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ[c] to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Here's a breakdown of what it all means:
8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. (In other words we all have a choice when temptation or trials come.)
11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. (Those Israelites rejected God's power and ability and tried to do life on their own terms. They even built a calf to worship rather than God. Their example shows us self-dependence leads to self-destruction.)
12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (In other words if you think you're strong enough to stand on your own - be careful or you'll end up like they did.)
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, (God is faithful... to do what? To help if you turn to Him) and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, (Does this mean he won't give you more than you can resist? Look to the next sentence for the answer) but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
He promises to provide a "way of escape" so that we can endure. What is the way of escape? It certainly can't be our own ability or we would have no need to escape in the first place.
The escape promised is the same escape He gave David - refuge and hope in God.
The passage as a whole is telling us to look at how believers were overtaken in the past. They were overtaken because they were self-indulgent, self-focused, and self-reliant which ultimately led them to self-destruction.
Don't do what they did. Rather, when you are being overtaken - turn to God because He is our faithful helper in time of need.
David had a heart that always looked to God for help. Even when he faced Goliath he "came in the name of the Lord."
Learn more about a Healthy Heart with today's reading Psalms 21-25 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+21-25&version=ESV
Healthy Heart Challenge
Today we read Psalms chapters 16-20. It is impossible to read the Psalms of David without being struck by his love and great expectations of God.
David did not just believe in a God who created the heavens and the earth and sat far away in heaven.
David believed God knew him personally, cared for him deeply, and was active in his life consistently. In simple terms, David knew he had a relationship with God and expected God to engage in a connected relationship with him.
This relationship motivated David to think about God, pray to God, and listen for God to speak back to him. He believed when there was trouble; he could call God and find help. David realized when things were good; God had been active in making them good. He believed God wanted to hear from him and that God wanted to listen and engage with his life issues.
Do you believe that God is interested in your life? Our church is in Round Rock, Texas. Is the God of heaven interested in the people of round rock? Does the God of heaven see me when I drive home to be with my family in Pflugerville, Texas? Does he see the thousands of people buzzing up and down the freeways of Austin, Texas? What about Taylor, Manor, Elgin, Cedar Park, Leander, Hutto, or Georgetown? Is God interested in all of the people living in the cities around us? What about the states beside us and the nations beyond our borders? Yes, God has an active, personal interest in the lives of each person He has given life.
We often think of God being all-powerful. We need to think more about how He is all-knowing. God has the unique ability to do anything, but He also knows everything - and everyone. When we pray, we pray to the God who profoundly and personally knows us. David understood God as the God who knew him, and he expected God to engage and connect with his life. A healthy heart desires the same type of relationship with God that David expected. It's a great day to raise your expectations and engage God with a more profound expectation for Him to engage with you back.
Here's a link for today's reading. Take time to engage with God's Word and experience what it's like to connect with the creator of the universe. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2016-20&version=ESV
Day 3 - Healthy Heart Challenge
Today it was the first verse that caught my attention. We are only on day three and there is a pretty common theme emerging. In David's day the world was full of turmoil, sound familiar?
Have you noticed David often referred to finding "refuge" in God? Was David a coward, was he driven by fear, was he crippled by anxiety?
The life of David includes slaying giants, routing enemy armies, and even killing lions and bears with a sling! So what can we make of this constant need to seek refuge?
The secret is in the Hebrew definition - Refuge; have hope, make refuge, put trust.
David was not going to God in order to hide away in fear. He was going to God to be filled with hope and to trust in Him for protection, provision, and fulfillment of His promises.
When the world overwhelms us we can hide away in our own fear, worry, and anxiety, or we can go to God for a fresh filling of hope!!! David was a hope addict. He refused to give into the pressures of life and evidence of imminent doom. He ran to God for hope and used that hope to keep his faith alive until his victory arrived.
Read today's chapters and see how God wants to bring you hope right here in the Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto, and North Austin, Texas areas. hjHealthy Heart Challenge Day 3 - Psalms 11-15 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2011-15&version=ESV&fbclid=IwAR1QRq_WzE3yxFAFxLYGwDM5tC77MZUueQY-AOFpU47G1RZ9fr4lvCe54Po
Day 2 - Healthy Heart Challenge
Have you ever wondered why it can be so hard to keep your heart healthy? A recent study showed that the average person views between 4,000-10,000 ads every single day. The world is in a constant war for our attention. It bombards us with messages of lack and needs for something more than what we have or who we are. Those numbers don't even include the needs and demands of people around us!!! Is it any wonder our hearts can often feel overwhelmed, overburdened, and under-joyed?
