7 Ways To Get A Grip

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Have you ever heard the expression “Just get a grip?”

Have you ever said, “Well, I can’t seem to get a grip on this situation?”

Have you ever told someone, “You need to get a grip?”

Do you realize that “get a grip” is more than the title of a song by Aerosmith?

This morning as I was meditating. . .it stirred in me that believers need to get a grip of what’s been holding them back from achieving what God created and endowed them to do. . .and from fulfilling His vision for their lives in 2012.

If you were to look up get a grip in the dictionary. . .you would find two definitions.

“to make an effort to control your emotions and behave more calmly” and “to understand how to deal with something.”

God showed me seven ways to get a grip.

1.      Select the proper therapist.

When you or others feel you need to get a grip with emotionally difficult situations you’re first response shouldn’t be to see a therapist.

While I have nothing against therapists . . . they should not be your first option.

Perhaps the greatest value of a therapist (psychologist, psychiatrist or counselor) is that they listen and don’t judge.

Many people have friends and/or family who will listen. . .but you can’t be assured they won’t judge or talk about what they’ve heard.

 Matthew 11:28-30 in the Message Bible says:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Get away with the one who can make your yoke easy and your burden light.

The great thing about the Holy Spirit. . .is that when you talk. . .He listens, answers and directs. . .all without the meter running.

Proverbs 3:5-6 in the Message Bible says:

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.”

Here are seven powerful reasons He’s ready to listen. . .without you lying down on His couch.

# 1       He will keep you on track.

Jeremiah 33:2-3 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).” 

Also, want to share the Message Bible translation of Jeremiah 33:3 which says:

“`I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.'”

# 2       He will reveal things you do not know.

2 Chronicles 20:10 in the Message Bible says:

“. . . We don't know what to do; we're looking to you."

# 3       You can have confidence in knowing when you don’t know. . .He always does.

Psalm 86:5-7 says:

“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.”

# 4       He’s even available on weekends and holidays.

Jeremiah 29:12-14 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.   Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity. . .”

# 5       He can and will release you from the things that have had you bound.

Isaiah 48:17 in the Message Bible says:

“I am God, your God, who teaches you how to live right and well.  I show you what to do, where to go.”

# 6       He will teach you how to overcome your past and the adversities of life . . . so you can have a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10 NLT).

Isaiah 41:8 in the Message Bible says:

“Don't panic. I'm with you.  There's no need to fear for I'm your God.  I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."

# 7       You don’t need to worry about the grip. . .because He’s got one on you.

One other thing. . .Dr. Karl Menninger, a leader in the field of mental health, who was once asked, “What would you advise a person to do if he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown?”

The person asking the questions expected Dr. Menninger to come out with some profound psychological insight.  However, he looked his questioner straight in the eye and said:

“Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need and do something to help that person.”

The thing that will help every believer in the midst of a crisis is to get their eyes off their problem. . .stop talking about it. . .stop rehearsing hurts and pains.  Instead, put the focus on doing good for someone else . . . which is a totally biblical principle.

2.      Create balance in your life.

I have discovered that if someone is having trouble getting a grip in life or on any particular task. . .it’s because the balance is off in their lives.

THE SIX MAJOR AREAS of a person’s life are: spiritual, family, mental, physical, financial, and social.

If any one of these areas gets out of balance. . .it has a cause and effect that then triggers your entire life to get out of whack. It is now time for an honest assessment of where you are in your life journey.

Draw a circle with six lines leading out from the center represent the six major areas of your life.

Rate where you are in terms of achieving your life’s goals in each of these major areas. We are using a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the highest. Please rate yourself honestly, based on where you are today. Do not rate yourself on where you would like to be in that area.    

Consider as an example, how Joe Sample scores on the circle graph.

Joe and his wife, Sarah, are both very active in their local church. He is an elder and she teaches Sunday School. They spend time each day reading the Word and praying together. Note that on the spiritual leg of the circle graph they would easily be graded as a 9.

Ever since Joe was laid off as foreman at the Valley View Factory he had been working two jobs trying to make up for the income he lost. It took six months for him to get another full-time job and all their bills at least sixty days behind. A rating of 3 on the financial leg of their circle graph would probably be fair.

Because of his work schedule Joe is unable to spend needed time with his teenage son, who is thinking about dropping out of school to get a job and help out with the family finances. In family matters, a score of 5 is probably correct.

Joe is eating properly thanks to Sarah and instead of driving to his day job, he walks to get in a little exercise each day. The physical graph of Joe’s life can be graded as a 7. It’s above average, but still not perfect.

After working two jobs Joe is so tired that he and Sarah never visit their friends anymore or go on family outings. Socially, Joe is lacking and can only be judged a 3.

Joe is too tired to even look for another job. He used to read two books a month but no longer had time or stamina. Joe’s mental growth is stagnant. He is thinking, however, he is probably not thinking any new thoughts. A score of 5 is proper in this category.    

By connecting the lines, you quickly see that Joe isn’t living a very rounded, balanced life. He has problems from the lay-off; however, if he isn’t careful, his out-of-balance life will cause him even more problems.

Before you begin to fill out your circle graph, ask God to give you wisdom in honestly reflecting where you are in each of these major areas of your life. Now mark your chart.

Next, I would like for you to draw a circle connecting the highest point on each line. Some of you may have had a 9 on Spiritual but a 4 on Financial. Just draw a circle on the outside connecting the various areas.

If you need to get a grip. . .your life must be in balance.

3.      Know your priorities.

If you’re moving from this project to that appointment without established priorities you’ve created an environment where you’ll never get a grip on what’s happening.

Your priorities as a believer can be summed up in one verse.

