22/03/2013

Giving Up Comfort for Destiny*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 9:21 am by The Water Bearer

comfort 2

It took a long time for me to hit publish on my first post, 2 years in fact. I missed out on the wonderful Blogosphere for so long because it was so very far from my comfort zone. Have you missed out, while clinging to your comfort zone too? But isn’t it amazing when we do take a risk and perhaps experience a little discomfort, in order to bring something new and wonderful into our lives!

After the long list of times I have found success in my faith walk, you would think I might be more courageous. I have written many posts bursting with evidence of courage and victory, posts about standing on God’s promises, about speaking up for faith while risking my reputation. I have shared the amazing tale of trusting God with my premature Daughter. I have advised on all the ways to gain help from above, and many more, but my courage seems fickle sometimes.

I’ve noticed that most of these experiences seem to have emerged from the most desperate times in my life. Times I was fighting for my sanity, when I was fighting for my family’s & my safety, or I was fighting for a new life.boxing

It is much easier to choose to hand these types of situations over to God, because I know I have no control over them anyway.

Recently, God has been teaching me to let go of control in other ways, in areas that don’t threaten my life, or my sanity. Teaching me about sacrificing my ability to create comfort around me.

You see, I have this yearning inside me to go to the next level in my life, like destiny is calling my name so loudly it is deafening sometimes.

Yet, I have a good life. I am extremely blessed. I don’t have that desperation to HAVE TO change or improve anything with great intensity. Life is looking pretty damn good right now, and I am so grateful for that!

I guess I find myself at a point where I am scared of what I will have to give up in order to reach that next level. Sayings, which we have all heard a million times, are replaying in my mind, “Why fix something that is not broken” & “Don’t rock the boat!”. (Sigh*)

I read this awesome post Being Comfortable can Become Crippling and it hit me in the core of my being. It made me realise something profound.

I am crippled by my comfort!

The blogger replied to my comment, where I shared my recent predicament, and her words were simple, convicting and wonderful. I saw how our Inner enemies use our comfort as something we pursue, aimlessly following it wherever it takes us, yet while chasing after this comfort we miss out on the greater blessings and purpose given to us from above.

Her last few words gave me the kick in the pants I needed –

“It’s time to bust out of our comfort zone and jump into the lake of faith and swim. I know we don’t know how deep the water is, but God will be our floatation device. Trust Him!!!”

WOW! Right?

It is easy to fight against an opposition that is obvious, enemies that you can see threatening you, but we must go deeper and fight against those next level inner enemies, the ones that aren’t so blatant but just as damaging to the greater plan for our lives.

It is time to fight back against these tactics which hold us back. Time to break out of our comfort zone and see what we are really here for.

Lord I pray you show me how, guide me toward YOUR steps, and I will go, with your strength as my cane and your wings as my safety.

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14/03/2013

Controlling Lies*

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:19 am by The Water Bearer

control

It seems the lie my inner enemies tell me most often, is that I need to take control of this thing or the other. That, if I can use my determination and powers of persuasion over others, then I can prevent all manner of undesirable consequences. This lie, deep in my heart, has over the years, transformed itself into emotional manipulation, anxiety, worry, desperation, frustration, anger, and fear.

Many of us experienced a situation of instability as children, and therefore tend to grow up with similar issues of control. It seems a natural response, for as children we have almost no control over our lives and the environment in which we live. We are dependent on our guardians to make all decisions for us and even though we are the ones suffering through the consequences, we can do very little to change it.

It makes sense then, that we may grow up with subconscious urges to control.

My hand is up! Anyone else?

There is also a huge amount of evidence which we can be reminded of, through promptings from our inner enemies. Evidence to back up and empower our concerns, evidence to fuel anger, evidence to excuse our actions, and evidence to smother any desire to Trust God.

If control issues are the weapon, then this evidence is the ammunition. Yes, I am loaded and aimed to fire, far too often.

The area where this manifests in our lives may be different for each of us, and usually changes from one area to another over the years. I recently went through a situation which shines a light on this issue so brightly for me, I want to share some of it with you.

You see, I had tied myself in knots trying to make something happen, I believed every excuse that came to mind; that time was pressing down on us; that I was being helpful; that I was being motivated; that I was being organised. I tried to force others to fit into the spaces I left for them to contribute. Each time the opportunity passed by I felt more pressure build inside of me.

