Why Am I Struggling?


There are times in your life in which you just don’t feel right. And if you are like most humans it drives you nuts. It encompasses you. It engulfs you. You find yourself drowning in it. In response to it you do what you’ve been taught to do. You analyze it and you analyze it and you analyze it some more. You think about it all day and you can’t find an answer of peace though you’ve searched your mind from pillar to post. The more you seek the solution the worse you feel. Instead you discover more bad feelings and more logical causes for your dilemma. You just cannot seem to get there no matter how hard you try. Yet, you dutifully persist, confused and dismayed tunneling further and further underground. The deeper you go the darker it gets and you find no relief. Eventually you have to ask yourself in your futility, “Am I doing something wrong? Is there something else I do not know? Is there a solution to my private nightmare?” The good news is yes my friend, you are doing something wrong.

Life in its basic essence is spiritual. There are spiritual causes for the things that plague you. However, spiritual problems cannot be discerned by your five senses reasoning. Accordingly, you are NEVER going to find your answers by searching the senses realm, though you search diligently night and day forever. Instead all you will find is heartache and loss. All you will discover is more darkness; more obscurity; more things that serve to cloud your mind and render you helpless, hopeless, lost… Darkness works most effectively by garnering your consideration. It presents an inscrutable form of bait designed to appeal to your human reasoning. And evil knows it can easily defeat your human reasoning. Oh yes, it is evil! It is at work in the world to steal, to kill and to destroy and it does so by capturing your attention. And, like every worthwhile bait, behind it is a hook from which you will find it hard to escape.

You are struggling because you are being led down the path of unhappiness. It’s a well worn path because of the millions that have tread it down. And depending upon how long each person traversed on that path, the more misery they have encountered in their life. But, it does not have to be this way. There is a way out but the way out is not what you thought at all. The way out seems to stand in absolute defiance to what we have been taught to do. It is very, very difficult to turn that thinking machine off. It is even harder to resist the temptation to track it like a hound and follow it wherever it may lead. But, resist it you must. Temptation, though always veiled and hard to discern, works by finding a way to get your attention and later keep your attention. You escape by your lack of attention. You break free by deciding to change your focus. You make up your mind to look at something else!

The problem you face today is an insatiable drive to get you to focus on yourself. Everywhere and in every way you are being driven back to yourself, your feelings, your thoughts. “Take time for yourself!” “Focus on yourself!” Self, self, self! “You are most important!” “You are number one!” You, you, you! Obviously your needs are important and of course you want to be happy, but your happiness is most fulfilled when your focus isn’t yourself! I’ll say it again. Your happiness is most fulfilled when your focus isn’t on yourself! It’s a trick. It’s a trap. It is a delusion on a grand scale. It is a lie. It seems right and sounds good, but it is still a damnable lie. When your focus is yourself, all you will find is yourself with all of your faults, failings and imperfections. You have to learn to look at something else.

Have you ever noticed how you can be feeling super crappy about yourself or your problems, imagined or real, and then something demands your focus and takes you away from yourself for a bit? Suddenly you don’t feel so bad or your problems aren’t that big anymore. Your issues didn’t get any smaller, but your focus changed enabling you to see things for what they really are instead of what you imagined them to be in your obsessive focus on yourself. Few things feel as good as a full day of work where you actually focused on the work instead of yourself. Or, maybe the grandkids came over and you focused on blessing them for a while! Wow, suddenly things don’t seem as bad as you thought. These little delights serve as valuable clues. You weren’t designed to focus on yourself, save yourself, or fix yourself. You were made to function best when your focus was on others, expecting God to take care of you! Self-focus is a struggle from which you can easily escape. 

Stop, cease, quit looking inside of yourself to find something good. End the endless stewing and churning and burning. Make up your mind to get out of your own mind and live a little. Stop being so damn cerebral! Cease from living in a world where you are encased with an obsessive focus on yourself. Quit it and for God’s sake let it go! Let it go! You haven’t yet been successful in solving you, have you? Well, you aren’t going to, so I will save you a little (or a lot) of time! Instead move that lovely mind of yours towards something else besides you. Help someone. Build someone up. Do something nice for someone! However or whatever you do, move your focus away from yourself because self-focus sucks and leads you down a miserable path! Outward focus, helpful focus, anything but me focus, leads you to something beautiful and worthwhile. It leads you to life and all the wonder and beauty it entails. 

Choose life, choose others, choose to struggle no more!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

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The Self-Made Man!


self-made-man-sheila-kay-mcintyreThere’s a lot of rabble nowadays about the self-made man and how you have to live life on your own terms and the like! And though you may be overwhelmed with abilities and skills and knowledge, you’re going to struggle to win at life. Sure, you will have plenty to feel good about, but in the end you are going to come up short and have paid a hefty price. You weren’t designed to be self-made, but instead heavily aided and favored. Your self just aint big enough to bring it home.