I call it “The Success Principle 633” but it’s better known to you as Matthew 6:33 which says:

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

It’s important to note the spiritual progression of this verse.  There are seven key words or groups of words.

# 1       Seek ye first

The first thing you’re to do. . .above everything and anybody.  First means first.

# 2       The Kingdom of God

If you don’t put Him and His Kingdom principles everything else you will be a failure in the here and now. . .plus the life to come.

# 3       His Righteousness

1 John 4:4 says:

“. . . because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

If the Greater One is in you. . .then you need to act like it. 

# 4       And then (after you’ve put God first)

These two words are re-confirming our spiritual priorities. . .we put Him first. . .then we get blessed.

# 5       All

Not some or a few things. . .not the most pressing things. . .but ALL and that means everything.

# 6       These things

What are the things you need?

How about your bills paid in full, your home debt free, your car paid off, your kids or grandkids going to a proper university or having your retirement and/or investment portfolios fully funded.

# 7       Shall be added unto you

The Amplified Bible says these things “will be given you besides.” 

The Contemporary Version of Matthew 6:33 concludes by saying:  “Then the other things will be yours as well..”

4.      What you think about you. . .is more important than what anybody else thinks about you.

Some people can never get a grip on life. . .because they’re always more concerned about what others think about them . . .even, more so, than what God thinks.

Here’s a fact.

Realize other people don’t think about you as much as you think they think about you.

Here are three things to help you come to grips with how you see you.

# 1       Who’s your Daddy?

Genesis 1:26 says:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . .”

I like the New Living Translation of Genesis 1:26 which says:

“Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us…”

You’re created like the Master of the Universe. . .that ought to help your self-image.

# 2       Don’t compare yourself to anybody else.

First, there is nobody else like you in the world.  God make you to be unique. . .one of a kind . . .  nobody else has your fingerprints or voice print.  You are not comparable to anyone else.

When I was in high school, I always justified my behavior by comparing myself to other people.   I remember saying “at least, I didn’t do what they did.”

Our only measure of comparison should be Jesus.  WWJD … What would Jesus do. . . is so much more than a slogan for a bracelet.

# 3       Create a list of the things in your life that you’re proud of. . .regardless of whether they’re big or small.

I’m looking at a book in my library as I type this teaching entitled “Thus Far.”  It’s the autobiography of Kelsey Grammer, known as Frazier Crane, from the TV shows Cheers and Frazier.  His title suggest he isn’t through being creative yet … don’t you be either.

As you create your list. . .remember the words found in Zechariah 4:10 in the New Living Translation which says:

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…”

# 4       Write out the list of the things that are most positive in your life. . .character qualities, work habits, etc.

If you don’t see the good in you. . .nobody else will.

Ask those closest to you to help you list your most positive characteristics. . .they should give you an honest answer.

Maximize your strengths.

# 5       You write a list of the things . . .you need to change in your life.

Not only make the list. . .but create a plan to make the changes which you feel need to be changed.

Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you in the way. . .in which you can change.  Review the very first point of this teaching.

Remember, change is a door that can only be opened on the inside.

5.      Don’t worry about what hasn’t happened or borrow trouble.

Live today, plan for tomorrow but don’t let worry and anxiety steal your joy

Matthew 6:34 in the Message Bible says:

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Give your attention to WHAT God is doing RIGHT NOW.

Not just what He’s done in the past. . .but what He is wanting to do in our lives today. . . at this very moment in time.  Not what He’s going to do in the sweet bye and bye. . . not in heaven. . .but what God is doing right here. . .right now in our lives.

Don’t worry about things you can’t change. . .don’t fret about today or tomorrow. . .don’t play the WCS game (Worst Case Scenario) or give any thought to negative things that might happen. . .and even if things should go south . .  don’t sink with them. . .rise up in your faith. . .because you have the assurance. . .the promise of the most high God.  Your heavenly Father loves you!

You don’t have to know all the answers if your assurance is in the One who has all the answers.

God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

God will help YOU. . .are you getting this?  Say it out loud. . .GOD WILL HELP ME.

Now that’s something to shout about . . .forget the worry about tomorrow. . . enter His presence right now whether you “feel” it or not . .  .embrace His promises. . .experience His power and enjoy the fullness of life that only He can give in the midst of every trial and temptation.

Matthew 6:34 in The Living Bible says;

Jesus said, “So, don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”

Knowing that God will help you deal with whatever happens should give you peace of mind and a strong grip on your current reality.

6.      Six ways to step back. . .so you can step up.

# 1       Rest your mind

Exodus 14:14 in the Amplified Bible:

“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.”

# 2       Relax your grip

Psalm 9:9 in Message Bible says:

“God's a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you're never sorry you knocked.”

# 3       Reflect on your future

Psalm 119:15 in the New Living Translation:

“I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.”

# 4       Refresh your soul

Matthew 11:28 in the Amplified Bible offers us a “refreshing” that never ends.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]”

# 5       Renew your hope

Psalm 94:19 in the New Living Translation:

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”

# 6       Rejoice in the opportunities God is giving you today

Psalm 118:24 in the Amplified Bible says:

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

7.      Studying not only makes you smarter. . .it strengthens your grip.

2 Timothy 2:15 says:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

The scripture says study.  It doesn’t say “read once,” “glance over,” or “speed read through.” The Word says study and I know the Holy Spirit used that word for a reason.

Study is defined in dictionary.com as “application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation, or reflection.”

Study is the acquisition of knowledge by reading, investigating and reflecting.

It’s simple really. . .studying is a seed that you plant and the harvest is knowledge that you acquire. In fact, the scripture says in Mark 4:24 in the Amplified Bible that you will receive back more that you sowed.

“And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you--and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.”

The more you study. . .the more you know. . .the stronger you grip on what is and isn’t important.