I knew I had to trust God, in my head, but my heart was too wound up. Too tied up with angst trying to bring this situation to it’s end. Too much effort would be wasted, there didn’t seem enough time to just wait. I was white knuckling through, unable to let go.

So, after some good counsel from my dearest friends, I made God a promise, that I would not do another thing about this situation, I wouldn’t even mention it, and I would wait until the others involved brought up the subject with me, and then I would do whatever was asked of me (without complaint or ideas of a better way!!)

For the first two days of this promise I filled up my time with other things. I was hell bent on distracting myself from the mission I had promised not to act upon. However by the third day, I was bordering on insanity. I felt my inner enemies tugging at me to make plans, any kind of plans, plans to drop hints, or plans to keep me distracted again. But God whispered into my heart that this was still a manifestation of control. I was trying to avoid waiting and trusting by filling up my time.

Every second that my mind wasn’t focused on something else, this situation would tunnel it’s way to the surface of my thoughts. I tried to push it away, I begged God to help me keep my promise, to help me keep my mouth shut! I cannot believe how HARD it was. Oh LORD!! Was it ever hard!

About half way through the third day someone broached the issue, they made the arrangements, I complied and by the end of the day the whole situation was completely resolved!

Once again the Lord proved how faithful and trustworthy He is. He will cover all the things which I feel I must control, I am the one who wastes my efforts and time when I do not invest in His control.

Just when I think I have an area like this all sorted out, that I have outgrown my inner enemies in this particular thing or the other, I am humbled once again by just how dependent upon God I am.

Clinging Cross

02/03/2013

Pushing Aside The World*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , at 2:28 pm by The Water Bearer

loving the world

Ever get that feeling that the world is dragging you to become a person you don’t want to be?

When I’m asleep I can escape the world. No decisions to make, no temptation to resist, nothing to discern. During slumber I am not wondering if I will disappoint someone, I have no emotions to battle against. There is no war between Inner Angels & Enemies, no calling to obey and nothing to control.

Thank you Lord for precious sleep!

However, sleeping away our lives is not a productive option.

We open our eyes to a world of demand and opportunity, of obligations and expectations. A daily tight-rope walk toward faithful success, over the abyss of chaos and weakness. A balancing act between grabbing for the spiritual presence of God and functioning happily in the world we must live in.

When life gets tough I put on God’s armour, and draw nearer to Him. I know the best way to fight life’s battles is God’s way. In these most difficult times I live each day fully aware of the spiritual war that surrounds me.  I become vigilant about what I allow my soul to be exposed to. I am guarded about what my eyes see and my ears hear, about who I spend time with, what movies I watch, books I read etc. I focus on my self-discipline and time in devotion. How much of the world I allow into my home and my soul becomes a constant concern.

Yet, when life goes well, when stress and drama fade, it’s common to get relaxed and drop our guard. It seems so easy to be pulled along by the world. Effortlessly slipping into self-indulgence when the opposition appears to be giving us a break. Time to celebrate the wins, and enjoy the blessings the Lord has given. A little of the world begins to show up here and there, the odd subtle seductive temptation. If you’re like me, you might breeze over them, certain these tiny battles are irrelevant after the masses of spiritual blood and tears shed previously.

Time passes quickly, more and more of the world creeps in, sneakily distracting us from our calling, from our dreams, from the character God has been developing within. Inner enemies are always hunting determinedly for an opening, seeking to slip into our lives and knock our character off track. Encouraging us to pick our distraction of choice and indulge in it.

Time and time again I recognise that the more intimate I am with God, the more offended I am by the evil in the world, and the more I resist it. Yet when my focus is not firmly on Him, I become less sensitive to it. After a while I get a tap on the shoulder from the Lord who impresses on my heart how much evil is being slipped under the door of each and every home. Desensitizing us to its poison, distracting us from the bigger picture. I lift my head, I open my eyes, I see it. I find myself knee deep in the world again.

I repent of my weakness and lean into the strong arms of Yeshua. I let His love wash over me, because self-condemnation is such a familiar foe, it will drag me down, making it even harder to climb out of the deep worldly waters. I come back to the place where His strength helps me to consciously regroup my focus with my calling, and leave the slippery slopes of the world behind.

Inner Enemies are real! Just look within, you will find them. Pushing the world aside limits their access to us…. I walk this line, I aim for balance, but no matter how hard I try, life has a way of reminding me that I can’t do it without the Inner Angels dispatched by God to help me.

pushing aside the world

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