Things have been pretty busy of late, so I’m sharing somthing I had written a few years ago. I’ll get something new out early next week…
This has been one of those stretches where I have tried to write things on several occasions but I have found myself stopping midway through writing. I generally try to make the site a positive, upbeat look at things – something to inspire. Lately, I haven’t had much to say in that regard, so I thought it best not to say anything at all… Maybe not.
The truth is that even now I find myself hard pressed to write about anything glowing or peppy – I’m just not in that place. I don’t feel like being funny or witty. Not to sound like a whiner or to draw unwanted attention, but life has been pretty stinking hard lately. Work issues, family issues, time issues, health issues, friendship issues, financial issues, and personal issues pop up in our lives from time to time. In many cases, you get these in multiples. Sitting here typing, I have them all (maybe you do too).
Satan is a master when it comes to these things. He is quite skilled when it comes to using some or all of those issues to make life hard. He knows the best way to weave these things into a net. Then he snares us in this net of our sins, guilt, fear, and shame, leaving us trapped. So we begin to plot and plan our way out of the net. Elaborate schemes are born, grand plans to solve the problems and see ourselves through. No matter what we try there’s no escape. What’s worse, as we thrash around in our attempts to escape, the problems often become worse, leaving us trapped more than before.
Now most of you are astute enough to know that I am now going to say that Christ is the one who can release us from the sinful nets in which we’re caught. But even though we both know this to be the truth, do we really understand what that means for us in how we deal with our life issues? I don’t think we do, because if we did, we would change our patterns of how we get free from the net.
Men are fixers. If you have a problem you just need to do this and it’ll be solved. Apparently I am in this case a man’s man because I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been shown how I try to fix other people’s problems as well as my own. This is a part of my old man – the person I am without Christ in my life. My old man is a fixer, he’s a solver. He’ll put the pieces of the puzzle together to the best of his ability. He’ll make decisions based on what feels right and deal with the consequences of those actions later. On the surface that doesn’t sound all bad. After all, who doesn’t want to be self-sufficient and handle the situation on their own? Here’s the catch.
Can you solve all of your problems?
Do we possess the power to fix everything in our lives? Can we turn a wrong into a right? Are we able to change a heart? Can we save ourselves? No, no, and emphatically no. It doesn’t matter what self-help book you read, what TV special you watched, or what perky song you heard on the radio – the truth is we don’t have the ability to rid ourselves of the sin in our lives nor the consequences that it brings. We need our Savior to do that.
So what does that mean? Does that tell us that we can simply live our lives how we want, control the direction, solve the manageable problems and turn over the big ones to God? In fact, it’s just the opposite. We turn everything over to God. How? We do it by trusting in Him completely as we are called to do in Matthew 6:33-34. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Now to some people that sentiment is foolish. You can’t just sit back and say, “God, I’m going to let you pay the water bill, so I’ll leave it here on the counter and you get it done.” It’s not a hands-off, effortless kind of relationship (what relationship is?). The value of it doesn’t come from our ignoring what God has called us to do. It comes from our realizing what God has promised us by actually being in the Word daily. Deuteronomy 28:1-15 tells in detail what blessings await us if we obey the Lord and the only way we’ll know what God is calling us to do is to be in His word.
What if you did it? What if you work up just a few minutes earlier and sincerely started each day in the Word and in prayer? Not the fleeting thoughts as you brush your teeth. Not the quick glance over a devotional as you butter your bagel. I’m talking about your complete, total, and undivided attention to praising God by opening your heart and to your loving Father. Do it each day and see what can happen. Why every day?
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him… Lamentations 3:22-25