When Your Problem Becomes Your Problem…


ProblemAlerts.jpgBy nature, in order to have a “problem,” means there is some aspect of your life that you find yourself incapable of solving. You’ve done your best thinking. You’ve looked at it from every angle. In short, you’ve devoted yourself 100% to it and yet your problem remains. You may have even resigned yourself to a life with the “problem.” However, there eventually reaches a point where your problem becomes your problem!

We all have bad things happen to us. Some things that happen to people are so indescribably evil, there are no words to explain it. Other people just sort of get stuck with some dilemma they find themselves living a lifetime trying to escape. Catastrophes, extreme losses, losing it all, all have the potential to take away your lifeblood and reduce life to mere existence. Lower down the scale many find themselves a victim, not to something that happened to them directly, but to the repercussions of some grand mistake; some error in judgment; some momentary lapse that became the defining factor in their lives! Again, the apparently inescapable problem became their life problem.

No matter what may have happened to you or what insurmountable problem you may face, there is always a solution. The trouble permeates when it becomes your sole focus in life. You can spot someone suffering in this way immediately because it is the only subject on which they speak authoritatively. They unknowingly dwell in it; they breathe it with every exhale; they consume it and drown themselves in it. Instead of being a problem from which they can still escape, it becomes their reason for living, their red badge of courage.

Ironically, the way to escape it, is the exact opposite of what appears. In the words of a wise man, “Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light.” Dwelling on what went wrong, what you did wrong, why something went wrong, all serve not to remedy the situation, but rather to affix you, the sufferer, deeper and deeper into the problem. And sadly, if you remain fixated on the darkness long enough, your chances of escape become slimmer and slimmer. You are never, ever going to out-think the darkness by remaining in the darkness. Instead, like all people in the dark, your task will become more and more insurmountable. The reason people are locked into some tragedy or failing that happened twenty-five years ago is because they never let it go. You cannot overcome unless you eventually let it go. In fact, you aren’t going to begin to solve your problems now until you finally learn to let them go.

Life was never intended for you to be the party of the first part, the second part and every other part. You are a human being for God’s sake and much of life escapes your control. When the doctor says you have an incurable disease there’s not a damn thing you, the human being, can do about it. You are fighting against spiritual powers of which you may know or understand very little. Instead you, the finite human being, are supposed to eventually admit you do not know what to do and beseech the help of the One that knows exactly what to do. Absent God and left to your own limited devices, you are simply going to lose. But, if you can get to the place where you wake up, you hand those life-long issues over to God and let Him do what He promised He would do all along!

Goodness knows that some of the things that may have happened to you are awful and painful and arduous at best. That’s not to minimize their grave impact on you at all. You’re stuck because your problem is beyond your human capability to deal with it. Your solution is to let it go. Give it to God every time it lands itself back in your lap. Stop thinking it, fearing it, rehearsing it, addressing it and embracing it. The inescapable problem is bad enough without giving over your entire life and mind in defense and admiration of it. Your problem is not the supreme thing in life. It is not to be your primary thought in every situation. It may have become that but it doesn’t have to remain that. God is supposed to be your supreme thing and your primary thought in life. Dwelling on God and what He says is dwelling in the light. In the light, the solutions become clear and obvious. Maybe your solution is healing. Maybe your solution is to finally get past a terrible event. Maybe your solution is a radical change in your thinking and manner of living. Whatever your solution may be, it can only be found in one place and one place only – the light!

Darkness is a slippery character and is well schooled in how to defeat a human being. Evil and wrong don’t just hit you with a sucker punch you never saw coming, but instead seeks to take away all that is important to you. It’s goal, like trapping a bird in a cage, is  to snare you into some mode of thinking that guarantees more and more trouble will replicate itself in your life. For this reason, you need something bigger than yourself to set you free.

All of us, at one time or another, have found ourselves trapped in some grand dilemma. Everyone of us has had a problem whose solution escaped us. We’ve all been stuck, distracted and caught up into some thing that has been gaining more and more power over us. And like a rodent we seek to remove from our situation, in order to rid ourselves of it, we have to remove its food source. Literally, you have to stop feeding it! You have to steadfastly resist your human tendency and ego that is striving to figure it out and choose rather not to give it any space in your thinking. It’s not easy to do, but is required if you want to win. You have to seek God’s help and continue seeking God’s solution until you realize it in your life. God is faithful and will provide what you need, but you have to do it His way. Every time your problem presents itself to you by knocking on the doors of your mind, you have to give it back to God where it belongs. God will deliver you my friend, with the duration dependent entirely upon your faithfulness to keep your mind fixed on the light! It can be done. It will be done!

