July 11, 2011
We want to be better. We want to do better. So when we see something that works, we try to copy it. If it worked for them then it should work for us. Right?
The library shelves are filled with row after row of ‘Self Help’ books. Even in the Christian section there are tons of books on how to better your life. How to lose weight, better handle your finances, break free of addictions, release anger and so many more. If you want help in an area, you will find a book on the subject.
Many Christians, ministers and so many others as well, have developed entire ministries on helping people in a specific area. They had a plan. It worked for them. Therefore it will work for you. Just follow these 10 easy steps.
They may be great men and women of God and genuinely want for you to be free from the bondage of any and all of the items I listed above. They may have a huge heart for the Lord and for you too.
So why then aren’t more people being set free? With all the great godly ideas and plans out there, why are so many still in bondage to the point of discouragement?
Because plans don’t work.
Recently I heard this little scenario used similarly in a sermon, but its application is so on target for this topic.
Picture this. Two of the men who had their eyes healed by Jesus in the bible meet up one day. They strike up a conversation and they realize that they had both been healed by Jesus.
One exclaims, “He put mud on your eyes and then you could see, right”?
The other looks at him confused, “No, he just touched my eyes and I was healed”.
The first gets indignant. “No, He has to put mud on your eyes to heal you”!
“No! He has to touch your eyes! That is how you are healed”!
And a disagreement ensues. Two men who had the world to be thankful for are now in discord and disagreement over how to receive healing for your eyes.
Picture them each writing a book on the 10 ways to get healing for your eyes. Both books would be far different because they would be based on their own individual experiences, convinced that their way is the correct and the only way to achieve the goal.
First you sit at this particular gate of the city.
Second, you cry out these words…
Third you wait for Jesus to spit in the dirt and make mud.
So, you decide which one is correct and you buy that particular book and follow those exact instructions to get healed.
But it seems difficult for you and even though you try to do everything exactly as they wrote, you soon quit due to frustration.
So, you go buy the other book and begin to follow that plan. This book must be right since the other one didn’t work, right?
The same thing happens. You are all excited that you have finally found the answer, but no matter how much effort you put into trying to follow their plan, it just doesn’t work for you. Once again, frustration.
Now I know that everyone reading this knows exactly what I am saying. We have all done this over and over again.
Our prayer life seems dead, we buy a book.
We can’t seem to see our healing manifest, we buy a book.
We can’t gain financial breakthrough, we buy a book.
We can’t lose weight, we buy yet another book.
Now, please don’t get me wrong, I am an author and have a published book. I value the place that books have in our lives and I encourage you to read the many great books out there. But seek encouragement from them, that if God did it for one, He will do it for you. Not in an effort to clone their plan for your life.
It seems through the years we have put a ‘one size fits all’ stamp on Christianity. We’ve become adamant that there is one way to do things and one way only. Yet Jesus himself showed us many times that rules (the law) was in direct violation to grace. He carried this out as He ministered by doing the same thing in many different ways.
For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [ the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] and of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God’s consecrated ones),
Colossians 1:3-5 (in Context) Colossians 1 (Whole Chapter)
Human personality. Let’s look at the actual definition of the word.
1. the visible aspect of one’s character as it impresses others: He has a pleasing personality.
2. a person as an embodiment of a collection of qualities: He is a curious personality.
So faith is leaning our entire human personality or visible character aspects on God.
Uniqueness. Our unique personalities or visible character aspects. Before I elaborate further on my point, let’s look at another scripture.
12 So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.
CLICK HERE TO READ IN FULL CONTEXT
Could it be that in our personal walk with God, our day to day living and deliverance or salvation, that we have a unique walk and a unique way that Jesus wants to transform us? Could it be that one size does NOT fit all?
It is certain that there are absolutes in the Word of God. But for us as unique individuals, maybe the way God wants to help one person is not the way He wants to help another.
Maybe the way He helped one person with their finances is not the way He wants to help another.
Maybe the way He helped one person lose weight is not the way He wants to help another.
Maybe He wants one person to spend an hour in the mornings in prayer while He wants another to spend 30 minutes just reading His word.
I like this verse because it mentions God’s variety in wisdom.
10 [The purpose is] that through the church the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere. CLICK HERE TO READ IN FULL CONTEXT
With the vast variety and aspects of God’s wisdom why would we believe that He has only one way to do things? Why would we believe that just because a plan worked for one, then it MUST be God’s plan for another?
I’ve seen so many people become discouraged from attempting to follow a famous plan for finances, weight loss or any other such thing. They come away feeling that they are a failure. The only thing they have failed at is not asking God for a unique solution or plan for their own unique life.
If we obtain success by following a plan that someone else has given us in a book or teaching or by our own self control, then it has not been achieved by the power of God, but by man’s own efforts and God does not get the glory, but man.
As I began to see this I began to be free from condemnation. I began to see God work out situations and problems in my own life, uniquely and successfully. We must become intimately acquainted with the Holy Spirit. He will lead us individually for our own personality, lifestyle and faith.
You can achieve the goals you’ve been seeking, but not by following someone, anyone else’s, plan. You must find what God’s individual solution is for you and the path will become easy. Take His yoke upon you and not someone else’s for the only easy yoke for each of us is Jesus’ yoke.
No matter what your beliefs are, I want to thank you for visiting my Christian blog!
11 thoughts on “Christian Clones”
Without doubt, I’m one of the ones God is speaking to through your blog this morning…I’m there…”Maybe the way He helped one person with their finances is not the way He wants to help another.” Including the weight issue–nothing is working the way it did in the past and I spent a miserable weekend half seeking Him and half wondering why God is ignoring me…I know…He really isn’t–it just felt that way. Thank you for hearing from and your obedience to God in writing this–I SO needed to “hear” this!!!
Well you know it spoke to me first before I could even write it!! I am truly learning to live be the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than another plan or idea. We have wasted so much time and energy when if we will just ‘rest in Him’ we can then hear the Holy Spirits leading and just follow.
You know that there are areas of my life that have turned around instantly once I quite trying to follow someone else plan and started listening to the Holy Spirit for me for that time.
I am so thankful that this revelation has come to me. It has set me free!
Thank you for writing these..they seem to speak to me often. I’m always trying to figure out some solution for everything instead of just slowing down and praying and putting my faith in God at all times.
Yes NancyC, I know!! Me too! We tend to be doers and want to fix things. But we waste so much time and become so frustrated by trying to do it ourselves.
This year God has made this truth real to me and take it from me, the path to real success in whatever we are struggling with is much shorter if we will sit back and wait on Him. We must ‘rest’ in Him to ‘hear’ Him!!
This is so true. I have begun to dig into the Word instead of books of late…while I love books, more so, I love the thrill of getting my own revelations out of what God speaks to ME individually..P.S. ditto on the diet plans…no one else’s seems to work for me!
I think God intentionally ‘blocks’ progress when we try to copy God’s plan for someone else. I think that is why success is so hard when trying to achieve something the way someone else did. I think He intentionally blocks our progress so we will seek Him out about what and how we should obtain that goal.
This is a wonderful post, Nancy. I love it. I think of several things in my life that I need to learn to give to The Lord. I have proven to myself several times that when I can give my issue to Him, then it is no longer a problem. Thank you for a very timely article. God Bless You.
Sharon you are so right! Why on earth when we all know better, do we hold onto things and struggle with them instead of instantly turning them over to God.
Well I must say through the years I have gotten much better at that and the peace I have found from it is truly that peace that passes all understanding.