This week I would like to convey something practical, or as my daddy use to say, “some good ole horse sense”. Sometimes as believers we are guilty of spiritualizing every little event that happens in our life, attributing it to the devil or the Lord’s hand. But more often than not, it’s just life – combined with our poor decision making. I am not minimizing the possibility that we may encounter from time to time demonic attacks, nor am I discounting certain seasons of suffering, God’s hand of brokenness.is often at work in our life, but when it’s from God, the events usually involve things in which we have no control.
I have often heard during a counseling session, “Why did God do this to me, placing me in this marriage, this town or this job? I have hated this for so many years?”
God is certainly omnipotent and able to place us in difficult places if He chooses. But if we take a closer look, most of those unpleasant situations are of our own making. The above statement is a prime example of unjustly blaming God for our poor personal decisions.
Statistics have proven that most people who find themselves up against the wall financially are there because of heavy indebtedness and or financial mismanagement. Any hiccup in cash flow puts them in dire straits. We often blame the devil for something we could have changed or prevented. (Are we giving the devil too much credit for decisions we make all on our own?)
God does not micromanage the little details of our lives. Our decisions or our times of indecision, has led us to where we are today. But that is hopeful, because you can make new decisions that will put you in different circumstances. God gives us the ability to make choices. Don’t wait for some supernatural movement – just start by seeing what you can do to change your circumstances.
If it is a job change you need, then take steps to prepare yourself for a change. Start by discovering your natural giftedness, identify your strengths and then search for a job that matches your giftedness and strengths. God has specifically wired us to be fulfilled in our work – but we must discover how He has naturally gifted us.
If debt is a problem then locate someone who can help you develop a plan to get out of debt. (Like Dave Ramsey) You don’t have to be a slave to indebtedness, there is a way out.
If you are burdened with a deteriorating relationship don’t crumple in despair, take proactive steps to rekindle and repair the relationship. If you are suffering from loneliness don’t sit at home all day long, but get out and mingle and think of creative ways to meet new people. If you do your part while asking the Lord to lead you, he will bring special people across your path that you can both enjoy and inspire.
Sometimes we assume that our current situation reflects random, individual, disconnected events. But seldom is that true. Rather, we are where we are because each decision we make is a step in a particular direction. And over time that direction determines our position in our work, our finances, our health, our relationships and our spiritual well-being. If you think God did this to you, then it justifies doing nothing until God changes your situation. And in doing nothing I see people open the door to blaming, resentment, anger, guilt and depression. I think God deserves better from us.
What my point? Life is about perspective. It’s like the story of two shoe salesmen traveling to a foreign country to sell shoes. The first salesman called immediately and said, “Get me on the next plane home. No one here wears shoes.” The second salesman called back and said, “Send me our entire inventory. No one here wears shoes.”
The same mind that thinks thoughts of doom, rejection, and discouragement is the same mind that can be creative, positive, and full of endless ideas, hope and faith. Which way will you use your God-given mind?
Perspective: It’s looking at your circumstances as an opportunity for change and improvement. Seize the moment, change your perspective and take action. Don’t be a victim of your circumstances but let your circumstances be your motivation for positive and productive change. Every cloud has a silver lining, but it takes trust in a sovereign God to lead you, and your diligence to take instinctive steps toward a better quality of life.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)