Have you ever taken a gel cap? They're normally meant to ease the pain of a headache or a cold. They have this nice smooth coating that just slides down. Well, there is something far different between a gel-cap and a multi vitamin. Multi vitamins are usually very large, chalky, ridged edges and go down like a coke can. I can always feel just where it is in my throat. Multi vitamins serve the body from a more internal and deeper level than a cold medicine ever could. A gel cap masks the pain of problem without ever addressing the root of the issue. The vitamin, however, moves at a preventive level feeding those low levels of immunity that ultimately keep the body well.
A multi vitamin is much like the book I am currently reading... a horse pill if you will. It is revealing an unknown low immunity from deep within. I expected a fru-fru flowery 'you can do it because Jesus loves you' bit, that goes down much like a gel cap - nice and smooth. Not happenin'! Erwin McManus' book,The Artisan Soul, has challenged me in a lot of unexpected ways. So much so, that I can feel its slow and noticeable decent... However uncomfortable, it is serving my soul much better than a 'you can do it' book. It has called me deeper into my relationship with Jesus and pressed on certain areas that need attention. It has uncovered the motive, or lack there of, for in-completion and what causes my hopes & dreams to stall out.
In the past I've had ideas that I've dismissed and discounted before ever truly beginning. Some, I'll admit, were far fetched, while others were very much attainable with some grit. Still I have big dreams. When I think logically about them, and my skill set, with Jesus & hard work, I could do them. So why do I sit on the ledge, going back and forth about the plunge? I, like most, cling desperately to the safety of what I know. Ultimately, I feed the fear what it craves most, rather than feeding the spirit of fearlessness that my heavenly Father so carefully placed within me before day one Psalm 139:16 & 2 Tim 1:7. Instead, I ravage on the empty calories of past hurts rather than the life of His truth. Why??
In chapter 2, it hit me hard. The realization of why I quit while I'm ahead (or think I am), or don't even begin at all. One of my biggest regrets in life is not finishing the things I have begun. I've got a long list of undone tasks, dreams, you name it. Not finishing that sport, that project, that___________ (fill in the blank). But what I'm most guilty of is not even reaching! Now I know that the Bible says His grace is sufficient and you may be thinking, 'cut yourself some slack', but stick with me.
The author so eloquently speaks about a basketball analogy, that I am not going to even try to relay, but the take-away comes down to this. The reason why most settle or don't even reach at all, is because somewhere along the line someone told them they were too small or not good enough. Not just that, but that you believed it in your inner most being and gave it the ultimate authority.
That right there, for me, was a huge awakening. I can recall many people and instances (Disclaimer : Not my family - they were wonderful), like most of us can - teachers and peers that made me and you feel small. But get this - Most importantly, I am (we are) to blame because I chose to place more value on those statements, rather than the statements that my God spoke and still speaks over me. I was ignorantly feeding the fear within me a high protein diet with a side of HGH!
In that moment I paused, and got the cry cries, because I've allowed fear to hulk out under the radar. Not only that, but I've allowed opportunities to live in my God given purposes pass me by. That grieves me deeply. I've allowed fear to stall me for years with damaging cyclical thought behaviors. What if I am not good enough or what if I don't have what it takes? What if I fail and embarrass myself in the process? What if it's not received well? And the biggest one being : What will they think of me?
I know I am not the only one gasping for air on the hamster wheel...
I'll admit, even as I write this - there is a fear to hit 'publish' because what if those reading my very words.... ? What people have you given more power to? What lies are you currently believing and allowing to regenerate? Do we even have an accurate picture of the true God of the Bible? So many hard questions to challenge our hearts with.
Jesus is beginning to unravel some double knots of my heart strings. I wasn't even aware that I had those tangles!?!?!? I know that Im about to do some serious cliff jumping in the future once Jesus has sorted some things out. "Cliff jumping" was originally intended as a metaphor, but when I think about it, if I'm giving fear the pink slip... then why not??
To wrap this up, I know every person that ever lived can identify with the disgusting inner voices that roar loudly, so I encourage you to bathe in the sweet and comforting truths of Psalm 139 with me. I encourage you to linger a little while longer on 23-24. (I couldn't help but bold the pieces that jumped out at me). As I finish up, know that I'm praying for all of you whom this message resonates with.
Feel free to keep the conversation going below!
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
We are daughters of the most high King, with that birthright comes His favor and covering. Becoming well versed in the truth of His holy word frees us from the shackles that we so willingly placed on our own arms. Marinade your hearts in the truth and live boldly in His purposes for your life!