Life is like a game of chess. Without God, you can take a pawn and change it into any color, yet it is still the same pawn, making the same moves. But… if you take that same pawn and turn it into a Queen, imagine how the game changes. That is life with God.
How you live now, in this moment, will either help bring light to the world or it will not. It’s up to you to make each moment count.
You can live your life as a pawn in this world, and be moved one square at a time, following others around, only taking steps when others say it’s ok, or when you feel it’s acceptable or when you think no one will notice, or when you think it will bring you closer to the next “acceptable place” in society - and in the process take the chance of losing yourself because you can only move one step at a time -
Each day we move a step and we think, “is this what God wants us to do”? And we make our lives so much more difficult moving one step at a time.
OR.....You can live your life as the royalty you are. You can have faith in God that he will help you become that Queen piece in the game who believes in their self worth - because you know, and have the faith that you are a part of God, that you are a child of God, and have that light inside of you - that you can make each move with strength because you have God in your life.
What God does is, through his will and guidance, he allows us to move multiple steps to get to where we need to be. He fills the board game with just the right amount of pieces which are people or events that help propel us to where he wants us to be - all to protect the King.
Romans 8:17 - Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Why the Queen?
Chess is logical and strategic. As you’re moving these pieces around, each piece has its’ own function, but the Queen can move anywhere and do anything on the board. (within the games’ guidelines, which we talk about below)
So if we look at ourselves as that Queen piece that God is guiding anywhere he needs to guide us to, then we will have the ability, through God’s will, to move anywhere we need to fulfill the purpose God has for us.
The process of the Queen moving anywhere is to protect the King at all times - Jesus Christ. In other words, bring God’s message to those who don’t believe, or even to those who do believe.
Where Do You Begin?
(Or Re-Start Wherever You Are In Your Life? - it’s never too late)
You may be thinking that you want to believe this, but you don’t understand how to even begin to think this way, or apply this to your life. We’re about to explain that to you…. If you are religious or not, in your 20’s or your 80’s, this should help you take the first step that you know your heart wants to try - because you’ve read this far, and because you’re here. Thank you for making that choice.
Where To Start:
We will start by explaining our basic human needs and how we can tap into these proven scientific human needs to help jump start or revive your life towards a more fulfilling, peaceful life with God.
Then we will explain the analogy of a game, how it applies to our lives and most importantly, we will then show you how God can and will help you through.
Each section you are about to read will help inform the next section. We hope you walk away from this article with a clarity about how God is there for you - especially during the hurtful or hard times. If you are willing to follow God’s path for you, while it may be difficult, the destination is more rewarding than you can imagine.
RULES OF THE GAME
Whose Rules Are You Playing By? Rules shmules. Who cares about rules right!? Actually, every human being needs the rules of the game, even if you think you don’t, or even if you’re instinctual thought right now was “rules, I was born to break them” - well, that is just a conditioned belief to make you feel that if you break the rules, that means you are strong and independent - when in fact, did you know that your primal human need is to have rules? - because - clear rules, or goals, allow us to know whether or not we are making progress - and progress provides us with a reward. For example:
Why We Need Rules (Based On Evolution)
Evolution shows us that we are fundamentally in search of experiencing pleasure and/or avoiding pain with each activity we chose to do. For example, when you are hungry, you eat and your body rewards you with dopamine to encourage you to repeat the same behavior next time you are hungry.
With emotional needs, such as gaining acceptance from others, this is where we need a little more guidance, because, without any guidance, it would be up to our own perception of our own progress. An example would be actually knowing you have won a car, and “thinking” you have won a car. Both will trigger dopamine in your body to give you the same physical pleasurable reward, until you want to drive the car that you don’t have.
So you can see that rules are important to help us keep boundaries between knowing what is right and wrong. With all of the options and distractions we are offered, it can be very difficult to know what the right thing is to do that will give us the most reward in the end. We want to do the right thing and become the Hero in the end of every game. This is why it is most important to have a relationship with God - because God’s rules or guidelines for you help elevate you above the noise so that you can be guided righteously towards your unique purpose.
There Are 3 Sets Of Rules You Can Play By In This Life:
1 - YOUR OWN - (living a life self absorbed)
2 - THIS WORLDs - (living a life on what others want of you)
3 - GODs - (living the life God designed for you to live)
YOUR OWN RULES:
Background: This is when you live your life with a focus on your own self gain. Each relationship or interaction you have focuses on what you can get from it. For example:
In that process, sometimes you stab other people in the back, you step on people’s toes, and you may even lie to gain the things you want.
