The second step to loving God with all of ourselves has two parts. 1st we have to greatly reduce the anxiety and fear in our lives by actively trusting God, making a decision every time fear arises to just trust that God has our back and that he is working out the best thing for us. It takes an act of will that says I have to trust God and it’s not something that I think we can embrace all at once. We have to live into that trust, bit by bit, taking small things and big, one at a time, gradually living into a deeper and deeper trust of his promises, like these:
“And why do you worry about clothes[about anything]? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all this glory was adorned like one of these.” [Matthew 6:28-9 Berean Literal Bible] or this one:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” [Matthew 7:7 NIV] and many more assurances that God will take care of us.
And, secondly, we need to access God’s wisdom within. As we reduce the anxiety within us about God meeting our needs, we are quieting those raucous voices within which tend to drown out the voice of the Indwelling Spirit of God, so that we can actually hear what he is saying to us, whispering to us, suggesting to us. And when we hear that Spirit speaking to us, the only thing we have to do is to do what is suggested to us.
It helps if we’re doing a daily meditative practice–I highly recommend Centering Prayer—because we have to come to terms with our own inner voices in order to relax into a quiet, listening state. It is this training that helps us become observers of how we think, instead of embroiled in our thoughts. As we become observers of our habitual thoughts, we can step way back from them. They are the loudest voices in our minds, but as we observe them and do not react to them, we can begin to hear the quiet voice of the Indwelling Spirit.
The first time I heard God’s voice clearly was this thought in my early 40’s which captured my attention: “I have an agenda for my life.” Now I am a product of the 40’s and 50’s and I was inhabiting roles—wife, mother, volunteer, doing what I was supposed to do. I had no idea of who the “I” was or what that agenda might be. I began to dig deeper inside of me with this question, “What do I really want to do?” I began to move beyond the “shoulds” to a truer voice within me. I began to find out who I am, as opposed to what I had learned about me from my family and the culture.
Once we can hear what God’s Indwelling Spirit is speaking to us, as we heed what God is saying to us, we have a leader, an advocate, a guide who will always be suggesting the best thing possible for us at any moment. He particularly likes a deep involvement with us, so the more we adhere to what he is saying, the more he offers us in terms of direction, so that we are more and more being lead down our very own path to the promise of our creation.
As we listen to and follow his suggestions, we will begin to notice how each and every one is self-affirming, affirming of our deeper, truer self, the Soul, not of the ego self. So each time we listen to God we are inviting the truer self /the soul to come forward, to be involved in the partnership with him. We begin to disengage from all that the world has taught us and to focus on what God is saying. We begin to realize that there is little or no difference between the true self, that is the soul, and God’s Indwelling Spirit. Both, together, have to be invited out of their place deep within us and be given a place from which to lead us, so that they can realize our full potential. At each instance of our listening to the deeper self, we will be giving it more and more purchase within us, a special place of leadership within.
The more we offer up our resistances and pain and suffering, the more we are inviting God in to heal us of all our past. And as He transforms more and more of us, it gets easier and easier to offer up what he highlights to us as needing healing. And the more we are healed.
And as we are healed of all the stuff that created the negative image of us that I wrote about last week, we feel a new freedom to enjoy who we are, to begin to break loose of all the cultural, the worldly “shoulds” and “must dos” so that the true self, who we were created to be begins to make more and more of our decisions for us.
My experience of making the right choices, that is, listening to God’s Indwelling Spirit, has been to see that what I think of as me has many different parts– what I now call the system that is Pat Adams. First of all, there is God’s Indwelling Spirit and my soul, and there is my ego, my history, all that has ever happened to me, my mind and my experiences. And there are many voices from my past. And I am the sum total of all of this, but much of what I think and feel simply isn’t relevant any more to who I am. That’s because I identify with the Holy Spirit and where he is leading me. So when I can feel fear arise in this whole system that I call Pat Adams, I think, “Oh, there is fear here.” But I don’t become afraid. Or there is anger, but it is not the real me that is angry.
These are voices arising out of my past and trying to hook me into some emotion, but I am no longer my thoughts and my emotions—they seek to tie me to the past. I am Pat Adams who is committed to God, to bringing my whole self before him in love, and I do not allow myself to get sidetracked from my purpose as I understand it. I no longer am attached to how I think and feel, so I am free to follow the Holy Spirit who leads me.
As we start to separate ourselves out from attachments to our past and to see clearly what God wants for us, we begin to be comfortable with who we are, free even, free to pursue our own dreams, our own purpose, not to be any longer rubber-stamped into a cultural expectation or to an old response.
And God is always there with us, in us, leading, suggesting, prompting, fulfilling who we were always meant to be. As we open up more and more of our lives, our work, and our relationships to him, we become more loving, more at peace, more integrated, freer. To listen to God and to follow Him where he leads is the way to a deep relationship with God where we know Him intimately. To have this deep relationship with God and to love ourselves brings us so much closer to loving God with our whole selves.
Questions to ponder over the week: Do I trust God’s plan for me? Do I really trust God without anxiety or fear for what I imagine might happen? Do I ever hear his Indwelling Spirit’s voice? Do I live my life by what it says to me? If I do, what has been my experience? If I don’t, what am I waiting for?
Blessings for the week: May we be the people of God who trust him totally. May we listen throughout our days for God’s Indwelling Spirit. May we live in peace, joy, love, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!
*****I’m doing more research for my book. If you have had the experience of God telling you what your purpose is, would you write me in the Messages and tell me what that purpose is and how it came about. I would greatly appreciate your help. I’ll use it in my book, but the writer will remain anonymous.******
News from By the Waters:
My book, “Thy Kingdom Come!”, is up on Amazon in both paperback and kindle versions. Look under Patricia Said Adams.
If you want to read parts of this post each day for five days, check it out at https://www.facebook.com/By-the-waters-146585815373488/.