Archive for the ‘Who Is “me”…?’ Category

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Long ago, a lion tamer named Clyde Beatty learned a lesson that applies to every area of my  life today.

Clyde Beatty was born in Bainbridge, Ohio in 1903. When he was a teenager, he left home to join the circus and landed a job as a cage cleaner. In the years that followed, Beatty quickly progressed from a cage boy to a popular entertainer.

Beatty became famous for his “fighting act” in which he would tame fierce wild animals. At one point, Beatty’s act included a segment where he brought lions, tigers, cougars, and hyenas into the circus ring all at once and tamed the entire group.

A majority of lion tamers die in the ring, but Beatty lived into his 60s. In the end, he died from cancer, not a lion.

The difference, Clyde Beatty brought a chair into the circus ring.

There is a classic image of a lion tamer. It’s the one where the tamer is holding a whip and a chair. The whip gets all of the attention, but… and this is where it gets interesting for me, while the whip get’s most of the attention it’s mostly for show. In reality, it’s the chair that does the important work. SERIOUSLY?

When the lion tamer holds a chair in front of the lion’s face, the lion tries to focus on all four legs of the chair at the same time. With its focus divided, the lion becomes confused and is unsure about what to do next. When faced with so many options, the lion chooses to freeze and wait instead of attacking the man holding the chair.

So how many times have i been in the position of the lion?

How many things right now do i want to achieve (i.e. lose weight, write a book, start a business, travel more) … only to end up confused by all of the options in front of me and thus i make little or no real progress?

This frustrates me to no end because while everyone around me is busy debating about which option is best, I am left frustrated by all of the conflicting information. In the end result i feel like i can’t focus or that i’ve focused on the wrong things, and so i take less action, make less progress, and stay the same when i could be improving.

Anytime i find the world waving a chair in my face, i need to remember this: i need to commit to one thing.

i have the ability to focus, i need to choose what to direct it towards instead of acting like the lion and dividing my attention among the four legs of the chair.

my life isn’t a dress rehearsal. i’m already in the ring. Much of my time is sitting quietly, gazing at the chair in front of me, frozen silently debating about which leg is the most important.

Freeze… Stuck!

Posted: March 17, 2014 in Podcasts, Who Is "me"...?
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i’m walking alone on a mountain trail at dusk, returning to my car a little later than i’d planned. i’ve always known it’s bear and cougar country, but i’ve never had a bad experience with a wild animal, so i’m not concerned.

Suddenly, i hear a loud snap of a twig behind me. my heart rate increases; eyesight and hearing become more aware; my head whips around towards the sound, and my muscles tighten as blood flow to them increases. Without conscious thought, i instantly assess the possible threat and choose to flee or fight.

i may have picked up a stone or limb as a weapon or begun to run before I even think. Reading this you may have noticed increased heart and respiration rate, a tingling of the skin, increased perspiration, and a sense of alertness. Your imagination just now may have offered images of escape routes or ways you could fight off the imagined attack.

Highly stressful or life-threatening experiences arouse vast amounts of survival energy and emotion the well-known fight-or-flight response, which i shared about in previous posts. Merely thinking about such a situation activates these responses. When it takes control, my body responds far more rapidly than normally to assess the danger and to fight or flight.

Think for a moment about an animal in the wild, a rabbit for example. It may be calmly eating one moment at the edge of a meadow, and running for it’s life from a wolf the next. It would seem to be a pretty traumatic situation. A hungry animal determined to catch, kill, and eat you, not much unlike how I feel when circumstances come and try to kill steal and destroy me. Yet… if the rabbit escapes, within minutes it will be back to normal life, not traumatized.

But there is a difference between such responses in people and animals. Even though animals in the wild routinely experience life-threatening situations, after the danger has passed, they quickly return to normal, whereas humans sometimes are stuck with trauma or what is identified as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  In other words, they are stuck in some combination of the nervous system’s fight, flight or freeze response.

Freeze: to become hard or stiffened.

