What is your response when someone gets something you want? Can you imagine throwing off the negative emotions associated with comparison in 2018 how much mind space would be cleared up to maximize your unique gifts and talents to make God recognizable in our society?
Dear Lord, we stand in the midst of unsafe and insecure events that deeply trouble our hearts and shake our foundation of confidence. Help us Lord to lean our entire sense of security into you so much so that we feel the resurrected strength of your presence within us in every thought and action. Now is the time to let our light shine before men so that they may see our good works in the midst of darkness and give you glory. Awake Oh sleeper and rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. Help us to outshine the darkness Lord, to rise up and stand for what is good, right, true, beautiful, excellent and praise worthy. Help us to hold our peace, lean into your strength, for you are our refuge and fortress. Protect us from evil and charge your angels over us. Replace all fear with confidence that you are faithful and will never leave us or forsake us so we will declare: “the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.” Remind the fragility of our flesh what our soul always knows: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Remind our mind of this very thing, that you have begun a good work in us and will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Comfort all who mourn tonight, and as the rose appears in the midst of thorns help us to remember that you do your greatest work in the darkest nights, we are simply passing through as your ambassadors, make your appeal through us.
Edge God In Podcast Week 19: How to Feel Secure in the Midst of Insecurity
In the previous podcast: Negativity Detox Step 2, we explored high noticing around those negative behaviors that block our ability to make God recognizable in this world along with those behaviors that empower us to with the ability to OUTSHINE the darkness. In this Edge God In podcast you will learn specific scriptures and practices to help you reclaim your God given ability to rebuke the spiritual forces of evil attempting to rob you of Christ’s peace by sabotaging your sense of safety and security through fear and anxiety.
If you submerge a container in water without equalizing the pressure within, the container will begin to crush the deeper you go in the water. Why? Simply put, the force on the outside is greater than the force on the inside.
In order to override the fear and anxiety fueled by the recent public shootings, our point of reference for our sense of safety and security must flow directly from our identity in Christ. There is no other source that will give us the ability to maintain inner peace and calm in the midst of chaos and darkness than the Prince of Peace and the Light of the World.
Now more than ever it is crucial for us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Why? As a man or woman thinks, their body will follow.
Stress is the power we give to outside circumstance to define our sense of safety, worth/value and connection. As we give outside circumstance more authority than the power of God within us we render ourselves vulnerable to emotional turmoil. In order to override our fears, we must step into 1 John 4:4, zip it up around us and allow it to pour into our emotional acuity: “Greater is He who lives inside of me than He who lives in the world.”
In light of the recent tragedies another verse worthy of our memory is Matthew 10:28: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
There is a psychological practice called, “cognitive reframing” that involves stepping back from your fear and focusing on what you know, making a conscious shift in your mental perspective from fear to faith. As you step back from your anxiety fueled by recent public traumas and focus on what you know to be true about God’s promises to you, fear begins to lose its grip on you and you expand your identity in Christ who is perfect love and casts out all fear.
Overcoming stress and anxiety involves identifying and adjusting those perceptions that do not align with your heritage in Christ: “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness (the quality of being right or justifiable) is of Me.” Isaiah 54:17
With that said, whatever you resist persists, it is also important to give yourself permission to feel any and every emotion without judgement, invite the Holy Spirit into your feelings. An emotion is your body’s response to your thought life. Allow yourself to feel what you feel as you sit with scripture that ignites a ray of light in the midst of darkness as Jesus did in the desert. When Jesus was face to face with evil He used scripture to bind, rebuke and cast out the forces of evil coming against him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was able to enter His passion through the surrendering of His will to His Father’s will: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Reflect: Scriptures that Anchor Safety and Security:
- Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned: neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. – Isaiah 43: 1-3
- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the middle of the sea. – Psalm 46:1-2
- And Moses said to the people, “Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” – Exodus 14:13-14
- The Lord is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in Whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies. – Psalm 18:2-3
- He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God in Him will I trust. There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. – Psalm 91: 1-2; 10-12
- For the Lord shall be your confidence, and shall keep your foot from being taken. – Proverbs 3:26
- Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes I will help you; yes I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness. – Isaiah 41:10
- And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. – John 10: 28-29
- “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall be condemned. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me,” says the Lord. – Isaiah 54:17
- For He has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my Helper,” and I will not fear what man shall do to me. – Hebrews 13:5-6
- Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28
Identify & Integrate:
Re-read the above verses. Identify 3 scriptures that speak directly to you. “Holy Spirit as I read through the scriptures above help me to be thoughtfully attentive to the word of God that helps me remember that the strength within me is greater that exterior circumstances.” Write those scriptures down and pray them into your life. For example, let’s say Matthew 10:28 is one of your scriptures: “Dear God grant me the grace of confidence and courage as I step away from fearing those who can kill the body and lean into trusting in you and living in reverence of your Sovereignty in my life and those I love. Replace any fear I am storing in my heart with your love and safety as I entrust my life and the lives of those I love into your care.”
