So many are completely unaware of the battle Inner Angels and Enemies has been trying to expose over the past 5 years. We ignore the hidden stresses and insecurities that poison us from underneath a helmet of mindlessness. Our busy minds are bombarded by excess, alarmism and dysfunction, and most of us are just trying to cope, just barely holding it all together.
Often those who claim serenity, who claim to have a handle on stress, have actually withdrawn from life in some way. Refraining from deep relationships, avoiding every potential for suffering, disconnecting from the masses. Some have removed themselves from society, or simply live in a state of ignorance. And while I agree that we all need a break from time to time, I do not believe God intended us to live in a permanent state of disconnectedness, only to interact in short and occasional bursts, and then retreat away again. The scriptures say to be not of this world, but that does not mean we are to disconnect from it. We are given the powers of heaven to OVERCOME the dysfunctional patterns of the world. To still be able to interact and impact our communities positively, and have deep meaningful relationships. To not be governed by indulgence and addiction as the world encourages, but to defeat emotions grounded in selfishness, bitterness, fear, and pride…
Deuteronomy 14:2 “You have been set apart as holy to the LORD your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.” Those words ‘set apart‘ is translated from the Hebrew word Qadowsh, which actually means Holy and Sacred. This infers, not that we are separated in physicality or proximity, or even emotionally, but rather in morality!
In order to gain back some awareness of our thoughts and behaviours, psychologist have been using meditation and mindfulness to help manage some of the dysfunctional conditions which are becoming epidemic in our society. Conditions like anxiety, depression, PTSD, panic attacks, mood disorders, addiction and more. Using techniques which decrease stress, slow the brainwaves and increase awareness, we are actually able to rewire our brains and alter these dysfunctional patterns we have adopted. This is wonderful news for those who are in the pursuit of wellness because it means we have access to healing without spending a fortune on pills and potions.
For those who are also in pursuit of faith as they strive toward wellness, the scriptures hold vital keys. These patterns of dysfunctional behaviours, become locked into our subconscious, and are identified as the ‘Sins of the flesh’ according to the Word of God. Mindlessness prevents us from recognising how deep we have gone. Therefore Self-Awareness is vital to recognise areas of our subconscious that require alteration, which you can read more about in this post. While meditating on the scriptures and absorbing the character of Christ, we can alter subconscious patterns to align with His perfect example. Replacing, selfish and unrighteous patterns with patience, gentleness, kindness, selflessness and LOVE.
This concept is the foundation for a calling God has placed on my heart, as mentioned in this previous post. Leading me to design a program that unites Self-awareness with Scripture Meditation. I can hardly wrap my head around the abundance of evidence God has guided me towards to support this program. It is founded in Science, Scripture and life Experience.
After so many years battling with all manner of dysfunction, mental illness, injury, and sickness I NOW UNDERSTAND WHAT GOD WAS DOING! He was using those situations to bring me to this place, a place where I can show others how to develop wellness and faith, and how to rewire their bodies and minds. It is a place where I can use my testimony to expose the enemy and to restore the reputation of the stunning and incredible Character of God!
God used my experiences to lead me to become the founder of a unique concept called Sanctuary Stretch.
I am amazed to tell you that while I was once unemployable, and even suicidal, I am now a certified Pilates Instructor and Meditation & Mindfulness Teacher, and have combined those two techniques with the Word of God to decrease stress, restore physical vitality and bring every thought into the captivity of Christ! You can read all about it on the Sanctuary Stretch Facebook Page or website. For those in the Sunshine State…South East Corner…Australia… I look forward to seeing you for your first FREE CLASS!
Don’t you deserve some time out to distress and rejuvenate mind, body and faith under the loving gaze of your Loving Heavenly Father? Of course you do.. WE ALL DO!
Before I began blogging, I was disheartened by the lack of people who I could interact with, who pursued a genuine relationship with Christ and God. A rare gem, to discover another person who accepted the way I experienced God. I have a few gems in my life, luckily. Yet I always searched, yearning for more. I was blessed to stumble across many of you who fellowship with me in such a loving supportive way.
Before blogging I found many religious people who knew the scriptures inside and out, who called themselves “Born Again”, but after time they mostly wanted to argue their interpretation and seemed unable or unwilling to accept the personal relationship that I was developing with my Heavenly Father. They tried to direct my path with many different scriptures, expecting me to apply them to my current situation, instead of trusting God to reveal His Word and His Will to me as I walked by His side, under His direction.
Like many others, I found myself directed away from their rigid, graceless, control. I pulled back from their judgmental condemnation of my imperfections or my choices. I didn’t want to draw nearer, rather wanted to protect my fragile heart from their looks of disdain and disapproval as I confessed my daily struggles with the flesh.
How many of us have had people knock on our door, claiming to have the one right way to be saved, the only way, according to them? I have had many. The most recent wasn’t satisfied with my confession of love and devotion to God and His Son. He kept trying to trip me up with vague questions, ones which he had carefully selected the only answer he would accept. For every scripture he threw in my face I gave him back three to think on. Yet he was unwilling to accept me. I was standing in my own home being berated and dismissed by someone who claimed to be encouraging me towards God. Needless to say I informed him of this and sent him on his way with love….. No one has been back to encourage me since then.
Over the years I have begun to understand the reason many people can’t accept our daily walk under God’s direction, rather than under their control. I believe it is unfathomable to many, that we might know how to perceive God’s personal instructions. Simply because God has not revealed Himself to them or just because the are not at that stage of faith yet.
