Today marks one month into 2018. It means that the Australian Open has been played and won, the shrimps and lamb have been consumed from the BBQ, most people would be back at work and the kids have begun school. Not to mention the progress, or lack there of for 2018 New Years Resolutions.
What are you changing or sacrificing this year?
Guilt unforgiveness or grudges don’t sacrifice or pay anything to take up residency in your life. Depression anxiety and substance abuse are also freeloaders. Its time to evict them.
In fact you are the one who is making the sacrifice. It has been said that unforigveness is like drinking poison hoping the other person would die. You could say the same about undue guilt that weighs you down or a grudge you are holding against another person for something that they did, or possibly only your perception of an event or incident from… how long ago?
Depression and anxiety are real emotions that many people experience during their lifetime. But you don’t have to set up a tent in the valley of the shadow of despair. It may take you time but its now time to use those roadblocks (boulders) to overcoming these issues as stepping stones. Its time to evict them and rise above.
Substance abuse and other addictions not only hurt you but those close to you. These may cost you financially as you part with money to feed them but the costs are much more than the financial: friendships, relationships employment housing freedoms and liberty. Not so much a freeloader as the others above but by no means without cost.
Mental health is important. Not keeping check on the causes of negative virtues or habits in your life could be contributing to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Have you already broken your new years resolutions for 2018? Maybe some of these issues identified above have contributed to you lack of staying power. Its time to evict the freeloaders in your life and rise above your accomplishments and mistakes of the past.
SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:1 “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (NKJV)
OBSERVATION: Under Old Testament law, a sacrifice had to be made for the cleansing of all sins. Since Christ’s death and ressurection was a once and for all sacrifice for the sins of all peoples, throughout all of histroy, Pauls states that we are no longer condemned to death as a result of our sinful natures but through Jesus’ sacrificial death, we can now be freed from condemnation into the fullness of a life restored to our creator God.
APPLICATION: When our past is brought up, it can stir up emotions within us that either cause us to react or respond. When the enemy of our souls tries to remind us of our past, we are most likely to feel the emotion of condemnation. That is to feel that the forgiveness that Christs death and resurrection brought for us was not sufficient to cleanse that sin from our lives. Sometimes in the heat of an argument, or passionate discussion with a spouse, a friend or family member, we or they may react in a way that brings about condemnation in the atmosphere. This can demonstrate to us that we have not forgiven a past issue or released someone of a hurt that is in the past. It may even be telling us that there is something we haven’t forgiven ourselves over.
Contrary, sometimes something from our past is brought up and the emotion of condemnation is absent, but we feel compelled to respond. This could be that there is still a lesson to be learnt, or some further equipping that is required. We may feel a prompting from the Holy Spirit about a lesson that God wanted us to learn from to help us on our journey to our destiny. It is also possible that we haven’t truly repented for a past sin and subsequently released someone from that bondage of unforgiveness.
I heard a saying that ‘unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.’ Is there a past issue surfacing in your life that needs to be dealt with? To have the Blood of Jesus applied to it? Which of the above is it? If you are feeling condemned then don’t let it become a root of bitterness, but release the person (including yourself if approriate) and seek to be reconciled with them. If there is no condemnation then ask God what lesson still needs to be learnt so you can continue towards your destiny. Maybe there is an attitude or mindset within you that needs adjusting.
PRAYER: Lord God, guide me I pray to know when I need to forgive and to be forgiven so that no unforgiveness can take root in my life. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 30:6 “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (NKJV)
OBSERVATION: David had just returned from battle with his mighty men only to find that his camp was burned to the ground. All the possessions and the wives and children of his and his mighty men were gone. His loyal mighty men turned on him in their anger and we’re ready to kill him. But David strengthened himself in the LORD.
APPLICATION: Sometimes you may find that while going about life, following your calling things can go horribly wrong. Your world seems to end, falling apart and those whom you trusted to be loyal to death suddenly turn on you. You’re in a place where you need to decide quickly what to do next. Who do you turn to? Where do you go? You are in the valley of decision.
David took hold of his ‘ephod’ (his priestly garment) something he did to shut out the distractions and connect with God. The fear didn’t overtake him or cloud his judgement. Some might call it his place of last resort. He found comfort and strength in calling out to God when he had no answer. He sought God’s presence amongst the chaos, calamity and confusion. He got clarity from God how to get out of the valley. When you find yourself in a place like this, do you turn to the vices of this world for comfort and strength? Or do you turn to the One who created this world, who knows what you need to do next and is waiting for you to enquire of Him? David overcame his real enemy and recovered what was stolen from him and his mighty men.
PRAYER: Lord, I am so grateful that your presence provides clarity and strength. Help me to call on you when I am in the valley of decision so I can do what is right and continue on my destiny. In Jesus Name, AMEN