…’As I live, says the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back (change your way of thinking), turn back [in repentance] for your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ Ezek. 33:11 AMP
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jn. 10:10 NKJV
God is telling the Israelites that if they straighten up and return to His ways, they will preserve their life. This is still applicable today. Yes, God also has a focus on the eternal aspect of our lives, (after all, that is the total focus of the Bible), but here, He is telling us to adhere to His words so that we can have a good life while on this earth!
Jesus is the centerpiece of God’s salvation for your entrance into eternity. Yet also here, He is telling us to embrace Him, so that we can have a full life in present time! You don’t need a more abundant life in heaven; you will have everything at your fingertips when you make that transition.
You’ve all known well-meaning Christians whose lives are in disarray for one reason or another; who stay locked in that confusion and chaos, instead of actively trying to remedy their situation (with God’s help). Many of them repeat some form of this mantra: “Oh my life is horrible. Nothing can be done. I’m just waiting for Jesus to take me to heaven.’
That’s a slap in God’s face. Life is His greatest gift to all of us. He obviously wants us to enjoy it to its fullest.
So why don’t we?
It’s because we become indifferent to life. We’ve lost our thirst for the awe and wonder that life used to bring. Why? Because life hasn’t turned out the way that we though it should, and we feel a helplessness when we contemplate the possibility of changing that outcome.
The problem is almost always because we are locked in the past.
Our past begins with our parents. We didn’t pick them; and many of them consciously or unconsciously indoctrinated us with some version of what they were brainwashed with. And some of this indoctrination may have been harmful – words and actions that instilled a sense of self-doubt.
Perhaps, mom and dad, through their own lack of self-awareness, spoke harmful words, such as: ‘What’s wrong with you?’ ‘When will you ever learn?’ ‘How could you be so stupid? There are multitudinous examples of bad parental behavior. And a very common result is the formation of children branded with these two damning sentences that curse them for life if they don’t wake up:
“I’m unlovable,’ and / or ‘I’m not good enough.’ Yet they pretend to be, by trying to present themselves to others as someone they are not – a totally ineffectual and sad way of being.
Further, children are then thrust into schools where other unhappy children are trying to survive that environment of through fight or flight. Then they get their minds twisted up by the dysfunctional social engineering being passed off as education these days.
Ultimately, many of these lost souls waste their lives away searching for something to fill ‘what’s missing in their lives’ – e.g. addictions, erratic behavior, cheap sex, etc.
Our past can be tense if we don’t learn to keep it in past tense. No one makes the conscious choice to be wounded. However, those wounds will continue to fester if we don’t shed that past.
Whatever happened to you in the past may or may not have been your fault. It may or may not have happened in the way you remember it. Whatever happened, it doesn’t matter! What matters is that you learn from it and move on.
You can never get that time back, or undo what has been done. You must ask God to help you let the past go.
Most human misery is a product of their own making. That was not God’s plan. Thus, the world is not a very happy place. What’s to be done? Stop doing things the way the world does them:
…do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Rm. 12:2 NKJV
What God is saying is to get the garbage out of your mind and listen to your spirit.
God put us here and gave us a choice:
“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, so that you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of you days…” Dt. 30:19, 20. NKJV
God asks you to choose life by choosing Love, instead of just surviving the ways of the world. It is an appeal for you to follow your heart. Ask God to show you what’s haunting you so that you can give it up to Him. He promises to help:
“Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Is. 41:10 NKJV
We must build a relationship with God in order to be free of our mental fetters, so that we can build a healthy relationship with ourselves, which makes us great material for have relationships with others.
Start with bringing your ‘willingness’ to take your life back – to return to the authentic ‘you’ that God made, before you were corrupted. People think that they can do this without God, but clearly, the world reflects the fruit of this lie.
Given that most people are swimming in the same soup, the only guaranteed help comes from God. With God on your side, you can get your slate made clean with Him (through confession and repentance – Jer. 31:34; Is. 43:25, 26 & Heb. 10:17.) with regards to anything you may have committed that was contrary to His word, that has been ravaging your life. In fact, if you’re a child of God, it was already made clean; but you forget that because of your suffering – even though it is mostly based upon illusions.
Why is it so important to clean up our thinking?
