What you exercise will get stronger.My Elizabeth
The above quote may sound very encouraging to the one who is feeding their faith and starving their fears. You may feel excited to take on another day in this crazy world, knowing that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength! For others reading the same quote, you may be petrified due to the fact that you KNOW there are some habits, qualities, and stances in your heart and actions that you have been feeding that do not build your faith and do not glorify our Creator, God. You are aware that you are strengthening poor thinking and you want to get free, but you “do not know how.”
I am guessing that this is the moment that you want me to say something new and profound that has never been said before. Sorry, I cannot. I believe that in the process of working out our salvation with fear and trembling, we must exercise what God has already shared. God inspired a post a few weeks ago called Take it Slow (https://refreshhercourse.blog/2019/11/13/take-it-slow/). In that post He gave strategy to starving negative thought and behaviors and feeding faith-filled ones. I am revisiting it for myself because I want to strengthen the good that God is depositing in me. It started with my personal devotion this morning:
“Good morning Lord, Thank you for new mercies…” I got stuck there for a moment. I thank Him for new mercies often, but I truly did not understand what I was thinking him for, so, I looked up the word mercies:
compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing: an adversary wholly without mercy.the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to prison rather than invoke the death penalty.an act of kindness, compassion, or favor: She has performed countless small mercies for her friends and neighbors.something that gives evidence of divine favor; blessing: It was just a mercy we had our seat belts on when it happened.https://www.dictionary.com/browse/mercies?s=t
In taking it slow, I further broke the words down to define first compassion, then forebear:
Compassion- a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.https://www.dictionary.com/browse/compassion
Forebear- to refrain or abstain from; desist from. to keep back; withhold. to endure. to refrain; hold back. to be patient or self-controlled when subject to annoyance or provocation.https://www.dictionary.com/browse/forbear
I rolled these definitions over in my mind and thought through them in the context of my and God’s relationship. I thought through all the things and thoughts I did wrong the previous day and it encouraged repentance. I thought through the small and large blessings I did not deserve and it encouraged a prayer of gratitude. I thought through the offenses I received and gave, and it invited forgiveness and more repentance. You see, taking just the definitions of the words apart and putting them back together around my relationship with God was exercising humility, gratitude, prayer, and forgiveness in me. Those spiritual muscles are being strengthened. I moved on to look up the scripture which I quoted all this time:
Lamentations 3:22-24 King James Version (KJV)
22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
It made so much more sense now that I took the time to slowly go through the text. Here is the thing sisters, some of us may find this exercise very elementary, but for the sake of truly having understanding, who cares? We want to walk away from every interaction with Jesus understanding who He is, how He loves us, and what pleases Him– then we DO what pleases Him. And what we find is that what pleased Him when He physically walked this earth’s surface is what still pleases Him now…
Luke 10:38-42 New International Version (NIV)
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Intimacy with Him. He is still pleased when we exercise the choice to tell the world to wait so we can stay a little longer in His presence. He is still pleased when we choose the better thing. When is the last time you chose the better thing? You can start today, right now. Exercise intimacy with God, and your intimacy with God will get stronger.
What you exercise will get stronger.My Elizabeth
#workoutplan #refreshher #takeitslow #understandingovereverything