Ever have a situation when your heart begins to race and you feel that you may barf, or want to hit someone/thing, or run away? Those would be good indications that there is something wrong. Most in the medical field would call that panic attacks, maybe even diagnose PTSD. I am NOT in the medical field, so I am calling them smoke signals from God.
Gods way of saying, “I love you and have more for you, I want to heal you.” I have learned that our brains don’t forget. Even our bodies don’t forget. So, when something triggers a negative reaction, it is our brain and bodies way of letting us know there is something wrong. Something has triggered an old memory that hurt or scarred the heart. There is a smoke signal letting us know the fire that once burned bright is smoldering.
When this happens for me, I need to thank God for these uncomfortable moments. Because…He LOVES me and desires healing and growth in me. I should probably learn how to read smoke signals.
Kind of hard to read smoke signals when I am panicked. I just thought it may be good to start a lifestyle habit that could bring healing to my soul and once again receive GODS spark that ignites a strong fire in me, when the smoke starts to rise.
PERSONAL INTERLUDE (Can skip this part if you want)
Here is a simple example that recently happened to me. I was scheduled for the first time to be a greeter at Church. I left just in time to get there at the appointed time. Wouldn’t you know, EVERYONE decided to go for a drive at this particular time! As I was driving along the two lane highway, someone six vehicles ahead, was going between 45-55 in a 55 MPH zone. I found my thoughts being anxious. Thinking things like: “Dude, do you NOT know your car has cruise control?” Yeah…THAT is where my focus was. (I am so holy!) Then I realized, my day to day thoughts are to always be captive in Christ. I began to let the dude go. I told God I was willing to surrender the time I arrived to Church and let it be what it was. I then put my focus on worship of God! AND…my attitude changed. I had peace and I was RIGHT on time! Crazy!
Why did I just share that? Did you see a smoke signal there? I see it! For me, I was upset, which was the smoke signal something was wrong. Then, I looked within and realized I was carrying some things I didn’t need to carry. I then surrendered and praised. The spark from Jesus came quicker and the fire in me was burning bright!
REGULARLY SCHEDULED WRITING:
Living a life in relationship with God, instead of being a casual observer of God, takes time. Cultivating relationships is hard! What is the difference when seeking a relationship with Christ? Its a constant awareness! Its also vulnerable. For me, these are the steps (if you were to be a step person, which, I am not, but thought it would be lovely for those that are.) I take to have relationship with God.
1. Singing praise to Him
2. Picturing Him and His goodness
3. Thankful heart
If I am living this way consistently, then, when I have those moments of panic, or the smoke signals are going…It is quicker for me to surrender them to Him and trust that HE will reveal to me the spark that caused the smoldering fire. Then I can allow Him to bring me HIS spark. Once again I will have a blazing fire for all to see and be blessed by, along with me being filled and God being glorified!
Disclaimer: This IS the lifestyle I choose to practice. But alas, I am human and do not do this perfectly ALL the time. Yay Jesus! Who brings me the smoke signals to remind me to get back into this habit!
Scriptures to ponder:
Luke 6:43-45 ~ “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. 45 A good person produces good things from the treasure of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasure of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
Romans 15:13 ~ I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
John 8:32 ~ And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
Galatians 5:7-8 ~ You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.
Colossians 2:7 ~ Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
SWEET prayer of LOVE from Jesus to God:
John 17:13-19 ~ “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
There are people in my life! You have those? I mean PEOPLE!!! Oh, wait, yes, we all have people in our life. Can’t really avoid people. They pop in, they pop out, some stay for a long time. I find myself becoming annoyed sometimes with people. Come on! You do too! No wagging your finger. Oh, wait, I just got annoyed with you. See how fast that can happen? OY!
When I get annoyed with someone, I see that as a smoke signal to my soul, letting me know there is something wrong. It could be the person that has the problem, or (gasp) it could be me that has the problem!
Heres the deal. If I am truly peaceful, truly relying on the Lord, truly in deep relationship with Him then the things people do, don’t annoy me! I can trust Him to be my protector and the leader of my choices. So, when I am annoyed, I should see where that smoke is coming from. Because God wants me free, He sends smoke signals for me to look deep within and find out where the spark came from that brought the smoldering fire.
HOW do I look deep within?
If it truly is the other persons deal, I also go to God. For, really…He is the judge, not me. However, as a true lover of God, I am called to love people! So, going to them and being honest is a good choice. AFTER looking at myself. AFTER surrendering them to God. AFTER I ask God to fill me with HIS love for this person. AFTER HE says, yes, share with them the goodness you see in them. THEN with LOVE in my heart, NOT with justice or bitterness, or control, I am released to share the smoke signal I am seeing. Allowing Gods loving Spirit to lead the conversation. For HE will show them in HIS time where the spark that caused a smoldering fire came from. HE will give them a new spark. My job is to love.
GOD is so good at loving me. I desire HIS fire burning in me. HE shows me, if I let Him, what spark started the fire when I see smoke. It is the signal for me to open up and let God speak into my life. Not place blame, point fingers or even condemn myself. I am to let Him convict me of those things that are not mine, so HE can relight the fire!
Scriptures to ponder:
Romans 15:5-7 ~ May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Ephesians 4:15 ~ Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
2 John 1:2-3 ~ because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. 3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.
Hebrews 12:8~If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all.
I don’t know about you, but my view on being disciplined is one of fear! Mostly because I don’t want to disappoint or hurt anyone, especially God!
Gosh, I just want to be obedient and full of Him so I don’t have to be disciplined. I really hate to do wrong. UGH! When I was a kid, if I did something wrong, all my Dad had to do was give me a look (You know that look right?) and I got a horrible stomach ache, knowing I had disappointed him. Growing into adulthood, I found myself viewing my relationship with God the same way. I didn’t want to disappoint Him. Which caused me to strive for perfection.
