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Getting Out of Your Own Way

Getting Out of Your Own Way

     According to “Psychology Today” the phrase “getting out of your own way” implies somehow putting aside the anxieties and doubts, ego concerns and career pressures, “mental blocks” and “critical inner voices” that stand between you and the effortless flow of work.     And, if you look on you can even find a list of “seven ways to get out of your own way and get things done”.   All of these lists are addressing the things that seem to stymie our progress in the secular aspects of life. All such lists are good because they help us keep our focus and reach whatever goals we have set in life.   However, in setting goals in this life, many fail to set the most important goal in life, and this is when they really “get in their own way”.

   When it comes to our religion and our service to God, it is not just these anxieties and doubts, ego concerns, career pressures, “mental blocks” and “critical inner voices” that get in the way, but our failure to “let go” of earthly things we deem so important and put God first.   One of Jesus’ own disciples seemed to be suffering from this in Matthew 8:21 when he wanted to “wait” to follow Jesus until he had buried his father.   The interesting thing about this is that we have no indication that the man’s father was even dead at that point.   What Jesus said in response in verse 22 have caused many to be confused.   He said: Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.   This meant that the “spiritual dead” could be the ones worrying about the “physical dead”.   I say this because the Lord Himself is recorded in John 10:10 stating the purpose for His coming to earth. He said: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

     The way in which Christ was to provide that “abundant life” required that He give His life on the cross of Calvary.   Christ knew this when He came. He knew all the things He would suffer, but He also knew He would come forth from the grave victorious.   This is what He told His apostles in Luke 9:22-23 when He also instructed them at that time to not tell anyone He was the Christ.   He said: The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  

     What Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-33 the Sermon on the Mount shows that He knows what the needs of this life are and also who it is that provides these things. This also indicates that the Lord knows what is required of us if we would take part in that abundant life He offered when He so willingly died to purchase the church on Calvary’s cross.   Notice His Words on that great occasion that also place things in the proper order of importance.   Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

   All the “wisdom of the world” and the so-called psychology and philosophy that is in the mind of man is nothing in comparison to the creator of man, nor can any uninspired list provide the instruction needed to navigate this life and at the same time get ready for that life beyond this earthly life. That is what the Spirit had the apostle Paul write the Corinthians in 1Corinthians 1:19-21. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

 It is most interesting that the preaching of both John the baptizer and Jesus was to call Israel to repentance so they would be ready to receive the kingdom when it came.     Many of the Jews could not “get out of their own way” because they could not embrace the “spiritual” nature of the church, but rather held to the “physical” relationship they once had with God because of Abraham.     This is no different than the issue many folks have today when they cannot get out of their own way because of careers, family, entertainment, recreation and such. There is room for all these in life, but if these are put first, there will be no eternal life.   What do you have to lose in putting Him first, or as Christ asked in Mark 8:37?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

                                                                 Dennis S. - Mooresville

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