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From Carelessness to Renewed Hope
Week of January 19, 2014
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." -2 Corinthians 10:5
Carelessness comes in like a deceptive little fox. It is an attitude born of woundedness that is rooted in hopelessness. It can perpetuate into a stronghold, little by little, until its grip is firm and visible. Carelessness can be seen outwardly in a neglected personal appearance, isolation, tardiness and hoarding to mention a few symptoms. Sadly, other people can see it, where we think they cannot.
When people stop caring inwardly or outwardly, it’s because they feel powerless to fix whatever afflicts them, and they don’t want to feel the pain of the affliction anymore.
Unbelief vs. God’s Truth
The open door to carelessness is our own unbelief of God’s truth that He has made provision to help us. Somehow, we came to believe the enemy’s lie that God isn’t operating on our behalf, that He just doesn’t care enough to help us and that’s it has become too difficult to keep hoping. This is an ungodly mindset.
God’s truth is that we always have victory in Jesus. Anytime we cannot see our way out of our circumstances is an invitation to ask, seek, and knock for God’s answers until we do see them His way. Matthew 7:7 tells us, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." The Holy Spirit can help us awaken to God’s truth on the matter, to know more of Him and His ways better. God always has a solution for us because He is for us.
To think that we have to solve matters on our own is overly self-reliant because we are not co-laboring with God. In doing so, we have left God out. This is self-idolatry and a false (over) responsibility. It is pride to believe that we have all the answers. God is the only One who does.
Since we cannot change others, we must lean upon God to do the changing and hold tightly to His word of hope, declaring His truth and reminding Him of it through prayer, a great power tool He has given us. God will always equip us and deliver us when we resolve and restore His way. We just need to submit the matter to Him and trust Him to work His grace in our situation from start to finish.
The enemy tries to wound our soul to block God’s blessings for us and through us. He tries to afflict us so much that disabling pain, instead of empowering love, overflows from us. This is defiled multiplicity—a perversion of our witness to afflict many at once, like a ripple in a pond.
We must be mindful about the condition of our soul. We must intentionally decide whether to pour out affliction or affection towards others. This can be a great challenge when our own hearts are being afflicted on a daily basis, such as in cases of emotional abuse or long-term injustices. We may even need to physically step away from our circumstances and perpetrators, if possible, to allow The Holy Spirit to minister to us in the gentle, secret place.
We must face truth and take an honest look at our thoughts and the attitudes of our hearts. What initially wounded us? Have we rationalized (depended on our own understanding; Proverbs 3:5) our way into hopelessness, to fearful to entrust God with our whole heart? What kinds of idols and counterfeits have we allowed to creep in and lay a pathway to further affliction? How do our dots connect from hopelessness to carelessness? Deep wounds cannot be glossed over.
Regardless of our circumstances, whatever doesn’t line up with God’s truth must go. We must intentionally decide to not be held hostage by the enemy’s lies anymore.
Restoring hope begins with restoring God’s order inwardly. Repentance is the first step. We must repent of adopting unbelief (iniquity) over God’s truth and acting out of the unbelief (transgression). Whenever we adopt a lie of the enemy over God’s truth, we must repent of idolatry and renounce the enemy’s place in our soul. Ask The Holy Spirit to come and heal your heart of woundedness and refill your soul with His captivating love.
God can restore us quickly once we come into His truth. He desires we pass the faith tests along our journey through life. It’s simply a matter of us awakening to more of His truth and activating it, as He leads us from glory to glory.
Luke 1:37 reminds us that "For nothing will be impossible with God." Matthew 17:20-21 is clear that "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
It is critically important to get with The Holy Spirit and ask Him to search our soul to reveal all areas that have fallen prey to the enemy’s devices and to know what His methods are for overcoming them. Prayer and fasting together are power tools on steroids. So if you’re not hearing from Him immediately when you seek Him, you may need to fast until you do. There are some great resources available online to help you know how to fast properly to maintain good health and seek God simultaneously.
Dear God, please search my soul to reveal to me any carelessness and hopelessness of which I need to repent. I seek Your truth to bring conviction and deliverance. What do You desire to awaken my soul to? Please open my eyes, ears, mind and heart to help me see and know this as You do. Thank you for your mercy and grace Lord. I choose to trust you in this, and I await Your response. Amen.
This devotional was adapted from Margaret's book, "Enduring Grace," to be released soon. All rights reserved. Copyright 2014.