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Handling Life Program
The Audience: Christians in America who don’t walk with God or who simply struggle to handle life. They have become stale in their relationship with God which has produced misery in their personal, professional, physical and financial lives. Relationships are falling apart, their attitude is poor, tempers are out of control and virtually every part of their life is out of balance. They search to find balance but can’t ever seem to make the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Down deep they know exactly what they need to do, but pride has confined them.
They have convinced themselves that they are right and everyone else is wrong. They have become trapped in their own thought process. Fear keeps them cornered and afraid to discuss their feelings with their spouse or others, because communication channels, are nonexistent.
They may attend church, go through the actions but they have allowed Satan to convince them the process of coming back to God is too hard. Ultimately, their pride of being right and not admitting fault, is stronger than the desire to be the person God has called them to be.
I know this first hand, because I was this Christian at one time in my life. You can read my personal story here.
The Problem: Christians are prideful, arrogant, self-centered human beings, who often focus on “performance” rather than a true relationship with God. Failure leads to frustration, stress and anxiety – making us feel like we are going through the motions or “just getting by.” This mindset has caused significant issues in all areas of life.
They choose to be to miserable, rather than, turn back to God. They are doing everything they can to “fill the void” like focusing on material things. They work tirelessly, to pay for these items. Convincing themselves that everything will be ok, if they just get to a certain point financially. Sadly, when financial goals are met, it never seems to be enough.
The Solution: “Engage, Educate, Encourage.” Use real life stories and illustrations to give hope to Christians who feel alone. Countess others are willing to discuss issues with people who face stumbling blocks. The real problem in people’s lives is their relationship with God, but if you lead with this, they will walk away. We need to reach them where they are and help resolve their “problem” – these drawbacks, can range from time management to resolving conflict. Once the relationship and trust can be established, then we start discussing what the “root” problem is and how to address it.
The blatant issue is they aren’t right with God but there’s something holding them back or standing in their way. Normally, the big hurdle is just having someone to assist and guide them, making sure they know they aren’t alone.
This program helps them walk through the process of giving God control over their entire life and the challenges they will face along the way!
The Method: Showing our vulnerability leads to the ability to disciple others. We must be willing to discuss our failures and fears in our spiritual life and our earthly life. By sharing with others, it makes them comfortable and allows them to open up to us.
If God has delivered us from a situation and restored us shouldn’t we share this with others? Remember, we are called to show the love of Christ to others and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others.
The Calling: The Lord has called me to share my story and help others find their way back to Him.
The Opportunity: Use social media, videos, podcasts, blogs, websites, and emails to reach people.
- 68,190 podcasts listeners every 90 days
- 400,000 minutes watched on YouTube every 90 days
- 108,268 people watched a video on Facebook every 30 days
Listen to podcast at https://soundcloud.com/handlinglife
Watch videos at https://www.facebook.com/pg/GodsWordDaily/videos
The Financial Need:
Content Development and Creation
Brainstorming, writing, recording and editing videos, podcasts and blogs.
$10,000 a month
Social Media Ads
Purchasing targeted ads on social media.
$5,000 a month
Manage posting content, email distribution, partnership
$4,000 a month
Purchase radio time to run daily one-minute radio spots
$3,000 a month
Engage marketing company for a “Bestseller Book Launch + Marketing Accelerator”
Website Development Redesign current website and fully integrate all materials and technology.
The Guide to Giving God Control book
The Guide to Handling Life book (work-life balance)
The Law of Order and the 5 Step Process
Download at https://www.nathantabor.com/downloads
I invite you to partner with Handling Life in three ways:
1. Pray God continues to use me and my story to impact others for the Kingdom.
2. Give a generous gift to Handling Life. It is 100% tax deductible.
3. Encourage your family, friends and associates to support this worthy cause with their prayers and financial support
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 336-416-7117
All the best,
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Hi, my name is Toni. I came across your writing on Jonah on Facebook today. I feel like this is me. I read your story and there are definitely some areas that I can relate to. I am struggling with what Gods will is for my life. From 13-27 I was not sober and struggling with mental illness (bipolar depression) now I am sober almost 8 years and my mental health has been more stable than not. I’ve only started struggling with it due to having a child and being a single mother with zero help from the Dad. I work part time and am on a fixed income.