How do you prevent your problem from being your life’s problem? Make your problem God’s problem and let Him figure it out. There is no other way…

Just some good thoughts.

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Heaven’s Brass and Unanswered Prayers…


Heavens-of-brass...-300x252I was thinking today about how many people there are that pray for things and how many people don’t seem to get any results. I’m not talking about hopeful, casual utterances, I’m talking about sincere people with real needs who pray heartfelt prayers about vitally important issues. You know what I’m talking about, right? Heaven’s brass; nothings happening…nothing! So the crucial, vital question is why!

What I’m about to tell you may clash with your theology. It may smack up against your preformed ideas. It may even make you get a little angry, so just hear me out, okay?

There may be a multitude of reasons why your prayer life feels like an exercise in psychology, but those reasons really center around a few main points that I hope to make abundantly clear.

First, let me clarify some general truths that you need to understand. The answer to your prayer or lack thereof isn’t a function of God’s decision. God isn’t answering with a resounding “NO” because He has another idea or a better idea or anything else that moves the believing responsibility from you to Him. Sure Father knows best, but Father, the perfect One, doesn’t make your decisions for you. He can enlighten you, teach you and help you, but He isn’t going to decide for you. That always was and always will be your job. If my son wants an Xbox, and let’s face it they’re expensive, I do my best to get him an Xbox. Imagine me giving him a board game and explaining why it will be better for him with some ethereal reason that doesn’t make sense to me or him. Side-note* Nothing is too costly or too expensive for God!

Next and almost as important centers around the confused and erroneous notion that God answers your prayer based on your good or bad behavior. God is not Santa Clause;  a fictitious story we make up to appease our children during the holidays. (I’m not mad at Santa and perpetrated the same stories…) Do you really think you could become good enough to somehow earn God’s goodness? Lord, if that was the standard we all would have forfeited answers to prayer yesterday! And, even if you are feeling particularly righteous today, how much further do you have to go to get to God’s perfection? That, my friends, is a hamster wheel of epic proportion! (Trust me…)

The final “biggie” is entirely composed of your actual expectation. In your heart of hearts, what do you think is really going to happen? I mean the real you, not the Facebook advertisement version of you. Can you even conceive that God could actually do something about your dilemma or are you simply throwing the words out there in hope that maybe, just maybe the stars would align; your ship would come in; you would finally catch a break and whatever else goes along with happenstance and luck!

The truth concerning answered prayers and softening your relationship with heaven is found in alignment and agreement. You have to align your prayers with God’s promises to you and agree with Him about it coming to pass. It’s not a question of His will (no matter what such and such told you), it’s a question of your belief. I’ll say it another way. Do you know what God says He will do for you? (Seems logical to find out if you are praying to God) If you know what His promise is to you, do you believe God can do it? If you believe God can do it, do you believe He will do it for you? In order for you to get an actual, tangible, solid, real answer to prayer, your response to all of those questions has to be a resounding “YES!” Not God’s answer, your answer! God’s answer is already yes!

Whenever and wherever your prayers do not come to pass, the answer will always be found in you (not in God); namely are you in alignment with Him and are you in agreement with Him. I should clarify that by alignment I mean are your thoughts lined up with what He said? If you aren’t careful, you take a statement like that and turn it into a religion. You start preaching that being in alignment means always doing everything right and before you know it you have the 1st Church of the Aligned Order. See above truth concerning earning God’s blessings!

In order to receive anything from God, you have to somehow get your old noggin lined up with the promise of God and become absolutely convinced that it will come to pass. What the situation looks like or what people say is possible or what has been scientifically proven to be true doesn’t have a blessed thing to do with it. God’s power and ability are unlimited! With God nothing is impossible. If He can raise someone from the dead, what can’t He do about your dilemma? I’m assuming you aren’t dead yet, are you?

