Post by Category : Soul training

Soul Thanks  0

I was utterly moved by Ann Voskamp’s post yesterday

 

http://annvoskamp.com/2017/11/how-to-live-through-anything-these-holidays-when-youre-finding-it-hard-to-even-breathe/

 

describing despairing and crumbling people she’s met who have been transformed by a change of understanding through giving thanks.   When we think we’re being slighted or missing out, or reeling with shame or we can’t figure out why a certain thing is happening to us or to a loved one, we’ve got to wake up.

 

How painful and piercing are God’s words to His people in Malachi 1:2

 

“I have loved you,” says the LORD.”

 

And imagine the insolence and smugness when they answer:

 

“How have you loved us?” 

 

I’m afraid I can get into that mode. But we don’t have to stay there.

 

Take in these quotes from her post:

 

“What you think you can’t handle — might actually be God handing you a gift.”

“…giving thanks isn’t a pollyanna game — but a powerhouse game-changer”

“God asks us to give thanks in everything — because this is the way you live through anything.”

 

“Giving thanks is life giving.”                              “…barren places can break with bloom.”

 

Isn’t that so comforting? I’m thankful God shows me what’s really going on in my heart. How I can saunter in an entitled attitudinal haze. I’m thankful that he can change my heart to be thankful!

 

Thankfulness is a great weapon against small mindedness.  “Give thanks in all things…” 1 Thes. 5:18

 

How could you practice thankfulness today?

Soul Trying  2

Guest post by Bradley J. Scott

Trying or Training?

Inspired by John Ortberg’s The Life You’ve Always Wanted

 

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.”

1 Cor. 9:25

 

Lord, I am on the verge of a breakthrough of understanding the difference between a “trying” mentality and a “training” mentality with respect to my spiritual growth. The eye opener came when I looked at my training for the “Ragin Games CrossFit Competition”. Ariana and I have gone all in. We’ve transformed our eating habits: zero processed food, no HFCS, no msg, almost no sugar… the list goes on. And it has taken a lot of research and deliberation to change these things.

 

But I realized, for the first time in my life, I’m not even tempted to get Oreos and Doritos.I don’t even want to eat the free doughnut at church, and I have a sweet tooth. Why? What changed? I’m training. I have a goal. I’m focusing everything in my control on bettering my performance. Training, eating, sleeping… I want to be the best version of Brad I can be; to see how well I can perform in competition when I’m dedicated to it. Doing a competition halfway is pointless and would just become frustrating again.

 

First off, I noticed I became more disciplined in my faith at the same time. More consistent devotion times, more victory in taking thoughts captive against temptation, I was developing a desire for discipline. A life unmarked by surrendered discipline is a life without purpose.

What I’ve now realized, after fighting temptation hard again for a few days, trying to confide in some accountability partners, and trying not to sin, is this: I’m still trying. I’m not training. I still want the oreos.

 

Now, I need to define my terms here or we’ll get confused. With regard to fitness training I would still “like” (taste, yummy…) to eat Oreos; I’ll call this “flesh want”. BUT, I do not desire to eat Oreos because there is so much more cost than gain with respect to my goals (my deepest desires). I’ll call this “soul desire”. It’s far deeper, and is based on a perspective that considers the long-term (eternal) reward/cost instead of the momentary flesh want.

 

SO, I have a goal for my performance; I change my life habits, eating and training (get it in the schedule, do what it takes) because my soul desire overpowers my flesh want. Mind-set change: I’m not trying any more; I’m training. I’m putting myself under the influence of the Spirit.

“…but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5

 

I also have a goal spiritually – to glorify God and grow and be conformed into His image until the day I die.

“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Phil 2:12, 13

 

This is a much deeper goal than physical training. A goal that is far more important to me. (To be clear, only the Holy Spirit in us can reorient a flesh want to a soul desire. Otherwise we’re just trading in one flesh want for another!) Yet I have not been able to completely switch into a training mindset spiritually. I don’t feel all in, but I desire/long to be so.

 

I can desire and long to be fit all day long… while I eat pizza, but I will never be fit until I get knowledgeable, create a training plan, and make it happen – attack one issue at a time, figure out a solution for each, and execute. True training takes a lot of testing, trial and error, to see what works. Some things that seem good won’t work – scheduling, types of foods, energy levels…etc. But I continue to refine my plan and push through, because it’s not a new year’s resolution; I’m not looking for immediate results, I’m looking for long term transformation through His Spirit working in me and me obeying. (Character change via habit development)

 

“Longing transforms obedience.” CS Lewis

 

The parallels from body to soul are plain.

