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You Always Have a Choice (2 of 3)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

‘The Blame Game – Part 2’
15 March 2009

Introduction:
· Genesis 1:26-28 - “God blessed them … subdue and have dominion…”
· Man loves challenges it is part of who we are, inside us. Man without challenges lives in defeat. We have the will o face, step up and act on them, to subdue things and to bring dominion.
· From the beginning we were made to step up and subdue. Adam and Eve started the blame game = shifts the responsibility to someone else.
· Blessed = 1288 = to speak words dull of life and empowerment into people.
· God empowered man with free will and the ability to overcome challenges in life.
· Subdue = 3533 = to conquer, overcome = there are challenges, opposition, difficulties.
· Dominion = 7278 = to prevail, reign over = you have freedom and creativity in extending God’s rule.
· After the fall – A culture of blame = making excuses and shifting the responsibility – “It’s not my fault”.
· Freedom and Responsibility work together – if you want Freedom, you must be Responsible.
E.g. child: as a child takes responsibility, so it will get freedom.
· God gives us Freedom to make choices. Requires Responsibility for those choices.
· As an adult it is your responsibility to freedom, you cannot do what you want and not get snared in it.

How People Learn to be ‘Helpless’:
Proverbs 23:7 - “As he thinks in his heart so is he”. If you belief it, it is true.
· God wants to shift us from living in bandage and to explore what He has for you.
· Learned Helplessness/Powerless: Experiment by scientists with animals in situations of no choice = outcome was good.
- Animals leaned to think – not matter what it did – no good will come of it. They learn they can never win.
- Give up, quit trying, endured helpless/powerless condition even when opportunity provides it.
- They learn to be helpless – resigned “nothing I do will make any difference”.
· Past Experiences can form Limiting Beliefs (beliefs that can limit us, have looked at life, what can I do? You get what you belief for) – limiting ways of thinking.
· E.g. “No matter what I do” - ‘Can never please dad’
- ‘Someone still gets angry’
- ‘Never get approval’
- ‘Always criticized’
· Result: People stop trying- they bury their emotion of resentment, anger, bitterness, hate
· People develop beliefs about themselves – ‘I can’t’. ‘I am not good enough’.
· New Experiences surface Old Beliefs – limited thinking, feel helpless, no choice.
· E.g. ‘No one told me’
‘I talked to him – wouldn’t listen’
‘I tried talking to the husband, he wouldn’t listen’
‘I tried to talk to mum, she just got angry’
‘I tried counseling, it didn’t help me’
‘I tried to get a date, no good ones out there’
‘I am waiting for God to provide’ ‘I prayed and nothing happened’
· NB Note: in each situation: The person blames circumstances/people – they feel they have no choice! The feel helpless. They learn to strive, compete, drive or give up. They grieve and live in despair, loneliness and powerless.
· If you blame others it is not God’s fault, you still have a choice. Your problem is your problem; no one can pray it away for you. Some people cover it with super religious thinking. You always have a choice! It may not be the one you prefer! May be it is a choice you have not thought of yet.
· New experiences bring junk to the surface so that you can deal with it on the inside.
· You choose what you do on a bad day, your emotions and your beliefs.
· Do you except honest feedback from other people on how you act/behave, on who you are? Do you go out and meet others?
· Some people cloak themselves with helplessness and God can not move in their lives.
· A day has turned out troublesome from what you expect. Take responsibility and ownership, break limiting beliefs and break out of it.
· Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. You make a decision to give it a go.
· Strengthen = 1743 = endunamoo = to clothe with supernatural ability

3) God’s Process of Change:
· Israel learned to be helpless (slaves) in Egypt. Israel = Church now. God delivered them. Jesus saved us. God have a great destiny. We need to grow and be wiling to accept it.
· Israel continued to limit God because they would not change – Psalm 78:41
· 1 Corinthians 10:6 - Israel is a lesson to learn or to repeat from – an example for US to learn from.
· What lessons did God want them to learn? 1 Corinthians 10:13
· Problems are common to every person, every one has problems.
· God is faithful, He will help you – You can rely on His Word and change. God started the work; surely He will finish the work. You can trust and rely on Him.
· You have the ability to handle every challenge of life.
· God always makes a way trough for us; you have to look for it. Walk through the problem, God will help you through it. New experiences comes you way to change you.
· An Overview of Change:
Exodus 6:6-8 - Changed them, the way they were thinking. He allowed them to experience challenges to choose to belief and trust God.
The same with us – we have an opportunity to think/belief and act differently. God wanted them to learn how to trust Him. We have the initiative to make things happen, to change out of the old will get you there. The challenge is to stop excuses and blaming, stop to be powerless and trust and belief in God.
· Stop blame = except facing the challenges and change. We disqualify ourselves from out destiny, purpose and blessing if we blame and make excuses.
EGYPT -> WILDERNESS -> CANAAN
Place of slavery Place of training/preparation Place of opportunity/conquest
Loneliness/Isolation Connection to the Lord Intimacy – walk in spirit
Powerless God is Powerful/Faithfull God is in me – Powerful
No choice Learn to choose to belief Walk by faith, daily choice
Blame/excuses Learn responsibility Take initiative- –subdue
(Unsaved) (Growing Believer) (Apostolic Believer)
· How did God work to change Israel?
- He created new experiences of difficulty – opportunity to make new choices.
- Deuteronomy 8:2-3 - “… the He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.
- Israel’s constant response: - think and act like slave
- Complain and blame – Exodus 16:2, 7-8
- We are not able – we can’t – Numbers 13:30-32
- If you think, act and behave like a slave, you will be a slave even if you are free.
- If you think, act and behave to be free, hopeful in God, joy and faith in God, He is powerful and with me – I can do it.

4) How you can break Free of Learned Helplessness:
Romans 5:13 - “Now! May the God of all hope fill you with joy and peace in believing that you might abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
- God will provide the new experiences and help you grow through them.
Your responsibility:
1) Resolve Bitter Roots – change how you live your live. Admit this – leave pain, grieve and resentment behind, cannot move into the things that God has for you – give it to the Lord. :
· Hebrews 12:15 - “... looking carefully lest any of you should fall short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many become defeated”.
· Ask the Holy Spirit to uncover any hidden roots from experiences of being powerless.
- anger - resentment - self pity - grief - unbelief - hopelessness
- Bitter expectations (belief) = “nothing I can do ….”, ‘Hopeless”
· Repent from it and release it to the Lord.

2) Embrace New Challenges in a Different Way (Process):
· You have to change, you choose to change.
· We reap what we have sown = agree with old thoughts, powerless and then end up in a mess.
· God is committed to character not your comfort. He will bring things to melt you to bring out the bad so that you can choose to change the thinking.
· How can I deal with this if I have never seen it before? You will reap different future. Spent time with God, meditate on scripture, get near Him and hear how you can change.
· We are not victim; whatever we have to do we can do it through God with Faith. He is Mighty and Powerful.

OLD WAY:
Problem -> Feeling (Helpless) -> Think Powerless = Blame/excuse => Recap Consequences
NEW WAY:
Problem -> Identify feelings -> Challenge thinking = Assume responsibility => Recap Benefits

Mark 9:23 - “If you can believe … all things are possible to him that believes”.

* Ask the Lord for Wisdom * Look for Opportunities * Take action and Persist