I don’t know how to say it any more clearly. Answered prayer is predicated upon your fully persuaded belief that God both wants to and has the ability, to do it! If it didn’t come to pass (in terms of your life and not other people’s lives) then you weren’t yet fully persuaded! But, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet because you still have time to get your old, obstinate mind fully persuaded. Your work in prayer doesn’t involve becoming righteous, it involves working to become convinced. You have to get to the place where, in your mind, it has already happened. Begging, pleading and bargaining simply means you still have doubt and as such you still have some mental work to do. Welcome to the human condition. Welcome to the fight where you choose spiritual realties over five-senses appearances. When it comes to choosing to believe God, you cannot count on the senses evidence or signs or indicators. You just decide and joyfully see for yourself!

Believing God is simple, but not always easy. But, alas it’s how it works and the system isn’t changing anytime soon. Believers believe and if you are going to invest in prayers, you may as well learn how to do it effectively.

It may surprise you, but God wants you to learn this even more than you want to learn it. Would you expect anything else from the God of love you have been communicating with so persistently?

Get your prayers answered folks! That’s what God wants for you in every situation. He’s God people. He’s cool like that! 😉

Just some good thoughts….

 

 

 

Too Damn Sensitive?


giphyHas anyone ever told you that you are too damn sensitive? Personally, I’ve heard it for as long as I can remember. Someone insults you and you react to it and you’re too damn sensitive. You finally bring up an issue that has been bothering you for some time and you’re too damn sensitive. You cry when watching a TV show that resonates with your heart and you’re too damn sensitive. Is sensitivity a weakness that must be overcome? Is being sensitive an indictment against your manhood? Is it a preferable to live as one who is insensitive or callous? Or better, does the cruelty and hardness of the world necessitate insensitivity in order to survive?

Before we go any further it is important to understand that I’m not equating sensitivity to low self-esteem or a poor self-image. There’s a big difference between being assertive and speaking up versus retreating into a cocoon the first time someone says something negative about you. In fact, if you feel pretty good about yourself it would seem you would be more likely to say what needed to be said. But, hey that’s just me. So to be clear, I mean sensitive in terms of having feelings and not in terms of having a wound.

If you look up the word sensitivity, you sort of get the idea where the confusion comes from. The primary definitions speak of a tendency to get upset about things said or done to you. Now call me crazy here, but I’m assuming those things said or done to you aren’t good. Not being bothered by the things people negatively say or do to you is supposed to met with indifference ? Oh and I’m the crazy one? Haha… I would call that being desensitized towards things matter. And, this old world specializes in getting you to be desensitized to things that matter so that you can fall in line with the rest of the numb herd. How many wacky things go on in the world today and we don’t so much as flinch about it? Methinks insensitivity aint so good.

The secondary definition of sensitivity defines the word as an awareness and understanding of the feelings of other people. Thus if we’re being logical here, insensitivity would have to mean not having an awareness or understanding of the feelings of other people. Hello to the times we live in today. Nobody cares. Eat crap; shut up and again fall in line with the “who-cares” herd!

Here’s an apt analogy of our feelings as they relate in the human body. All throughout our bodies, except maybe  our fingernails, toenails and hair, we have nerve endings. Those nerve endings serve to alert us to changes and influences on our skin. Without those nerves, we would burn, crush and maim ourselves without ever being the wiser. (When your feelings are numb you burn, crush and maim people without ever knowing it) However, when things are working as they were intended, you can feel even the slightest breeze on your arm. If you are rough on your skin you develop a callous. Your skin no longer hurts, but the callous makes it no longer feel either…

Sensitivity means your feelings are alive and well. It means your heart (figuratively speaking) is capable of not only feeling, but feeling things on a deeper level. And if you are in the business of helping people, you just gotta have it! Otherwise, you develop what the Bible calls hard-heartedness. Everyone, everywhere; in every case that rejected the truth, did so because they got hard-hearted. You see why the world works so hard to harden your heart? A hardened heart is no longer sensitive to the subtle line between truth and error. A hardened heart becomes blinded to the truth. Blinded literally means a blunted mental discernment. You can no longer see or feel the things that are  hurting you. Oh, they are still hurting you but you are wholly unaware of their existence. In your confusion and pain, you end up hurting others as well.

Some of the strongest men that ever lived were men of great passion. To think that being a man means being insensitive to feelings is to discredit the Creator. Men were made with hearts with which to feel and the Word of God was given to deepen their sensitivity. The spiritual men and women of the Bible were tender-hearted, else they would have never recognized God’s call. Just as you cannot give love unless you have love, you cannot empathize with others feelings unless you have some feelings yourself.

