Motion Sickness

Do you or anyone you know suffer from motion sickness?  It’s awful, right?  It’s described as a condition in which a disagreement exists between visually perceived movement and the vestibular system’s sense of movement.  In other words, you’re out of balance – the physical manifestation can be nausea, headache, dizziness…complete inner discord.  However, when the focus shifts, the symptoms seem to subside…but the direction in which we shift our focus defines if we find true relief…true balance

Is my spiritual walk really any different?  If I stop and think about it…when I attempt to give up control…it’s as if everything in my being fights it…the inner struggle can feel overwhelming…I want to give up control, but a sense of control is all I’ve known…and for whatever reason,  successes experienced along the way support the misconstrued mindset that as long as I’m in control there is a sense of balance.

I’m reminded of a video I saw a year or so ago…there was a stool, which represented the driver’s seat of my life…the thing is, there’s only room for one to sit on the stool – it’s my choice…do I take the driver’s seat? Or do I let God?  I may say, “Oh Lord, I give you control – You know what’s best for my life” but as soon as struggle enters the picture, I push Him off the stool.  And so the motion sickness of my soul ensues…a disagreement between my perceived direction and where His spirit is leading me.

You may be asking yourself, “But what does that picture really look like? How do I (a) notice it in my life and (b) change my actions?”

Don’t scream, but it’s not as difficult as we (that would be me!) tend to make it.  I’m a pro when it comes to making simple things complicated!  For me, the key is to recognize the behavior of relying on myself versus God – when my tendency to ‘grab the steering wheel’ takes over – sometimes I see it glaring like a flashing neon sign, while at other times…well I find myself knee deep in the muck before I have the ah ha! moment.

So how to recognize the behavior? It starts with the amount of time I’m spending with God.  I have found the more my focus is on Him and His Word, the lower probablity there is of me charging full steam ahead in any given situation.  Another way is to pay attention to what’s going on in my gut – my spirit.  We ALL sense it – but we don’t always pay attention to it – often it’s when I really want something to happen and get impatient with God’s timing that I find myself pushing Him aside.  So I try and check myself by asking the simple question, “Whose will is this? Mine? Or God’s?”  Chances are, if the result is about me, the answer is “mine”

“But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.” Psalm 141:8

What restores balance is a change in focus – it’s not about regaining a sense of control – quite the contrary – it’s about taking my hands off the wheel,  moving aside, and relaxing in His arms – not just believing, but trusting He knows exactly where I’m going and how to get there.

The Trouble With Double Standards

God has been pouring out blessing upon blessing in my life and yet, I find myself dwelling on the impact past sins may have on the future.

We’ve all sinned, right?  Granted, in our minds some may seem much larger than others – some with longer standing consequences, but they’re sins all the same.

There is no sliding sin scale – a sin is a sin – plain and simple.

Do you ever find yourself being your own worst critic?  Having impossible standards?  Allowing yourself to be haunted by those past mistakes?

If so, you’re not alone.  If so, there’s hope. But it requires a shift.  It requires letting go of those sins.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to  them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

God tells me He is faithful – He tells me He will forgive me – He tells me He will cleanse me – He tells me He will work ALL things together for good.  When I stumble and follow with repentance, why then do I hold onto that mistake for dear life?

It is so easy for me to look at a person and see who they are – the good and the bad.  I can easily see how God takes a situation and turns it into something wonderful. And I completely believe He forgives those who repent of their sins.

And since we all know God is not a respecter of persons, why then do I continue to dig up my past mistakes?  I’m like a dog with his favorite bone – I can’t seem to let go.  God has forgiven me – it’s gone – it’s erased!  So why then, do I readily let go of others’ mistakes and yet hold on to mine?

The trouble with this double standard is that it’s almost as if I’ve decided what sins get forgiven – and it’s a mindset that can hold me back from fully moving forward into what God has in store for me – a mindset the enemy thrives on.

How exactly do I accept God’s grace and forgiveness? Daily.  Each time the enemy stirs up those feelings of guilt I must be reminded God removed those transgressions – not temporarily – He removed them permanently.  And I use the tools He gives me to reinforce His faithfulness –  daily prayers of thanksgiving, affirmations standing on His promises, and most importantly, leaning into Him and resting in His love.

1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:1-5