Get out of… Fill in the blank. Let’s face it, New Year brings about change. What do you want to get out of? There are vows of getting out of noxious relationships, damaging debts, addictive habits, non-fulfilling employment or stagnant locations. There are thousands of books on self-help. 10 steps to accomplish this.., 5 steps in achieving that… These books are written by authors who have accomplished their goals, and want to share their triumphs with you, so you can partake and receive success. I am not discrediting those books or to suggest not to read them. My goal is to present a 10 step plan to get out of anything that you are in: debt, obesity, addictions or pursuing a peace of mind. It sounds like that is a tall order. The ultimate author is God, but His Son, friends, kings, prophets and apostles are co-writers. And, the process is not in man, it’s about God and His free gift of grace.
The selling point, this process is free. Most people have a Bible in their home, if not, buy or borrow one. As with any plan, to conquer most goals, there must be hard work, a true dedication and patience. And, there will always be a learning process involved.
I suggest this course of action. I do not recommend to eliminate any of the steps because all are needed.
- Admission: You must come to the point of admitting you have a problem or you want to change. You want to be out of… (fill in the blank)
- Higher Power: God is the higher power. Prayers are intimate talks with God. Talk to God about the problem. Come into agreement with God this behavior or issue will cease. The Three Ingredient Recipe comes into play: Believe, Ask and Trust. Know God, what He can do and His promise.
- GPS Goal setting for your destination. God’s Precious Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter, Teacher and Guide. He brings things into our remembrance. With the Holy Spirit, as your Guide, ask yourself the difficult questions.
- Where does the issue start and where does the issue end. Your mind is the place where battles are won or lost. It’s the way you think. It’s difficult to believe that it is not the problem, or issue that occurred, it’s how you react or respond to the problem. Your thoughts govern your behaviors. Renew your mind. If you change the way you think, you will change your behavior.
- Why did this behavior or trouble happen? You must research the root of your problem. If you want to conquer this issue, be brutally honest. You may not want to or can’t do it, but the Holy Spirit will surface the core of your problem to your thoughts and heart. For example, if you are in debt, ask why. Spending more than receiving? Spending when you are depressed or lonely? To prove something to someone? It makes you feel good? You must be honest by acknowledging the cause and willing to change the behavior.
- How to overcome. This is when the plan is made. The great thing about the Holy Spirit, He will curtail a program specifically for you. The exact plan that worked for me, may not work for you, because we have different traits, personalities and gifts. You must believe and listen to the directions. I will emphasize the concept of listening and doing what He directs you to do. This is another area where many fail. Instructions may be given, but fear, worry, doubt or any other emotion may come forth preventing the specific directions to be carried out. Pray to God for strength to do His will and to hear His voice and not the whispers of the devil or people who are trying to discourage you.
- God’s grace is the power for us to do all things. Grace, undeserved, unmerited favor, is one of the free gifts from God. It is the power that allows you to do all things. Grace will put the super on your natural. You will be lifted from your comfort zone. You will be able to do things you never did before.
- Give thanks and celebrate small victories. If you lose one pound, celebrate. If you stop drinking for one day, celebrate. If you paid off half of a credit card, celebrate. Acknowledging small blessings are ways to let God know you a grateful no matter how small the achievement or victory.
- Brace yourself: The devil does not like triumphs with God. Or, any mention of positive accomplishments. He will immediately attempt to talk you out of reaching your set destination, He will send people, situations or whisper negative thoughts, in your mind, to dampen your spirit. If you backslide in the slightest, he will rain guilt and condemnation. If you win a small battle, he will insist that it is nothing. And, he try and steal your identity by saying, if you are the righteousness of God, why isn’t more progress made, or why is it taking so long.
- Phone a friend. Be in contact with a God fearing friend, family member or anyone you can discuss your weaknesses or fears without any worry that they will tell everyone about it or ridicule you of your shortcomings. Be careful who is chosen. Everyone is not excited to see you fulfil your destination. Lean on God to provide guidance on who you can trust. Whomever is chosen should remind you that you are the righteousness of God and offer prayers for you during this time. Remember, the fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. James 5:16.
- The clock is ticking. Be patience. Remember, patience is not just waiting. Patience is maintaining a peaceful presence during a trial or until whatever request is manifested. This is the step most falter. Everyone wants what they want right now. God does not work on your time schedule, He works on His timing.
- Exercise your mind. Encourage yourself in God and His Word. Study the Bible daily. Remember the Word of God is a 2 edged sword, cutting through doubts, worries, and negativity. Hebrews 4:12. The Word strengthens and directs you. If you want to discover the treasure, you must study the treasure map.