Life, if you follow the pattern, is rather consistent. You start out in life completely dependent upon your parents. As you grow and learn that dependence diminishes yet you still need assistance from those who have walked the path before you. And now, in adulthood, you long for those times when you lived a carefree life and didn’t bother to stress about the future, nor could even see a reason why. In your innocency you simply trusted that what you need would be supplied and you were rarely disappointed. People who grew up poor seldom recognize it until someone informs them later on. In short, you were happy and you were free.

Then, the wheel of things sort of got to you. Though you vowed otherwise, you stepped onto the treadmill with its lofty requirements and standards. You honorably, yet foolishly took full responsibility for your life with its associated expectation of being able to solve every problem. And though it cost you your health and your youthfulness and worse, your peace of mind, you forged ahead. Someone told someone who told someone a thousand removed that this is how life works. You’re an adult now, so put on your big boy pants and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and get ‘er done! Thus the way of a man became etched in stone.

But, what if it really wasn’t true? What if the pattern you began with was the pattern you were to continue with for a lifetime? What if life wasn’t supposed to be so damn hard and demanding and impossible? What if there was an easier way, though no-one as of yet had clued you in? Well, consider this your first glimpse of a better way to live. Maybe you were SUPPOSED to transfer your dependence on your parents onto your Heavenly Papa? Maybe the framework you mastered, where you had a need and lovingly requested it be filled, and it was fulfilled, was to continue throughout your whole life? You see, your parents were responsible to teach you about God, but they couldn’t because no-one taught them and no-one taught them. And if they did get taught, they were persuaded of some impossible standard required by an impossible God in an impossible way. They were convinced that life with God was hard-wrought and absent enjoyment or pleasure or fun. And, rightfully they rejected it and refused to pass it along to you. So you absent any wrong teaching might have a chance still to know. And, He remains there still, for you.

God designed life as a partnership. He has a part and you have a part. And His part is a helluva of a lot more than emergencies, deathbeds and catastrophes. Further it isn’t His part to sit in perpetual judgment of you or to be constantly disappointed with you or unendingly ashamed of you. He knows all about you well in advance including every error, every misstep and every looney tunes thing you ever did. His expectation for you isn’t moral perfection, it is an expectation that you perform your part of the partnership and allow Him to perform His! His part is to make you righteous in His sight and your part is to accept it. His part is to supply your every need and your part is to believe it. His part is to do ALL of the things you cannot do for yourself and your part is to do the things you can! Life worked in this manner puts the spring back in your step. You finally unload the heavy, heavy burdens that come with being the party of the first part and the party of the second part and the party of the third part. You reorganize and realign and reprioritize your partnership and take back what you were supposed to take back and turn over all the damn rest!

The way of man absent God throughout all centuries has been a hard life with man and his finite possibilities ever trying to produce infinite and lasting results. He fights, as it were, with an immense handicap in that he cannot prevail against an opponent he cannot see. And in thinking he can see, spends a lifetime chasing effects with indiscernable causes. Oh, but if he could see the causes. Oh, but if he could get back to the proper administration of his partnership. Oh, but if he would only reach upward instead of inward! Great life changing assistance is always there from his Partner, ever waiting for His man to simply ask…

Your life, your one frightfully short go round is not time enough to begin seeking and searching and requesting. You’ve spent time infinitum in futility pressing one step forward and three steps back. You have proven beyond doubt your own inability and feebleness and have come up short enough, despite your very best efforts, to finally recognize your self-made way is deficient and arduous and wrong. Stop living that way today! Get off your high horse and release your hard-fought high ground long enough to experience a different way; a way where you get all you ever wanted without paying too high a price. Yet stand head held high, proudly accomplishing and questing, while seeking ever upward and beyond your earthbound limitations. All that you ever dreamed to be, God dreamed to be before you, and waits like a father waits for Christmas to give you all that He can. Do your job and learn how to receive it, thankfully and graciously.

You are not old enough to be too old to ask your Daddy to give you what you need. Be a God-made man and see if your life doesn’t become all that you ever wanted it to be. You can have it if you want it. Just ask…

Just some good thoughts…

The Illusion of the Self-Made Man…


self_made_manPeople living in the world today have a rough go of it. They spend their entire lives in conflict with an adversary they know not of, nor have any means to detect. They have at their fingertips uncountable volumes of information promising techniques, principles and solutions for every problem that could ever surface. There are rules to find happiness; “must do” activities for wellness and tips or clues for optimum prosperity and health. And, the information is so compelling that it supports a billion dollar industry almost all based on one grand illusion, namely that man can by his limited senses mind and decision-making, take full care of himself! He doesn’t need any outside help, but rather a resolute will and determination to make himself into something he is not yet. The allure is so compelling that the vast majority of people on Earth flounder under its spell. The self-made man is an illusion!

