North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

A man fell off a cliff and at the last second as he fell, he happened to grab hold of a shrubby bush. As he dangled on the side of the cliff, he was filled with terror and called out toward heaven, “Is there anyone up there?” A calm, but powerful voice came out of the sky, “Yes, there is.” The man pleaded, “Can you help me? Can you help me?” The calm voice replied, “Yes, I can. Simply let loose of the bush and everything will turn out fine.” There was a tense pause, then the guy yelled, “Is there anyone else up there?”

Life and its complexities leave us scratching our head at times. But thankfully, others have been down the same path we’re now on and we have The Book—the Holy Bible—to show us their outcome, to give us the answers we seek. We have the good fortune of taking its great wisdom and advice. We have before us, the road map to a happy and successful life. Those who were inspired by God and penned the words on its pages, give us inspiration. Their words lift us up and help us see that what we are experiencing isn’t unique to us; that others have faced the same mountain peaks and dark valleys and conquered them.

We can read about and witness the lives of others and see ourselves succeeding like them and getting us through the tough times; knowing better days are ahead. Many great people have come before us. But it’s our time now. It’s time for you and me to achieve our own greatness in life. It’s okay for us to challenge the status quo, to reach for the stars and to overcome the gravest of hardships. But we’ve got to want it, we’ve got to believe not just in ourselves, but believe in God and His strength that can and will enable us to win. It’s a sad thing to see someone moping around, crawling through life like there’s no hope. What’s wrong with us? As Christians we have reason to live! And his name is Jesus!

Let’s consider for a moment what may be wrong with us instead of what’s wrong with everyone else. Before anyone can change the world, or at least the environment around them, you must change yourself. Life doesn’t always appear fair, in fact, it’s not! We must encourage ourselves by adapting to the winds of change.

In 2 Kings chapter 6, Elisha had to encourage his servant by reminding him God’s team is bigger and much stronger than the foes. In our case, the world is our foe. In 2 Kings 6:17 God reveals to Elisha’s servant the spiritual battle he couldn’t see and the greatness of God’s divine army. Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.” The Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

It may seem to you in your own physical and spiritual lives you’re always on the defense and seemingly alone in your battles. Let me remind you, the devil, the world, some people who may call you their friend, will lead you to believe you’re losing. It’s true…on our own we can’t win the fight. We have to battle every day. But like Elisha and his servant, we can be encouraged. God fights with us and for us. 1 John 4:4 says, “My children, you are part of God’s family…you have power…because the One who lives in you (Holy Spirit) is stronger and greater than the one who is in the world (Satan).”

Just because most people can’t physically see the spiritual battles around them, it doesn’t mean they’re not there. Find that your part in the battle includes staying positive. In fact, positive attitudes make everyday living better. Do these things to promote positive attitudes in your life: 1) Set Goals for Yourself. Pay the price by working hard to achieve them, 2) Care About Other People. There’s no better example of a positive attitude than treating others the way you want to be treated, 3) Believe in Yourself. You are unique in this world—so are your talents, 4) Act for What You Believe is Right. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes can be great teachers about life, 5) Simply Improve yourself. You do this by keeping an open mind about new ideas and suggestions from others. Don’t fight change, 6) Get Fun Out of Life. This means not taking yourself too seriously, 7) Enjoy the Silence. Break away for at least 15 minutes each day by yourself and do nothing. I firmly believe if you do these seven (7) things, life will be more meaningful for you; your problems will be easier to handle; goals will be more attainable; mistakes will seem less disastrous; and your future will be appealing and exciting.

There’s an old saying: “It’s better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness.” Be that positive light for yourself and for others. And be encouraged by knowing even when times look bleak, dark, and dim—God wins in every circumstance. Because you choose to be on His team, you get to experience victory along with Him. Find a church where you can worship with other positive Christians, attend faithfully, and follow 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 Sep 30 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

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *