“Don’t grieve God. Don’t break His heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don't take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”
I am my own worst critic. In the verse above when it talks about patience... I find it hard to give patience to myself. So, in this process called life and figuring out who I am, I have discovered that its easiest to start with who He is. Who was and is and is to come. I was made in His image, so why would I speak or think negatively about something that He has created?
“Jesus, take me back to the beginning. Who YOU are and have always been. I know that my understanding of who You are plays a huge role in my reasoning for every breath, action, thought, and decision I will make in this life. Forgive me for not always keeping Your kindness at the forefront of my mind. Because of my human condition and the enemies confusion, I can become disengaged at times. You know this. I’ve grown used to ignoring my thought habits. The habits that have existed for so long, that I am unaware of what they even are anymore. I pray that You would start revealing the deepest wounds that I’ve never allowed to heal, the lies I was never meant to believe, and the shame I put on myself for decisions that are already under the blood.”
I’ve prayed this prayer many times and if this kinda sounds like you too, that’s normal. It’s all of us. The good news is we are all in this together, but it’s going to take vulnerability to heal. Get ready, because things are about to get vulnerable. (For me anyways haha)
Have you ever valued someone else’s opinion over your own? Even if it made no logical sense, compromised your beliefs, made you settle, or crushed your joy and dreams of the future? Possibly without even really knowing it? I have for sure. Sad, I know. Writing this down, I think... “Why would I let someone walk all over me like that?”
People who know me would assume that the above question never entered into my mind, but it has. More than I care to admit. In every area of my life. Going even deeper, I have trained myself, subconsciously, to second guess every thought, idea, and dream. Why? I don't know when it quite started, but somewhere along the way, I believed the lie that it was impossible to be a pure version of myself. My ideas would never be good enough to stand on their own two feet. WHAT A LIE FROM THE PITS OF HELL. Funny thing about these lies, after I believed them a few times, I started telling them to myself and I’m sure the enemy walked away smiling at his work.
My Abba’s heart broke every time I believed the lie that my worth had to come from something I had to do. My fear of pleasing people and valuing their opinions became so much it overruled everything. He was trying to speak, but I already made up my mind about what I thought I had to believe. Truth is, I didn't realize I could change my thought patterns enough to make a difference.
Now that all is super deep. I don't like living in the negativity and depression. Ironic, because I put up with it for far too long. Praise Jesus for forgiveness and abundant mercy. It makes me happy to know how patient and kind He is with us. How reckless and relentless is His love.
Through all of my weakness, I have recognized something through His Spirit. He created me to live in fullness. He did not create me to live in lack. It was never His intention to be separated from me by sin. We know this. Although He is sovereign over all, and knew from the beginning how He would bring us back into direct communication with Him through Jesus, He has given us free will. A will to choose how we want to live our lives. A will to choose what we dwell on when it enters our minds. (Take every thought into captivity. 2 Corin. 10:5) If you are a believer of the goodness and gospel of Jesus Christ, you have a responsibility as a daughter/son to GUARD YOURSELF. Proverbs 4:23-24 talks about guarding your heart, because everything you do flows from it. This includes thoughts, words, and ultimately decisions.
One HUGE lesson Holy Spirit is teaching me in this time of excessive growth is this:
Romans 12:1-2 NIV
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Do you speak the truth about yourself?
This isn't about how you FEEL. I am not saying to neglect your emotions. Emotions are a HUGE indicator of our hearts and the way we are designed by God. They are for our good; to let us know when something has effected us. So acknowledge how you feel, but do not let your feelings override the constant, unshakable truth of who God is.
First, let’s look what the essence of the Father.
Who is God? What is His nature?
GOOD, The Great I AM, Constant One, Love, Father, Comforter, Righteousness, Truth, Life, Joy, Peace, a Friend who sticks closer than a brother, Savior, Redeemer, HOPE, Faithful, never leaving or forsaking, never lying, supporter, dream maker, creative, passionate, fulfillment, breath, Light, Wisdom, all powerful, all knowing, always present, etc.
I could go on forever. He is anything you need Him to be and so much more. So keep this in mind as I ask you this next question.
What are you allowing yourself to believe that is outside of God’s nature? In other words, what lies are you telling yourself that do not align with what you know to be true?
I’ll share one of mine I’ve struggled with and am overcoming.
“Holly, if you exercised more and stuck to your plan that you were so proud of, you could've been where you wanted to be physically 3 years ago. Instead, here you are again, attempting to start over. Might as well give up, you have every other time. You’ll never finish. Why hope for something that will never happen? You're too weak minded. No wonder you can never accomplish other things too. Look at you career. Why can't you make up your mind about what you want? You're just a child. You’ll never overcome all this. It’s too much. Might as well give up. No one would notice."
