Lessons from Life
Weekly Message
  • In January, 2004, the "One Minute Message" was renamed "Lessons from Life".

    "I believe this new name will be more descriptive of this message, and more in keeping with its mission and purpose. I hope you find it to be an encouragement in your life!"     - Randall Vaughn

Title:   D.L.E.
By Randall Vaughn

"...so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Eph 6:13 NIV)

What is a D.L.E.?

Let me first talk about an E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event).   (This will sound somewhat like a science lesson, but it will help you to understand about a D.L.E.

An E.L.E. is an event of such catastrophic scale that it could destroy all life on Earth, such as a large meteor or comet impact or the eruption of a super volcano.

For example, a meteor large enough to leave a 10km crater could be equivalent to detonating all the nuclear warheads in existence at one time.   It could have the potential to destroy all life on the planet.

Enough science lesson.   You get the idea.   Now let's talk about a D.L.E. (Disruption Level Event).

A D.L.E. is an event in a person's life that is so catastrophic and destructive that it "disrupts" their life, ending forever the way they have lived up to that point.

Do not attempt to look up "D.L.E."   You will not find it.  

It is a term I "coined" some years back.   I had read about E.L.E.'s, and there had been some events in my life that felt as catastrophic (on a personal level) as an E.L.E.  I called them D.L.E.'s because they disrupted my life to the point that it was not the same anymore, nor would it ever be the same again.

A D.L.E. can take many forms.   It could be a divorce.  It could be the death of a loved one.   It could be a serious injury.   It could be a business failure.  It could be the loss of a career.   It could be a medical condition.  It could be a problem with a child.  The list could go on and on.

During the D.L.E.'s in my life (there were several), I sought to understand what was happening to me.   I knew that I could not prevent the circumstances from occurring.   So, I set my heart to understand how I should respond and how I could survive.

I knew another man who had experienced D.L.E.'s and survived.   That man was Job.  I wanted to know what Job knew.  So, I studied Job's life (in the Book of Job in the Old Testament).   I wanted to understand the "bottom line" that God was communicating to me through his life.

The revelation I gained from that study has impacted my life more significantly than any other understanding of Scripture (with the sole exception of salvation through Jesus).

That "bottom line" is simple, as is most deep truths of Scripture.

In all the Universe - all existence - there is only ONE thing that I sovereignly possess (sovereign meaning that I have complete and final power and authority over the thing). ONLY one thing.

It is not my life.  It is not my relationship with God.  It is not my abilities.  It is not even the promises of God in Scripture!

The only thing that I sovereignly possess is my choice - for God or against Him.  (Read the Book of Job before you object.).

Why is that choice sovereign?  Satan could not take Job's choice, and God had given it to him and would not deny it.  It was Job's exclusively.  It is mine exclusively also.

Satan could coerce him out of it, intimidate him out of it, bribe him out of it, weary him out of it, deceive him out of it, bully him out of it -- but he could not TAKE it from Job.  He could only attempt to get Job to surrender it.  Job refused - and triumphed.

My relationship with God and the promises He has given me in Scripture are not sovereignly mine.  They are conditional upon my choice.   Once I choose God, then they become mine because God gave them to me. But I have to choose first.

In the end, Job triumphed because he would not surrender his choice to Satan.  He maintained his integrity and his end was far greater than his beginning.

Job lived centuries ago.  That was then.  What does all that have to do with D.L.E.'s today in the 21st century?

Simply this:  Regardless of your circumstances, what happens to you, or what is taken from you, it comes down to a choice for God or against Him.  Everything does.  No exceptions.  It is that simple.

The outward circumstances may appear complicated, the choices difficult, and the alternatives unpleasant, but that IS the "bottom line".

All you have to do is REFUSE to surrender your choice for God.

Remember, Satan cannot take it from you.  He must get you to surrender it.

Although this understanding greatly simplified my life, it did not make it easier.

I know from experience how difficult that refusal to surrender may become.  It may literally be life and death for you.  No one said it would be easy - only simple.

Whatever your circumstances, whatever your challenges, whatever your D.L.E., settle it in your heart that you will REFUSE to surrender your choice for God.  Satan will NOT have it.  Then, after you have made your choice, stand.  Just stand.

IF that choice is the ONLY thing you and I truly sovereignly possess in all the Universe, then it becomes the most valuable thing in existence for us.  It is to be defended at all costs.  It is worth any price.  Even life.

If you have never experienced a D.L.E., then this message has no meaning for you.  But if you are in one now, this message may be your "life line".

I hope you find it as valuable as it has been for me.

Stand firm.

"...stand your ground, and after you have done everything, ...stand. (Eph 6:13 NIV)

G. Randall Vaughn

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"Lessons from Life" ™ is written by Randall Vaughn
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