Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Emotional Addictions

Hi, I'm Liberty, and I'm an emotional addict.
(tee hee)
But seriously, I've realized some interesting things about myself this week. Just like people in A.A. might call themselves alcoholics even when they are no longer drinking, I think I must remember that without Jesus, I would revert to the emotional condition I was in when He saved me.
I had pms this week (for reasons unbeknownst to man), and I really felt all out of whack. When I was healed of my depression, I also found that I had no pms (yay!!) but this month I had had less sleep, more work, and the emotional burden of some family issues. I guess my hormones were not up to the challenge! I was really weepy this week, I couldn't sleep, and I was ANGRY. Once it was no longer pre-ms, I felt like I had a sound mind again. But during that week or two I spent a lot of time crying out to God, as all the issues in my life began to surface.
Last night as I did this, I heard the words "John 15:16" in my spirit, so I looked it up. The verse says: You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.
It spoke right to my heart. This was just what I had been struggling with! I was feeling like I didn't choose this life, or all of its many difficulties. I felt like I was asking, but certainly not getting everything I asked for. Here in this verse, God was showing me the discepancy. It wasn't His fault that things weren't working out the way I wanted, it was my wrong expectations for one thing. I'd been thinking that I chose God, and He should make my life the way I like it. But here I saw, that He had chosen me. I was chosen by Him for this life, this calling: for where I am right now, to be exceedingly fruitfull!
The reason I wasn't recieving what I was asking for in prayer, because I wasn't focused on being His fruitbearer. I was really only focused on myself, and what I wanted. And that isn't love. I wondered how to really bear fruit in Him, since I do need my prayers answered: He'd said that as I bear much fruit, and it remains, I can ask for whatever I wish, and the Father will give it to me. So I looked at John 15:5b: Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit... So I can only bear fruit if I am abiding in Him.
Now, that all surely sounds religeous, and imposing, but it's not! What is the simplest form of what Jesus is saying here? Stay in Me, and your life will be rich and full.
Was I staying in Him? I knew that I hadn't been. I had been coming in, and going out. Checking in, checking things out. But I knew that there wasn't much in my life of which I could honestly say: I remain in Him. Never leaving.
Often I was reading my bible briefly, while making notes on all I had to do that day. Sometimes I was reading it between lunch making and email checking. But once I laid that bible down, it was "off to the real world". Busy, busy, busy.
Not remaining in Him.
I left Him for the stress of the world.
And it showed! I was so angry, so down, so tired, and headachey. I was miserable. My emotions were running so high, and I didn't know how to control them.
So I read John 15, and 16, and knew that if I changed NOTHING else, I had to change this. I had to stay in Him.
Just like former alchoholics can't go back and be a social drinker, I couldn't go back to a life without my bible. I'm addicted to it. I can't function without it. And that's ok. If other people seem to have it easy, and don't need to study their bible like I do, I know from experience that that kind of "easy" life is not available for me. When Jesus saved me, He gave me His word to enforce that salvation/healing, so that I would never lose it. As I distanced myself from His word, my healing was slipping. But today, I am back on the wagon. This morning I read two daily entries in my One Year Chronological Bible.

I'm OK again, I've had my fix. ; ) How about you?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Sword, and The Flesh

