Overcoming issues is more than likely overcoming ourselves. Overcoming ourselves, as a Christian, means getting out of God’s Way.
Now, is this us?: Okay God I’ll do my thing and you do your thing. I will just let you take care of everything. I’ll ignore you and you just come into my life when you feel like it an make course corrections. I’ll then have a smooth life and problem-free.
Well, not exactly. We have to do some of our own work. Not to get to heaven, but to live a life pleasing to God. God gave us the Bible – The Manual. It has specific instruction for us to live a life that is pleasing to God. If we just obey him, our lives will be pleasing, but not necessarily smooth. It would be boring if we didn’t have problems.
We have issues or problems when we are not allowing the Holy Spirit to control us. But what does he control? The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to point to Jesus and remind us of what we have read in the Bible. John 14:26. Jesus says the Holy Spirit will remind us of everything he has said to us. Jesus wrote the Bible.
For instance, the Bible says ‘Be anxious for nothing, instead start to pray, ask for help, thank him.’ Part of asking for help may mean the need of an earthly counselor to help you clarify your thoughts. So, it is okay to have problems, but pray about it first. So, we don’t need God to solve every problem right? We can worry, but we know what to do. Its doesn’t matter, bring God into the problem. He may have a much better solution or He will confirm our solution, but talk to him.
So, lets see what happens when we get in God’s way…or playing God.
Without Him, it is up to us to fight for our expectations, our goals, and our values and anything else we need on a daily basis. When we get in the way of God, we’re on our own…we have free will.
When we are not getting our needs met, often we get angry. When we get angry, we are out of control and we don’t like being there. WE want to return to a peaceful state where we are getting our needs met. We will use anger to try to force the other person to stop their behavior so we can be at peace. At least momentarily. Now, what is peace? The world’s dictionary says that peace is ‘Freedom from Disturbance.’ Jesus’ definition of peace is the knowledge that He is in control of our circumstances and our lives if we give Him permission. That is an ideal place to be for a Christian.
1 Peter 5: 6-7. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God and he will lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety onto him because he cares for you.
So, to overcome our issues we have to humble ourselves. In other words, stop playing God. Get out of His way.
Normally we don’t do this until we’re at the end of our rope and out of our own solutions. By that time circumstances have gotten so dire that we cry out to God.
Well, what if we made the decision that from now on, we are going to get ahead of the issues instead of being behind them. How does that work?
We have to humble ourselves before the issues arises. What does God promise to do for us? First, we have to reengineer our basic core principles or our Mission Statement. Instead of the mission statement, ‘I have to be in control of my life at all times’ we have to reverse that: ‘I want Jesus to be in control of my life at all times.’ That means STOP PLANNING – Without God. Proverbs 16:9 ‘In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.’
I know this sounds like a corporate planning session. We develop a Mission Statement and under that we plan the tactics to support it. In this case, we let Jesus determine the tactical steps in our lives. One day at a time.
Example: Lets just say that we have an issue with anger in our marriage. Our mission statement is that we want Jesus to be in control of our lives at all times. Tactics: Pray that the Lord will determine our steps. Sub-tactic: Getting ahead of the problem. How? First become the Spiritual Leader of our family. We are commanded to do this in Ephesians 5:25. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church. He says we are to make her Holy with the Word of God. Perhaps we should read the Bible to her. 1 Corinthians 13:4. Love is patient and kind. Lets be patient and kind toward our wives. 1 Thessalonians 5:16. Pray continuously.
Have you ever tried to pray continuously? If you do it on your own, it lasts 3 seconds. We can’t do it ourselves but we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us. So we can say, I’m going to think through this problem. Let my thoughts be your thoughts. Then, we are talking to God…or praying continuously. I imagine God sitting next to me in the car and while planning what I want to do, I talk to God about it. He becomes top of mind awareness in my life. We develop a habit. Some of you know what I mean.
So, this is all about getting ahead of our issues instead of getting behind them. Once we’re behind the problem, it is hard to catch up. But if we are allowing God to be there at the beginning…many new ‘bad’ issues that can get associated with the original problem, can be avoided!!
Lets think of our own lives. We make a bad decision and then to correct that bad decision we keep making more bad decisions.
So if you have an issue to overcome, humble yourselves and get out of God’s way.
Stop Planning without God and start praying continuously.