Cleaning Out the Attic in Our Hearts

The original title for this one was, “When the Upchuck Gets On You”…I was shooting for a funny title on this one. But then as my words poured out, it got really serious and I changed it. So last night, I’m hanging out with my little Sophie. Momma just finished nursing her and I put on my night shirt to walk around the house with her until she fell asleep (she loves falling asleep in my arms!). Well, her tummy was a little too full. Newborns within their first week tend to throw up, a lot. It’s natural. They don’t know what ‘to be full’ is like, they also comfort nurse, and their little tummies are just getting used to processing food. So they barf.

It wasn’t a minute after I held her to my chest, snuggled warmly in her quilt that the front of my shirt is just covered in upchuck. My wife looks up at me in the dark from the bed and says, “Is that throw-up on you?” To which I wryly replied, “No babe, I just spilled a bowl of oatmeal all over my shirt.” She laughed, then we changed her. Then I put my baby to sleep.

This is the analogy…have you noticed, when you engage others, when you delve into their lives and share with them, you may start to take on their mess? Maybe not intentionally, but we feel it. I was apart of a conversation just last weekend with several people that I am close to, people that affect my soul. I was mostly silent and was just hanging out. I won’t go into all the details, but the conversation turned to sex in marriage. Oh my gosh, so depressing. It was filled with pretty intimate details brought out in an almost mocking/joking tone. For the record, I’m not an overt prude here, but I know if my spouse was talking like that about our sex life behind my back, I would be tempted to be on hiatus from the bedroom. And these were really strong Christians, people that I look up to!

Basically afterward, to quote Mayor Quimby from The Simpsons, I think my heart was whispering, “I need a drink and a shower.”

hqdefault

Now, before I go any further, there are probably a million times when I have said something or did something that messed with someone around me. I’m hardly perfect. And I humbly take my shoes off here, I am not worthy. Seriously, I am not, at all, worthy. And I’m not calling “hypocrites!” here, but I am saying, when we as believers say or do things that are below our calling, it disturbs the sisters and brothers around us. It perturbs the waters around us because we look up to each other. Our words are powerful. We can get caught in their wake. Or more accurately, we are presented with the choice to take on what they are saying, the choice can become a temptation based upon our heart’s condition. And when we are the speakers, we can present the choice to others for them to be caught up in our wake. This is not in the holy, intimate vulnerability that comes with sharing of lives and hearts centered in fruits of the Spirit (which is such a blessed thing to be in), but words and decisions that are fruit of the world, of our flesh, of our sinful reactions.

I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled on and off this week since then. An example from today: I had an ophthalmologist appointment today. I found a cyst on my eyeball (I’ll spare you the picture of that one) and got it checked out (It’s fine, got the eyedrops and am good to go). I’m on my way back to work. I was listening to Taylor Swift, I love T-Swift, and there’s a song on her 1989 album, Wildest Dreams, and it always makes me think of intimate times with my wife. My heart immediately threw up resistance. I wanted to back out and run from that thought, from that place of intimacy and desire to a “safe” place (I like to run when I am hurt, sinning, upset, or don’t know what to do as I have wrote before.) My heart was saying,

I didn’t want to go there right now. I want to run away. I want a comfortable wall and hiding spot.

I listened to a John Eldredge podcast last night and he was talking about asking Jesus to bring out issues and agreements in our hearts for us to deal with, to be healed from. God brought John’s words to mind as I drove on the interstate today and gently he coaxed me out of my spiritual critter hole to talk with him.

We talked for awhile. We talked about how I had listened to their words and it had hurt me. How I struggled with words and motives and wanting to move away from intimacy with my wife because of certain words said. How I had places in my heart that I never fully healed, but sorta held onto in my back pocket in case I needed a reason to run from intimacy. Even now, as I follow this resistance, I feel him guiding my thoughts back to a season of life when my wife got really into fighting sex trafficking, a holy calling, after we were newlyweds. Fighting human trafficking is a brutal arena of spiritual warfare to be in. The intensity of it got to her heart and it significantly impacted our sex life for several years. I remember emotionally walking out of the bedroom, for like two years during that season.

