Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning.
Psalm 26:4-5 I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.
Proverbs 13:20 Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
Most of us have goals, aspirations and dreams. Places where we want to be in our finances, health, relationships and over all well-being.
The desires for success in the pursuit of our goals and visions, whatever those may be, is directly connected to how we choose to position ourselves.
How we position ourselves internally (both mentally and spiritually) is vital to walking in the reality of our desires, dreams and ultimately God given purpose.
It starts with an intentional act of deciding. Deciding both WHERE are we placing ourselves and WHO we are positioning ourselves with. These are two factors which are directly under our control.
Why are they under our control? Because they are personal choices that we make.
These two factors are unique in this regard; because when we’re honest with ourselves, we realize that most of life that unfolds around us is quite frankly out of our control.
It is only over the internal emotional and mental responses, to those circumstances in life, that we have complete control.
For many people, that is an inconvenient truth to square with. It does not fit with the modern-day narrative and philosophy which is so pervasive today.
We live in a society where control is paramount (or at least what appears to be a sense of control). People take in countless bits of data through various sources to shape and form their reaction and perceived stand in the world that unfolds around all around us.
We watch the morning news to see what the commute is like on the way to work.
We listen to the weather report to determine if we need a jacket or umbrella that day.
We monitor the stock market to track trends with our money.
We review sports highlights to provide a more informed opinion of our favorite team.
We watch the evening news to have more situational awareness of what is taking place around the world.
Our social media feed is constantly chiming and beeping, to inform us of what our friends and acquaintances are doing; in some cases, even in real time with the advent of live streaming.
These are examples of how we, as human beings living in the modern world, are constantly striving to gain a sense of awareness and control of everything that is going on around us.
If we strip these instruments and mediums away, and are left with just ourselves: no phone, no internet, no tv and no other source of outside information, we find that the amount of control that we truly have, is reduced to what is in our hearts and minds.
The only control which we have as finite human beings is over our emotional reactions, feelings and thoughts.
Considering this fact, how we respond to circumstances unfolding around us is of vital importance. We control how we respond to people and events that impact our lives.
The response we choose will determine if we both are placed for success and are positioned in healthy relationships with others.
So, we’ve established the fact that our reactions and responses to life is under our personal control.
But let’s take it step further. In addition to the control we have over our responses, we often control and choose where we place ourselves and who we are positioned with.
Where we choose to position ourselves is a critical ingredient in the recipe from which our goals, visions and ultimately our God given purpose is made from.
We can choose environments and places which will either make us flourish and grow or we can choose places which cause our dreams to stagnate and die…these are places where our destiny is put on hold and our inner selves become withered, atrophied excuses of what could have been.
Just as critical as WHERE we are positioned, is WHO we allow ourselves to be placed with.
We can choose to allow visionaries and life breathers into our inner circle of friends and mentors. These are the people that God places across our path to help sharpen our character, perspective and faith. They tell us things that we NEED to hear, not necessarily what we WANT to hear.
If the people who WE’VE ALLOWED placement in our lives, are NOT fostering and encouraging internal and external growth, then the logical conclusion is that their relational placement is counterproductive and a hindrance on the road leading towards the fulfillment of whatever goals or aspirations that we have and more importantly, what God has desired for us to accomplish.
I’ve found that partnerships with Christ centered people, who are of sound mind, grounded in God’s Word and aggressive with passion and dreams, are the most beneficial in fostering movement toward my destiny. They are people who speak the truth…with love and authority; even when it is uncomfortable for me to hear.
Quite frankly, to achieve our Divine goals and purpose, we must have people like this in our lives. They challenge stale or dysfunctional thinking patterns and push us to be the best that we can be.
Linked together with where we place ourselves and who we’re positioned with, is the internal component of one’s own self.
By this I mean the thinking patterns and belief systems which serve as stumbling blocks. These take the form of our own personal dysfunctional behaviors which sabotage our journey and any efforts we make in the right direction.
Perhaps for you, it’s been poor money management, when you’ve set a goal to be better stewards of what God has already trusted you with financially; or maybe it’s sneaking junk food, when you’re trying to maintain a lifestyle of fitness and better health, or maybe it’s constant and habitual procrastination when a major deadline or project is due.
These are just some examples of personal dysfunctional behavior which influence our position and placement in relation to where God wants us to be.
We all know people who have lofty dreams and wonderful aspirations. They speak of worthy goals such as buying a house, yet they do not draft and stick to a solid financial plan to achieve that goal. Others speak of wanting a better job but do not put forth the effort to increase their skill sets or pursue higher education.
An inconvenient truth is that many times all this self-sabotage and counterproductive thinking is both closely related to where we have decided to be and who we’ve decided to be around.
When these factors are working in concert with one another they become allies with a ‘barely-get-by’ mentality and the status quo pattern of thinking.
If these elements are the dominant force in a person’s life, they will never experience the full effect of what it means to be positioned and placed in the will of God.
These people will constantly come up short, never have enough and never be enough. Why?
Because, based on the control that they have over their will and emotions, they’ve decided to align themselves with all the ingredients needed to live a lackluster washout life.
They live a life in the status quo; and status quo and mediocrity are cousins in the same stagnant water of a swamp to nowhere.
Bottom line, God has called us, as believers, to be people of action. He wants us to be intentional about what we do with what he has trusted us with; time, money, relationships, our health, our minds and our talents.
How we engage these elements is at the foundation of our position; they determine where we are placed…and who we are placed with.