Often when I recognize a complaining spirit, a judging & resentful mind, an angry & irritable countenance, an effort to protect my reputation, a worrisome mind, or any other sin or stronghold in my life I soon discover it’s a problem with worship.
There is somewhere in our thought processes in which we might be saying, “If only.” “If only” is a phrase from the enemy; it is saying God is not enough. As subtle as it is, it’s a downhill spiral to idol worship. “If only” my child didn’t have these problems, my husband/wife would connect with me, our finances were better, my job was more fulfilling, I could escape, I had her/his….looks, gifts, house, kids, cars, easy life, I didn’t have that past, etc….then I would be happy. Each of us struggles with the “if only” battle, just in different arenas. Others may encourage us that we just need to “stop it,” much like this funny video:
However, that really isn’t the answer! The real answer is to change our focus of worship and turn “if only” into “but God!” Many times, when we try to just stop a bad habit or wrong thinking, we might try real hard, grit our teeth and make as much progress as possible in our own will (just take it from me, this approach doesn’t work.) But when we change the entire focus of our mind to the things of God, we change what we worship. And what we worship makes all the difference.
We might think, “if only I had someone who truly loved me,” we can change that to, “but God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us.” “If only she/he hadn’t don’t that to me,” to “you intended harm for me, but God, intended it for good.” “If only I didn’t have to worry about money,” to “young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
Turning “if only” to “but God,” not only leads to a life of worshipping the one true God, but one of victory over sin, true freedom, power to be used for God’s purposes, joy, hope, and love.
Just try it for a few days….let me know how it goes!!