Do I want victory or not? Yes? Then start training.

Create a plan – change one thing at a time.

 

My current plan:

(We are all in different places and situations in our lives; this is just a sample for where I am right now.)

Start Training: (One thing at a time.)

  • Get a good hour of devotion time with the Lord – (preferably first thing in the morning)
  • Prayer alone with God (should be before bed ideally to cast off all my concerns from the day and refocus on the Lord)
  • Review Bible verses – Eph. 6:17 This is my ammunition for war prayer.

 

Thank you Jesus for this Breakthrough: “Training” has a goal and a plan and gets after it. “Trying” has an undefined goal and no plan.

 

“I discipline my body and make it my slave,” 1 Cor 9:27

 

“… train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things” 1 Tim. 4:7,8

What’s your next step in training for godliness?

Soul Fear  2

“The fear of God is the beginning…”
Proverbs 1:7

Our little family had just moved to a foreign country that had recently experienced devastating loss. My husband was venturing to start a business to help people learn how to do that honorably in a place where it had been considered immoral. We hired services to help us register the business, later to find out they were corrupt.

 

Our first clue was when they came to deliver the registration papers at the cold, leftover Soviet apartment that we used for an office. Oleg brought Tajir along with him. He was a Genghis Khan-looking fellow, the power lifter type with close-cropped hair. Oleg sat down and went through the papers then gargled, “I want you to meet Tajir. He’ll be your guard.” Immediately Dan suspected what was going on and said, “I don’t think we’ll need him.”

“Well,” he threatened “bad things can happen…”

Taken aback and scrambling to fathom this new culture Dan asked,

“If we were to hire him what would we pay?”

“We’ll come to an agreement…a percentage.”

“A percentage of what?! We’re just trying to get off the ground. We’re in the red!” Not given easily to intimidation, Dan continued, “If we need a guard, I’ll let you know and he’ll work for us.”

 

Some days later, the office door squeaked open and there was Tajir. He began to show up unannounced, making a habit of presumptuously walking into the office without knocking. Dan would greet him, tell him business was slow, practice his Russian, offer him tea, and ask him if he wanted to study the Bible. Tajir had a hard time keeping his smile under wraps. He was really a teddy bear caught in this mafia mix. After a few weeks Oleg showed up and asked Dan why he wasn’t paying Tajir. Dan said, “If we want him, we will hire him.”

 

He began to threaten. “Well, you have a wife and children…” he retorted. Of course this took it to another level. Dan showed them to the door scarcely able to disguise his anger. In the post Soviet power vacuum these types found ways of dealing with foreigners that clashed with our ideas of how to do ethical business. Dan asked him to leave.

 

Fear. It came closer to me the day I heard about this! I recognized it, felt its power. I knew I had to make a choice. We had been warned that living here would be difficult and dangerous. As I wrestled, I had to lean on the rock bottom belief that God is over all. I threw this fear like a hot potato to the God who wanted to show himself in this forsaken land. I had been working on taking my fears to Him rather than denying or just bottling them as I had done over the years. I felt its talons wanting to work into my mind and heart and had to deal with it for days. I didn’t want to live in fear and knew the paralysis of it to keep us in ruts. I hated ruts but often found myself in them.

 

Our local business partner began to worry greatly about not accommodating Oleg and the day she brought it up, Dan happened to be wearing a T-shirt that said ‘Fear Not’! But since it was winter and the city heat hadn’t been turned on yet, he had his winter coat on as he huddled over his desk. As he saw fear grasp *Cvyeta’s face, Dan remembered what he was wearing and yanked off his coat to show her the verse written on his shirt, a take-off of the then popular ‘No Fear’ logo.   Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not for I am with you… “     She was given an ear-full about this God who was over all; much greater than this wanna-be mafia thug, and though she strained to listen, she still felt we needed to appease. Being new in the culture, Dan decided to let her call the shots on this one. She called Oleg’s office and made a plan to meet them to see what needed to be done. A meeting date was set.

 

The day came for the meeting and two local tour guides, inquiring about our new company, happened to come in for a consultation. Time got away as they discussed business. The phone rang. Sofia, answering the phone, looked worried and mouthed to Dan, “We’re supposed to be at Oleg’s office!” Dan asked her to reschedule, because we had unexpected clients arrive.

