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The Art of Time Travel

Romans 5:1-5

 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace[a] with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

In the course of four years pastoring these wonderful Churches God has called me to, I have had the privilege and honor of providing pastoral counseling to many God fearing and Holy Spirit filled people who I look up to greatly. It’s a great honor to be trusted to provide pastoral care and walk with people through the trials of life. It is also a stark reminder that we all, myself included, are growing and learning, and those who reach out for help have a higher success rate then those who don’t. Contrary to common belief and cultural norms, it takes great strength and courage to seek out counseling and accountability. It’s a form of spiritual accountability and maturity. 

Through this I have also observed, believe it or not, there are many variations of the same problems that we all tend to face. As I have witnessed, the thing that keeps us stuck is not the problem itself or its unique variation. No, the thing that tends to keep people stuck in their problem is their desire to time travel to escape the problem instead of dealing with it head on in their present reality. Yes, you read that right. People love to use their problems as a vessel to travel in time in order to escape what they feel they can’t control.  I know you're confused so allow me to explain. When faced with a problem that seems insurmountable, most people refuse to look at their present situation, take responsibility for their own actions and trust Jesus to show up, while steadily being focused and present for “today”. Instead, we all too commonly fearfully look at the problem and become fixated on the uncontrollables. This inevitably causes us to look fearfully into the future, being focused and fixated on the bad that could come. No one can live in panic for a long period of time without relief. So to find relief we grave, we switch gears and travel into the past in search of unhealthy but familiar comforts. These comforts keep us pacified, calm and stuck. This practice of time travel brings temporary relief and numbness to the pain of the problem we face which feels good for a moment. Inevitably though, if we never take ownership of not allowing Jesus to bring us peace in our present day regardless of the problem we face, the next seemingly major event will start the cycle all over again with greater velocity. I have been guilty of this, you have been guilty of this, we all, in our humanity have participated in unhealthy time travel to some degree. Most habitual sins in our life are different forms of fleshly comforts we have used to distract ourselves from the problems of life we fear. They are activities we have not encountered God’s grace for. The grace that grows us out of ourselves and moves us into God’s glorious future and plan for our lives.

Praise God through our Faith in Jesus there is a better way!

There is a divine plan that actually sets us on the right course of healthy time travel. In the same way it begins with deciding that I will have firm faith in the present, despite how I feel about any problem set before me. Today, in my present, despite how I feel about my current life situation, by God’s grace I in faith choose to believe that I am in right standing with God through Jesus. Therefore, He will use this situation or problem to better my future. I can come to the conclusion that problems in this life are inevitable but I don’t have to let them change the way I engage with Jesus, or change my joy in my present reality. I can choose to command my mind, will and emotions to surrender to God’s truth and authority, over whatever power I believe my present problems might present. This produces a completely different result on how I travel through time. Once I have resolved that God’s truth is the greatest authority in my present reality. I can take captive the way I feel, and then confidently travel into the past to discover the origin for any unhealthy emotional responses or triggers this current problem may have dug up. This then gives me the confidence and ability to see or travel into the future with hope and faith filled expectation for what God will do with my current situation, if I hold firm to Him. Especially when I can remember what He has already brought me through with clarity. This form of healthy time travel gives us a deep sense of peace and confidence in our present reality that surpasses any form of medicating the world or familiar sin can offer. It’s what trains us to be more than conquerors who can overcome any situation despite what’s presented before us. 


Pastor John

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