Freeze is like having both the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal pressed to the floor at the same time. i may think that i got over the experience, but if I was unable to avoid the danger and didn’t have support to shake off the strong charge of sensations and emotions afterward, that vast amount of survival energy may become stuck in my nervous systems. Weeks, months, or years later, often without even a conscious connection to the traumatic experience, many different kinds of symptoms appear. i may have lost resiliency, my natural ability to flow easily between the many moods and energy states that are required to live a full life.

Tomorrow i’ll share a story in the Bible that describes the freeze response.

A closing thought. i should live with my circumstances as i do with fire: not too close, or i get burned, but nor too far off, and i freeze.

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Dan Chiasson said, “If you are made for flight, intended for it, you had better find a pursuer, fast. Otherwise, all that fleeing is going nowhere.”

How true was that for Jonah? All his attempts at fleeing went nowhere, just as it did for the Disciples who ran away, Easter, and Elijah.  Perhaps this is just one reason why we are commanded to be imitators of Jesus who never ran away and not any of them?

Yesterday i left it in such a way that one might conclude that I was against using flight as an acceptable option, so as to get out of circumstances. As with Jonah I too have found that things only get worse when i try to flee from things that come against me. As i thought on this i recalled a situation where flight was the right choice.

1 Samuel 19 shares the story which I’m only going to hit some highlights. Johnathan says, “My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide:”

So David fled and escaped that night: David never returned to the palace until he was the king of Israel – some 20 years later! From now until the day Saul dies David lives as a fugitive.

Saul also sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning. And Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” So Michal let David down through a window. And he went and fled and escaped.

David, pursued by Saul, flees to Naioth. David visits Samuel at Ramah. So David fled and escaped, and went to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth.

Here’s what i get from this… David did the right thing when in a difficult and confusing situation. He spent some time with a godly man. He took flight towards the Godly man. i can imagine David pouring out his heart to the prophet: “Samuel, you anointed me king and look what happened! I guess it isn’t time yet, but why is it so hard? Does God want me dead? Why is the Lord allowing this?”

The questions sound familiar right? But that’s not the lesson here. The lesson is… his flight took him to spend some time with a Godly man. He didn’t run to just anyone and more importantly he didn’t isolate himself. He didn’t go with the mind which presented the information, he went with his heart which is why God had selected him to eventually be the king. Mind, heart, heart mind? It’s both, each doing it’s part thus David did take Flight but it was led by the heart which would not allow him to just kill Saul and be done with it. 20 years David is a fugitive. He did not sacrifice what he wanted in the moment for his long-term hopes and dreams.

In closing… “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him:” “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”

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Michel de Montaigne said, “I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of.

How true that statement is and today I’m looking at the word or act of flight or fleeing in regards to my circumstances.

Flight… an act or instance of fleeing or running away, a hasty departure.

As i thought about flight i couldn’t think of a better example than the story of Jonah. M.T. Anderson expresses what Jonah must have felt. “We all flee in hope of finding some ground of security”

The story of Jonah and the Whale, is one of the oddest in the Bible. It begins with God speaking to Jonah, son of Amittai, commanding him to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh.

Jonah found the order unbearable. Nineveh was well known for its wickedness, and it was the capital of the Assyrian empire, one of Israel’s fiercest enemies.  Jonah, was stubborn and did just the opposite of what he was told. We talked about people like him in previous character study posts.

He went down to the seaport of Joppa and booked passage on a ship to Tarshish, heading directly away from Nineveh. The Bible says, Jonah “ran away from the Lord.” He took flight by making a hasty departure. No fight just flight.

In response, God sent a violent storm, which threatened to break the ship to pieces.  The terrified crew cast lots, determining that Jonah was responsible for the storm.  Jonah told them to throw him overboard. Again he was deciding to take flight by making another hasty departure.

First they tried rowing to shore, but the waves got even higher.  Afraid of God, the sailors finally tossed Jonah into the sea, and the water immediately grew calm. The crew made a sacrifice to God, swearing vows to him.

But… instead of drowning, Jonah was swallowed by a great fish, which God provided.  In the belly of the whale, Jonah repented and cried out to God in prayer.  That’s a reminder of yesterdays verse that said prayer was an essential part of our warfare.