I’m good at hiding. I’m good at running. I can come home and give my beautiful wife a short kiss on the cheek and then be a rock star dad with the kids in the other room. But since this past weekend, I’ve been holding back on my wife and putting even more focus on the kiddos, focus that belongs to her. When I get home, I haven’t followed her as much into the kitchen to talk. I haven’t pulled her firmly close to me and kissed her like I missed her like crazy while I was at work. I haven’t kissed her like I wanted her. Which I did, deep down I did. But I ran. So this week I haven’t done that, I have been sitting up in the corner of my heart’s attic, just pissed and not wanting to come down for cookies. But if you filmed my life, an outside observer probably couldn’t tell the difference unless they studied me under a microscope.

Last night, after working with God some on my heart yesterday, I felt Psalm 51:10 (verse 12 in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia for my fellow Hebrew students),

‘Create a clear heart in me God and renew a stable spirit in me.’

img_20160725_213333.jpg

God never asked for us to be perfect before we enter relationship with others. But, we do have to still hold Proverbs 4:23 close to our chest, even when we are near other brothers and sisters, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Italics added) Last weekend,  I let the words from others conjure up stored away sin and loneliness that I had long ago stored away in the attic of my heart. I made the choice to “go there” when they had things they were struggling with and had relegated off to mocking long ago.

The good thing, because God works for the good in all things for us who love him, is that God used this opportunity to open up the attic door in my heart and do some summer cleaning. He can start to pull out some dusty items, covered with cobwebs, that really just need to be thrown away. (Grace covers all through the cross for us, so why in the world have I been rolling around in dirty rags from years and years ago in the context of somebody else’s words when they really just need to be trashed?)

We’re imperfect beings, on the road to perfection. But in the meantime, even in the safety of others in the family of God, we still have to be careful to what words we are in taking and how our hearts are reacting to the issues of other people. I’m still jacked up in certain places inside and if I’m messing around with the wrong stuff, if I’m going to the wrong places mentally or emotionally or emotionally. I’m taking two steps back in my walk with God. Aside from the attic clean out of my heart, I learned that when the warning sign in my heart pops up, it’s time to take it to Jesus, sit down with him, and listen to his words of wisdom of what is going on inside me. He knows me, intimately, Every part of me, every thought, every desire. Everything. He knows how it all fits together and works as a whole. He’s the one I will run to next time.

I’m ready to come down from my hiding spot in the attic, to come down and have some cookies. I think when I get home from work, I’m going to pull my wife extra close and give her the biggest kiss I’ve given her all week.

Thank you Jesus . Thank you for your commitment to my heart’s restoration. Now, I’m a little more free than I was this time yesterday. Thank you.

 

Advertisements

48 thoughts on “Cleaning Out the Attic in Our Hearts

  1. Great post, not only on the idea that Jesus can restore our hearts and clean them, but also on the importance of having space in our hearts reserved for our spouses, who often deserve more than they get. Thankfully, the two coincide. This was a good reminder. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Samantha! I really appreciate that! Yes, Jesus is so good at making sure everything is where it needs to be in our hearts, regardless of how we try to rearrange it.

      Funny timing, I was actually just sitting down to read your new post lol. So I’ll probably comment on yours in a minute 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can tease her. So I told her, while cuddling her, that it is so good that she became old, fat and ugly. As I would have looked very weird with a sexy young chick a third of my age by my side. And I am no Adonis, that’s obvious. She must suffer from amnesia as I find that I have to tell her that I love her, many times a day. Today about seven times before midnight and then another two. Some other day, it was 54 times she heard it. And we are deeply engrossed in witchcraft as we have a ritual chant of “I am so sorry, would you please be prepared to forgive me?” Oh, her eyes have sparkles in them. Grey, green, bluish, brown with green speckles, yes she somehow changes her eyes without trying. Telling her that I love her is more than an election promise; it is the locknut with a circlip that keeps her wheels from coming off. After 29 years, we know what works. Diabetes made me very much ED-efied yet we frolick, wrestle and play like krazee teenz even though we have two grandchildren. Upchuckers. LOL. The Barfs. I learned new words from the Biblica Humanica Joelensis tonight. 2016. She is lying behind my back, dreaming she’s a chainsaw. I should not take a pill for naturally procured insomnia. But I wish I could wake my cuddly toy to tell her that she is beautiful, lovely, my heart’s desire, my crazy crush and that she fits perfectly into that hole I have in me. Oh, then there is that magic superglue contact adhesive, always have a tube on my. Its called “iluvu” and she uses it a lot. A drop in the ear fixes a shattered heart. Not even a crack visible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I love that, the Biblical Humanica Joelensis! And dreaming shes a chainsaw! Hilarious! My wifey doesnt snore thankfully! I didn’t know you were a grandpa! Congrats that is is a very noble calling! My kids love their grandpas!! I hear ya Pete, I am not sure how she fell for me, but she did. I’m definitely no David by Michelangelo myself! But I tell her I love her all the time too, all day long. She’s gorgeous, my perfect woman, God totally made her fall in love with me!

