Monday, September 26, 2016

7 Reasons We Struggle with Spiritual Vertigo - Part 2

Last week I gave you the first 3 of 7 reasons for spiritual vertigo. Here are the remaining 4 things that can cause us to struggle with spiritual vertigo.

4. Gratitude for past blessings. Oz Guinness says that faith stands between the no longer and the not yet. He claims there is a tension between the two. We look at the no longer and exercise gratitude for what God has done in our lives. As we are grateful, faith builds within our hearts and we are able to move forward to the not yet. For example, in the Old Testament, the problem of the nation of Israel was that they never stopped to bask in the miracles performed by God—the plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, manna falling from heaven—did nothing to increase their faith in God. They let each miracle stand on its own, never connecting the dots between the no longer and the not yet. I challenge you to reach back and reflect on God’s blessings in your past. It will help you overcome your spiritual vertigo.

5. Our past performance. Oftentimes, we feel God will not deliver because we do not deserve it. Scripture teaches that Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Often, when we don’t feel blessed we think it is our fault—we are not living close enough or holy enough. If it’s my fault, why should God help? Please know that God loved you so much that Christ came to die for your sins. You may think, “Yes but that was before I became a Christian. What about the sins I have committed since I became a believer?” When Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago, all your sins were in the future. God says, “I will remember your sins (against you) no more.” God erased your past at the cross—you need to put it behind you as well.

6. Spiritual warfare. Our faith will always face opposition. Our greatest battles are with Satan. He tempts us to sin, steals God’s Word from our hearts, places guilt over forgiven sins, leads us into sinful habits in our lives, and discourages us. Satan’s battleground is your mind. That’s why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” The key to battling Satan is to fill your mind with Scripture and resist his thoughts of defeat, discouragement, and despair the moment they enter your mind.

7. Loss of hope. In Scripture, hope is not merely wishful thinking; rather it is trusting in the promises of God. Biblical hope is knowing God has something for you in the future and you are looking forward to receiving it. Sometimes we struggle because we have allowed failure, delays, and trials to discourage us—circumstances surrounding us seem hopeless. In his book, When the Gods are Silent, Kornelis Miscotte wrote about the horrors of Auschwitz. In it, he poses the chilling question, “One can still believe in the God who permitted to happen what did happen, but can one still speak to Him?” There is still hope. Hope that God will do His will in your life; hope that God will rescue you from bondage, that He will answer your prayers; that He will deliver. The greatest gold strike in history was discovered two inches from where the last man stopped digging. God loves you and He does have a plan for you. Don’t give up!


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