Founder, Luis Palau Evangelistic Association, 40+ years
Preached to millions in 70+ countries
Ordained minister since 1963
Graduate: Multnomah School of the Bible, Portland, OR; Honorary Doctorate, Talbot Theological Seminary, La Mirada, CA
Luis Palau: Living a 'High Definition Life'
GOOD VERSUS BEST
Too often many Christians, conditioned by culture and deeply ingrained insecurities, opt to settle for less than what is God’s best for their lives. Luis, now 69, says there are 10 “good” areas of life but God has something even more excellent than what the world has to offer.
1. Pleasure or happiness: “Pleasure delights only so long as it lasts; it’s great but fleeting,” says Luis. “Pleasure feels good, but joy feels better.” Joy erupts from the inside.
2. Sex or love: We all want to be loved, but many of us struggle because we confuse it with something else. “Our culture has conditioned us to equate sex with love, but they’re not the same thing,” says Luis. No one who wants true love has to settle for mere sex. While sex concentrates on the body, true love craves intimacy. Sex outside of marriage is ugly. Wait for God’s best.
3. Popularity or connectedness: Everyone wants to be liked, but Luis reminds us that we can’t mistake popularity for friendship. “Friendship may be harder to cultivate than mere popularity, but it pays far greater dividends,” says Luis.
4. Acceptance or forgiveness: Most of us admit to feelings of unworthiness, but Luis reminds us that God wants to set us free. “Too often we settle for a substitute that doesn’t go quite far enough,” says Luis. “We settle for acceptance but what we need is forgiveness.”
5. Relief or peace: Luis says a great temptation for many evangelists (like himself) is that they want to be the one who leads more people into the kingdom of God or the one who writes more books, etc. One day Luis, who was struggling with a lack of peace, heard a chapel message in Bible college about Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet it’s not I, it’s Christ living in me.” He ran to his room and fell on his knees for two hours. “I was 25 and felt as though I had just been converted again.”
6. Achievement or success: Luis reminds us that in order to enjoy success at the highest level, we need an eternal purpose. Luis tells about Fiona Hendley, a famous, successful BBC actress who was living with Paul Jones, the lead singer for the 1960s pop group Manfred Mann. One day, pop singer Cliff Richard invited both of them to hear Luis speak at a festival. They both responded to the invitation to accept Jesus. Paul moved out, they married and are still happily married after 14 years. “True success demands something from you,” says Luis.
7. Excitement or adventure: Excitement causes our bodies to produce endorphins, which play a huge role in producing feelings of pleasure. Because we crave intense feelings, increasing numbers of us pursue the thrill provided by “extreme sports.” We are naturally drawn to whatever kindles our built-in desire for adventure. “The Christian life is the greatest adventure,” says Luis. Real adventure touches the soul. (Luis uses extreme sports demonstration to attract young people to his “Livin’ It” festivals.)
8. Invulnerability or safety: Luis says he almost settled for a career in international banking until his mother encouraged him to take a risk. He was working as a teller at a branch in Argentina. The bank was cheating in their money exchanges. Luis says he knew it was wrong but couldn’t quit his job since he was supporting his mom after his father died. Soon he resigned and took a job with an evangelistic magazine for less pay. “My family went through tough financial times, but I would have missed out on the privilege of leading souls to heaven,” says Luis.
9. Activity or significance. While all of us need to know that we matter, many of us settle for a flurry of “busyness.” We crave purpose and destiny but we settle for mere productivity. God offers us life, purpose, meaning, significance, but many of us turn down these astonishing possibilities. Luis reminds us to remember our fabulous destiny in God.
10. Positive thinking or hope: Many of us substitute positive thinking for genuine hope. Positive thinking puts us in the right frame of mind, but it can’t do much about the problems themselves. Hope takes a stand on the unchanging character of God. Positive thinking depends on us, while hope depends on God.
God promises us His best, but He doesn’t always make our circumstances turn out the way we think we would like them. Instead God promises to be with us completely in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.
Luis speaks at six major festivals in the U.S. and abroad each year. These multi-media productions feature Christian artists as well as stand-alone extreme sports celebrities. Please pray for his upcoming events next month in Madrid and Washington, D.C., in October.
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