Janet Smith ©gardenministries.org, October 30, 2018
We are all in one process or another but if these processes are not producing in us a more God-centered, God-hungry lifestyle, then our processes are just cycling us around in a circle and taking us nowhere. If we are truly after God’s own heart, then our learning-and-growing processes must produce greater hunger and thirst for 1.) Jesus Christ and more 2.) joyful fellowship with Him in His Word—or they are not working. If we are no different in these two areas than we were 1 or 2 years ago, then we are stuck on spiritual low-ground and our heart is not being transformed.
Where we get stuck in our processes is when we hang on to old ideas that seemed to have worked in past seasons but are not working in this season. We have not realized that things changed around us and we didn’t find the entry point to move forward with the changes. For example, in a past season, someone may set their heart on doing or getting something that in all honesty, they just didn’t want to hear God say “No” to that thing or that relationship.
We have to get to the point where we can humble ourselves and admit that when we didn’t want God to say “No.” If we don’t, we’ll find a religious reason why God should have said “Yes” and hide behind it. Hanging on to things out of religious pride is one of the dumbest things we’ll ever do. Humbling ourselves and admitting that we didn’t want to hear God say, “No” is a good starting point for change. Refusing to admit this keeps us stuck.
Without admission, confession, and true repentance from what isn’t working, we will just keep repeating the same life patterns that get us nowhere.If we are still thinking that this time, maybe it will work, our pattern of processing is stuck. We have to stop and look at where we are at and be willing to admit when it’s not working. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are not manifesting. We have to stop defending what we once thought was the right thing to do, but realize now that we didn’t hear God’s clear “Yes” about it.
When we defend broken ways that haven’t worked, we are closing the doors to our new season with God. Now that we have “our thing” or “our person” that we willfully wanted but we are no closer to God than before, we are struck with either admitting or denying what is right in front of us. If we feel disconnected from God and can’t figure out why there’s a distance, it’s time to admit that we missed it and get on with what God is saying now.
The Lord graciously waits for us to come to Him and be still before Him. We can start the change toward breakthrough simply by asking the Holy Spirit to help us hunger and thirst after Him again. First-Love for Jesus is a fire that needs constant kindling and refueling. It’s not a one-time deal. It’s an everyday choice, an everyday discipline. Jesus waits for our Yes to put His finger on that sacred cow that we religiously defend. He asks us, “Will you Me take this out of our way?”
Until we are willing to listen and learn from the past and become convicted in the areas where we forged ahead without His blessing, we will not draw nearer to God and we will just keep using Him for His unending grace to get what we want while we remain dreadfully unchanged. Stuck in perpetual self-centered processes, we are just using our gracious God to stay the same. Now that’s what we can truly call, “a vicious cycle.” How do I know I am stuck in a vicious cycle? I do not feel close to God. I feel stuck and unchanged.
If we really want change, do we dare ask God to put His finger on our every heart’s desire and reveal our “sacred cows?” Will we put them on the altar and relinquish them for His sake? Is He truly Lord of all that we have and who we are? Or are we still, just using Him to get what we want? Will we let God say “No” so that He can give us His bigger “Yes” elsewhere? Will we wait for Him to speak and be still before Him until He does?