Right now I’m praying off a headache which I most likely have because I’ve been clenching my jaw all day. Unfortunately it took me having a thumping headache to recognise what I’d been doing and to then choose to rectify the situation.
Life in general is much like that. We often don’t see until we are in discomfort, pain or at risk of missing God’s best for us, all the things we are doing and being that are not helpful, have us stuck or are preventing us from moving forward in some way.
Sometimes it’s simply our automatic responses that have been hindering our journey and growth, such as when we pull away from others, always do things alone, get offended, speak before we’ve think, are habitually on our phones scrolling through social media instead of being present with others, eating or drinking excessively to medicate or relieve our boredom or anxiety or always thinking and reacting a certain way about situations or people. We can do these things and hold certain mindsets and behaviours just because it’s what we do and who we think we are.
Fortunately God loves us just the way we are, but he also loves us far too much to leave us that way if it’s going to hinder and prevent us becoming the people we were created to be.
When we start to listen up to God’s guidance and direction He begins to highlight and encourage us to change in particular areas of our life, and to challenge why we are behaving or thinking in a certain way. He will usually use the little things in our lives first so as to catch our attention and reveal what is going on in the hidden places of our hearts. The headache today was a signal that I’ve been feeling stressed about something all day but hadn’t stopped to examine or check in with God about it all. (I can get too busy and fail to stop long enough.) It took the discomfort of a headache to get me to stop and assess how I was feeling, so that I could then deal with my internal world as well as shift my physical responses. (It’s often when we refuse to listen that we find out in a bigger way.)
Today I encourage you to check in with God how you are. (Preferably before you get a headache) Where you recognise you are responding or believing in a certain way that isn’t the most beneficial or how you want to be, challenge your behaviour, mindset and norm and ask God to help you shift and change when and where He leads you to. Often it’s the small changes and little things that open big doors in our lives, or as Leo Tolstoy so aptly said, “True life is lived when tiny changes occur“.
Life is too amazing to miss out on the relationships, opportunities and blessing God has in store for us simply because we’ve got used to being and doing things a certain way. Change is good for us and interestingly it’s sometimes in our discomfort and/or having a desire for something or even someone in our life which highlights where we can make a change and then choose to shift what we usually do or believe.
(Oh and I’m happy to report my headache is now gone 🙂
“And the Lord – who is Spirit makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Cor 3:18 NLT)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you love me too much to leave me stuck in negative behaviours or being less than the person I truly am in you. Please reveal to me the things I do or believe that are holding me back from being the person you made me to be. I’m listening now Lord. In Jesus name Amen.