Yes, this old world may have rabbit punched you a couple of times, but never make the mistake of thinking the solution is to harden your heart. Instead seek to tenderize your heart so you are better able to recognize and block those punches when they show up next time. God Himself is tender-hearted and there is no greater power than His.

Are you too damn sensitive? Am I? I sure hope so because that’s where true life can be found.

Keep thy heart more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life. ~ Proverbs 4:23

Just some good (feelings) thoughts…

If You Care About Answered Prayers…


man in praiseI thought long and hard about how to say what I’m about to say. This happens to be a very touchy subject. It’s touchy because people have many beliefs and ideas about prayer and it is not my intention to thwart or set back anyone that prays. Instead, my hope is to answer the question of answered prayers in a way that is simple and easy to fit into your heart. After all, it’s your heart that is the key to answered prayers and unanswered ones also for that matter.

Most folks believe that God is the wild card when it comes to answered prayers. They have concluded that there’s a system involved with God and that it is based on good behavior. If you are good enough, He comes through and if you aren’t, He doesn’t. Others think that God decides in advance what you can and cannot have and unanswered prayers simply means what you wanted/needed/requested just wasn’t in the cards or necessary for you. Understandably, many of you have become quite pissed off at God, though you don’t like to say it out loud. If the aforementioned was true, I would be right by your side in the angry department, believe me!

How many people do you know that needed God’s help; loved God, but somehow didn’t get it? How many wonderful, kind-hearted people do you know that suffered, while praying to God, and never got the result they so earnestly sought? How many? On the surface it’s clear there’s something we don’t quite understand and God wants us to understand! How much must it hurt God’s heart to hear your prayers yet remain unable to help you, despite His own passionate desire to do so? How much?

So you might think, “If God wants to help me and there’s no-one that can stop God from doing something, then why doesn’t He help me?” Well, incredibly there is one thing that can stop Him from helping you and that is you. In order to receive anything from God, you have to believe that He both can and will. Believing means being fully persuaded of God’s promise over and beyond what it looks like in the senses realm. It has nothing whatsoever to do with how good or “bad” you are. Read that again, because that little “mind-eff” has been stopping people from believing to receive from God for thousands of years! The requirement to receive from God or to actually get your prayers answered is to believe Him and have NO doubt. Here’s a simple test. Ask yourself what you think is going to happen concerning the situation you find yourself in and you will have the answer to what you believe. Not what you hope or wish, but what do you actually expect?

Now take heart my friends because what you currently think is not your final answer! Rather it just shows you where you are today and where you need to go tomorrow. The real work of believing is in persuading that little ol’ mind of yours to believe what God said over and above what you think based on what it looks like today. The Bible is laced with this message. Sarah had a child when she was past child-bearing age. Daniel overcame lions. People were raised from the dead, healed of incurable diseases, were born blind but somehow could now see, were lame but now could walk. All of the aforementioned, and that was a tiny sample, did the impossible. It was not possible according to their senses minds, but with God NOTHING is impossible. The key? They believed. You can too!

What God is able to do He is willing to do. It’s never a question of God’s willingness, so get that out of your noggin forever! God requires one thing to answer your prayers and that is believing. Believing in specifics, not generalized believing in Him. You know what you need, so believe for exactly what you need. What if it doesn’t work simply means it won’t work. Believing is full persuasion. God in His perfection and with His perfect justice, will not overstep your freedom of will. He simply cannot do it. In order for God to answer your prayer without your believing, would mean He was overstepping your freedom of will and He just cannot do that. Trust me, I’ve tried that one myself!

All of us humans struggle at times and some of us face very dire and scary situations. The solution is to somehow get your mind off what it looks like and what seems so true and instead take God at His Word for what is really true. You have to persuade yourself. If you can do that you will find that God is right there for you, passionately desiring to take away your pain and misery and restore you whole in every way!

My heart breaks for people who have needs and don’t get those needs met. God has answers for everything that ever plagued you. He is all-knowing and knows what to do to help you, if you can only somehow believe Him.

I care about answered prayers and believe that you do as well. Why even have an Almighty God if nothing can be done when faced with life’s serious problems? Well something can be done and a little bit of believing goes a long, long way. Stop listening to the world and their rationalizations! Stop limiting God by what seems possible and impossible. With God all things are possible!

Man, it’s right there if you want to take it!

Just some true thoughts…