It’s Oh So Complicated! – One Choice to Simplify it All: God - Purity 629
Purity 629 01/15/2022 Purity 629 Podcast
Today’s photo of a canine friend of mine under blue skies and a blazing January sun over the frozen tundra of Easton NY comes to us from yours truly as I took a walk to enjoy the sun and the crisp air last weekend. The pace was somewhat dog driven as Harley would periodically want to run a bit and then stop as he either needed to do his business or became intensely interested in a scent on the ground that arrested his progress as seen here.
Well, It’s the weekend again and it is my prayer that all who hear or read this message take some time this weekend to recognize and enjoy all the good things they have in life. Be it our homes, automobiles, family, friends, or even our pets if we think about our lives there is always something to be thankful for. I prescribe a daily practice of gratitude to all that I encourage so they can have a balanced view of their circumstances and so they can go deeper with their relationship with God by thanking the Lord for all that He has provided them with.
This close relationship with God is very important for our wellbeing. When we are living in ways that are foolish or are outside of the guidelines of the Lord’s will for our lives, we will suffer.
Sometimes our actions lead to situations that are a complicated mess of bad habits, work stress, financial mismanagement, and relationship issues where the problems surround us and overwhelm us causing us to do more of the things that led to the situation that got us into this mess in the first place which only make matters worse!
This cyclic mess of living unwisely and not learning from our mistakes and continuing in them proves Henry Ford’s adage of:
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Motivational speaker, Tony Robbins later rephrased it to say:
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
And the wisdom was so striking that seemingly countless others have reworded it, added “keep on” into the mix, or flipped the script by encouraging others to keep on doing what they are doing if they are getting positive results.
The thing is I’m sure someone came up with this “common knowledge” idea before Henry Ford and somehow his name is given credit because mass media wasn’t what it was before his time. Human experience teaches this truth, but it isn’t just true because of our experience its truth it was created and is confirmed by the highest authority, God.
This “you get what you do” principle is known in the Bible as “you reap what you sow”. Openbible.info shares 100 verses on “Reaping what you Sow” and I am sharing the link for it on the blog if you want to check it out: (https://www.openbible.info/topics/reaping_what_you_sow). Their list goes from Genesis to Revelation and shows this is a basic principle of God’s created order. I’ll share the first verse on their list of 100:
Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
So yeah as someone who has only recently emerged from a complicated situation that involved consequences of bad habits, financial problems, and relationship issues that resulted in me having me to find new home while encumbered by huge financial debt, I can understand what it feels like to feel like the whole world is falling in on you and you are all alone in your suffering and struggles.
To paraphrase, Hosea 8:7 you have “sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind” and now you don’t know what to do. While we could turn to advisors and institutions to help us, and we may have to, we first need to stop and confess our mistakes and inadequacies to the One who will never leave you no matter what you have done and the One who will help you to make things simple: God.
If you have made a complicated mess of your life, unfortunately there are most likely no instant solutions. You have entered into the “shadow of the valley of death” and the only way out is to surrender to the Lord’s will and walk out of it step by step and bit by bit.
The bad news is that it won’t be easy, and it may take a good deal of time to start to see the light beyond this present darkness, but the good news is that when you take your problems to the Lord, ask for His help, and commit yourself to follow Him, you will have His presence with you and the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth.
So first surrender to God, then make a plan. Oh yeah that’s right, God is most likely not going to “miracle” you out of your mess, but He will guide and advise you if you are walking with Him.
So listen for those intuitions, that may seem daring or “outside of the box” and are typically something you wouldn’t do, but that will only indicate that maybe this is the Holy Spirit speaking to us. But be wise and discerning as well, sometimes we might think something that pops into our heads is divinely inspired only to discover later that the actions involved some sort of worldly way or sin which proves that Satan delights in leading us astray.
But these intuitions don’t come every day, so in the meantime you are going to have to use the mind, body, and will that God gave you, and all the resources you have at hand, to figure out a plan to change things and work to accomplish it. In my struggles to gain freedom, that meant going into a recovery program, working a second job, and sacrificing retirement savings in order to put me where I am today. Oh and guess what, the journey didn’t happen overnight. We are talking a sum total of five years before my “complicated situations” were resolved.
Now do not get me wrong, I am not claiming that I dug myself out all by myself. Through it all I remained diligent to follow the Lord and communed with Him daily. It is only by the grace of God that I was able to leave that complicated mess behind and that is why I am such a loud advocate for a life of Christian Discipleship.
That question of “Oh look at this mess I’m in what am I going to do?” can only be answered by me with the simple reply “Seek God, repent, trust and follow Him.”
When you do that the complicated becomes simple. Instead of having a complicated number of worldly solutions, you have one choice: God’s way.
If you commit yourself to His care and adopt His ways of righteousness to your life, you will stop making the same mistakes you always make, and you will become a good steward of all He has entrusted to you.
And yes, you will have to face the music and deal with the negative consequences of your actions but if you are with Him, you will not fear and accept the “whirlwind” you have created and be at peace knowing that no matter what comes in this world you have a right standing with God, and He will ultimately lead you to good.
So here’s the deal, to get out of your complicated mess, start doing all you can to change it today and pray for God to help you.
Evaluate the heap of problems you have and prioritize them according what needs to be dealt with now and what can wait and also by what ones are going to be easy to resolve and what ones will be harder to resolve. Then start working on the immediate problems and the ones that are easy to resolve. Dealing with the immediate takes the pressure off and resolving the easy ones will give you a sense of victory and purpose.
Make every day an exercise in turning things around by being committed to the Lord and to changing your situation. And guess what: you can only do what you can do so don’t condemn yourself for not being able to fix everything right away. You can do what you can do and then surrender the rest to the Lord and ask for His help continually.
