Team Conference 2023
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June 18, 2023

Where Are You Growing?


Does anyone actually like doing yard work?

One summer when I was in high school, my church did this week-long local mission trip which included spending a whole day doing intense, almost life-threatening yard work in this one widow’s backyard. This poor lady lived in a jungle. She even had a beehive (unbeknownst to us). My friend, unfortunately, found it and got stung multiple times. She had these weeds like 3-ft high, and the roots were even deeper. I had to wear thick, gardening gloves and pull with all my might just to get one weed out of the ground. You could tell that those weeds had been growing for years. Did you know that you don’t have to plant a weed for it to grow? It will find a way to grow. And if it’s not taken care of, it will continue to grow until it is nearly impossible to uproot.

We are all going somewhere. But more importantly, we are all growing somewhere.

"Our lives are always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts. What we think shapes who we are." ~ Pastor Craig Groeschel

Every choice we make and every response we have leads us either closer in our relationship with Jesus or further away from connecting with Jesus. Throughout my life, I’ve come to know that it ultimately doesn’t matter what is going on around me. My circumstances don’t dictate my direction or my destiny. When trials come, yes they are hard, but they are temporary. My God is eternal and all-powerful. He is my ever present help in time of need. He will never leave me nor forsake me. I’ve come to find that it’s not so much what I’m going through, but how I’m going through it.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

I think some of the toughest battles are not fought against people or situations, but in our own minds. We have to be so careful to not let just any thought rule our minds and take root – especially those thoughts that are full of fear or just plain lies from the enemy. If we can deflect those kinds of thoughts that come into our minds, we can truly become unstoppable for the Kingdom of Heaven. Because if we can control our minds, then we can control our tongue. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 that “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” So what fruit are you eating? Are the words you speak producing life or death? What you proclaim out of your mouth steers the course of your life.

Battles fought and won in the unseen will bear fruit in the seen.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

There are many people who might think that “people never change.” But in reality, we are always changing. The direction of that change, however, is totally up to us.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." ~ Pastor Jabin Chavez

When you’re all alone and that dark thought comes into your mind, what are you going to do? Will you let it control your behavior, or will you take it to God and make it obedient to Christ? Every decision you make matters. Because all of those decisions make up a life. What kind of life are you living? What fruit are you producing? I pray that no matter what is going on around you or in you, you will choose to turn to God and let the Holy Spirit produce His good fruit in your life. Trust me, it will always be worth it.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
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