See What You Can’t See

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Years ago, I watched a documentary about a man who ate fast-food three times a day for 30 days. The documentary captured his weight gain, and medical test results revealed negative changes to his blood and cholesterol levels. As if things couldn’t get worse, the documentary also showed how various fast food products didn’t mold or degrade, even months after purchase.

What I saw was powerful, and I couldn’t unsee it. For months afterward, I felt an incredible tension every time my kids wanted to eat out. Happy kids + super convenient versus tired mom + time spent cooking at home.

Most people don’t eat at fast food restaurants for every meal, but we do feel tremendous struggles around food and weight. Every January, many people begin new meal plans or exercise regimens. We know what we’re supposed to do. We even know what will happen if we don’t do it. Yet, our failure to stick with healthier eating habits is one of the most common struggles among Americans, especially compared to other nations.

Of course, many of us are dealing with deeper, more difficult issues.

As we continue our series, “The Struggle is Real,” Lead Pastor Ben Snyder talked about the spiritual vision that we need if we’re going to find freedom and victory in our greatest struggles. If you recall, Ben defined our struggle in three ways:

  • Wanting what we don’t have.
  • Having what we don’t want.
  • Not wanting to do what we know we need to do.

How many of us have deep frustrations because we keep applying surface fixes to a spiritual problem? We forget that our bodies are physical, mental, AND spiritual. This means that our deepest struggles require a divine solution. There’s great wisdom about this recorded long ago:

Proverbs 29:18 (MSG)
If people can’t see what God is doing,
    they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
    they are most blessed.

God invites us to see things differently. God doesn’t do band-aids, but instead he invites us to be changed from the inside-out. Consider your struggle. Whether it’s your physique, mental health, relationship issues, or financial matters, he invites you to ask him to give you spiritual vision. As you begin to see your struggles and surroundings differently, you’ll begin to feel more alive and see yourself the way that God sees you.

What struggle frustrates you because you just can’t consistently do what you know you need to? Which aspects of your struggle are physical, mental, and spiritual?

Next Steps:
If you haven’t considered the spiritual roots of your struggle, pray and ask God to help you see them.

If you can’t identify some of the spiritual aspects of your struggle, invite a wise, trusted person to listen and ask questions to help you figure it out.

21 Days Prayer:
Day 8 – Brokenness before him (Psalm 51:17)

Dear God, I have missed the mark of righteousness many times. Yet while I was still separated from you, you loved me and sent your Son to die for me. Thank you, Lord. Do not allow me to act proud. Today, I offer my broken spirit to you, for you alone can make it whole. I come to you in repentance, knowing you see me as perfect because of your Son’s sacrifice. Heal me, God, and teach my heart to break for what breaks yours. In your Son’s name, I pray. Amen. 

For today’s prayer focus for parents click here.

This post was written by Barb Roose. Barb worked on staff at CedarCreek for 14 years before transitioning to becoming a full-time speaker and author four years ago. Barb attends CedarCreek every single weekend that she isn’t on the road traveling and is so proud of her church!

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14 replies
  1. Julie
    Julie says:

    I watched the same show on fast food! I am constantly researching the food I eat. The latest diet trend. Always looking for the fast fix to my weight issue, knowing in my heart that it takes time and diligence. Every new year I resolve to do better, start out strong and lose my resolve as the business of life overtakes me. I’m so glad that God loves me just the way I am. I do the best I can with what I have and God has taught me to be OK with that.

  2. Patrick Pagal
    Patrick Pagal says:

    Thank you for sharing this barb. I really appreciated the way you framed “the struggle” into the three parts of Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. Identifying and defining my struggle in these three areas help me to create vision on how to approach and overcome. Each area has a different struggle. It all starts with the core spiritual layer and that requires brokenness and humility.

  3. Jeffery Ovens
    Jeffery Ovens says:

    Good morning all. Great message this weekend Ben, and extension today Barb. This series reminds me not to fixate on the pane when looking out a window, but to see beyond the glass to visualize the issue. You can be blinded staring at the glass, and miss the answers and beauty that lie beyond.
    What better place to start your journey than inside, with your heart. Get your house in order, God’s got this, AND your curb appeal.
    Good book to read: Inside Out by Dr. Larry Crabb

  4. Marna Ward
    Marna Ward says:

    That one line: “God invites us to see things differently.” That is such a profound truth and I don’t want to miss it.

  5. Chris Baney
    Chris Baney says:

    I love the line… “ God doesn’t do band-aids, but instead he invites us to be changed from the inside-out.“

    Thank you for this perspective shift from surface fixes to spiritual problems to eternal fixes to spiritual problems.

  6. Ben Snyder
    Ben Snyder says:

    Me too, Chris!
    Barb – it is always a joy to learn from you! Thanks for sharing your gift with us!


  7. Amy Crofts
    Amy Crofts says:

    Oh Barb! So much truth in this today! Thank you for the amazing insight! I love learning from you! Thank you for sharing your talent with us. ❤️

  8. Josh Whitlow
    Josh Whitlow says:

    How many of us have deep frustrations because we keep applying surface fixes to a spiritual problem?

    Incredible question! Thanks Barb!

  9. Lucas Eckel
    Lucas Eckel says:

    I can definitely relate to the cycle of not feeling good enough at something in my life, doing something to try to change it MYSELF, failing at it more than likely, feeling like I’ll never be good enough, and then rinse and repeat.

    It’s that struggle that opens the door to what God has for us, and how he can change us from the inside which then also has outward effects. Only by relying on God can we begin to not only see those surface level changes in our lives, but also feel adequate and worthy.

  10. Lauren Snyder
    Lauren Snyder says:

    Confession: I intentionally did NOT watch that documentary because I preferred to remain blissfully unaware…and now I’m convicted about all of the other things I avoid because the reality won’t be “fun” 🙈

    Thanks for the good stretch today, Barb!!

  11. Cynthia Casey
    Cynthia Casey says:

    The prayer on Friday was a great reminder …’Father, I come to you in prayer today, thankful that I am your child… I am so grateful that you are my Father. Thank you for loving me. I love you.’

    ‘When we prioritize spiritual vision, we find that over time it grows and further empowers us.’
    Sun Jan 12th, 9:36AM

  12. Nathan Campbell
    Nathan Campbell says:

    I agree Chris I love that our God doesn’t use Band-Aid fixes. When we begin to look a life through the lense of a spiritual perspective we can see this. I am guilty of too often trying to do things on my own and fix things with Band-Aids. I need to just give it to God and know that he has got this. I have done this now for several months and I can attest he truly does got this and feel so blessed to be on this adventure with all of you.

  13. Devin Cooper
    Devin Cooper says:

    I think one of my biggest struggles has been learning to fully trust God. It’s so easy to want control and to want to be the one trying and striving.

    The problem is when we’re in control, if the steps we should be taking in faith don’t produce the results we’re looking for, in the time we’re expecting it to take place, we jump to the conclusion that these steps I’m taking aren’t working, I must be doing something wrong.

    However, when we Obey God, surrender control, and trust him with the results, we can begin to walk in faith knowing that change doesn’t have to come over night, but we can continue moving forward walking in faith. We can, as we trust God with each step, learn to trust him more and more with the results, because it’s not in our timing and it’s not by our control. It’s only in Him we find freedom.

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