If you keep walking and talking with God, you will steadily walk out of the darkness of your complicated mess and slowly find yourself basking in the light of freedom and victory.
Psalm 23:4-6 (NKJV)
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
When you are with the Lord you will walk out of that valley of the shadow of death, so hold onto His hand and allow Him to shepherd you through to the abundant life that lies just beyond where your eyes can see.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Proverbs 28:14 (NLT2)
14 Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.
Today’s verse tells us about the consequences that await us depending on our choices and actions.
Again, I love it when the Holy Spirit is moving. This morning I sat down at prayer with no idea what to write and speak on but then I happened to see a friend’s email describing a messy situation, so the previous portion of the blog is my response to that, and it speaks about reaping what you sow and having to adapt and overcome by trusting and following the Lord.
And today’s verse echoes that theme because it speaks about the consequences of our wise or foolish and head strong decisions.
Those who fear to do wrong, and presumably don’t do it, are blessed!
Those who are stubborn, to that wisdom to not do wrong, are headed for serious trouble.
The book of Proverbs is part of what is called the “wisdom literature of the Old Testament” and verses like today’s verse show us it’s simple wisdom, and the blessed results that come if we would only listen to it and apply it to our lives.
So fear doing wrong and don’t do it because as today’s verse clearly states if you are stubborn and decide to do what you know is wrong you are headed for serious trouble.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 4.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.
AS THEY PRAY
One young lady said, “I can’t forgive my mother. I hate her!” Now she can! The Lord isn’t asking you to like those who have offended you. You can’t deny or play with your emotions that way. The Lord wants you to forgive so you can put a stop to the pain you have experienced.
Some are reluctant to forgive others for the wrongs they have done because they think they are judging people by forgiving them. When a young anorexic girl came to her father on the list, she said, “I feel like I need to ask him to forgive me.” I told her, “Maybe you do, but that is not what we are dealing with here. We are dealing with your pain.”
Sometimes people are torn between feelings of love and loyalty for their parents and the need to face the pain they caused. Forgiving your parents for being something less than perfect is not condemning them. We do not blame our parents for their imperfections; they had parents who were imperfect, too. But facing the truth and forgiving your parents is what stops the cycle of abuse that continues on from one generation to another.81
As you work through your list, make sure you stay with each person until you have dealt with every painful memory that God brings to your mind. Many people have tried to shove these painful memories down into their subconscious. Such suppression is considered a conscious denial. Others cannot honestly recall what happened to them. The Lord has allowed that to happen. The pain was too great to deal with at the time, so the Lord has made it possible for them to dissociate. He will reveal it at a later time when there is enough maturity, adequate support, and the means to resolve it. The Lord frequently brings back repressed memories during this process. Some attempt to deal with their pain by denying that anything bad ever happened or by pretending that it didn’t really bother them. Denial and cover-up are never God’s way.
Forgiving from the heart will be an emotional catharsis for many, while others may remain emotionally blocked and unable to feel anything. A missionary lady looked at her list and slowly pushed it away. Then she pulled it back, and then pushed it away again. She said, “My counselor has been trying to get me to cry for three months.” I had said nothing about crying. Finally, she took the list and started with the first name. “Lord, I forgive...” and collapsed in tears. Years of emotional pain surfaced as she forgave one person after another.
Some may work through their lists rather stoically. That is because people have different temperaments. Shedding tears is not the only way of expressing grief and pain. Some consciously and deliberately come to terms with their abuses and painfully choose to forgive from their hearts without shedding a tear. However, you may have never identified the true sources of your pain. Ask yourself, “How did that make you feel at the time?” or “When you think about it now, how does it make you feel now?” You may experience a flood of emotions unleashed. Some may forgive without showing any emotion until they come to a particular name, and then the release comes.
FACING THE PAIN AND MOVING ON
The primary objective is to face the truth, acknowledge the pain, forgive the offenders and move on. For many, this may be the first time they have ever acknowledged, understood or faced the root of their pain. Allow yourself to experience the pain and express your emotions. You may have chosen to stuff your feelings and live in denial for the fear of that happening, but that is exactly what must happen. You can’t be right with God and not be real.
Some people were taught not to express their emotions, especially negative ones. “Real men don’t cry,” they have been told, or “Being emotionally expressive is wrong and a sign of weakness.” Were you ever told that it was wrong or weak to express your emotions? What happened to you when you were emotionally honest in your home? Do you believe it is wrong to be emotionally honest? To be free in Christ, you must forgive those who trained you and renounce the lies you have been taught concerning your emotional nature. The one who is free in Christ will be emotionally free as well.
One woman had never been able to feel emotional sadness for herself but could weep for others. Her father had molested her when she was a child, and to guard his secret, he threatened her with more harm if she ever cried or told anyone. When this memory surfaced while going through forgiveness, she was encouraged to renounce the lie that she should not feel her own emotions and announce the truth that God created her with the emotional ability to experience joy, sorrow, laughter, and tears. As she did that, a tear began to form in the corner of her eye. Immediately she began to weep, and she continued to sob for some time.
Some people are like bananas—the peel is removed and all their problems are resolved the first time they go through The Steps. Not everyone, however, can cover their entire past in one session. Some are like onions. The first time through, they will take off the outer layer. They may feel a great sense of joy as though a weight has been lifted. They dealt with all they knew, but they may recall other things in the coming days. Now they will know what to do when painful memories surface or new offenses take place. You must resolve what you do know. If there is more, the Lord will surface it at the right time. When He does, there will always be someone to forgive and/or something to renounce.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship