Over the last couple of weeks, Sheila Wray Gregoire has posted some thought-provoking posts on her blog, To Love, Honour and Vacuum. In part 1 of Does God Make a Difference, I commented about the difference that God has made in my life, in my marriage, in how I view life:
And so in answer to Sheila’s question – does God make a difference. Yes, He does. He most definitely does. And He is involved in the detail of our lives. We may not see it, or acknowledge it, but He is. And He loves us.
And whatever path we are on in our lives, I think that God will take us on the path that when we look back over our lives, we can see His workings in our world – yes, just like the footprints in the sand. (Reference here.)
Then, Sheila posted a part 2 – and in part 2, Sheila was discussing the aspect of divorce and how the divorce rate among authentically born-again Christians is considerably lower than with our secular or non-born again counterparts. And the reason being is that born-again Christians are trying to live their lives by God’s standards and so divorce isn’t an option that we entertain.
Last week I made some observations that often Christians act like God doesn’t really make a difference in our lives, and everything is ultimately up to us. We just don’t really have faith that God will actually move. (Reference here.)
However, all this has started me thinking – and really thinking…
Putting talk of marriage aside, and just looking at our lives in its entirety, why is that so many Christians do not live the victorious lives the Bible says we can?
Is God really making a difference in your life?
And yes, I know that many of us do have the faith, we do believe in God, we know He can do so much more than we can ask or imagine – so, why isn’t He? And now I can only speak for myself, but even though I know He can – there is a little part of me that is very fearful that He won’t, that I need that backup plan – just in case. So, as a result, I never fully surrender myself to Him. I keep holding little parts of myself back – just in case. Just in case He won’t come through, just in case I don’t like what He wants to do, just in case I feel anxious or have another panic attack, just in case I can’t handle it, just in case, just in case…
And I think that it is those little parts that we hold back, keeping us from totally and completely surrendering to Him, that prevents God from truly working and performing in our lives and that prevents us from living victorious lives. And it isn’t what happens to us in our lives that is considered victorious – it’s how we react to what happens to us that is. We can have cancer, live in debt, have lost all our possession and STILL be victorious. Just like Job in the Old Testament. Or, we can have all the riches in the world, be of good health and have whatever we want and not be victorious For me, victory is in knowing that no matter how anxious I feel, or how nervous, or how distrusting I am of a situation all will be okay – because God is in control.
One of the comments to Sheila’s post, was J from Hot, Holy and Humorous and she had this to say:
I’ll speak from the experience of having been in a marriage where both of us were fully dedicated Christians, but our marriage was in the tank. I learned during that time that there is a vast difference between having a broken heart and having a broken spirit. I cried a lot, prayed a lot, talked to my husband a lot — but all from a broken heart. It wasn’t until I let my spirit be broken — when I truly humbled myself and took a hard look at how God saw ME in our marriage — that I felt the shift. Years later, I can honestly say our marriage is wonderful and ONE-derful! Reference here.
And I think that is key – we need a shift. A soul shift – a deep shift in our souls where we learn the truth about who God is. This God who loves us so much that He gave us His Son, as the ultimate sacrifice so that we may spend all eternity with Him, in heavenly bliss. And that is why God allows us to go through trial and tribulations, because in those trials He can peel back the layers of who we truly are, and teach us to trust Him. And so over time, and in some cases instantaneously, you will experience a shift. A shift from not trusting Him to trusting Him more and more each day and the more we do trust Him, the more we are able to give ourselves to Him so that He can work in us to have that victorious life He promised to us.
So, my question to you is this: what is it that you are holding onto – so tightly – that is preventing you from living a victorious Christian life.
Isn’t it time to let it go – whatever it may be?
And letting go is not that easy – I remember an old pastor telling us that sometimes the longest and most difficult journey is from your head to your heart. But, you need to do the head-work before your heart will follow and sometimes you need to make the decision to trust, even when your heart doesn’t feel like it can. And God will perform wonders in your life – no matter what you are facing.
Seriously, Don’t Worry!
by Joyce Meyer – posted April 09, 2014
And which of you by being overly anxious and troubled with cares can add a cubit to his stature or a moment [unit] of time to his age? —Luke 12:25
Don’t worry. Be happy. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying many times. Have you noticed that it’s easier said than done? I believe that to actually stop worrying requires having experience with God. I don’t think there is any way a person can fully overcome habits of worry, anxiety and fear—and develop habits of peace, rest and hope—without years of experience trusting and receiving God’s love. This is one reason why having faith and continuing to have faith in the midst of trials and challenges is so important. We must steadfastly resist the temptation to give up or to start being anxious or worried when life becomes difficult—and keeps getting more difficult. During these hard, trying seasons, God is building in us the patience, endurance and godly character we need in order to eventually develop joyful hope, strong love and confident expectation in Him. When you find yourself in the midst of a battle against our enemy, the devil, remember that every round you fight produces valuable experience and strength. Every time you endure an attack, you become stronger. You become better able to hold your peace and resist fear, anxiety and worry. To endure means to outlast the devil and you have got what it takes to do so. Loving God means trusting Him in every situation and refusing to allow the enemy to control you, torment you and rob your peace through worry. It will take practice and experience with God to break this habit, but you can do it by His grace. Commit to the process of becoming a worry-free, trust-filled person who lives in the peace and joy God wants you to experience.
Love God Today: Today, refuse to worry, be anxious or allow fear to operate in your life. Declare your trust in God in every situation.