Jonah was in the giant fish three days.  God commanded the whale, and it vomited the reluctant prophet onto dry land.  This time Jonah obeyed God.  He walked through Nineveh proclaiming that in forty days the city would be destroyed.  Surprisingly, the Ninevites believed Jonah’s message and repented, wearing sackcloth and covering themselves in ashes.  God had compassion on them and did not destroy them.

How quickly we forget… “Again Jonah goes back to questioning God.” This fits with the verse from yesterday which said, “This is no afternoon athletic contest that you will walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours.” Jonah was angry because Israel’s enemies had been spared.  Jonah touches every aspect of yesterdays verse. “Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”  When Jonah stopped outside the city to rest, God provided a vine to shelter him from the hot sun.  Jonah was happy with the vine, but the next day God provided a worm that ate the vine, making it wither.  Growing faint in the sun, Jonah complained again.

God scolded Jonah for being concerned about a vine, but not about Nineveh, which had 120,000 lost people.

Jonah’s answer to everything was flight… an act or instance of fleeing or running away, a hasty departure.

The world’s view. The next part of the fight, flight, freeze process is to know what works for you when you are feeling distressed.  How do i calm myself and what is helpful in managing difficult emotions.  Remember the object is not to avoid my feelings, which are not helpful, but rather to acknowledge and honour them. As has been said “pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional”.  Suffering comes from trying to avoiding feelings.  Simply acknowledging what I am feeling is not enough it is also important to know what to do when i acknowledge them, how to sooth and calm myself.  The worlds counselors offer a variety of ways to accomplish this, maybe there are cultural or spiritual practices such as drumming, chanting or singing, praying, deep breathing, walking, stretching, writing, talking, listening to music.

Jonah couldn’t run fast enough nor far enough to get away from his circumstances and from my experiences neither can i nor those that i see trying to do so. As for Jonah’s attempted flight to escape… well it actually made things worse.

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Webster’s definition of  fight is, to engage in battle or in single combat; attempt to defend oneself against or to subdue, defeat, or destroy an adversary.

Back in December i spent weeks trying to get onto the Healthcare web site to no avail. Then on the last day i was successful, but not knowing what i was going to have to do i was not prepared for making a choice as to what plan i would select. After 45 minutes of searching, i decided to use the chat feature and discuss the matter with a person in the “know.” After an additional 45 minutes chatting they finally said, “Just pick one as you can change it later when you have had more time to consider what plan will work best for you. This is the person in the know’s advice so i went with it. of course my own frustration is at high alert by this time. i resolved my issue and ended the fight by doing as advised. Relief set in immediately. i had won the fight to get this task done, on time i might add. Now in January i had some time to do more research and found the plan i wanted to change to. i found myself right back into the battle fighting for what was best for us. They informed me that i could not change my plan until November 15th and it would not go into effect until January 1 2015. i’m not just frustrated i’m now angry and my words regarding this great health care system…. well i was in win at all cost mode. i’ll spare you having to hear all the details but needless to say the fight is still a work in progress but it is tempered with self-control for the long-term benefit verses satisfying my immediate need for revenge and winning.

i took on every aspect of the definition of fight. i engaged in the battle, in combat, as well as attempting to defend myself against what and whom i thought at the moment was my adversary. Thus the problem. i reached levels of sheer exhaustion mentally, physically, emotionally and yes spiritually because i knew my mind was in control and my heart was not in agreement with my words nor my actions. i fogot what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

Yesterday i shared Ephesians 12:10-18 and i need to go back to it, to digest it more so that… well, so that i do as the verse says, “learn how to apply the words. As i often do i’m going to personalize the verse.

And that about wraps it up ed. (This brings the matter to a conclusion or close.) God is strong, and he wants ed to be strong. (God wants me strong not weak, weary frustrated, and angry from fighting.) So ed take everything the Master has set out for you, (ed, He’s given you) well-made weapons of the best materials. (Well made weapons, of the best materials, His words, His thoughts, His plan and His purpose.) (ed here’s what I want you to do and why I want you to do it.) Put them to use so you, ed will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that you ed will walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. ed, this is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. (ed, you must) Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting, ed, you will still be on your feet. (Ed… here are the well-made weapons.) Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. (This is the fight! that matters) Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way ed, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. (Now ed, pay close attention here.) Pray for your brothers and sisters. (STOP FIGHTING WITH THEM!) Keep your eyes open. (ed you can also fight for this) Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.  