 

After this, Tajir inexplicably stopped showing up and we didn’t hear from Oleg for weeks. Another co-worker came in one day having seen the secretary who worked in Oleg’s office. Remembering that the dreaded meeting hadn’t yet happened, he asked her about Oleg, and she said abruptly, “Oleg’s dead”!

“What?! …what happened?

“He had a heart attack.” She announced. His partner was running a pyramid scheme and fled the country with $25,000 and the police arrested Oleg saying he was responsible for the money. He had a heart attack on the spot and died. Wow.

 

A year or so later Dan ran into Tajir. He asked him how it was going. Dan said, “Business is still slow…” Tajir smiled and waved.

 

God deals strongly with those who mess with his own! Sometimes a lot sooner than we expect!

 

If I grapple with a fear yet realize that there’s something much greater than it, then I can work through small fears that keep me from real life. Sometimes we don’t even know what those fears are, but not identifying them keeps us in ruts and builds walls. So I have to stop and identify the fear that’s grabbing me and admit it and begin taking it to the One we should fear above all.

~

What do you think you are most afraid of? Why? What are the fears behind those fears?

Think it through, if what you fear happens, then what? Can we go with God to our worst fears and talk them through?

 

If so, with time, perhaps we can break the inertia they bring and not give in to them or let them control us.

The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him….”

Psalm 33:18

 

*name changed

Soul Faceoff  2

(Faceoff – to be in or come into opposition or competition;

fighting to gain control or possession)

 

My nephew, Scotty Brown, (pictured) junior at Palm Beach Atlantic U is a faceoff specialist and the reigning SELC Specialty Player of the Year for his exemplary faceoff work, earning 1st Team All-American and 1st Team All-SELC honors.

 

I remember visiting when he was heading into high school and learning how to faceoff. He’d be in the back yard figuring out positioning, maneuvering, speed and skill. He took lessons, he worked out, he sought coaching. He went after it. And he is good. He’d be the first one to tell you it takes hard work. Now, given, he has extraordinary genes, muscular physique and good looks, 🙂 but none of that alone would have gotten him where he is. He had to want it, work at it and pursue it.

 

Is it taking it too far to say we have faceoffs in our souls? Where our old ways, our old self wants to dictate and rule, where sin and the enemy taunt us into deceitful allure and how often we’re caught unguarded, without a helmet, with no stick?

 

Could part of soul facing off be:

  • Getting in position (standing in the fact that we are saved & can be freed from earthy pulls though they may be strong)
  • Being ready with strength and a stick (“strengthened with all power”, “the sword of the Word”, “the fullness of the Spirit”, “the shield of faith”)
  • Speedy to recognize the opponent’s moves and bluffs (symptoms of fear, anger, frustration or anxiety can be great indicators we need to turn from our old self, renew our minds and put on our new self. Ephe. 4:22-24)

 

Opposition is a given…it’s granted to us…expected…yet we are surprised when it hits us; surprised at the fiery ordeal among us, within and without. How can we be more ready?

 

How’s your soul training going? Are you ready for your next soul faceoff?

“For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”

Col. 1:29

Growing Soul  0

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“Coaching focuses on growing intentionally with purpose and passion …”

Keith Webb

I’ve come across a great resource for soul growth: Taking Out Your Emotional Trash, by Georgia Shaffer

 

Her website also offers some free resources like the “Dump Your Junk Self Assessment” – you might want to take a look.  www.GeorgiaShaffer.com

 

Taking Out Your Emotional Trash

georgias

 

Feeling Tired? Overwhelmed? Unhappy?
Do you want more energy, more peace, more happiness? Christian psychologist Georgia Shaffer offers a proven “toss and recycle” program to help you evaluate your emotions, keep the life-affirming ones, and discard the ones that hinder healthy relationships. Step-by-step you’ll discover how to

  • reduce destructive anxiety, fear, guilt, and shame eliminate persistent, toxic emotions
  • experience greater intimacy in relationships
  • handle life’s ups and downs more easily
  • introduce more hope and joy into your life

Through real-life stories, insightful questions, and wisdom from God’s Word, you’ll discover transforming truths that will help you be free to be who you are—loved, talented, valued, and forgiven.