This false sense of fulfillment or self gratification, creates a cynical part of you that thinks that everyone else will try to do the same thing to you. “If I’m willing to do this to get to where I am, than that means other people are going to be willing to do it to me.” - and how could you have true peace in your life when you’re always feeling like you need to look over your shoulder to see who the next person is going to be that might stab you in the back?
In the end, when you gain those things, you don’t feel the emotional reward in your heart, because of the way you did it. Physically, the body does not produce the neurochemical dopamine that gives you a feeling of fulfillment which naturally occurs when you establish genuine, positive relationships.
Instead, you are hooked on the adrenaline - the rush of getting away with something for own self gain. You don’t believe that this feeling of fulfillment from good deeds even exists, or that you deserve it, so you continue down the path of getting that quick adrenaline rush, even if for a small moment in time, it feels ‘good enough’ to you.
Don’t be blinded...there is a way to break that cycle. You know you’ve seen good people gaining many blessings for doing the right thing - you choose not to acknowledge there is another way.
By following God’s way and making moves through God’s will for you, he will put people in your life that will truly help you, and not try to gain from you or stab you in the back. God will give you the gift of discernment to tell the difference between who is there to genuinely help you vs. those that want to gain from you.
Matthew 7:7-8: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth and to him that knocketh it shall be opened
THIS WORLD’S RULES:
Background: In this world, we have our choices - usually worldly thoughts are our options under these rules - that can only help us one step at a time.
These worldly desires usually are:
When you start to follow the expectations of others, another person’s path and try to do the same thing they are doing, you’re not becoming who you are supposed to be. So you lose yourself in the process....
When....God has a purpose for you - not to be someone else, but to be yourself, and he has a path for you, individually.
Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Look at the statistics of wealthy people that are unhappy. "research shows that giving to others leads to greater happiness than spending on oneself. The one factor that makes some of them happier than their equally wealthy peers comes as no surprise -- making the money themselves instead of inheriting or marrying into it." - Inc.com Harvard Study
They gain every ‘thing’ but the one thing they don’t have is God. That’s when you realize you’re just a pawn, giving or taking favors from people that have hidden agendas, all to get what you think you need. And always wondering when you will hear “checkmate” meaning, you will feel the need to stay on your toes if you will get fired, or have enough money to take care of what you currently have, or if your friends or family truly care about you.
When you follow the path God has for you, you’ll find other like minded people who care from the heart, and you don’t worry about checkmate anymore, in fact you enjoy being a part of the board of players because you are royalty in God’s eyes, and you know each move you make will be in good hands, in God’s hands.
Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
Background: God’s way,or God’s word (in the bible) provides all of the guidelines you will need to receive the pleasure and fulfillment we are looking for.
Every move we make in our life can be based on things we want to do - or what God has in store for us. A lot of times we find that when we do things for our own self gain, most times it doesn’t turn out the way we expect it to, and sometimes it can lead us down a really bad path. But when we start to follow the moves that God has for us, we start to look and say ‘Wow, I can’t believe these things are happening”, and we see things falling into place that we would never expect to happen.
Psalm 119:105 - Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
After all, you don’t play a game in the dark.
Here are some of the guidelines God’s will and love for you provides. When you have faith in God, and trust in him for your life’s purpose, he will provide all of these aspects to work in your favor:
11 Opportunities You Are Given By Choosing God’s Way:
(many more can be found in the bible as you read and learn the word of God)
1. Minimize the impact of the element of Chance With God providing you guidance, you can trust in his will to prevail. Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 16:33 We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.
2. Become Less Self Absorbed: When we concentrate fully on an activity there is no room for self-reflection. All of our attention is used to perform the activity. Afterwards, we can look at ourselves and notice we have grown from the experience - our mind has been enriched with new skills and new accomplishments
3. Develop The Right Skills: Helping you to develop skills that teach your opposition and outmaneuver them when needed.
4. Goals Are Set At A High Level where we need to invest our skills to reach the goal - otherwise the goal will become meaningless. God has the most faith in us.
