- If we are made new in Christ why do we avoid dealing with certain areas of our life? Why do we tolerate people treating us the way they do? How is it that we keep finding ourselves repeating the same old dysfunctional patterns? We ask these questions because we recognize we’re stuck in behaviors that we know are not a part of God’s will. Even when we know the answer as to why we do what we do, we often stay stuck.
- Learning to merge off of the broad way and onto the narrow road is a process that he wants to work in you, not a requirement he’s made for you. It’s simply a matter of learning to lean into him a bit more each day and leaning away from what draws you down the broader road. You can’t do this alone.
- Learning to live out of your spirit, rather than your intellect or emotions alone, will take some time. Ask him to show you the next step ahead and relax in a growing trust that he will. The Spirit makes his direction clear in a variety of ways–it might be that stray thought in your mind, affirmed by something that you read or hear, perhaps even a lyric of a song in the background that resonates with your heart.
- Don’t look for a “voice” per se, but a growing awareness of his thoughts in your mind. Of course, familiarity with his words in Scripture and conversations with others on a similar journey will also bring clarity to what he’s showing you.
- As you learn to live more on the narrow road, you’ll have a better idea just how destructive the broad way was, to yourself and others. Rather than be embarrassed by it, embrace that new reality. One of the most redemptive things we do on the narrow road is to go back to people we’ve wronged, seek their forgiveness and offer restitution where we can. Such moments bring great healing and clarity to all involved. Yes, it may not be easy, but that’s exactly the point of the narrow road–most fruitful things aren’t fun at the outset, but yield great joy later on.
A continuation of my own story:
- Do you have the voice speaking to you in any area? Do you battle the negativity it brings? The fear? The dread? What have you been believing as a result of this constant voice in your head?
- What do I mean when I say “The Voice”? There is another voice, other than our own. We have all kind of put up with at different junctures of our journey in life. Everyone has “The Voice”. Psychologists have called it the internalized parent, or the inner critic. It is that record that plays in our heads telling us stuff that is not true, but because it is so familiar we believe what it is saying about ourselves. We sometimes perceive The Voice as the enemy of our souls attempting to keep us from moving into the plans God has for us because we believe what “The Voice” is telling us. It is interesting though, that our voices take on the familiar sound of our mothers, fathers, or authority figures.
- Remember the old picture of an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other?
- Releasing myself from the grip of The Voice, that felt so much like me, felt like ripping something from my psychic; separating my body from my mind. Yet, for so many years I equated most everything I did with how I looked doing it. It seemed I was always standing outside myself watching myself, not in a loving accepting way, but in a critical way, hating what I was seeing.
- I was not aware of how much I was under the influence of the Voice until I began to eradicate it from my mind. And with its departure I felt weak at first and diminished, somehow. When I was in total agreement with The Voice I had convinced myself that my only recourse is to be ashamed of myself and to continually try harder to get it right. I didn’t realize that the only way to get it right is to get rid of The Voice and crawl out of the yo-yo box of dieting to try to get it right.
- When The Voice left in increments as I grew into a mindfulness and awareness of who I really was outside of my distorted image of myself, it was like breathing for the first time in my life free of all pollutants. I knew my accuser, Satan, had no more of a foothold into my head, and I could now separate from that which is not me.
- I could now learn to love life without the familiar record playing in my mind of my past.
- And I was less willing to endure suffering as a result of my compulsive eating.
My encouragement and exhortation for you is this: Choose freedom over familiarity!
Learn more about my ministry at www.ReflectionsOfMercyHome.com