Avoiding Power Stealing Excuses

 

“There are a thousand excuses for failure, but never a good reason.”[i] —Mark Twain

 

Today’s Verse: “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT)

 

King Asa made a mistake. He lost a battle because he lost his focus on the Lord. Asa had known victory and trusted God during difficult circumstances in the past, but this time he didn’t, and as a result, he suffered.

Who knows what excuses he made for deciding not to trust God? “I can handle it” comes to mind. Or “I can’t help who I am.” Whatever excuses we use to stray away from God’s help, guidance, and promises, we need to know that they are power stealers. They block us from the power of God in our lives.

Power-stealing excuses hold us back from growing spiritually. They divert us from the plan and vision God has for us.

Power-stealing excuses keep us from receiving God’s blessing in our lives. When excuses are made, they typically justify behavior that is, like Asa’s, not what God intended or planned for us.

Power-stealing excuses infect our hearts. King Asa made some sort of silly excuse for not trusting God. His plan was probably sensible and logical, but he made it independent of God. He justified his own thinking and made excuses to shut out God. Big mistake.

The eyes of the Lord are looking for men and women whose hearts beat with His. He’s looking for people who rely on Him, not their own excuses, abilities, or plans. He’s not looking for perfection—He’s looking for hearts that know they haven’t arrived and are open to His leading and guiding.

Asa began well but ended poorly. He suffered loss because he justified his way into foolish thinking. He relied on excuses and ended up with a lack of faith. Those excuses caused him to become more independent of God and to lose the power of God in his life and his kingdom.

INSIGHT: As you are going through a time of loss, remember Asa, and don’t allow excuses to rob you of all that God has for you. Let Him into every area of your life—even your pain.

PRAYER: Ask God to examine your heart and reveal to you any excuses you may be making for your behavior, feelings, and thoughts. Ask Him to strengthen your heart to seek Him first always. Ask Him to remind you of Asa when excuses try to steal His power in your life.

LIFE CHOICES:

  • Study 1 Peter 2:2 and commit it to memory. Desire God’s Word and make a choice to grow spiritually in trusting God. How does the Word have the power to overcome power stealers?
  • Understand what power-stealing excuses are in your heart and are keeping you from living with a focus on God’s plan and direction for your life. Identify them and write them out. Look at the list and compare those excuses to what God has done for you (as a reminder, read John 3:16). Make a choice to let His Word help you to loose His power in you.
  • Discover what happens when you stop making excuses. God would rather you make a few mistakes but have a really good heart than make excuses that exclude Him from your life.

This Blog post is excerpted from my latest book, The Way Back from Loss. It is available in e-Book and hardback styles from most booksellers.

[i] Brian Tracy, Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: How to Unlock Your Full Potential, (New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2003), eBook edition

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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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