The last thing in the world that “the world” wants you to understand is that there is an entity opposed to all that is good or beneficial or kind, that takes full advantage of man’s ignorance concerning it. Evil has been deemed a label that man gives to forces he cannot see with his senses mind. It has been reduced to the level of superstition. It is generally a source of ridicule and a figment of the imagination by the so-called intelligentsia of the day. Yet absent a true spiritual understanding of evil and how it works incessantly to thwart mankind, man is forever the brunt of a cruel joke; one that plays out in his everyday existence. And you know, if you’re honest, that things often don’t turn out the way you had hoped they would. Instead apparently random circumstances and by chance events shape the life you are endeavoring to successfully live. On the other side of the same coin, there are those who see evil in every event and action and would have you to avoid the experience of life in its entirety. Both are fueled in ignorance of true spiritual realties.

Man’s unknown and somewhat typical experience consists of spending most days hoping he doesn’t get the unexpected roll of the dice that will lead to certain suffering ending in death. He is terrified of cancer or other deadly diseases and when hearing of evil that befalls another, makes up sayings to assuage himself like, “I guess it was his time.” And what incredulously cruel entity would decide when it was “his time?” The same one that lies hidden under the apparency of things according to the maxim, “the secret of its success is the secrecy of its moves.” Add to this, man’s ascribing these foul qualities to God and you have a recipe for a futile existence. For this reason, no man living, successful or otherwise, is self-made, but has knowingly or unknowingly tapped into something that either helped him or hindered him in his life. All that a man gets or fails to get is a product of his own beliefs. Being determined upon some goal and taking vigorous action towards it, leads to its acquisition, not by himself but in concert with all that is Good and gives unreservedly. Conversely, man fails and suffers hardship not by his fear alone, but rather by his ignorance concerning evil, and unable to successfully stand against it, he succumbs to a difficult life.

Life was never intended to be an obstacle course or a maze that could only be bested by years of “trying to get up that hill.” Instead man was supposed to seek out spiritual assistance to his spiritual problems from his spiritual source – God. God has not left His people without recourse. But, you’d never know that by studying the life of the average Christian today. It seems Christianity has been taken over wholesale by a preoccupation with sin. And in a man’s futile attempt to not sin, he sits ever open to the attacks from an enemy that not only entices him to sin, but accuses the holy bejesus out of him when he does sin. In this, the Christian is no different from the unbeliever in that he suffers pain from an enemy he cannot see nor discern by his ignorance of the truth. Working hard to be good enough or righteous enough is yet another endless puzzle with no real solution because the starting premise; you can by your own self-made efforts make yourself good enough, is categorically false as well.

God has given man remedies to his dilemmas, if he only knew it. The first and foremost remedy can be found in the Bible, also called God’s Word. God’s Word, specifically that part of His Word written to us directly, offers the truth concerning any apparent situation or dilemma we find ourselves in. To conclude that believing God for healing is foolish and that one is best served by the medical community is just another fault in a long line of faults, falsely setting up man and his wisdom as predominant over God’s wisdom. God’s Word is always paramount in our quest for truth. In addition to His Word, God made available holy spirit, obtained simply by believing (Romans 10:9-10). Receiving holy spirit, which some erroneously conclude resides in every man, enables man to once again be connected to God, the Holy Spirit. Holy spirit living within a man comes with built-in potential power. However, this fantastic power with the ability to overcome all difficulty and unlimited capacity to discern the spiritual world, must be energized within the man himself. This energizing within is accomplished by praying in the spirit, also called speaking in tongues. Typically, just the mention of speaking in tongues elicits a negative reaction in man’s mind. This shouldn’t surprise you as the source of all difficulty and hardship has worked tirelessly to queer the process and thus ensure that you don’t learn how to do it. Doing it and doing it often builds up His spirit within you. Once built up, man can once again see what he formerly could not see. He then not only has the ability to discern the evil, but also has access to God’s spiritual solutions for his spiritual problems. So very simple, yet so wholly misunderstood.

In the beginning, man was formed, made and created to live a life where God was at the center of his existence. He had responsibilities to accomplish, but his life was cared for by his God. And like a child seeks out his Mommy or Daddy to get his needs met, man was to seek out his Father to get his needs met as well. The self-made man is the ultimate ruse because man lacks the ability to self-make anything, though he demands otherwise. Instead man is a Spirit-made creation and absent God’s help has little to no shot of overcoming the world and it’s pain.

There is a wonderful, abundant life out there waiting for you, but you’ll never see it if you try to do it on your own. Spirit-made baby, that’s where real life is found!

Just some good thoughts…