I know God has so much more for me because I really should not be here. I was a reckless addict especially after my mom died at 21. I just am lost and don’t want to stay in this same place. I just don’t know how to get out of it. I feel like it was not an accident that I came across your story and read it in its entirety. Thank you for your time.” Toni Laudano
“Brother Nathan, I know I can call you brother, if you are tied to my ABBA, then you are worthy of the called! Many are called but few are chosen. God has a way of connecting us to locations in specific times and seasons, whether our course is on the right track or on the opposite. One way or another... paths cross and connections are made. For one reason or another our Dad has a way of getting us in order. And you my friend if then, so be it; have an Ear to hear!! God's awesomeness is so beyond amazement that His exponential Love for us carries us so far and above our preconceived notions of what our minds comprehend as existence, is beyond that which we could ever imagine or even think!
You got my attention today! Handling Life! I originally came to you for Business Growth. Well, God has His way...
I hope the endeavors of business and Kingdom building is the purpose of igniting in your life and find it necessary that time stands still for NO man! We must complete the assignment that which our father said do, before our time runs out!!
Man of God, I hope this message finds you doing well, and I hope to talk with you as our days are numbered.
PLS... Feel free to contact me at your convenience. GBU!
“Nathan, that touched my spirit as I too have been fighting this same trap and have recently been turning things over to God and increasing my prayer life. God is working on His children, and Glory to God for it!!! Thank you for that blessing as it has inspired me to write my story, one I have been struggling with as part of it deals with the separation of my child, Nathan Shore. He is gay and married to a male in Charlotte and after proclaiming to be a child of God in 1996 is now an Atheist!
All this happened between 2007-2008. He married sometime in the last 4yrs as I he had turned away from me too as he thinks I’m crazy for loving the Lord! My life went into a downward spiral over the past 10yrs! I have in the past year done what I should have done years ago. take it to God! But being so ashamed to tell anyone why I was so hurt and the turmoil I had lived was so embarrassing.
I lost my rock, my Mom in Feb 2017, (Nathan didn’t even acknowledge me at my own Mom’s funeral), so this gave the devil another outlet for a stronghold! Already knowing how defeated I felt, he really had a party when Mom died! So, in 2018 has been a come to Jesus moment for me!! God showed me, I can’t control my son, my family, my jobs, my finances, and I too have been holding all this in for ALL these years! Well, it came out in the past 2wks praise the Lord! God has REALLY been quickening my Spirit. I’m walking up now hitting the floor in prayer sobbing uncontrollably letting all this garbage out and giving it to God! He has control on my life now too!
I am still crawling on days, but I run every day to the Lord for hrs sobbing in prayer! I run to church when the doors open verses going when convenient. I can’t expect God to be in control if I don’t get in alignment with God’s will and be obedient in worshiping Him and a dedicated prayer life! My prayer life has increased to hours a week outside of church screaming out to God! I need a miracle for my family as I don’t want my child to perish or my Dad, Sister and Brother-in law. None are born again, and it burdens my soul to think of them not being in heaven!