- Praise and give thanks to God. Multiple times during the day, praise God and give thanks. 1Chronicles 23:30. Praise Him, when things are going the way you planned and during the times everything appears to be going wrong. Praising God is an agreement indicating that you trust God to work in your favor.
Avenues of Awareness
I would like to take this opportunity to apply the steps above to my personal “get out of” situation, my relocation to Oklahoma.
Admission– I wanted to leave the area of Tamms, Illinois and relocate to a better place.
Higher Power-I went to God and expressed to Him my problem. We, me and my three children, had outgrown the area. I didn’t know where to go, but I needed to leave. I prayed for direction and guidance in my quest. Looking back, I realized God had placed on my heart it was time to move, because I could have easily stayed in my comfort zone.
GPS goal setting for my destination.
- Where: At that time, I did not truly grasp the concept of renewing the mind. The battle had begun in my mind. Where would I move? Where is the money coming from? Could I leave my family and friends behind to relocate somewhere else? Would my children have my same desire to leave? The negative thoughts came as well. Why leave? Stay. Everything is good here. You will not have any friends or family there. If you move, you are going to start from the beginning.
- Why: I moved from a metropolitan area of Chicago, Illinois to a rural town in southern Illinois. I wanted to flee the crime and chaos of city life and raised my children in a laid back atmosphere. At that time, your doors could be left unlocked and children roamed and played freely without harm. It was a great place to raise my children through their formative year. But as the teenage years crept upon them, the area lacked resources to keep them busy, occupied and fulfilled. The truth was, we had outgrown the area.
- How: The Holy Spirit created a plan just for me. One day without notice, my best friend came to see me. She had relocated to Oklahoma. I asked her about the town she lived in. She raved about the area. I was intrigued. The plan began. My friend who had recently moved to Claremore, Oklahoma came visited me in October.
- I planned a trip to Oklahoma to see for myself if this was the place for my family. When I arrived there was something in my heart, telling me this is home. This encounter was around Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
- In March of the next year (during spring break), I planned a trip to Oklahoma with my children, so they can see where we were moving. During that visit, I looked at apartments and checked out the job market.
- All led by God, the date was set to move on June 3rd. It came to me to leave the day after the children got out of school for summer vacation. I thought spending the summer with their friends would make the move more difficult. And, moving to the new area, during that time, allowed them to get acclimated to their new surroundings before starting school.
- God led me to put in my resignation a week before leaving.
- I have a small fund for the truck, but my neighbor paid for everything, the truck and the trailer, another blessing from God.
- A close friend informed me he would drive the truck for me.
- Moving day was here. We mirthfully packed the truck and happily drove to Oklahoma singing songs. Right? Wrong!
- My car’s brake shoes went out, an expense, I did not account for. Praying, I paid to get new brakes.
- My friend could not drive the truck as expected. My oldest son could not do it. Determined, I said I would drive the truck. It’s so funny when I went to pick up the truck, received the keys and while I was sitting in the driver’s seat, it occurred to me, I never drove a truck before, ever. And to top it off, I would not just be driving the truck, but also a trailer with my car attached. It’s amazing, with the grace of God, I drove the truck. Let me correct this statement, me and God drove the truck and trailer.
- As a nurse, I need a nursing license for the state I reside. It was placed on my heart to get the Oklahoma nursing license before I left, I didn’t. Because of my disobedience, it took me longer to get my license and I could not work as a nurse without a license. I failed to listen.
God’s grace: Grace provided me the ability (without previous experience) to drive a truck and trailer from Illinois to Oklahoma. And, I drove it quite well.
Celebration: I admit there were trials along the way. Every few miles I celebrated, because I was getting closer to my destination.
Brace yourself: My children did not want to leave; my daughter was in her senior year; and my youngest son was on the basketball team. And my oldest son, being 18, did not relocate with us, at that time. There was little encouragement from my friends or family to move to Oklahoma. Many asked me why Oklahoma? My reply was God. I had to brace myself against all opposition.
Phone a friend: My girlfriend, Margaret, who lived in Oklahoma was the only one who truly supported me at that time. My mother understood why we needed to go, but she did really want to see us go.
The clock is ticking: From November to June of the next year was 7 months. That seems like a short period of time. However, I wanted to leave the area for years. Now, I see it was about timing. Not my time, God’s time.
Exercise your mind: Trust me with all obstacles and negative remarks, I prayed constantly and read my Bible daily.
Praise and thanks. Praise and thanks always went to God. I got out of Illinois and started a new life for me and my children in Oklahoma.
If you want to change a behavior or get out of a situation. It takes the 3 G’s. God, His grace and your gumption. It worked for me. Try it and see if it works for you.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Luke 4:18 (KJV)