STOP. I have an important opportunity here. I could either choose to come into agreement with that, or I could say, repeat, and BELIEVE the following of what I know JESUS says about me:
“Holly, I speak righteousness and wisdom over you. He is proud of you, beloved. You are covered by the blood of Christ Jesus. Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life, not regret and shame. (Ps. 23:6) When God sees you, He smiles, knowing that you are doing your best to please Him. He is already pleased by you being who you are in Him. You are a chosen, strong, and fierce woman of God. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. You can do ALL things through CHRIST who gives you STRENGTH. You steward your gifts well. As a daughter of the Most High, I choose to partner with joy, peace, and the kingdom of God. I rebuke you, Satan, and you're plans of death and destruction. O my soul, put your hope in God!”
I will yell that. I will whisper it. I will think it. I will write versions of it down over and over again. Anything that reminds me of who HE says I am, until I start believing it too. (2 Tim. 1:7)
1 Corin. 2:15-16
“The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ.”
My dear brother/sister, you must equip your mind for battle. This is real. No monkey business. The enemy is like a roaring lion looking for someone to take down. (John 10:10) Your mind, when unaware, is the perfect place to start. This is an urgent time in the kingdom. We need to stay alert and focused on our purpose: to seek Him above all else and to proclaim His love to the lost.
How do we do this?
Some tools that many of us often forget we have is the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit. (Eph. 6:17, 1 Thess. 5:8) Immerse yourself in His Word. The scripture is meant to be a nourishment to our souls and MINDS. If you're not feeding your spirit, you’re on the path to starving it. Take a verse that resonates with you, a chapter, whatever He is speaking to you, and simply read it. Memorize it. SPEAK IT OUT LOUD. Ask Holy Spirit for wisdom and encouragement. His will for you is to walk and live in FREEDOM, so others around you can also live there as well.
It may seem hard to start and think about all these things that you've been believing, or not believing but that is why we have the Holy Spirit. Oh, what a comforter He is!!! This isn't to condemn or belittle you. It's a starting place. It is to bring HEALING. Don't be so stinkin’ hard on yourself. (Easier said than done I know!!) Haha! This is a relationship with a loving Father. He is not asking you to be a brain surgeon and get yourself right on your own, but sit with Him awhile and rest in His presence. There, is the fullness of unshakeable joy.
Healing comes when we are honest with ourselves, trusted friends or family, and Jesus. Beloved, you have been chosen for such a time as this. (Esther 4:14b) Don’t let the enemy take real estate that he was never meant to have in your mind. If you want to be free of whatever toxic thinking has held onto you and you have held onto as well, ask the Holy Spirit to free you. He is waiting to cleanse you with His all consuming fire that leaves us refreshed and filled with thankfulness and a fresh perspective of glory.
Be encouraged and excited about vulnerability. It is His desire for you to know Him as He knows you. I had to also choose to look at those seasons of so called “failure” I talked about earlier as part of a bigger plan. My weakness is made strong in HIM. What we see as a loss, He turns into gain. What we see as pain, He turns into joy. Thank Him for what seems to you as ugly because chances are it is already something to be called beautiful in His eyes. Thanking him turns your heart towards His heart. It produces PEACE. Thankfulness = Peace and Joy.
“Father God, help me to become aware of Your voice. I come before you as your beloved child, made in Your image, asking for your cleansing mercy. I believe that my life has purpose, and my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. I will not allow myself to speak or think lies over myself any longer. I am set free by the blood of Christ, and I sit in heavenly places with Christ. The joy of the Lord is my strength, and I will rejoice no matter how I feel. Father, you know me. You see me. You love me. You know my dreams. You are my best friend. Remind me of how much you love me every second of every day. I trust you. I speak blessings and life over my fragile mind and heart. I receive Your healing. I thank you for every blessing you've already given, will give, and the current situation I am in. I acknowledge that Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are not my thoughts. In the name of Jesus. Your will be done. Amen.”
- If you love books and want to hear more advice, professional wisdom, and God inspired words, check these books out! I loved them and they encouraged me to dig deeper into who God has made me. My emotions, mind, and soul are better because of these! (And the Bible of course.)
- “Switch On Your Brain” By Caroline Leaf
- “Voice of The Heart” by Chip Dodd
- “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
- Some Scripture references:
- Psalm 23 - goodness and mercy, He anoints your head with oil
- Romans 12:2
- 1 Corin. 2:16.. also the whole chapter is amazing.
- 2 Tim. 1:7
- 2 Corin. 10:5
- Esther 4:14b
- John 10:10
Much love in Christ