The reason Satan is a master at manipulating people is that he uses a small amount of truth, God’s word so that his lie can be more believable. In other words, Satan twists God’s word with his own words. This is what he did with Eve in the garden. Satan did not tell Eve a complete lie.
Satan uses our limited understanding of God’s word to distract and confuse us. This is why I say settling for a small amount of God’s word is sometimes worse than having no knowledge at all. It is our small amount of knowledge that makes it easier for Satan to twist things up in our minds.
Even worse, settling for a small amount of knowledge gives us false confidence. Then we end up refusing to listen to wise godly counsel. When we don’t take time to examine our circumstances, this can cause us to become overly confident and ignore the big picture. This will cause us to step directly into a life of pain and suffering.
When we solely rely on the small amount of knowledge that we possess, we are not functioning with a full understanding of God’s word. This causes us to misread our circumstances and our direction from God. During one of the low points in my life, I did just that. I was fully convinced that my circumstances would automatically change if I changed my scenery.
So, I decided that I should move abroad. To make a long story short, I wanted a change because things were not going right in my life. I was working dead end job, after dead end job for managers that were a couple fries short of a happy meal. I wasn’t allowed to be creative and my voice wasn’t being heard.
I am the type of person who takes pride in their work and thrives off of challenges. Needless to say, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why I felt like I needed a drastic change. What I fail to realize is that – a change in scenery was not what I needed.
During a series of Bible lessons, my mom helped me to see that a change of scenery would not alleviate my issue. Here is the thing, instead of putting forth the much-needed work to align my distorted emotions to God’s word, I thought moving abroad would alleviate all my problems.
I remember times when I would argue back and forth with my mom about how strongly I felt that I should move abroad. I was dead wrong. Now, I am not saying that moving to a new country is wrong, but what I am saying is to examine your motives for doing so. Mine would have been completely for the wrong reason.
I was viewing my ability to move abroad as an opportunity to “escape” from my miserable life. My mom took God’s word and helped me to face my real problem, which was me. My problem was deep-rooted inside me. What I needed was a complete overhaul in my mind. After letting God’s word actually guide me and not distort my emotions, I learned that living abroad was NOT the answer to my problem.
What I needed to do was bloom where I was planted, which is exactly what I did. Life is good! By taking time to actually study God’s word and not rely on my distorted emotions, my mom proved that moving abroad would not have solved my problem. The thing I failed to realize was since my problem was from within, moving abroad would just mean that my problem would move abroad with me. Like most of us, I was looking for a quick fix.
Instead of dealing with my distorted emotions, I thought I would find happiness by permanently changing my scenery. I am sad to say, I personally know people right now that are going through what I went through. They failed to realize that their psychological problem is going to pack up and go with them. Running away from internal problems is not the answer.
Living abroad would have been a huge mistake for me. My hysterical state of mind would have led me down a dead-end street. In fact, I personally know people who made that very same mistake I almost made. Thanks to God giving me a wise, godly mom, she was able to walk me through my psychological problems, which was simply a case of distorted emotions. I was searching for fulfillment in ALL the wrong places.
I have to admit, it also took me a while to realize that living abroad (changing scenery) is not the answer to my emotional problems. Changing my scenery is a whole lot easier than changing who I was inside. If I had listened to my distorted emotions, which gave me false confidence, I would have made the biggest mistake of my life.
Not thinking straight, I failed to realize that it takes a long time to get established anywhere, even in a new neighborhood. Imagine trying to get established in another country. In my case, the setback would have been enormous. My health problems alone would have derailed that move.
The way my allergies and my weak digestive system are set up I would not last long if I couldn’t get my vitamins and/or access to healthy food. False confidence and laziness make us behave like teenagers. As you know, we all at that age thought that we were invincible and of course we had all the answers.
As a teenager, we can overlook this ignorant and prideful state of mind. However, if we expect to receive God’s blessings, we cannot become complacent in this childish mentality. It’s this teenager’s state of mind that leads us away from God. We start to think that “I” have all the answers. “I” am my own person. “I” know what I am doing. “I” don’t need to seek God’s advice. And the “I”s goes on and on and on until we start reaping the negative consequences to our actions.
