Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Learning to apply

What good is a newly acquired skill if we're never given the chance to apply it?

When I teach foundational skills to the girls in my colorguard, I write those same skills into the show they will perform in competition. We practice what we compete, we compete what we practice.

Common sense, eh?

Then why am I so bugged when God does the same thing to me? He reveals new knowledge, insight, then immediately introduces (or reintroduces) circumstances in my life forcing me to choose: freak out or apply my new skill.

A few days ago I blogged about new insights on idolatry. I'm not as immune as I thought. The whole idea of proportion in my thought life snapped my brain to attention.

This morning we found out some devestating financial news. We decided a few months ago to seek help from one of those get-you-out-of-credit-card-debt negotiators. The negotiators told us our credit rating may take a ding.

To avoid making you suffer through the ugly details, let me just say the credit companies retaliate on many levels when they get wind of you trying to negotiate debt.

I teetered around my living room like a wind-up-toy with a stretched out spring for roughly two hours. "I'm not gonna freak. I'm not gonna panic. I'm not gonna melt -- Kyle! Get off the table! I'm not gonna freak. I'm not gonna-- Kyle, don't drink from the animals' water. Ew."

Panic swelled inside my chest. My heart flopped around like a bucket full of live trout. Tears stabbed at my eyes. I couldn't call anyone. People have had enough of me and my family being in a perpetual state of crisis.

There it sat. On my desk. Beth Moore's Breaking Free. The idolatry lesson hit me like a rouge wave. My mind was obsessing on the certain doom and destruction of my family. Um, I couldn't find any thoughts of God. What's my idol of the moment?

Pushing Kyle out the door to play in the sandbox, I plopped myself at the patio table and opened the book and my Bible with shaking hands. I blazed through two lessons. One on deprogramming and reprogramming (thoughts). The other on taking thoughts captive to Christ.


First off I read, "Satan does not have the power or authority to lock believers in a prison of oppression. He works overtime to talk us into staying because he lacks the power to keep us there."

Before you go all OprahTolle on me saying this statement supports the whole "our thoughts create our destiny" belief system, realize Tolle touts humans as being gods. Beth and the Bible talk about our willful choice to either give into one of two opposing powers. God or Satan. One is the victor, the other defeated.

I hate losing. I've spent many years competing on winning teams and coaching winning teams. Why have I been CHOOSING to place my deepest thoughts and fears into the hands of the losing team?

Maybe because in my thought life I've become so accustomed to defeatism it's a reflex reaction.

Financial "bad luck" has plagued us since 2001. Things only get worse no matter how much we cry out to God, have others cry out on our behalf or just get mad.

"Fix it!" is the sum of all prayers.

"God will not release us from anything that has enslaved us until we've come to the mind of Christ in the matter." (wk 9, lesson 5)

I guess there won't be a Wells-Fargo truck full of C notes exploding in my front yard, or a million dollar book contract. Beth in the most non-sacchrine way tell us things won't change until our minds change.

Not, "I will be a millionaire" a million times a day, but by taking a close look at the thoughts making me freakadellic. Are they true? No. If not true, it must be a lie.

Catching my brain in the act of bubbling falsehoods and doomsday prophecies is part of the renewal process. Seeking scripture about God's loving provision and freedom from fear will demolish those lies over time. I also need to be honest with my savior and say, "Hey, I'm spazing out here. I'm thinking we're gonna be on the street in a refigerator box by next Wednesday!"

The mind of Christ. Not oneness with myself. I need to seek out His perspective and adopt it as my own. Otherwise, financial stress will remain my idol. Solutions to the debt and lack of cash flow won't go away until my mind transformes. But then there's no guarantee things will miraculously get better, however, spiritually and psychologically I'll be better able to face it.

Help me out here and shoot me some of your fave Bible verses about God providing and being our anchor. I need to create cards to carry around with me so I can pull them out the moment I feel that pin-cushiony pain of panic popping up.

1 comment:

C.J. Darlington said...

My instant thought was of the Psalms. I went through them this morning and here are a few that seemed encouraging for your situation. Let me know if these hit the mark! :)

Psalm 34:17-20:
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles,but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.

Psalm 34:10:
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Psalm 91 -- read the whole thing! Great stuff.

Psalm 18:2:
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn [a] of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 94:18-19:
When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Psalm 121 -- again, the whole thing!

Psalm 145: 13-20:
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. [a]
The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

Psalm 46:1-3:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 61:1-3:
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.