February 25-26, 2012
When we are dealing with a life-controlling problem … whether it is a behavior, thought pattern, or feeling … we may begin to think, “What’s the use? I’ll never overcome this. I’ve tried … and failed … again and again. I just don’t have what it takes to get things right.” Or “I’ve tried so many times and never get anywhere.” Or two common ones I hear when patients come into my office for a psychiatric evaluation, “You know doc, I’ve tried so many times to change, but I guess this is the way God made me and I am stuck like this,” and “This is the way I was born and there is no escaping it.”
And you know what? All these statements are true. We probably don’t have what it takes. Step 1 of AA got it right: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (insert whatever habit or pattern you struggle with)-that our lives had become unmanageable. Then follows Step 2: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Good news! We know this Power: Jesus. The real Big Book, The Holy Bible, promises us that we can do all things … through Christ. If we are willing to commit our lives to Him, He will give us the wisdom, strength, and most of all, the courage we need to do what is right. He will guide us on the right path. And He often sends other people to help us along the way.
But growth doesn’t just happen overnight and never happens randomly. Satan has a strategy to defeat us, so in order to experience growth, we need a strategy to fight back. This is what we call the sanctification process or our spiritual journey. What strategy do you usually use? How intentional are you? How is it working?
To develop a strategy to receive this strength from Christ, we first need to admit that we need help. We need to be honest with ourselves, with Him, and with others. We need to take off our masks of self-sufficiency and get real. We must quit using our own instruction manual and start using His for all of life’s situations. Start seeing life through the Godly lenses of His Holy Bible. That’s what transformed my life, and it can certainly transform yours also.
Today, if you’re dealing with a problem that seems hopeless … take the first step. Admit you need help. Then, ask God for His plan. Ask him for strength through Christ. Admit to safe and caring people that you need help. WITHIN REACH: Disciplines for Real Life Change is a great resource giving you a concrete strategy to apply the Bible (Best Instruction Book for Living Everyday) to your daily living. Life is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I’ve been trying everything I know to overcome my problem, but nothing seems to work for the long run. I need … and desire Your strength and guidance. Help me to be honest about my need for help by sharing with those You send to help me. Help me remember that I can succeed … through Christ. But I need to know how to apply that. Help me learn to apply Your word to my life, minute by minute, instead of using my own understanding. I pray this and all prayers through the One whom You sent to compensate for all my shortcomings, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
I will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8