      She’s my hearts desire too! Can’t believe she is mine!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is so good to hear, that those elegant, graceful creatures find beauty in we hard, hairy beings. God made us all wonderful. ( Someone said we men don’t understand women because we didn’t pay attention when they were made. We dozed off!)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciated this post; it was a good reminder of my own week in that I messed up quite a bit in front of family because I let certain words and actions into my heart and mind and let them distort the truth. I tried to run away, too, but the good Lord has a way of ALWAYS bringing me back to Him. I’m like a stubborn baby that’s throwing tantrums in the palm of His hand, and it’s a wonder He is always so tender with me, as messy and ugly as I can be. Thank God that we are called His children, that He is a perfect Father.

    Thank God ESPECIALLY because, like you pointed out, He knows us. I am/have been struggling with self-righteousness and self-deprecation, but am reminding myself of the truth of the matter: He knows us fully and loves us completely.
    “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” – Timothy Keller
    One of my all-time favorites. I am praying for humility as I grow to know Him for who He is!

    It’s hard to preach (or write) sometimes when everything within is screaming that I am a hypocrite, that I was messed up before and will be messed up in the same way for some time to come, if not forever. But… He calls us new creation. I am consciously making the decision to not put a question mark where He placed a period.

    God bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing. Took me a few reads to grasp some parts, but it was worth reading. Now I must find a way to continue reading the Bible in the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I loved your comment. That was seriously too kind of you.

      I REALLY loved what you said about being known and fully loved. It is a genuine delight I think to be known by someone else and also fully loved, it’s wonderful! And very much as God loves us. Great quote from Timothy Keller! Being known and loved brings incredible closeness between people, especially when it is us and God. I think that’s how Jesus intended us to be one as he prayed for the church to be in John 17.

      I know exactly what you mean, I have those moments where I’m like, why did I just do that? Why did I just throw a tantrum like my 3 year old? Why? Truly, I do what I do not want to do.

      I really love your blog by the way! I haven’t read all the way back through your posts, so you might have already posted this and i missed it, but are you on a cross country trip and you’re journaling it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, too. Yes, I very recently made a big trip/move and wrote down a bit of my thoughts/small revelations. Thank you for taking the time to read! I feel you’ve been blogging for a while and so it won’t be as easy to read through all your posts, but I’m excited to continue hearing (rather, reading) from you. I find God speaks to me often through other people and in timely ways, so I’m looking forward to that.

        Thank you again!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I started this blog back in May (I think). I actually had another blog on WP before that for awhile (which didn’t do so well so I nixed it), and then before that I had another one that I had for years and gave up on. I feel like this blog may actually make it out of the launch pad haha, so I’m sticking with it.

        Oh I definitely feel the same way, God speaks to me through what I read on here. There are some diamonds in the rough of thoughts and words on God on WP (including yours!). I’m curious how there could be this much good stuff and it not all go viral?

        Anyways, definitely keep writing! I’m looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts too!

