So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
~James 4:7-10 MSG~
I was just listening to Lisa Bevere talk about how we need to change our perspective and start seeing ourselves as God sees us. If ever there was a message that I was having trouble absorbing, this would be it. For some reason, I understand it in my mind but I cannot seem to get it to translate to my heart. And in my confusion and refusal to accept that I am so much more than what I see myself as, I find that I make the same stupid mistakes over and over. While I’m watching myself do the wrong thing, the devil stands back and laughs and says, “See, no matter how much God blesses you, I can always make sure you don’t have any real joy in your life because you don’t really believe He wants you to be blessed.”
Can that be true? Do I not truly believe that God wants to bless me? It would certainly appear so if you watch my behavior sometimes. Though I like to think I’m on the intelligent side, I’m always amazed at just how clueless I can be when it comes to the strongholds in my life. And there is no good reason for it other than what appears to be a serious lack of faith on my part.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have faith that God will protect me physically and that He will provide for me and that He is doing something in my life at all times. I know that whatever weakness I am dealing with is not the product of His lack of love for me. I know that it is a blatant manipulation by the devil meant to knock me off course. And it is not lost on me that this manipulation occurs at the exact time that I’m attempting to receive a blessing from God in another area of my life. Every good thing that He does for me is countered by yet another obstacle that the devil has flung my way. And as Paul said in Romans 7:15 (MSG), “I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.”
That about sums it up. When I can’t seem to get it right, it is absolutely necessary that I surrender the matter to my God and let Him help me overcome that which tries to pull me under. In the past, I struggled to make good choices in the area of relationships. I made choices based on feelings and on hopes that the other person would somehow become what I needed. And though I know that only God can be everything I need, I still tend to be drawn to those who will never be totally available to me. Even after so many years of learning and trying to do things the right way, I still make my biggest mistakes in this part of my life. I’ve had long talks with God about why this still trips me up. I haven’t actually heard an answer yet, but I know that He must be trying to show me something that He thinks I need to learn in order to get to the next level on this journey. There is always a reason for these things even if we cannot see it at the time.
The point in all this is that God never stops loving me or being everything I could ever want or need in my life. He never stops being the unending source of strength, peace, and joy. It is my unwillingness to accept His love that cuts off the supply of these things in my life. That power, He has given us. We unfortunately have the ability to keep ourselves from receiving His blessings. He knows this, but He also knows that when we’re finally ready to take an honest look at the person He sees in us we’ll stop giving away our peace to those who don’t love Him. And we’ll stop letting others treat us like we have no value, because we’ll realize that the problem actually lies in their inability to value themselves. Fix your eyes on the One who knows you best. He will never make you feel like nothing. He will never break your heart. You’ve got a sure thing in Christ. Love Him with your whole heart and He’ll give you everything you’ll ever need.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.