 

Georgia Shaffer is a PA licensed psychologist, life coach, and the author of Taking Out Your Emotional Trash: Face Your Feelings and Build Healthy Relationships. She writes and speaks frequently on the subjects of relationships, growing emotionally and spiritually, dating, grief, and rebuilding after loss. Her book for singles is entitled How Not to Date a Loser: A Guide to Making Smart Choices. Georgia has 19 years experience helping people identify: “What needs to grow? What needs to go?” For more information, visit: www.GeorgiaShaffer.com

Offended Soul  0

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“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

Prov. 19:11

I had an interesting moment when I happened to come across a friend’s note to me where she said.

“…resting in God, you will be able to get hurt and still care more about the other person than your own untitledpain.”  I read that while fuming about an offense I was holding onto. It took me right back to one of the messages of Moses and turned my heart. 

 

From Moses’ life we learn that

 

  • after failure in trying to help others on his own
  • after running for his life
  • after surrendering to God when he felt entirely inadequate for what God was asking
  • after leaving his comfortable, peaceful life on the side of the mountain

 

Moses was accused, offended, fed up, wounded by God’s people and felt his stinging weakness.

That’s when God brought others around him and Moses persevered in the dry, barren wilderness where all depended on God. (Numbers 11) But not without some soul searching.

 

I found an offense lingering in my soul taking up space, keeping me from rest and freedom to relate with joy and care toward others. I don’t want to live like that! I remembered (as Michael Hyatt says):

 

Offenses are inevitable, often unintentional, they can be good for us (to look at ourselves) and holding onto them is a choice.

 

I chose, after some wrestling, to let it go into God’s hands and see what I can learn from it. I’m already seeing how self-focused the reaction was and feeling the freedom of a whole new perspective. Will you stop long enough to consider:

 

Is there anything lingering in your soul taking up space?

Some questions to help with that: What am I anxious about?  What makes me feel discontent?  What could be some reasons for lack of joy and freedom in me?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Soul Delight  0

 

 

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If your word had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.” Ps. 119:92

“They are not just idle words for you, they are your life…” Deut. 32:47

“The word – living and active” in us… Heb. 4:12

I’ve started a list of descriptions in Scriptures of what a mature believer looks like. I was intrigued with the end of Hebrews 5 about being “skilled in the Word of righteousness and trained in the powers of discernment.” Then I read a good friend’s words:

Guest post; thanks to Timmy Hanauer, landscape designer, integrated farming consultant, fisherman, theologian, and best man in our wedding. : )

Hebrews 5 :11-14 “…you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles…of God, and you need milk and not solid food. For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”

He notes:

“To soak in the analogy for a moment – infants, because their digestive tract is still developing, require specific food that breaks down easily and does not need to be chewed.  Also because they lack of handling skills, they require someone to deliver that food, making them dependent. The analogy finds traction at several points.  Immature believers are still learning how to absorb, understand, and integrate the Scriptures into their lives.  Their inability to chew – to study, memorize, and meditate on the Word of God in such a way as to be self-directed by God, as opposed to dependent on other people as teachers, speaks to their spiritual “toothlessness”.   The immature believer typically gets his spiritual input from hearing the Word of God taught or preached (pre-digested food, i.e. MILK).  Studying or rightly handling the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15) is an essential skill acquired by the maturing believer.  It involves considering the context of a passage of scripture, not reading into a passage meanings that aren’t there, taking into account the interplay of culture, history, etc.

All of this is part of our romancing the Lord with our minds and hearts – pursuing the food that fuels our pursuit of Him and His kingdom.  Cherishing the Word, meditation and hunger for it, flow from this type of study. As God is revealed in the Word through daily chewing and absorption, our attitudes and outward actions change.  When this is happening primarily apart from just “hearing” the Word of God taught and preached, then one has graduated from “milk” to “meat.”  At this point, someone is also ready to teach or parent those still dependent on milk.”

Interesting analogy! What do you do to chew on the Word?

Here’s to our maturing spiritual digestive systems!  🙂

Soul Warrior  4

I’m resonating with this post, so wanted to share.wowarrior

Beth Moore on spiritual warfare:

“The enemy comes for you. Of course, some of you aren’t calling it spiritual warfare yet because that’s what the older generation called it and you want to be cooler than that. [:)] You had sort-of become convinced that the devil was not that real. Not that specific. Not that personal. Not that aware. And surely God would not allow him to mess with your kids.

And it’s not just the enemy. Your own vulnerabilities erupt into liabilities. Life’s taking a crowbar to every crack in your armor. You are tempted to things you swore you’d never do. That you judged _____________ for doing. Your past comes calling. If you’re married, your marriage, which you’d boasted about publicly, looks like it could go humiliatingly belly-up. Your kids are going nuts. Or maybe it’s you losing your mind. Half the time, you think you are going crazy. You’re getting criticized. You’re getting a lot of opposition. You daydream sometimes that you quit and moved to a remote island with your family, wore loin cloths and drank milk out of coconuts and swam with dolphins. You night-dream that you hung in there in your calling and it slaughtered you.

