You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self,which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. -Ephesians 4:22-24
When is the last time you had complete and utter silence? When is the last time you completely cut the world off? Turned off your cellphone. Closed your laptop. Turned off the TV, the radio, your music? When was the last time?
When was the last time you stopped talking? Stopped listening to others?
What happens when you embrace true silence? Have you ever experienced complete silence? You know, “piercing silence?”
I gave it a shot earlier today and this is what happened…
I turned all electronics off and just laid in my bed.
At first I thought it was kind of peaceful.
But then I started to think.
It seemed like I started to think about everything at once.
I wonder what so and so is doing right now…when will I eat next…I am really tired…I don’t want to go to work later…I wonder if anyone has texted me…I wonder what is going on in the lands of Facebook and Instagram…What am I going to do after graduation…What if I were to move to the west coast…would I find new friends…would I be lonely…I wonder if anyone is thinking about me right now…if I disappeared would anyone notice…does anyone truly care about me…why am I only thinking about what ifs and negativity….why am I thinking so loudly? Why do I feel so uncomfortable?
Thinking is not true silence. I was still “listening” to my internal dialogue. When I realized this I tried to stop thinking. Have you ever stopped thinking about things? Can you stop your mind from thinking? Why was I so worried about everything that “could” be going on around me? Why could I not just embrace silence?
Why is it that we feel so uncomfortable in silence?
Why did I feel so alone?
Then I looked over and saw my Bible sitting on my night stand and I remembered that I was not alone. I remembered that God was right there with me so I began praying. I let Him know exactly how I was feeling and I asked Him why I was feeling that way. I asked Him why I have so much trouble silencing my thoughts? I asked Him to help me clear my mind so that I could experience true silence…so that I could be in His presence.
What happened next?
God himself came through the ceiling, sat on the edge of my bed and spoke to me.
But something important did happen. I realized I needed to devote more time in the practice of silence. I decided that I would make it a goal to find a little bit of time at some point in the day to find silence and work on quieting my mind.
If I am silent I can be in the presence of God and hear Him if He needs to speak to me. Often times God speaks in a quiet whisper
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. – I Kings 19:11-13
If I can hear God’s voice I will be able to distinguish His voice from other voices.
This will definitely take time and practice, but hopefully I will be able to experience true silence so that go deeper with The Lord.
UPDATE: Wow. So this fast has been underway for less than 48 hours and God has already blessed me so much. I have had the opportunity to spend hours catching up with friends that I have not seen in a while. Someone has stopped me and asked me if they could pray for me and told me that God is about to do miraculous things in my life. Friends have poured their love and support onto me and that I cannot even put into words how much it all means to me. I tell you what God is ridiculous, you give a tiny bit and He floods you with love. God is good.
Anywho, I am spending the day cleaning. I am cleaning my room, doing my laundry, organizing school life. God and I have also begun the process of cleaning out my heart. I am going through and really digging deep to find the root causes of what has led me astray in my walk with God. I am also cleaning out my mind of all the negativity and thoughts of failure that have been weighing me down. It is not an easy process, but I have faith that I will find the issues and pull them up by their roots
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” -Gandhi
I want to paint a picture for you. Think about all of the chaos going on in your life right now. For me it looks something like this:
- Wake up at 5am
- Clock into work at 5:30am
- Go from work straight to class
- Go from class straight to my other job and work until let’s say 4:00
- Come home and take a second test for my online class
- Go to the gym
- Come home, eat something, get ready for bed, do one or two last minute assignments
- Fall asleep around 11 or 12
While my days are not always THAT hectic you get my point. We live in Chaos. But interestingly enough I make sure to find time to answer text messages, scroll through Instagram, and send a few snapchats. However, I am way too busy to read a devotional, pray, or even talk to God.
Throughout my day I get stressed thinking about how stressed I am. I worry about whether or not I am going to do well on a test. I get myself worked up over relational dramas. I complain about being tired. I tend to focus on all of the negatives things going on in that day. And why is that? Because I have allowed the enemy a seat at my table. I have invited the enemy to come have lunch with me as I tell him about all of my problems. And how does he respond? He leans in agreeing with me and filling my head with lies. For example:
Kim: “ Frank has not texted me back in like 5 hours.”
The enemy: “ He has not texted you back in 5 hours? What?! You don’t think he is cheating on you with someone else do you? You better be careful! No one is loyal these days. Guys are all the same. I hope you are not lonely all of your life.”