In closing, In no way am i implying that i am to be anyone’s doormat or be taken advantage of, but… the truth is simply this, “My outer collapse takes place because my inner experience cannot sustain it” thus i fight for naught. These well made weapons put my mind and my heart on the same page, an inner strength takes over, and my desire to change my insurance is becoming a reality. i stand against the Devil and ALL his angels.

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As a product of the Word of Faith movement in the early 1980s, i am forever indebted to the books and teachings of Kenneth Hagin Sr., R.W. Shambach, Bob Yandian, T.L. Osborn, Charles Capps, Bob Tilton and the like. These were men who turned my world upside down with their faith and teaching.

i learned how to pray for the sick by reading Charles and Francis Hunters books on healing the sick, and i learned how to resist the devil by listening to John Osteen. i have always been challenged by Kenneth Copeland’s utter consecration to Christ and to walk in the light of His Word. i can’t imagine where i would be right now if not for being influenced by these men and that movement.

As i walk through these three words “Fight, Flight, Freeze” and share my thoughts you may better understand and appreciate why i shared that.

Fight – The Worlds Take:

When i choose to fight i am both engaging and attempting to repel the threat or challenge – to make it go away by taking it on. In some circumstances, this is going to be the correct option, but as with many unconscious choices i make about my behaviour, if i consider it my only option, it can become counter-productive. Example, if i am someone with a tendency to fight, it may be that when the pressure is on that i argue with people and maybe even get into a “must win at all costs” mode.

This may work in gaining my short-term goals, but it’s unlikely in the long-term to do much good for my health, my relationships, and possibly my career – although… there are some situations where being a fighter may seem to be an advantage.

In 1 Samuel 18:5 it says, “And David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he prospered and behaved himself wisely; and Saul set him over the men of war.” The in verse 7 it says, “And the women responded as they laughed and frolicked, saying, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” I share that to use David as a biblical figure that would seem to have a natural ability to fight. Just thinking about David causes me to remember David, the brave shepherd boy who fought the roaring lion and the wild bear and everyone knows what happened when he met Goliath, the giant. And let’s not forget that David had Bathsheba’s husband sent to battle with the intention that he be killed.

It doesn’t seem like fighting through his challenges were stressful? That may be because some people find it genuinely energizing, enabling them to find productive and constructive outcomes.

However… i would guess that for David and those types of people, with an instinctive drive to fight, are at least partly managed by some conscious control to make it work positively. Example being when David could have killed King Saul and didn’t.

Ephesians 12:10-18 summarizes my view on fighting as a response. i’ll highlight key phrases. “And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.  

In closing, “Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.” Remember mind or heart, heart or mind? Those words are how i get the mind of Christ… my thoughts being established in Truth, Righteousness… and then, my steps will be Peace, Faith, Salvation, all ordered by Him. i won’t fight needlessly, in the wrong battles, with the wrong people.

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mind heartBefore i begin I’m thinking about today’s post and how it pertains to Fight, Flight, Freeze. Where do those responses come from?

What have i’ve learned thus far? First, Avoid confusing the purpose of my heart and mind.

i need to look at my heart as a compass… its purpose is to guide the direction my life should go. my heart looks at my life-like i’m flying a kite and it’s an extension of me. It reports back to me and says, this is where i am and this is the direction i need driven decisions. my mind conceptualizes, organizes and here are the facts, ”

If i compare my mind and heart to a courtroom, my mind would be the defendant and the plaintiff, my heart would be the judge. The reason i get so frustrated by this battle of “Head vs. Heart” is that my mind is not only playing the prosecutor and the defense, but has taken over the role of the judge as well. my mind should never be the judge. my mind’s job is to compare and contrast, to sort things out and say “this is what i’ve got. Now do what you want with it.” More often than not, my mind isn’t doing or saying that. my mind is making my choices. What’s worse, is even when i don’t need my mind to be at work, it’s still going. Comparing and contrasting everything. I’ve noticed and shared recently about that even when it’s completely unnecessary to think about  anything, my mind is still going?