        Like

  4. Joel this is awesome! I love how God used this to stir some hidden stuff. Is like He takes advantage of any situation to dig deeper into our soul for the purpose of healing and cleaning.
    I always use the principle of loosing and binding concerning my soul. Everything we see and hear we store it in the soul (the heart). So this is what I do when I feel that something affected me deeply, I say: “Willingly I loose out of my soul these words or image in Jesus name”. Then I do the same binding into my soul the truth, peace, love, forgiveness, whatever is Godly. Those are just examples. Let me tell you. It works! I try to always be careful with what I see and what I hear. Also if I’m talking to someone (supposedly christian) that is saying disturbing things in the flesh I make sure they know I don’t agree with that hahaha.
    Many times I’ve seen myself in conversations where the words coming out of the person are like daggers, so, while they speak I pray in my head not accepting whatever they’re saying in Jesus name. You gotta do what you gotta do right? Hahaha
    Thank you so much for sharing this post brother! Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jireh!! I loved your words here! Thank you so much! I love that approach! So good! And you’re so right, it’s those agreements we make in our hearts. Whether said or unsaid, our flesh will want to make these unholy agreements with sin. For example, I get hurt doing X. My flesh then agrees I will not do X again. And the flesh has no room for grace, no room for God’s protection or provision. And so we end up missing out if we let our flesh rule us.

      God has really impressed upon me this year that he is going all out on my soul and my mind to redeem me. The footpath has gotten even more steep. And that’s good 🙂 But it means he’s pulling out things left and right. It’s time to clean out those storage spaces of the heart from 7 or 8 years ago. He wants all of us, every bit of us, and he wants us fully redeemed. It’s difficult, but he’s so in love with us that he won’t have it any other way, and it’s the best for us!

      I think you’re right about other believers. For me, it’s really situational and how can I best and most efficiently defend my heart while at the same time showing the other person Christ’s love and standing for the truth…fly-by-wire guidance through the Spirit is critical for me here so I can know what he wants me to say and how to react. I didn’t do that as well last weekend, but he used that opportunity as a time when he could go grab the spiritual trashbags, take me by the hand and walk me up to the attic so we could start cleaning junk up. Unfortunately, you’re so right, the words can be like daggers. And if we don’t do what you’re saying, we end up getting cut, and worse, sometimes we get cut where we had a healing scar and then we have to go back into the healing process with Jesus again on an issue that should have been ended and healed from. We end up sabotaging God’s efforts to restore us if we don’t put on our armor to protects ourselves. As you said, you gotta do what you gotta do! Plus it’s important to speak those words. If possible, to speak them out loud, maybe afterward in a private space between us and God so protection and any healing can occur.

      God wants every bit of us across all time. We have to take every thing to the cross, to the Spirit for evaluation. Everything. If we don’t, we risk sin, we risk hurting ourselves, we risk setting ourselves backward on our path to becoming like Christ. For our own good and our love affair with the Son himself, we have to put sin to death.

      Bless you too sister! I always enjoy our conversations and fellowship on here 🙂 Hope you are having a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my gosh! This is so good brother! It puts a smile on my face because I see how God is dealing with so many of us in such a deep manner. At the beginning of the Year the Lord told me to ask for strategies for this year. Recently I heard Him say He will take everything out to the light. Everything that was hidden He’s taking it out. That’s a word that can be applied on every arena of life and I have seeing it with my own heart. I know He is doing it with all of us that are willing. I loved the attic picture because it is so true! It reminds me of one day when the Lord came in my dreams into the rooms of my house, fixing windows and leaks. I said, “why didn’t you let me know about this in advance? And He said, well, you ask that to the owner of that house”. The Lord’s been cleaning ever since😂.
        Thank you Joel. I enjoy our conversations as well brother. Hope you have a great week too!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh that’s so good! Love that! It makes my heart smile too to see God dealing with us in really similar ways, I think that is so wonderful.

