illustration by AbdonJ Romero

illustration by AbdonJ Romero

I’ve seen a lot of Christian advice about how to get over your troubles, from depression to addictions, etc. They seem to focus on personal prayers starting with “I” statements. There is nothing wrong with that, but I haven’t seen much success in conquering personal problems this way. If you get your eyes off your trouble and focus on Him – His majesty, His holiness, His BIGNESS, I believe this will release you faster from whatever torments you.

The Western mindset is focused on “self” — your individual happiness, your rights, your truth, etc. Unfortunately, this mindset has seeped into some churches. The contemporary gospel starts with us and tells us what God can do to please us. Um, yeah, like that is in the Bible? The New Testament gospel starts with God and tells us what we must do to please Him. So, it’s not about us. It’s about Jesus. When we fix our eyes on Him, and stop “naval gazing,” we get better! It’s that simple. In Romans 6:11-12, Paul says, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.”

How do we truly become “dead to sin?” We need to stop looking at it — we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the sinless one. Practically speaking, this means to read scripture, meditate on those passages about Jesus, pray to Him, worship Him (find songs that focus on His holiness), and be still. Stop and listen. Turn off the noise, and be comfortable in silence. God speaks, but the world is loud, and we need to quiet ourselves down enough to hear His whispers.

To have true victory over sin, we need to become slaves to righteousness. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Rom. 6:6-7).

We must consider ourselves dead to sin (vv. 11-12) and alive to God. Sin cannot reign in your body or else you will begin, again, to obey its passions. Practice obedience from your heart to God’s ways. You won’t be perfect at it, but like anything else, practicing makes you become better.  Stick to what the Bible teaches.

Since we have been saved by Jesus, we are no longer our own and don’t have the “right” to live for ourselves. Instead, we have an eternal debt to Him, and it’s our privilege to fulfill that debt, since living for Him is the only way to experience real freedom.

Paul started with God, not with man. We need to do the same — get our eyes off us and onto Him.