If i want to end the battle between head and heart, i’ve got to figure out a way to unite the two. Remember i said that the answer to this problem is simple? Well, it is. But, not easy at first, because i’ve been doing it all wrong for so long. i need to teach my mind to go with my heart.

When deciding things, let the mind do what it does best and let the heart do what it does best and then go with it. A couple of days ago i shared about wanting to go with God and not having a second thought. Using the mind and the heart as they were created and intended to be used will allow that can and w to be accomplished.

So, i should go ahead and get information. What is the implied benefit of the decision? Will it be something i’ll ever regret? Although my mind may be telling me that the temporary benefit of a bad decision will be a wise one, my heart will say it’s not the wise thing for me to do.

Next i should identify potential problems. What might go wrong? Will i feel good about it after making the decision?

Now i need to explore options. Think about what’s best for me, what’s the wise thing for me to do? Develop confidence that what my heart tells me to do is the best and more importantly the wise choice.

Lastly, i have to make the choice and implement a plan. Of course, using what i have learned from my past mistakes, my current circumstances and my future hopes and dreams.

By listening to my heart, i can teach my mind to think in cooperation with it and eventually get them to work as one. This is what the scripture means when it says, “I have the mind of Christ, my thoughts are established in Him, and my steps are ordered by Him.” i’ll create a marriage between my heart and my mind. Maybe then the child (me) won’t have permanent emotional damage from the divorce it’s been suffering from for so long. Make the choice today. Go Ahead, try it!

In closing, “When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”   a quote by Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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Please trust me i am going to get to the actual responses of Fight, Flight or Freeze but it seems to require a foundation for me to examine them from.

The same voice in my mind that told me to act, is the same voice that ridicules me later for making that choice. It’s typical for me to feel a conflict between what i want to do (my heart) and what i feel is practical (my mind). i end up living a portion of my life for the “benefits.” i stay friends with people i only kinda. I sometimes do and say things to fit in, that actually go against what i feel is right in my heart. So, is my heart at fault? Are my feelings just silly? Or maybe it’s my mind that’s to blame. And on it goes and i never really seem to get to it. Even when I really feel like that’s the right choice, how do i know for sure? How do i know it’s not just what i think i should do?

Sound a little over the top? It is a real problem. It takes the joy out of my life when i can’t make up my mind about whether where my heart wants to go is the right way or not. ultimately i end up living a shadow of the possibility of what could be. All because i couldn’t make up my mind. There is actually a simple answer. It may seem, a little too simple. But most things are. Bruce Lee said “The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” So, with that in “MIND,” i’m going to look at two words.

There are two primary Greek words that describe Scripture which are translated word in the New Testament. The first, logos, refers principally to the total inspired Word of God and to Jesus, Who is the living Logos.

All of that and much more could be another series in and of itself but i’ll let just that small bit of info do it for today.

Examples of Logos

  • “In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word [logos] was God” (John 1:1).
  • “The seed is the word [logos] of God” (Luke 8:11).
  • “Holding forth the word [logos] of life” (Philippians 2:16).
  • “For the word [logos] of God is quick, and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12).
  • “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word [logos] of God, which liveth and abideth     forever” (I Peter 1:23).

The second primary Greek word that describes Scripture is rhema, which refers to a word that is spoken and means “an utterance.” A rhema is a verse or portion of Scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to my attention with application to a current situation or need for direction.

Every word of God is inspired, and “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). It is the Holy Spirit Who illuminates particular Scriptures for application in my daily walk with the Lord.

Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus also said, “The words [rhema] that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

When God gives a rhema for me to act upon, He often confirms it by a second rhema, that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word [rhema] be established” (II Corinthians 13:1).

Examples of Rhema

  • “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God” (Romans 10:17).
  • “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word [rhema] of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
  • “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word [rhema] (Ephesians 5:25–26).
  • “If ye abide in me, and my words [rhema] abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).

In closing this is what Lucy Liu says, “I try to believe like I believed when I was 5… when your heart tells you everything you need to know.

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So what does “fight, flight or freeze” mean?

When originally defined fight or flight responses were about survival and hope. i might use a fight or flight response when i believe there’s a chance i can out fight or outrun whatever circumstance i’m feeling are attacking me. If i’m overwhelmed by the circumstances and i perceive that there is NO HOPE of surviving i may actually freeze. Before i get into any specifics on each of these reactions let me build a portion of my foundation.

