Something I have noticed a lot in ministries lately is the focus on what “we” need to do to get God to do “His part”! Now, I understand that I cannot sit on my butt watching TV for hours on end and periodically check my bank account to see if our business is making money. That’s not what I am talking about. I heard a promo for an event recently where someone said, “Heaven only responds to earth” and “God is not going to move first”! I realize that maybe the promo didn’t give me the whole perspective or entire reference regarding his message, but I do know that 1 John 4:19 tells me that, “We love because He first loved us!” And John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” I don’t want any part of my relationship with God to be based on ME!!! I WILL screw it up. Do I need to pray … yes! Do I need to read His word … yes! If I ask, seek and knock … will it be given, found and opened … YES, but only because of HIM … not me!
On the other hand, one thing I have noticed in myself and others is a lot of negative self-talk and self-deprecation. And what I have noticed is that when we are allowing that to inhabit our thoughts and speech, it is very hard to put yourself in a position to hear from God. I was reading a devotional this morning by Van Moody and wanted to share:
One of the biggest problems in our society is that so few people recognize or acknowledge the I-factor. Everybody has one, but many people don’t realize that. In some people, it’s positive; in some, it’s negative. In some people, it’s weak; in others, it’s strong. For most people, though, it’s a struggle because it goes unnoticed and therefore unaddressed. It’s like a stealth bomber that wreaks havoc in a person’s life, while the person has no idea the bomber is even in flight…
In many ways, life is a battle, just as real as any military conflict. People wrestle with financial issues, relational issues, bad habits and addictions, poor choices, trying to get ahead personally and professionally, and a host of other challenges that everyday life presents. Like it or not, in order to succeed we have to fight. We have to fight external enemies, but we also have to fight the internal forces that cause us to sabotage ourselves.
In order to win the battles necessary to succeed in life, we have to start with three things. First, we need to recognize the I-factor. We need to realize that not every hindrance, delay, or challenge we face is external. Some of them—some of the most potent—are internal.
Second, we need to deal with the weaknesses and negative aspects of our own I-factors. This may not be a quick and easy process, but the rewards will be tremendous.
Third, we need to replace the faulty elements of our I-factors with strong, healthy ingredients. As we do this, we turn the things that hinder us into things that will help us.
I believe you are destined for so much more than you are currently experiencing. I am convinced your life can be so much better than it is now, and so much better than you have ever imagined. I know you have many gifts, skills, talents, and dreams just waiting to take you to the next level of greatness. No doubt, you have many of your externals in order, but perhaps you know deep down that something—something you cannot perceive clearly and may not be able to articulate, but you know it’s there—is holding you back from the life you long for. There’s a good chance that “something” is related to the I-factor.
Father I pray that we would get out of our own way and align ourselves with You that we can receive all of the goodness You desire to bestow upon Your children. Not that You can be manipulated by our actions, but that we can get our hearts right before You. Help us speak only Your truth over our lives and bring You glory, honor and praise in all that we do.