I have been considering the things that have held me back or caused me to stumble in my own Christian walk. Ironically, I recognize as perhaps you do that some of my biggest mistakes and falls have also been times of growth and deep dependence on God.
But, there are things that continue to cause us to stumble in our walk as we go on and although He does bring beauty from ashes, I figured I would share a little of what came to my mind as I sought God about the topic.
My mind envisioned an Octopus whose tentacles, each one,
represented something that holds back the living
swimmingly and victoriously in His grace and truth.
Why do we always imagine that this Christian life is supposed to resemble Disneyland? Maybe that is just me. I came into my Christianity and quite honestly, in retrospect, I believed God was like my own personal vending machine to the good life. You know, I thought my stars had lined up: I had the God, the guy, the life- what next, Lord? Give me more.
My expectations were so naive. So superficial. In a word: infantile.
I got more.
In the shape of extrication.
Exit the guy, the life and the more.
Life with God was going to start with less, it seemed.
I remember the birthing of the new life brought painful loss.
And learning the words, “Not my will, but yours.”
This can’t be said at all until we lay our own lives at the foot of the
Cross and ask to be taught.
I wondered, “How does this crazy Kingdom work, Lord?”
It made no sense to me!
We are misguided to assume that knowing a God who is a Consuming Fire is something that is small.
He is a God who consumes us with His love and burns away that which is not useful to our eternal person-hood. He is a God to be reckoned with and to be feared. He is also the giver of limitless grace for those who are willing to trust Him in the flames and for those who trust their lives to the flames of adversity as they come…and those fires do come, friends.
But all of the flames of testing and fire of adversity are in the hands of the One who is ultimately in control.
He is the Consuming Fire and Only True Living God.
Back to the Octopus.
The Octopus has tentacles reaching long and strong from your past to the present.
Some of the tentacles are things you did, or didn’t do, could or could have done, failures, circumstances, strongholds and fears.
The Octopus wants to consume you but your Life Preserver is found in the fact that each of these tentacles can be dealt with by grace through faith in the One God whose love consumes you.
He lives to disentangle you from the present danger and deliver
you into a place of safety, truth and peace.
Here are the tentacles I believe hold back
and cause stumbling in believers.
The Octopus has 8 tentacles so I considered these 8 in my own life:
1. Negative Thinking and Self Talk
3. Past Mistakes
4. Fear of Rejection/Failure
6. Critical/Abusive People
7. Self-Defeating Behaviors and Choices
8. Places That Bring You Down
Tomorrow, I will share a few thoughts on each of these
and a verse to consider for disentangling from that appendage.
See you then?
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