Thank you again for sharing! I am going to work on writing mine as well as I do believe, God has placed us all in each other’s path for THIS VERY REASON! To Glorify Him, be intercessors in prayer for each other and to be a blessing and encouragement for someone else struggling with the same problem - TRAPPED! Thank you so much, I will keep you in my prayers and ask that you please add me and my family, especially my son - Nathan Shore. I remember he came home after your campaign when you lost, and he worked his heart and soul out. He wept all night as you really had an impact on his life, and I thank you for being that to him!! It’s shouting time for me. GLORY BE TO GOD!!!!” Darlene Robbins
“When I read your story, I related with everything not on wealth or a husband I am a single mom, but your story was mine none the lest. I’m dealing with what you went through. Am a Christian but life took over and I worked myself to almost my death 2 sons no help one with autism I felt alone god forgot about me I cried and prayed but only after I physically couldn’t do it any more even to this day it took my health I feel alone raising a 10 yr old autistic son and a 19 year old son who is a drug addict. This is very resent. I cried to god last night prayed and ask for forgiveness. My past included being a preacher’s wife and he stop believing after10 yrs of marriage I was a youth director in my 20s and a dedicated Christian. When I divorced because he didn’t want children or believe in God. I went down slowly into and away from my beliefs I relate to Jonah.” Victoria Allbritton
“I really appreciated what you wrote and really need to set things straight in my life and reconnect with God... my children need it. especially my daughter whose life is in disarray. I occasionally rise above things and show talent that I usually don’t reach.... leaving an erratic or inconsistent performance. I can speak at an event and just kill it. and then go to another and be uptight and anxious. I don’t live by all the rules God gave us, but I do have a faith that in the end all things will be ok... on the other hand some of the external factors in that are lessening in capability. Once by myself and too myself I worry how I will react.” Chris Malone
“Awesome testimony Nathan Tabor. By reading your testimony helped me repent to God about some hidden issues and forgive and ask for forgiveness. God Bless you and your family always on your Journey. Love you in Jesus.” Jerry Barnum Beyer
“I am a small business owner. I am also a technician for a trucking company. I read your story and agree that having God in control of your life is a must. Over the years I have let God lead me to where he wants me to be but have never really enjoyed any of the successes. In hindsight I have seen how God has used my family to bring people to him. Currently I do not attend a church because I have been turned off by all of the corporate churches and how they only use the gospel to get the money from the parishioners. I do not believe this is how God intended for his church to function. I believe I am being called to start a small family group to study the true word and how to implement it in our lives. You have had a journey of note and I think you will help a lot of people with their journeys. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.” Stewart James
“Thank you very much Mr. Tabor for sharing all the knowledge to help others have success through a Godly life.” Diego Lemuss
“Hi Nathan, just would like to thank God for your sharing in regards with the application of the above such a wonderful verse in Psalm. Need more biblical advice especially in business world.” God Bless, Lee Leonard
“Right on, brother! I had a similar journey and was "born again" in my late 40's. Since then, I have embraced the peace & joy that comes with being saved by our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. That led to becoming more involved with my church and hosting a men's Bible study at my home every week for the past 15 years. Such sweet redemption. Thanks for sharing your inspirational testimony.” Blessings, Thom Wilgus
“I read your article and it was almost like an autobiography of my life.” Mike Savage
“I just had to tell you much how much I related to that article. It was very real, raw and transparent. I think every man that has a desire to be authentic and relevant in the kingdom of God can all relate. Thanks, and God bless you.” Jimmy Pyka
“I was surfing at work and found out about you and you blessed my soul with your knowledge, talent, and teachable attitude. God being first also.” Donald P. Smith
“Sir, I stumbled at one of your write-ups on How to be a real man of God & forgiveness. I find the teachings quite revealing & impactful.” Pastor Adebola Tayo
"Finally, someone who has the compassion, interest and care to encourage me, say what needs to be said even when the answer is difficult to digest. Be it business strategy or in the personal realm of friendship, Nathan is a bright light in the world for those who dare engage him for support, encouragement or just in casual conversation. God has him hook, line and sinker and he is careful to speak truth because he knows he is responsible to someone Greater than himself with the advice he shares."
“I want to see thank you for making this article. After reading it I can definitely relate to what you went through. My story is a little different and I have been in a relationship with a woman for just under a year and a half and I know that she is the woman that I want to spend the rest of my life with. The love that we shared together, the memories and the laughter has been amazing. There's not another woman in the world that I would even consider.