        I have a beginning of year story with God too!! So did I tell you about me asking for patience at the beginning of the year? I told my wife over our anniversary dinner that I wanted her to say next year on our anniversary that I had became the most patient man she has ever known. I asked God to do that, and he has really taken me to task on that! I’m not there yet, but I would like to think I am leaps and bounds better than I was in January! (at least I hope haha!) We have to let God start cleaning, and clean he will!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hahaha ooooh dear patience!!!! The good thing about it is that when we get to master patience everything else gets so much easier. I’ve noticed there are levels of this patience thing, but every time we pass the test I feel like shackles coming off. It is just a delight to be able to understand that I can rejoice while I wait and also that in my practice of patience is where I truly grow and not when I get what I want. Learning patience truly changes everything. And I’m right there with you brother.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha! I know right?! Patience is a big one! I’m glad to hear that there are others still walking through this one. I’m so ready to just have total patience. It is such a delight to be patient. Especially when it involves other people. When I’m impatient with people, it’s typically me just being selfish instead of loving and listening to them. When i have patience, I can breathe. I’m not shackled down to my own selfish desires. I can actually enjoy others, and also enjoy God in the moment. Thank you for the encouragement sister!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. And thank you about the attic pic sister! I thought it was good imagery of a storage place that can get cobwebs and dust on it from stuff stored away that should probably be thrown out.

        That’s so awesome about your dreams of him. I love hearing about your dreams that Jesus gives you. Does he speak to you quite regularly through dreams?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It is very regular that He speaks to me that way, almost every day. I remember years ago I told Him that I didn’t understand His dreams. And just saw the word “unravel” in a vision. Dreams are like parables you need to go to God to be able to understand and discern what comes from God and what not. They keep you close and dependent on Him only.

    It is just one way that God uses to speak. It requires digging like everything in God. Hahaha. This is for every believer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really cool. He spoke to me in dreams a lot when I was a new believer. I have them sometimes now, but not often. I wish I could do a lot more with dreams.

      So, I’m about to go off on a huge tangent here Jireh, so bear with me 😉 while I was in a dry spell of not having dreams with him years ago, I decided to do some research. Have you ever seen the movie Inception? Well, it’s based around the practice of lucid dreaming, which is an established scientific practice in dream research. I am basically obsessed with pursuing Jesus. And I am so into pursuing him that I’m going to whatever length I can do get to him. A good analogy is warfare. In war, one side may have a research and development group who would come up with crazy ideas to try to win the war. World War II was a great example. The Americans developed the nuclear bomb to defeat Japan, the Nazis had many R&D projects on going. So I look at it from this perspective, I’m going to research some new ways to worship Jesus. Because we’re at war. And I want to be the one going to whatever lengths necessary in love to pursue Jesus’ heart. And I had this crazy idea, what if I tried lucid dreaming, where you intentionally wake yourself up inside a dream, and I tried to meet with Jesus inside the dream and worship him? Because when you lucid dream, your mind has control over the content what you’re seeing. So I could in theory worship Jesus anywhere, any place, in a dream. Even Mars lol. Crazy, I know, but I tried it. Long story short, I didn’t get too far and gave him because to do the lucid dream research I was losing tons of sleep and just gave up. But I thought it would be neat to do. Not saying lucid dreaming could ever replace anything God communicates to us through dreams, I just thought it would be cool to try it out.

      Sleep is something else that I find very weird. Isn’t it odd, that Jesus created us to spend 1/3rd of our 24 hour days unconscious? It’s just so weird. I love life and I love doing things with God and in his story for me. I really don’t want to spend 1/3rd of every day unconscious. Which was the reason why I tried lucid dreaming so I could extend my daily worship time even further.

      Do you have any thoughts on why God made us to sleep each day?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow brother I love your brain hahaha. What you’re talking about sounds interesting though I don’t have any experience using my will inside of dreams. Believe me, I haven’t had only dreams. Thinking back I don’t remember feeling total control over any of them. But you know what now that I think about it, God probably does it on purpose. If we get to have our will involved in these experiences we might blow it hahaha

