I’m guessing you’ve had at least one time in your life when you felt your relationship with God was good. Maybe. Some have had several seasons. Yet, like seasons of the year, they keep changing. Your relationship with God shifts.
What causes these shifts? Why the change? Who cuts in on your successes? Your peace. Freedom. Growth. What pushes you to your edge? Causes you to fall? And why do you go there?
Life: Life has rhythms. Ebb and flow. Continual change. Basic principles stay the same, but the message everywhere is – “change it up!” What you grew accustomed to has been switched out. Life is constantly pulsating. Whether it’s people, business, agriculture, medicine, ministry, science. It’s never quite the same each day. Some people find that adventurous. Others, threatening.
But normal life shifting is not what this article is about. There are legitimate things that interfere with the progress, success, and stability of your relationship with God.
People: Let’s start by giving you credit. Recognizing your efforts and successes. You start a new path. Determine to trust the Lord. You have a period of success and peace. Confidence gets a boost. And you feel appropriately pleased.
All it takes is one statement (you could repeat it verbatim) from that one person (you know who it is), and you plummet. It hurts. Or someone betrays you. Mistreats you. You know what I mean. How does one person wield so much power over you? That tiny word. Their scheme. Their disregard. Just like yeast spreads through dough, causing it to rise – hurt spreads through your heart. Previous struggles rise inside you. It’s frustrating to see that power eat away at your resolve and confidence.
Enemy: It’s not just people. You have a bigger problem. A real enemy at the gate of your soul. The hard part: he’s crafty. Smarter than you. Harder part: you can’t see him. Your defenses are limited. In fact, you have only one! Harsh part: your deceiving enemy hates you. Only one thing he wants for you – your demise. Goal? To pull you down. Ruin you. Strategy? Throw you into confusion. Keep you out of your Bible. Block you from praying. What can you do?
Your Own Plans: Most people fall back into old patterns when threatened. Try to gain control. Pull it together. Come up with new strategies. Maybe rant and rave. Or just crumble in a heap. If you’re stubborn enough, you fight! But these reactions only reveal the depth of your desperation. Insecurity. Fear. Pride. You need something more. Something better. You need a good option.
Your One Good Option: This option guarantees success. It really works! Why not take it? Turn with abandon to God. (Deut. 31:6) He will never leave or forsake you. He will honor your faith.
Steps to help engage your one good option:
- Stay in the parameters of God’s love. It’s like living in a protective force field. Like wearing body armor. (Jude 21) It’s your protection and provision.
- Refuse to succumb to your own devices and plans. (Prov. 3:5-6) If you trust God and refuse to lean on yourself, He will put a path in front of you and safely escort you through. (Is. 52:12)
- Don’t listen to the people and your enemy who wield the power of bondage over you. Dump their claims in the trash. You belong to Jesus Christ. (Is. 26:3)
- Be still. Listen to God’s still small voice. (1 Kings 19:12) It’s a gentle whisper.
- Know He is God. (Ps. 46:10a) Know He loves you. (Jer. 31:3) Rest in Him while turmoil swirls around you. (Ps. 23:5) He honors your faith with action. Wait and watch what He will do. (Ps. 37:7)
- Pick up your gifts of peace and freedom from Jesus. (Jn. 14:27 and Gal. 5:1) Live in them.
- Get back into His training. Learn the maneuvers. Get good at godliness. (1 Tim. 4:8)
Article developed from Gal. 5:7-12.