Have you ever wondered what was wrong with you when you read the verse in scripture, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (NLT)?
I know I did at times. There were times when I found myself struggling to become who I thought I was supposed to be. Times where I struggled to change behaviors that I knew were wrong. Times where I wasn’t having overwhelming victory in my life. I have found as I talk with other Christians that I am not alone in this.
Recently I have found the answer to my question. God asked me ‘What are you focusing on?’ To be honest I didn’t understand the question, because I didn’t really know what my focus had to do with overcoming life’s situations and problems. Situations and problems that we all face on a daily basis. They may be character issues, where we know we are not behaving as we should. Or they may be attitude problems, where we struggle to respond correctly in the situations we find ourselves in. This has been one area I struggle, especially when I drive. I get a little frustrated, and I know it doesn’t do any good.
But maybe there are other areas you struggle in. Areas of addictions;
- Alcohol and drugs
- The need for recognition and approval
- Wealth – Chasing a profit at all costs
- The list of possible addictions could go on and on
Or maybe it is issues like debt, or family problems. We all face them every day.
God lead me to a verse in scripture which has brought new opportunity to grow and overcome into my life. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” The reason we struggle to overcome is a problem of focus. What are we focusing on. Usually we are focused on the problem or behavior we are confronted with. God wants us to focus on Him
“Seek first” is the direction that God gives. Make our relationship with Him our primary concern. Focus on Him and knowing Him and everything else will be given unto us. What that means is all the answers to the problems we have are found in our relationship to God. The things that need to change in our lives can only truly be changed in our relationship to God. Paul said “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 I can handle every situation, get through every problem, overcome everything that comes my way through Christ.
It is a relationship with God that can see us through. It doesn’t promise that all our problems will go away. Nor does it promise an easy life. But God does promise to look after us, and to provide for every need we have. Not always what we see as a need mind you, but still to provide for every need. All we have to do is rest in His sovereignty and promise to look after and provide for us.
Our focus needs to be simply on our relationship to God, because everything else comes out of that. Everything else is a side effect you might say of our personal relationship to God. “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.” 2Peter1:3 (The Message)