Thank you for coming to Part II of ‘A Stronger You.’ There is not a stronger position one can take than to draw their strength and sense of being from a relationship with the Lord. Be it conscience or subconscious, we all draw from something or someone. We have our spouses, our children, grandchildren, friends, our work, hobby or sports, our health, our looks or our smarts, are all things that can make us feel secure or strong. For this conversation, I will use both strong and secure interchangeably. We cannot have one without the other.

 Our relationships affect us at different levels and some are at the deepest level, people or things that we cannot live without. Truthfully speaking, there is nothing in this world that should occupy that spot, however without a relationship with the Lord there is no other option. The deepest part in us should not have someone or something that is venerable to the affairs and crisis of this world. For our soul to feel truly safe we need to trust in something that is bigger than this world, outside the world system.

 Some of our insecurities are so deep that we are not even aware of them. I am not talking about the obvious things like we don’t like our hair, or our teeth are not straight, or too short, too tall, too heavy, too skinny etc.  I am talking about insecurities that we may not even be aware of, ones that developed during childhood. In growing up I liken us to a young tree. When a young tree is scarred or a branch is damaged and subsequently broken off the tree does not stop growing. What happens is that the bark grows over the wound, covering it. Knots in the wood are exactly that, branches that were damaged and broken. Upon using the tree for lumber the wood tells the story of the past in the number of knots it has, the size of the knots determines the degree of the wound or the irregular tree rings that show the past scars. Though it healed  it never healed in the sense of that area becoming as strong as the rest. It has a weakness, or as we would say of ourselves, an insecurity. As the knots or scars in the tree can be layers deep, so true with us. Our triggers, or things that set us off are sometimes nothing more than wounds from our past. We haven’t dealt with them and we carry them throughout our life, and they affect our current relationships and quite honestly our view of life. 

A death in the family, an absent or an unaffectionate father, or a mother that could never be pleased, or always lacking finances are all things that form who we are today and cause us to have defined personality traits and views of life. Many or all our relationship issues, be they good or bad stem from this. These personality traits are part of us, but we do not need to go through life without hope of change. Acknowledging these weaknesses within us is the first hurdle to cross. Once we acknowledge these issues in us then understanding that God is there to help is the next step. This could be another difficult hurdle in that if your earthly father did not love you then it is difficult to believe that a God you cannot see, or feel (as yet) does. This is where being willing to put “yourself out there,” is so important. The Bible calls it faith. Faith cannot be measured and it’s hard to define, but its believing without having “substantial” evidence, though creation is ample evidence of God’s existence and further evidence is the life of Jesus Christ. A true historical figure that performed miracles, taught the love of God and was God incarnate. That is our evidence and a base point for faith. Faith now needs to grow and it starts by reading the Bible, especially the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This is crucial to solidifying our faith. As we approach the scriptures a prayer such as, “Father, I come to You in faith, teach me your scriptures, help me to come to know You and understand what You did for me to be able to know You.” It’s a simple prayer, but an honest one and whether you use these words or use your own, this is the essence of it. If it helps you, understand that ” God so loved the world (you and I) that he gave (sacrificed) his only begotten son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. This verse has some very deep meanings to it, but on the surface, all that needs to be understood is that your life and mine are precious to Him and he paid a great ransom to have a relationship with us. Going to a Bible store and purchasing a Bible (I like the NIV for first time readers) and a book called ‘Bible Promises’ is a great way to get started. You can go to the table of contents of Bible Promises and look up love. Go to that chapter in the booklet and read the verses on love, find their scripture references and look them up in the Bible reading them in context. There are many topics, topics for loneliness, fear, insecurity, lust etc., whatever the topic or concern, the Bible has verses that deal with it. Ultimately the goal is for you to come to know Jesus Christ as your Savior. To understand that you would look up ‘Salvation’ and ‘Savior,’ there are many verses on these subjects. And you have me; I would be more than willing to answer your questions, and eventually attending a church that teaches the scriptures, worships and prays is very important. Like anything in life, it is better to connect with others to encourage and be encouraged. Don’t adjust your sights too high, most people I find struggle with reaching out, but once that bridge is crossed friendships can be very important especially if you are a single parent.  Be careful to not get caught up in “doing good deeds” at the expense of your time with the Lord. The Lord did not save us to do good deeds, He saved us to come to know Him. Then as opportunity arises, and as we mature in our faith, we can help others, but first we need to be helped to know how to help. Too many young Christians get wrapped up in activities without really having a solid foundation of their faith and they then get discouraged and stop going to church.  

 My main point is this; WE ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS OUR ANCHOR, AND ANY ANCHOR THAT IS ASSOCIATED AND LIMITED TO THIS WORLD HAS ITS LIMITS, AND CONSCIENCOUSLY OR UNCONSCIENCOUSLY THIS KEEPS US UNSTABLE AND INSECURE. ONLY A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ETERNAL GOD GIVES US THE SOLID ANCHOR/BASE THAT WE NEED TO CONFRONT THE CONCERNS, CHALLENGES AND WEAKNESSES THAT ARE IN US, AND IN OTHERS. MAY YOU EMBRACE THIS NEW JOURNEY WITH HOPE AND OPTIMISM. KNOW THAT IT IS NOT EASY, BUT LIFE IS NOT EASY. HASSLES AND TRIALS WILL COME TO DISCOURAGE YOU, SOME CAN BE DIFFICULT. HOWEVER JUST KNOW THAT THE ENEMY OF YOUR AND MY SOUL IS NOT HAPPY ABOUT YOUR DECISION AND HE IS SEEKING TO STOP YOU. IN OTHER WORDS, ITS CONFIRMATION THAT YOU ARE GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION – STAY TRUE AND IN TIME THESE IMMEDIATE TRIALS WILL CEASE. WHATEVER IT IS WE GO THROUGH THAT MAKES US CLING TO THE SCRIPTURES, PRAYER, AND THE LORD, AS UNCOMFORTABLE AS IT IS, IS REALLY A GOOD THING AND IS DEEPENING OUR ANCHOR IN HIM. 

IN ENDING I LEAVE YOU WITH ONE OF MANY OF GOD’S PROMISES OF HIS PRESENCE FOUND IN JOSHUA 1: 5-9

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

A major change was happening in Joshua’s life, Moses died, a great leader for forty years and God came to Joshua to strengthen and encourage him and these are His words, which are also for us. We may not be inheriting new land or leading a million plus people, but the territory of faith is like new land that is captured by faith, and as we change we become a witness to all who know us, so the parallels are similar. The key however is God’s promise to be with us.

My email is Arthur@executivecareinc.com, I would be happy to answer any questions. May the Lord continue to guide you as He has thus far, and may you feel hope and wholesomeness as you continue to draw closer to Him. Amen