Everything we do together is absolutely amazing yet just like you when I am not with her I feel and act different including a short temper, bitterness, bad emotional attitudes towards others and just frustration with others. I get irritated easily and I tend to notice it more when people can't perform a simple task or perform their job properly, mainly at work. I sometimes let it consume me and I absolutely hate this feeling. As I mentioned earlier my relationship with my girlfriend absolutely amazing, but the problem is that God is Not involved as much as he needs to be.
We go to church regularly and we have even gone to a life group. We stopped that life group because everyone in that group wasn't a different stage in their life than we were, IE everyone was married and had kids, yet we were still single and on our journey. We have been talking lately about leadership roles within the relationship and I have not assumed that role. I provide for her I take care of her and I definitely put her first in my life but like you said and like everyone says you cannot put her first before God.
The problem is that I began to idolize her, and she begin to idolize me. Every day was about us and nothing else. When we started talking about leadership roles and how I need to be the leader in our relationship just like I need to be Jesus and she needs to be my church. We started talking more and more about this and I have been trying so hard to learn the word of God, to read the Bible to each other in to really grasp what it takes to be a Godly Man and like you said, it has definitely been a challenge.
I've been struggling these past few weeks and nobody really knows our situation because we don't discuss her personal life to everyone. This past weekend we were in Nebraska and we stayed with a friend's parents who just happened to be a pastor. We went to church that morning on Sunday and then had lunch with the pastor and his wife afterwards. The pastor asked me if he could be straightforward and upfront with me and I said absolutely. He brought up the topic of leadership and how I need to be the leader in our relationship and how I need to read the Bible to her every single day and I need to be the one to lead if I relationship is going to be successful.
That was the first time that I honestly and truly felt the workings of God within me. it was a very eye-opening and humbling experience because he had no idea that we had discussed this between us and he had no idea that we were fighting that exact issue. these past three weeks we haven't going to our church and they are in a four-part series called pillow talk. It's a relationship building series that really opens up your eyes and your mind to what needs to happen within a relationship.
This week we discussed stewardship and how a man needs to be a steward in his own life and a steward of God before he can be the steward of a relationship. The fact that I have control of my life and control of my work and the fact that I am trying so hard to be a man of God but the fact that I am not there yet absolutely scared my girlfriend. Because I am not a leader in my own life, how can I be a leader of our relationship. she got really scared and we sat down and talked, and she said that we needed to take a break. I can honestly say that I absolutely love and adore this woman with all of my heart.
Every day is a true blessing with this woman because she is reason I fight to be good in my life and to be good at my job because I know I need to provide for her. Like I said I put her in front of myself 100% of the time and I would do anything and everything to make sure that she is happy and taken care of. Not only am I starting on this journey to become a Godly Man, she is also on that same path making sure she finds herself. My question for you is that is it healthy for us to take a break when we both need each other so much or is it better for us to put our love aside so that we can both grow and the mercy and grace of God?
I find this very hard because she is the one who has motivated me and has brought me back to the church, a place that I have been away from for so long and I think her every single day for opening my eyes. Is it better that we stay together and work through this as a couple to make sure that we both keep each other on track during this journey or is it better that we find our own ways and then hopefully by the grace of God that he brings us back together? I find the first answer much more soothing. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.” Nathan Grizzoffi
For years I struggled internally to find balance. It didn’t seem to matter what I did, or how I did it, I simply could NOT find balance. The sad part is deep down I knew exactly what I needed to do but that wasn’t part of MY plan.
Success was sweet to me. At the relatively young age of 40, I had worked long and hard and I was enjoying the fruits of my honest labors.
As a hard-driving Christian entrepreneur, I had managed to parlay my God-given business acumen, natural tenacity, and technological savvy into a bevy of business interests that generated hefty profits and a positive cash flow. I owned 7 apartment complexes (399 units), a car lot and a consulting company. All of them had been profitable business enterprises over the years.
