Monday, February 27, 2012

What's Your Problem?

My husband Norman used to ask our children this question when they were acting grumpy or otherwise out of sorts: "What's your problem?" And he expected them to answer so that he could help them find a suitable solution. He was like Doctor Dad.

Doctors begin the process of diagnosis by asking questions, often followed by ordering tests to examine things in greater detail. God's Word diagnoses, examines and provides remedies, if we'll be hearers and doers of the Word. It's very common today for people to complain to the Lord in prayer while never allowing Him to get to the bottom of their complaint. That’s like going to the doctor, listing your ailments, and then saying, “I don’t want you to help me. I just want you to listen to me whine.”

What's your problem? Could it be one of these areas?
1. Are you spiritually stubborn? Are you crying and crying out to God in prayer, but claiming that He isn't hearing your prayers? Have you ever considered that it might be your lifestyle? "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me..." (Psa. 66:18) When we won't follow God's directions for living, we deserve the response found in Prov. 1:26: "I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." When God gives us instructions from His Word, they are meant to be followed; not merely considered like a list of options on a restaurant menu.

2. Are you secretly sinning on purpose? The secret life of every Christian is no more secret than a movie on a big screen in God's sight. He sees us every day, all day, and all night. He has the ability to know the heart from the inside out. Thoughts, motives, and actions are all open to His knowledge. "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance." (Psa. 90:8) Secret sins have a way of exploding all over the secret-keepers. It's just a matter of time.

3. Are you watching things that are wicked? It doesn't matter how you watch, or on what type of device; it matters what you're allowing into your eye-gates. Things that enter the precious portals called "eyes" have direct access to the heart and mind. You would think that knowing we don't have a "delete key" for the mind’s contents would compel us to be more selective. "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I have the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." (Psa. 101:3) When Jesus returns one day, what will He catch you watching?

4. Are you unthankful? Are you only happy when God is doing something for you? Are you unable to praise Him when He allows a few rocks into your stream of life? Fair-weather Christians never thank God for trials, because they’re too immature to see the purpose. Some of the greatest blessings in life come wrapped in packages labeled “Trials, Adversity, and Affliction.” Are you mistaking your blessings as curses? "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thess. 5:18) Analyze your gratitude. If you haven't thanked the Lord lately for the situations that you don't like, pay your thanks-bill now.

5. Have you forsaken God? This never worked for anyone in the Bible, so I don't know why we think it would work for us now. When the people had gone against God's laws in II Chronicles 24:20, the prophet Zechariah delivered a stern message: "Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? Because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you." Have you departed from the things that you know are right? Have you been neglecting your personal time with the Lord? Is your Bible just a prop in your life? Expecting God to bless you for forsaking Him is like expecting to be paid for being absent from work.

You may have other issues, but these are five common problem areas for Christians that could easily hinder us. What's your problem? Be honest with the Great Physician. Ask the Lord to give you wide-open eyes, and once He reveals the source of your problem, yield to Him with your whole heart.

" With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let know wander from thy commandments." (Psa. 119:10)



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