5. Receive Well Needed Feedback Along The Way by how others are impacted, improved or helped from your God given talents and purpose
6. All Progress Needs To Come From Our Free Will - If we feel forced to do an action to progress, then we become less involved in the task. Each decision we make for and with God, must be from our own free will to do so. The more challenging a task, the more we focus. If it were easy, and repetitive, then human nature has shown us, we would not want to continue with it. God is the master planner, and knows exactly what we need to help us grow, learn and contribute - righteously. And want to continue along on his path.
7. Using Enemies For Good - What’s amazing about playing the game in God’s rules is your opponents who are trying to beat you, even if they are not playing by God’ rules, God has the ability to use your enemies to help you win.
Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
8. It’s Not About Having Control, or having a feeling of control, but rather the confidence that you are developing such a great skill that the risk of failure is dissipating - through the faith of God and in the process brings more peace.
9. Our Perception Of Time Becomes Altered because while we concentrate fully on the purpose God has at hand for us, it doesn’t feel mundane - it makes our days feel like hours, and our hours feel like minutes.
10. Not Knowing All Of The Moves Or Even The Outcome - While Maintaining The Faith That It Will Be The Right One For You - we have a desire to understand and seek new knowledge, which is why we enjoy hearing new stories, reading the news and watching movies. We also want to know every move and see our future. BUT….
In this same way, we are receiving guidance from God, but he can not reveal the entire picture to us. God will give us just enough of what we need to bring us through each stage of our development towards our purpose, to keep us moving on the right track.
11. God’s Timing Is In Your Favor- In that same process, each person has a certain talent or purpose that they like or they think they want to do, and that doesn’t happen without educating and practicing and learning along the way. If we didn’t learn a new game, if we sat down with people who are already playing a game and didn’t know how the game worked, we would have to sit and understand how the basics worked in the game.
If we didn’t understand the basics it would be uncomfortable for us to start where the others were at, so we wouldn’t want to play, and possibly miss out on learning a new skill and new activity. Each of us is built differently - some of us enjoy handling multiple challenges at once, while others don’t want new challenges until we have conquered the first challenge. You’ve heard of the phrase “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”. God knows exactly what we need, and how we need it. As long as you trust in him, he will show you this.
Psalm 37:23 - The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.
Psalm: 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
With all of this - remember….
Winning is NOT the purpose. Living In God’s Will IS.
There is much more to winning that makes competition an important socializing experience. There is teamwork, cooperation, commitment to others, respect for your opponent, and, learning to play by God’s word and will for you. You may want to break those rules, to ensure your own victory, to “get ahead” during the course of the game.
Losing is only temporary and not all encompassing. You’ve heard the phrase; “It’s not whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game”.
You will learn more about your peers, your colleagues, your family and friends, playing skillfully with the rules, observing, listening and discerning your next move. If you are preoccupied with your own win, with coming up with schemes and ways you can skip a step, or break the rules, than you miss out on learning who is around you to help or to hurt you. Once you get to that next spot, you may be surprised to see who is waiting for you, to drag you down, or to question your arrival.
Let God help you. You have ambitions and desires purposefully planted in your heart by God. Why do you think every person in this world has a different hope, a different passion? Just like a fingerprint, God has planted in your heart what your purpose is and if you let God know that you will trust in him, he will help you make all the right(eous) moves throughout the game, to help others - while helping yourself.
Ask God: “God, I know my heart wants to understand you, and know you, but I don’t know where to begin. I ask you with this prayer, to please help me get closer to you. Help me to believe that I deserve your love and your guidance in this life. I want to believe that I am royalty in your eyes, and I want to be able to live the life you have created for me. Please give me the guidance to show me the way Lord. I am grateful for all of the blessings you have given me, and I thank you for your love and faith in me. Please help me to release my worry and anxiety unto you. Lift my burdens that I may have a clear mind to hear your guidance. Please show me how to be closer to you Lord. - Amen”
STOP - listen in silence - still your thoughts - and wait to hear him to answer you. Take at least 10 minutes to breathe in silence, and wait to hear the guidance in your heart.
Philippians 4:6-4:7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
You may believe in God, but do you have faith in him with your life?
In this blog post, we will walk you through 5 steps that will help you to identify your readiness for the journey towards knowing God and anticipating your life purpose. Know that God is waiting for you, whenever you are ready.
Before reading this, realize this is a step by step process. This does not happen overnight. Some portions of this process may feel too good to be true, or not realistic from your current perspective, but know this; we are speaking from our direct experience and from the direct promises made in the bible.