- How will my belief in these specific scriptures strengthen my confidence in God’s care for me and those I love?
- How have the recent public shootings shifted my sense of security in public places?
- Do I experience more anxiety around my own safety of the safety of those I love?
- When I do drift into stress or anxiety in public places what do I want to remember ahead of time before stepping into those situations to help me feel more confident?
- What do I need to remember in order to increase my confidence and security in God’s protection and care in my life and the lives of those I love?
- As you become aware of anxiety associated with public places calm your body down through deep breathing along with tapping on your thymus which is located two inches down below the U-shaped dip in your neck. This area is one of many self-soothing spots on the body that releases a calming effect within your system. Because stress manifests itself in your biology it must be addressed at the source of expression: your body. As you tap on your thymus area simply declare: “I have faith and confidence in God, my future is secure, I am secure…God is with me.” Continue to repeat at least three times as you breathe deeply.
- Memorize 3 scriptures that landed in your heart from today’s study. Proclaim them out loud and declare the power of God’s word in and over your life and the lives of those you love. After you have stored them in your heart, re-read the list of scriptures and pray for 3 more that the Holy Spirit can use to anchor your sense of safety in God in the midst of insecurity in the world around you.
- Prayerfully invite the Lord to reveal to you your give back project today. Often times in the midst of trauma and tragedy taking positive forward action steps to outshine the darkness can anchor a sense of safety. Gathering several people together to initiate a give back project can also lead to a sense of safety and connection which helps you remember you are not alone. Just as Jesus sent out His disciples together to spread the gospel and do good in His name, so He sends us out to be the light of His presence in the darkness.
- Practice cognitive reframing. Step back from your fears as you shift your perceptions around the source of your safety and protection. Remember what you know to be true as a follower of Christ: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
- Explore the Emotional Freedom Technique to help release any persistent biological expressions of fear, anxiety and stress. CLICK HERE for a quick 10-minute demonstration. You can declare the Holy Scriptures while you tap on these points to calm your body’s response to your thought life. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:1
Dear God, I know that you call me out of darkness into light. May each word and behavior this week shine forth the light of your presence in the midst of darkness. I want to be your ambassador in word, thought, deed and action so that when you call me home, my colors will be clear as I declare you as my peace and confidence. I am your child and with you I lack nothing. Help me to think about you 24-7 and close the gap between my ability to hear and respond to your voice behind me saying, “this is the way walk in it.” I declare victory over fear and doubt, anxiety and worry as I allow the light of your love and presence to outshine the darkness that surrounds me. Use me to play a part in anchoring security through a message of hope, confidence and love in the lives of those you have entrusted to my care.
