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How to Overcome in Your Relationship with God

Overcome with God

The Importance of Growth in Relationships

Growth in relationships means that you will need to work past some hard issues. It’s a sign that you care about the relationship to work through these things. We need to keep this in mind because it would be easy to think we can’t have issues with God. He’s perfect. What problems could we possibly have?

Let me share a recent story with my wife, Allison. She is near perfect, so the point should translate well. 🙂

My Wife is Amazing

Allison and I work together on our vision to create a family and jobs for orphan girls in China. This has been a huge project from learning language, getting business permits, raising funds, building teams, and generating customers to fund the jobs we will give the girls. While we have had plenty of help from interns, friends, and volunteers, there is still a lot of work that we do together. Since Allison is a detailed planner, there is not much that she doesn’t think about and not many times in the day she is not thinking.

This is a great trait for creating a difficult start-up, but it is difficult to separate our personal relationship from the work. It is common for us to be in bed still discussing brochures or support raising activities.

A Wedge Developing Between Us

Recently I felt my interest in all of our projects waning. I was still working on the projects, but I was starting to care more about checking things off the list than doing those things well. As you can imagine with a new venture, there are plenty of tasks that need to be done, and I felt as each one ticked off that I was not appreciated for the work I was doing. As one was complete, we quickly would move to the next item.

In my head it was Allison who was at fault. The least she could do would be to just acknowledge the effort I was putting in. Maybe I should reduce my expectations and just realize this is the way she is.

I hope you are following this train of thought. I want you to catch how easy it is to get sidetracked and to start believing things about people and/or God.

How We Worked Things Out

Allison and I finally had a good talk over the weekend. It was not fun but was definitely needed. During this conversation I laid out my “rights” that were not getting met, and if you have ever had a tough conversation with your spouse, you can imagine how well that went over. However, one good thing came out: she explained how she didn’t know of these expectations I had on her. I was asking her to play a game but refusing to tell her the rules. It was unfair. She could never win that game, so I would always feel unappreciated.

As we talked I started to explore why I felt this way and why I wasn’t telling her these expectations. If I was to be completely honest, I didn’t feel that people in general valued what I do. Since I didn’t feel they would appreciate it on their own, I tried harder to get recognition. If that recognition didn’t get noticed, I would feed that feeling of not being valued. Towards my wife, I wouldn’t try to communicate this need because there was a fear that she would not respond, and the possibility of a negative response from her was more powerful and scary than thinking that was how she really felt. Let me say that differently, the confirmation of my fears was too much for me to handle, so I rather leave room for doubt. Talking it over with her may prove my fears wrong, but I was afraid it would prove them correct.

I Had a Negative Belief Guiding My Thoughts

Here’s the thing, I have one of the most supportive wives I know. She speaks well of me. She complements me to others. I have no doubts that she loves me. The problem was I had a negative belief that was filtering the messages in my head.

Jesus said that the truth would set us free. Therefore if we are in bondage than we are believing a lie. I was definitely held in bondage by this belief, and I wanted freedom. I took this to prayer and asked God what He thought about this belief that people didn’t value what I did. I felt He told me that I am valuable, and I should expect and receive every source of appreciation given to me. I need to choose to interpret everything as proof of that appreciation.

I felt God told me that I am valuable, and I should expect and receive every source of appreciation given to me. I need to choose to interpret everything as proof of that appreciation.

That last phrase was almost too much for me to comprehend, but God let me know that I had been interpreting everything as proof of a lack of appreciation, and not receiving affirmation because it wasn’t lining up to my negative belief. I needed a radical change in attitude.

We All Need to Renew Our Minds

I understand that someone reading this may feel I’m overly sensitive. I risk this negative feedback to help you. I know I am not the only one who has negative beliefs about myself, and these are hindering your relationship with others and with God. God doesn’t want you to have any negative beliefs about yourself.

The only thing negative you could view about yourself would be sin and that was all nailed to the cross. Not only did He remove the condemnation from sin, but He also removed the guilt. He wants us to see ourselves as wonderful, amazing people. That is how He created us. He likes us. He actually thinks we are people worthy of His time and attention. He enjoys us, and if the Creator of the universe who knows all things enjoys being around us, then it would take a real idiot not to want to spent time with us as well.