It is our childish, self-centered attitude that makes us easy prey for Satan. When our emotions are telling us to go full force ahead, we don’t take time to stop and evaluate what we’re truly getting ourselves into. Even worse, when God sends us godly counseling, we are so filled with false confidence whereby we refuse to listen to that person’s warnings.
I was stubborn. I remember arguing back and forth with my mom. What she taught me was to align my emotions to God’s word. Only through this process can we separate facts from fiction. Sadly, many of us are where I was, looking outside of ourselves for solutions and direction. The reason we look outside of our “self” is because we are too impatient to thoroughly examine God’s word so we can get clear, direct answers to our circumstances. Our destructive thinking and laziness make us easy prey for Satan to lead us down dead end streets.
To avoid our emotions becoming distorted, we need to listen to Heb 5:12-14, which warns us not to remain as immature teenagers. According to Hebrews, “. . . by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God.” It continues to say, “. . . everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness . . .”
In other words, when we settle for a small amount of truth, we do not take time to understand God or gain clarity regarding our struggles. Through a series of Bible study classes, I finally figured out what God wanted for me. What He truly wanted was for me to see that I was putting way too much emphasis in trying to find fulfillment in all the wrong places, like a 9 to 5.
Thinking that a job was going to make me happy was delusional. Especially when I was working in roles that didn’t appreciate my talent and was robbing me of time that I could have spent working on my relationship with Christ. To make a long story short, once I completely overhauled my schedule and state of mind; meaning, putting God first, everything changed.
I felt like one of my favorite songs, “I can see clearly now” by Johnny Nash. It’s like all those clouds that were following me around finally disappeared. Spending time with God led me down a path that allowed me to pursue a variety of other ways that I could demonstrate my creativity.
However, the most important aspect that still blows my mind is that I’m teaching English from the comfort of my own home to adults overseas. I’m so blessed because I feel like I know someone in all of the countries that I want to travel to one day when my bank account cooperates with me. Guess what?
I didn’t have to completely turn my world upside down and live abroad to feel like I had a purpose in life. God showed me that I could accomplish everything that I wanted right from the comfort of my own home. The problem was my hysterical state of mind caused me to not know the sound of God’s voice. God was waiting until I calmed down enough so He could show me other ways that I could demonstrate and enjoy my creativity besides a 9 to 5.
I have to admit, it takes a lot of work to align our emotions to God’s word. Like me, most people just want to move to a different location in hope that a new scenery will solve all of life’s problems. This is what happens when we allow Satan to enter our mind and convince us that running away from our problems is the answer.
What we fail to realize is, our psychological problems are not going away. The problems are just going to pack up and go with us. Knowledge of this fact is why I created a system for myself. Whenever I’m dealing with a situation that has an unusually negative overtone or I’m continuously faced with obstacle after obstacle that doesn’t seem to have any end in sight, I make sure to stop, pray and ask God to guide me towards the right decision.
This opposition could be God telling me no; wait, not now, or do not do it this way. I learned that sometimes God uses opposition as a means to protect us from ourselves. He definitely protected me. If I had moved out of the country, this would have been a colossal mistake. My problem would have never gotten solved.
Running away from our problems does not help us to grow in grace (2Pet 3:17). Spiritual growth is what we need to erase our psychological issues. Looking back at my own problems, I know that it is our lack of growth that keeps us from developing our senses so that we can discern between good and evil.
When we settle for a small amount of truth, we don’t take time to understand God or gain clarity regarding our struggles. This is why we are unable to know the sound of God’s voice from our own internal, distorted voice. All of which keep us from our goals or purpose in life.
Finally, false confidence is one of Satan’s biggest scams. Due to Satan’s victims feeling good about their decision and/or situation, many people walk directly into a life of pain and suffering. All because it felt good. Although living abroad would have been a colossal mistake for me, nonetheless, I truly enjoy traveling abroad. I cannot wait until this pandemic is over so that I can go and visit all the people that God brought into my life without me ever having to leave the comfort of my home.
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