Recognizing and Confronting Problems From a Biblical Perspective
Recognizing the Problem is the First Step
When confronted with issues that seems bigger than what one can handle, it easily overwhelms the senses. We all too quickly look for the nearest exit to escape. The truth is, we as believers in Jesus Christ, are meant to be confrontational with these problems. However, all to often most take the wrong approach with pride or survival instincts instead of being of a sound mind in following the examples of Jesus.
So before taking on any issues, one needs to self evaluate themselves. This is sort of a "purification" or "sanctification" process. This isn't ritual or something that takes days or months of preparation, it's more of a moment of truth and humility that is ultimately leading to a repentant heart.
Too often when "Christians" pray they inversely think they can boss God around and demand him to answer likened to that of a personal ATM machine. I am not going to go into extreme depth, but there is a simple way to pray that is effective, Jesus already gave us the outline:
Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
(Recognize who God is)
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
(Thank God for a future.)
your will be done,
(Thank God for being in control.)
on earth as it is in heaven.
(Recognize God's power is universal.)
11 Give us today our daily bread.
(Request for wisdom/knowledge.)
12 And forgive us our debts,
(Repent of any known or unknown sins.)
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(Let go of any unforgiveness.)
13 And lead us not into temptation,
(Ask for direction/wisdom.)
but deliver us from the evil one.
(Finally acknowledge the problem, execute the answer.)
Jesus, gave us a key to unlock the infinite powers of the Kingdom of God. It begins with humility, repentance, prayer, and ends with a way to deal with the issue.
Pray Without Ceasing
Speak Life Not Death over Situations
Even a "Christian" can and does speak curses over people, places, and things. This should not be for the majority of the times. Keep in mind, if the problem is bigger than what you can handle, it most likely needs to be dealt with in a spiritual way requesting for help from the throne of God.
I am going to stop right here and acknowledge a truth. We are powerless without the Holy Spirit in our lives. Nothing that is super natural can be dealt with, without the Holy Spirit present, unless one is practicing witchcraft drawing a dark power from other places than God, which is a completely separate subject. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us for this reason, to be our comforter, our teacher, guide, protector, and much more. Keep in mind if you would have already known the answer, you would have done something about it already, that is where the depths of knowledge of the Holy Spirit is so vital to our daily walk with God.
John 14:15-17 (NIV)
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Moving on, by now you would have acknowledged God and the Holy Spirit for who they are. It is important to recognize their individuality for in so they all operate as one, don't worry I haven't forgotten about Jesus, he will be addressed in the coming paragraphs.
Speaking and choosing life is a practiced trait, given our natural human ability is to want to have revenge, justice, etc. Here is what God had to say about that:
Deuteronomy 30:19 (KJV)
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Choosing life is the same as speaking it. Faith requires action, one of those actions is speaking. Because we are children of God, we have the inheritance of God, therefore do as the Father has demonstrated in the same way as Jesus.
Time to Act on the Situation
By now you should be aware that prayer is a vital role in taking on a situation that is super natural. This is were it gets a little different. The easy part is done, now is where it gets by the world's standards odd, and strange. I mentioned we would talk about Jesus, so let us bring to recollection the account of when Jesus dealt with demonic possession. Why am I going to the scary stuff first? Simply, because if one understand the process in this, everything else will seem much easier.
Take a break here and go read Mark 5:1-20.
Okay, no that you have read Mark 5:1-20, take note that Jesus didn't go searching for a problem, he saw it at a distance and the problem saw something far greater than it was near. This is why the Holy Spirit is so important to live with in us and why Jesus sent Him to us.
Here is a simple break down of the events:
- Jesus showed up.
- Man (problem) ran towards the answer
- Problem presented itself begging not to be tortured.
- Jesus told the demonic spirit to come out of the man.
- When the single spirit didn't obey, Jesus asked for its name. Legion was given, for they were many.
- They new they had to leave, but requested they wouldn't leave the region.
- They requested to reside into the nearby swine.
- Jesus granted permission, thus the swine ran off the near by cliff.
- People saw the man now dressed and in his right mind, however pleaded Jesus to leave.
- The testimony of the man affected 10 nearby cities, he wanted to leave with Jesus, but Jesus knew he could reach people even he could not.
When freedom is granted,your effectiveness is exponentially increased. This account is an extreme scenario, however much can be learned from it. Notice when the problem was asked to leave, it wouldn't at first. Jesus pursued to ask for a name, finding it was Legion. It is very important to call the problem by name, not always just the category. The category was "unclean spirit" and the name was "Legion." Then negotiation were made, none the less, and it was completely cast out.
John 8:34-36 (NIV)
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
If you want freedom from death and circumstances, one must be set free at the feet of Jesus, run towards him. He will do the rest. If you have been set free, you can in turn help set others free from the bondage of sin.
John 14:12 (NIV)
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
When we speak, we speak in the authority of the light bearer, Jesus. So we are to use his name, empowered in us by the Holy Spirit, for God to set for things into motion on our behalf. Remember God isn't our puppet or genie, he is our Father. When you approach the Father in humility and a clean heart, his favor is resting on you. He enjoys giving good gifts to those that love him.
Recognizing the problem, prayer, speaking life, calling it out, casting it out (surrendering,) is all great, but what's next? It is time to keep the house guarded.
Matthew 12:43-45 (NIV)
43“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Jesus never said it would be easy dealing with life. Being a follower, believer in Jesus Christ is a hard and narrow road to travel. Thus it requires a few checks and balances along the way to maintain the pace. In the verse above, take note that it is altogether possible to be completely set free from an extreme thing as evil spirits, however even so, it is possible for the person to return to a worse condition than they came if the house (mind/Soul) is left unguarded. Keep your house (mind/body/spirit) clean and protected by the daily relationship with Jesus, through the Holy Ghost, which in turn is to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul.
The Apostle Paul address this in instruction and an analogy using Roman armor as the object of his lesson.
Read Ephesians chapters 5 and 6 entirely.
We are children of light, and do not have any part in darkness, so let us be the children of light, children of God. Amen.