You have come of age.

What you’re going through is how it goes. I don’t know why on earth we older ones are not telling you more often and with more volume. Maybe it’s because we don’t want to discourage you but it’s so ridiculous because you’re already discouraged. Or maybe it’s that you won’t listen to us anyway. [I don’t agree with her here; I have found open ears among this group.]

But this is my shot at it today. You have come of age. You have come of notice to the devil. At the same time, your very faithful God who loves you has made a covenant through the cross of Christ not only to save you but to conform you to the image of His Son. His obligation out of His wonderful grace is to grow you up. And there is suffering in growing up. Among other things, you are forced to face the deceiver and pretender in your mirror.

I’m here to say to you today that it will not always be this hellacious. Oh, trust me. It will ALWAYS be hard. It will at times be horrific. But this season of eyeball-bulging nobody-ever-said-it would-be-like-this coming of age will not last forever. Mine lasted about seven years. Yours could last one. Or ten. That’s all up to God. Well, and you. Your cooperation is required.

It’s all about whether or not you’ll quit. Or whether or not you’ll get sloppy. Whether or not you’ll hang onto the first things that so drove you in the beginning. Jesus. The Scriptures. Holy passion. Holiness. And not just hang onto them but press further and further and further into them. Or will you slip into the black hole of busy-ness and business, of name-making, marketing, position, notoriety, self-importance, celebrity and Instacrap? Now that you are no longer naïve, what will you do with all of this? Will you fight for a pure heart that the world and your own flesh have so polluted that you think you no longer have what it takes or will you just go with it and figure this is how it happens?

And, in the words of Galatians 3:3, what you’d begun in the Spirit, you’ll just do from now on mostly in the flesh. You’ll  get prayer warriors to pray for you instead of also scrapping it out yourself on the floor, fighting with everything you’ve got in the heavenlies, hacking it through, bloody and bruised, defending the ground God entrusted to you.

You’re at the most critical place in your calling. The place of slaughter. The place where either the devil’s going to all but kill you, your flesh is going to destroy you or God is going to crucify with Christ that ego and fear and, truth-told, laziness and raise you MIGHTY.

Fight it out. Do not quit. If you’ve gotten sloppy, stop it. If you’re messing around in sin, repent. Go back to your face. Get that Bible open and plant your nose in it. Memorize Scripture. Learn how to fast and pray. Quit talking about Jesus more than you actually talk to Him. Quit letting your mouth overshoot your character. Become that person you’ve made fun of for taking it too seriously and being so dramatic about it.

You have what it takes. Do it. And I’m going to tell you something. What it will get you is Jesus. JESUS HIMSELF. Pre-eminent in all things. He is the joy. He is the prize in the fight. He is what makes getting hit by the debris in the hurricane worth it. Jesus Himself. He is everything.

I’m writing you today because I’m so proud of you. You’re out there doing the thing. And I don’t want you to quit. Pay the price.”

What is your next step in training your soul to be a warrior?

 

Overtaken Soul  0

ManPushingRock

In moments when my sin wants to get the upper hand, to assign to me deserved condemnation, I have an Advocate, a Way out of that; something much more powerful than even my sin!

The fact that I am guilty is clear. The greater fact that upon confession I am free from that guilt takes faith in the reality of what Jesus did. I can live under the shadow of guilt or take the gift of forgiveness that leads to freedom and change. Sometimes I can stare at forgiveness or freedom like a beautiful, expensive gift, unopened and unappreciated.

Psalm 40 has intrigued me.  After a verse like

Ps 40:5 – “You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you.”

and

Ps. 40:11- “O Lord you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and faithfulness will ever preserve me.”   

Then he says,

Ps. 40:12 – “For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me…my heart fails me.”  40:13 “Be pleased to deliver me…”  

This shows quite a contrast, from high praise to near despair, crying to him for help.  So we’re in good company when we feel amazed at God as we look back on his goodness, but then get overwhelmed as we see our shortfalls and the obstacles before us as we look forward.

