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Who's in control of you?"
May 11, 2022

Choose the Spirit controlled life

I had hit rock bottom. Oh, I don't mean I was a drug addict or alcoholic or a homeless person who had no hope.

But there was a time in my life, and it lasted for years, when nothing went right. I went from broken relationships to life-threatening illness to unemployment to (predictably) anger and depression. Nothing I did worked.

It's a sad commentary on our selfishness that we singles usually have to hit rock bottom in some way before we turn to God. I was a Christian since I was a young boy, but it was only when I became desperate that I allowed God to completely take over.

Learn from my huge mistake, single friend. Giving up control is scary, I know. In this month's feature article I reveal the ridiculous reason why I stalled so long, and I give some tips so you can avoid what I did wrong.

It's what God wants for you. Discover the rewards of the Spirit controlled life.

You chased me down

I made up excuses.
I told myself lies.
We learn pretty young
how to rationalize.

I tuned out the warnings
that came from within.
'Cause that's what you do
when you slide into sin.

But You never
gave up on me.
You saw something
I couldn't see.
You stayed on my trail
as I wandered around,
and finally
you chased me down.

I was broken,
sick from my sin.
Now this prodigal's
back home again.

To the love
so pure and profound.
You treasured me,
and you chased me down.

No, you never
gave up on me.
You saw something
I couldn't see.
You stayed on my trail
as I wandered around,
and finally
you chased me down.

~ Jack Zavada,, 2022 ~

"Treat every day like a mini-life"

Yep, we all have bad days. Maybe lots of bad days. But one way to have more good days is to consciously strive to make each individual day the best you can make it.

Living in day-sized chunks is smart. Your goal is smaller and more achievable. You can say, "For the next 16 hours, I can be cheerful." "I can be patient just for today." "I'm going to trust God for his help today." "I'm going to take a vacation from worry—for today."

That's just one piece of advice you'll find in my book, Hope for Hurting Singles. There's a lot in the book you won't find in these newsletters or on my web site.

It's an encouraging book because I know from personal experience we singles need encouragement, and large doses of it. It's a practical book. You'll find proven solutions that came from the trenches, not from textbooks.

What's more, you'll go back to it again and again to reinforce positive habits and to fight destructive traits.

Best of all, Hope for Hurting Singles is solidly biblical. Why? Because the Bible works. As the true word of God, the Bible contains the wisdom of the King of the Universe. Obeying the Bible doesn't just keep you out of trouble. It aligns you with God's will so more blessings will flow into your life. Who doesn't want more blessings, eh?

Want to make all your tomorrows happier? Get Hope for Hurting Singles!

QOTM: Not a candy dispenser

May's Quote of the Month comes from pastor and author Charles F. Stanley, from his book, The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life:

The Holy Spirit's power cannot be harnessed. His power cannot be used to accomplish anything other than the Father's will. He is not a candy dispenser. He is not a vending machine. He is not a genie waiting for someone to rub his lamp the right way. He is holy God.

~ Charles F. Stanley (1932 - ) ~

If you're a believer, you know the Holy Spirit lives inside you. But does that change anything?

It won't if you try to use him as a sort of GPS for your own little schemes. He doesn't help us be more selfish. Yes, it's true God provides for our physical and spiritual needs, but he's not interested in making us rich or famous. That's the Prosperity Gospel and it's a lie.

The Holy Spirit guides us when we try to obey God's Word and give him the reverence he deserves. He's a reliable counselor for struggling Christians.

When you have a healthy relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit will draw you closer day by day. That 's more exciting than any plans you or I could ever have.

Only wise people know how dumb they are

Way back in the last century, I was self-conscious about my intelligence. To be honest, I was self-conscious about everything. Sometimes it manifested in a touchy defensiveness.

Over time, with a lot of reading, reflecting, and praying, I came to understand that I didn't have to know everything, because my Best Friend does. I'm talking about Jesus, of course. The Holy Spirit represents him and lives inside you and me.

Now it's a mystery how that works, because it doesn't feel crowded in our minds, and we don't have a Siri-like audible voice constantly telling us what's what. What you and I do have is the greatest counselor in the universe, ready to advise us on problems large and small.

It starts with humility, a quality the Holy Spirit helps us build. The more humble we are, the more we understand how little we really know and how the only way to live is through total dependence on God.

God wants us to depend on him. It's really the logical choice. How do we get there, from our self-centered, paranoid little lives? The first step is to surrender to God.

Singles' boogey man: What others think

How many of your decisions are based on what others think? If you're honest, I think you'd say, "Too many."

Following the crowd is the boogey man of the 21st century. We're influenced by social media, people at work, and especially our own family. We want their approval. It's part of human nature.

Several months ago, I talked about impressing others. It's a hard habit to break free from, and yet we can't live up to God's desire for us if we put human influence above his.

How can we move from being people-pleasers to being God-pleasers?

First, I think we need to acknowledge whose opinion is most important. (That'd be God's, in case you're not sure.) Then we need to notice the ever-changing standards of society. You can be "in" one day and "out" literally the next day. Finally, we need to ask ourselves, as the old TV detective Kojak used to say, "Who loves ya, baby?" That'd be God again. Biggest love. Strongest love. Eternal love. Never-let-ya-go kind of love.

That's what I want.

If you spend too much time worrying about what others think, here are some ideas to help you jump out of that rut.

I'd enjoy hearing from you,. You can email those bouquets or brickbats my way by using our secure contact form.

And that, single pal, is the May newsletter. Spring is here, summer's on the way, and you and I are brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

That's a lot to be thankful for! Until next month,

Jack Zavada
PS: Not a Christian? Find out how to become one!

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