Sunday, September 25, 2011

(day sixty-nine) The wild wilderness

There is an unrest in my spirit and I'm not sure why.... have you ever had one of those days? Today I have felt extremes. I've experienced the most beautiful moments in worship and have fought some unwelcome battles of insecurity and longing. In one second my soul was spending time in the heavenly realm - my heart filling up with God's love, and the next second I was hearing the lies of the enemy sting like flaming arrows against my skin. Mentally, I feel as though I've gone from victory to defeat and back again all day long. There has been a lot of joy and a lot of internal sadness all wrapped up in the same breath.

It seems like ever since I started this 90 day thing I've been exposed in ways I never imagined. It's like I consciously decided to take the first layer of skin off revealing every nerve, ligament, and bone underneath...becoming transparent in ways making everything a little more sensitive to touch. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I realized that was completely eliminated every source of numbing mechanisms. Since I started excluding unhealthy things in my mind, body, soul and spirit and practicing discipline and obedience through love... I can now feel everything the way it's intended to feel. Sometimes it feels amazing and sometimes the feelings are painful, but God is clearly teaching me not to rely so much on my feelings and emotions but rather the truth. Although they are great indicators and should be treated fairly, they don't deserve to be in the drivers seat when headed down the road to freedom.

Yesterday I had gotten extremely frustrated with this Daniel fast when my tummy got a little overwhelmed with hunger. I had waited too late to make something healthy and wanted so badly to just quickly fill my stomach with something.... anything! Even cheese-its! The coconut curry and rice I had stowed away for a time such as this had been swiped by my innocent dad and my family was over at my sister's eating pizza. Ugh. What an internal dilemma. In that moment I felt God saying, "Lindsey push through the pain, I will fill you up and you will hunger no more." Soon after that I found something in the house that worked with the fast and finally calmed down a bit. Sometimes we just have to realize our emotions are trying to forfeit the truth for a quick fix and politely ask them to take the back seat and let God do His thing. I went to bed full that night... in more ways than one.

Then a few days ago I had pinched something in my spine. The pain quickly spread throughout my back and shoulder blades. I decided I would make a speedy trip to the chiropractor and I'd be well on my way to recovery. For some reason I felt like God asked me to sit in the pain for a little bit and simply trust in Him to fix it. Again I heard him whisper, "Lins, let me align you with me... only I can make you whole." I didn't go to the chiro like I normally would and just stuck it out for the day. That night I went to a prayer thing and there was a lady there I knew from awhile back. She had since become a chiropractor and gave me a little adjustment right then and there! Praise God for coming through again!

Even in the midst of family and friends I still sometimes have lonely days. Days I think about how wonderful it would be to walk alongside my best friend enjoying life, making decisions together, and serving the Lord. In this vulnerable place it's quite easy to believe the lies of not being good enough, pretty enough, etc etc. The other day while dealing with this internal battle I wanted so badly to call a guy friend of mine because I knew He'd fill that hole in my heart momentarily. God said..."Wait on me daughter, let me be the one that makes you whole and fills your heart." So I pushed through, allowing myself to feel the pain, and felt Jesus move in at the most opportune moment to love me the way only He could.

I tell you these stories not to gloat in any way, shape, or form (believe you me, no bragging rights here)... but to expose the potential dangers of numbing ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As well as the slippery slope of letting our emotions take the wheel when we face the reality of the enemy's lies taking full advantage of our vulnerability in the pain we experience, or worse- the pain we choose to ignore. I'm not trying to encourage you to strip yourself of all your comforts (like I'm feeling at the moment), but to simply become aware of your needs and your path to temporary fulfillment or eternal satisfaction.

There was a time in my life when I would have a deep longing or need that quickly turned into an unhealthy want or desire that was quickly satisfied in a damaging way that lead to more slavery. If we're being completely honest I'm wondering if we all might have those moments more often than we actually think. I got so good at justifying that I could tell myself whatever I ended up doing had to be done because God put those needs and desires in me. Yes they are in all of us... but when we suppress them or avoid facing the true reality of that need and it's deep longing then our emotions take over and the enemy wastes no time in supplying a quick fix.

When you do a physical detox, you are literally faced with your own crap that's been hanging out in your intestines for a long while. I'm sure anyone who has done this would tell you it's not a pretty sight. Same thing goes for when you decide to detox the rest of you. As soon as we stop letting unhealthy things enter our mind, heart, body and soul... and we become keenly aware of the enemy's ploy we begin to see the desperate need for complete truth and will go to great lengths to saturate ourselves in it. When this happens, stowed away crap begins to come to the surface so God can clean it all out. He's all about freedom and healing if you haven't noticed! Haha.

So now... when your emotions are acting up, or your feelings are a little off... I challenge you to travel to the source of it all down to the root of the need instead of satisfying the hunger or pain with a temporary solution. When we do, something really cool happens. Jesus comes along for the ride and when we get to the root of the need God says, "Here i am child, i've been waiting on you ... i'm the only one who can fill this hole and make you whole again."

Sidenote: I just pictured the cartoon- "the magic schoolbus"- for some reason. Jesus hops on the bus with us and the holy spirit is leading from the feeling or emotion inside the body through the veins all the way down to the heart. There in the heart is the deep longing for God our Father and He's right there waiting to restore, redeem, and heal. Just a visual for all you moms, teachers, and anyone else who watches cartoons :)

B90: (Malachi 1- Matthew 9:8) Today I crossed over! I made it to the new testament and a celebration is in order... yahoooooooooo! Nothing against the old testament, but man... sometimes it just drags me down with all that blood and heavy stuff. I must say though... I learned so much but I'm grateful to be moving on :) After all, we wouldn't even need a new testament if it weren't for the old one... right?

Today at church we had a baptism service. I love these days!!! We get to rejoice alongside those who are professing their faith publicly and praising God corporately for who His goodness, mercy and grace! The testimonies were simply beautiful as they immersed from the water a new creation. This set the stage perfectly for my reading in Matthew today.

I love how John the baptist "prepares the way" by saying, "I baptize you with water for repentance but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with Holy Spirit and with fire." Ch 3: 11

As soon as Jesus was baptized the Spirit of God came like a dove and rested on Him... and God says, "this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." Something all of us kids hope to hear from the mouth of God someday. Soon after Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be faced with a series of lies from the enemy. He would then be tested in the most vulnerable state. Jesus was hungry (after fasting forty days), he was probably lonely, he was most likely tired and possibly a little weak. Sounds a little bit like this past week for me (except on a much grander scale i suppose).

Jesus could have easily ignored the lie, suppressed the emotions, numbed the pain or found a quick (temporarily satisfying) fix. Instead He pushed through the pain, faced the opposition and spoke the truth. He may have not felt like doing it in that very moment... but He did because He knew He could only really rely and trust in the whole Truth. Because although he was fully God, he was also fully human. He went to the root of the need and God had the answer. Even after it was all over and the devil left Him, the Lord sent angels to minister to His weary soul.

This is the most beautiful picture of His love for us when we find ourselves entangled in lies, insecurities, fear, and pain. Jesus is the only one who has ever lived who could actually say, "I've lived through everything you could possibly live through. And trust me, Dad is the only one who can truly complete us, saturate us with His love, fill the holes in our heart, and give us an eternal satisfaction that no human effort ever could." So... do we trust Him enough to give Him our lives? Have I mentioned the alternative? I don't think I have to.... I pray you have a revelation of God's love tonight; a love that penetrates the depths of your heart and heals the broken and bruised places so you can began to stand in a place of freedom and victory once and for all!!! Amen!

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