As our nation shuts the door on arguably one of the most tumultuous years we've ever known, many of us are grateful we survived. In fact, survival is about the best we could have hoped for—or so we often think.
But Pastor Samuel Rodriguez of megachurch New Season in Sacramento, California, who is also president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says if we're simply aiming for survival, we're setting our sights too low. In Christ, he says, every believer should move from survive to thrive. This is the truth Rodriguez lives by, and it's also the basis of his brand-new book, From Survive to Thrive: Live a Holy, Healed, Happy, Humble, Hungry and Honoring Life (Charisma House, 2020).
"Every single person right now ... can fall into one of these three respective categories ... either failing, surviving or thriving," Rodriguez says. "It could be in your marriage, your ministry, your career, your personal walk with Christ, your health, whatever it may be. You're either failing, surviving or thriving.
"If I were to engage a biblical narrative as a metaphor, every single person is either in Egypt, the desert or the promised land," he says. "And I have seen historically, anecdotally, [if] you look at people, you assume they all die in Egypt. They don't. The vast majority die in the desert. They never make it to the promised land. They die in perpetual survival mode. So the vast majority of people, you would ask them, 'Are you failing?' 'No.' 'Are you surviving?' 'Yes.' 'Are you thriving?' 'No.'
"The vast majority of people are in this survival category," Rodriguez says. "We all must survive. But we shouldn't die in the desert of survival. We shouldn't be satisfied with manna when there's milk and honey waiting in the promised land. And the vast majority of people. all they do is die as survivors and truly never thrive.
"This book literally lays out the biblical prescription on how to remove life's lids," Rodriguez says. "L-i-d-s, lids. How do you remove the lid of perpetual survival mode? How do you remove the lid of perpetual victimization? How do you remove the lid of 'I'm OK, and I'm OK to be just OK in perpetuity'? How do you remove the lid of fear, anxiety, depression, discouragement, shame, the past? How do you remove the lid that somehow stifles our God-ordained destinies?
"With this book," Rodriguez says. "You could do nothing less than thrive."
To learn more about Rodriguez's latest book and to hear more of his teaching on moving from merely surviving to thriving, listen to the entire episode of the Strang Report podcast here. And be sure to subscribe to the Strang Report on Apple Podcasts and on our own Charisma Podcast Network and share this episode with friends or family who, like many of us, find themselves stuck in survival mode.
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