Friday, October 2, 2009

Avoidance is not a Game Plan!

Too many people give up on their dreams and fail to pursue their passions because they are living with the effects of negative prior experiences or internal fears. It may sound like this: “I’ve been divorced once. Been there. Done that. I’ve given up on marriage.” Or, “Every time I try to move forward with a business idea my spouse always puts me down.” Or, “I never finish anything I start, so why even try to start something new?” Or, “No one ever takes my ideas seriously, so why bother to share them?” Or, “The last time I taught/sang/wrote (you fill in the blank) I received so much criticism that it wasn’t even worth it. I won’t do that again.”

This kind of thinking is fraught with problems. First, you have to appreciate where these dreams, passions, and desires are coming from. Philippians 2:12-13 says we have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. God places His desires in us and He places in us the ability to be willing to fulfill those God-inspired dreams, passions, and desires. God is working in us so we can work out what He works in. What are you going to do with your God-given desires and aspirations? Second, how are you going to create and live out the future God has for you if you remain stuck in an old behavior pattern? Third, do you really want to spend the rest of your life carrying that label, whatever it is (failure, non-finisher, disorganized, unreliable, etc.)? Don’t you really want to move beyond that place? Fourth, how can anyone successfully move forward paralyzed with the past? Avoidance, refusal, reluctance -- are not the answer.

When you look at the heart of the matter, it seems that it is our avoidance that paralyzes us, steals our dreams, and cools our passions. It is not so much the external hindrance, or what we believe to be our Goliath that stifles us. It is really our avoidance of that Goliath that keeps us from moving forward, pursuing our dreams, goals, and passions.

You see, Goliaths don’t stop on their own. Goliaths will keep taunting and advancing until they are confronted. This is not to say that the issues look like mammoth Goliaths. In many cases the matters and issues stifling us are unassuming, subtle and barely recognizable. But they are thoughts and perceptions that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, and they must be stopped.

When you confront the issues, you will discover that God has many tactics and methods for securing deliverance and enabling you to move forward. For example, the truth of the Word alone can bring deliverance. The truth will make you free (John 8:32). By delving into Scriptures that deal with the issue, the behavior and emotions, the truth of the Word will penetrate into your heart and ultimately change your behavior and emotions. It may be that you speak to your mountain and command it to move, in the name of Jesus. It may be that the Holy Spirit will reveal past hurts that you, through prayer, would turn over to the Lord and allow the Lord to heal.

You may experience breakthrough as you increase your dependence on the Holy Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to live His life through you. It may be that the Goliaths are stopped instantly while you are in a service under a powerful corporate anointing. You may be in a prayer line where hands are laid on you and the Goliaths flee.

The Lord may give you an instruction or a message that totally annihilates the wrong thought or behavior. I can recall when I first started teaching. It seemed as if detractors crawled out from under so many rocks to challenge my ability as a teacher of the Word of God! Just when I seriously considered throwing in the towel, I received some valuable insights from the Holy Spirit. I learned SW to the fourth power (or SWxSWxSWxSW): some will, some won’t, so what, someone’s waiting. Some will receive the teaching, some won’t, so what if some won’t, there are still some waiting -- so continue.

These examples are by no means exhaustive. One thing is for sure, though: avoidance is not a game plan. The key is to confront the issues by running fully and completely to God, who is full of unconditional love, truth, grace, acceptance, compassion and majesty. Recognize your total dependence on God. He will deliver you. He will cause the Goliaths that are preventing you to fall! Confront the issues and they will crumble. Challenge the issues and they will change. But in any case, don't avoid them.

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