Last post we talked a little about our values and our personal goals as indicated by these eight areas...our finding "success, significance, fulfillment, satisfaction, happiness, fun, security and peace".
We discussed how our belief system could "be off a few degrees" and it not matter alot in the beginning of our Christian walk, but the further we go in life and maturity, then the more critical it becomes that we believe the Truth of God's Word and let it affect our personal goals, decisions, emotions, and our life in general.
In the past I've used the phrase "in the natural". To me this means how we all think, myself included, as a "natural human being"...i.e. our natural man's way of thinking; thinking as someone who is not impacted by God or the Bible. As Christians, it's so important to let The Holy Spirit direct our thinking, because our "thinking" then acts as a chain reaction to determine our attitudes, actions, decisions and life.
I know many Christian people who love God, but have a hard time letting Him direct their thinking. They are slaves to their Natural Man's emotions. Many times they think, act, and then behave just like a person that doesn't know Jesus Christ. We all have lapses at times...we think or say or behave in ways that are not Godly. But hopefully, eventually, the Holy Spirit convicts us of these attitudes and behavior so that we can repent and ask God to help us not continue in what we have given in to.
One huge thing I've learned in my life is that the answers to these questions, "in the natural", seem to change at different stages of our lives. What my answers would have been at 18, 28, 42, 50, and now are all different. Just as God directs our lives, so He leads and maneuvers us on our paths.
I told you last post that I would honestly evaluate the eight areas of my life, and then share them with you. First I will tell you how I would answer the questions "in the natural", then I will tell you how I would, and do, answer these questions as a woman who loves the Lord and desires that He be in control of my thinking and life. Hope you took the time to look at these eight areas honestly and prayerfully, then let God show you how to let Him affect your thinking.
1. How successful am I? I would be more successful if...
Honestly, I'm 57 years old and at times I feel like I've missed the boat. Eleven or so years ago God put a heavy call on my life for ministry. I haven't talked about it alot, but at that time, (and still) it was in the area of healing, both physical and emotional. He called me to a prayer and teaching ministry and instilled in me a great passion to teach about prayer and to pray for the sick. He gifted me with a few powerful Spiritual Gifts in the area of Faith, the Prophetic, and hearing His voice. My life radically changed. I had been a lazy Christian for years, but over a period of about a year, I had been thrown headfirst into a powerful relationship with the Holy Spirit.
He consumed me and my life...in the best way. There were times when I would pray for people and God would meet them in a powerful way. Healings would happen, prayers would be miraculously answered; He would give me information and words of knowledge that impacted people and their physical health... and I was in profound awe of what was going on.
Fast forward these last 10 years. I am the one walking by faith for healing of a severe case of hereditary cardiovascular disease. I've been close to death several times, and seemingly on the outside looking in, I appear to have "missed it". Yet I know I have not. I may not be doing what I thought I would be doing 10 years ago, which would be having a public "ministry", but yet I am doing exactly what He has led me to do. This Bible Study.
So if I would let my "natural thinking" affect how I feel I would feel like a complete failure.
2. How significant do I feel?
Well, I know I am loved by my husband and children and family. A few close friends are causing me to feel better about who I am and what I'm doing, but if I was looking through the world's eyes I would have to say that little 'ole me just isn't very significant. But the Truth of God's Word says if I had nothing, absolutely nothing or no one, I would still be significant in God's Eyes. Thank you, Lord!
3. How fulfilled am I?
There are times when I feel extremely unfulfilled, like I am missing my calling in life. Yet I know that if I wake up everyday and give my life to Jesus, that I will be doing what He wants me to be doing. Thinking about it that way, I need to be "fulfilled" and content with Jesus and what He is asking me to do at this moment in time, not worrying or planning or trying to figure out some other scenario for my life.
4. How satisfied am I?
Ditto for the last answer. I want to be satisfied with what God gives me daily to do. If that's cleaning house, working on my antique space, meeting and talking to people, being a good wife, mother, and friend, then that's what I want to be satisfied with. He puts people in my path that I can pray for and find relationship with. He gives me great satisfaction in the small things in life. My husband and girls mean everything to me. I used to be constantly striving for what was coming next. I'm not that way so much any more. My personal walk with God is the most important aspect of my life.
5. How happy am I?
6. How much fun am I having?
7. How secure am I?
8. How peaceful am I?
Happiness, fun, security, peace...? Just like the other answers, they can all be affected by circumstances, mood, how I'm feeling physically that day...a variety of other things, but my answer is always the same. Put God first and don't let anything else get between me and Him. If I do that, and take time to pray and listen each day it all comes down to the same elemental answer. Jesus is my priority. He is my Rock. He is my Hope and Answer. If it weren't for Him I wouldn't be here right now. I know that. And because of that, He leads, I follow, and I try not to let "feelings" own me. I look to Him for my understanding and I ask Him to "adjust" my feeling and emotions to His way of thinking, not mine. Much better that way. He has a way of putting it all into His perspective.
If you haven't yet had that one on one time with God concerning these eight areas of your life, think about my answers and then give Him time to speak to your heart. I guarantee that what God has to say can change your outlook on life, circumstances, and your future.
Love in Jesus,