If you read a certain step and feel it may not be possible for you in your life, we challenge you to try each step, one step at a time. We are confident in the words we share because of the knowledge we are learning through the word of God
STEPS TO BELIEVING: You will see this chart shows you with each step, the amount of people that stay through each step is less and less. It’s hard for each of us to patiently go through these steps in the time that God has planned for us.
We put time limits on our progression through life, without realizing that each step has it's course to help us be the most prepared for the next. We’re here to tell you it is worth staying the course.
STEP 1: AWARENESS: BELIEF - is when you know in your heart God exists, and/or that Jesus is the son of God. To expect or hope with confidence; to trust - that there is a God. You have come to that conclusion based on circumstances or teachings in your life that have you feel in your heart, there is a God. Mindset: “I’m aware that there is God, and/or that Jesus is his son.”
STEP 2: INTEREST: FAITH - is beyond just believing that there is a God or that Jesus is the son of God. Faith takes your awareness of God and connects it personally to you. Faith allows you to understand that God is here for you, and for you personally, to guide you towards your life purpose, which he created you for. Faith allows you to trust in the word of God and trust in it each day. It is full confidence in God, knowing that he has a plan for you. Faith allows you to grow in an understanding of the word of God and it’s meaning for you. We know in this world today, it can be hard to “keep the faith” because man, through his lack of faith has designed so many elements to distract you, deceive you, deny you of the truth. Your choice to have faith will keep you connected to God. We’ve spoken about this briefly in our previous blog post “Trust in God’s Plan for you: He always fulfills his promises”
STEP 3: DESIRE PURPOSE - Now that you have faith, you have a desire to get to know God and build a relationship with him. You have a desire to understand what your purpose is in this life. God created each of us with a specific task on this earth, and through God, you can find the answer. The only way you can get to know God is to understand his word. The bible was left for us to really get to know God. He waits for you to read his word and ask him for his will in your life. The first step to build that relationship with God is to come to an understanding of how he wants us to live and how he wants us to treat others, and to do this all out of love, and the only way to do this is to read his word, the bible. When we start to study the bible, we slowly come to more of an understanding of what he expects from us. In Proverbs 3: 1-35 says it all. Here is a portion that will show you what we are saying:
1 My child, don't forget what I teach you. Always remember what I tell you to do. 2 My teaching will give you a long and prosperous life. 3 Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them around your neck; write them on your heart. 4 If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. 6 Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.
Many people are lost today because they are stuck in the ways of the world and they don’t even realize it. They do not have the belief, faith, or desire to understand God’s way. If you’re reading this, you’re taking the right step, just look up Proverbs 3: 1-35 and you will see what God has waiting for you. If you’re interested in learning more details, see one of our previous blog posts on “How to Have a Personal Relationship With God”
STEP 4: TAKING ACTION - Once God reveals the plan for you in your life, all you want to do is take action, and start living it. The more you read his word the more direction he gives you in your heart of what your true purpose is. You wake up each day wondering what can you do to make progress on your revealed purpose.
Everything begins to fall into place and your path becomes clear as you gain more knowledge. You will not have a complete map laid out for what the rest of your life will be, but, you will have an absolute direction, day by day, through God’s will for you as long as you ask him what he wills for you in your life. As you continue to build your relationship with God he will reveal more to you and give you more direction.
If this seems foreign to you, then you may only be on Step 1 or Step 2, but please know that God’s timing is perfect. He knows when each of us is ready for the next step on our path. He is always there by your side, guiding you each step of the way. As you go further along on the path he intended for you, you will find more peace and gain more wisdom with your daily interactions. Each day you will start to live the life God intended for you. This will bring you much joy and happiness. At some point the peace and joy you’re feeling will give you the want to share this with others.
STEP 5: ADVOCACY A WANT TO SHARE IT - When you start to experience this joy, all you want to do is help others experience it too. Just like when you find love and you want to shout out loud about it, or when you win a game, and you want to tell everyone about your triumph that you’ve overcome. Finding God, finding your purpose, and living your life in truth feels so good, like “good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains” Proverbs 3:8 - all you want to do is become a beacon for God and share his light with others. Did you know that when you experience God’s light, others will see it and feel it? They may not realize that’s what they are experiencing, but they will be drawn to it anyway.
At this stage, you are so fulfilled in helping others. The learning continues, the growing and wisdom through God continues, and helping others becomes even more enriching.