If the bible is your coping mechanism, will it always be easy to read it? Will it be as exciting as the addictions you had in the past? Will you think about it night and day, and will it give you a thrill every time you open the pages?
When I was healed, I began to read the Message every morning. It was revolutionary for me. Of course, there are other good translations, and the Message is really more of a paraphrase, but the revolution was that: I'd read my bible before.... I knew some of what it said.... but NOW, it was more than just religeous or mysterious. Now my eyes were open, and I could see that it was TRUE. It was alive now, and made sense.
But! Later, when I was finished the Message, my sister in law gave me a Life Application Study Bible. An NIV. I was rather in awe of it, and so grateful. At that moment, I felt like no one had ever given me anything that so touched my spirit!
So I started reading it from the beginning- I figured if I'd read through the New Testament, now I ought to read through the Old. Yet now I was finding it more difficult. At first, it was very exciting, and I really loved Genesis! But as I went on, it got a bit slower. And then I got lost somewhere in the minor prophets! Argh.
What was going on? I was a Christian, I loved God, I was excited about His Spirit! But I would sit down with my bible and feel like I didn't really want to read it! Was I going through a desert, like the children of Israel did?
What I didn't know then, that I know now, is that we all have a flesh. It means that you live in a body. Your body is just your house- your transportation while you are on this earth. People from every age and people group have understood this, and some cultures have gone to very extreme efforts to provide for that afterlife (like building pyramids, or burying the emporer with all of his soldiers). So we have an understanding that we are a spiritual being, but for now, we live in a temporal body. A body that is bound to the earth.
Now, this body of yours is animal in nature, and it is familiar with sin. It can do it easily. Even a 7 month old baby yields easily to selfishness, expecting his mother to carry and fuss over him, when there is really nothing wrong. He just doesn't want to be on the floor. He wants someone to entertain him, and to make his flesh feel good! A two year old will readily memorize the word MINE! And she will declare it regularly in public settings. Children endeavor to manipulate, and control. It is not a temper tantrum, it is an effort to get the chocolate bar! (Or even a result of having been given too many chocolates previously.)
So when you read your bible, you are doing something spiritual, not fleshly, and your body doesn't like it! There is some immediate gratification to reading your bible, but your flesh (your body) will often put up a fuss. You can live in the spirit (like God does), and not pay attention to what that flesh is contributing, but every so often your flesh will still offer up a suggestion such as:
Why don't you sleep in, you really need the extra sleep...
Why don't you just get out of the house, missing it for one day won't hurt!
You're really getting too religeous anyway- that bible is getting in the way of your marriage.
Surely God doesn't expect you to be like those disciples in there, what about real life?
Didn't you forget to make dinner?
And sometimes it's even worse than that, because we are not the only spiritual beings on the planet! There are demonic enemies in ambush, with their only intent being to keep you from reading your bible.
Why? Because the bible is spiritual food! It is a weapon!! If you start reading your bible regularly, you will realize what Jesus Christ has done for you, and also start recognizing what the devil has stolen from you (your peace, your joy, your life)! Then he will have had it! Once you start using the scriptures to stand up for yourself, and to pray for help to the Lord, the enemy will be disabled in your life. He (the thief) only comes to steal, kill and destroy. He wants you depressed, miserable, and divorced, because he hates you. He hates the children of God.
Yes, you are a child of God. The bible says that God loved the world so much, that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) It means that Jesus died for everyone, everywhere, everywhen. And if you believe this, you will be saved. You will gain your full rights as a child of God.
Now to survive on the earth, where there is a battle between good and evil, He has given you His word- His covenant.
Is it going to be easy to partake of that life saving Word? Sometimes. But even when it's not, it is always worth it.
Reading your bible is truly worth it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Heart on Healing

I would like to have a discussion on healing this morning!

I was reading 2 Corinthians 6:11 where it says: "We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open." I have done that here, I share my story and my struggles with you, and also my faith, and my efforts. In verse 13 it says: "widen your hearts also." So what I'm thinking is- share some of your story too. If not here, then at least with God. Tell Him what you're going through- He can understand.

So that's why I say discussion- I'm going to at least share my end of the conversation with you.

One thing I've been toying with a lot lately on healing is how it is so spiritual, and so physical. I know that spiritual laws work all the time, just like physical laws. So, for example: you may be a baby who has never walked, and you don't know about the law of gravity. But if you let go of the edge of the sofa, you will still fall down! So also, there are spiritual laws which govern the existence of mankind, which we simply don't know about! They aren't as touchable to our senses as the physical laws are.

Think of some physical laws that you are familiar with like... light: light dispells darkness, and there's nothing you can do about that. Alternately, darkness cannot affect light- it's a physical law. Always the same, never changing. So- what if there are spiritual laws in the bible that God has explained to us, but we just don't know about them. Kind of like in the books of Moses, where God explains carefully to the Israelites that if they will serve Him wholeheartedly, He will bless them, and multiply them. He also explains that if their hearts turn away from Him and follow after other gods, they will be under a curse. And He details it for them over and over. BUT, sure enough, there is some idol worshiping, some complaining, and some testing of God, and several plagues/disasters that follow. Shouldn't they have seen that coming? Are we doing things in our health that are our own doing, our own fault, but we just can't see it?

This makes me think of Dr. Don Colbert's ministry (I really enjoy his books, by the way) and how he explains to us the way that God made our bodies to function, and what He designed them to eat. But now I ask: what if we are following all the physical laws well, but we are being selfish, bitter, prideful, and worried? What you are doing spiritually, mentally, and emotionally there would be far more powerful than the fact that you started taking supplements. (Don Colbert does touch on those things- the need to live a peace filled, forgiving life.)

