BY: DAVE GARNER
APRIL 12, 2008
Quote: Maxwell Maltz (1899-1975) – Psycho Cybernetics
“Noah Webster defined success as the satisfactory accomplishment of a goal sought for. Creative striving for a goal that is important to you as a result of your deep-felt needs, aspirations and talents (and not the symbols which the “Jones” expect you to display) brings happiness as well as success because you will be functioning as you were meant to function. Man is by nature a goal-striving being. And because man is “built that way” he is not happy unless he is functioning as he was made to function—as a goal-striver. Thus true happiness not only go together but each enhances the other.”
As I was meditating upon this thought, I recognized within myself the unconscious tendency, that is if I do not keep my guard up, of accepting and reacting negatively to circumstances or events around me that I perceive to be bad by allowing them to capture my thoughts. A long time ago when I first became a Christian, I was filled with the desire to see Jesus and to become just like Him, and this became my sole goal in life. Everything that I did, I did with this goal in mind. I set my heart upon knowing everything about Him and spent every moment reading, searching and reaching for Him. I had an unquenchable hunger and determination to learn and grow, but within this desire was a strong independent will, by which I also made the determination that I was not going to learn from anyone else. Gradually over a short period of time I was resolved to find my own way and slowly fashioned my thoughts around the idea that, just like Paul, I would learn what I learned straight from God Himself. What eventually happened was that I became independent and self contained, and even today after so many years, I struggle sometimes with being able to openly receive from others without feeling that resistance and independence rise up within me.
Over time I began to realize that the drive to become like Jesus within me could be easily averted by allowing myself to become distracted by circumstances or events around me, either positive or negative, which at times could very quickly hinder or pull me away from my goal of becoming like Him. My determination to remain independent did give me room to have all of the time I needed to develop my own belief structure, apart from any outside influence, for during those early years I felt it was my house and I was going to build it the way I saw that it needed to be built, and it is I, with the help of God sometimes, who built the house within which I eventually began to dwell in. This was my house and in it was the furniture that I worked hard to acquire. Everything in it, with very few exceptions, I had diligently placed into the house where I wanted it to be. Everywhere I looked, I should have been able to look around with satisfaction, because everything in the house and the house itself was built with loving care and with my own hands. The problem was, when I looked around I was never satisfied with what was there, for it had become cluttered and stuffed with lots of stuff that I didn’t ever use. And when I looked outside and saw what others had built, it was obvious that there were some problems with my house.
As time went on I found myself always having to defend my house and the upkeep took a terrible toll upon my emotions, health and time. I really wanted my house to always look good, so I constantly worked hard at keeping the outward appearances up. It was easy to put the “unknowns,” “I should have’s” and the “I can’t deal with’s” into the closets or store rooms, and patch up the cracks in the walls with plaster and paint over them the glossy daydream that things will somehow change for the better, always hoping, but never really taking the time to face reality that before change can take place I had to take personal accountability for my condition. I became busier and busier continually working to protect the house, withdrawing into it’s false illusion of protection. My focus upon the life of Christ and becoming one with Him, became mixed up with a truck load of independent, unverifiable and unproven beliefs and opinions which more and more kept me separated from feeling that intimate presence of the Holy Spirit, and as well as, being able to have a relationship with the rest of the world. In my diligent effort to prove my worth (the value of my home), protect my investment and validate myself, I found myself constantly defending my right to be who I was while having to ignore the signs that my house was in dire need of repair, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the house is built in vain.” I realized that I had become self focused. I had come to the place where I was so desperately busy trying to protect and find purpose for my house, that I had really lost my focus. I was no longer giving out of His abundance from within, I found myself drawing inward, almost to the point of drawing my shades down. I had become to self focused and my heart was not right with the Lord. I found out that you can stay busy 24/7 doing things for the Lord and still convince yourself you are the minister you claim to be, and miss Him and His purpose within you entirely. I have found that as I get older, it is easier to find things to do if one wants to stay busy so they don’t have to face reality. I can go here, there and yonder and preach every day, but if I have lost my focus upon Him and the reason for being the Christian that I desire to be, than I have become a tinkling symbol and a horn tooter that has no purpose, and does nothing more than just add to the mountain of confusion already present in the world.
I had forgotten that from the beginning, the purpose and goal of learning about our Savior and entering into His calling in the ministry was not for self gratification, exaltation or membership into some elite club, but it was, is and always will be to reveal the glory of God. It is to show His love to the world, the lost and the confused, it is by endeavoring to restore sight to the blind eyes, open the prison doors, heal the sick, mend the broken hearted, raise the dead (either physical or spiritual), comfort the hurting, defend the defenseless, love the unlovable, providing shelter for the homeless, comfort the lonely, feed the hungry, cover the naked, clear out the cluttered pathways, and tear down the strongholds of hate, fear, doubt, bitterness, ignorance and hopelessness, pray for and with anyone and all who need it, and remain ever faithful ready to do every good work, that lifts Him up to the world, the grace and love of God. I had forgotten that it is not about me and what I am going to get out of it. It is about learning to give out of the abundance of the heart and if there is nothing of Him within the heart to give, than the vessel has become self focused, full of stagnant water that has lost all of its nutrients to sustain life. Water is best served, when it comes out of a deep well which is fed by an ever flowing spring or river, filled with life. I am busy getting my focus back upon Him and becoming like Him. I am no longer patching up that old house, day by day He is building me a new one.
The following verses were a wake up call to me.
Hebrews 2:7-19, 4:1-2, Therefore as the Holy Spirit said, “If you hear His voice today, harden not your hearts with adversity as in the day of provocation (putting to proof) in the wilderness wherein your fathers tested me by examining my works for forty years. Therefore, being grieved (displeased) towards that generation I said, they do always err (stray) in their hearts, they do not know my ways and I made an oath in this, except they enter into my rest (abide) they suffer indignation.” Psa. 95:8-11 Be wary brethren lest there be an evil heart of unbelief in any of you which draws you away from the living God. Indeed, encourage one another every day while it is still today, lest any of you be hardened by the delusion of sin, for we become partakers of the anointed (Christ) only if we hold steadfast (firm) the confidence from the beginning to the end (start to finish). In this it is said, if you hear His voice today; harden not your heart as in the provocation. For some of the ones who heard that came out of Egypt by Moses were not embittered. Who were the ones that were indignant when they heard; and who grieved Him for forty years? Was it not the ones who sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness; those to whom He swore they would not enter into His rest because they did not believe?” So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Therefore fear lest at any time some of you seem to abandon (forsake) the promise and you fall short of entering into His rest. Indeed the gospel was preached to them as well, but hearing the word did not profit (benefit) them because they did not combine faith with the word they heard.
Hebrews 5:12-14, 6:1-2 For by this time when you ought to be teachers, why do you have need then of a teacher to teach you again the beginning (first) principles of the oracles (inspired word) of God? For you have become a people in need of milk, not solid meat. Every one who drinks milk is a babe (infant) and ignorant (inexperienced) of the word of righteousness. Solid meat belongs to the mature (complete) ones, the ones who have through training and exercise and habitual use of their senses (judgments), are able to discern (judge) both good and evil. Therefore, leave behind the first teachings (basic principles – milk) of Christ (Jesus the Anointed), not again laying down the foundation (over and over) of repentance from dead works, faith toward God, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and age lasting condemnation and bring forth (carry on forward) the anointed word to completion (the finish).
MY HOUSE [Dave Garner] 4-12-08 1