A threat is perceived, a circumstance that threatens my finances, my health, someone or something that i hold dear comes to light.

my autonomic nervous system automatically puts my body on alert.

my adrenal cortex automatically releases stress hormones.

my heart automatically beats harder and more rapidly.

my breathing automatically becomes more rapid.

my Thyroid gland automatically stimulates the metabolism.

my larger muscles automatically receive more oxygenated blood.

The word automatically is used in every one of those actions so i don’t think i’d be out of line by mentioning that  automatically believing God without a second thought is not only possible but by far a more sure way to go. While that the fight or flight response may be automatic, it isn’t always accurate. In fact most of the time when the fight or flight response is triggered it’s a false alarm – there is no real threat. Automatically believing God is always accurate and it stimulates truth, “but with the temptation, will also make the way of escape, that i may be able to bear it.”

i can not deal with a heart issue, through my mind. The word says “out of the abundance of my heart my mouth speaks.” Proverbs 4 instructs me to pay attention to God’s words and not understand them in my mind but to “Keep them in the midst of my heart; WHY….. “For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.” If i lose hope in my heart i can only speak out of despair. Despair is to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change, and i’ll say this… just speaking the word, even all day long, will not restore my hope.

i know that believing God without a second thought is totally possible because it operates in certain areas of my life. Example… when presented with a need for someone else, my natural, immediate, without a second thought response is how can i meet that need. When it comes to healing for myself most of the time i walk in health without a second thought. So i know it’s possible.

Tomorrow i’ll share about another portion of my foundation which adds more spiritual insight into finding out “Who Is “me?”

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Continuing with the  exploration of my personality, or the question, Who Is “me”,  i’m going to share about what the world calls “Fight, Flight, Flee.” It deals with the way i respond to situations and circumstances that occur in my everyday life. i’m going to be coming from a different perspective than what the counselors of the world are. Before i go there i need to establish a spiritual foundation which i will build on through-out this series.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” i can hear the “BUT ed!” i know, i know, i know…!

This is where i perceive that being an “All or Nothing” person could possible serve me well as, No Temptation would overtake me. Regardless of…!!

NO means NOT ANY temptation. Temptation is defined as something that tempts, entices, or allures. For my purpose in this series i’m referring to temptation as anything that tempts, entices or allures me away from believing that God is faithful as the verse goes on to say. Tempted, enticed or allured away from knowing that God will not allow me to be tempted beyond what i am are able. Tempted, enticed or allured from knowing that God, with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that i may be able to bear it. i know “BUT ed!!”

While the world uses Cognitive Therapy to help people change their thinking patterns James 1:5-8, says, “If i don’t know what i’m doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. i’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when i ask for it. Ask boldly, believing, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”

When i’m in that place of emptiness, seemingly lost, without hope, a place where i don’t know what i’m doing i am to ask BOLDLY, BELIEVING, WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT. What am i believing… first that no test or temptation that comes my way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. second, to remember  that God will never let me down, third, that he’ll never let me be pushed past my limit, and last but not least, he’ll always be there to help me come through it. There it is again “BUT ed!” “You don’t know my situation, you don’t have to deal with my husband, my wife, my kids, my job, my finances, etc., etc., etc.” i get it, been there and done that. How am i to believe that God is faithful when i feel so alone, so hopeless, so tired? Here’s the simple answer. God’s word is Truth or it’s not, it’s a lie and not just this part of it but all of it. This is not a results based answer, it’s not an issue of resolving my mind, it’s a heart issue!

So let me get into more detail about each response type and along the way share stories about some of God’s chosen people and how they responded to their situations. Ultimately i’ll share about an option that doesn’t currently exist in the counseling of people who are controlled by these responses, supposedly for the rest of their lives. Yes modified and handled better, but i’m talking about being free… completely free in every sense of the word. It just occurred to me how well this goes along with “Let’s Go Fly A Kite.”

Oh in case you’re wondering why i would start a series like this on a Friday… Because it gives me the weekend to ponder the verses in this post and absorb them.