On the home front, my gorgeous wife Jordan was smart and sophisticated (I truly married way above my means!), and my young daughter Abigail was loving, caring and talented. I wanted to give them both the best of everything. We lived in a good upscale neighborhood outside of Winston-Salem, NC, and we had purchased a vacation home in the mountains. I drove a new Porsche and Jordan always had the latest and nicest SUV. We owned show horses and Abigail was considered a child prodigy in equestrian circles.
So, to all outward appearances, I was living the American Dream, and I relished that superficial image of glamorous prosperity.
Trouble Lurking Under the Surface
But underneath my external veneer of entrepreneurial confidence and success, I was really a nervous wreck, plagued by spontaneous, unpredictable panic attacks. The pressures in my life were building almost to an explosive level. Emotionally I was wracked by anxiety and stress. The more my companies grew the more I started to feel like I was trying to put a square peg in a round hole. I know something was off. I always said I just couldn’t put my finger on it … the reality was I didn’t want to put my finger on it.
I was always working frantically just to keep everything going from week to week and month to month. My mind constantly ran numbers and deals. How much did I owe? How much did I have? When was the next deal coming or closing? This kept me on a roller coaster of worry and fright.
I lived in constant fear that my financial house of cards was going to come crashing down any day. I woke up worrying about money, worried about it all day and went to bed worried about it.
The odd thing is I didn’t really have a reason to be worried. I had money in the bank, businesses were doing well but I just couldn’t find balance. (hindsight: my problem was I had become consumed with money. Trying to make it and keep it)
So, my solution was to find things to occupy my mind. I was counted among the conspicuous consumers, compulsively buying things I didn’t need. It was a distraction.
Why? I was rationalizing. I didn’t want to deal with the reality of my situation. Sometimes I would make the excuse that I did it to satisfy my wife and daughter because I didn’t want to disappoint them.
Periodically I took my family on vacations to places, like London, Paris, Cancun, the Virgin Islands and Disney 25 times in 5 years. The problem was I was so stressed I couldn’t relax long enough to enjoy them with my wife and daughter. I was always busy on my cell phone or computer, talking, texting or emailing somebody about some business deal or emerging crisis back home. I personally don’t like conflict but I always seemed to be right in the middle of a conflict. Looking back this was a distraction. It kept me from focusing on the real issue.
It even got to the point that I would stay up to 2am or 3am watching tv shows on my iPad because I dreaded getting up in the morning. I knew there were things I had to do but I just couldn’t get my arms around everything.
The moments of happiness I got from trips and materials things didn’t fill the void that was growing bigger and bigger. I constantly felt the burden of managing my multiple businesses and dealing with the constant conflict I had produced. I was stressed, I was anxious and I was becoming lethargic. I had become obsessed with making money but my lack of consistent discipline as a business owner and manager was causing me problems and costing me money. It was really wearing me down.
I was an accomplished athlete in high school, especially in basketball, and as you know when you are young, nothing hurts for long. Unfortunately, by the age of 16, I was visiting a chiropractor weekly and had had knee surgery, and by my late 20’s I was having some legit neck and back pain.
Entering my 30’s, I was diagnosed with degenerative disk disease and mild spinal stenosis. To control the pain, I had steroid shots in my spine, trigger point injections in my muscle, and pain meds. By the time I turned 40, I was on 240 milligrams of morphine a day and getting over a dozen tripper point injections every 8-12 weeks.
Then worse got even worse. Between the age of 39 and 40, my metabolism decided to take a permanent vacation. The timely was horrible. My diet consisted of 12 cokes a day, candy, chips, carbs, occasional protein and very few “green” things. In one year, I gained 42 pounds. Needless to say, my health had deteriorated to the point where I seriously wondered if I would find myself in a wheelchair before I was 50.
Emotionally, I was short-tempered, angry and irritable. I had a persistent headache and the side effects of pain meds caused a roller coaster of emotions. All I could manage to do was work and worry and then worry some more.
Physically, I was in horrible shape and was entering my 15th year of pain management. I was 42 pounds overweight, my symptoms were not getting any better, and my tolerance level for pain meds just kept going up.
