Pastor Jeff Vines starts a new series called ‘Wild Life’, and shares how we can all live impressive lives in closer connection with God. We’ll be looking at the life of Gideon to see how he copes when things become difficult, so that we can learn to adapt better to the difficulties in our own lives.
“No matter where you go in the world, what you discover very quickly is that we all face the same kind of problems”, says Jeff. “There are things that come into our lives that we don’t expect, and life becomes a real challenge of learning how to respond to events that we really have no control over.”
But what does living a ‘Wild Life’ mean? Jeff continues, “Maybe it means you’re not going to do what you’re told anymore and going to a place of quietness. But if you talk to a new generation, when you talk about living wild or the ‘wild life’ it’s taken on a really new meaning. When we describe somebody as living the ‘wild life’ we’re talking about someone who lives in a way that is unexplainable and unfathomable but not necessarily in a bad way.”
Jeff believes that gratitude and trusting in God’s provision is a major defining characteristic of someone who’s living in the ‘wild life’. “Jesus told his disciples when they were in the upper room, I have longed to eat this meal with you. For me, I have longed to give you these principles. If you allow the seven precepts or principles to govern the way that you respond to everyday life, your countenance is going to be off the charts, you’re going to find that you live with a centralised joy where sorrow is only something that is peripheral.”
“These are principles that we find in scripture. They’ve been in existence for thousands of years. And when people begin to practice them, you’ll notice a commonality among those who are successful. But most importantly, you’ll be in awe of God, and how God keeps His word. When you actually respond to the difficulties of your life this way, you’re going to discover an incredible sense of value and worth.”
Jeff says that while there’s nothing we have to do to make Christ love us or accept us more than He already does, it is possible for us to position ourselves so God can use us to a greater degree, thereby giving us a greater feeling of significance and worth. “You are objectively significant and you are valuable, but there are responses that you can give in everyday life that will give you a greater feeling of acceptance and significance.”
Through the story of Gideon, Jeff demonstrates that there is a cause and effect in the universe. “If you live in violation of the precepts of God, the effect will be detrimental. Until we truly start to realise that God loves us and He gives us parameters because he wants us to live the abundant life, we will continue to violate them to our own detriment.”
Jeff points out that Gideon was told that God would rescue the people. But instead of saying, thank you, he makes an accusation against God and says, where have you been? Why have all these things happened to us? “Now if you were God, here’s what you could say. This is important. You could say, let’s talk about your sin. Let’s talk about the fact that you only come to me when things are bad and you want something from me.
But what’s amazing to me is God does not respond to Gideon that way at all. The Lord’s response is let’s not go there. Let’s not talk about all the failures. If every time we got into a situation that was a series of unfortunate circumstances, whether it was a conflict that the office or something as serious as a diagnosis of cancer, if we really had an audience with God and wanted to know why all these things would happen, what are the possibilities? If every time we did something wrong, God punished us, we’d be punished continually. That’s not the God of the Bible.”
“You never know why you’re in the position that you’re in. And the only way that you can respond to it that would bring about victory, is to look at God taking these disadvantages and turning them into an advantage. Ultimately, He uses them for His glory.”
Listen to the rest of Jeff message about living a ‘wild life’ below.
Listen to ‘Today’ with Pastor Jeff Vines weekdays on Vision Christian Radio. Find your local times and more messages here.
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