Before You Give Up

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.      Psalm 139:23-24

DarkskyWhen we are serious about living a life full of peace, joy and power, these verses need to be our daily prayer. God already knows each us completely, but what we’re asking Him to do is to

reveal my own heart and mind TO MYSELF.

You see, every one of us has become a master at hiding our own wounds from ourselves. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. We try to ignore them, cover them up, and run from them. God knows all this excess baggage we load on ourselves and all the wounds we allow to fester become an obstacle to the life of freedom and joy He has for us. Not convinced?

Do you have any habits you can’t seem to break?

What about temptations you hate but continue to give in to?

Any failures you have pretty much accepted as unchangeable? Then you have them.

It’s like bad computer programming. As kids, my siblings and I would aim to do amazing feats with basic programming on an old Commodore 64 computer. It would take hours, even days, to do something cool like have a big smiley face made of words appear, or have various phrases repeat ad infinitum. But, one little mistake messed it all up. In lines of hundreds of commands, that one “GOTO LINE 580” was supposed to be “GOTO LINE 570”, so nothing happened. Sometimes we found the error, but often we couldn’t and we had to give up with  disappointment.

We all have some faulty programming. It’s not God’s doing, it’s a result of living in a sinful world.

We have based our lives on many lies

that we may not even know are there like, “I’m worthless,” “No one will ever love the real me,” “I will always be rejected,” “People only endure me,” etc. And all these lies replay 24/7 in our hearts and minds. It’s bad programming and God wants to fix it.

Now you may think, “Nah, I’m good. I’ve got it. I’m not into all that psycho gibberish. The past is the past, it’s behind me and I am only going to look ahead.” It doesn’t work – I can tell you from experience, decades of trying to turn the volume knob down on all these constant lies, jumping into the relationships I so desire only to ruin them myself early on, trying for the hundredth or thousandth time to improve myself but failing, hitting dead ends in trying to know God better as I withhold 95% of myself from Him, wanting to love life but finding enduring it is the best I can seem to do.

If you are discontent and feeling hopeless, there is a reason why.

There is a course of action you can take, no matter how badly you feel you’ve ruined your life. Maybe you’ve turned away from God and every person that loves you, even purposely hurt them. Maybe you’ve hit bottom numbing yourself with addictions and every worldly pleasure you can think of but life still hurts. Maybe you’ve resigned yourself to a tedious, joyless life like I had.

Wherever you are, there is hope. Call on the name of Jesus!

Speak His name. Invite Him into your heart and life… He’s already aware of all your hurts anyway. You’re not too far gone. You’re not hopeless. It’s never too late.

Give God the OK to search you, which really just means you give Him the OK to

do things His way.

He is a wonderfully gentle surgeon and advisor. Together with trusted friends and maybe some professional help, He will remove that lingering infection you’ve had 30, or 40 or 50 years now from being betrayed. He’ll permanently remove the tumor that continues to grow from the abuse you suffered. God will give you a new recording to play in your mind that is finally true and gives you joy instead of despair.

God is freedom and God is joy.

No matter how little you may trust people, you can ALWAYS trust God. Pick up the Bible. Stop running from God and pray to Him. Ask your pastor, or a trusted godly friend to walk alongside you. Call that Christian counselor to work through your difficult past. Call on God. He will not let you down. Time and time again He proves that to me and He will do the same for you.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

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