Do you ever let an issue play on your mind? Do you waste your time and your energy thinking it over and over…….and then over and over again? Do you ever find it hard to let things go? You want to let it go, of course you do, but for some reason that nagging thought or issue will just not shift no matter how hard you try to forget about it? It’s stuck in your head like chewing gum on your shoe!
I’ve experienced this very recently. I don’t really need to share the intimate details of the situation but needless to say the whole situation had left me feeling frustrated, angry and as though an injustice had been done.
Apart from this isolated incident, life is good. I’ve married my best friend this year, back in April (Yes, I know….yawn…..I’ve mentioned this a trillion times in previous blogs….old news!) and in the last week or so I have found out, after a rigorous assessment process in London a few weeks back, that I have been accepted to train as a Probation Service Officer, working with offenders. This is a new chapter for me, a change in career direction and an exciting opportunity. I am extremely thankful for this new opportunity and very grateful to my family and friends (you know who you are) for helping me to believe that I could do it to start with. Without the encouragement of one certain friend I may not have even finished filling in the application form!
I digress…..so…. yes… life is good….so I had no real reason to be on a downer but this situation that I was dealing with really took hold of my mind and had stolen my joy at a time when I really should have been feeling VERY JOYFUL INDEED! Four years of staring at the blank canvas that was my career were over! Hallelujah! Praise God for a door that opened! However, because of this issue I was like a cooking pot ready to boil over.
Generally, I am a happy-go-lucky kind of a girl but I just couldn’t keep my cool! To a certain extent, I could argue my case and give you all-sorts of reasons as to why my feelings were justified (I may even have been in the right). However, regardless of this, I felt like my joy had been stolen and I didn’t like that at all. I did not want to feel the way I was feeling. It did not sit well with me one little bit.
Over the course of a few days I felt that God was telling me that I shouldn’t be wasting my time and energy focusing on this issue because it was not producing anything good. The days went by and still I was in the same mental mess. I had prayed about the situation. I had talked it over with Dan, my husband. Nothing was really changing and it was increasing my frustration and anger.
Then on the Sunday morning, Dan was driving us to church and still I sat in the car festering, thoughts whizzing round in my head. I wanted to worship my awesome God, I had so much to be thankful for…….but how could I? I just was not in the right frame of mind. Perhaps you’ve experienced that before too? In my own experience I find it hard to worship God when my mind and my heart are not right with God. I’m not the sort of person to just ‘go through the motions’. Then God answered my question with a song:
“Lift up your head(s) to the coming King, Bow before Him and adore Him sing, To His majesty, let your praises be, pure and holy giving glory to the King of Kings….”
There was my answer! To shift my thinking, I needed to lift my head! I needed to look up and take my gaze off of the situation that was troubling me. I needed to thank God for His goodness and blessings regardless. I needed to come clean before God and ask for His forgiveness. I needed to lift my head up (and my hands), sing praises and worship Him who is most worthy of praise! Once I did that things began to change. Dan and I came home from church and prayed asking God to flood the ‘situation’ with His amazing love and peace. The feelings of anger and frustration began to disperse and the thoughts were no longer squatting in my head. They had been evicted! I can genuinely say that I have not focused on that issue in the same way since! 🙂 Thank you God!
When we lift our heads up we take the focus away from ourselves and the issue that we face and we set our eyes upon God – after all, it’s not about us but rather all about God. I don’t believe we can blame every issue we face on the Devil! We, in our human nature, are more than capable of sabotaging ourselves! I’ve done it on numerous occasions but thankfully God is with me and helps to sort out the mess I get myself in! I believe we need a heart of repentance, one that is willing to bow before God in adoration and give Him the glory that He deserves.
“It’s all about You, Jesus..And all this is for You…For Your glory and Your fame….It’s not about me…As if you should do things my way….You alone are God and I surrender to Your ways….” Jesus, Lover Of My Soul (It’s all about you) by Kari Jobe
“I’m coming back to the heart of worship…And it’s all about You…It’s all about you, Jesus….I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it…When it’s all about you….It’s all about You, Jesus” The Heart Of Worship by Michael W Smith
When we lift our heads up we can surrender the issue to God and allow His Holy Spirit to help us and strengthen us. Nothing is impossible for God!
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” Ephesians 3:20 NIV
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him or knows him, But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16 NIV
The Holy Spirit is a gift from God. A gift given so that God would be with and within his followers after Christ returned to heaven. The “power” that believers receive from the Holy Spirit includes courage, boldness, confidence, insight, ability, and authority. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to fulfil the important work that God has chosen for us to do. We need God’s timing and power to be truly effective.
Now I know the quote above is probably secular in its intention. I believe, however, that there is some wisdom in it to an extent.
1 Peter 2:9-10 says “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are a people of God; once you have not received mercy, but now you have received mercy”
In Old Testament times, people did not approach God directly. The priest acted as intermediary between God and sinful human beings. With Christ’s victory on the cross, that pattern changed! Now we can come directly into God’s presence without fear, and we are given the responsibility of bringing others to him (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-21). When we are united with Christ as members of his body, we join in his priestly work of reconciling God and man. We belong to God, we have been adopted into His family, we are sons and daughters of the most high God. I believe we need to accept that wholeheartedly and live our lives in the assurance, power and authority that comes with being a son or daughter in Christ!
So when we face the “issues”, we can tackle them head on – with courage, confidence, boldness, insight, ability, authority and power that we receive through the Holy Spirit – God’s gift to us! Don’t allow your head to drop in despair and your crown to fall off – lift up your head to the King of Kings, don’t lose it! Straighten that crown and remember which royal family you belong to! Amen x