A book that helps you realize God's hand in your life, from messenger international, by John Bevere entitled "God, where are you?" shares through personal examples, how God prunes and strengthens us for our purpose - each step of the way.
Which step are you on today? If you are about to start at step #1, you've made an incredibly positive decision to even think about starting the journey with God in your life.
Amen and God Bless.
Why do you view kind hearted people as weak, or loving people as gullible? What makes you perceive people who are smiling and saying “hello” to a stranger as being naive or lacking “street smarts”? In fact, isn’t it just the opposite? Isn’t kindness and love, and the confidence to speak up all experiences you want to have most in your life? When you see someone else experiencing what you want to experience, or receiving what you want to have, you distance yourself and say “That can’t be real..they must be weak”.
In the world today, we're shown how to do the wrong things, how to take the wrong path, and then we are rewarded for doing so. We're rewarded for walking further away from God. We're taught: Let's not commit to a person because that allows us to sleep with someone else. Let's not open our heart to someone then we can't be hurt. Let's not trust someone, because then we can't be let down. And these are the cultural acceptances we learn to live in the world.
If you can relate to this, then you have been stuck in the ways of the world for too long, and it's time for you to take a stand for yourself, and to start noticing when a strong righteous person is standing next to you, or when a door of opportunity is presented to you for you to participate, ask and learn. When you learn, you grow closer to the new experience you felt you could never reach and with God’s help, you can receive it.
Peter 2:19 says “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” Seeking to live in God’s will can help you break free from the entanglement of world views. You have an opportunity to experience God’s blessing with each deciding moment in your life. You see, it would be much easier to do the wrong thing then to do right thing in God's eyes. This takes STRENGTH and COURAGE.
STRENGTH FROM GOD
When you pray for the Will of God, he provides that strength for you. The more you get to know God, the more strength he gives you. Eventually, he gives you so much strength, that when people look at you as weak, you just laugh it off because you realize "They do not know what they do".
If someone drops a one dollar bill on the ground, and the person continues to walk far enough away, would you stick the one dollar bill in your pocket? Or.. would you run to chase that person down and give them their one dollar bill? If you said you would give it back, awesome, you're on the right track! And if you hesitated... that's ok, you're here reading this which is one step closer to helping you reclaim your strength with God. You see, it's easier to take it and say "It's only $1.00". It takes integrity to run and give that $1 back - and you know it's the right thing to do.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Maybe it will be hard for you, because your friends may pressure you. You see, one thing you will find with a flock of sheep is no matter where they're guided, they will follow. Even if it's into dangerous territory. So if you're following the world and what they deem as right, you could be following them into a very bad situation that you may not be able to get out of. But what God will never do, is guide you into a danger. What's great about God's love is that even when we stray, he will guide us out of it. In 1 Peter 4, it shows that God knew this already, that when you make the choice to live a better life, there will be opposition, but you will win in the end...
1 Peter 4:
“For you have spent enough time in the past….living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead”
God has your back! When you choose him. You may not think you deserve God’s blessing, or that you will be given blessings, but if you make every effort to seek to live in God’s will, seek for forgiveness and act by helping others, this propels you forward, closer to the joy and happiness you truly desire.
YOU CAN START TODAY:
I challenge you today, to try.
Try asking yourself “What would Jesus do? What would God do?” And in each deciding moment that you find yourself in - about to judge, about to smirk, about to close the door - Stop.
Think. Decide. Decide to live in God’s will. See what happens. You will be surprised at the relationships you start, the love you open yourself up to, the friendships or loved ones you start to strengthen.
7 Small Steps that make a HUGE difference:
1 - say hello to your neighbor, a co-worker in the hallway, or just say hello back, and mean it.
2 - hold the elevator, subway, bus or train door open when you see someone walking towards you. You may just change their day/life #slidingdoors
3 - call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while,
4 - have a coffee with an acquaintance
5 - comment on social media - share your thoughts to help lift someone up or encourage more people to speak to each other
6 - pray....thank the Lord and ask for his will in your life
7 - listen...
To learn of more small steps read Jennifer Waddle’s article: “How to be a light in the darkness”
1 Peter 5 says:
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. And you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
SHARE YOUR COMMENTS
What do you think?
- Are you having a hard time getting started?
- Have you experienced a transformation recently?
Let us know. We can all learn when you share.