“Good job.” “Your effort really paid off.” “Keep trying”
These phrases sound so encouraging. I mean, don’t we all want someone cheering us on?
Yes, hearing these phrases is encouraging. There is also a subtle danger lurking in these phrases though. Let me explain by telling you about my week.
I practice a routine every morning that helps me navigate some physical symptoms. Sunday started like most days, but my morning routine was not working! I ran a quick assessment of the last few days to make sure I had followed the good habits and lifestyle choices. “What did I do wrong Lord, what do I need to fix?”
Suddenly, I felt an unusual peace in my nervous system even though the pain did not subside. It was a sense that God was gently inviting me to trust Him through this. There was something incredibly different that happened that usually doesn’t happen at these times.
God was planning to show me something wonderful through what the enemy was meaning for harm and discouragement.
Healing is Ours
Now before I continue, let me emphasize that God paid for all sin and disease on the cross. There is a mystery that some people experience between this iron-clad truth and their experience. But this post is not about healing, stay tuned for another post on that subject. Also, I am working with a doctor for my health.
Throughout the day I started to hear little phrases and messages in my mind and heart. This is a weird thing to describe because it was definitely a sense of hearing that is not auditory, but still very real. I am going to risk sharing these with you. My desire is they become a catalyst to what God is doing in your heart. He speaks to us all day long and we might not be aware.
These phrases came to me when my mind was wandering away from the sense of His presence. They were spread out through the day and calling me to stay close to Him.
- You’re not getting anywhere focusing on yourself.
- Stop – connect with Me and let Me do the work inside your heart.
- Don’t rewrite 2 Corinthians 3:18 and put the focus on
- Put no confidence in the self.
The last phrase reminded me of a Bible verse in Philippians. Here is a small sample of my findings. If you want to read more, please comment on this post and request the full study.
3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,
During the exploration, I found the Greek word for “put no confidence” is only used in one other place. It means rely, trust, depend.
2 Cor 1:9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
The Greek word translated flesh is a common word and has a variety of meanings. In this case, it refers to human nature.
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges gives this note:
“The flesh”: a most important word in the distinctive teaching of St Paul. A fair popular equivalent for it would be “self,” as far as that word expresses that attitude or condition of our moral being which is not subject to God’s law or reliant on His grace.
So how does this apply to the subtle danger I suggested in the phrases I mentioned in the beginning? And how does it tie into His presence when my routine was interrupted? I believe He wanted to show me that routines and good habits are good, but my confidence needs to be resolutely anchored in Him first, not “self.”
God calls us to be responsible and be actively involved with Him –
but the danger is where we put the focus.
There is a continual temptation from the enemy to take things into our own hands – to take charge. To employ, self-effort.
More on this next time in part 2.
Ask God what He is showing you.
As always, I would love it if you shared. I realize that makes us vulnerable, but it is worth it!