Your Story

We all have a story. We all tell a story. We all listen to a story. What is your story? What story are you telling yourself? What story are you listening to?

When we are born, our story is blank. It is neither good nor bad. It just is. As we grow, our story begins to develop. Through the years it begins to take shape. At a certain stage in life, it begins to be repeated over and over.

A real important question here: who is writing my story?  Someone is going to write it. Maybe it is our parents. Maybe our friends. Maybe our jobs. Maybe our failures. Maybe our teachers. Maybe our heroes. Maybe our many experiences in life. Maybe our successes. Maybe all of those. 

Perhaps there are two other possibilities: God and Satan. Ultimately our story is being written by one or the other. For those whose story is written by Satan, their lives are miserable and wretched. They move from chaos to chaos. There is always something dysfunctional in their lives. Further, the cycle repeats itself personally and in families. Take a young person who comes from a broken home. His father is living a profligately sinful life. His parents' divorce came in his very formative years. The young man flounders from bottle to bottle. He goes through rehab many times. He repeats the cycle of his father. His life is one miserable mess for him and heartbreak for his godly loved ones. He tells himself that he is no good, is not worth the effort. His will to overcome is at best weak, if not lost.

Now, take that young man in the same circumstances, except that he listens to God. He immerses himself in God’s word. He surrounds himself with godly influences. He reads material that produces godly thoughts and, like the vine to the branch, his heart stays connected to God.  While his past is part of his history, his present and future are being written by God. He writes the story of redemption over and over. He knows--and tells himself--that God loves him. He sees the great sacrifice that Christ paid. He longs to be near the Father. While his life is not perfect, he never gives up. He faces the challenges before him with boldness. He fights the flesh and determines to break the cycle of habitual sin in his life. His life is filled with joy. He experiences the good things God has to offer in life, not just spiritual, but many blessings from God. His family is whole. His world is ordered around spiritual values.

What is the difference in the two? It is an oversimplification, but nonetheless the biggest difference is who he listens to. Is he listening to God, or is he listening to Satan? When the story is told over and over again, who tells the story? God or Satan? Also, ultimately, we get to choose who we listen to. However, that will to choose right can be forfeited. It can become captive to the will of Satan. Repentance is all about a change of saying “Yes” to Satan and “No” to God to saying “Yes” to God and “No” to Satan. Until that choice is anchored in our lives, any battle we fight will be lost. But saying yes to God and having His will anchored in our hearts, the victory, no matter how hard, nor how long, will be sure!

What is your story? Who is telling it? Who are you listening to?

Rickie Jenkins