How to Overcome in Your Relationship with God

Here’s what I suggest we should all do: take an inventory of your life and list out any negative or limiting belief you may have about yourself. It may be about how others view you or how you view yourself. It could be things you think are more personality related. Ask God what they may be, then write as much down as you can. It could be that you’re lazy or shy, needy or selfish. Once you make that list take all of those negative items to the Lord and have Him tell you what you should believe. Let me give you a quick hint, if what He tells you makes you feel discouraged, it is not from God. His words always give life.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the negative beliefs you may have. God is revealing them to you, so that they can be removed. Jesus came to give us abundant life. Let’s throw off everything that hinders us to pursue that goal.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to send me a message through the comments or from the contact page.

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9 Responses to “How to Overcome in Your Relationship with God”

  1. Rachel says:

    Wow, I can’t believe it. You described me and how I have been struggling with my relationship with God to a tee. Even the examples of negative traits you mentioned were totally accurate of me. (Hopefully, I was not revealing too much about myself just now). But I am struggling a lot with this. You know how most people have thoughts about how God views them based on how they FEEL God views them? And how they are reminded to look to the Bible to find out how God really views them? Well, I have been having the exact opposite. I will go through a period of time (like three to four days) where I will feel God loving on me and affirming me. Then, I will let my imagination daydream, and come up with wonderful scenes with me and Jesus or the Father, which makes me feel closer to Him. Then, just to be sure that my feelings are really accurate, I will decide to overcome my awkwardness and fears and read parts of Scripture. It is then, especially if I read about Jesus and what He is says, that I feel most rebuked and cut down. Then, I will read devotionals (that come to my email from a Christian website) that make me feel even more hopeless about me ever being a delight to God, let alone just pleasing Him. It seems like it could be Satan trying to pull me away from being close to God, but I don’t know how to refute it. Afterall, it is God’s own words in the Bible and knowledge of other Christians. This is a constant reoccurring cycle. I am now at the hopeless stage, and am totally confused. I already feel inferior because of my personality, and wonder if God gets irritated with me. But I really like how God seems to speak through you just when I need it. Thank you.
    Rachel

    • Dear Rachel,
      I’m glad that you found this post encouraging but sad other posts you receive leave you feeling hopeless. That should never be the attend of any Christian. The enemy came to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came to bring abundant life. As representatives of Jesus, we aspire to also bring hope, joy, love, and life into those we interact with. The enemy will try to get people to misinterpret our efforts as you feel at times after reading the Bible. If you have specific passages that make you feel rebuked or cut down, I’d be willing to try to address them.

      There was a time in the Gospels (John 6), where Jesus asked the disciples whether they would leave Him. Peter’s response was, “Where should we go, You have the words of life.” The disciples didn’t understand everything Jesus had to say, but they knew that His words gave life, hope, and empowerment.

      One common rebuke of Jesus was that He spent a lot of time with sinners. This is a group of people who knew they lived against the religious rules of their time, but they liked to hang out with Jesus. If He made these sinners feel guilty, I’m sure they had others things they could be doing.

      God loves you, A LOT!
      Kevin

      • Rachel says:

        Hi Kevin,
        Thank you for your reply. And thank you for your end statement of “God loves you a lot.” That made my heart leap.
        It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what parts of the Bible feel like rebukes; I guess it’s just the overall essence of Jesus. He seems to be cold, distant, and unapproachable. Yet, God the Father seems so affectionate and intensely loving in the Old Testament, especially in the prophetic books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. There is one part with Jesus that I unintentionally keep coming across is where Jesus, Peter, James, and John are coming back to the village after the Transfiguration of Jesus with Moses and Elijah. There is this man who brought his demon-possessed son to the other disciples to cast the demon out, but the disciples couldn’t command it out of the boy. When the man explains the situation to Jesus, Jesus rebukes him and the others saying, “Oh, you faithless nation. How much longer must I put up with you?” Why would He rebuke the man, when the man had enough faith to bring his son to the disciples and then to Jesus in the first place? And later He explained to the disciples that this type of demon can only be removed by prayer and fasting. Why then did He rebuke them if they couldn’t have removed it anyway? And I know that I struggle with trusting God, especially after some events that have took place in my life over the last couple of years, so this rebuke probably does apply to me. But does that mean that He asks how much longer must He put up with me? I feel so sad at the thought. I don’t want Him to give up on me.
        Thank you for your encouragement and time talking this over with me.
        Rachel

