In this life, there are many things that rob us of clear vision to take that next right step. We often allow the cares and desires of this world to take away the blessings that could be ours.
And others are the ones [seeds of truth] sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19
1. We often have a false sense of entitlement.
We feel that somehow we deserve to have our wants met – in our way and in our timing. We forget that in using the very word “deserve,” we disqualify ourselves from everything that we could ever desire, not to mention everything that we already have. We deserve death. Period. It is only by the mercy and the grace of God that we DO NOT get what we deserve or what is fair. We need to be careful how we use these terms. We often set ourselves up for disappointments, frustrations, and even anger. If we keep the proper perspective on what is truly fair and just, we would be less likely to feel victimized.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23a
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:10
2. Too often we have the major problem of open-mouth disease.
The Scriptures encourage us to share our burdens, to seek Godly counsel, and to use our trials to minister to others. That is one of the main purposes of Perfect Joy Ministries. However, this is not always the reason that we feel the need to talk about our circumstances. Many times, we want pity, a sense of justice re-enforced, and a chance to voice our opinions. As Christians, we need to guard our mouth. I recently heard someone say, “An open mouth leads to blurry vision.” The more we feed ourselves deception, the more we will begin to believe it. We begin to walk by sight, instead of by faith. If we open our mouths, we need to be sure that what is coming out is truth, wisdom, and edifying. The glory should always belong to God.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3
The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. Proverbs 15:14
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom. Psalm 37:30a
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
3. We all struggle with a lack of faith, at times.
The level of faith that we need to live a God-honoring life, even in the midst of difficult trials and circumstances, requires a supernatural strength. We must be continually asking God for faith to trust Him, and to allow Him to accomplish His will in our lives.
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7
4. We often fail to see clearly, due to a simple lack of wisdom.
This one is so easy that it’s hard. Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask God for the wisdom that you need. It is not His will that we should stumble around in the dark. God’s Word will give us everything that we need to take the next right step.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:14-17
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ. Ephesians 1:7-9
5. Often we are very short-sighted.
Our near-sightedness does not enable us to see the whole picture. We lose sight of the reason that we were created. We forget what our true purpose is. We fail to see eternity, in the light of our current disaster or calamity. Sometimes it is so hard to take a step back and remember our calling. We were created to bring glory to God, and to become like His Son. This world is merely a training-ground for eternity. We cannot let ourselves become so involved or wrapped up in the cares of this life that we miss God’s ultimate will for our lives. Remember, the best is yet to come! Live for the eternal!
All things were created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16b
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
6. We are double-minded.
We say one thing and think another. We tell one person one thing and another something else. We say that we believe and trust in All-mighty God, but we live in fear and frustration. Our minds and hearts need to be filled to the brim with truth. Do not leave room for doubt and lies. Let the things that you say you believe go from your head to your heart. You serve the God of the universe, the God of things we cannot imagine, and the God of all power and glory, Who delights in the impossible. Live like it!
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-8
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:10
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. Psalm 49:3
Original material by Holly M. Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2014. May not be used or re-printed without permission.