David was a man after God's own heart. He knew how to protect his heart from the constant onslaught of the world around him. David reveals of his keys to a healthy heart at the beginning of Psalms 9. Check it out!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
When my enemies turn back,
they stumble and perish before your presence.
For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.
David shut out the craziness of the world around him and literally counted the times God had done good things in his life. David stopped the noise of life and set his mind on a personal playlist of God ads. He decided what to meditate on rather than allow the world to dictate it for him.
As you can see in verses 3 and 4, David was surrounded by enemies, which must have made pausing to count the good deeds of God challenging. Rather than let worry, self-defense, or bitterness consume him, David chose to trust God to cover his back while he focused on praising God.
What would change in your life if you committed to doing the same? It's a choice God has given you the power and freedom to make. Make it today and trust God to provide you with a healthy heart like David's. We serve the same God as David and He will be faithful to change us right here the Round Rock, Pflugerville, Austin, and surrounding Texas areas.
30 Day Healthy Heart Challenge
During the Cold War, people lived in fear of an imminent nuclear attack. During this time, schools trained kids in the "Duck and Cover" drill. When the alarm sounded, everyone dove to their knees and took refuge under their desks.
Really?? How safe would you feel hiding on your knees under a desk with a nuke heading your way? As people, we often find comfort in material things that we can see but offer no real protection.
David was the opposite. As a king, he had all of the physical protections at his disposal, but he put David trusted in the unseen. He put his trust in God. A healthy heart always starts with greater faith in God's protection, care, and provision than our ability. A person with a healthy heart hits their knees in times of trouble but not to cower in fear. They dive to their knees to rejoice because they know their life is covered by the almighty power and love of their God.
This 30 Day Healthy Heart challenge is about training your heart to be like David, a man with a heart like God's. For the next 30 days, simply read five chapters of Psalms. Then pray and reflect on the heart of David and ￼commit that whenever you feel trouble is coming, you will dive to your knees and begin rejoicing in the goodness, protection, and favor of your God. That's where we find real peace and real safety.
11But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
12For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.
Read more on the history of the Cold War's Duck and Cover training here:
Recently our church in Pflugerville, TX received news that one of our members three year old daughter has AML Leukemia. News like this can be overwhelming and cause a tremendous amount of emotional suffering, let alone the physical suffering which must be battled to beat this nasty disease.
Psalms 118:24 says,
"This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
That sounds like a great verse for the days things are going well but what about the difficult days? How do you rejoice when we are suffering?
Can ask you a question? What struggle has your faith so rattled you have lost the will or ability to rejoice? Maybe your suffering doesn’t compare to Leukemia, but that really doesn’t matter, does it?
Other people’s struggles give us perspective but perspective does not give us joy, Jesus gives joy.
Rejoicing in Suffering
Let's take a quick look in the Bible at the way David, a man after God's own heart, dealt with suffering.
1Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
3Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
4Let those who fear the LORD say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Can you say this outloud?
HIS STEADFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER
5Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.
6The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
7The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
Notice in the above verses David calls out during his distress and then declares God is on his side. In other words, his life wasn’t easy but he did not take that as a sign God had turned against him. David understood God does not always deliver us from our struggles. Sometimes God empowers us to walk through them.
Later in this chapter David makes another declaration. In the midst of his trials and struggles he lifts his head and declares the sovereignty of God and calls everyone to rejoice and be glad in the midst of the struggle.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Freedom to Rejoice in Suffering
David made the choice to throw himself into the sovereignty and goodness of God which released him and gave him the freedom to rejoice and be glad in the midst of his suffering.
What struggle are you going through today?
What has happened or is happening in your life that keeps you from rejoicing?
Are you able to lift your head declare the sovereignty and goodness of God? Are you able to commit to rejoicing? If you are not able to do this as God for his strength and He will give it to you. Don’t let the world or the devil steal your joy. God is on your side.
You can listen to the full audio sermon on this topic on the Podcast from The Beat Church, in Pflugerville, TX.
Connect for Prayer
If you live in the Pflugerville, Hutto, Round Rock, Manor, Taylor, or surrounding areas in North Austin you can reach our Pastor by sending an email to email@example.com.