        You know why I think the Lord uses the nights to speak, because we’re so full of thoughts in the daytime, we’re so loud and busy to even slow down into a quiet state to hear his plans. Seems like nights are perfect for God to catch us off guard 😂
        Let me tell you about this experience I had a few years ago. Promise me not to freak out hahaha. The supernatural world of the Lord is limitless and the Word says that it’s crazy thing for the world though not for those who believe.
        I was totally asleep and all of the sudden the Holy Spirit turns the tv on in a christian channel and woke me up. I immediately knew the Lord wanted me to get up and pray, so I did. Back then I had a list of the church’s prayer requests and I started praying for each of them. Then I heard what it seemed like the sound of electricity. Like a surge of power around my head and heard the audible voice of God saying, “what about Mary?” A girl I had on the list but for some reason I didn’t pray for. Then, He spoke giving me instructions of what I needed to say to her. Right after that, sleep came over me even though I wanted to ask him many many questions He didn’t let me. I fell asleep!😫
        If I were you I would ask God to give you dreams again. Then your 24 hours will be completely full of God. I don’t want to waste my time even when I sleep.

        Sorry I didn’t answer right away. Had to go out with hubby but now I’m back! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow, that is amazing. Oh that is so cool!! So did you ever find out why he did that for Mary? Was something going on that he revealed to you? That’s suuuuper cool!!!!

        Haha! Thanks sister! I love to geek out on this stuff and think up different ideas. I like your idea on nights being the time he can speak because our minds are so full of thoughts during the day. God loves to speak softly, like with Elijah on Horeb. He loves to whisper. Maybe I need to do what you said. In fact, I’m going to. I’m going to ask him that on my drive home. I don’t want to waste my time while I sleep either! I want all that time for Jesus!! If I could get that back and give it all to God, oh that would be so great.

        You know, I’ve been having sleeping problems for months now. It takes me a long time to get to sleep and then when I do, I never get enough sleep. Mostly it’s my fault, but I’ve struggled with sleep so much because I just don’t want to do it. I just want to be awake with Jesus and my family. So I figure if I can just set that sleeping time aside just to commune with Jesus while my body sleeps, that would be perfect. I don’t like how my soul is so tied into my body, that when my body sleeps, my soul sleeps…I want it like Song of Songs 5:2, “I slept but my heart was awake.”

        No worries haha! Sometimes I don’t get back fast either, life can get busy! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Mary was a girl in Guatemala the church was praying for. She had a pair of twins of an american dad but he died before she could even come to America. One of the babies had some serious health issues and needed competent medical attention so she needed to come to the States but there was war for her to legally come. The Lord told me there was a wall and to tell her not to fear. It was simple but it was all audible. I’ve heard His audible voice a few times but is not a common thing at least yet. I’m open to everything God wants to give me.
        Concerning your sleep maybe you have conditioned your mind to disregard rest. For you to listen to the Lord in the daytime and commune with Him properly you need to be rested. You might miss many things because of the lack of rest. Also, you told me that the Lord used to speak to you in dreams at the beginning so it makes me think that the enemy doesn’t want you to connect with God through the night so you don’t get strategies and instructions. My humble opinion is to go to the Lord and say sorry for not caring about His rest for you and then ask Him to give you good sleep again and to start speaking to you in dreams again. I mean. That’s what I do when something is not balanced in my life. I repent, then I pray for whatever needs to be done. Believe me, I’m a night person and not a morning person. But I’ve had to discipline myself because the Lord loves having conversations at night while I sleep hahaha oooh our God, His ways are strange and I love it hahaha

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wow that’s amazing. So great God used you for her. Sorry for the late response…my dad and i had our Koine Greek class tonight and I’ve been off here.

        I really think you might be on to something there. Maybe I’ve closed off the possibilities of connecting with the Spirit because I’ve been discounting sleep altogether. I need to pray about this tonight! Haha me too, I’m definitely a night owl, not a morning person at all. I think this is all all need where I need that discipline, I want what you have with him! I want those conversations with him while I sleep! I want his strange ways!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. No worries. I wish I knew Greek and Hebrew. It is a little intimidating though😁.
        Amen brother! Then you’ll have it. God knows your heart. You’ll get whatever you ask for according to His will. And I know He wants us to experience Him in His many ways, so it’s His will.

        Have an awesome night and I speak dreams and visions over you in Jesus name!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. One other sleep question while were talking and i think you have some good wisdom here on this from God….I just don’t get enough sleep. With a new baby, two kids and a long commute to my work, I don’t get enough sleep. Any ideas on how to tackle that with God? Is discipline what I’m missing there?

