January 1, 2016

Pull the Trigger

Pull the Trigger

One of the few movies I watched last year was Kingsman: The Secret Service. In that movie, each recruit was given a puppy which they had to bring through their training with them. Right at the end of Eggsy’s spy training, he is handed a gun and required to shoot the dog. You hear a gun shot ring out as the other remaining spy pulls the trigger. Eggsy though, can’t pull the trigger. He knows what he has to do, but he can’t do it. (By the way, the gun had blanks in it, so no animals were harmed.)

pull the trigger

pull the trigger

I found myself in a similar situation last year. No, I didn’t have to shoot anything! I knew what I had to do, but couldn’t do it. I’d talked to people, I had a word from God, but I wanted more. A few days after that movie though, I found myself doing the things that I needed to do and talking to the people I needed to. The change in my life that I’d been longing for was underway. Old things were being left behind, new things were coming. There was a release, a new freedom that came, a new enthusiasm.

Phil 3:12-14 says:

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

A few things from this verse:

1. Press on to take hold

What is it you need to take hold of? Spiritual – take hold of the spiritual things God has given each one of us. The victory on the cross, the forgiveness, mercy and grace. Take hold of the personal things like prophecies and promises that have been given to you and apply to you.

If it helps, one thing I heard at conference earlier in the year was this: We can have the biggest dreams, goals and plans in the world, we can have the potential to be whoever and whatever we want in God, but if we don’t have self-discipline, we will never achieve those dreams. Self-discipline starts with God: our relationship with Him, prayer and worship. We all know we need to spend more time in prayer and worship. Get up early and pray. Just do it. Pull the trigger. You will be better off for it and reap the rewards.

Romans 6 describes how our sinful nature has been crucified and how we’re either slaves to sin or slaves to God and righteousness. You’ll find that as you focus more on God and the things that you should be doing and are made to do, other things will drop away. Leaving things behind will almost happen automatically.

2. Forget what is behind

There comes a time when sometimes we know it’s time to leave something behind, to stop doing something we’ve always done. It could be something we did for a season and that season has come to end – we need to recognise that.

Unhealthy relationships, artificiality, pretence, pride, false concepts of God, negative thoughts, disappointment – disappointment in yourself, others and God, the things that you think God didn’t do, unrealistic expectations placed on you by yourself, family, friends, work etc. All these need to be left behind, forgotten.

Forget the old ways of doing things and what something “used” to be like. Church may have been great 10 years ago when x was the pastor and this was happening and that was happening. Work was excellent when y was the manager, but now… We learn what we can from the past, but then we forget about it and instead use the opportunity to do something fresh, new and better.

What changes do you need to bring? Don’t hold onto things too tightly. Sometimes we have to push through tough times. Other times we need to know when it’s time to give things up. Know the seasons.

Perhaps you know what it is that you have to leave behind or do, but can’t pull the trigger. Use the new year as a motivation – pull the trigger and do what it is that you know God wants you to do.

3. Reach, Strive towards

These are action words. There are things we can do in the natural that will help.

Start applying for new jobs if that’s what you need/want. Talk to others who may be able to help you in whatever area you are trying to move into. Find out if there are courses in what you want to do that will help you. Read some relevant books. Learn something new. Take up a new challenge. Practise that musical instrument, take the singing lessons. Get up early. You’ve got nothing to lose.

In many ways this is similar to forgetting what is behind. Most times we know what we need to do, we just don’t do it. Again, pull the trigger. Just do it.

I’ve been in situations before when I couldn’t pull the trigger. Don’t be that person. Do what you know you need to!

What lies ahead? What will I take hold of? A conversation with a friend last year reminded me of and confirmed to me, my love of planning, strategising, working as a team and then bringing those plans and strategies into reality. I love challenging people to become better, to try new things, to achieve their dreams – big or small. Hopefully I get to do more of that this year.

And to finish with a quote from a paper cup at a well known fast food restaurant: It’s fun to explore new things. Give it a go! Make the changes you need to.

It's fun to explore new things

It’s fun to explore new things


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