I have to be honest here, lately I have been in a pit and feeling pretty sorry for myself. What I have come to learn is that the more you get comfortable in the pity party pit, the quicker you start to believe the narrative that fits the mood that led you there.
I couldn’t deny the reality of our circumstances; but it’s not like we planned any of this to happen. We are good people, who work hard and did a Great job at what we do… so why me? Why is life being so unfair to us? Why wasn’t it happening to them?
Before I knew it, I felt that familiar sting of resentment settling into my mind. I started watching tv shows that reinforced what I was feeling, focusing on negative social media posts and I certainly didn’t open God’s Word, after all He was feeling pretty far away from me… another thing that wasn’t fair, why would He desert me at a time like this?
After a couple days of feeling this way, surrounding myself with things that fed into my frustration and bemoaning the injustices of life, I stopped in my tracks and took a good hard look at myself and the situation… what on earth was I doing?
Why was I giving the enemy a foothold into my thoughts, which was obviously leading into my actions? And worse yet was the realization that God had not deserted me, rather I had turned my attention onto my troubles and the woes of this world and turned my heart and my trust away from Him.
I had set my thoughts and my focus onto the things this world should be offering me, yet wasn’t. I was jealous of people I loved, who were not struggling as we were, and I was becoming resentful at the place I now found myself… I came to realize that Jealousy and Resentment only serve to fuel a ‘Fools pity party’… and I was in full on party mode.
How did I manage get to this place? I after all was a woman of faith… I trusted God rather than myself… or did I? If I truly trusted God was at work in this, why wasn’t I trusting How He was going to go about completing it? The answer to that lies within ME… I wanted to be IN control, I wanted it to be in MY way and in MY timing… I wanted to fix it BY myself for MYSELF…that there is a lot of self talk.
What do you see when you scroll through your social media feeds? When you watch the news? The world around is tragically filled with Lovers of Self. We have books, secular and Christian, that claim All of our answers are found in Self.
Become more Self-aware… You will discover who you really are.
What are Your needs?… fill those and your emptiness will magically disappear.
All You need is more stuff.. this will fill that empty hole. After all God doesn’t want You sad.. He created you for more, Right?
Find Your inner: lioness, tiger, warrior or dragon… then You will have the power to succeed.
Sound familiar? We hear versions of these same mantras all around us, most tv shows and books are filled with these ideas. But as Christ followers we need to be aware, these are lies and deception. They will never fill that emptiness and hole inside you… why is it that the wealthiest people that have the most in life, often seem to be the saddest? Always working harder, trying to achieve more and experience more?
We live in a world where EVERYTHING is GOOD if it’s GOOD for ME, on the surface it sounds ideal…after all what harm can it do? James 4:1-10 states clearly why living for Self is a lie and disastrous. We were designed BY God to live FOR God,
There are real dangers in buying into this world view of Self help and personal growth. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to become better at things, but when it’s about making ourselves our own God, then we have a problem.
This happens when we position our needs and wants above Gods plans and purposes. This is the same old lie that the devil has been using since the garden of Eden. “Did God really say..?””He’s just withholding from you”… “What’s it going to hurt?”
The enemy of our souls always feeds our selfish appetite, always tempts us with those tantalizing treats just out of our reach…maybe that will be the answer. And he uses these very things to separate us from God, this is his entire goal… to keep you and I out of Eternity.
So what do we do, when the world is preoccupied with Self? We have a choice, we can join the world.. maybe stay at a distance but be careful not to ruffle any feathers of those that don’t share our ideals. Or, we can turn our hearts back to God and recognize how easily we ALL fall into the traps of the enemy and into sin.
Just because we WANT something to be GOOD does not MAKE it GOOD, and it certainly does not make it right or safe or godly. We can’t choose to change Gods way because its inconvenient in our world. We need to look to our Creator and His Word to know Truth, and it doesn’t take long to see that Self is not promoted in the Bible… even Jesus didn’t push for Self. He gave ALL the glory to the Father, He lived in discomfort over comfort and He chose death over life… His was a life of self-denial.
Thank you for your Word, even when your Word is difficult to swallow, when it points out things in us that we would rather not focus on or even look at in our own lives. You tell us that your Word was designed to cut like a double edged sword; separating bone from marrow, revealing everything inside us.
Forgive me Lord, for allowing the selfish desires within me to wage war for the things of this world. As I’ve read this passage in the past, I would say “how terrible for those selfish lost people”, I was blind to the fact that You were speaking to Your Children within your Church…You were speaking to me!!
