Have you ever wondered why we lean on our own understanding? Here, we admit to God that we can’t figure out a problem or make it through a tough time in our life; but yet we continue to lean on our own weak self, rather than a strong God.
In Proverbs 3:5-6, we read…“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
One thing I have come to learn in my life; is to not lean on myself or a weak circumstance…because that will only lead me to a fall. During the difficult times of trial, we need two strong arms to hold us up and we need them to represent something strong…something that will keep us standing and above the weaknesses; that Satan is attempting to use against us, as a means of bringing us low.
Many times in my own life, I have visualized God’s strong arms, as crutches of peace and strength to lean on…peace to sustain me during the hard times…and strength to keep me standing strong in Him.
One thing I know for sure…and that is this; we will never make it through the struggles and challenges of this life, when we choose to lean on our own way of doing things. We must come to the realization that we just don’t have the wisdom on our own, to know how to handle these weaknesses that enter our lives; so we need to turn to the One who can show us the way…and that One is Jesus Christ!
No matter what you are walking through today, just know that you don’t have to try and figure it out on your own. Remember…there is a God, who is greater in power, than any so-called power that stems from a weakness…and the power that is contained within this strong and mighty God; is greater than any stack of weaknesses that may attempt to control and take over our lives. Today…let’s turn to the One…whose understanding and wisdom can lead us away from these difficult moments of despair!
I wonder why we choose to turn back to weakness and allow it to beat us up, rather than turning to the One, who has freed us through the cross. Why would we ever desire to live in a dark pit of despair, when we can live in the light of God’s presence? In Galatians 4:8-9, we read…“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. (9) But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?”
Before we came to know Christ, we lived a life of slavery, to the problems that we faced at that time. There was no means of stepping out of our despair, to discover the kind of freedom that can only exist because of what Christ did for us on the cross…but now that we know Christ or are known by Him, why do we still choose to walk a step backwards into despair, rather than pressing on towards a place of freedom; that can only be found, by walking in the footsteps of Christ?
We need to remember that we allow needless suffering to enter our lives, when we choose to listen to the thoughts that are being dictated by the problem. Do we realize that when we do this, then we are allowing the problem to put us in a prison cell, where the problem can constantly have control over us? Even when we make a mistake and turn back into this form of bondage; the hope we now live with; is that Christ has the key to our prison cell…a key that can unlock the door, to our prison cell of despair and free us. No matter if we make a wrong turn and end up down a detour road; Christ will always be there to direct us back to Him. All we need to do is to be willing to take our focus away from the place of bondage, rather than accepting it…and when we do this, then we will be able to focus on the One who can free us and give us a fresh new start.
We can save ourselves a lot of heartache, when we allow our lives to remain closely connected with Christ. When there is a strong connection between His heart and ours; then nothing will be able to sever the connection or have control over our lives. When we choose to talk with Jesus, on a daily basis, rather than listening to the voice of our problems; then we will have a clear view of what’s ahead and we will once more be able to press on and experience the fullness of a great and mighty God!
You know…it’s so easy to get wrapped up in a problem; that before we know it; we have allowed that problem to dictate our thoughts and even more…our hearts. After listening to this problem for a while, we become convinced that we cannot make it through the problem…so we give up and give into the problem.
Today, as I was thumbing through some Bible verses, I came across one of my favorite Bible verses, in Psalm 18:29, which reads… “For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.”
Have you ever felt as if you were on a running start…to get over the obstacles in your path; but then as you approached the obstacles; they began to grow in size, which only caused you to stop right before them, while allowing them to convince you that you couldn’t make it over them? This is what you call focusing on the problem, rather than God.
If we are ever going to get through the struggles and challenges of this life; then first, we must take God with us…and never go it alone. I have come to see numerous times; that with God’s help…we can run through anything and leap over obstacles that may seem impossible to the human eye.
Now isn’t the time, to get caught up in our problems; because we will soon see that our thoughts and our hearts will become controlled by them. Instead, we need to take hold of a strong and powerful God…One who can give us the power to move onward and straight ahead, while allowing His strength to lift us up and over each problem. One thing I have truly come to see is this…sitting in the path of a problem will never allow us to go anywhere…but standing tall, with a powerful God will take us everywhere!
Do we realize how much we truly need God every day in our lives? In my own life, I have come to see God as my mighty warrior…the One, who stands before me and protects me, from the fiery darts that attempt to come in my direction…and I can’t even begin to think on what it would be like, to not have God by my side.
In Psalm 16:8, we read… “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” As we live in these end times, it seems as if the struggles and challenges of this life are increasing…almost to the place, where life can seem much more unbearable; then what it used to be…and this is why we truly need God by our side.
