(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part Five in a series about my long struggle with depression and how I was shown the way out.)
Last time, I talked about believing I was a failure how that impacted how I dealt with life. And I found truth in Scripture to disprove that I could be failure.
The second lie I believed was I controlled my life. If something did not happen the way I wanted, I blamed myself. Plus, failing at something only served to prove the first lie that I was a failure.
The control lie is common in our society. “If YOU try hard enough, YOU can accomplish anything.” How many times have we heard that or something similar in the media?
So, what happens when you don’t achieve your goal? Well, I, like many others, blamed myself. Once again, I was a failure. Failing at something always proved Lie #1 to be true. At least in my mind.
Proverbs 19:21 was one of various verses I did not fully understand back then. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
There is an echo in this verse from two verses from last week’s column, Jeremiah 1:4-5 and Ephesians 2:10. In these we find the biblical concept: God creates those who will put their faith in Him for a purpose (or purposes).
The Bible itself shows us over and over again when people follow God, they succeed in what He has called them to do. The emphasis is always trusting in God first though.
Matthew 6:33 tells us “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
And Proverbs 16:3 also says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
The emphasis is always seeking God first, not relying on ourselves.
During my years of job hunting, I only looked at my own skills and abilities. I didn’t factor in God. Because I felt my own abilities were minimal, anxiety and depression took over. That limited my choices of where to apply for jobs.
God needed to show me those skills and abilities weren’t enough to get me where He wanted me to be. Those jobs I tried out for were not going to lead me into God’s purpose. So, He kept saying, “No” to me getting those jobs. It had nothing to do with failure the way I perceived it.
Realizing God was in control became another part of the change in me. If God designed me as I was and if He was in control of my life, then I could relax. All I needed to do was obey what He asked me to do. Whatever He desired to happen would happen.
This immediately took the pressure off me. Life was no longer about worrying whether I was good enough or whether I would fail. All of that was in God’s hands, not mine.
After that, if I didn’t get the job I applied for, God had something better. I didn’t fail Him. He was still guiding me.
Lesson #2: Surrender control to God.
Not being able to find a job suddenly went from being a crisis to being a matter of trust. Who to trust. God was the answer.
That is true of many areas of our spiritual walk as Christians. Seems like every time I think I have given everything over to God, I discover something I haven’t. And then, I know what to do.
(Next week: the Third Lie)