Surround yourself with people who make you a better person in life
Lauren & Estella
Edge God In Podcast Week 17: A Negativity Detox: Step 1
The focus for this study is a very timely topic and as we find ourselves surrounded by negativity. Let’s face it, you can’t give out to the world what you don’t take time to master within. With that said, it makes perfect sense that the first step in a negativity detox requires high noticing around the negative elements you are allowing into your interior castle, those tenants that you are giving free rent to who are trashing your interior world, AND a willingness by the assistance of the HELPER, the Holy Spirit to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 is a worthy verse of memorization: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
The discovery of mirror neurons, in my opinion, is one of those biological wake up calls that reveals an essential element to the point of entry of negativity: our thought life… which ignites our emotional state of being. An emotion is simply your body’s response to your thought life. Mirror neurons fire in the sender of information and the receiver. Basically, anger evokes anger, love evokes love. Whatever you are experiencing emotionally triggers similar emotions in people around you. God biologically wired us to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. What was meant for good can easily be flipped to evil when we allow the emotions of envy, strife, bitterness, and judgment live under the roof of our minds.
Once you invite the Holy Spirit within your interior castle to help you master this space and detox your mind by evicting those tenants who thrive on negativity: drama judgment/accusation/shame, conflict, confusion, overwhelm, fear, doubt, worry you begin to reclaim the inner freedom of positivity Christ died to give you and you are then in a position to be able to step into being the light of the world, a city set on a hill to give light to all who see it.
As Romans 12:1 reveals to us the way in which we transform out of negativity into the positive, confident space of the One who has equipped us with a spirit of power, love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7, self-control over negative rumination) is to meditate upon that which is good, right, true, beautiful, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
Reflect: Read Matthew 5:14-16
- How much time do I spend meditating on what is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord?
- What is your “basket” that dims your light? What specific negative thoughts keep you from putting your light on a lampstand for all to see? What will it take to remove your basket?
- What specific shiny objects draw me away from my calling to be a light in this world, a city set on a hill?
- What negative thoughts do I want to detox from my life so that my light can shine before men in such a way that others see my good works and glorify God?
Identify & Integrate:
Be aware: those little serpents do not evacuate without a fight. Messages will pop up out of nowhere sabotaging your best efforts to evict and detox your head trash. Messages like: “WHAT? You might miss out on something if you don’t stay in the know of the drama! The judgment of others keeps you safe in your belief system. Conflict keeps you in the game. Who would you be if you didn’t worry? Worry gives you a sense of control over the unknown. When you worry or fear at least you are alert and not caught off guard if something bad happens, you are standing guard and ready to fight.” You may want to step into the calm of Philippians 4:6 and live a life without anxiety but if your mind is filled with anxiety producing statements you will end up mucking around in negativity. As Jesus pointed out a house divided against itself will fall (Luke 11:17).
Pause for a moment and recall a negative thought that has won your approval over time.
For example, this is a popular one that shows up a lot in coaching sessions: “If I hold back my best then at least I can fall back on the fact that I didn’t give it my all.” OOOOOO that’s a good one. This creepy little reptile can hold you back from stepping into the freedom of Christ (Galatians 5:1) and living a life of confidence knowing that the One who calls you is faithful and He will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Its foundation is built on the shifting sand of a popular childhood wound: “My best is not enough” so as an adult you may conclude: “so why even try.” Jesus calls us up and out of our wounds that feed negativity in our lives. Integrate the verses into your thinking so that when you need to erase and replace a negative thought with three positive thoughts as mentioned later in this study you will have them available to the Holy Spirit:
- “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not allow yourself to be burdened by the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
- “The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
- This week step into Meta-Cognition: Think about what you think about. What percentage of your thought life at the end of the day was devoted to positive thoughts: what is good, right, true, beautiful, excellent and praiseworthy? Narrow your negative thoughts: One less today than yesterday.
- Practice 3-1. In order to override a negative thought pattern in our life, we need the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Science reveals that for every one negative thought it is essential to declare three positive thoughts to override the negative thought. Once you catch a negative thought by its tail and fling it out of your mind quickly declare three positive statements. For example, perhaps you just gave a presentation and your interior tenants of shame and not-enoughness start screaming at you: that’s all you’ve got? WHAT was that? Did you see your colleague yawning in the back of the room? BORRRING. You are not cut out for top management. As quickly as possible begin to declare God’s word over that situation: I believe in the Word of God which declares that whatever I commit to the Lord will succeed and He is able to cause all things to work together for an ultimate good in my life. I trust you, Jesus, to bless my efforts.