The scriptures often contradict each other much of the time, not every scripture applies to every situation. We must be humble and willing enough to let God use them inspirationally to show us His Will for each of us, at each stage of our lives.
No other human being, not one, knows what God has planned for us, except to say He is FOR us! Only we can discover His plan for us through our personal relationship with Him.
No human, not one, knows who God will show mercy and forgiveness to, or who He will reign down His wrath upon.
No human, not one, knows what actions God will choose to forgive and which He will condemn.
These privileges have not been given to us because we are not GOD, who sees into the hearts of His children, and anyone who claims to know these things is simply playing at being God.
The path is narrow, but your narrow path is not my narrow path, God is omnipotent enough to have designed a narrow path for each and every one of us, if we continue to seek it. He didn’t make just one plan and need to make every different amazingly created human to fit into it.
Enough is enough. If you find yourself using scriptures to make someone else feel unworthy and unloved then you may want to ask yourself if you have missed the whole lesson that Christ suffered horrendously to bring us.
Nourishment is defined as – “The substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.”
This is probably the most obvious post, which many of you knew was coming in this series. The word of God is immeasurable nourishment for achieving a healthy heart and building a relationship with the Almighty. Unfortunately it has been known to fall into the wrong hands, it has been misused as a tool to condemn, judge, and control way too many people over the years. I have come to realise one very important thing about the Bible, and that is that it is a personal book, not a public one. Sure, we share scriptures to back up our theories and we use them to encourage or even reprove others, but all in all what God inspires in each word changes for each person, according to where they are at in their walk with Him. This is why there are references to the ‘secrets’ of God’s word.
“And he said, To you is given knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to the others, they are given in stories, so that seeing, they may not see, and though they give hearing, the sense will not be clear to them.” Luke 8:10 (BBE)
Secrets are defined as – Something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others. Something that is not properly understood; a mystery.
There are only two, who can know for sure what God is saying to you through His word. One is you, with your heart after Him, and the other is God! That’s it! Others can guess, they can speculate, they can advise, they can theorize, however God and God alone is the only one who’s guidance we must take, any advice must be checked back with Him and await confirmation, before anything can be known for certain. Read here for more on confirmation and deception.
“Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be confirmed”. 2 Cor 13:1 (MNT)
Abraham, the father and patriarch of the Hebrew nation, had no scriptures, he had a relationship with God. God poured promises deep into Abraham’s soul. Angels were sent to bring more fortuitous assurances. God spoke directly and the willing heart of Abraham believed and obeyed. In today’s scope of interactions with God, many of our imaginings about the ‘Words from God’ have become contaminated by false prophets and counterfeit deities. So we must have discernment and not swallow anything whole. We must chew it over with prayer and nourishment, we must give God the chance to confirm what it is that He is trying to tell us.
When we begin to build a relationship with someone, we spend time getting to know them. Reading the scriptures is a way of getting to know God and what His principles are. The stories and history recorded were written by those who had a deep relationship with God, and while there may be much confusion and debate over interpretation, there is much opportunity for growth for those who are willing to pursue it.
“Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11 (ASV)
The first thing I can hear you saying, based on what I said at the beginning of my own adult walk is, “But it’s hard and boring, and I don’t feel like reading the Bible”.
Something extremely important to recognise before we begin to read God’s word, is that the enemy is real and is out to destroy any hope we have of reaching the potential that God has in store for us. He has access to our flesh and uses it to pull us away from God and the disciplines we must apply in order to overcome it.
This is just like any other discipline, take for example physical exercise, we all know it is good for us, we all know that it will help us improve many areas of our lives, yet our flesh resists it. Even once we get going, we begin to feel the weight and pressure of keeping it up and we want to quit. Prayer is the same, try praying to God for 10 minutes. We can talk on the phone with our friends easily for 10 minutes, but test and see how hard it is to talk to God for that long. Our flesh distracts us, it feels like we simply cannot do it!
Reading the word of God also brings out this resistance, especially at first. Even when we pick it up and open somewhere and begin to read, it is like the words all overlap on the page, we find ourselves reading the same line over and over and not taking anything in. Or we open up at a genetic listing, a whole chapter dedicated to someone who ‘begat’ someone else, to the next generation and so on and so on. My advice is to press on, turn a few pages, pray for help to be able to read and understand. The Bible may be many things, however, “boring’ is not one of them, this is another trick from the enemy. We need to open up our hearts and let God in through His word. We need to acknowledge the enemy in our flesh and find the willingness to overcome it.
We can’t treat the Bible like any other book, reading from the front page through to the last. Each Book of the Bible is a whole book in itself, both filling and worth meditation. Before I open it up just anywhere, I pray and ask God to guide my eyes to find the words He wants me to read. If nothing makes sense after a little while, then start at the beginning of that chapter, if it still doesn’t connect then start at the beginning of that book. Another good idea is to make a note of the section you opened to and go back and check to see if it makes sense in a few days time. That can be mind-blowing!
Just like we need to eat healthy nutritious food to keep our bodies in top condition, we also need to read God’s word to keep our hearts in top condition.
‘Jesus answered, “Scripture says, ‘A person cannot live on bread alone but on every word that God speaks.'” Matthew 4:4
“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.” Isaiah 55:2-3
‘Nourishment’ is the 5th post within the series, ‘Gaining Help from Above’. Previous posts include, Connection, Accepting and Encounter, Security, and Control. Keep an eye out for more posts to come, Blessings to you!