If you are like me, there always seems to be one or two things that just seem to continually be a problem area in my life. I have asked the Lord to show me how to get a breakthrough once and for all. He has given me four simple steps to follow, which I thought I would share with you.
Let’s look at what they are, and then let’s break each one down just a bit.
- Repent (yeah, yeah, we know this, right?)
- Spend time asking the Holy Spirit for needed adjustments
- Seek wise counsel
The first one, “repent,” can do one of two things when we see it as the first step. It can be something we have heard so often that we basically ignore it (without even realizing it), or it can ruffle our feathers. Oftentimes, I don’t like to admit that it is my sin which has me in this continual struggle. I am guessing you might feel the same way. It might be not doing what I know I should be doing. It could be doubting that God is able to change me. Maybe it is fear of a certain outcome, so I try to manipulate the circumstances to go the way I think they should. It could be the problem itself that I know is missing the mark for God’s best for my life, which makes it a sin for me.
If we cannot do this first step (or try to pass over it), it is because there is pride in our lives that will not allow us to admit that there is something we are doing wrong. If that is the case, we need to back up and repent of our pride, allowing God to deal with us in this area. Once I don’t have pride keeping me from admitting that I am not perfect, just like no one is perfect, and that’s okay, then I can go on to repent about the specific area which has caused this to be a continual problem in my life.
It is important to remind ourselves that repentance is not just saying we are sorry. Repentance is an actual change of direction. It is stopping our direction, turning, and going a new direction. Just saying we are sorry and asking for forgiveness is not repentance, if there is not a changed heart that changes our actions.
Is it possible this is where the root of our problem actually lies? We can tell God over and over again that we are sorry, because we want to be forgiven, but we don’t really want the needed change to take place which will take us in a different direction. We all seem to have “pet sins” we make excuses for and don’t want to release. If that is the case, invite God into your heart and your soul (which is your mind, your will, and your emotions). Ask Him to give you the desire to change. He has done that for me in the past, and He will do it for you.
Next, we need to spend time with the Holy Spirit, asking Him to tell us the adjustments that need to be taken to cause the new direction we need. What works for one person will not work for another. We are all unique individuals.
Quite often, people lead us to believe that “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to solutions to the problems in our lives. The Holy Spirit knows us better than we know ourselves. There have been so many times I have asked God to show me my heart, so that I can see a direction I need to take. So often I am very surprised when he shows me something I had no idea was there, but as I pray into it, I find out He is right. This spotlight into my heart exposes what needs to be exposed, allowing me to pull it out from the roots that grow in my heart where no one sees, and get rid of it once and for all.
The Holy Spirit might reveal something we feel is huge. Something so overwhelming, that He is going to have to help us make that adjustment or uproot it. Or, it could be one tiny thing that seems almost insignificant.
If you are walking on a straight line, and you angle just one step as tiny as a 1° angle, it is not going to make hardly any difference at all in that initial step. But as you continue taking steps, that 1° angle becomes 5° away from the original line, then 20°, eventually 50° and so on. The farther you continue to walk, the further and further away you will get from the place God has for you (which is a problem…).
This is why it is so important to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit living inside of you. Not just once in a while when you need help with a big problem, but on a continual, regular basis. One of the reasons the Holy Spirit was sent to us is to be our Guide. He is not going to lead you in the wrong direction. So make sure you go to Him before you go to others.
Which leads to step number three. Once you get direction from the Holy Spirit, talk to one or two people who can add godly wisdom and counsel to what the Holy Spirit has shown you. They may have valuable insight into how to practically walk it out. Plus, they can pray with you, they can encourage you, and they can hold you accountable to what the Holy Spirit has spoken to you about this change you want in your life.
Some people don’t like accountability, because then it means someone holds them responsible for their actions, and knows if they mess up. But if you truly want this new start to an old problem in your life, that is exactly what you will want. If having someone with godly wisdom and love holding you accountable is a struggle for you, once again, ask the Holy Spirit to heal and change your heart to see it as the right and good thing that it is.
And that takes us to step number four.
If you want a new start with an old problem, you must obey what God has shown you to do or not do. Obedience is the key to all of this.
Just like a child, there will be times you don’t want to obey. When a child does not obey, there are always consequences. It is no different with us as a child of God. Most of us might not want to admit it, but the bottom line is that many of the issues we deal with are probably because we struggle in this area of obedience. We know what we should be doing, and we just don’t do it. But we expect God to bless us anyway, even in our disobedience. Do you reward your child for disobedience, or do you reward your child for obedience? Our reward is in our obedience. We must get to the point where we choose to obey whether we feel like it or not.
That is where the counsel and the accountability come in.
That is why hearing directly from the Holy Spirit is crucial.
That is why repentance must be the first step in all of this.
Just because it is four simple steps does not mean it is easy. But there is a way to have a new start with an old problem, if we want it. I say let’s go for it together! Let’s make sure 2016 is a year where we finally have the breakthrough we want (and God has provided) for our lives. Let’s do it, once and for all.
Gems from the Crown is a weekly blog from Crown of Glory Ministries to strengthen and encourage believers in Christ in their walk with God, especially in the areas of vision, authority, and identity. If you would like to have Gems from the Crown delivered directly to you, please click here.