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SEIZE YOUR DESTINY
Watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.
Your are now determining your destiny. The choices you make today are shaping who you will become.
Though he had great ability, Samson also had a weak character that opened the door for Delilah to deceive him. He allowed Delilah to learn the source of his strength, and the ensuing "bedroom barbershop affair" left Samson powerless and pathetic. His last days were spent grinding grain for his enemies. He was mocked and ridiculed, and his eyes were gouged out because he ignored God's warnings.
David, too, had great ability. He was Israel's poet, prophet, and warrior statesman, but a weakness in his character allowed burning lust to drive him into Bathsheba's arms, producing an illegitimate child. Then he chose to commit cold-blooded murder. But David's two-minute warning came when the prophet Nathan pointed his bony forefinger in the ashamed face of King David and shouted in righteous fury, "You are the man!" (2 Sam. 12:7). Confronted with his sin, David had two choicesthe same choices you and I have when faced with our transgressionshe could repent or flee.
David could have wrapped his royal robes around his body in self-righteous anger and attacked the messenger. Hecould have reviewed his royal accomplishments and claimed that the blessings of God on Israel were because of his brilliant leadership. He could have ... but he didn't.
David was no Judas! David was not an emotional coward! David was a man after God's own heart, so he heeded the warning. David fell on his knees before the prophet and sobbed his confession of sin: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin" (Ps. 51:1-5).
Your thoughts impact your destiny!
Seize your destiny! Make decisions that draw you closer to God, and remember to guard your thoughts. Your every decision is built upon a thought. Saint Paul writes, Bring "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ!" (2 Cor. 10:5). Sin does not begin with an action; it begins with a thought.
* Adultery does not begin at a motel; it begins when your thoughts turn away from your marriage vow made before God.
* Murder does not begin when you squeeze the trigger; it begins when your thoughts of anger are not brought into obedience before Christ.
* Divorce does not begin in the judge's chambers; it begins when you entertain thoughts of how good life would be without your spouse.
* Theft does not begin when you break the window of the jewelry store with a crowbar; it begins when you first imagine how wonderful it would be to have what's not yours.
Your speech impacts your destiny!
Your thoughts will become your words, and your words will take on powerful implications of their own. Proverbs 18:21 states, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
Notice that there is no middle ground regarding the effects of your speech; your words will lead to either life or death! Wounds inflicted by a sword will soon heal, but wounds inflicted by a toxic tongue cannot be mended apart from the healing power of God's forgiveness.
The teacher of an adult class once gave this assignment to his students: "Go to someone you love and tell them that you love them."
At the beginning of the next class, one of the students told the teacher that he was angry at the assignment because he didn't feel that he could say these words to anyone. He then said,
"But as I began driving home, my conscience started talking. Five years ago, my father and I had a vicious disagreement and never really resolved it. We avoided seeing each other unless we absolutely had to at family gatherings. By the time I got home, I had convinced myself I was going to tell my father I loved him. Just making that decision seemed to lift a heavy load off of my chest.
At 5:30 p.m., I was at my parent's house ringing the doorbell, and as luck would have it, Dad answered the door. I didn't waste any time! I took one step inside the door and said, 'Dad, I just came over to tell you that I love you.'
It was as if a transformation came over my Dad. Before my eyes, his face softened, the wrinkles seemed to disappear, and he began to cry. He reached out and hugged me and said, 'I love you too, son, but I've never been able to say it."'
Two days after that conversation, the father had a severe heart attack and was hospitalized in critical condition. The son recognized that his thoughts were wrong and took action before it was too late. With his speech, he changed the destiny of his relationship with his father forever.
God's Two-Minute Warning
Your eternal destiny is controlled by your speech. Jesus said, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12:3637). Look at those two words ... justified or condemned. There is no neutral ground. Your thoughts, words, and deeds will determine the destiny of your eternal soul.
Stop and think right now. What have you said in anger to a friend or family member that has poisoned your relationship with that person? Don't hesitate! Go to them today, call them, or write them, but have the courage to say, "I love you!"