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I hear you brother. I understand that you are in a phase where sleep deprivation is normal. I would say that maybe when the kids are put to bed you might want to tuck yourself in as well. Maybe not to sleep right away. You can read a good book that doesn’t make your mind go crazy thinking. Or maybe have a good conversation with wife in bed. Then this is what I do. Since I’m a night person and my husband a morning person I go to bed when he says so and even though I might not be sleepy I close my eyes and start talking to God. Sometimes I even feel Him in the room. Little by little you will feel tired and sayonara your asleep! But you need to make a conscious decision of going to bed at least a little bit earlier than what you’re used to. Until you go back to normal. I know you have a lot in your plate. Just take out the unnecessary steps in your night.
        I hope it helps.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. That helps a lot! What you said has really been confirmed, God has told me it’s a conscious decision for awhile, I just don’t want to haha! But that’s really good, thank you. (Plus I had a great night sleep last night! No dreams that I remember from God, but I got plenty of rest!)

        Thank you Jireh!!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Hahaha the “I don’t want to” part, reminds me of me and working out.😂
        Glad you had a great night sleep last night. Let us keep praying so God gives us the courage to do what we have to do.😜
        Have an awesome day full of glory Joel!🙌🏽

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Amen, let’s definitely keep praying for the courage! I’ll pray for you to have an abundance of it in all things! 🙂

        Hope you have an amazing day too Jireh, close to Jesus’ Spirit, with his love and joy overflowing for you in all things!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself saying something—or passively listening to something someone else has said—knowing all the while that it’s wrong. There have been many phases in my life where I’ve placed my spirituality on the back-burner, and when I’m ultimately drawn back toward actively pursuing it again, it seems as though every human interaction is a test from God. God’s testing me to see how I’ll react to the ungodly suggestion posed by a close friend—or to a request for help that puts me at an inconvenience. I find that when I react to people in the way God wants me to, my connection to Him is strengthened, and when I don’t, I despair in the knowledge that I’m not connected to Him at all.

    So then, I have two choices. I can either give up and admit that I’m not mature enough for this—suppressing all thoughts of God to the deepest corner of my mind—or, I can humbly ask for forgiveness and keep pushing forward. Sadly, I’ve taken route #1 more often than not throughout the course of my life, but another thing I’ve noticed is that when I take the second route, God somehow winds up giving me the right answer. He gives me the words he’d wanted me to say in that moment. And although I’ll never have that moment back again, I can still be glad that, with enough correction, I’ll eventually come to the place of knowing what I need to say exactly when I need to say it. I’ll eventually be filled with so much of Him that I’ll react to everything with His grace, rather than my selfishness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so good Angela. I think you’re really on to something with the second choice. I’ve noticed something similar between God and I. So something that came up just yesterday, it’s a little different than what we’re talking about, but I was talking to God on my drive to work. And I was thinking about how I had a friend who suggested that every time we see each other in person, I pray over her for anything she needs. And I told God, I failed to do that. I was silent. And I feel horrible about it. Because I could have really done something that Jesus could have used to move in her heart and I chose not to, I chickened out. And I told God, give me something similar to that situation, a similar choice, and I’ll do it this time…well, he delivered. It was that afternoon that I heard God saying for me to reach out to a certain person. And I was nervous about it. I didn’t want to do it. In fact, I refused to do it after work and was driving down the interstate and had to pull over (several times) to work up the courage and reach out and send that text. So I didn’t get that moment back, but I did get the same level of difficulty of opportunity to do something for God. And I took it. Thankfully he is so full of grace though when I make the wrong choice!!

      And I can’t wait for that day too, when i react to everything with grace. I’m so ready for my selfishness to be burned off! One of these days! Until then, I’m definitely in the same boat as you are with choices and relationships with those around me!.