Reality: Frank is at his job working hard in order to take me to a nice dinner this weekend.
Kim: “I am upset right now. How dare Frank go out and cheat on me when I am drowning in work. I cannot believe him. It’s over.”
The enemy: “LET HIM HAVE IT! Tell him how you feel! Make him hate himself!”
(No Frank was harmed in the making of this post).
The enemy is a liar. He is a deceiver. He wants to see you fail.
The Lord is m shepherd, I lack nothing
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quite waters,
He refreshes my soul,
He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
In the middle of your struggles and the chaos of your life God prepares a table for you. God sets up a table and prepares an exquisite feast for you and invites you to have lunch with Him…to spend time with Him…to be close with Him…to catch your breath…and to place all of your burdens on Him. We just have to sit down with Him and allow him to provide for us.
We get to decide who we let come sit at our table. We Don’t have to give the enemy a seat at our table.
“…Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
The enemy Is always lurking and waiting to destroy everything in your life. He is waiting for you to invite him to dinner. If the enemy already has a seat at your table, then YOU have to tell him to get up. What other people have you allowed to sit at your table? Do they carry death?
Things that the enemy will say to you:
- You are not going to make it
- You better watch your back
- You are not good enough/worthy
- Everyone is against you/No one likes you
- I will make a way
- I am with you therefore no one can harm you
- You are by child. I created you. You are worthy
- I love you. I am for you. I only want what is best for you
You have prepared for me a table in the presence of my enemies, and what have I done with it? I have invited the enemy to dinner. I have allowed the enemy to come sit at my table and fill my head with lies and thoughts of death. I have allowed the enemy to infiltrate my heart and whisper sweet nothings into my ear. In the name of Jesus, I remove the enemy from my table. I remove those from my life who wish nothing but death on my life. God I am back at the table with you. I am focusing on you and not on the chaos of the battles going on around me. You protect me, you provide for me, and you want nothing but the best for me. God I turn all of my attention onto our relationship, because you are the living water that gets me through each and every day. God I cast the feelings of doubt, loneliness, and exhaustion at your feet. God you can bear the weight of my burdens but I cannot. I come to you now asking for a clean heart and a clean mind. I pray that I open my heart to you and you fill it with your love. My spirit is no longer heavy, but weightless. God I pray that I seek you before the start of every day, before the end of every night and all the hours in between. God I pray that my mind be cleansed of doubt and filled with hope. I pray that your light shine through me so that I may break the gloominess on my life as well as others. God I want to lean into you and walk with you each and every day. God you are my shepherd and you have never led me astray. I am back at the garden and I am ready to be cleansed. In Jesus name I pray.
This blog was inspired by Louie Giglio’s sermon on Psalms 23. Here is the link to watch the full sermon! It is great and if you have time you should definitely have a listen! Don’t give the enemy a seat
This past Sunday, a friend and I went to our usual 9:30 service at Passion City Church. At the conclusion of the sermon, Pastor Louie informed us that the church was going to be having a listening party during the 5 o’clock service in order to celebrate Crowder’s newest album American Prodigal. Instantly we both looked at each other and knew that we were going to have to attend this event! Crowder has a very special place in my heart, because it was listening to him sing during the passion conference that I put my faith in God. ANYWAY! One of the songs Crowder sang was “Back to the Garden” and it was during this song that the Holy Spirit moved in me once again. For months I had been walking along the edge of my faith trying to see how far I could get without God. I had been longing to have my deep relationship with God again, but it felt like something was blocking me and I was not willing to put forth the effort to move whatever was in the way. So instead, I was just living my life and boy have I been struggling. Then here comes Crowder once again…saving me. It was in this moment that I knew it was time to head home.
