This article begins a new series that proclaims that God has given us everything we need for all of life and godliness. My heart is grieved over how many people are hurting. I know that God’s heart must also be breaking when he hears the cries of His children. Although at first glance, one can easily blame many things for their struggles and anguish, such as a weak economy, lack of work, or circumstances beyond their control. However, once we take a closer look we soon discover that many of the problems they face are caused by other things not easily recognized or admitted. Before we unearth these causes, it’s necessary to realize that as God’s children His chief concern is the end result. That is, His chief desire beyond anything you experience in this life is to make you into a new creation where the barnacles of the old sin nature fall off and that one day you would stand before Him in heaven as a righteous person in Christ.
To believe this truth, that God will make you into a new creation, will help you put everything into perspective. Let me explain. If we are convinced that God is chiefly concerned about the end result then we must agree that everything we have in this life is only temporary and has no effect upon our eternal destiny. Yet, much of your anguish is over your unwillingness to let go of your possessions as you continue to store them up. You loudly proclaim that it’s not an option! How long will you talk back to God? Everything belongs to God. He can freely give it to you and just as easily take it away if it hinders your relationship with Him by not growing spiritually. In this life you could possibly lose everything many times over to get your attention and put you back on the right track of serving and loving your Creator. The good news dear friends, God may take it away but He always gives you back seven fold if you repent of the things that caused your problems in the first place.
Now that we understand that everything belongs to God, let’s look at some causes that are making our life so difficult. The number one cause is pride. Now before you pridefully throw your hands in the air and say: “you having nothing to tell me,” please read further. When a person thinks they know everything then they are quite unwilling to listen to advice or if they do listen it passes through a filter causing it to align with their way of thinking. So our first task is learning how to listen to unfiltered advice. When we approach God’s Holy Word in the Bible it’s absolutely necessary to allow it to mean exactly what it says. We cannot allow it to pass through our culture filter forcing it to mean something back then, but have little relevance for the here and now. Let’s take a look at possessions for example. What does God have to say about them? First of all He makes it quite clear in His Word that we should not store up our wealth or have more than what we really need. (See Luke 12:15-21) Now this is a difficult passage for today because we all have much more than what we need, especially in America. Today people have so much that their garages are packed full or they rent storage units for all their extra possessions. Just how many cell phones and computers does a household really need? How many clothes outfits do we need? How much do we spend on entertainment or eating out? Or what kind of service are we still paying for that we can no longer afford? Could it be that some of our problems can be caused by living too long well above our means? You can check this for yourself. If our credit cards are maxed out or you are not paying our bills on time then perhaps we have been living well beyond our means. (See Romans 13:8) Again, what does God say? He told the rich man to sell all of his possessions and come follow Him. (See Matthew 19:21) Before we explain this away, let’s take a closer look. Christ saw immediately that this man’s possessions had become his little god. He was quite unwilling to part with them. It was not an option! The tighter we hold onto something the more it becomes our god and the further we push our heavenly Father away. So much difficulty is caused in our life by following the culture in its quest for materialism. I would rather be happy in the Lord with nothing than having difficulties in life with many possessions.
Another cause for our difficulties can also be attributed to pride. We all know that God’s Word says that pride comes before a fall. (See Proverbs 16:18) When you think you know everything then God may bring you low to show you that you don’t. Often times good meaning folks have delusions of grandeur thinking that the world owes them something and have become quite unwilling to accept any employment or position below their expectations. How much prideful energy is wasted on envisioning ourselves in a position that we are not the least bit qualified? How much pride immobilizes us from seeking employment of a much lesser position. How pride fetters the wings that would allow us to soar to greater opportunities given to us by our heavenly Father. We may need to learn something brand new or take our life in a totally different direction. God may call us to a life of service to others through some sort of volunteer work. The point is: “let God be God” who is working in our life to make us holy. We may be called to lose everything and start over again in a completely different direction. Jesus said take up your cross and follow me and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it! (See Matthew 10:38-39) Can you lose everything for Him? Can you trust Him enough with your life and the life of your family? If you can answer yes to these questions honestly then get prepared for God to do amazing things in your life. Let go and let God has always been my favorite motto. I have lived by this motto for many years and God has never disappointed me. Looking back over my life I have lost many things but have gained so much more through His presence in my life.
Another cause for our difficulties is being conformed to the pattern of this world. (See Romans 12:2) On the other hand we should be transformed by the renewing of our mind which is only possible if we stop being conformed. The pattern of this world enters in and chokes out everything God plans to make beautiful in our life. He has come to give us a bountiful life in Him. The Bible says that He comes to make His home with us, to dwell with us on a daily basis to make us holy. (See John 14:23) Yes my friends, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (See I Corinthians 3:16) Difficulties arise when we follow the pattern of this world thus forgetting that we are His temple. You don’t think God sees how you profane His temple through sexual immorality and co-habitation prior to marriage. You don’t think God sees your overeating that has caused many difficulties such as obesity that leads to heart disease along with many other difficulties. You don’t think God sees the overdrinking of alcohol that destroys your liver along with a multitude of other problems. You don’t think God sees you eating the wrong foods known to cause difficulties with your body. You don’t think God sees how you neglect your teeth allowing them to rot away in your head. Friends, we are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit and if we destroy this temple then He will destroy us. (I Corinthians 3:17) On the other hand, God tells us through His anointed Word to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. We must have a different way of thinking. Stop holding on so tightly to your material possessions and humble yourself before God allowing Him to remove all that you have and give you back only what you need. Be willing to follow His direction in your life even if it does not align with what you imagine yourself to be. And finally, take care of your body in such a way that honors your Holy Resident. Dear friend, to follow these simple directions from God’s Holy Word will free us from many difficulties and bring great joy to our life.
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