Empty & Refill!
I sat down this morning to write after doing my devotions and I started off thinking I don't know where to start or where to focus. Let's see where He leads me! I prayed that He would hone in my thoughts.
When On Fire first started, my friend Anita and I had sketched out my vision of a wheel with spokes. The hub is On Fire and each spoke is a different twist on this: On Fire Fitness, On Fire Food, On Fire Faith, On Fire Friendship and On Fire Freedom. As I was walking earlier this week and praying, I had a feeling of mild defeat. On Fire Fit/Food has been an ongoing support & coaching group and while it has not stopped, it has slowed to a very mild pace at this point. On Fire Faith continues as our community of believers with our email list which I'm so grateful for, but I've had a tugging that I should write and have not yet started on that. I have had to stop teaching my fitness classes due to the hernias and trying to minimize the risk of causing anything worse to happen. When Angie, our coordinator of events from our church, invited me to come do Holy Yoga at our church, I felt a deep pang. You see, I love exercise. I love how I feel, I love how it energizes me. I love how it makes my body operate better. I love to be challenged. I asked God why am I having pangs about the Holy Yoga. I quickly knew in my spirit that it is because that is another thing I can't do. I knew, also, that it is something I need to let go of and let God fill.
As I continued to pray, I realized that On Fire Freedom is the area that God is working in me right now. It is so amazing to me how God reminded me that I need to be free to help other people. I'm sure most people would say "what does she need to be free from?"..... oh, let me tell you! We ALL have things we need to be free from! I'm going through the Beth Moore devotional Breaking Free and one thing I like about her is she doesn't get into details of her past struggles because she says the focus needs to be on The Healer and she relates to more people that way. I am guessing most of us can think of at least one area that we need to be free from... and it can run the gamut from fear to anger to shame to guilt and any number of other things.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Last night my friend Lisa was talking about how our minds influence everything. I feel like the epitome of the broken record, but it is the area where freedom lies. When we realize that God graciously gives us all we need and has justified us, then we are MORE THAN conquerors! How can one be more than a conqueror? His gift of freedom through Jesus' blood sets us high above the influences of negativity, Satan and the demons who would love to influence us, and all the lies that threaten to pull us down! A daily renewing of our minds, speaking out loud our prayers and Bible verses and being absorbed in what God says in the Bible about our victory is part of the path to freedom! I used to think all of that sounded a bit "overboard" until I realized that we are either "overboard" with our negative self-talk or we are "overboard" with what is truth! We are very good at meditating on bad things, so we most definitely have it within us to meditate on good things! It requires awareness and the conscious decision to re-frame our thinking based on God's words of love and victory.
The most blessed awareness I have noticed is that any area of life that is not filled with God and His Spirit is an area that needs freedom! Empty and refill with Him! Overboard? I don't think so :)
P.S. It didn't fit in to the devotion today, but last week I got a text from my mentor with On Fire Fit, Erin, who awhile ago had text her trauma surgeon cousin about my belly issue. She heard back from him finally that their department had just hired a world-renowned hernia surgeon as the chair of their department! As Erin said "the Holy Spirit is alllllll up in this one!" Praise be to God for His provision. I have a couple pending appointments and I am praying that God would make it obvious who is the right surgeon for this issue. Thank you for your prayers!