However, because I am not perfect, I do go off track, so when I am disciplined, I can rejoice because of his love for me. I am His! He is choosing the higher ground for me. He has chosen for me to thrive! BONUS: When I don’t resist Gods discipline, there isn’t as much pain involved! I can trust Him. He DOES love me, so, when He corrects me, it is with a heart of love for me! He sees who I am and wants me to live in that.
HIS correction is completely wrapped in love. It only hurts because of my pride, my fear, my doubt…If I can surrender when I am needing discipline, the process is complete and beautiful!
Have you ever received that kind of discipline from God? Where you felt His arms wrapped around you as HE is correcting you?
CAN I HAVE IT NOW?
Hebrews 11:39-40~All of these people (those mentioned in chapter 11 who lived by faith and suffered) we have mentioned received God's approval because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can't receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.
I was feeling discouraged that my many efforts of doing what I wholeheartedly believed God was leading me to do wasn’t producing enough fruit as far as I could see. I mean…I was being obedient, had a joyful heart even when it was beyond my understanding. Yet, my “prize” was no where in sight.
I even went to bed one night upset with God! You know how when you are upset with someone, you kind of turn your back and do a harrumph? May not want to talk for a bit? Yeah, that was me. I KNEW He loved me, I KNEW He was there for me, I KNEW that all of this was in HIS hands and my job was just to keep moving forward as HE leads me. I still LOVED Him. Yet nothing was happening! I felt hurt by Him. So, I went to bed with that feeling. “Where was the prize?” I told Him I was hurt and didn’t want to talk.
In the morning, His presence was still graciously with me as I finished reading Deuteronomy. That is when it hit me!
Moses had endured some pretty incredible things! Back then, they didn’t have the luxury of the Holy Spirit, so, HE pretty much was anointed with Gods Spirit and the people had to listen to what Moses relayed to them from God. There were so many times they were about to be annihilated by God because of choices and whining! Then Moses would THROW Himself down between the people and God and beg Him not to do it! God would relent, but just in the nick of time from them being totally annihilated! Because of THEIR choices, THEIR doubt, they ALL had to wander in the dessert for FORTY years! WHAT? Moses! Oh man, I would have been SO mad. God promised them an amazing land flowing with milk and honey and instead, they wandered.
When it was time for them to enter, because of ONE thing Moses did, HE didn’t get to enter into the promised land! WHAT? Again…I would have been SO mad! Moses did (almost) EVERYTHING God told him to do! Yet, He didn’t get what was promised! Grrrr! (Okay…why was I getting so mad right here?)
I realized I was feeling a bit the way I assumed Moses SHOULD have felt! However, it goes on to say. God brought him up the mountain to SEE the promised land. Deuteronomy 34:7 says: Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever. WHAT? Wow! Yet, he died on the mountain. Vs. 6~The Lord buried him…and no one knows the exact place. Then in vs. 10~ There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.
Okay…Soooo…He obeyed God. He put up with a bunch of crud. He ended up doing things that weren’t a lot of fun. BUT…He saw the Lord face to face! He had deep relationship with Him. He was even buried by GOD Himself! WHAT? Okay…so, my little whininess needed a bit of a wake up call.
I was reminded by my Groom (Jesus) that I am to be thankful in ALL things. That HE is a GOOD Groom and HE WILL take care of me. When I may not know the outcome, holding onto these truths is faith! I know that at the end of my "race", I want to cross the finish line with “Mission Accomplished” written on my forehead! That even if things don’t go the way I want or understand. I CAN run my race for eternity sake. Filled with faith, love and a grateful heart.
Psalms 94:19 ~ When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Dropping them like flies
I used to be such a rule follower. This rule following thing meant I took peoples opinions and suggestions and tried to implement them. Whatever they said was right, whatever they wrote was correct. No challenging their rule over me. Somewhere along the lines, I started to question why and when I had stepped into this “rule following” persona.
God is doing something new in me to break me from this. HE is leading me in every little thing. For example: Running. I was using an app, via someone’s suggestion, for almost two years and STILL couldn’t even run a mile without stopping. I finally decided to delete the app and just enjoy running for once. My goal was to run/walk 2.5 miles at least 4 times a week. Well, NOW I RUN A LITTLE OVER A MILE STRAIGHT then run/walk another TWO miles!!!! Got me thinking…
My focus, back then, was always on pleasing people, doing things right, and following directions. But, that routine I was stuck in was actually a hinderance to me moving forward! AND, I wasn’t actually listening to God! (The only place I didn’t follow directions was in my cooking! I hate cooking and I wanted to just be a free spirit, when it came to that.) I needed to redirect my heart, mind, and eyes elsewhere. During that time of realization, I sensed God giving me some real freedom from the “normal” rules of Life Coaching, that STILL followed the “unspoken” law I thought I needed to follow.
I pretty much told God if this was really Him telling me to do this, then HE needed to give me step by step instructions, even in the details. I was used to the “recipe” lifestyle. I just wasn’t having any fun, or success. Eventually, HE started putting things together, like crazy mad! One thing led to another and BAM! I have been working like a wild woman putting things in place to add a workshop to Hidden Potential Coaching. (Starting April 26th)
This new improved Hidden Potential Coaching is going to reflect the core of who I am. Because I can finally say, “I LIKE who I am!” I want to do something that is more me, and allow God to use who I am to make a bigger difference, instead of me working to fill whatever mold I was trying to fill in the past. God has been showing me how to take this “recipe” and add a little here and try a little there…
Did I mention I am excited? These rules are dropping like flies on a cold day! I am learning that I was made to hear Gods voice FIRST and to follow HIM! Its super fly to do that! Woot! Woot! Gonna be sooooo good!