As I was thinking on this Bible verse today…I was also thinking on what it would be like to walk into unknown territory alone…without God. I would think that we would find ourselves to be an open target to Satan for sure.
We need to realize today that we are not strong enough, to fight these battles alone. Every day, we need a shield before us…one that can keep these fiery darts from penetrating the soul…and the only One strong enough, to do all of that and more is Jesus Christ!
No matter how tough the battles seem to be…and no matter what is flying in our direction…we don’t have to allow it to take us down, when there is a God, who can stand before us and protect us, from the evil blows that come our way. When we can stop being tough on our own and accept the help that only God can offer us; that is when we will truly be able to walk through any battle…knowing that we shall not be moved!
Have you ever had a moment in your life, when you knew without a doubt; that you would have never made it through a situation, without God being there? It seems like we become so tightly focused on everything that goes wrong in our lives; that we completely bypass the moments, when God was there, to keep us suspended above a pit of total destruction.
In Psalms 94:17-18, we read… “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.”
As I look back on my life, I see many instances, where God was truly there for me; but a few have stood out more than others…and one of them was a time, when I was barely hanging onto life. As I sat alone, with tears flowing down my cheeks…there just were no more words to say.
As I continued to sit quietly, in the stillness of that room…songs began to come to my thoughts…and as I started to sing them, I began to realize that I had never heard these songs before. For some reason, I began to feel as if God was using these unknown songs for a reason.
As I continued to sit there and sing the songs…I began to feel as if God was relaying a message to me through each word…and as I continued on…I never had felt so close to anyone, as I did with God that day…and to this day, I can’t even begin to tell you the words that were in those songs…for these songs were God’s way of helping me through the moments, when all I felt the need to do, was give up.
No matter what you’re facing; just know that when we become humble…before a loving and compassionate God; that He will be there to keep us from slipping and falling, into what appears to be a total pit of destruction.
A while back, I was talking with someone, who had been facing some difficult times and I was encouraging them to turn their worry into prayer. Just think…if we were to personally talk with God, every time that worry was to enter our thoughts; can you imagine the connection we would have with God?
I remember a time, when I would allow worry to take control of my thoughts, until I felt all alone, with a problem that definitely had full control of my thinking…but over time, I came to see that worry was never going to take me anywhere or make the problem any better; so I began to get alone with God and talk with Him, in a personal way…just as though He was standing right before me. Now, I’m learning to lean more and more on God and I just love the time, when I sit and pour myself out before Him.
Why do we allow worry to take control, while leading us down a road that only adds anxiety and frustration to the problems that we’re already experiencing? Can worry cure our problem and can it bring peace to our troubled minds? I don’t know about you but I have found that worry only leads me further away from God, while drawing me closer to the problem.
Through time, I have come to see that Satan allows worry to become his trap…a trap where he can catch us in a moment of weakness and keep our moments of affliction alive, while controlling our every thought. I don’t know about you but one problem is hard enough to handle; let alone adding to it, with a mind that only gets out of control with worry, doubt and fear. Today, we need to realize that Satan isn’t only out to afflict us but he’s also trying to keep that affliction alive, in any way he can think of and when he sees that worry is a weak point in our lives; then this becomes the moment, when he lures us in its direction and once he has us connected, with thoughts of worry, doubt and fear; then he begins to remind us constantly, of where this trial can lead us, until we begin to believe his words.
In Philippians 4:6-7, we read… “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Right now, we need to let go of the hand of worry and begin to reach out to God, through a heart of prayer. When we can turn our worry into quiet moments with God; then we will begin to see…that as we let God have every need; then there will be no reason for Satan to step in and have control.
We say that we have faith in God but has our faith only become a word that we speak? What are the two key words that can help us to see faith, as God longs for us to view it? In Hebrews 11:1, we read…“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” In this verse, we see that the two keys words to faith are “sure” and “certain.” Our surety comes, when we know without a doubt; that God is who He is and when we view God in this way, then we automatically become certain that God will work, even though we cannot see what is about to be.
A good example of this; is in the seasons of the year. Every year we experience spring, summer, fall, and winter and even though snow begins to fall, just before the spring season arrives; we know that the season of spring will come because of what we have experienced in previous years. Well…in a similar way, we may have trials come, which can dictate our thinking and cause us to feel no hope but when we reflect on the times that God has been there for us and see the distance He’s brought us, then we will have a settled feeling within us, that He will once more help us through another trying time in our life. These are the moments that help us to have faith in a God that we cannot see and a circumstance that we cannot seem to understand.