But now I wonder- if I learn His word, His heart, and I activate the spiritual laws of healing on my behalf, such as...

--then do those spiritual laws override the physical laws for me? I believe they do. If I am really hidden in His secret place, then shouldn't I be able to go into the public washroom without fear of germs? If no plague can come near my dwelling, then shouldn't I be able to babysit without my children getting a cold? Shouldn't I be able to be in the world, but not of it?

I am happy to follow God's will for my life physically, but I want to know His ways so well, that all I experience is the blessing, not the curse!

How about you?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

From Coping Mechanisms to True Joy

Where do you get your power from?
What gets you up in the morning? What makes you feel like you can cope? What keeps you going during the day? What drives you- what can't you live without?
Nothing gets you up in the morning? Well even then there is something feeding you. The human creation doesn't do anything that doesn't benefit it. Even the things we don't want to do, the things we hate, we are getting some kind of benefit from. They feed us somehow.
So what gives you confidence, makes you feel like you can do it? Or perhaps I should say: what is your coping mechanism?
I've had many. Chocolate, caffeine, sugar, sleep, pain killers, antidepressants, fear, superstitions, attention and pity from others, trips to the doctor... and more.
What's that? These don't sound like coping mechanisms? Well, truth be told, they weren't very good ones. They always failed. And it always is that way. Your coping mechanism
will tell you that it is all for your good, but it doesn't tell you that when you're on the airplane, and you are exhausted, and can't find the package of MandM's in your back pack, that you will have an emotional let down. Now that's not a good crutch, if it can't come through for you in a pinch. : )
What about sleep? Everyone needs a good night's rest, right? Well it seemed that the more I slept, the more sleep I needed, and it began to steal from other areas in my life. I didn't have time for certain things, because I was sleeping. And besides, sleeping was unfaithful to me. I was faithful to invest hours every day into my sleeping habit, but all that sleeping didn't help me to fix any of my troubles. It may have seemed like I escaped for awhile, but then the troubles were there in the morning, and even worse- just like laundry that you avoid: the problem only grows worse while you are pretending that it isn't there. Sometimes it even gets moldy!!
So what is my coping mechanism now? Where do I get my strength from? Well, to be totally honest, there are still days when I need a good snooze, or I pick up a bag of m'n'm almonds, but I know now that there is no substance to them spiritually.
I think my bible is my coping mechanism. A few times recently when I felt my blood sugar drop in the afternoon, and began to feel like rubbing my temples, I went to read my bible instead. It's like a fix for me: I felt cheerful, encouraged, upbeat, and like diving right back into things. It's better than a nap to me now- I have a different kind of energy, certainly, but I can do so much more now than I could before.
And if you're depressed, you know what I mean. There were days when I couldn't even get the dishes done. I didn't even bother to think about the laundry. I didn't vaccuum anymore either. I'd cleaned the house frequently before the depression, but when depressed I kept hearing thoughts like "I can't, I can't". I think at that time, my coping mechanism was the depression. I couldn't face the reality of everday life: a husband I didn't love (I was too selfish to love anyone then), a church family I had dissapointed, a baby who cried and wouldn't sleep, and it drove me to distraction. It seemed like everything was stress, and my stress levels had taken me to a level where I was simply broken. I couldn't get out of bed to feed the baby, I couldn't smile without faking it. I was so discouraged, I could have died.
Not a good choice of coping mechanism, but the depression was a way of retreating. Of avoiding the terrible weight of just not knowing what to do or how to cope. So there was pity of others, drugs to cover up the deprivation of my brain and my mind. But it wouldn't go away, like a wolf outside the door, the weight was always there- pressing, pressing, and it kept getting worse. Soon even my secret place of depression was full to brimming over with pain, and torment, and horror. Only someone who has been depressed can know.
So, today, to those of you who are in that secret place of depression, and long to be released: I plant a seed of hope, that will not dissapoint you:
What does the bible say we are to have as our coping mechanism? Joy. I know that that word seems unreachable, unreal to you, but did you know that the power to do God's word , is in the word itself? When God made the world in the beginning, and said "Let there be light", the universe reacted, and there was light: in that same way I can say to you "Rejoice", and you will react. Your spirit will hear those words, and if you want it to, it will remember them, and begin to produce the substance of joy. It is only a beginning, I realize, but it has to begin somewhere!
Keep coming back, I will try to post more often. I figure if I commit to working on this blog 15 minutes every day, it will add up to much more accomplished here. : )