Feeding The Spirit

Everyone always talks about how we’re made up of the mind, body, and spirit. And I knew that. But…sometimes one forgets the importance of spending time with God to your own spirit.

The past couple of months I haven’t been hearing from God as much. Logically, of course, I realize that there are seasons where He is silent and other seasons, where you hear Him all the time. Feelings or emotions though, did not exactly get my self talk. It was more like…

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Yeah. Not exactly the most helpful thing.

It also happened to make my heart/spirit really anxious and worried.

Definitely not helpful.

So, even though I didn’t necessarily “feel” like sitting down and spending time with God. I made myself do it. Sometimes you have to make yourself do something even if you don’t want to.

I grabbed my Breaking Up With Perfect by Amy Carroll – which is a great read by the way for any perfectionists out there, my Bible, and a highlighter, sat down in my bed and closed the door. Now, everyone has their own way that they do their quiet time and I am by no means suggesting that this way is the “best” way or the “right” way. I tend to overthink things so I do better if I can have a guide, that helps me decide what to read in the Bible.

So, I’ll read through a chapter of the book, and then out of the passages of Scripture, Amy Carroll referenced, I’ll pick one to go more in depth to. This usually transitions to me reading that chapter in the Bible, and then having my prayer time.

I did this for who knows how long, I can’t remember exactly. It wasn’t a super long period though, and then, one day I just realized, wow. my spirit isn’t feeling panic-y and anxious about this. 

This does not mean that I don’t still struggle with anxiety, because I do. But there’s a difference in me being anxious, and my spirit part being anxious. At least, it feels slightly different to me. Additionally, this does not mean that I don’t still have questions or doubts or other such struggles that Christians go through.

Sometimes my head can be very full of thoughts going in all kinds of directions. Sometimes I’ll be obsessing over something, making it turn into an unnecessary anxiety.

But.

There is something that completes our spirit when we spend time with God. I’m not sure exactly what it is – if it’s the fact that the Holy Spirit is in me, or that I am formed by the Maker to know Him, or maybe something else.

I honestly find it amazing, since many times my humanness/sinfulness comes into play and I find myself thinking…I don’t want to do this right now. I have other things I could be doing. And in my own mind, I feel like a hypocrite. How can God want me to spend time with Him, when I have to push myself to do the basic quiet time?

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust,” ~ Psalm 103:13-14

Love this verse. Somehow, even in the midst of being the most powerful being in the universe, the one who created the stars and moon and sea, He still manages to see us and remember our humanity. Not only remember it, but to show us compassion for it.

Amazing.

The love and mercy of our God always astounds me, and more often than not, I find that my expectations of what it should be are expectations that exist outside of grace. Many times, I can easily start overthinking what I’m doing for spending time with the Lord, but I’m trying to work on that and to give myself grace, and remember that I am human.

As we all go about our day-to-day lives, let us remember the importance of feeding our spirit and to remove the yoke of perfectionism from ourselves, and take up the mantle of grace.

~ Southern Dreamer

 

To Read, To Memorize

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People always wonder how to hear the Holy Spirit – to discern what is their own thought and what is God speaking to them. Obviously there is not an exact “take-home” formula for this, but there is at least one area where God has and can surely use to speak to His children: Scripture.

God can do anything, of course, but if we do not invest ourselves in His Word then the likelihood that Scripture is how we will hear Him speak does lessen, I think. Many times in our busy day-to-day lives it can seem like a tiresome task to sit down and put away everything else, to solely focus on Jesus and the Bible (I myself am guilty of this).

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At the beginning of this year, I started a chronological reading guide to the Bible. For someone who was struggling to make time to read the Scripture – and not just a devotion, and also likes structure/plans, this has proven to be a helpful tool to use.

If you’re like me, and have been struggling to make time to read the Bible, I would encourage you to either make up your own daily reading plan – perhaps a Psalm or Proverb’s a day – or Google one online to utilize.

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I remember a few years ago, when my computer was crashing. I was naturally upset because basically all of my Word documents were lost. And for a writer, that is one of the worst things that can happen.

At some point that day, I can’t remember when exactly, the v came into my mind:

(*part of Matthew 17:20*) “if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Now, I had never memorized that verse before and that’s when I knew it was the Holy Spirit who was telling me that. Yes, I had briefly read it – once, maybe twice – but I had never committed it to memory.

God used that Scripture, that at some point in my life I had read, to encourage me. If I had never read it, would that still have occurred? It very well could have since the Holy Spirit does not have to depend on our knowledge to tell us things. But the point of me saying this, is to show the importance of reading Scripture.

Joshua 1:8 says, “you shall meditate on it [Bible] day and night,” and Psalm 1:2 echoes it, “on his law he meditates day and night.”

Let us all become more invested in the Word of God, so that as Psalm 1 says, we may become, “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.”

~ Southern Dreamer