I have a question. Have you been in a breaking season recently? Perhaps you’re in one right now. Amidst all that this year has had to offer, you may be aware that there is something really personal happening in your life. Something that is shaking the foundation of who you believed you were at your core. If you can relate to any of what I just mentioned, please know that it’s not just happening to you. A breaking season is meant to uproot the things that never belonged to you as God replaces them with His truth, His love, and His plan for your life. For many, this means that you lost one or more of your employment positions or opportunities. For others it means that your family or friendships have been turning up recently. Still, for others, everywhere you turn, you can’t seem to catch a break. Whether its been physical, emotional, or psychological, your well-being has been difficult to maintain due to the pressures you’ve been facing.
Can I offer something to you that God took His time to reveal to me? It’s a perspective issue more than it’s an issue of your life’s circumstance. Let me take a step back and share a bit more so we can get a bit more acquainted. My issue is impostor syndrome. I have learned that impostor syndrome (at its core) stems from worry, which is brought on by focusing your attention on the wrong thing(s). Can I submit to you that you have probably been making the same mistake? I’m not here to pass judgment, I promise. As I just mentioned, I have my own issues to work out with God’s help. I simply want to encourage you to take a different stance as you face the giants in your life.
The thing about this life is…it will continue to be difficult, painful, exhausting, and bewildering. Yet, it is also amazing, exhilarating, peaceful, and purposeful. The key to getting more of the latter than the former is often held in our perspective of our circumstances. As believers, we are called to rejoice when trials come because they test our faith, allowing us to grow stronger and more mature (James 1:2-4). If you aren’t quite convinced yet, here’s some more incentive to meditate on the good things:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8 NIV
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. – Colossians 3:2 NKJV
These scriptures are not included in God’s word for no reason. They are there because God knew what we would be up against. When we choose to meditate on (dwell on, replay in our minds) what is wrong, does not work, is too hard, or frustrates us to no end, we are choosing to give worry our mind and our power. Instead, these verses remind us to take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to the truth, which comes from God (2 Corinthians 10:5). Choosing to focus on good things, true things causes us to reject the lies that have been spoken over us and the lies we’ve conjured up and begun living by. This choice allows us to embrace humility as we allow God to reveal the truth, even when He shows us the part we’ve played in what went wrong.
Back to the giants we’re facing. I’ve previously written about how God equips us. Well, today I’m going to talk about what we need to do to properly utilize that equipment. A tool used incorrectly is, at best, useless to address its intended function and, at worst, detrimental to the user and/or others involved. This message is two-fold because we can have either role in that scenario.
We, the one implementing the tool:
We have two choices when presented with the provision (tools) God gives us to use. We can use them for His glory and the benefit of His people (which, by default, includes ourselves);or, we can use them for our own selfish motives, which often ends up being more of a hindrance than a blessing to anyone (again, including ourselves). We may have the tools, but sometimes we don’t always know how to use them the right way. The mistake that often occurs in this role is that we use our own understanding, rather than submitting our knowledge to the all-knowing God. With His help, we can implement the tools He provides with wisdom and discernment, rather than with apprehension (which weakens our position) or with boastfulness (which stems from pride and trips us up in the end).
We, the tool:
We can either be an instrument God uses to bless others or we can be a tool the enemy uses to ensnare (be a hindrance or stumbling block to) others. Sometimes the only way to figure out which one we have the potential to be is to seek God in prayer and to wait. Hear me. Waiting things out can be the difference between you being humbled in private by God or you ruining your witness. What does that last part even mean? It means that you made yourself look bad. You damaged your reputation as a reliable source. People can no longer trust what you say or do because you have done something that caused them to question your character, your integrity. This is not to say that you cannot be redeemed by God’s grace. However, the goal should always be to remain humble so that when you act, it is from a place of integrity and with a pure heart not based on selfish motive(s) or your own understanding. Remember, wisdom comes from God (Proverbs 2:6).
With all that said, I just want to encourage you to take a moment to observe your habits, your thinking patterns, and your speech. I guarantee it will give you an idea of what you need to take to God in prayer so that He can help release you from a perspective of pessimism, self-righteousness, pride, unworthiness, or insecurity. And of course, don’t forget to search His word for the truth on the matter. As you read, I hope you’ll take notice that God separates His view of you from the mistakes of your thoughts, words, and actions. To God, and to anyone that really matters, you are not the mistake.
‘Til next time.