- Memorize two verses from today’s study that you want to use to help detox negative thoughts from your mind:
“Whoever cleanses himself from what is ignoble and unclean, whoever separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences will be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.” 2 Timothy 2:21
Dear God, help me to root out internal strife in my life. Make me a light of positivity in this world. I give you permission to detox my thought life. Cast out those thoughts that fuel stupid and foolish arguments and quarrels against myself and others. How can I offer kindness in this world if I am beating myself up in my head? Help me speak kind and supportive words to myself with a gentle and loving intonation. I know I cannot give out what I don’t take time to expand within my soul. In makes sense to me that the most powerful place to begin a negativity detox in my life starts with my own internal dialogue. Help me to use an intonation with myself that reflects the kindness and love of the Holy Spirit. May I be quick to linger in those positive affirming statements that are fueled by your presence and whispers in my life. I want to feel what it feels like to live out Romans 12:1 to be completely transformed by the renewing of my mind. Deeply refreshed and focused on what is good, right, true, beautiful, excellent and praiseworthy. Detox my thought life from all negativity.
Surround yourself with people who make you a better person in life
5 ways to Activate Aging Grace:
- Old is new – Romans 8:28-29, 35-39
This is a beginning of a new adventure
- Let God be mold you – Genesis 37:3-4
Allow people and experiences to shape you
- Know that you are called by God – Exodus 4:1-17
Create a mission statement for the latter third of life.
- It’s okay to be vulnerable – Ruth 1:1-17
Aging brings with it many changes that require emotional and mental adaptation—but our loving God is in control.
2. You are getting nearer to God – Psalm 4
Losing our grip to human attachments – moving us into a greater relationship with him that should not be limited because of our age.
Identify & Integrate:
- Seek wisdom and Knowledge – Read Gods Word on Aging and develop a ritual embedding it into your heart.
- Pray for Gods understanding of beauty and youth and remove vanity, doubt, or fear.
- Change your perspective on things and approach aging as an adventure.
- Honor those around you who are aging.
- Be mindful of self and others
- Revisit Gods word and listen to his direction for you
Dear God, grant me the grace to know that no matter what I look like, I was created beautifully by you. Help me to see continue to see myself in your image and those I observe losing what we believe to be beauty during the aging process. Help me spread love and kindness, support and help to the aging mentally spiritually and physically. As I help myself, let the light you gave me shine for others.
Are You Shrinking Your Brain?
How much of your verbal communication in a 24 hour
period of time contains an element of complaining?
10%? 25% 50% 75% 90%?
Take a moment to go into your internal castle, close your eyes and
give this self inventory question a moment to marinate. For any positive
shift to occur it is essential to shine the light of
our awareness on the state of behavior we wish to prune
out of our life.
Next question: Are you a conscious communicator? Someone
who pauses before responding and edits and adjusts words
to align with the person you are committed to being.
Have you fallen asleep at the gate of your most powerful
modality to create a positive or negative space around you
on this journey of life: Your Tongue.
Science proves that your brain actually shrinks in the midst of
complaining, either from your own mouth or people around you.
Victory over undesirable circumstances lies in your ability
to occupy the space you feel honors the person you are committed
to being. Do you edify yourself and those around you or do
you cut down yourself and those around you? The choice is
yours and makes all the difference in the outcomes you experience.
This week I invite you to take a complaining fast, I’m going to join
you in this practice. As you feel a negative conclusion or statement
bubbling up into your mouth, put your hand over your mouth
and step away from the situation if necessary to catch yourself.
As quickly as possible flip the negative thought into a positive one.
For example: “I am so exhausted and fed up with my work load.”
Flip It: “I love how much effort I put behind what I do in life, my
body is telling me it’s time to take a break and restore so I can
continue to show up the way I want to show up, and I am going to honor that.”
“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example, although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course one’s life on fire…” James 3:3-6
Nolite Timere: Fear Not!
Because of His Love,
We as Christians must have norms and values to do the lords work. We must understand how to guide each other to effective member behavior, which is not easy because of (1) the flesh and (2) interpersonal problems that get in the way.