The daily situations we face, can try to convince us that the light will never shine through the darkness of our day again but when we can reflect on the past moments of God’s faithfulness; then we will once more be able to stand up…shake the circumstance from us and have faith.
One thing I would like to add, as I finish my visit with you; is that it’s so easy to speak the word “faith” but what actions are we sending with our words? When our actions don’t coincide with our words, then our words become empty and fall powerless to the ground but when we can allow our words of faith to be filled with a response that will reveal to God that we do believe, in what He can do once more; then our words will begin to take flight and will take us to a place that we never thought could ever be.
How many times have we felt so overwhelmed by a circumstance; that we panic and lose sight of God’s presence? Each trial we face…no matter how big or small can overwhelm us, to the place where we feel as though a heavy wave is about to knock us down. In II Samuel 22:6-7, we read…“The cords of the grave coiled around me, the snares of death confronted me. (7) In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.”
Our circumstances can be felt in a similar way, to what we are reading in these verses today. We can feel as though each problem becomes coiled around us, while we feel confronted by the deep hurtful feelings that make us feel as though we cannot press on any longer but when we cry out to a God of great strength and power, rather than yelling into the face of a circumstance; then we will soon discover a peace that becomes a gentle wave that can calm the tempest and tossed waves of circumstance.
Do we feel as though God cannot hear us, since we are here on earth and He resides in the heavens? We must remember that when we meet God in the center of our hearts; we will find that He is closer to us, then what we first imagined. I remember a time, when I was facing very overwhelming circumstances in my life and as I was sitting and thinking on all that was taking place at the time, a thought came to my mind, which made me realize that all I needed to do; was to pull up a chair and sit with God and have a heart to heart talk with Him. I found that within a short time, a wave of peace began to come over me and the hurtful feelings I once experienced were now beginning to fade, into the background of my life.
Why do we find it much easier to confront the circumstance head on, rather than to turn to a God, who is longing to exchange our circumstance, for His loving peace? It just goes to show how much we need God each day in our lives. When we have a clear connection with God, then we will find that no amount of evil can intrude and attempt to disconnect us from His presence. In these trying times, we find that life can be much more difficult than what it used to be but no matter how difficult life can seem; God’s strength and power will always rise above these moments, when we are willing to turn to Him, instead of the problem.
How is it that we appear surprised, when a trying moment enters our lives? I guess we feel that as Christians; that God has us safely sealed within a spiritual bubble, where nothing can harm us. One thing I will say…I have news for us all…this just doesn’t happen this way because we need to remember that as Christians, we are constantly fighting, what I call the opposition…Satan himself.
In 1 Peter 4:12, we read… “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” One thing that I’d like to say right now; is that there is no way that we can escape the trials that come our way…for Satan is going to be constantly fighting us for our souls. The test will truly be won, when we can lean on God…focus on God and remain committed to God…no matter what we face. When we have a love for God that never wavers or withers away, during these difficult times; then that love will keep us connected to a God, whose power can carry us through the hard times.
Remember what the verse says above…“think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,” These difficult moments we experience should never come as a surprise to us because God is not only allowing them into our lives to try us; but to make us stronger and create new growth within our lives. If we never face the challenging moments with God; then how can new growth and a greater strength enter our beings?
We all face moments that we don’t want to face; but if we could look at these moments, as a time, when God is about to produce something better and greater within us; then we would probably find ourselves running the race...with great determination, while leaning on a God, who can cause us to leap over the obstacles that Satan places in our paths. I have come to see that no strength can be found, when we choose to give up and sit on the sidelines of life.
No matter what you’re walking through today…take hold of a God, who will fill you with His great power…a power that will cause you to run endlessly and leap high over despair! Praise Him!
How many times do we become so caught up in a storm of circumstance; that we forget what God can do through the storm? In I Samuel 12:16, we read…“Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.”
Sometimes I think that our situations worsen because we are so focused on where they are attempting to lead us; that we find ourselves being drawn into them. What would happen, if we were standing outside and a tornado was coming our way...and all we could do; would be to focus on the power it was portraying before our very eyes? Don’t you think that we would become so caught up in what our thoughts are being drawn into; that before we knew it…we would probably find ourselves caught up into the tornado?
I have truly come to see that every storm serves a purpose…and we will never discover the purpose behind the storm, if we are allowing the storm to take us away from that purpose. Instead of standing and staring deeply into the storm that's come our way; we need to stand before the storm and see what great thing God is about to do...through the storm!
Today, you may be facing a storm with the darkest skies…along with a powerful wind and rain that seems to be coming down in buckets. Just remember one thing…no storm is too big for a big God and once we start looking for the great things; that can come out of the storm; that is when hope will once more rise up within us and help us to press on…despite the storm that’s standing before us!