How did I get here and how do I get out?

How many people have said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result”? It’s so true. Sad but true. Different people, different drugs, different lies, different churches, different jobs,  you name it, but it’s still the same thing over and over again. Why do we think the way we think? Why do we do what we do? The other day I was thinking about how I got to be at one of the lowest points in my life. But this time, instead of despairing, I remembered a scripture in Romans I want to share with you now.

Romans 1:20-24 AMP
20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse
and without defense.
21 For even though they knew God [as the Creator], they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God for an image [worthless idols] in the shape of mortal man and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their own hearts to [sexual] impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], 25 because [by choice] they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

This scripture shows the downward spiral of thinking that leads to chaos in our lives. It starts with the phrase I made bold above: “so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him]…”

And that’s where it started for me. Looking back, I think I got complacent. I guess I thought I could coast along fine on the word I knew. I let my good habits of studying the Word, worshiping on my own and fellowshiping with the Lord go because I got “busy”. I started depending on myself to fix myself. Well, if you knew me, you would know I can’t fix a hangnail, much less the things I was facing. I stopped trusting in God. Just like the scripture says after that, I devolved. It took a long time so I didn’t really notice the downward spiral I was in until I was so far gone that it took me falling on my face to wake up. At the time it felt like I had no control or choice. Well, there’s a reason for that. (hint, see the beginning of verse 24 above…that’s not just sexual impurity, it pertains to any sin.)

To prove it, I can insert myself in the scripture and show you what happened to me. But even though Denise knew God as the Creator, she did not honor Him as God or give thanks for his wondrous creation. Denise became worthless in her thinking (godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations). Claiming to be wise, she became a fool and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God for worthless idols…

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not beating myself up, just taking an honest look at where I was so that I don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. That’s the wonderful thing about the Word, it locates you good and bad. Just like a GPS, I have to look at it to know where I am at all times. To start a new life, I have to believe and trust in Him consistently. What should I believe and trust? Like I said yesterday, the promises that God made that are strong enough to separate me from my past.
So believe that God is in you, working through His word to perfect you. You can’t perfect yourself. If you try, you fail to trust in Him and go down that path of failure. Believe that God loves you. Like any good father, He will take care of you whether you believe it or not. But if you do believe it, you can receive a whole lot easier. Believe He wants better for you than what you want for yourself. Believe that God’s way is perfect and our way is not. Believe that His promises are for you, not everybody but you. I could go on and on. But hopefully you get the gist. Back to yesterday’s scripture:

2 Cor 6:11-13 (MSG)

11-13 Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!

One of the lies I’ve always labored under is that my life is small and worthless. The smallness I felt did come from within. But God is encouraging me and He’s encouraging you to live “openly and expansively”. How do we do this? It starts by trusting in God and in the promises He’s made us. I heard Kenneth Copeland say this once and I think I’m gonna do it again. Go through the new testament and look up every phrase that says “in Him”, “through Him” , or “by Him”. We’ll have  a whole set of promise to trust in! I promise, through the Word of God we really are victorious. The word clarifies and cements what Jesus did for us up on that cross. So trust Him, find yourself in his promises, and declare them until they are life to you.