Getting Started

Posted on 09/16/2012 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***

Public Prayer Requests:

Prayers for my spare family. Ken and grace with multiple health problems and Russ who is still adjusting to a sudden divorce. And the others who deal with unique marriages, adult autism, and other things.
- Bladestryke Spearsong

my house mate i cant say his name for confidenciality reasons pulled a mussle in his back and is in a extreme ammount of pain. i ask preyre that his back be healed. he is a christian
- FennecTECH Resident


Mighty is our God
Mighty is our King
Mighty is our Lord
Ruler of everything

Glory to our God
Glory to our King
Glory to our Lord
Ruler of everything

His name is higher
Higher than any other name
His power is greater
For he has created everything


He is the King of Kings
He is the Lord of Lords
His name is Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus
Oh -- He is the King

...of Kings
He is the Lord of Lords
His name is Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus
Oh -- He is the King

His name is Jesus, Jesus,
sad hearts we've no more
He can heal the broken hearted
open wide the prizon doors
And he's able, yes he's able
to deliver evermore


You are beautiful beyond description
too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
like nothing ever seen or heard

Who can grasp your infinite wisdom
who can fathom the depth of your love
You are beautiful beyond description
majesty enthroned above

I stand, I stand in awe of you
I stand, I stand in awe of you
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of you

*** listen to the audio for the introduction ***

Well, it's good to be back after two weeks away. I'm actually using my decade-old Dell computer now, since the HP Pavilion I bought three years ago is unfixable due to a design flaw. Hey, live and learn. And buy another brand next time.

I didn't have a lot of time to prepare for today's message, since I have to make up for almost two weeks of lost work because of the computer issues. But hopefully our ears can be tuned to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and hopefully we will leave here with a little more than we came.

Recently, Mariposa and I were talking about motivation. And just like it takes discipline to get discipline, it takes motivation to get motivated.

But we realized that the hardest part of most of the things we put off doing, is simply starting. Take cleaning for example. We've been putting off some badly needed deep cleaning for a long time now. And since I had so much forced time off while my computer issues were getting resolved, we decided to tackle it together. And it took some self-coaxing to get started; but once we started, it was easy to keep going. In fact, it was quite enjoyable, throwing ourselves into a worthwhile task and seeing the progress.

Well, I seriously doubt that applies to only us and to only cleaning. And I started pondering the possibility that this principle could apply to other things as well.

How about prayer? If you're anything like me, you tend to get up in the morning with the whole day in front of you, and a number of things you need to or want to do or get done. Taking the time to forget about it all and spend a little time in prayer, isn't necessarily the easiest thing to do.

Until you start, and really pour yourself into it.

In the past, we spent several weeks talking about prayer, and about using what's commonly called The Lord's Prayer as an outline. That's helped me quite a bit, since I tend to consistently have nothing to say. Maybe we'll cover that again soon.

But the motivation principle applies here. The hardest part is getting started; and once you get started and throw yourself into it, the hardest part is behind you.

How about reading the Bible? Does this principle apply to that? Well, try it out. Some time today or tomorrow, do an experiment. Pick up your Bible and start reading. Read maybe just one chapter. Then compare the time you spent reading to the times you thought you SHOULD read, but didn't. If you're anything like me, I think you'll find that the first step, STARTING, is the only one that's really hard. If you're listening for the voice of God and searching to know Him better, then every step after that first one is rather easy, and the rewards are worth much more than that effort.

It's been said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But especially when it's something we should do that has great value, we tend to talk ourselves out of it, feeling as though it's something that's difficult, painful, and something we just do not want to do.

But the next time that happens to you, just remember that the first step is the hardest. Getting started is the most difficult part, and chances are pretty good that it will not only get much easier from there, but you will be VERY glad you did it.

There's an African proverb that goes like this:

Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up.
It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion
or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle
or it will starve to death.
It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you'd better start running.

That reminds me of Paul's words in 1st Corinthians 9:24, where he says that we should run the race to win. Aristotle said that "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Run to win. And run every day. Remember, the first step is the hardest. Actually, the hardest part is getting past your own feelings about that first step. So just do it! After all, attitude is everything. It makes all the difference between the one who moves forward and lives a life of excellence, and the one who is average at best and has a mediocre or unpleasant life.

Abraham Lincoln once said this: he said, "I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday." And what does that have to do with motivation? Well, Proverbs two, verses three through five, says this:

Proverbs 2:3-5 (NKJV)

3 ...If you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
4 If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.

So to get more wisdom every day, you have to have motivation. You have to seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures.

Personally, I think it's quite possible that ignoring your negative feelings about doing something productive and getting started on that thing anyway, is one way to seek after wisdom. After all, wisdom is motivated; wisdom lives a life of excellence; wisdom gets things done.

Proverbs 3:19 says that "By wisdom the Lord founded the earth..." Any truly good foundation is built by wisdom. Any life of true excellence is built by and founded upon wisdom. And anyone who lives a life of Godly motivation and excellence will continue to grow in wisdom. The two go hand in hand.

Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way: he said, "Shallow men believe in luck and circumstances. Strong men believe in cause and effect." I would also say that Foolish men expect luck and circumstances to make their lives better, while wize men realize that whatever action they do or do not consistently take will determine the quality of their life.

Here's a quote from Jim Rohn: "Human beings have the remarkable ability to turn nothing into something. They can turn weeds into gardens and pennies into fortunes."

Of course we can also turn good things into things that we don't want. But that statement is so true, perhaps because we were created in the image and likeness of God, who created excellence out of nothing at all.

He didn't sit around on His throne thinking, "Maybe tomorrow I'll start that whole creation thing." If He had, you'd just be a nice thought.

Winston Churchill said this: "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." That sounds an aweful lot like our excuses for putting things off until tomorrow, doesn't it? We either have a million excuses, or we're content with the single excuse that we just don't feel like it.

We need to get focused. We need to have an end result in mind. We need to choose to enjoy the journey so we don't lose life along the way. And we need to make the decision today, right now, that we will start getting started every day.

You know, habits are formed by what we keep doing. If you keep putting things off, and most of us have done that for years, then you'll be cursed with the nasty habit of not getting things done, and of living a life of mediocrity.

But if you start getting started on something good every day, then you will be blessed with the incredible and Godly habit of getting things done, and of living a life of excellence.

Just remember that getting over your fleshly objections to getting started is MUCH more difficult than doing the thing itself; and the rewards you're throwing away by not getting started are greater than winning the jackpot.

Brian Tracy said this: "Every great leap forward in your life
comes after you have made a clear decision of some kind." And that's true. So let's make a clear decision today to leave our life-draining mediocrity behind, and to live lives full of excellence, lives that are full of priceless rewards.

And one final quote, from Les Brown: "You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great."

Let's dedicate ourselves to getting started every day. Let's dedicate ourselves to greatness.

Let's close today's service with a time of prayer and ministry. And if you would like to dedicate yourself to getting started, then you're invited to get out of your seat and make your way to the front. Let the Holy Spirit direct your attention to one thing you should be doing, but that you keep putting off, and commit yourself to doing the one thing that's keeping you from doing that thing -- your resistence to getting started.

If you'd like someone to talk or pray with you, you can instant message Mariposa or me or a staff or ministry team member. After this time at the altar, we'll meet in the room to your left for a time of fellowship, so whenever your time at the altar is done, you're invited to make your way up the stairs to your left.

Come, and let's examine our lives, and let's commit ourselves to living a life of excellence, as we start forming the habit of getting started every day.

*** listen to the audio for closing prayer ***