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Pr. 23:7 NKJV
We literally become what we think! If we are carrying the baggage of the past, we can be sure that we are re-living it in our minds over and over, which freezes us in time and gives us the life that we have. Why? It’s because we are world-focused instead of God-focused. Not a good place to focus, because in the eternal scheme of things, this world will not survive. (2 Pt. 3:10)
When we focus on God, what happens?
…those who seek the LORD understand all things. Pr. 28:5 NASB
And if we don’t?
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hos. 4:6 NKJV
We look to God for the true meanings in our lives instead of the fiction that we built around it. When we engage in ‘right thinking,’ we can let go of our obsession with the past (which we don’t accurately recall anyway). Then, we will be predisposed to living right, and we can start living anew in present time..
Most of how you’ve handled your past has been an unconscious process. Not really your fault, but neither is it a reason to make yourself a victim. it’s time to dig into your head to see what you have been cultivating.
Questions are powerful. They put those voices in your head on notice that there is a new sheriff in town. Take a week and write down everything you hear in your head that denigrates you. (That will be your ego). Question everything it says, answering to yourself, ‘Is that so?’ ‘Is that really true?’ ‘I’m far better than that.’ ‘What would my life be like if I didn’t believe this lie?’ If it says you don’t deserve something, go get it for yourself.
When you feel the mental jabs, ask yourself, ‘What is real, true and important in this moment?’ That voice will begin to whimper.
Interrogate yourself to find out what your unconscious self has been up to: knee-jerking to your past and living it out in the present. Ask yourself these questions:
1. What is it about other people’s behavior that bothers me? (Note that we tend to reject in others what we don’t like in ourselves). People who irritate us can be some of our best teachers.
2. What keeps you from being happy? (The answer is ‘you,’ because of your obsession over a dead past that you haven’t buried). Happiness is a choice. You have to think happy thoughts.
3, What makes you sad? (‘Being sad is what we do when we consider how a loss of something or someone affects us). It’s a hurt that needs to be healed so that you don’t cling to it and have it morph into ‘suffering.’
4. What is your Life Story? (You know, that embellished past that is used to justify your present station in life.) It’s mostly a lie; give it up to God and return to the present moment.
5. Who is in your life? (Who you hang out with our don’t says a lot about you). Are they ‘safe people’ who don’t call you out on your unconscious shenanigans? Are they abusive because you have a low opinion of yourself? Is it toxic family members? Not worth keeping.
6. Who are the people who cause you pain? (Big hint: you must choose to be hurt). These are the same people who you have chosen not to forgive, who you consider to be your enemies.
7. What are you afraid of? (You’ll be found out? Failing? Relationships? Dying? The unknown?) Fear is only based upon unexamined beliefs from meanings that you made up as a child.
Don’t waste your present by waiting for a future when you’ll finally get it all together. No one gets it all together. Life is a training ground; we are all a work in progress. There is no goal! Life is the goal!
Discover the meanings that you brought to life that aren’t working for you and disgorge them. If your dissatisfied with life, look at the meanings you brought to the events in your past that is shaping your present life.
Drop the meanings and how you act them out.
You are a child of God. Have compassion with yourself and your journey of actions and thoughts that you thought you had to do and have to survive. Once you have compassion, you will finally come to accept yourself.
Yes, you are a child of God – a gift to everything in this universe that no one else possesses. God put you here by design. You bring that gift by just being who God made you to be, special beyond measure, like everyone else as well.
The past is dead, the future unknown. Life is now, and God wants you to live it! You do that by living in the present moment – where life lives and works and where love, peace, contentment and joy are found. And when you’re quiet in your head, you will be able to hear the voice of God.
Our life is lived best when we let God drive:
You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Ps. 16:11 NKJV (see also Ps. 16:11 & 36:8, 9; Pr. 12:28; Mt. 16:25 & Jn. 1:4)
Happiness is what happens when we accept and love ourselves, and when we embrace God through Christ – letting all that love and peace flow through us. Then we can see life as the incredible gift that it is; and it’s always available when we stand in truth and reality. living as our genuine selves by walking with God.
Happiness is always available when we accept our experience of life rather than a belief about it – when we trust Jesus and drop the suffering over the meaning-less meanings we brought to life, take nothing personal, give up the search for happiness and just be happy and at peace. It’s our natural state…
Goodnight and God Bless