Life in the Comfort Zone

By Linda Tancs

The story of the tower of Babel is found in Genesis (Genesis 11:1-9). It relates the construction of a massive tower by God’s people, designed to keep them in their comfort zone in the land of Shinar. It was easy for them to stick together; after all, they shared a common language and were not keen to disperse. As so often happens, though, God had other plans. Just like Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations, God had no interest in seeing the Israelites stay put. He wanted them to populate the whole earth (Genesis 1:28). His solution was to confuse their language so that they could not understand each other, thus thwarting the building project. In the end, they had no choice but to scatter.

In our common parlance, God was a social disruptor. He’s probably keen to disrupt you, too. Where have you gotten too comfortable? Are you safely ensconced in a way of thinking, doing, being or living? What’s going on outside your tower walls? How can you participate? There’s life outside the comfort zone.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Ignore the Lions

By Linda Tancs

In the Old Testament, the story of Daniel in the lions’ den is an ancient illustration of the punishment for civil disobedience. The account takes place in chapter six of the Book of Daniel, wherein we find Daniel thrown into a lions’ den by the Babylonian king for his failure to stop praying to God. The scene is expressed poignantly by the British painter Briton Rivière in his 1892 painting, “Daniel’s Answer to the King.” In his portrait, Daniel is standing serenely in profile with his hands bound behind his back, looking up to the light in a window while surrounded by a pride of menacing lions. The story, as you may recall, has a happy ending; Daniel’s faith in God saves him from the kind of certain death experienced by other prisoners. In the end, the lions were no impediment.

Think of the “lions” in your life, the things that are lurking around menacingly. Maybe it’s an old grudge, a bad relationship, poor career prospects. Look up (Psalm 121:1-2). Ignore the lions. After all, He Who is in you is greater than anything lurking in the world (1 John 4:4).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Which Way

By Linda Tancs

Frank Sinatra is known for his rendition of the song My Way. It’s an anthem of self-determination wherein you’ll find the statement, “I did it my way.” It’s easy to fall into a trap of wanting to have things your way. As the old idiom attests, “My way or the highway.” But more often than not, we need to get out of our own way. The Bible instructs us not to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). It also reminds us that whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool (Proverbs 28:26). When you seek God’s way of doing things, He directs your path (Proverbs 3:6). You can’t outsmart God. Which way are you going? Your way or His way?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

The Power of Seven

By Linda Tancs

The prophet Elisha’s healing of the Syrian commander Naaman from leprosy is a familiar story for many (2 Kings 5:1-15). In short, Elisha commanded Naaman to dip his body into the Jordan River seven times to be healed. It’s important to recognize that seven is not an arbitrary number selected by Elisha; biblically, it’s the number of completeness and perfection. We all need healing in some respect. Maybe it’s a physical malady or a vexing problem. It may not miraculously disappear. Like Naaman, you may need to exercise persistence until the issue resolves to completion. Practice makes perfect.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Potatoes, Eggs and Coffee

By Linda Tancs

There’s a story you might have heard about the effect that hot water has on potatoes, eggs and coffee beans. Potatoes go into the pot firm and strong and come out softened. Eggs go in fragile and come out hardened. Coffee beans change the water into something new. Think of the hot, or boiling, water as life circumstances. What effect do those circumstances have on you? Are you softened like a potato or hardened like an egg? You may be merely reacting to what’s around you, being broken or hardened by your circumstances. You don’t change; you’re still a potato or an egg. Or do you let your circumstances teach you something and renew you? Then you’re more like a coffee bean. God calls all of us out of the old and into the new (Isaiah 43:19). Embrace change.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Brothers and Sisters

By Linda Tancs

National Siblings Day is April 10, a day that celebrates sibling relationships. It’s an especially good day to remember that brothers and sisters are a gift from God. And God commands sibling love (1 John 2:9). In fact, God feels so strongly about it that He reminds us that you cannot claim to love God if you don’t love your own brother or sister (1 John 4:20). God is love. You are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Love who God loves.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

At Your Service

By Linda Tancs

As Christians we’re on call for God’s service on a full-time basis, regardless of what you call your “day job.” God is not a pastime nor is He just an encounter at church. There’s a call on your life—you were saved to serve (Matthew 4:19). How will you be of service?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

The Good Life

By Linda Tancs

How often do you think of the good life as one marked by things like a nice house, fancy car or expensive vacations? It’s arguably not as often that the “good life” is thought of as one well lived, marked by kindness toward others, charity and community service. But how you live is just as important as what you achieve—even more so, in fact.

Is your life grounded in the things of this world or in God (Joshua 24:15)? The good life is even better than you think when you center it around God.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Take Courage

By Linda Tancs

Of all the Bible passages speaking of courage, I like the ones that explicitly admonish us, in translation, to “take” courage (See, e.g., 2 Chronicles 15:7 ESV). What does it mean to “take” courage? Take is an action verb. It requires you to do something to get something. It is not passive. You can’t just sit around and expect courage to overtake you. God has blessed you with the ability to be courageous. You don’t have to ask for the blessing; you already have it. So take it.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Joyful Noise

By Linda Tancs

Victor Hugo, the author of the classic novel Les Miserables, once said, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” The psalmists would undoubtedly agree. After all, music is an expression of praise and worship to God (Psalm 147:7). You don’t have to be a professional musician to make music pleasing to God, though. Any joyful noise will do (Psalm 100:1-5).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.