So what does this mean for us to have Christian norms and values?
Is it Ethics or Morally Driven? And who gives us this compass to follow?
There are 3 things that will guide you in setting Christian norms for you and your teams
- Know your absolute authority is with Christ.
Christians are given God’s grace which places our lives under the absolute lordship of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:21 – “For me to live is Christ” meaning he is the center of our life.
Romans 13:1 – Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
- Know where the source of our norms comes from.
What is clear from I Corinthians 11 is that the norms for us do not lie in our culture, but rather in the Word of God., and that God’s Word and God’s Spirit bring with them a new culture. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
- React to other by Gods examples
Jesus says in John 13:15: “…I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you”
Romans 2:14 says that “the Gentiles who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law.”
So in order for us as Christians to establish norms, we must look beyond the written communicative, respectful and problem-solving aspects in the secular world and dig look deeper in the word of God.
Paul shares that if that was written in man’s conscience at creation, why do we need the Ten Commandments?’ the answer is that our conscience has fallen.
Conscience can only be our guide if our conscience is ruled by the Word of God.
Estella & Lauren
To Trust or Not to Trust In God…The Choice is Yours and Leads to Inner Peace or Turmoil
Our choice to trust in God results in 4 Gifts from God:
- Protection and Care
Trusting God =
- Fearlessness: Isaiah 12:2: “I will trust in the Lord and not be afraid.” Fear is the body’s response to the thought life fueled by three main concerns:
- I’m not OK
- I won’t be able to handle this situation
- I might die…real death or death of EGO
Solution: John 4:18: “There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear.” As we trust God and seek Him first above all things His love is made complete in our hearts and minds. Action step: Pause before each transition in your day I invite God’s grace into your activities, ask for the grace to trust that the outcomes you experience are in His hands and that He works all things together for your ultimate good in life (Romans 8:28)
- Direction and Guidance: Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart (step away from trusting in the work of your hands and material success for your sense of worth and value) and lean not on your own understanding In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
Questions for reflection:
- What do you trust in more than God? Outward acknowledgement? Material success? What is your “ring”? The vice that has captured your attention along with your identity over the Lord’s guidance in your life? Perhaps it’s busyness? “Who would I be if I’m not doing? Achieving? Accomplishing?”
- When have you recently leaned on your own understanding and taken action on that understanding rather than pausing and praying for the Lord’s direction and guidance?
- When was a time in your life when you did pause and trust the Lord to guide your paths and the outcome was unexpected and also in your favor?
- Strength: “In quietness and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
Questions for reflection:
- When is this practice difficult for you?
- When is it easy to practice quietness and trust in your life?
- Reflect on a time recently when you Let Go and Let God into a situation that caused you anxiety? What happened?
- Protection and Care: “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7
Questions for reflection:
- When have you felt the Lord’s care for you in a troubling moment in life?
- When you give God the first fruits of your day in prayer and reflection before jumping on any electronic device to explore your connections with the world, what do you notice to be different in your perspectives throughout your day?
- Explore reflecting on this question before you begin your day: What do I feel God’s intention is for my life today? What is my intention for my life? Trust in the Lord’s care and protection of you today, when anxiety pops up simply say as you clap your hands to help flip your mind out of anxiety: “No…I give YOU God more authority than this situation that is causing me anxiety.”
4 Things Not to Trust In:
- Idols: “Those who say to images (things) you are our god’s will be turned back in utter shame.” Isaiah 42:17
- Deceptive Words: Flattery; Fame Game; Popularity. “Deceptive words are worthless.” Jeremiah 7:4
- Your Own Understanding: “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
- Riches and Material Gain: “I have toiled in vain. I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely the justice due to me is with the Lord, and my reward with my God.” Isaiah 49:4 The parable Jesus told of the rich man and his barns: Luke 12:20-21 The man put his trust in his riches and wanted to store up more so he decided to build another barn to store all of his stuff in. That night God said, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Jesus concludes the story with some great guidance: “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”