Between the stress that permeated my personality and the mood swings caused by pain meds, I was living in constant conflict with everyone with whom I had to deal. I had become a moody, withdrawn and unlovable person at times who was in constant pain.
The time had come and I knew enough was enough. I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” My life had to change.
That’s when I decided to take control of my health and my future. I immediately changed by diet and stopped drinking sodas and eating sugars after 8pm. I weaned myself off all pain meds over 30 days and worked hard to manage my pain through physical therapy, exercise, stretching, yoga, dry needling, acupuncture, and a chiropractor.
This strategy was hard but worked. I was able to manage my pain without the use of pain meds and I felt better physically and emotionally. Did I hurt at times off pain meds? Yes. Did I hurt at times when I was on pain meds? Yes. However, I was able to avoid the roller coaster of emotions caused by pain meds, as well as avoid any long-term organ damage.
Challenge: If you can do anything other than pain meds, do it! At first it’s hard, but in the long run, it’s SO much better.
Update: In October 2016, I was unfortunatelyrear-ended by another driver. The effects of the wreck caused massive nerve damage and muscle atrophy that forced me to have an anterior cervical fusion of my c5- c7 disks. Thankfully the surgery stopped the nerve pain and as time passes my muscle atrophy is being reversed.
On top of my bad health, my high-intensity work-oriented lifestyle was taking its toll on all my other relationships. Because of the stress that permeated my personality, I was living in constant conflict with everyone with whom I had to deal. I had a short temper and was easily angered. I also had developed a well-deserved reputation as a tough negotiator who drove a hard bargain. Because I could argue longer and talk louder, I usually won. But I didn’t make many friends in the process.
I knew how to make the other guy cry “uncle” and did so without remorse. After all, this was business, and I saw that as a zero-sum game. For me to win, the other guy had to lose. I didn’t hesitate to call in the lawyers – or threaten to do so – when I couldn’t get my way otherwise. I essentially bullied my way to victory time and again.
Over 10 years I spent over tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees just to resolve problems with different parties that probably could have been diffused for next to nothing with a diplomatic phone call or an attentive ear. But I couldn’t make that call or take the time to listen (God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason, right?). Even though I had read the scripture hundreds of times, “A soft answer turns away wrath,” I wasn’t able to put that simple Biblical principle into practice in my life. My stubborn pride stood in the way.
The hardest hit relationship was my marriage to a woman I dearly loved and adored. Our relationship wasn’t where it needed to be, and the reason was all the stress I was bringing into our home. I see this now because hindsight is 20/20, but at the time, I didn’t believe it was me. I wanted more from our marriage and she wanted more, but the ways we were trying to achieve our goals weren’t working.
Neither of us was ever unfaithful, and we had never discussed divorce, but subconsciously, I knew my precious bride wasn’t getting what she needed. We had started out aflame with love, as most newlyweds do. But now after ten years, the old flame was only flickering and there were growing tensions between us. I could feel Jordan starting to pull away from me, a little at a time. She didn’t like what she was seeing in me. She wasn’t happy, and I wasn’t giving her much of a reason to be happy.
I had become a moody, withdrawn, and unlovable person at times. Every aspect of my life was falling apart around me. The more I tried to find balance in my life, the less I had. I felt alone, rejected and miserable. I knew something had to change radically, and soon. I just didn’t know what to do about it, or how to do it.
My Slow Drift Away from God
I didn’t set out to not let God control my life. I also didn’t set out to let God control my life. I set out on life. Things happened, good things and bad things. Over time my relationship with God became like a distant 3rd cousin in another state. We talked when there was a death or wedding in the family.
But in the still of the night, I knew I was trying to run my own life instead of letting God direct me. For years and years, I had buried the thought of turning everything over to God. I rationalized my behavior, made excuses and ultimately always thought “I’ll do that later.”
At this point, I need to explain something about my religious upbringing. I was raised from childhood in a conservative, evangelical Christian home. I was taught the importance of going to church, reading my daily proverb and praying to God.
