There are many stumbling blocks to seeing change in your life. You need to identify which of these may be hindering your change and deal with them. The following are some questions to help you with this.
A. Running and hiding from God (Genesis 3:8)
1. This is the first thing Adam and Eve did after they sinned against God.
2. Have you “disappeared” from fellowship, Bible study, or counseling to avoid dealing with change or sin?
B. Self-generated solutions (Genesis 3:7)
1. Adam and Eve saw there was an immediate problem after the fall and so they “made themselves coverings.” This was their self-generated solution. However, God Himself desired to cover them with His solution. (Genesis 3:21)
2. We do the same thing today. What plans are you trying to use now to solve your problem? Are they in harmony with God’s word? If your plan is contradictory to God’s plan explain how and explain His alternative.
1. Both Adam and Eve tried to shift the blame for their own sin. Adam shifted the blame to God and then to his own wife. Eve then shifted the blame to Satan. (Genesis 3:12-13)
2. What is your personal fault and responsibility in this current situation? (Matthew 7:5)
D. Listening to people more than to God
1. This was Adam’s problem as identified by God Himself. (Genesis 3:17)
2. Who are you listening to and whose
counsel are you obeying; man’s or
E. Lying and exaggerating (Acts 5:1-11)
1. Does your story match that of your spouse? Are you adding to or taking away from the truth? What are just the facts of the situation without all the emotions that go with it? If you have added or taken away from the truth in anyway confess this to your spouse apologize.
F. “I can’t” (Luke 14:20)
1. This is not a valid excuse when it comes to obeying God. Whatever He commands, He will enable by His strength and power to do. (Philippians 4:13) 1 John 2:4 tells us that if we say that we know Him and do not keep His commands we are a liar and the truth is not in us.
2. Sometimes when we say we can’t we mean, “I don’t know how.” What specifically don’t you know how to do?
G. “I won’t” (Matthew 21:29)
1. Sometimes the words “I can’t” can mean, “I won’t.” Is that the case with you?
2. Are you open to changing your opinion’s, actions and attitudes apart from the other person?
3. Are you making a choice to not respond to the word of God? (John 5:40)
H. Taking no action after a profession
and commitment is made (Matthew
1. Just saying the right things without taking action is not doing the will of God.
2. God does not accept words, only
deeds. (1 John 3:18) Have your ac-
tions matched your words? In what
areas have your words not matched
your actions? Simply confess that to
your spouse and start doing what
you said you were going to do.
I. Unforgiveness and holding grudges
1. Are you treating your spouse, as you would want to be treated?
2. If you will not forgive your spouse then neither will the Lord forgive you. (Mark 11:25-26) Are you sure you want the Lord not to forgive you your sins? Are your spouse’s sins towards you greater then your sins towards the Lord?
J. No real commitment to Christ (Matthew
1. Have you fully surrendered your life to Jesus? If not then you will never see change in your situation.
2. The lack of commitment to Jesus Christ in your life now is the root of your problem. Right now confess that before your spouse and the Lord and surrender your will to Him.
K. No real repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)
1. Repentance is always the first step towards any change. It does not just mean your sorry it means a change of the mind, what we think, the heart, what we feel and desire, and the will, what we do. Have you truly repented over your failures and sins?
L. Obeying feelings instead of Jesus
commands (Luke 17:1-10)
1. Good feelings will always follow
obedience to God’s word. In fact
feeling bad is because your con-
science is convicting you of your dis-
obedience. (Romans 2:15, James 1:25)
1. Jesus made it clear that joy and peace are the fruit of doing what is right (John13:17)
M. “My problem is unique” (1 Corinthians
1. If you think then you have an excuse not to change.
2. We are all men and women with the same sinful nature and similar struggles. (James 5:17) Further more the Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way as we are yet without sin so He alone is able to help us. (Hebrews 2:18, 4:15) Are you ready to stop making excuses and start allowing Jesus to work in you life?
N. No fear of God (Psalms 55:19; Proverbs 1:7)
1. David believed that this was the reason why those that hated him would not change.
2. One day all of us must stand before Jesus. Are you ready to tell Him that His blood did not cover the sin of your spouse? (Romans 14:12)
O. “If you grew up like I did, you would
understand why I can’t change.”
1. The past can influence our lives, but it cannot be used as an excuse for disobedience, today you still have a choice. (Ezekiel 18:19-20)
2. The past cannot make you do or not do anything today. God is sovereign over your life. If you are saved, He lives in you to change you and set you free from those things that bind you.
P. Not putting off old habits and not
putting on new ones (Ephesians 4:22-24)
1. Putting on new habits and behavior is essential or you will just go back to your old ways. What new habit are you going to start putting on today that will replace the old habit?
Q. The lack of self-control and self-
discipline (1 Timothy 4:6-8; 12-16)
1. Are you looking for a quick and easy solution to your problem that does not require you to change? You did not get into this situation without playing a part. Neither did it happen over night. So you can not expect change apart from you changing and you can expect that it will take time.
2. Self-discipline is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is also a decision you have to make daily whether to obey God and His word or to obey your feelings or desires. You have to do this every time a problem arises; in fact most of us do this all the time in areas that we want to. What areas do you need to exercise self-discipline to over come your failures and sins? What specific action are you going to do or not do?
R. Self verses God (Matthew 16:24)
1. Every stumbling block to change boils
down to a battle between obeying God or
obeying yourself. Will you live your way
or God’s way? This is the greatest struggle
we all face and the simple path that Jesus
gave us is, “Deny yourself and follow Me.”
Are you now willing to do this?
2. Do you now recognize that self-exaltation;
self-belittlement, self-pity, and self-
righteousness are all sin? They all mush
be crucified with Christ. (Galatians 2:20)