        • Rachel,
          I will not be able to respond to this for a couple days. I have it highlighted to get to it the next time I can. As of now I can still Skype tomorrow.
          Thanks,
          Kevin

          • Rachel says:

            Okay, I don’t mind waiting.
            About Skype, last Monday evening was the only evening for myself that I could do it, as I was alone that evening. It’s hard to do Skype when everyone is home. My afternoons are free, but that’s probably when you are sleeping. However, tomorrow (Monday) morning around 10:00am (11:00pm for you) I can do it. Or my Wednesday at the same time is good for me too. The next evening I will be able to do it is in December.
            I hope one of these times work for you. If not, hopefully, we can work something out.
            Thank you, again.

        • Dear Rachel,

          Sorry for the delay. First of all, let me say that I can understand your confusion at this passage. I can appear that Jesus is rebuking the father that brought the boy to Jesus. Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and perverse generation.” The reason Jesus gave the disciples that they could not do it was actually two reasons: 1. only come out by prayer, and 2. because you have so little faith. In Mark, Jesus adds to the conversation with the father that everything is possible to those that believe.

          The teaching point of this passage is that we are so easily focused on the power of the enemy, sin, or anything negative instead of focused on the power of God. The disciples could not drive out the demon because they didn’t think they could. They needed prayer to refocus them on the power of God. The father didn’t really think the disciples could, and their doubts added to his.

          Jesus refocused the man to believe in the power and goodness of God. His weak faith could only get out, I believe, help my unbelief was all that Jesus wanted. Yes, Jesus I still have doubts, but I will choose to believe in what you can do over my doubts. In Luke everyone came away amazed at the greatness of God.

          God is faithful to us even when we are faithless. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will put up with us for eternity. Even if we struggle throughout our entire lives, He will put up with our doubts. But our doubts will fade in heaven. Faith will become sight and we will be perfected. He knows the end, He understands our weaknesses, He is patient with us. Because He knows what is in us will be perfected in glory. We can experience a taste here on earth if we want, but we will definitely get it there.

          God will wait an eternity to have you by His side. That is where He wants you.

          Blessings,
          Kevin

          • Rachel says:

            Hi Kevin,
            Thank you for your encouraging words. I needed to be reminded of God not giving up on me and leaving me. A couple days ago, as I was looking up something else in the Gospels, I came across a part where Jesus was talking about how His sheep know His voice and follow Him because they adhere to Him and trust Him. Then, He concludes with “But you don’t adhere to Me or trust Me. You are no sheep of mine!” I know He was talking to the Pharisees, but since I am struggling with trusting Him myself, I felt like that was a direct rejection of me, as if He was telling me, “This is your last chance. Since you don’t trust me, you are not one of mine.” And I have been feeling like He has been displeased with me ever since. I want to believe that your words were God letting me know that He isn’t mad at me. I just wonder why I never come upon the affectionate Bible passages that you and other people come upon to even come to the conclusions of God enjoying us and loving us affectionately. I do need help with my unbelief. Will you pray for me that I will know if I am really one of His, and that if He does love with me affection, I will know it and believe it?
            Thank you for always being so encouraging and uplifting. God has used you in so many occasions when I needed to be affirmed the most.

  2. Sandra says:

    Grace! Grace! God’s mighty grace. To know i can pour out my negatives (such as being lazy) and receive help from God in whom all things are possible. Grace! Grace! such favor from the Lord to choose me and put up with me till eternity. I could never understand it. I look around and ask why me? its incomprehensible. oh! how can i love God more?

    Thanks Coach for your continual work. God bless you.

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  1. […] week I surprised myself with this statement, “it would take a real idiot not to want to spend time with us.” I enjoyed writing it, but like some of you I questioned the validity of this statement. I […]


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