Jack Hayford once gave Pastor Mark Batterson some wise advice.

“Make decisions against yourself.”

This piece of counsel stayed with him.

“As we grow or mature or as God gives more influence, in some ways we want more rights and privileges. And maybe in the world, that’s the way it works. But I think in the kingdom of God you have to continue to surrender more and more and more. And you’ve got to make some decisions against yourself.”

Mark’s book, amazon text=%title%&asin=0801016002], unpacks the importance of turning regrets into opportunities to walk closely and dream with God. Part of changing your mindset around regrets involves making decisions against yourself.

What are some ways we can do that?

•  Walking with humility – not exercising your power for your own benefit, but for others.
•  Fasting.
•  Choosing to eat something healthy instead of something filling.

These are built off of the fact that Scripture it says all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23).

“Some of us trend towards what is permissible but that’s the path of least resistance. I want what’s beneficial. And sometimes I have to decrease so that God can increase and part of that process is making decisions against yourself.”

Choosing self-control over indulgence doesn’t have to look like a big, earth-shaking gesture. It starts with small decisions and builds over time, much like a snowball rolling down a hill. The important thing is to not lose heart when those decisions come up in life.

 “These are the toughest decisions that we make – but just a reminder: You’re one decision away from a totally different life. Now, that’s probably not going to be an easy decision. It may be a decision against yourself, in a sense. But you know that’s an encouraging thing – one decision can really change the game.”

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 2:10; Romans 8:31

Featured Songs: Our God by Chris Tomlin; All of Me by Jeremy Camp; Move (Keep Walkin’) by TobyMac

Highlight : Make decisions against yourself

When “if only” becomes “what if?”