This is a continuation of the sermon I heard at Crossroads Community Church this week, given by Pastor Robert Barker.
I posted yesterday that I struggle with attempting to be perfect, and in large part it started because I needed to create a presentation to the world to hide the struggle of my life from those around me. Yet, Pastor reminded me that my cycle of dysfunction could begin to change once I admitted I couldn’t do it without God’s help.
Step 2 in the process builds on that – because knowing you NEED God is very different than accepting by faith that God can totally fix things! Pastor said it this way, “Step 2 is the faith that we can change by God’s Power.”
As a began to realize that my dysfunction was being a perfectionist, the first thing I realized was that I don’t LIKE to rely on others! I mean, part of being perfect is being able to take care of yourself, and I am sorry……..my solution needs to be BETTER than others! So why would I ASK for help and why would I EXPECT that help to be better than what I could do on my own in the first place? So, steps 1 (I am powerless) and step 2 (God can change me) are not concepts that I immediately, truly embraced. Those concepts were truly – and often remain – in direct conflict with the image and personal ethos that I have carried with me for decades. Oh, I could nod my head with the best of them, because remember “being perfect” in large part involves presenting an image to those around me. So, I admit to you that FOR YEARS I said I couldn’t make it without God, and even said I believed He could fix me……..yet I didn’t accept that. I didn’t WANT to accept that in many areas of my life. I held onto my perfectionism, held onto my image, and was slowly dying inside because – really – I didn’t believe ANYONE could fix me…….even God! Again, it was a two sided coin – I had begun to believe the image I presented to those around me (I am perfect and had everything under control) while deep down I loathed myself for the truth I didn’t want to face (you are so NOT perfect, and a fake to boot, and basically a hopeless case).
Maybe you have something in your life that you KNOW needs to change. Maybe it’s a simple thing that’s gotten out of hand. Maybe it’s a perpetuated image like mine that is 100% false but is 100% ingrained into who you ARE to everyone around you. Maybe, in theory, you agree with me that you can’t change even though you may admit you need to. You may even believe, in theory, that God’s Power can be the fuel to begin the change in your life. But, then you start the implementation of the change and……….falter. Stagnate. And the dysfunctional cycle, so close to you and so a PART of you, continues to thrive.
Phil 2:13 says, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Today, I suggest you don’t look at the end and perhaps think, “Wow, I have such a long way to go to be healthy. IT IS TOO MUCH!” Instead, don’t look at anything but God. Pray that HE gives you the faith that HE can change you! Pray that HE wills and acts in you! And not just for YOUR blessing (which, amazingly, He does care about in great detail!), but for HIS PURPOSE! And as you begin to grow in faith and maybe stop looking at yourself so much, you begin to realize things ARE changing! At least, that was my experience!