For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
I had jotted down a thought for a possible post for today, but I decided to speak a little bit more about the vines from last week’s post. As I continue to look up the hill to that house morning after morning, I must say the view of the house is clearing up nicely. But there is one thing that I noticed that I decided to speak about today. The vines have dried up, it is clear they are dead and you can see the house that was previously covered under that thick green foliage. However, . . . the dead vines are still there! No one has taken them down. Although they have dried up and are clearly dead, they are still hanging there. They are not as visible or noticeable of course as when they were thick and green and alive, but they are there.
It reminds me of our own lives. Sometimes, we have overcome in one area or another, God has delivered us, we know we have been set free, but certain feelings, thoughts, even temptations, still seem to nag us. We start to doubt, we start to wonder if we are really free and before long we seem to be right back where we started - or so it seems… I have learned over the years that there are some things that seem to go away overnight, almost immediately, and there are other things that take time. Yes, you are delivered, yes, you are free, but you have to daily walk out your freedom in faith. It’s the stubborn choice to confidently walk and talk and act free instead of walking, talking and acting defeated. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes, it’s simply learning to do what you have to do in spite of the challenge or limitation you face.
For years I have battled with fear. I knew it was crippling me and my ability to do great things for God and I had to make a choice – I had to learn to do things afraid. Many times I simply relied heavily on God to get through some fearful experience or the other. I don’t like being in front of a crowd – small or large – but I have learned to trust God to get me through each time. I have also learned to not back down from opportunities to stand in front of a group of people and do what I have to do. Yes, it is intimidating. I remember once that my heart was pounding so loudly I was sure everyone could hear it. Yet, God got me through that experience and my heart quieted enough for me to do what I had to do for Him. I have learned not to make fear an excuse.
What is your excuse for not allowing God to use you? Last week I shared some possible vines in our lives – fear, doubt, worry, sin, people’s expectations. God may have already “dried up” these vines in our lives. He has already applied the “chemical” to kill them but we are holding on to them. Maybe we have become so accustomed to them, that although He has dealt with them we don’t want to let go.
You see, although I can see that house more clearly, until someone comes and actually removes those dead vines, the house is still being blocked … even if in a tiny way. And that’s what happens to us sometimes I guess. God does His part but we have to do ours. We have to actually let go. That sometimes means we have to change our actions and attitude. Stop acting afraid, stop acting worried, stop acting with doubt expecting something to go wrong, instead trust God that He will work it out. Stop continuing to hold on to people’s expectations hoping that they will be pleased. They won’t. Get over it. Do what you have to do. And whatever your “sin” may be, stop putting yourself in situations where you can’t help but commit that sin over and over. If God has set you free – and He has – walk as if you are. It will take a LOT of practice to break the habit but be patient with yourself and keep at it until you get there.
If you don’t have a relationship with this God who is able to set you free from those vines in your life, I invite you to ask Jesus to come into your life and give Him every one of those vines that are blocking the beautiful you that God has originally created you to be. Allow Him to not only set you free from bad habits and attitudes but to help you to daily walk in freedom from those things that are only stressing you out. And if you have already made a commitment to God, remember it’s a daily walk. You won’t become perfect overnight. It’s a lifelong walk I’m afraid. But you can have the confidence that your God will never leave you or abandon you because you are not good enough. He will love you through each fault and enable you to be the excellent person that you can only be in and through Him!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.