How many times have I been ruled by my selfish desires? How often did I envy things other people had; possessions, positions, physical attributes that I was lacking. How often were my thoughts controlled by these things? Far too many times to count Lord… Forgive me!
Forgive me Lord for my blindness to self, forgive me for all the times I prayed to you with selfish motives within my heart. Forgive me Lord for my lack of faithfulness to You and loving the world and all the selfish desires it entices me with.
Lord God, I do not want to be an enemy of yours, help me to keep my focus on your desires for me. Thank you for your Spirit that You have placed inside me, teaching me how to better live for You. Forgive me for grieving your Spirit with my selfishness. Help me Lord to listen to your Spirit and follow your ways instead of mine.
Lord God, once again I choose to surrender myself to You. To surrender my wants and desires, to seek after what You would have for me. My ways have proved disastrous Lord, and I am now living in the brokenness of those choices. Hold my hand…my heart… and my mind Lord, as You teach me to constantly and daily surrender to You and your will.
Forgive me Lord for allowing the enemy to have this foothold within me, You tell us to resist him and he WILL flee. Father in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, I acknowledge that he is a defeated foe and by the power of Your Spirit within me, I will resist his attempts to keep me from you. Thank you Lord!
Help me Lord, by your power to live in your strength to clean up my life, both inside and out and to draw near to you daily. Thank you for your promise that if I draw near to You, You will draw near to me…. I want that so much Father, Thank you for Loving me in that way.
Lord God, help me to see my sins for the ugliness that they are. Forgive me for being complacent and not recognizing the wedge they cause between You and I over them. The world would teach us to only pay attention to the Big sins, but You call ALL sins “adultery” towards you. In your eyes ALL our sins are black stains on us. Forgive me Lord, for minimizing that.
Teach me Lord. to not only recognize my sins but to be appalled by them. Forgive my apathy father, teach me as I draw closer to you, create in me a new heart that would draw me towards You. Break my desires for the things of this world that would draw me away from you.
I see now the Spiritual battle that I am in the midst of, so subtle yet so damning. Help me to stay covered in the Full Armour of God and show me how to be victorious in this battle. Break my heart for what breaks your heart Lord, teach me true humility and break off all the parts of me that don’t belong.
I praise you Lord for your goodness, your faithfulness and your correction. I desperately want to follow You in Truth and Obedience. For I know the plans You have for me are far better than the plans I would have for myself… Glory to God!
In Jesus name ❤️ Amen
My Final Thoughts & Encouragement:
Do you find yourself caught up in the affairs of the world? Are you linking arms in solidarity with the world over solidarity with God? I urge you dear brothers and sisters to open your eyes and see how easily we can become entrapped and lose our footing.
Take notice of this message from James, and see the battle that is all around us.. a battle that would take our eyes off of God and start focusing on ourselves.. our wants… our needs.. our desires.
Why do you think the world is so divided right now? I believe it’s because time is running short and the enemy knows that his time WILL come to an end, he knows his time is limited and he is amping up ALL his efforts.
This is why it’s so important to see the lies for what they are and not fall for them. The Bible warns us that many Christians in the last days will be deceived and fall away. If we want to stay true to Christ, we have to keep our focus on Him and His plans. He has promised that as we mature and grow in Him, He will change our heart to fall inline with His and then He WILL give us the desires of our heart…
Stand strong friends…reach out to God… Trust in His plan, He made you and knows best what you need… besides we know the end of the story!!
Blessings, Janet❤️. Journey4Jesus
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Thank you Janet! That was so encouraging to me and your prayer at the end was powerful and I needed to pray it too. I think being in lockdown has reinforced my belief that I have too many things distracting me from the calling of God on my life. I understand now why monks lived a very simple life.
I am drawn more and more to a quiet life and the world is so noisy right now. It helps to turn off the news and social media. There is so much information out there it makes my head spin sometimes, it’s overwhelming to try and sift through it all and find peace in the midst of it. It seems that one big issue comes up, isn’t resolved and then another and another. It feels as if the world is crying out for peace and justice and there is none to be found in the world because it is only found in Christ.
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Thank you Cheryl for taking the time to let me know that this impacted you. I really Love how God used our mess and our story to encourage someone else in the unique struggles life throws at us, and how this in turn encouraged me to keep sharing ♥️
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