I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior when I was six, was baptized as a teenager and I considered myself a reasonably good Christian person. I was going through most of the actions required of a Christian.
But the older I got the further I got away from the Lord personally. My words spoken in public said I had faith and loved God. Deep down in my heart, I knew those were mostly just words and I needed to cultivate a more committed relationship with Jesus. But that took something I wasn’t willing to do. It took admitting that MY way wasn’t working. This meant I had to deal with my pride and I wasn’t ready to do that.
I rationalized and procrastinated. I just wasn’t quite ready to do something as radical as turning my life completely over to God to run however He saw fit. My thought was simple and essentially two-fold:
1. Giving God control meant I wouldn’t get to do what I wanted. Looking back on this statement makes me kind of laugh. My actions, my control was causing me to be miserable. But at the time it made perfect sense!
2. Once I had gotten everything I wanted in life I would give God control. This made perfect sense to me! Get to where I wanted to be and then let God have control. My thought was if I made just a bit more money then I could spend more time with my family and develop my relationship with God. But the more I made and the bigger my companies grew the more time I spent away from my family and the more miserable I became.
Sure, I had been “praying” now and then asking God to get me through one business deal after another, or out of one messy jam after another. Looking back at my old journals from 2012 and 2013, I can see how I was struggling to find direction from the Bible.
I actually thought for a while that I was truly trusting God. That I was leaning on Him. But as time passed and things continued to spiral downhill in my stress-filled life, I slowly came to realize that I was really just paying lip service to God.
The more I tried to get closer to Jesus, the more I saw how far away I really was. The more I read the Bible about “trusting in the Lord with all your heart,” the more I realized that I was living my life trusting mainly in myself. I had pretty much turned to my own way, hypocritically using God as a sort of fallback safety net when things got too intense for me to handle alone. Usually, I was just vaguely aware of these inconvenient truths.
I knew that I desperately needed help in every area of my life. So, as a last resort, I turned to God and repeatedly started praying “Help me, Lord.” I was going to an ATM and trying to pull out money. When money wouldn’t come out I was upset with the ATM. I was upset it wouldn’t give me money! Why wasn’t it giving me money?
Well, then it hit me! I hadn’t put any money in the bank. I hadn’t even been working a job to make any money to put into the bank. So, the reason there was no money in the ATM was 100% my fault.
This was my relationship with God. I hadn’t been putting any time into the relationship but I kept wondering, “Where is God when I need Him most?” God was right there the whole time. He was just waiting for me.
It got to the point where I felt like I was the “mole” in the county fair game “whack a mole.” I would come up with a plan and pop up and God would lovingly bump me and say that isn’t where I want you. Boy was I stubborn. It kept me from giving in. I just had to keep doing it my way.
Obviously, I never said a word about any of these problems to Jordan. My stubborn pride wouldn’t let me. I had to keep up a brave front with her and pretend that everything was all right. That I was a strong man who had a good relationship with God. That I was right in my arguments and decisions. The issues I was having was because OTHER people were not right with God, it wasn’t me.
I just couldn’t bring myself to admit to my wife that I was not the man of God I needed to be. In reality, I was ashamed to admit the truth to her or to anyone else. It was all I could do to admit it to myself and that was a real struggle. My pride and arrogance were out of control at this point. I was a prideful, self-centered, egotistical man who was determined to have God on one side of the fence and my life on the other.
I knew beyond a doubt I needed God in my life. I needed to let God lead, guide and direct me. But I was struggling.
Then one day in the fall of 2014, I had an epiphany of sorts while I was reading Proverbs, honestly, I was just skimming it because I felt guilty for not having a daily devotional. Yet God used this time to show me I was a hypocrite.
Suddenly I saw, with perfect clarity, I was serving myself and my own carnal desires, worshipping material things and success. I was practicing a contemporary form of materialistic idolatry. I was a saved, religious hypocrite who only wanted God involved when I needed Him.
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