08/05/2013

Turning His Face*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:49 am by The Water Bearer

woman-reaching-upward

Through these few weeks of suffering the condition I mentioned in a recent post, I have been more focused than ever on bringing more of God’s presence into my day-to-day life. Funny that!

We always stretch further for Him when we are suffering, don’t we?

Last week I completed a 2 week fast. No alcohol, No TV, and did not touch a blog site or any social media. My intention was to meditate, and work on my novel, as much as possible (although my plans are not always His and He had other things for me to deal with).

The foundation of a successful fast, is giving up anything that seeks to control us, anything we enjoy enough to get lost in, or find a pull towards during tough times. Easy distractions or addictions, habits and weaknesses. During a fast we make a 100% non-negotiable promise, to God, to go without which ever thing we are fasting for an achievable amount of time.

Each time the tempting thought arises we acknowledge God and our promise to Him, we reinforce that promise and we ask for His help when it gets tough. By doing this we are making some huge expressions of faith from our softened hearts. (God just loves it when we do this!)

These are some things that speak out of our hearts during a fast like this – God is real, He watches us, We revere Him enough to want to keep our promise. We need his help when we are weak. We are willing to give up the pleasures of the world to acknowledge Him and invite Him in to our situation.

It is the most powerful exercise I have found to overcome the world and my flesh, and witness His presence.

The first thing I noticed during this particular fast, was how much spare time I had to get other things done. I accomplished so much, and after feeling useless for a number of weeks, I felt a great sense of achievement as I ticked off many things on my never ending to-do list.

The second thing I noticed was how much easier it was to discover God’s guidance and to find things to praise Him for. The medication I am on for this condition has exacerbated my mood disorder significantly, I am more emotionally sensitive than ever. It can only take a millisecond for me to burst into tears, or flick on the rage switch, grit my teeth and loose any place of calm. Often, in times like this, I pray. Usually something desperate like “Oh Lord help me, take away my emotions, help so-and-so see how hard this is for me and not aggravate me! I don’t want to feel like this” etc. Then I wait…with angry tears….until He changes things.

However, during this fast I found praising Him was a much quicker way to flick off that unpleasant switch.

I recommend everyone tries this, it is not always easy, but it works every time!

Right in the midst of a full blown attack, when our Inner Enemies are hitting us from every angle, rather than fighting back in anger, we can end the battle then and there. By pushing aside that tidal wave of ammunition,  which fuels unpleasant emotions, just for a second, and find something, anything to be grateful for. Praise God for that, whatever it may be. It could be as simple as the ability to breathe, or the warm bed you are about to snuggle up in… It could be the legs that allow you to walk away from something aggravating. 😉

If there is  anything that will send our Inner Enemies high-tailing it into the distance, it is Praise! Worship! Gratitude! Forgiveness! A sure way to grab onto the face of God and turn it towards you!

praising 2

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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