When things in our lives want to overtake us, there are ways out.  “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man…”  1 Cor 10:13

Here are some valuable words on dealing with sufferings of life when you feel overtaken from Michael Hyatt’s podcast by Michelle Cushatt 11-2015:

Lessons from suffering:

  1. The unexpected is unavoidable. It’s just unavoidable. That sounds like bad news, but when we incorporate that into our daily lives, into our stories, we realize it’s totally unavoidable, so we shouldn’t be surprised by it. Don’t let yourself be completely derailed by the phone call you didn’t expect, the promotion that didn’t work out, the child who’s struggling, or whatever it may be. The unexpected is unavoidable for all of us. We’re in good company.
  2. The second lesson is that the suffering is invaluable. I tell people, that’s not a good party conversation. Nobody wants to talk about suffering, but it is invaluable. In the midst of suffering, you can be mad at it, you can be angry at it, but if there is a way to lean into it, the rewards on the other side are just incredible. So somehow we have to figure out how to not resent it and resist it. It’s going to come. We can’t do a lot about it, so if we can somehow not resent it or resist it and instead lean into it, the suffering becomes a great teacher.
  3. The third takeaway would be that the reward is incomparable. We know we run those 26.2 miles of the marathon because of how it feels when it’s done, to know we accomplished it, and that’s just a race. Imagine how much more rewarding this life is when we choose to run it well to the very end. So the unexpected is unavoidable and the suffering is invaluable, but the reward is incomparable.

“. . . often God leads us through the land we most want to avoid in order to produce the fruit we most desperately desire.” The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions by Jeff Manion p. 191

What unopened gifts are you staring at?

Soul Searchings  2

'Celebration' by Esther Wertheimer

 

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  Your eyes have seen my unformed substance…
      How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
            How vast is the sum of them!

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;    And see if there be any hurtful way in me,  and lead me in the everlasting way.

 

Psalm 139 – Lathered in God’s love throughout the beginning of this Psalm, David then asks God to protect him from soul enemies and to search him to replace hurtful ways and anxious thoughts with the everlasting ways.

A few weeks ago I finished coaching 4 engaging, professional young women in a 10-week journey asking God to search us and meet us. I’d like to share some of their insightful gleanings…

This journey group gave me the motivation and support to unearth deep seeded lies and to begin to allow God in to redeem and restore. I drew some of the flowers in my garden and below as the roots, I have parts of verses. I see these truths of God produce beautiful flowers. That is what I want more than anything; to walk in a way that is beautiful to the Lord… I know that I will get nowhere by continuing in the lies that I have identified. Above the flowers, I wrote some of the claims or stakes that I am working on believing in my heart. I feel that my heart is often stubborn and slow to accept truth and often more comfortable hanging onto negativity or arguments to support old lies. But it is a journey and I feel that these messages of truth are slowly penetrating.  (RG)

 

 It has guided and encouraged me in heart changes that I would not have done alone or without the wisdom from others who have experience walking with the Lord more consistently and deeply than I have. I didn’t know what I was missing! Having your eyes opened to blind areas in your life is hard but having a spiritually mature coach gives you permission to look into those areas with confidence God won’t abandon you during the process. – the prayers have opened my heart to communing with God in ways I have not known before and it’s been something I have shared with others each week. Practicing them together has been a huge encouragement – despite how vulnerable it makes me feel. Hearing others talk with God and how they relate with Him gives the group a connection I don’t think would be there otherwise.   (MD)

 

  We need to be convinced of the importance of going back, in order, to specific childhood moments that shaped us. We need to be taught and guided to return to those places with the Lord and invite His healing there. We need guidance in the practical components of “renewing our minds” – how do we actually take thoughts captive, and discern lies that are mixed in with truth. The Lord can take us back and reshape us with only His presence, and yet there is a precious richness about going back to our vulnerable moments in the presence of other disciples of Christ, and welcoming them to gently speak a new perspective into our painful memories. When we hear how the Lord has not only transformed and met others, but has done so gently and without shame, we rejoice with one another and grow in hope that we could have the same. This journey group time was the biggest gift I could have received or given to my closest friends. To run towards the Lord with others you trust, in a judgment free zone, with a wise and caring mentor is very sweet. (RS)

 

It gave me a renewed ability to focus and straighten my priorities on what needed to be worked on. It opened my eyes to my own life and past and hurts that impact me on a daily basis.  It gave me the  opportunity to reflect on my  life and who I am and helped me look at things from my past that need to change to bring me closer to the woman that God has made me to be.  (KK)

 

How good He is to lead us into everlasting ways!

Have you asked God lately to search you?