North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

I don’t know of anyone who has ever not wanted to go back and change some decision they have previously made. Certainly, there is something in your past you regret doing or wish never happened. I have known people to wake up every day and carry with them regrets that hold them back. The weight and heaviness of this burden can affect you emotionally and physically and keep you from really enjoying good mental and physical health. So often there are things you regret, almost the instant you say them or do them. Some people have a growing regret or sorrow of actions long past. Whatever you did in the past—whether it was great or small, whether others know about it or not, you can be released from the haunting affects that come to you. Living a restored life and embracing the new start can’t come soon enough to the person who truly wants to make things right with God and others.

The Bible says, “For if a person belongs to Christ, they are a new person. The old life is gone. New life has begun” (2 Cor. 5:17). What liberation of thought and emotional release to know we can be restored to a new way of living or a return to previous “glory days”. God has the power to change you from a worried, unhappy man, woman, boy, or girl to a contented, joyful happy child of God. He has changed millions of humble people who are genuinely willing to be changed—from unhappiness to happiness; from despair to joy; from negative to positive; from selfishness to giving. All this and more awaits the person who chooses to be restored to a new life.

The world is full of people who have locked in their hearts and their minds memories of unhappy thoughts and actions they have committed or people have committed against them. It’s very personal and revealing these things to someone will not easily happen. Although when it does, a person is relieved to have confessed what has been bottled up for a long time. A restored life can bring healing to a scarred and broken heart. The Bible says God is close to this kind of person: “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart. And He saves those who are broken in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). You and I would be surprised of those things that are hid away in people’s heart. Regrets, unforgiveness, guilt, doubt, fear, and moral failure get locked away and become a mix of disturbed mental anguish. Sometimes this toxic mix seeps out of us by way of our communication and interaction with others.

We mustn’t let these hidden sins and hurts eat away at our zest and joy for living. We must choose to live a restored life and let Christ control it for us. A restored life is a blessed life. And a blessed life is the gift God intends to give all His children. And He certainly has the will and the power to achieve this. The question becomes—What is our will? Are we seeking Him or are we seeking self? There comes a time in our lives in which we have to decide just how committed and sold-out we are going to be for God—not just at church, not just at home, but at work and when we are on vacation and around people we don’t know. Anything less than our best or 100%, God will not sustain with His full blessings and power. Recognizing our need for restoration and commitment is critical for the showers of blessings God intends for us. A genuine commitment to the Christian life can be an uphill journey. It’s hard work at times and Satan tries to damage our witness, but don’t give up! Don’t get distracted. Your restored life will bring glory to God and He will bless you!

Be mindful, living the restored life is not without opposition and even discouragement, because the tug of worldly passions will always be right around the corner. Beware of the habits, friends, or activities that oppose your walk with God. Stand firm in your commitment to Him and receive His blessed help. He can, will, and wants to help you rebuild. Remember this: We will face opposition in returning to God or attempting to draw closer. Let God control these six (6) things for you. 1) Your Thinking– The Bible says: “Keep your minds thinking about things in heaven; don’t think about things on the earth” (Col. 3:2). This alone can help restore positive living for anyone who desires it. As an added bonus, God promises “perfect peace for those who keep their mind on Him” (Isa. 26:3). Perfect peace? Is that possible? Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). Allow God to control: 2) Your Hearing– Satan himself speaks to people in many ways: suggestive music, gossip, unwarranted criticism. Satan temps us to illicit action. There is a better way. Let God restore your life by listening as He speaks through His Word (Bible), prayer, and the Holy Spirit (John 5:24). Let Him control: 3) Your Seeing– Watching lustfulness and destruction on the T.V. and movie screen causes a person’s spiritual life to become stunted, dwarfed, and definitely left unrestored. Let Him control: 4) Your Speaking– consider your own language. Harsh, unkind, curse words can hurt others and quench the spirit from working in your life and those around you. Encourage one another with hopeful expectation (Matt. 12:36-37). Let Him control: 5) Your Work– Don’t always be interested in personal profit and fail to work for God. “Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23). This kind of attitude will help you keep your intended purpose for living always in the forefront of your mind. Finally, let Him control: 6) Your Going– We live in a pleasure-seeking society. Millions of us are on the go looking for fun and diversions from the stresses of life. Let’s remember however, to let Christ control your journey. Go for God. Go with God. And never forget he desires to go with you. “Be strong and have strength of heart! Don’t be afraid or lose faith. For the Lord your God is with you anywhere you go” (Josh. 1:9). Find a church that will lead you down the pathway to a restored life with God, continue that journey forever by following God in all your ways.

  • This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at
Posted by on Jul 22 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson”

  1. North Santa Rosa

    awesome column Matt, I could definitely change some decisions if I had a time machine, a song that i used to sing with my boys runs through my mind – forgiveness: is the world’s most wonderful word, it means God hasn’t given up on you! thanks for the reminder.

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