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It's an incredible truth: You were strategically placed here, at this time in history, by God for His plans and purposes. He needed someone just like you to love the unlovable; to bring joy to a dark and cold world; to reveal peace in confusing conversations and situations; and to be kind at times when our culture is desolately cruel.

God, the Creator of the Universe, needed someone exactly like you to be constantly optimistic in the face of frustrating circumstances; to hope when there was no reason for hope; and to show patience to obstinate and ornery people.

Because God needed someone just like you, He created you to reveal His heart. The problem is as His very own children, we have acquired too many genetic characteristics of the world and have forsaken the lavishly bestowed attributes of God, our loving Father.

The sad fact of the matter is this: We would rather have it our way than His way. We prefer to emote a selfish perspective on a situation rather than exhibit the delightful and delicious fruit of His Holy Spirit. We were created by God to reveal His character during this singular moment in all of recorded time! Imagine that! We were created to do His good works but instead we have decided to morph into emotional counterfeits of who He intended for us to be.

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God created us because there was a lack of "Godness" on earth and so He sent you and He sent me. God will only reveal Himself through us to the extent that we allow Him to fill every corner of our hearts and lives. The magnificent and heart-stopping truth is that you can have as much of God as you could possibly want! The question has never changed from the Garden of Eden until today: "How much of Him do you want?"

Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Eph. 5:1).

The good works that Christ planned for you before you were even born are so much more than reading a devotional book, attending church or listening to worship music. The good works that God had in mind when He thought of you were so glorious that He declared across the ages that you were His very own masterpiece. God has had His eye on you since the beginning of time to do something so extraordinary through your life that even the angels would stand back in wonder and long to do what you were created to do!

Alas, we do, indeed, have an enemy who is in constant warfare with us because he does not want us to live the abundant life that God has created for us. The devil is relentless in his attempts to rob you of your peaceful, hopeful life. Many of the weapons in the enemy's arsenal are emotional reactions because he cannot touch our spirits and so his twisted plan is to communicate with our souls.

When we agree with him in his deception, our emotional habits will mimic the devil's choices rather than God's abundance. One of the most obvious ways that Satan tries to deny Christians their ability to live abundant lives is by trying to convince them that they are entitled to negative emotions. The devil is thrilled when you agree with him that you deserve to worry; that past experiences compel you to embrace unforgiveness or show outrageous anger. The enemy then rubs his nasty, little hands together with glee as he tricks you into blatantly throwing a hissy fit of human ugliness. God does not want you to agree with the devil ... He wants you to be like Him.

If your most passionate desire is to be a grand display of the fruit of the Spirit and the personality of God, the price that you must pay is to crucify the flesh and to discipline your emotions. If you are able to cooperate with God in this challenging yet fulfilling endeavor, you will be positioning yourself for availability to fulfill God's significant plan at this time in history.

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Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

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