Our thoughts, emotions and bodies can be helpers or hinderances to our walk with God. Part of Christian maturity is learning how to “train ourselves for Godliness,” how to get our biology working for us and not against us. David once said, “My heart and flesh cry out for the Living God” so it is possible to overwrite our fallen nature through conscious action. Here are some ways to do that.
If you’d like to hear my audio explanation of some of these strategies, you can find it here.
Anticipate – Participate – Savor
(To build emotional awareness and physical sensitivity)
Anticipate – Envision an intimacy “feel good” moment with as much sensory detail as possible. Rehearse it frequently.
Participate – Be present when the event comes. Don’t be distracted by past or future events. Instead, focus on experiencing everything you can.
Savor – Remember in vivid detail how things happened and what you felt. Enjoy and relive the experience. Then ask yourself what could have made it even better and use that upgraded scenario for your next Anticipation.
Recognizing, Receiving and Rejoicing in God’s Gifts
(To experience God seeing you and knowing you)
Recognize – Realizing that what just happened (or didn’t happen) is God’s gift to you. The more specific your requests, the easier they are to identify when they come along. Small things happen to be the most meaningful.
Receiving – Take a moment to actually receive the gift and say “thank you.” God sees you and the precision in which he gives you gifts will blow your mind. He is constantly giving you things, but we rarely receive them because we don’t realize they are from him or take the time to apprehend them.
Rejoicing – Similar to Savoring above. Remember the story, drill deep into it. Your Father loves you and delights in giving you unique and precious gifts.
30 Day Challenge
(Realizing how Good he really is)
For the next 30 days, don’t ask God for anything. Instead, try to discover the gifts he is already giving you. Look for them each day and record them in your journal. Each morning pray,“Father, open my eyes to the gifts you are giving to me today.” If you get to the end of the day and didn’t find anything, ask Holy Spirit to rewind the tape and help you to see what you missed.
(Aligning your emotions with Reality through Truth)
Select some Scriptures and truths you feel you need to grow into. Formulate them into a declaration statement. Write down this declaration every morning and then speak it out loud over yourself. You believe your own voice more than any other.
This is kind of like Neo in the Matrix. Biblical Truth is the Real World, but this present darkness feels more true. Aligning ourselves with the Truth of who God is and who we are takes courage and perseverance.
Becoming Aware of Your Design
(God speaks your love language)
Each evening, take a minute to ask yourself two questions and write down the answers in your journal. The two questions are: “when did I feel most alive/vibrant/joyful?” and “when did I feel most scattered/anxious/angry?” Keeping track of your answers to those questions will help you discover how God has made you. The quirkier your answers the better, because intimacy thrives on specificity.