Over the past few days I have been listening to “Back to the Garden” on repeat and really letting the lyrics sink deep into my spirit & this is what I got from it:
…I was born to be Royal… God did not create us to me mediocre, He created us to be the best. I had to take a second and let that one soak in…Royal. God created ME to be Royal. He did not create me to be anything lesser than the highest. However sometimes I choose to be believe I was created to be nothing and no one. That is what the enemy wants you to think, but God reminded me that when He created me, He created me to be Royal. …I was made to be free… When I was saved I was set free of everything that was holding me down. The moment I decided to allow God into my heart was the moment I stopped carrying the weight of my world on my shoulders. God freed me of so many things and still patiently works with me every day waiting for me to allow him to free me of more. God also gives us free will, we do whatever we want when we want. We can choose to walk with God every day of our lives or we can choose to walk without Him. We have the freedom to choose whatever life we want. We make that decision every single day with every single action. And I ask myself, “why in the world would I not choose God every single day of my life when He is so great to me?”…But I was torn from the garden When the devil lied to me… Because the devil is the greatest deceiver and he wants to kill, steal, and destroy everything in our lives. And the scary part is…sometimes we allow him to without even realizing it. The devil deceived Adam and Eve to eat from the tree and for that they had to leave the garden. Adam and Eve had everything they could have ever desired or even dreamed of desiring and the only thing they had to do was obey God’s one asking and not eat of the tree. God gives us everything we need out of life, but the devil makes us think there is always something better…and we fall for it time and time again. And I don’t know about you, but that is terrifying…I was formed from the soil I got dirt inside of me… God created us each individually…He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows all of the bad things we have done and he knows every single thought we have ever had. God knows the dirt inside of us…God knows our deepest and darkest fears and secrets. You know those few things you have done and/or thought about that you would never admit to any other human in the whole entire universe. Those things that you wouldn’t even tell your pet?! God already knows…but I was born to be royal I was made for glory… And guess what…He STILL wants you to be royal. God keeps no record of your wrong doings and all He wants is for you to walk with Him so you may glorify Him with the prosperity of your life…Take me back to the garden Take me back and walk with me… God I know I my heart has strayed from You, but please God take me back. Take me back into your love and help me to release everything in my life that is not for your glory.God I have been trying to create my own paths but they have all ended in heartache and failure. God I ask for your forgiveness and I ask to walk back on the straight and narrow you have created for me. God I want to live by your will and not my own. God I want to release my heart of my desires that are not your desires for my life. God please take me back and help me. Hold my hand and guide me because I am so lost…For your presence I am longing Take me back, take me back… And I am tired of doing this alone, please help me. God I do not want to figure things out for myself I want you to guide me. I am done with my own selfish desires. I want to walk in your light. You have already laid out a path for me…a path of prosperity, love, and success. God that is what I want and I am sorry for ignoring you and trying to do it on my own. But God please take me back…Take me down to the river Down to Eden’s crystal streams Where every sin can be forgiven Holy Ghost come set me free… And how does God answer my pleas? He opens His arms to me and cradles me in His love. That is our God, our Father. There are hills and valleys in your walk with God, but when you are in your deepest valley time and time again all God wants to do is bring you back up to your highest mountain. All you have to do is ask. Allow him to cleanse you of your wrong doings and reignite His fire in your heart.
What am I doing?
So I have recently decided to go on a fast. Not an eating fast, but more of a “life cleansing” fast. I deleted all of my social media in order to limit distractions and embrace silence. I have created a playlist of spiritual and uplifting music that I will be listening to instead of my usual “fun” music. I will trying not to “waste time” and instead filling my free time with productivity, prayer, & spending quality time with friends.
Why am I doing it?
I am challenging myself to “21 days with God” and trying to limit the amount of distractions in my life so that I may draw nearer to Him. Over the past several months I have felt myself pushing boundaries and accepting things into my life that I should not be allowing in. I am thinking of it as a “reset” button if you may. Life has been a real struggle and I am slowly realizing that I need God now more than I have ever before.
How am I doing it?
Great question, I am not really sure. I am not following a predetermined book or outline I am literally just going with the flow. I plan on following the Spirit and allowing God to reveal things to me as He sees best fit. I have decided to create this blog for accountability and for the sheer fact that I really love to write. (I never said I was good at it so do not judge me! & I apologize in advance for grammatical errors because I am sure there will be tons.) I have also taken a big step and I have decided to let people know what I am doing, because we all need support. Blogs have become very popular over the past couple of years and I was like hey what the heck, why not?! So here we are haha If you are reading this thank you for your support and I pray that God uses me to send you a message if it be His will. If no ones reads this and I am just posting into the endless abyss of the cyber world then great!
I have outlined three goals I wish to achieve during this time and there are as follows:
- Relying on God’s guidance for every decision
- Strengthen relationships with friends, family, etc.
- Embrace everyday with peace and productivity