      Like

  7. I think God made us to sleep because we are flesh and need to recharge. Even He rested when He created earth. We are limited in this body and I think he did it that way so He could be able to glorify himself through these vessels of clay. It is all part of a master plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In 1 Corinthians Paul spends around 3 or 4 chapters on this topic of “food sacrificed to idols”. It seems odd to us today because it’s not something we face very often. But really, his point had to do with the effect such behavior was having on others who witnessed their behavior. Only a the end did Paul get to the problem it caused for those eating the sacrificial food. That’s a lot of “Scriptural Real Estate” to use on how what we do as believers affects other believers. I’m guessing it’s a big deal to God.

    And yet, as people, we will be doing it all the time as we relate to each other, even as fellow followers of Jesus. Knowing that, Jesus gives us a process to follow to restore that relationship. Because the work of the Spirit of God is to unify the body of Christ, His church, not to restore wounded relationships is work against the goals of the Spirit. I’m helping some people in my church work through this. It can be really messy, but it can also be beautiful. The process is supposed to strengthen the body, deepen our relationship with God, and preserve the testimony of the church within the world. But so few actually do it.

    So, when we know we have wounded another, then we need to leave our sacrifice at the altar, and go be reconciled. If we know a brother has wounded us, we go to them ourselves, and then with another if we haven’t reconciled that way, and then increase the pressure to reconcile if a mediator didn’t work. We do this because it’s important. It’s important to God, so it needs to be important to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul brings this up in Romans 14 too. Verse 23 is one of those verses that I keep in my back pocket when I encounter someone in conversation about God’s absolute laws and whether his laws have any hint of relativism. And they do, in a way. God is getting after our hearts here. If we think something is wrong and that God would not be pleased if we did it and then we did it anyway, even if it wasn’t a sin according to God, the motive is the same and we’re condemned just the same. Which makes sense, he’s looking for motive of heart. It’s a relationship and therefore heart issues and motive are crucial. He wants to see what we desire and how we deal with pursuing (or not pursuing) what we want.

      Blessings to you in helping your church family walk through wounded relationships. This is a difficult path to be on. I can think of a multitude of examples of where my wife and I had an argument, and I was in the wrong, and then we’ll go to our seperate corners to chill. I’d usually run back to God and try to unpack and rewind, but his answer is typically that story Jesus told. Leave your words here, go and be reconciled, then come back. Marriage can be an excellent furnace for the casting of our hearts for the Spirit.

      Thanks for your thoughts Matt! I always enjoy reading your thoughts and get a lot out of your depth!

      Like

  9. I must be particularly dense today, because i can’t figure out why what others said about their sexual experiences, would make you hesitant to want to be with your spouse. Especially for an extended period of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dense is ok 🙂 Nothing wrong with that. So it wasn’t for an extended period of time, it was just a couple days this week. We haven’t had an extended period of time of us not being together.

      I want to put this in general terms, because although honesty (in the vein of our cross-blog conversation today) is definitely a good trait, there is something to be said for propriety. And if I honestly talk about how I choose to not say bad things about people behind their back, I probably shouldn’t walk the line and start divulging details.

      There were some things that came up that I used to struggle with internally in my marriage. Let’s break that down…as newlyweds I’m thinking the passion and romance of dating was going to just come to this explosion in our early marriage and I placed my expectations upon that. All the while my wife was struggling internally with processing human trafficking and the sex traffic trade. That took a toll on her, and then I in my selfishness felt turned off, and so I struggled with sex for about a year and a half. She maybe dealt with complacency, I dealt with bitterness and checked out. We still had intimacy, but it was nothing like what we have now. This went on until we both chose honesty and reconciliation. We chose to walk with God through the problems both of us were having with the goal of restoration in Christ. And we saw great results, we saw a lot of lost things come back to us. Anyway, earlier this week, I made the choice to go back mentally into that place years ago where I struggled and I decided I just wanted to check out for a few days. And here in this post I was mostly processing how I came back to equilibrium in intimacy and desire with Christ.

      Like

      1. Yeah, I really need that large pina colada, as I’m just not getting if the conversation with the others was too graphic, too disgusting, too sad (as in non-existent), or involved stuffed animals.

        Regardless, their own “experiences” of any of the above, shouldn’t have that kind of an impact on things. Now if you witnessed some traumatic event I could understand. But words?

        But that’s just me, and I understand that we all have our own schema.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s